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Jan 3 Update: More Ai Smartness


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#51 Gildoran

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 11:43 AM

Save-point systems are only ideal for people who have no problem spending large blocks of time playing a game.

As I keep on having to point out, this isn't true - any good restricted save system will implement bookmark saves (save-on-quit and delete-on-load) negating your argument.

#52 OrbWeaver

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 11:52 AM

As I keep on having to point out, this isn't true - any good restricted save system will implement bookmark saves (save-on-quit and delete-on-load) negating your argument.


But not save-on-power-cut or save-on-Windows-crash, both of which are real (and sometimes regular) occurences.

Whatever the gameplay arguments for restricted save may be, inserting this sort of fragility into software is inescapably poor design.

#53 ZylonBane

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 11:56 AM

As I keep on having to point out, this isn't true - any good restricted save system will implement bookmark saves (save-on-quit and delete-on-load) negating your argument.

Such a system would NOT be good. What if I want to load the same save point more than once? What if there's some part of the game that I really like and want to replay whenever I feel like it? What if there's a really interesting section that I want to play multiple ways to see all the things that can happen? What then, smart guy?

#54 Gildoran

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 11:57 AM

@OrbWeaver: And if you also insert occasional auto-saves lest the power go out?

What if I want to load the same save point more than once? What if there's some part of the game that I really like and want to replay whenever I feel like it? What if there's a really interesting section that I want to play multiple ways to see all the things that can happen? What then, smart guy?

Then you simply turn on the cheat_anysave cvar and save/restore to your heart's content. (this also works if you REALLY hate save restrictions) But for those who want to play through a map as it was intended, without cheating, they wouldn't be able to abuse quicksaving if the map wasn't designed for it.

#55 SneaksieDave

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 12:04 PM

Honestly, although power loss, game imperfection, windoze crash etc., are all completely valid reasons, they're not even needed. The vast majority of gamers simply don't like save points/limited saves. Enough said, really.

If it were in TDM, it would be,
1. a mistake of bad judgement, and
2. the first thing hacked out, even if I have to do it myself

:P

Well put by (I think Orb?) that it's a waste of design time and effort.

Adrenaline touting control freaking aside, it's not quite so thrilling (or scary, or entertaining, or...) when you have to repeat a poorly designed scenario for the nth time, where n>=2.

#56 ZylonBane

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 12:04 PM

Then you simply turn on the cheat_anysave cvar and save/restore to your heart's content. (this also works if you REALLY hate save restrictions) But for those who really want to play through a map without cheating, they wouldn't be able to abuse quicksaving.

Save-anywhere isn't cheating, and anyone who asserts otherwise comes across as rather a douchebag.

Edited by ZylonBane, 09 January 2007 - 12:06 PM.


#57 PinkDot

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 12:06 PM

The best option is to save whenever you want:
1) it is prevents from frustration after accidents and bugs,
2) lets you finish game whenever you want or need (f.e. in case your wife is starting to give birth and you have to quickly go to hospital...)
3) and the most important - it doesn't force you to use this feature. You can save your game each 5 minutes (just in case) but after you die you can restart the whole level or even whole game (or even uninstall the game if you identify with the character in 100%... ;) ). Don't forget about self discipline. It's up to you how ambitious you want to be. But for some reason most of the players seem to take the line of least resistance....

#58 OrbWeaver

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 12:07 PM

@OrbWeaver: And if you also insert occasional auto-saves lest the power go out?


Then you have to choose a Magic Number - the time (or distance) between save points. If this is too small, you might as well just allow save-anywhere. If this is too large, you have not solved the problem. Sometimes we have to make trade-offs like this, but that doesn't justify creating them for no good reason.

Then you simply turn on the cheat_anysave cvar and save/restore to your heart's content. But for most cases, it would suffice to leave it off.


If the only way to facilitate what most people would see as perfectly legitimate usage is to employ a hack or cheat, then your design is obviously wrong. Do you think that people shouldn't be able to do the things ZylonBane suggests with a game that they may very well have paid money for?

#59 oDDity

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 12:13 PM

Save-point systems are only ideal for people who have no problem spending large blocks of time playing a game. For people who actually have jobs and lives, save-anywhere is essential. A video game is, ultimately, an entertainment experience-- just like non-video games, books, movies, and TV shows. And what all those have in common is that you can stop and start them AS YOU WISH.


Fuck yeah. Maybe they should start releasing movies in 10 minute sections as well. I mean, who has the time to go and spend 2 hours watching a whole film from end to end. I'm sure there are people who literally haven't got 2 hours a weeks to spare on anything, but they're rare. Even the prime minister get some free time.
Don't you ever go out to do anything for an evening? The movies, a concert, the theater, ice skating, or whatever you enjoy?
You choose whether you want to spend some of your time playing computer games, and if you do, then you make time for it. Most worthwhile experiences require several hours of your time to do. If you don't want to make time for it, then there's no point in whinging and complaining and wanting everything reduced down to your level of bite sized chunks.
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#60 Gildoran

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 12:14 PM

Save-anywhere isn't cheating, and anyone who asserts otherwise comes across as rather a douchebag.

So you're suggesting that a mechanism that allows you to control fate and win every poker hand in A Guard Named Benny (and play with matrix-like perfection in general) isn't cheating?

1) it is prevents from frustration after accidents and bugs,

Occasional autosaves take care of this.

2) lets you finish game whenever you want or need (f.e. in case your wife is starting to give birth and you have to quickly go to hospital...)

Bookmark saves take care of this.

3) and the most important - it doesn't force you to use this feature. You can save your game each 5 minutes (just in case) but after you die you can restart the whole level or even whole game (or even uninstall the game if you identify with the character in 100%... ;) ). Don't forget about self discipline. It's up to you how ambitious you want to be. But for some reason most of the players seem to take the line of least resistance....

It's one thing to expect people not to hack the game, but if the vanilla version of the game allows a tactic without requiring cheats to be turned on, it's giving tacit approval for it as a valid way of playing the game. Abusing autosaves is not a valid way to play the game, but if the vanilla executable supports it, you cannot expect players to do otherwise.

Do you think that people shouldn't be able to do the things ZylonBane suggests with a game that they may very well have paid money for?

I think those two cases he points out fall outside of standard gameplay, and it's not unreasonable to expect somebody to temporarily turn on a cheat (which is very easy to do) to fulfill those desires.

#61 kohan69

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 01:18 PM

I support the autosave argument - game should save when one of objectives is reached.
Autosaves work great, if you disagree, go play Halo.

Yet I think the final decision should be left to the mission maker.

#62 ZylonBane

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 01:24 PM

Yet I think the final decision should be left to the mission maker.

You're wrong, of course. The mission maker has no more right to disable save-anywhere than a movie producer has the right to disable the playback controls on my DVD player.

#63 OrbWeaver

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 01:37 PM

So you're suggesting that a mechanism that allows you to control fate and win every poker hand in A Guard Named Benny (and play with matrix-like perfection in general) isn't cheating?


That comparison is not valid, because you would be interfering with a game mechanic. Saving is not a game mechanic, it is a metagame mechanic, and cannot be treated in the same way. You will never hear a guard shout "I'm going to find you and stop you from saving, you taffer!".

I think those two cases he points out fall outside of standard gameplay, and it's not unreasonable to expect somebody to temporarily turn on a cheat (which is very easy to do) to fulfill those desires.


It is also not unreasonable to expect a player to be able to save when they choose. I really can't understand the argument based on "approved ways to play" -- what issue does this address? What problem is caused by having players save more often that you would choose to?

It just seems like an issue of control to me, which is something I cannot sympathise with unless there is some clearly defined benefit.

#64 Gildoran

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 01:57 PM

@Orbweaver: I have a dentist appointment to go to right now, but when I get back I'll post some counter-arguments to the notion that saving is a meta-game feature.

#65 ZylonBane

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 02:43 PM

@Orbweaver:I have a dentist appointment to go to right now, but when I get back I'll post some counter-arguments to the notion that saving is a meta-game feature.

Sorry, you haven't reached the next save-point in this thread so you're going to have to lose all your progress if you want to attend to some insignificant Real Life concern.

#66 sparhawk

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 02:51 PM

As I keep on having to point out, this isn't true - any good restricted save system will implement bookmark saves (save-on-quit and delete-on-load) negating your argument.


Baldurs Gate 2 uses automatic save points AND allows me to save (almost) anytime I want. The savepoints are quite good, because they saved me in one situation until I remembered that it did that. Otherwise they are usually a nuisance. In Harry Potter, they use save points and the consequence is? I always had to run back to the room with the save point and then get back to where I wanted to start. This is simply frustrating.
I already hat it in BG2 when a long automatic sequence starts, which I can not even interrupt, because these are usually exactly the times when my wife calls me for some urgent thing and gets annoyed when I say I can not come right now.
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#67 sparhawk

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 02:54 PM

Sorry, you haven't reached the next save-point in this thread so you're going to have to lose all your progress if you want to attend to some insignificant Real Life concern.


Exactly what I thought myself and very fitting in this particular thread and context. :laugh:

I guess the whole purpose of his posting was toi demonstrate this. :)
Gerhard

#68 SneaksieDave

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 03:31 PM

And the cool thing is, with "Save Anywhere", you can,

1. save where- and when-ever you want, but also,
2. not save if you so choose.

Limiting saves only accomodates those needing assistance to curb their saving impulses. There's nothing enjoyable about having to repeat the same areas over and over. Police own your gaming, and I'll police mine, thanks! ^_^

#69 Vadrosaul

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 04:31 PM

Map creaters could also implement a pre-mission setup option of either choosing unlimited saving, or choosing limited saves with an input box to type in the number of saves wished. This way you could still put 0 in the box and have do to the map all in one stretch.
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#70 Springheel

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 04:34 PM

You're wrong, of course. The mission maker has no more right to disable save-anywhere than a movie producer has the right to disable the playback controls on my DVD player.


I agree 100%. I rented a movie a while back that *forced* you to sit through five minutes of trailers. You couldn't even fast forward through it. It pissed me off considerably the first time, but it pissed me off immeasurably the second time, when I had to take the DVD out to clean it, and then sit through the exact same previews again.

This way you could still put 0 in the box and have do to the map all in one stretch.


You could also do this by simply not choosing to save, which would save our coders AND future mapmakers from having to do extra work.
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#71 oDDity

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 06:30 PM

And the cool thing is, with "Save Anywhere", you can,

1. save where- and when-ever you want, but also,
2. not save if you so choose.

Limiting saves only accomodates those needing assistance to curb their saving impulses. There's nothing enjoyable about having to repeat the same areas over and over. Police own your gaming, and I'll police mine, thanks! ^_^

You an also choose not to play the game at all if you don't like limited saves. The games industry would be a lot better off if the current set of gamers it panders to would fuck off.
It's the gamers and not the industry which is responsible for the current mess. Everything dumbed down to the level of 12 year olds, so everyone can switch off their brain and have a nice relaxing experience while playing their games in convenient bite sized portions.
Those aren't the sort of games I want to play, but I don't have any of the choice that you demand, because those are the only kinds of games being made.
Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.
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#72 Domarius

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 06:57 PM

I totally said "save limiting" of any kind would be a player optional feature (even in TDM), so all these "YOU CONTROL FREAK" arguments are pointless.

Because I respect people need different things from games - some people can't afford the blocks of time required by save points (but they can spend 2 hours at a movie, so hm...)

@Orbweaver; yes the Cradle was scarey, but it was MORE scarey with less saves, one of my main points.

@Spring: The reason to have some sort of restriction placed by the map authour (which the player can opt to use or not) is that as I said before, save point placing is an art. You can't acheive the same thing by choosing yourself when to save, not to the same degree of quality that is.

@Zylon: Yes, I know it was a requirement nessecitated by technology, I just said that - I said that because of this it's become an art and I can experience the benifits of save restrictions. "Restrictions force you to become more creative", I think someone said that once.

#73 Gildoran

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 08:39 PM

That comparison is not valid, because you would be interfering with a game mechanic. Saving is not a game mechanic, it is a metagame mechanic, and cannot be treated in the same way. You will never hear a guard shout "I'm going to find you and stop you from saving, you taffer!".

Saving is a meta-theme mechanic (hence we you never hear guards talking about saving), but it is most certainly not a meta-game mechanic. Where and when you can save is an integral part to gameplay and has a direct effect on the experience. Would Nethack be near as interesting with non-bookmark saving? ("Gee, what does this amulet, do...? Let's find out by wearing it! *gasp* *choke* [RELOAD!]") Could you imagine anybody implementing quicksaving in Tetris? Some games like Pikmin are designed under the assumption that the player will reload numerous times in order to complete the game in time. Others, like The Longest Journey, take a more story based approach where the player cannot lose, so saving could not have negative consequences and does not need to be restricted. On the other hand saving/restoring would be unthinkable for an MMORPG - you could save, give your best item to a friend, then restore to obtain another copy - a serious abuse. Likewise, the Thief game-type is vulnerable to cheating via quick-saving. In particular, with quicksaving, risk analysis goes right out the window.

It is also not unreasonable to expect a player to be able to save when they choose. I really can't understand the argument based on "approved ways to play" -- what issue does this address? What problem is caused by having players save more often that you would choose to?

It just seems like an issue of control to me, which is something I cannot sympathise with unless there is some clearly defined benefit.

If it were an issue of control, I wouldn't suggest adding a cvar to bypass it. I don't even care whether or not the mission stats window records if cheats were used. I just think there should be a way for level designers to potentially offer a restricted save system that people can use when playing their maps.

From the perspective of a level designer, I want to be able to offer restricted saves primarily as a tool to heighten tension. Quicksaving is a psychological safety-net that puts a maximum cap on how scary an area can be...

From the perspective of a player, I want restricted saves because I'm the world's biggest quicksave junkie, and I want scary levels! (...I didn't find the cradle the least bit scary)

#74 Gildoran

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 08:41 PM

Sorry, you haven't reached the next save-point in this thread so you're going to have to lose all your progress if you want to attend to some insignificant Real Life concern.

Thank goodness bookmark saves allowed me to quit at any time and pick up right where I left off!

#75 ZylonBane

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 08:41 PM

@Zylon: Yes, I know it was a requirement nessecitated by technology, I just said that - I said that because of this it's become an art and I can experience the benifits of save restrictions.

And I said that it's a dying art, because the technological restrictions are going away. And good riddance to it.




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