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Dark Mod: Dynamic Save Room Mod - A custom save restrictions challenge


RedEmber

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43 minutes ago, RedEmber said:

Hi all, I've been experimenting with ways to discourage the player from reloading too often

One question: Why? Why do you care so much about how people play, and how often they save?

It's really disconcerting how much effort some mission authors or modders spend into ways they consider the "best for the player". The best games I ever played, and that included the originale Thiefs and this mod, were the games which allowed for a lot of freedom in how the player approaches the game. And, yes, that includes saving.

Many also don't seem to understand that there already IS a way to restrict yourself from saving and reloading too often: Just don't do it. It's that simple. No need for restrictive saving implementations, or modding anything in the game, or using save rooms in your missions. I wonder how hard it is to restrict yourself, if you're so keen on doing so.

This is definitely the wrong approach, and a waste of time, to be honest.

Edited by chakkman
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5 minutes ago, chakkman said:

One question: Why? Why do you care so much about how people play, and how often they save?

It's really disconcerting how much effort some mission authors or modders spend into ways they consider the "best for the player". The best games I ever played, and that included the originale Thiefs and this mod, were the games which allowed for a lot of freedom in how the player approaches the game. And, yes, that includes saving.

Many also don't seem to understand that there already IS a way to restrict yourself from saving and reloading too often: Just don't do it. It's that simple. No need for restrictive saving implementations, or modding anything in the game, or using save rooms in your missions. I wonder how hard it is to restrict yourself, if you're so keen on doing so.

This is definitely the wrong approach, and a waste of time, to be honest.

It's an optional challenge mod, nothing wrong with saving if anyone wants to.

 

1 minute ago, snatcher said:

Welcome, @RedEmber

Hello hello.

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15 minutes ago, RedEmber said:

  It's an optional challenge mod, nothing wrong with saving if anyone wants to.

TBH, I see a trend with that lately (forcing players to play the intended way), also in fan missions, so, I'm a bit allergic about it. For example, I passed on the Hazard Pay mission for a long time, due to the mandatory use of save rooms in the highest difficulty. At some point, I just bit the bullet, and played on medium difficulty. Still a bummer.

I get your point, that it's an optional mod, but, I really hope that these kind of optional mods, and mission objectices in fan missions go away at some point, because, I'm a big advocate of let the player play the way he wants. Let's just say, if more fan missions do this, then I will have to consider calling a quit on this mod. Enough Thief 1 and 2 fan missions which don't come up with crap like that...

What I just don't get is why people don't just DON'T save if they don't want to. Why do they need the game or the mission to tell them not to do it? It's like a junkie who needs rehab. And then the game treats everyone like junkies who want rehab. 

Edited by chakkman
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Hey shouldn't this be discussed first? 😉

I wonder if this mod gives no crash on Linux. Works fine.

Pretty awesome.

I would make the calling card stand-out a bit more. Maybe a playing-card instead? Those are white.

One thing you should fix: The calling card is moveable by moving toward. You should make it an item that cannot be moved. I think it's possible.

Is it also possible to make the saving restriction gets reset when you enter a certain area? I think that could be useful for larger maps.

Edited by datiswous
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Welcome to the community, RedEmber!

I don't usually modify my TDM client, but this is a rather interesting mod you've cooked up here. I'll admit that although I hate saving and loading frequently upon mistakes, I still find myself guilty of it due to the temptation. I've always found that games like Amnesia: The Bunker that force the player's hand with save rooms generate excellent tension and create a greater sense of weight upon the player's choices, so I'll certainly be trying this out with some FMs I've already completed.

Keep up the good work!

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2 hours ago, chakkman said:

The best games I ever played, and that included the originale Thiefs and this mod, were the games which allowed for a lot of freedom in how the player approaches the game.

I'm genuinely curious how far you are willing to go with this thesis, chakkman. I would say the main distinguishing feature of the Thief games and TDM compared to virtually all other role playing games is that they do not allow the player complete freedom to choose how they approach the game. On the contrary, unlike your Elder Scrolls or Kingdom Comes, our beloved Thiefs and Thief-likes don't allow you to be a dedicated sword fighter, or an archer, or an alchemist, or a diplomat. They force you to roleplay principally as a thief (or assassin), which requires approaching every encounter using stealth. That's simultaneously the easiest, most mechanically rewarding, and intended way to play these games. And the consensus seems to be that the more these games commit to that narrow roleplaying window, the better they are. (IMO, that tracks, because what makes them great games is the amount variety and depth they support inside that very narrowly defined role.)

But if maximum player freedom is actually desirable, would you be in favor of increasing the player's health, increasing weapon damage, and removing ammo limits? After all, that would make it easier to play in whatever style the player prefers. And, if you like the game as it is, it changes nothing for you. All it takes is a little discipline to play the game however you want.

I'm open to being convinced on this. I agree that all else being equal, allowing more people to play however they want is a good thing. Different people have different power fantasies, and they all (mostly) deserve equal dignity and indulgence. But what is it that makes the freedom to non-diegetically time travel more sacred than the freedom to fight your way to the loot with a sword and shield, or cast ice magic from your hands, or to double jump or air dash? (Seriously, sometimes I would kill for the freedom to double jump and air dash, Doom Eternal-esque, in TDM.)

Edited by ChronA
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I agree with chakkman about the save freedom and the argument that TDM is a stealth game doesn't really work for me, because that's the setting of the game. You wouldn't expect a fantasy hack and slash game to have cars and planes in it to give ultimate freedom! But inside the setting you should be able to have as much freedom as possible. As for save rooms, like chakkman wrote, why not just avoid saving? Also if I need to stop playing because of real life, saving everywhere is the only solution. Yes, save on exit would work too, but then again weak-minded people would use that to save everywhere ;).

Edited by wesp5
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First of all thanks for the contribution!

For the record I'm a fan of these kinds of fan patches that change some fundamental parts of a game, because I think people have moods that play to different sides of games sometimes. But I don't think changing or adding to the core game is the way to cater to most of them. (Games usually have a natural tendency towards some norms to the exclusion of others, and a good designer respects what their game is telling them it should be.) But having a fan patch with these other styles is the way to do it anyway because we can, and freedom is power.

Save restrictions is a good example of this. We do put the number of re-loads in the debrief stat screen. I still agree that that's the best way to deal with these kinds of meta-game things in this kind of genre, so if a person does ghost or ironman a map, the stat screen will verify their claim with a 0 Stealth Score and 0 Reload stats.

Having a save room actually changes how the player approaches the gameplay, so it's not just a meta-game thing. It puts it more in the territory of a rogue-like, not quite no-save permadeath, but it raises the stakes. I think that'd be a nice vibe sometimes. I still agree I don't think it's great for the core game because it puts meta things into the game world, which isn't our core vibe. But again a fan patch for it when you're in the mood is a good way to play in that way anyway.

I don't know if I'm going to try it any time soon. I might. But in any event I'd be really interested in seeing someone make a let's play video to see it in action.

 

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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15 hours ago, snatcher said:

Thinking of large maps, linear maps or maps that teleport the player, there must exist a solution to reset the save room. A trick players can buy, preferably.

void saveR()
{
	saveRoomPos = '0 0 0';

	do
	{
		sys.wait(0.25);
		$player1.setSavePermissions(0);

		if(saveRoomPos == '0 0 0')
		{
			if (sys.strToFloat(sys.getMissionStatistic("totalSaves")) > 0)
			{
				saveRoomPos = $player1.getOrigin();
				spawn_saveRoomGraphic();
			}
		}
		else
		{
			float saveDistance = $player1.distanceToPoint(saveRoomPos);

			if (saveDistance <= 220)
			{
				$player1.setSavePermissions(0);
			}
			else
			{
				$player1.setSavePermissions(2);
			}
		}
	} while (true);
}

 

If I understand correctly you can change the saveRoomPos to '0 0 0' and this will automatically change the saveroom to the player's current location. The only thing is that the previously spawned saveRoomGraphic ("atdm:prop_single_card") is still present in the old location.

For mappers: The script uses savedistance, but I think you could use a state and then change that state if the player is in a specific location (location of info_location entity).

Edited by datiswous
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Based on feedback I've updated a few things in v2:

-Prevented calling card from being pushed around
-Added a free save, earned from looting, to help with bigger maps and unexpected curve-balls.
-Reduced save room size a bit

I'm hesitant to make it so that a second save room gets added because it runs the risk of undermining the addon's whole purpose. That being said although I'm having a great time playing with it enabled, seeing a sudden unexpected guard even made me jump once already, I noticed that some maps really needed one more save, so there's the +1 free save after getting enough loot now.

 

 

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Let's allow @RedEmber to have fun and build the mod he wants!

I normally play with a no-save-with-exceptions policy in games that allow for it: see how long I can get away with it, feel tension grow, push it a little further. I like where the Dynamic Save Room Mod is going.

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TDM_Modpack_42.png

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Thats a cool idea! I like the idea of restricting saves as an optional thing for players. It builds a lot of tension and gives replay value and challenge. 

Will check this out, thanks and welcome. 

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4 hours ago, datiswous said:

I wonder if you could read out the current info_location location the player is in and use that instead of saveroom size.

The info_location location can cover multiple portal rooms though, and often times can be quite large, such as an entire mansion or neighborhood if the mapper wanted the same ambient playing for it. It'd probably be better to get the portal room, the internal number dmapping gives to that room, if you were going that route, although that's more complicated to work with.

But actually I'd recommend just a simple radius value from the object, then it's the same amount of space in every case.

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What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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I love the way Kingsal did in HazardPay - but this is a perfectly designed Mission !

1) : the restriction to one location to save/load (not the number of saves) can be a bit annoying in multiple missions.
First you have to choose a location that is the easiest to reach from each location in the mission.
so you should know the map beforehand - i.e. you have already played it a few times
start the game - choose - discover - oh a bad location - restart ..........

2.) : in many missions there are many places where you have to try whether a special move is possible !
Does my rope arrow fit on this wooden structure - and if so ? is it of any use ? can I get back or forward from there ?
try out whether a special jump is possible -- try out whether you can pass a place ......

all this little things that often need a lot of try and error
or one has to play in a most safe style - without experiments -
because otherwise you have to go the same way for every test again

As already mentioned, HazardPay is perfect for this
1. there are no inconsistencies in the built - you (almost) always know what is possible
2. there are various locations within reach / close to locations where you want to test something

so --- i feel better with a limited amount of saves - than with a restriction to one place
but this could easily be solved - just give the player more credit-cards

P.s.: @kingsal phew, I'm ashamed - I'll have to check again - but I don't think I've ever written a review of your mission
It's my favorite (for many reasons) and I hope to find the time and inclination to do so in the near future

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Thanks @Bergante. Glad you like the mission. 

@RedEmberI played around with this a bit and its a cool idea!

A couple things I found:

The card: 
Having the card drop to the floor could create a lot of issues, it could fall through a mesh, be dropped on a platform that moves, dropped in water or to an inaccessible place. 

For this to work it would likely need to be something that floats in place and is generally unaffected by the world or accounts for those edge cases somehow. 

Loot: 
This is a cool idea to earn saves via loot, but be aware loot varies wildly across missions. 60 percent of loot could be in the last few rooms of a mission. :) Maybe you get a save token at 25, 50, and 75 percent of the loot collected. 

Save restrictions:
One idea I played around with but never prototyped was a kind of a "potion of recall" so to speak that the player drank and acted as your save. You could then find them in the level or start with a limited amount.  Having the saves be an item could be interesting and totally optional via the shop. If you buy the potion of recall you basically activate save restrictions as a challenge mechanic. This isn't something easily done via add ons, but just thought Id share the thought. 

Doing this via the location could work, but location sizes will vary wildly across missions. 

Hope this helps! 

Edited by kingsal
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1 hour ago, kingsal said:

One idea I played around with but never prototyped was a kind of a "potion of recall" so to speak that the player drank and acted as your save.

As I wrote above, this is exactly how "Kingdom Come Deliverance" does it. You can either craft the potions or buy them.

Edited by wesp5
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I've done another experiment. The thing I want to encourage is fighting tooth-and-nail to live being preferable to reloading, engaging with escape/combat mechanics fully along the way as needed. Being found and escaping should ideally feel less bad than being found and reloading.
So far I found the save room system to be a big leap in that direction, but there are downsides like if the player disrespects their own time enough then the save room is just a long-winded quicksave, plus being able to save only at one location means you can't quit the game at your leisure without losing progress.

On 6/8/2024 at 6:11 PM, wesp5 said:

As I wrote above, this is exactly how "Kingdom Come Deliverance" does it. You can either craft the potions or buy them.

I think a consumable saving item is similar to the save room mod, with the difference that it can either lock you out of saving at all or be so plentiful it doesn't matter if the number of saves granted isn't just right, and given how varied maps are it maybe will do one or the other sometimes.

-------------------

Experiment #2 - Save-on-escape mod:

Simple rules:

  • You can only save after escaping from an enemy who was alerted and started an aggressive search or combat. (Once per enemy, after escaping can save once for 1 minute).
  • Start with one free manual save to use anywhere for emergencies.

It seems this system pretty much guarantees the player will engage with the gameplay consequences of mistakes. A negative trade-off I can think of is that since earning saves becomes gamified it may lead to strange gameplay such as purposefully alerting a guard to save, this could be considered "gaming the system" but I think it may not be that bad. It even probably encourages full ghosting without knocking out all enemies, to have a few "walking save points" on the map. Gotta test!

Download: z_addon_alertsave.pk4

Mirror: https://drive.google.com/file/d/14ITlUxtDH7cQYqvXlqsTwOFjGSTciGIW/view?usp=sharing

Edited by RedEmber
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