Save Spot or Save from Menu?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Orgaya, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. Orgaya

    Orgaya Veteran Veteran

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    I remember reading somewhere that being allowed to save anywhere in a game removes a lot of the tension in the moment, if not all of it. While I sort of agree, I'm mostly against this idea because dying and having to restart a whole dungeon is just annoying to me.

    However, a problem I've found when having a couple of playtesters go through my game, they end up forgetting to save, thus when they die or a bug happens, they have to start even further back. So I started considering blatant save spots.

    Here's my question. What do you think of either system?
     
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  2. Starshine

    Starshine Villager Member

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    save spots add a nice element of import; players must try hard not to die or else go back all the way to the save spot, whereas saving anywhere the tension's not there to keep them driven. Also, i like save spots simply for the nostalgia and little touch of originality, depending on what the save spot is. In my current project players save at a mysterious pink cat and it makes a meow sound when you save/load (very inspired by the Luna P ball save spots in the sailor moon rpg); I find them charming if creators put a little effort into them. You're right too, they will be more likely to remember to save if they SEE a save spot right in front of them.
     
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  3. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Wrong forum for this I'm afraid

    I've moved this thread to Game Mechanics Design. Please be sure to post your threads in the correct forum next time. Thank you.



    As for the question posed, I personally find adding some autosaves at key points can help with the forgetting to save issue. As for which I prefer, save anywhere. I don't have enough time now to trek back to the save crystal or hope the designer put one a reasonable distance into the dungeon.
     
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  4. Guiguimu

    Guiguimu The best revenge is massive success Veteran

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    Save spots are better to me but others may think that saving when they want is best.. in my opinion having the ability to save whenever we want makes the game easier. But what I recommend is(it's what I do), while the game is still being tested, allow the save from menu. Start adding save spots too. Then, when the game is ready, simple remove that option at the beginning, in the intro and voilá!
    I guess it goes with what you want in your game.
     
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  5. AbyssalDarkness

    AbyssalDarkness Veteran Veteran

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    In my experience, when enabling "save anywhere" instead of controlling when/where the player can save, can sometimes result in a lot more testing. If your not that little extra careful with planing everything, a save at the wrong place or wrong time can mean more "Game Blockers".
     
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  6. Kyuukon

    Kyuukon 主人公 Veteran

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    It depends. I think open the save menu a thousand times in the middle of a dungeon breaks the immersion and the sense of "danger". For example, it wouldn't surprise me if the player reset the game after they got bad RNG against some random mob encounter. That's lame.

    Personally, for my adventure games, I disable the save function in the middle of a chase or "danger" area.
     
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  7. Alexander Amnell

    Alexander Amnell Jaded Optimist Veteran

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    I'm always going to be a proponent of save anywhere, just because it can be hard at times to get through a game with save points if you aren't already familiar with where they are. However most modern games these days have autosaves that basically make losing progress impossible so I can understand how people used to those types of games might forget to save manually. What I do is allow saving from the menu in most places but also place a physical savepoint in key places where a player death is more likely than normal as a reminder for them to do so.

    If a player is hellbent on save-scumming then yes allowing them to save anywhere they want makes that task easier than it would otherwise be, at the same time, not everyone who plays games is into save-scumming and I don't believe that a mechanic should be designed from the viewpoint of 'players have no self-control so let's force that on them' which is exactly what you are assuming when you claim being able to save on the fly inherently makes the game easier. My apartment is busy as heck right now, I got two kids I'm homeschooling and two others who are in the so-called "terrible toddler" years so I never really know when sitting down at a computer just how much time I'll have to begin with.

    It's nice to be able to save the game and shut it down when I have to, losing progress because I died without saving is fine, if I'm not interrupted I typically don't save until I'm done playing or before an obvious boss fight anyway, but losing it because I couldn't save at the point where I have to stop will put a game on the shortlist to my recycle bin if only because it's very likely to happen again and again.
     
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  8. Lantiz

    Lantiz Biterkid Veteran

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    Save anywhere, my reason:

    Yesterday I was playing some FF XV and, following a quest, I got myself into a dungeon that was actually a crazy labyrinth.
    It was around 11pm when I started and 1:30am when I finished.

    Now I have a fulltime job and was planning to go sleep around midnight, problem is that 1 hour inside that dungeon was a big progress, I would not like to do it all over again. And I say more: I could not tell if the end of the dungeon was close.

    I knew beforehand that this kind of stuff could happen by getting into the dungeon, and that's why I end up avoiding to play when I have breaks between my daily activities.

    Now you can blame me for playing when I should not, but on the other hand, the developers want a gamer to be playing their games every possible time, right? The more the better?

    I think so.
     
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  9. SoSick.

    SoSick. Veteran Veteran

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    What about.. auto save ? Is that possible in MV?
     
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  10. Shugo

    Shugo Low Life Hiomaika Enthusiast Member

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    Calling DataManager.saveGame(saveFileID) could probably make it happen I guess?
    But you would need to specify to the player where the auto save will be made (like file 1) just in case since it would overwrite an existing save file if there is any.
    *Note: Guessing that you're using MV of course
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
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  11. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @SoSick. It would need a plugin.

    I'm with @Alexander Amnell on this. The days when I could put aside a good chunk of time and know that I would not be interrupted are long gone. Life happens. I need to be able to save and close down irrespective of where I am. If I can't, then I'm highly unlikely to try that game. And no, that does not make me a save scummer. To be honest, I get a bit irritated by people who assume that I will become one just because a save facility is present. How deterministic is that? And (sometimes- not in this thread, I hasten to add) how utterly patronizing.
     
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  12. Chaos Avian

    Chaos Avian Abyssal Wing Restaff

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    I prefer saving anywhere because as you get older, you get less and less time for gaming. Also saving anywhere doesn't always make the game easier (just look at SMT4, any encounter can destroy you potentially), I'd say that saving anywhere can be more convenient if anything. Also, on the point of save spots most of them also give the option for healing either for free or for a cost.

    I wouldn't be adversed to the notion of using both. Save anywhere and save spots offer healing, I think this would also solve the whole forgetting to save issue as well.
     
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  13. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    Save spots are totally OK if they're frequent and placed in logical places (like, in front of a boss fight, or right outside a puzzle room). Save anywhere is, of course, best if it fits without potentially messing up anything.
     
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  14. Orgaya

    Orgaya Veteran Veteran

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    Apologies for the misplaced thread. I'll pay better attention next time.

    Thank you for the great responses. I like the idea of having both, as I never really thought about people having limited time - despite applying to me as well. It would make sense to have a save spot in front of a boss or a challenging section, as it seems more "polite" than a sign saying "Don't forget to save LOL!", while also disabling saving during those sequences (my game uses an ABS system).

    Or... I could make it an option at the beginning of the game; choose whether or not you wish to save from the menu or at certain spots. I guess that's like some kind of difficulty setting.
     
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  15. Fernyfer775

    Fernyfer775 Veteran Veteran

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    Like so many have already stated on here, save anywhere seems to be the better way to go. I personally prefer to be able to save anywhere because I never know exactly how much time I have nowadays to sit around and play a game. Last thing I need is to be 30-45+ minutes into a play session just to have to get up and go and not be able to make it to a save point. That would totally turn me off of wanting to continue if I had to do it all over again.
     
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  16. Harosata

    Harosata Dramatic Lightning's BFF Veteran

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    Hm, on the topic of saving, there was this concept that was in my mind. Pretty much, there are "save points" where you refresh the Map Id and X/Y. While you can save anywhere, you will spawn at the save point when you load a game up. Because while saving anywhere is convenient, a save point like that probably ensures people don't reload directly at farming spots.

    ---

    But yeah, I'm okay with save points (Witch and Hundred Knights) and anywhere (Final Fantasy XV). I guess it mainly depends on where saving is the most convenient.
     
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  17. Reapergurl

    Reapergurl Drummer Extraordinaire! xD Veteran

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    Hmm...

    I'm 50/50 on this.

    For some games, only being able to save in certain spots or anywhere on the WM is the only way to go.

    However, I've found that most RM made games are a bit too difficult for the 'save spots only' idea.

    I'm not sure on how Amy wants to have Rift Chronicles play out for this; for now it's save everywhere. For now.
     
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  18. Basileus

    Basileus Veteran Veteran

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    I think the most important thing to consider when deciding how you save progress is actually to factor in what death means in your game.

    To wit:

    • Final Fantasy: Death in combat means "Game Over" which forces the player to reload their last save. This can mean a huge loss of progress is your last save was a while ago, and the feeling of losing everything that happened can even make players quit altogether. Scarce save points can be frustrating if the enemies are hard while too many save points make the game feel too easy. And the presence of save points can spoil any surprises like sudden boss encounters.
    • Dragon Quest: Death in combat does not actually end the game, it simply returns the player to the last place they saved (which typically means the last town they visited since you can only save at churches and castles). While the player loses half their money and has to pay to revive the rest of their party progress is not truly lost since the player keeps all experience and items they found. This means that the next time the player enters the dungeon they were in the chests will already be opened so they can skip any side-paths that only were there for treasure making a second run faster. Plus they retain any levels they gained so a second or third run of a dungeon gets much easier as you level up in the dungeon. Bosses even get extra dialogue if you end up facing them more than once because they killed you. And since death takes you back to the last place you saved you can also immediately end your session at that same save point with all the items and levels you gained saved.
    • Castlevania / Metroid: Death in combat means "Game Over" and the player has to reload their last save. However, due to the intricate map design, saving is done in certain rooms so in order to save the player must either press on to find the next save room or backtrack to the last one they used. This can create a lot of tension and plays nicely into the core engagement of exploration the games focus on since the player has to weigh their options and risk the unknown, wondering if the next room will lead to the next checkpoint or if it will contain enemies that will send them running backward to the last checkpoint. The potential loss of progress still exists but the uncertainty of when the next save point will be and the danger of not making it there is a central aspect of enjoyment the games are designed around.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Death means "Game Over" and the player must reload their last save. But the player can also save anywhere at anytime so it is very easy to not lose any progress. Good practice is to save basically all of the time. This somewhat works since death can easily be frequent and hard to see coming depending on where you are and what you are doing. Also, being a Bethesda sandbox RPG it is buggy as hell and borderline unstable so the ability to save constantly is necessary since crashing to desktop is a very real possibility for many players.
    An "Auto-Save" or "Quick Save" option is also an excellent option that many modern games add in to save point systems to help accommodate the fact that gamers are getting older and have busy schedules now.
     
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  19. Reapergurl

    Reapergurl Drummer Extraordinaire! xD Veteran

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    Auto-Save: Enabled in character menu/10 minutes. Yup.

    Playing on the PS3, the game crash isn't as likely, but game freezing especially when playing DLC is definitely a problem.

    But, in an open-world RPG like Skyrim, to have restrictions on saving at all, would deflate the game's replay value.

    Edit: In Skyrim, if a previous save is present, it automatically loads it.
     
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  20. ShadowHawkDragon

    ShadowHawkDragon Veteran Veteran

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    Something to remember; the tension/cruelty/difficulty which we usually blame on save points being too sparce or frequent, is actually more related to heal/shop point frequency. Even if you can save anywhere that doesn't 'save' you once your health hits single digits with 0 potions left.

    Being able to save anywhere also removes the tension of 'running low' which can make players reckless and end up having to load their save from earlier in the dungeon anyway (but that's a player fault).
     
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