Save points: Yes or no?

Do you use save points?

  • Yes!

    Votes: 31 54.4%
  • No!

    Votes: 26 45.6%

  • Total voters
    57

QuantumCapybara

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I'm saying that videogames' inability to perceive player intent makes it difficult or impossible to ensure that player outcomes/consequences line up with player intent. Now don't get me wrong, player intent should absolutely not determine consequences w/o any interlocutors: sometimes you fail, things have unexpected or undesired consequences (like installing alien neuromod abilities in Prey causes the station's turrets which have thus far been friendly to start shooting at you, although Prey is good about warning you this will happen), sometimes you were tricked into making a choice based on faulty information, etcetera. But if the consequences of your actions != the intended consequences of your actions, it should not be because of a bug, or a misunderstanding, because that is more frustrating than not having this kind of player agency in the first place.

It's very impressive when videogames DO anticipate correctly. There's a moment in Spec Ops: The Line where like videogames frequently do you're forced into a binary choice: the bad guys (well, actually the real bad guy in that game is you, and I don't think that even counts as a spoiler anymore, but nvm) are going to hang two people you don't want them to hang and they force you to choose which one to spare. I tried to shoot the ropes they were hanging from, to save both of them, take a third option, but the game had anticipated that, recognized that I did it, and had an appropriate in game/in-story response (I forget what exactly, but I think it involved my being covered by snipers) and, in a stroke of brilliance, I'm pretty sure the NPC in question (it has been WAY TOO LONG since I played this game) actually taunts you for trying to take a third option and having your attempt DENIED.

But actually, I need to stop this conversational thread there. I've been lurking RMW quite a while and I noticed this site is (of course, in my subjective opinion) super strict about keeping conversations on topic. We are now officially off the topic of save points--so much so that I literally had to scroll up and see what this thread was even supposed to be about in the first place lol--and I don't want to get myself in trouble my very first week, so if you want to chat this topic further, please PM me or make another thread. Thank you.
 

Countyoungblood

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I'm saying that videogames' inability to perceive player intent makes it difficult or impossible to ensure that player outcomes/consequences line up with player intent. Now don't get me wrong, player intent should absolutely not determine consequences w/o any interlocutors: sometimes you fail, things have unexpected or undesired consequences (like installing alien neuromod abilities in Prey causes the station's turrets which have thus far been friendly to start shooting at you, although Prey is good about warning you this will happen), sometimes you were tricked into making a choice based on faulty information, etcetera. But if the consequences of your actions != the intended consequences of your actions, it should not be because of a bug, or a misunderstanding, because that is more frustrating than not having this kind of player agency in the first place.

It's very impressive when videogames DO anticipate correctly. There's a moment in Spec Ops: The Line where like videogames frequently do you're forced into a binary choice: the bad guys (well, actually the real bad guy in that game is you, and I don't think that even counts as a spoiler anymore, but nvm) are going to hang two people you don't want them to hang and they force you to choose which one to spare. I tried to shoot the ropes they were hanging from, to save both of them, take a third option, but the game had anticipated that, recognized that I did it, and had an appropriate in game/in-story response (I forget what exactly, but I think it involved my being covered by snipers) and, in a stroke of brilliance, I'm pretty sure the NPC in question (it has been WAY TOO LONG since I played this game) actually taunts you for trying to take a third option and having your attempt DENIED.

But actually, I need to stop this conversational thread there. I've been lurking RMW quite a while and I noticed this site is (of course, in my subjective opinion) super strict about keeping conversations on topic. We are now officially off the topic of save points--so much so that I literally had to scroll up and see what this thread was even supposed to be about in the first place lol--and I don't want to get myself in trouble my very first week, so if you want to chat this topic further, please PM me or make another thread. Thank you.
far enough, though I expect you'll be suprised what is/isnt does/doesnt. Youre above par so I wouldnt get too deep or overly invested anywhere lots of ways to ruin a thread one lesser is deviating.
 

Irineu

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So do you all use save points in your games, or let the player save from the menu whenever?
And do you mind the use of save points in games you are playing?

I don't use or like them because I don't have a bunch of time to sit and play video games until the next save point just happens to come. If I need to get up, I appreciate being able to open the menu and save and quit whenever.
Well, I think I have an opinion very contrary to yours...

Maybe it's because I'm used to play games that use this mechanics, but I'd rather have a game with save points than the option to save in the menu. I like to see the creativity the game has in deciding what the save point will be.

One thing I've noticed in RPG Maker gameplays is that when the game has exclusively the option to save in the menu, the player ends up forgetting to save. Most likely it's because those games didn't make it clear that the save option is in the menu.
 

Ellie Jane

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I don't think I could play a game with save points again. They are awful, especially if they are at seemingly random points. It can really screw up gameplay if you play for an hour and lose your spot.

There's no mechanical reason why we can't save anywhere so we should be able to, IMO.

Difference I am finding is that as I am using the web to store things, what happens if you lose connection part way or something? So I've had to create specific spots where the game autosaves rather than it just saving every thing every second.
 

FirestormNeos

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Whatever save system the game I'm playing is using, it must be transparent.

If the game is designed to only be saved in specific safe areas, it needs to have save spaces like in Metroid. If it tries to have it both ways, like in MGS1 or The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess? Where it will let you "save" anywhere, but will actually only save up to a certain point (ie when you enter the room from a specific entrance)? That is inexcusably bad; you should've just had save points instead if you need to balance the game like that. Several mario games are similarly awful about this. If I save the game and I had 42069 lives, and I boot the game back up to find myself back at 5? I'm turning the game back off, taking the disk out, putting it back in the case, and sending that nonsense back to gamestop once the quarantine ends.

The reason MGS and Zelda had that system was probably to avoid the player getting into permanent "wE'lL bE rIgHt BaCk" situations. If that's the case, however, the correct answer was to do what Deus Ex: Human Revolution/Mankind Divided did and disable the save function when the player is in situations where saving is a no-go (ie when the player is getting shot at).
 

bgillisp

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@FirestormNeos : In the case of Mario that could have been a limitation of disc space as mentioned earlier. NES games had very little space left for saving so they usually just saved the level you started, and reset the rest to the beginning. Plus since most of those games had 8 levels they could save the level info in 1 byte, or even 4 bits if they really needed to save space.
 

FirestormNeos

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@FirestormNeos : In the case of Mario that could have been a limitation of disc space as mentioned earlier. NES games had very little space left for saving so they usually just saved the level you started, and reset the rest to the beginning. Plus since most of those games had 8 levels they could save the level info in 1 byte, or even 4 bits if they really needed to save space.
Yeah with the older games it's at least somewhat understandable due to space limitations and (and this is the biggie smalls here) shorter and harder than modern vidya. Back then, you ain't gettin' 42069 extra lives; that meme didn't exist yet. I'm talkin' more recent Mayro games, though.
 

Aesica

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I don't think I could play a game with save points again. They are awful, especially if they are at seemingly random points. It can really screw up gameplay if you play for an hour and lose your spot.

There's no mechanical reason why we can't save anywhere so we should be able to, IMO.
At this point, the main reason is to create tension when exploring dungeons. If your last save point was at the town or just outside the cave and your party is running low on supplies or MP as you explore, your experience is going to be different if you can save anywhere vs if you can't:

Save points only: "The things in this cave are kind of tough, but I found some good loot including a rare weapon as a monster drop that I might not get again without considerable time spent grinding. Do I head back out to save and restock my dwindling supplies and MP, or do I risk exploring deeper?"

If you can save anywhere: "Cool, a rare weapon off a monster! *Save game* A new floor! *Save game* A tough fight! *Save game* Another tough fight, but I died! *Reload game with basically nothing lost* I can probably make it to the boss if things "go my way" so to speak. *Save game every few steps/after every battle, reloading if anyone/everyone dies* Oh boy, the boss, time to fight! *Saves game, engages, dies horribly, and reloads with nothing lost* Okay, guess I'd better head out, restock, and level up a bit. *Save scums all the way out of the cave*
 

cabfe

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@Aesica And when you die (or simply have to stop playing for any reason), this is also the difference between Continue and Quit.
 

Lornsteyn

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This thread...deja vu...whatever.
I only use savepoints.
It may be practical to save everywhere, but I dont like that, it always felt cheap to me.
 

Conflictx3

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I personally believe that if your making a game you intend to market to players outside of the RPG Maker community that you would be wise to enable the ability to save at all times as well as an auto save feature.

Its great to want to give your audience that authentic retro feel but you have to remember your not making a 90s RPG in the 90s, your making it in 2020. Consumption is fast paced and attention spans are short. your game can be perfectly classic and omit save points.

In Contrast, someone could play your game and enjoy it but they are in a situation where they don't have more than 20 minutes to spare and they're in a dungeon where save points are scarce, this now becomes a chore, not "challenging". Or maybe they're playing the game, and the FAMILY CAT STEPS ON THE POWER STRIP BUTTON FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME AND CAUSES THE COMPUTER TO TURN OFF (speaking from experience, dag on cat!!) and now boom, X amount of progress gone.

People have retired or poorly reviewed games for less. I'll be perfectly honest I've dropped over a dozen Indie & AAA RPGs alike if the TUTORIAL takes more than 40 minutes and i'm the same person who use to sink 80+ hours into games like "legend of legaia" within 6 weeks, once upon a time. But that Era is in fact over and we do not play games the same way anymore. You'd get more points for the ease of access.
 

Aesica

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That's why I think the best solution for anyone wanting to use save points is going to be also utilizing a "quicksave" feature. By this, I mean a save that can be done anywhere, and when a game is saved in this manner, the player is dumped to the title screen. When the quicksave is loaded, it is immediately erased so if you die after loading it, you're still going to have to go back to the last save point/autosave.

Disclaimer: Even though it seems like I'm advocating for save points over being able to save anywhere, I'm actually just trying to highlight the merits of "the other side," because it does have its pluses even if convenience isn't one of them.

My current game allows players to save anywhere--a choice I made because the gameplay is based on difficult battles that the player chooses to initiate rather than resource starvation in dungeons. Despite this, the game still has save points which award exp when touched for the first time and also recover mana (for those using it) all while triggering an autosave in the background. Their purpose is to make sure the player's progress is saved before highly difficult battles, because cheap game overs aren't cool.
 

Lornsteyn

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That really has nothing to do with which year it is or retrofeel.
Many JRPGs still use only savepoints nowadays and Im really glad they do.
A autosave function if the game crashes is something I could support, but the rest makes at least classic RPGs too easy.

Since Im not planning to do a commercial game In the near future, I probably dont have to bother with complaining masses that much.
Anyway complaints about savepoints are really no real complaints to me.
If someone doesnt like how the save system in a game works, he has to quit and skip it.
People have dropped games always for different reasons.
 

Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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Save anywhere, with warnings in some really dangerous areas...

As a player, one thing I really hate is that when games use a save point system in which the save points are so scarce and it takes so many minutes or even hours before you get to save...
 

Chroma-Creative-Solutions

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Being that as I move forward with my career and growing my family I have less and less time to play games I prefer being able to save anywhere at anytime so that I am not penalized if I have to return to life and leave the game for another day.
 

bgillisp

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@Chroma-Creative-Solutions : Ditto. And that is a common theme that I see a LOT on the net too. Many that grew up on the classic RPG's are older and have family and other responsibilities and don't have the time to deal with save points only anymore. I know I tried to replay FF9 a while ago and stopped on disc 1 as I just didn't have the amount of guaranteed time I needed to play this game uninterrupted anymore.
 

YoraeRasante

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@FirestormNeos
I get what you mean, but MGS1 and Zelda are kinda terrible examples for being against this. Those games are more action-oriented and it is easy to enter a boss room thinking it is ok then find out you have not enough ammo and no way of getting out alive, meaning you basically lost the save. But by saving when you enter the room you are actually safe, you can just turn back around and be better prepared.
Limiting the save only for when you enter the room would kinda mean stepping away from the door would stop you being able to save... which could be kinda counter-intuitive. So I can't move away or I can't save? How will I know that?


So, as others mentioned, the save methods all have their own good and bad.

Save Anywhere means the person does not need to waste time looking for a save point to leave the game and come back. That however can ruin the experience, as mentioned the famous save scumming, where you save right before a challenge, or even in the middle of one, and it becomes super easy to solve just by resetting. Think people resetting pokémon to get a shiny starter, but for puzzles and minigames, or to get to the boss avoiding any enemies. Of course, extreme examples but still valid ones. Harvest Moon, the old farming game, I remember the ones you can save anywhere instead of only before sleeping people were savescumming in the mines.
Also you have two ore risks: you have not much diegetic reminders to save - at any time someone mentions saving, you'll get your suspension of disbelief broken for a bit. While this also happens when finding a save point, many games have a justification for them. And that means the chance of forgetting to save or not saving before an important fight. And worse, saving at a terrible time and have no way out, many people suggest having two saves at least, because this is a high risk.

Save Points, as others mentioned, limit your ability to leave the game, and where you are when you return. That can be abused, many games have fake extra difficulty, even big name ones, by having a lack of save points. And if you can only use save points you are limited on when you can stop playing. At the same time, that can also keep the difficulty proper by avoiding savescumming.

But there are two methods that, when combined, can be the best of both worlds:
Save Anywhere on the map, Save Point in the dungeons: Many people mentioned it, but not why. The map, usually, has not many challenges but random battles, if even has that - Chrono Trigger doesn't, for example. Save for cutscenes and story milestones, not many things could be ruined by letting you save at any time on the map. Yet limiting your ability to save on dungeons and in some cases towns, giving the player the feeling a town may be important enough to be on the same level at a point, both avoiids the risks of Save Anywhere and adds to the player some gravitas to those places. "This is a place I can't save, means it is important."
Temporary QuickSave: As mentioned, the main problem of Save Points is it limits when you can stop playing. A quicksave can fix this easily, when you use it you are booted out of the game but at any time you want you can just pick it up again. But to avoid using it for savescumming, using it erases it too, meaning your quick save is one use only. For a proper save you can return, do a normal save when you can.

Of course, there is a third option: Autosaves.
They have a bunch of problems that mix both of the others.
It saves anywhere. That means the risk of saving at a point you don't want it to. How many people loaded an autosave with low life making finding healing a chore, or even dying right away when poisoned?
You have no control of when it is saved. And not a "save point" no control, you only have a warning it already did after it did or while doing it, if they give you even that. I wanted to save now, I didn't want to save then... better have a different save method for safety too.
And if the save file corrupts...

So yeah, for me the best option is Save Anywhere on the map or safe places, Save Points when not, with the option of a Temporary Quicksave. And Autosave can be an option to turn on or off in the menu, but cannot be the only way to save.
 

FirestormNeos

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@FirestormNeos
I get what you mean, but MGS1 and Zelda are kinda terrible examples for being against this. Those games are more action-oriented and it is easy to enter a boss room thinking it is ok then find out you have not enough ammo and no way of getting out alive, meaning you basically lost the save. But by saving when you enter the room you are actually safe, you can just turn back around and be better prepared.
Limiting the save only for when you enter the room would kinda mean stepping away from the door would stop you being able to save... which could be kinda counter-intuitive. So I can't move away or I can't save? How will I know that?
I agree they're pretty weak examples, but they were the only games I could think of at the moment which I personally played myself that had that specific kind of saving.
 

CraneSoft

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I suddenly remembered that Tales of Eternia (2000) has an interesting hybrid known as Load points (which is a system I don't recall seeing in any other RPG, nor the recent Tales games), you can save anywhere but if you reload the game, you will restart from the last load point you reached if you are in a dungeon. It basically serves as both a reminder to save, yet allows you to save your progress anytime if you needed to put down a game.

I also had to highlight the ability to save anywhere is both a blessing and a curse, personally I'd prefer save anywhere, BUT I myself had also abused the feature when an RPG have the lame "Game Over and kick you back to Title Screen" punishment. So naturally in order to avoid losing progress in a place where bad RNG can get me killed, I ended up saving in every new floor or after every few fights, this not only hurts the overall pacing of a game, it is also extremely tedious and unfun. That's not even getting into territory of save scumming or locking themselves in unwinnable situations. Now imagine if Dark Souls and Metroidvanias allow you to save anywhere...yeah. Save points actually influence game pacing in an indirect way beyond creating challenges and the tense of exploring dangerous areas, and other times, it is also to curb possible technical issues that can arise if you save at an inappropriate moment such as during a chase scene or a timed session. Naturally, I prefer save points in dungeons, and made sure to spread them out evenly to not exceed the 30 minute mark between savings even in the longest sessions with enemies.
 

Wavelength

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Here's the rub about Save Anywhere: It removes most of the sense of danger and risk that the player faces, because they can always just save to a new file (assuming the game allows more than a single save file) before making a risky play. They have nothing to lose anymore. That's the main reason I like Save Points - they allow you, as the designer, to incorporate risk into your game.
Does a player who's low on resources want to press on and try to run the rest of the dungeon, or play it safe and head back to town to rest up? Maybe they got a rare drop a few battles ago - that's at risk if they press on! The Game Over actually means something; a moderately small amount of actual lost progress (but at the same time, it may be tedious or aggravating to do the exact same thing over).

At the end of the day, I'm a Save Points guy. But I do always suggest including a Soft Save feature so that players can save anywhere into a slot that will be deleted as soon as they load it. That's good for the times when real life calls and the player can't leave their system on (an emergency that requires leaving the house, or a lightning storm that could turn your power off at any point).

Also worth noting is that some games that allow Save Anywhere also include Save Points occasionally, just as a reminder to save (because it's easy to forget to Save in a Save Anywhere system where there's no in-game reminder to do so... and then you may lose hours of progress upon a Game Over or a power outage!).
 

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