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DoubleBear Design Update

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DoubleBear Design Update

Development Info - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Tue 13 April 2010, 12:24:25

Tags: Brian Mitsoda; DoubleBear Productions

Brian raises some interesting questions:

This week I’m throwing out a design question for a system that hasn’t received much design or thought on our end, but it’s one that can alter the intent of a lot of our design decisions, and that system is the save/load system. I’d mostly like to solicit feedback from the group on this one, but here are my thoughts on save/load:

-I don’t want people to save before/reload after every single time combat doesn’t go their way, so I’ve considered no saving in combat. BUT… I understand that sometimes people need to take a call, go to sleep, or make time for loved ones or their bridge club, so I don’t want to punish those people that need to stop playing the game that moment.

-One possibility would be to allow saves during combat with a quit to menu, then erase those files when loaded, like a lot of console strategy games do. BUT I worry about people not liking the ability to save/reload when they want and if it’s worth implementing special save functionality just for combat.

-One problem we have in the game is that for the game’s narrative to really feel like a zombie movie, the player should expect to lose allies – that they shouldn’t expect to keep all their companions alive BUT there are few games I can think of where losing a genuine asset isn’t an upsetting situation to be in as a player and I can’t think of any incentive to not reload except that it’s one less mouth to feed.

-The game can become much harder if the player has been managing resources and people poorly. Some people are going to want to go back to older saves and try again BUT that kind of kills the drive to create a lot of special dialogue and events written specifically for when things get especially bad and players get really creative. Note, I know 10% of you will always let your game play out until the end no matter what happen and yes, there will definitely be material to cover a lot of the normal negative events.

-For a hardcore mode, I would prefer the game auto-saves at the beginning of the day and that’s it.

I think there were some other odds and ends to address, but I’m sure they will come up in the discussion. And with that, I have opened the floodgates on save/load opinions…



Let's see if the Codex has anything worthwhile to add.

As for myself, I think either you worry about upsetting the player or you don't. For me auto-saves at the beginning of the day sound like a good idea, also keep in mind that not being able to save everywhere and being forced to live with suboptimal outcomes adds a lot of tension & excitement, which certainly is appropriate for a game like that. If in doubt, tie the ability to save to the difficulty level.


Spotted at: ITS

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