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declspec

Save game is the mark of weak game design

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i submit a perfect game would have no save/load feature. it would be designed such that somehow the player sucked up loss as part of the game thought of it as actually fun. a toy. But the perfect game has yet to be found and i also submit _isnt_ possible. but based on the above i invoke that a games design can be measured by how little you have to save/load. less theoretical and more practically speaking. Baldurs gate is ruined by the save anywhere feature. Contrast BG with FF1. In ff1 you had long walks from saves to key battles and the entire _fun_ after wards was not the battle but getting back to where you could save. the drama was intense. every step was carefully considered after doing something good. Baldurs gate however was save fight save fight save fight load fight save. Somepeople say well you didnt have to do that. but fighting to death without save forces you to do that. also the game designers job is to hand a consistant experience to the players imo. Consider the early nintendo wizardry. this is nintendo 1. AUTO SAVE. i now submit there is a certain element of _balls_ in early game design. In that first wizardry death was death. a party that was wiped was lost unless you formed some back up to go get them. "ya but i didnt like that" I now finally submit that some of the popularity of online games comes from the sense of consequence. the sense that you dont get another shot adds drama to the experience. And lastly i would like to point out there is truth to what im saying. That its sort of a design cop-out to make your work into save load save load. there is no faith in the entire game experience. the challenge and the fun. BG is the finest example its so strong in my mind. there is no doubt in my mind that BG would have benefited from a "save only in town" rule that was prevalent in early gaming. [edited by - declspec on May 11, 2002 8:47:34 PM]

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I think everything is in tradeoffs. I mean an early sierra game like say Space Quest 1. As I remember if you didnt'' have some item, and you got to some point without that item, you were lets just say up you know what''s creek without a paddle. So saved games were really necessary. If you design you game with such terrible consequences, it becomes necessary to preserve it. Now, on the other hand if there is always a way to win, then many save games are not necessary. You have some good points, but I think you must consider very very carefully when you decide to deviate from the norms as far as saved games.

-=Lohrno

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what are the norms.

i mean there was a deep running standard of only allowing saves in certain locations in early computer gaming. ff1 was Final Fantasy 1 one of the best games of all times balances and game wise imo. contrast that old school you can only save outside via bought item. this made the entire dungeon experience a planned one. to the new school icewind dale / diablo 2 save anywhere.

Poll: how many times in baldurs gate did you die waiting for your spells to refresh. ok wooooe got through that battle. save. alright im going to continue to the next room. oh wait i got to rest. hit "Rest" gah encounter. no spells. death. Load. hit "Rest" gah encounter. fight through. sigh live. hit "Rest" gah encounter. death. Load. hit "Rest" woot spells refreshed rock on. save. i mean instead of playing the game and having resonable fear of resting in insane spots how many of us just went for the rest in the dungeon. taking out a whole layer of resource management.

there are norms but for some reason the norms post Doom have been slipping to save anytime. Trends versus norms is a deeper discussion.






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[1]once upon time there was a game called Zelda .1.
no matter were you were you could save game...
but it had a balance ,when you loaded up you resporned at
1 particuler spot,thus having to re play section/sections to get to were you saved from as well as having all the items.
[2]i could do the ferst story in 3 hours and not die once...but if i could not save and died id have to start agen, and agen and agen depending on how good a player ,i was.by the time id played the same bit 3 or 4 times id be f en bord of the game thus the game play has killed the game ,when its there to keep the game alive.
[3]think about this you have been playing for the last 14hours your alarm goes off...dam 10 min untill work starts ooh...i beter just tern the game off...what do you know i can just save the game and come back to it when im ready to play agen.you could leve the masheen on untill you got home,but a masheen needs cool down..
[4]any game that i dont need a save option is normaly shallow
these days ....weres doom 3 ??? i like 40 level games stuff the crap 7 or 8 level budget games...

then agen you like what you like and i like what i like ...
remember "i was clocking games when you were still in your daddys ball sack"lol

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I would have to agree absolutely 110%.

The fact is that if we were to remove all saving features from a game, it becomes 100% more realistic.

Take some examples.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein
You turn the corner to see the backs of 6 nazis that you are just dying to cook with your new flamethrower. But one is right next to an alarm. No worries! Just quicksave and fire. If the alarm goes off, reload and do something else.

Diablo/Baulder''s Gate/IceWind Dale
You see an unopened door at the end of a long hallway. You are half in health and have barely any arrows left, nor stamina. What should you do? Who cares if you die! No biggie! Just quicksave, open the door, see what''s in there, and judging upon what is in their memorize the right type of spells...


I hate being able to do this! I would rather be on the 10th level of a game and say to myself "Well crap; I''ve got just enough stuff to get through one more guy, but if he kills me, I have to start all over again..."

The fact of the matter is that the ability to quicksave / save provides a method of godmoding.

Now I do understand that you would need _some_ sort of saving feature, especially if you have levels, such as a game like Battlezone2, AVP, etc...

The only bad part about this that I can think of is: If the player is near the end of a long level and has to go (in real life; say his parents are kicking him off or something), then what''s he to do? With no quicksave he would be professionaly screwed.


BUT this implementation would go great in a game like Everquest.

~Dwarf

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This is a tough one.

On one hand quicksaving/loading works against the suspense and atmosphere. But, on the other hand, if you die and are set back too much, that ruins the atmosphere even more because of the frustration that can cause.

I did like how the Diablo games handled it, but that doesnt work for most games. There isnt always a town convienently located at the gates of hell. Some games are mission based (Clancy''s games) and dont need save. That works well, but it wont work for most games. I think auto-save works fairly well, but if its not done right it sucks hard. Daikatana had an interesting system...that I hated. Collecting "save gems" was pretty lame.

Theres got to be good system, that pentalizes the player, but not harshly. A system that doesnt make be curse myself when I die and relize I havent saved for half and hour.

Mabye if there was a variation of auto-saves, where it would just autosave a 2, 5, 10 , 15 minutes spots. So when you die you can just choose where to reapear. Im think for a non-mission based fps, rpg (on that isnt based around a central town), or rts.

Any thoughts?

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dont forget how the metroid games handled it. that has more relevance to shooters. they had specific save game rooms set near by. far enough that you didnt enjoy rewalking the trip and far enough that most people didnt run back and forth. but placed close enough that you could save fast enough when you wanted to.



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Guest Anonymous Poster
I believe saving should not be restricted in any way. I realise that it might ruine the imersion a little (or alot), but that''s the players choice.

If you do restrict saving you''d better ensure that your game is 100% bug free (like that''s gonna happen ), otherwise your gamers will be mighty pissed at you after playing for a couple of hours without the ability to save only to have the game crash just before they reach a save-point. This has happened to me with many games and is a problem mainly for people using Win 9x. My old Win 98 system would crash about once a day during ''normal'' use, and perhaps once every 5-10 hours if I was playing games (probably video card issues).

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There are three things that I have to say:
1). Collecting saves isn''t bad, if they gave you guys who(cheat) use them often.
2). It has been mentioned that using too many saves could degrade your ending... like RE, or some other games(I have seen it in others, can''t remember what)
3). I think it would stop people from -godmoding- if people preloaded their AI a little in advance, like a lot of games do, think about it, just like that guy said, "I save when I see a guard next to the alarm, if I screw up, I load and try something else." If after he saves, the guard already saw him, he would get the alarm... the only real problem with save games is that its hard to know whats going on in an action game... I agree with some people about not wanting to do so much work, but I don''t have a problem with oversaving... I grew up on FF1. It told me that I should only worry about saving before I entered major things, and after I got back from sleeping after major things. When I first went through RE2 I saved only... 5 times.

Anyhow In a non-action type game, or a multiplayer game I say its easy to control the saving. Just have a couple of save points when you are testing the game where you would wanna save it. Then have someone who isn''t scared go through and remove some that aren''t necessary. Really though, saving should diminish -something- if you can just save as many times as you want, whenever you want, wherever you want. There was one game that wouldn''t let you save if creatures were near.

"Practice means good, Perfect Practice means Perfect"

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