Realeasing an Updated Game Without Losing Saved Data

Regretfulone

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Hey guys, I am rather new to the forums, but I did not find the answer to a question that has been bothering me. If I create a game and release a version for people to download and play, is it possible to update the game and make changes (possibly add content) and have the new release available for download without people losing their saved game data from the previous release? Essentially, I would like to work on something and release it in possibly stages (as the story progresses and as I have time to add new content :p ) and then release the update and have people continue heir game from where they left off. I would understand if that wouldn't be possible, but it would certainly suck a bit to have to start over again just to play the newer updated content. I appreciate any help or suggested resources to look through!

~Regretfulone

Novice RPG Maker
 

cosmickitty

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I'm sure it's possible, lots of games release updates and there are a few that have worked out how to take saves from one game and put them in the next
 

Yato

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Adding scripts that affect what data is saved/loaded and rearranging the database are the two biggest save game killers. So as long as you have your basic game structure in place before the first release, it should be fine. The user will just need to copy/paste their previous save file into the new game folder.
 

Regretfulone

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Thank you for the quick response! I am wondering if it would have to be a custom script that would be written. One thing I could do is search through the program and test some things myself first, if that doesn't work I imagine I could look into scripting how to relocate where the save file is located. It would take a little work to figure that out and then obviously script how to load the data, but if anyone has information on this I would be eager to see how it was done!

Adding scripts that affect what data is saved/loaded and rearranging the database are the two biggest save game killers. So as long as you have your basic game structure in place before the first release, it should be fine. The user will just need to copy/paste their previous save file into the new game folder.
Ah okay so they can physically do that themselves. I can see how the game would possibly break if you removed items from the database with a release, but would it break by adding items in? So new content gets added and there are now more items available to players, that wouldn't cause issues would it? Obviously if someone had an item equipped and it was removed there would be issues.
 
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Tsukihime

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1. Do not change database ID's. If you do, you will need a script to modify the save files so my shovel doesn't suddenly become a gun.


2. Adding new stuff is ok


3. Removing stuff is ok, but you need to modify the save files to get rid of those references.


4. Adding a new script is ok, but you need to make sure the save files have the required data that the scripts expect


Well written scripts will check whether the save files have that data or not instead of assuming it does.


I find that a lot of scripts don't consider save files or ignore them completely.
 
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Regretfulone

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Okay thanks, it is starting to make more sense to me. It would run into an issue if a reference ID changed. If you updated an item (added or removed stats with the item, changed parameters) but it still retained its original function, would the items be automatically updated when the new game started?

So if I had a dagger that had an attack power of 7 and later decided that it was under-powered, if I changed that to 10 later, would that cause a problem? The actual reference hasn't changed, just its properties.
 

Tsukihime

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Depends on what scripts you're using, but by default all of that is pulled from the database files and is not stored in the save file so the changes will be reflected.


There have been some scripts that save entire databases with the save file and loading it from there, which I sort of disagree with but as long as you're not doing something like that you should be fine.
 
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EternalShadow

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I believe there was a script that recompiled (?) the database and scripts so that they worked with old savegames... but I can't remember the name of it :/
 
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Dark_Metamorphosis

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I'm doing the same for my game, and I have done some testing by using my old 'demo' saved game and use it to continue with the rest of the content that I have added so far, and it works great! The only time that I stumbled upon issues is if you add a new script, which will break the game and terminate it when loading the save file. So even if you add new entries in the database or change the code (change the description of an item etc), or add new switches or events etc it will still be possible to load the game from the save file. I suggest you to playtest your game a lot and see if you stumble upon any issues, so far my game runs perfectly when using old save-files :)
 

Regretfulone

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Depends on what scripts you're using, but by default all of that is pulled from the database files and is not stored in the save file so the changes will be reflected.

There have been some scripts that save entire databases with the save file and loading it from there, which I sort of disagree with but as long as you're not doing something like that you should be fine.
Thanks, and yeah I had no intention of trying to save and load the whole database. That would slow the game down so much! And its also just improper technique for that.
 

Regretfulone

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I believe there was a script that recompiled (?) the database and scripts so that they worked with old savegames... but I can't remember the name of it :/
No worries, if you find it, message me and send me a link or post it here! I would be interested in reading it :]
 

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