Discussion on Save Methods.

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Diamond Star, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. Diamond Star

    Diamond Star Diamond Star Veteran

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    I am desighning my first game. and for saving, I chose to use save points.
    but I played a few RPGs made by members here and I noticed they used "Save every where" method. So I wondred wether using save points is not good.
    Thus, I want to here some opinions on this topic.
    Is "Save Point" method not fun for the most players.
     
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  2. Arithmetician

    Arithmetician Veteran Veteran

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    The advantage of "Save Anywhere" is that it makes your game easy to play in short sessions, and that it's not as frustrating when you lose in the middle of a dungeon.


    Save points are added so that a player must carefully manage their resources between them, lest they lose a significant amount of progress.  They generally make the game more difficult, but can be good for an old-school feel.  
     
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  3. Diamond Star

    Diamond Star Diamond Star Veteran

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    I feel "Save anywhere" is better. But I think that manu players would blame the game and the developer when they lose a hard battle and re-play from the beginning of dungeon just because they forgot to save.
    So, can "save point" merged with "save anywhere" to remind  player to save at the critical places?
     
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  4. TheRiotInside

    TheRiotInside Extra Ordinaire Veteran

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    If you throw up a Game Over screen upon death (reloading instead of respawning) then I usually prefer to save anywhere. Both methods, however, put you at the mercy of the game developer and their opinions on game design.


    If a developer thinks that save points should be hours apart from each other, that really hurts. On the other hand though, if a save anywhere developer does a poor job designing and balancing their game, it increases the chances of the player saving somewhere and becoming stuck in a no-win scenario, which is possibly the epitomy of gross things to happen.
     
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  5. Diamond Star

    Diamond Star Diamond Star Veteran

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    No, I prefer closer save points


    w.g. in the beginning og uongeon, in critical places, and before bosses.


    and I think player should be aware to save in many save slots and to leave a secure save slot to reload if he get stuck somwhere.


    If player just uses one slot then it could cause problems to him.
     
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  6. Arithmetician

    Arithmetician Veteran Veteran

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    Yeah, it's the player's responsibility to save in appropriate places when they can do so at anytime and to maintain multiple saves if possible, lest they get stuck.
     
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  7. Pine Towers

    Pine Towers Knight Hospitaller Veteran

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    It is more deep than that. How much setback you want your player to face? The fear of losing progress since the last save was more than X minutes ago makes the player play more carefully. If you allow save everywhere, there will be save scum. If you don't allow, you must make it so the player don't get mad for a Game Over and won't return to your game. And if a player needs to leave the game on a critical moment because of IRL events?


    The way I want to make my game is:

    • Save on peaceful places, like towns.
    • Save on "camps" on dangerous places, like in the middle of a forest. This requires a resource limited to 4.
    • Save & Quit anywhere ("suspend") if you need to quit quickly, but this save is erased upon loading to avoid save scumming.
    Still thinking on how to implement this on MV, though.
     
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  8. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    I believe you should always allow the player to save anywhere in safe places (such as towns), unless there's a technical reason that it would be difficult to store and retrieve all necessary information upon loading.


    As far as save methods in non-safe places (dungeons, world map, etc.), it's something that I don't feel has a single "right answer" - you need to ask yourself, as the designer, what the benefits are to allowing the player to save anywhere vs. only allowing them to save where you want them to be able to save.  One of the biggest advantages of not allowing save anywhere is that it's easier to create risk-reward scenarios in the player's mind.  If the player sees a dangerous-looking passageway (or comes across a choice they need to make without an obvious answer), they will have to decide what they want to do and can't just reload the save file and immediately make the other decision.  It adds some gravitas to the decision.  On the other hand, a big advantage of allowing save anywhere is that unless the player simply forgets to save, they won't ever have to go back and repeat something they just did.  They'll never have an hour of progress simply wiped away into the void.


    If you do elect to not allow save-anywhere, however, I would recommend a soft save feature that can be used anywhere (a soft save is where the game is saved and the player is immediately taken to the title screen; upon successfully loading that save, the save file is deleted).  This will allow players that need to quit because of real-life commitments to do so without being penalized.  Only a power outage could "unfairly" cause the player to lose their progress.
     
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  9. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Because I make my games for the commercial market, I need to keep in mind the preferences of a wider demographic.  In general I have found that the market has changed so that save points only is now fairly unpopular, for a variety of reasons, including - but not limited to - many people can only play for relatively short periods, RL commitments which interrupt a play session, and less tolerance for lost progress than in earlier years.  So one of your questions has to be: who is your target audience?


    In order to cater for points like that and to give players a choice of what mechanism they use, I allow save anywhere, with save points placed strategically.  I also integrate them in some way into the story, so they are not just the equivalent of the save crystal, whatever graphic you might use.  In fact, in my last game their very existence was part of the story.  This gives them a bit more relevance.  In order to try and overcome the possibility of the player saving into an impossible situation, I also use an autosave script where I have deleted the option to autosave before a battle (fatal, imo) and have it autosave when the player enters the map.  That way if necessary they can reload the autosave and simply back out of the map.  I also give 30 save slots, though I still get queries from players who have only used one save slot for the whole game.


    I am aware that some devs will, therefore, think that I have made it all too 'easy' for the player.  However, given the demographic I'm aiming for, it seems to be the best compromise.  I know some players try and play using only the save points, to give themselves more of an old school experience. 
     
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  10. Psykofreac

    Psykofreac Villager Member

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    I'd like to see a game that uses save points but if you lose in the middle of a dungeon, you can still continue but with a penalty. Maybe the loss will go on your record that will count for something later or something like that.
     
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  11. Dr. Delibird

    Dr. Delibird Veteran Veteran

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    I prefer the "soft save" or "save and quit" method. It prevents as much save scumming as possible (the player could still force close the game without saving but at that point there is really nothing that you can do to stop it that doesn't penalise players who do not do this). It also provides the player with the option to save anywhere without the downfall of having to design around this. Also I like this method even more when you are not presented with a game over screen when you lose a battle, this is because if it is considered "ok" to lose (ie dragon quest, pokemon) where loosing means something bad but not a "restart from last time you saved". Also adding auto saves at various points (ie on certain map transfers or at "auto save stations") means the player can not have to worry about saving constantly (whether it be for fear of a crash/flat battery or whatever other reason) which imho helps with immersion since a group of adventurers don't really record their progress (9/10 times).
     
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  12. RHachicho

    RHachicho Veteran Veteran

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    I feel that "save points" are an inherently forced difficulty mechanic. Since all but the most brutal of devs will allow you to save before a boss. You could argue it's about resource conservation. But I find difficulty based on resource conservation to be an inherently boring mechanic.


    I would rather try and focus on making the combat more fun and nail biting rather than trying to pace out save points. But that's just me. Besides manual free saving can end up being ad death sentence if they do it wrong. Regardless I don't think it matters as much as people think. Unless you are one of those devs that are like .. no you WILL be playing the game for a good hour before you hit another savepoint. And then ur just a sadist XD.
     
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  13. TheRiotInside

    TheRiotInside Extra Ordinaire Veteran

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    @Diamond Star



    I didn't see the question before I posted earlier, whoops! A decent compromise I've found is if you place some sort of party heal before boss fights and the like (hot spring, some sort of machine, whatever works for your game). This should imply that there is something important ahead that deserves a fully healed party, which then should make most players remember to save as well. If your dungeon difficulty is based heavily on attrition, however (conserving and rationing resources like MP and items throughout the entire dungeon), then this healing mechanic might compromise that unfortunately.


    Like others have said, there usually isn't one absolute right answer to these questions, and keeping your target audience in mind is very important. I like the soft-save idea as well. Another option might be to allow the player to save wherever they want, and to also combine that with an autosave that uses a separate slot unable to be overwritten. This way, you essentially force the hand a little bit and do both methods at once. You go through your game and figure out where you would hypothetically place a save point, then have the game autosave in that reserved slot whenever you enter that map, while keeping the player's ability to save in the regular slots whenever they like.


    This way, a player can never save and just use the autosave slot if they prefer that method, or they can save scum if they want (go ahead, I don't really mind how you play my game as long as you're enjoying yourself), or they can rescue themselves with the autosave slot if they save their way into a trap (surrounded by on-screen enemies that they have zero chance of defeating or escaping from).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2016
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  14. Diamond Star

    Diamond Star Diamond Star Veteran

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    Thanks for all.


    I really liked soft save idea I will implement it in my game with save anywhere method.


    But if I used soft save, where and how should I load it?
     
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  15. Dr. Delibird

    Dr. Delibird Veteran Veteran

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    @Diamond Star, I don't really understand what your are trying to ask. Are you asking how would you go abouts implementing or?
     
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  16. Diamond Star

    Diamond Star Diamond Star Veteran

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    I ask where should  I make the player load the soft save ( eg. in the title menu or in normal load menu)?
    Should I notify the player that a soft save was done?
     
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  17. SLEEP

    SLEEP grunge rock cloud strife Veteran

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    there's also autosaves, and prompts to save without needing save points


    autosaves have the advantage is the player doesnt need to remember to save. its just done. the downside is that you can't use saves to modulate difficulty. You need to make sure whatever plugin you're using doesn't autosave in a place the player can get stuck. Even autosave games will usually need the player to manually save at the end of a play session, and how are you going to have them remember to do so?


    With Save Anywhere or Save Points, you can have game NPC's remind the player to save at a critical time. You can have your party members say "i think theres something big ahead drop a save here [yes]/[no]?" "im a nice boss fight me at ur full power!!! save and heal [yes]/[no]?" The upside and downside is that you have to work save prompts into your dialogue and mood, so?????????????? its an up and downside because it depends on the game. know ur game
     
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  18. Dr. Delibird

    Dr. Delibird Veteran Veteran

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    @Diamond Star, I think comes down to preference. You could either customise the load screen so that it makes sense for a soft save to be there or you could have an option pop up in the title menu that says "load soft/quick save" or something like that. 


    @SLEEP, I have similar reasonings (some are the exact same) for my preference towards a "save and quit" or "soft save" system that includes autosave with it. I also eleminate the conundrum of not being able to use saves as a difficuilty device by making loosing "ok" by not haveing a lost battle go to the game over screen but this solution needs to fit within the game so it is a somewhat specific work around to the issue you brought up.
     
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  19. RavenBlueIndigo

    RavenBlueIndigo Veteran Veteran

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    In my opinion, while save anywhere is generally good and sort of a safe path, there are certain situations where I feel as if other saving methods better fit the game. An example I can pull off the top of my head is the bonfire system in Dark Souls. I feel that that is perfect for that game and a saving anywhere feature would ALMOST be a detriment. As for me, I have become rather fond of rooms dedicated specifically for saving.
     
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  20. Diamond Star

    Diamond Star Diamond Star Veteran

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    I thank you all.


    After that discussion, I think I will use "Save Points" with "Quick Save" methods
     
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