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Saving Systems and the Comsequences of Death

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by howlingFantods, Jul 3, 2019.

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  1. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    limited save systems are communism
     
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  2. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Arcane

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
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    agree, unless they are self selected instead of imposed upon

    edit:

    this highlights just one of the reasons libertarianism is superior to communism. A libertarian society can peacefully allow and succeed with a group of self selected socialists/communists living in a their own self selected community with in a libertarian society just fine so long as it is self selected etc...

    However a socialist or communist society could never think to allow a the reverse to happen.
     
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  3. zwanzig_zwoelf Graverobber Foundation Developer

    zwanzig_zwoelf
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    You could spend that energy on getting gud, you know.
     
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  4. AW8 Arcane

    AW8
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    I like the system in Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Saving is limited to sleeping in owned beds and drinking certain consumables, which makes me play more cautiously and plays well into the 'hardcore' design of the game (having to eat, sleep, bandage bleeding wounds etc.).

    And when you just want to quit the game, there's the "Save and Exit" option so you won't lose progress.
     
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  5. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    You could spend that energy on making gud games, you know. Instead of controlling what we play and how we play.
     
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  6. Yosharian Magister

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    Kingdom Come Deliverance used CRASH. It's super effective!
     
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  7. Alex betthurt

    Alex
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    But that is exactly what a game designer's job is. I mean, not in the sense of forcing you to play in a certain manner like I think you meant, but in the sense of figuring interesting ways the game can be played and giving them to the player. I could, for instance, argue in a similar way that you don't need combat rules in an RPG. Just let me spawn and de-spawn creatures with the death animation I choose and I can come up with my own results for combat.

    What I am trying to say is that in order to design a game, you need to make assumptions about how it is played, even if those can be circumvented. Some of these assumptions will mean some people won't like your game, or that they will break it. Take adventure games, for instance. People who don't like puzzles will either ignore your game or simply go to a walkthrough so they can finish it. Does that mean puzzles should be removed from adventures? Some people have argued as much, but personally I think once you remove the puzzles, you don't even have a game anymore.

    Likewise, rogue-likes can be beaten much more easily if you keep a backup of your save directory. Nevertheless, their whole design is geared to being played justly, and this resulted in many very interesting games. That people might become frustrated and cheat is no argument for giving up this design. It might be argued that the game could give the player the ability to cheat, if he wanted, and avoid having his save deleted upon death. This is true, but it is usually a bad idea to design your game with a built-in cheat system, I think, because you will be tempted to allow it to take over the design. In a similar way that games with quest compass tend to rely on them to give the player directions. Furthermore, it might give the wrong impression to the player. If someone wants to cheat at a rogue-like, that is their business, of course. But by leaving them to do that, rather than simply giving a cheat button, I expect at least a few people will insist in playing fairly. And thus, they might enjoy the game more this way.

    Finally, if you agree with this view that the save system should be geared to the game, I think an interesting issue is what kind of save system might have been better for games that have used the "generic" save anywhere system. For Fallout, for instance, I think the save anywhere system doesn't work very well because it takes away some tension from random rolls. On the other hand, I think an ironman system would be even worse, since the game is geared towards trying different approaches. Maybe a system that saved at only certain checkpoints, creating a graph like the one in Papers, Please, where you could reload from any previous attempt and try something different would work well? You would get a different graph for each character you made, allowing you to explore the world in many different ways and keep track of what you've found.
     
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  8. thesecret1 Arcane

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    Not letting you save anywhere means you will die, then attempt again, possibly numerous times, until you succeed. In theory, excellent. In practice, horrible. Insane amounts of tedium where you go through the first half an hour for the tenth time, bored to tears because you know exactly how to beat everything up until that point, only to then die to the actually important enemy yet again. Do I feel more tension when approaching the enemy then? Sure, because losing means I'll have to go through that boring half an hour AGAIN. Do I enjoy this tension? Hell no. In fact, if I need to repeat that boring half an hour even more times, I'm likely to drop the game entirely because I'm having zero fun. The fun gained from the increased tension is not enough to offset the tedium of going through the same motions over and over again. Roguelikes and other games featuring randomness can offset a lot of the tedium, since the runs aren't the same, but even they would do well to have reasonably spaced checkpoints, at least, as even randomness gets old when you do level 1 for the 30th time because you keep dying in level 9.
     
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  9. Grauken Agent of the NWO Patron

    Grauken
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    I've hacked reality and make a save state of the local continuum whenever I feel like
     
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  10. mondblut Arcane

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    LOL @ feeling tension on behalf of my units. What next, crying when a romanced NPC is storykilled? :roll:
     
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  11. Master Arbiter

    Master
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    Why all the capital letters, professor? You making a theses or something?
     
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  12. Darth Canoli Magister

    Darth Canoli
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    An alternate system could be to be able to save anywhere anytime but to reward the player for not save scumming with better drops and more xp for example (so less saving = less grinding).

    It wouldn't work so well for games with no random encounters.
    As many other codexers said, no better system than saving freedom was ever implemented in a cRPG.
     
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  13. zwanzig_zwoelf Graverobber Foundation Developer

    zwanzig_zwoelf
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    Not letting you mindlessly brute-force and cheat through the campaign to write an outraged article about the lack of diversity among game characters is that much of a sin? ;)
     
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  14. Barbalos Learned

    Barbalos
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    I don't like any game system that uses weird save stuff. Most games can be broken if the player has no control of themselves and save scums incredibly hard, or whatever. An option for limited save system mode makes sense to me. If that's the designers vision or whatever, it's probably just a gimmicky game. Most games aren't even really good enough for that.

    Blood Money pissed me off with that save system. Though it was great otherwise.
     
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  15. Mr. Hiver Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Mr. Hiver
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    Limiting saves does not automatically mean its an ironman mode, nor that saves that are available are "half hour" or any "hours" away from some difficult fight.

    Gotta love this type of arguing where those that dislike some feature always - always go for the worst possible type of implementation they can think of - to show how bad it is.
    And just cant realize or comprehend not every game would have just that single mode of saving. Regardless of how many times its said.
     
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  16. howlingFantods Learned

    howlingFantods
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    I’m not asking you to feel tense on behalf of your units. You said originally that you don’t want to feel tense because if you wanted that you’d find the nearest bad hood; you said to give you a save anywhere system. This implies that any other system would make you feel tense. So then it’s not about me asking you to feel the tension on behalf of your units, it’s about you not being able to handle the tension that comes with a less forgiving save system.
    A lot of games, as they are designed, would not work well without a save anywhere system so I understand your position in that regard, but it is still tiresome to see an overreliance on the system.
     
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  17. Duraframe300 Arcane

    Duraframe300
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    Has been done before.

    Though for some reasons the really obvious games with that system I'm forgetting atm.
    Currently, only Vampires Dawn and some jrpg I've forgotten the name of spring to mind.
     
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  18. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    whatever you do just don't do a half assed job. Unless your design and game is perfection, do not do any heretical actions towards holy duo of F5 F9.

    player should have a choice if they want to suffer through your shitty repeated level content or poor combat design or save before the boss and re-load as much as they want. when player is focused on overcoming a particular objective only that objective should exist without any trash between it and the player.
     
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  19. lukaszek the determinator

    lukaszek
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    if its turn based and developer allowed to save in between turns, its part of a system.
     
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  20. Mr. Magniloquent Savant

    Mr. Magniloquent
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    You've got it exactly wrong. Save states are only a stored reference point. There is no interaction, only preservation. You're conflating a file system with time rewind mechanics, like in Prince of Persia. They are not the same. Reviving in Mortuary is a game mechanic related to death. Losing souls and half your health in Demon's Souls is a game mechanic. Save files are neither of these.

    If a designer uses saving as a crutch for lazy design, that's their failing--just like any player save-scumming to select the outcome they can achieve. Both are irrelevant. If you have to start controlling the save states of players, you're compelling your players to interact in a way which your mechanics and design itself do not. That's a poor philosophy that has been a ruin of the industry.
     
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  21. howlingFantods Learned

    howlingFantods
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    Yes if the game is designed in a way where defeat means reloading last save then I completely agree with you. However, it’s a save anywhere system which makes such a death/defeat mechanic necessary. All I’m asking for is a little more creativity in these mechanics; a different save system (saving constantly for example) would make such creativity necessary. Maybe defeat means you get robbed, or injured somehow. Maybe it means that a party member leaves your ranks or starts considering that option. With these consequences for defeat you wouldn’t have to reload a save and replay the same content you just played. These are just some of the ideas off the top of my head, but imagine if a developer fully committed to making failure more interesting.
     
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  22. howlingFantods Learned

    howlingFantods
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    There is no interaction with save states huh? This is only true if you never load them. While I admit that it’s not a very involved or fleshed out mechanic, it is nonetheless a mechanic—unless you consider saving and loading something you do outside the game.

    I do agree with you that save systems in themselves can push players to behave in ways that the other mechanics in the game don’t support and that this is bad. As for using a save anywhere system as a crutch for bad game design being the fault of the designer, I agree in that some designers will not use it as a crutch so we could say the ones who do are at fault; however, if they start with a “constantly rewriting your save system” in mind then it guarantees they won’t be able to use the save system as a crutch. It guarantees creativity in handling failure within the game. That’s not to say they’ll pull it off every time but when they do it will result in a more weighty and interesting experience.
     
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  23. Mr. Hiver Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Mr. Hiver
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    No, you are conflating usual saves with time rewind mechanics of Prince of Persia or Torment resurrection.
    Neither of which were mentioned by the poster you are replying to, nor are those equivalent to save load features.

    You are controlling the the save states whatever you do. However the save is implements it controls how players can use such a feature. One way or another.

    Since death in most games is game over, and a part of the gameplay - by affording save features that in-game result is distorted, minimized or stepped over. Whatever the saves do and however they are implemented - they are not neutral and separate from the game content and so affect the gameplay. To claim otherwise is to be stupid, ignorant or intentionally dishonest. Or maybe simply confused.

    While forcing the idea that any different implementation will alway-always result in worst possible design and design decisions is not any better.
     
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  24. InD_ImaginE Arcane Patron

    InD_ImaginE
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    At this point of my life I have zero patience of restarting one hour away or something every time I failed.

    Call it decline or whatever, unless I am playing very specific games (roguelikes, actually trying ironman challenge on some games, metroidvania/action platformer in general) I really have 0 patience of restarting over and over again with how limited my gaming time has become.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
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  25. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    When you dont have a sponsor deal and/or advertisement deal with our publisher mag, oh yeah definitely.

    Dumbass intern write about diversity because they dont know how to criticise a game and full of brainwashing. We pros use diversity to effectively hide what flaws your game has, like bland writings, shit characters, short quest, narrow item selection, etc and etc... When you have to say something good about a mediocre 2/10 game, diversity is a good fashionable talking point.

    Mind you, art style used to be one good talking point, because pixel, but nowaday with 1080p full HD visuals, it's not what it used to be.
     
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