Save points - reveal positions or not?

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Offline Nifflas

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Save points - reveal positions or not?
« on: July 19, 2011, 14:44:36 »
I have two options here. Either I reveal the savepoint locations from the start of the game, or I don't.

#1 is probably the most convenient option, players can go to any area knowing where they'll be able to save.

#2 might however improve the exploration aspect of the game. Since players can not look up undiscovered save rooms on the map, they'll have to explore near areas where they have already found save points until they find more. This will mean that exploration will probably center around discovered save points, and distant areas will probably feel much more distant since the consequences are greater to just run off to those locations.

Which option would you prefer? It's either #1 or #2, I don't think I can do much in between.

I have to point it out, every room you can die in have invisible checkpoints. If you die, you always start over from the same room. Save points are only for saving your progress to a file.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 20:21:55 by Nifflas »

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Offline LPChip

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Re: Save points - reveal positions or not?
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2011, 15:19:47 »
I'd go for #2. I think seeing where the save will be, will cause the player to move into that direction and not so much explore the rest.

I often see in a game that if an arrow is pointed somewhere, I automatically move there, and not check out other areas, thus missing out.

I suppose it would be benefitial for me to know that the next savepoint is not so far away anymore, so I know if I want to find the next or head back to the last one (so I can exit the game and continue a next time).

But since I had a talk with Nifflas just now, I know that the nearest savepoint wouldn't be that far away (either the last one or the next one if found). With that in mind, #2, definitely.
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Offline PONTO

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Re: Save points - reveal positions or not?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2011, 17:02:24 »
I think it depends on how sparse the save points are.

The best option, I think, would be to do it like in Knytt/Knytt Stories, where they are unrevealed but so plentiful and well placed that death is never too frustrating and there is not much backtracking. Showing them in advance feels a bit artificial/inelegant, in my opinion.
However If they are a little less sparse than that, and considering this game is going to be of the skill-demanding kind, you should try to aggravate the players as little as possible and providing a clue of where to go for the checkpoint will be the wisest choice.

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Offline LPChip

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Re: Save points - reveal positions or not?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2011, 18:43:52 »
PONTO, these are save points, not the checkpoints you have after nearly every screen. The difference is: when you die, you transfer to the latest checkpoint. When you exit the game and restart, you tranfser to the latest savepoint.
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Offline Zelakon

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Re: Save points - reveal positions or not?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2011, 19:01:43 »
Basically I agree with PONTO (clues given if they are few and far between, but no hints if they're too common) and I suggest #2 like LPChip, but please don't have the world checkpoint distribution as dense as in KS levels!

It would be great if the save points were rare and to be treated like hubs for the player to camp at, i.e. 'safe' locations (like towns populated by a few NPCs who trade with you and provide tips designed to guide you towards another area).  That way the world outside would seem larger and more unknown, placing emphasis on the need for further exploration!

But you've probably already outlined the map structure, in which case ignore what I've just said...

Yeah, #2.

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Offline PeppyHare4000

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Re: Save points - reveal positions or not?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2011, 19:10:13 »
#2, hands down...

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Offline Nifflas

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Re: Save points - reveal positions or not?
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2011, 20:19:30 »
I have to point it out, every room you can die in have a checkpoint. If you die, you always start over from the same room. Checkpoints are invisible. Save points are visible and marked on the map, and are only used for saving your progress to a file.

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Offline lilmanjs16

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Re: Save points - reveal positions or not?
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2011, 22:26:57 »
totally #2. I'd explore more instead of just trying to beat the game
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Offline jimj316

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Re: Save points - reveal positions or not?
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2011, 23:09:34 »
I would say #2, since it encourages exploration.

However, I would like to state that I find games without manual save points really annoying, since my computer is not very stable, and my electricity supplier even less so. It always seems that whenever I have made the most progress, there is a power cut, or power surge, or some other disaster. Not fun D:

It really depends how far save points are away from each other. In some games I own (no names named) it is a five minute walk/fifteen minute fight between checkpoints (savepoints were even worse), and there is no manual save.

I grew tired of these games really quickly, as I could not simply pick them up whenever I wanted, but had to plan ahead to make sure I did not have any plans for the night, and had enough charge in my UPS to last me to the next savepoint in case of a power cut.

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Offline LPChip

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Re: Save points - reveal positions or not?
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2011, 23:36:23 »
Nifflas told me the savepoints will not be that far out. I will not tell what exactly he told me, but if he wants to share that info, I let that up to him.

I asked him because I have this problem with the game Magicka. Its a nice game, but the saving progress only happens at the beginning of a chapter. With a bit of luck, a chapter can take more than an hour of playtime. It really sucks that if you have played for an hour and you are at the boss that you can't defeat, that you do not want to stop just because it otherwise means that you have another hour of gameplay ahead.

Nifflas told me that this definitely will not be the case with KnyttWaDF.
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Offline PONTO

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Re: Save points - reveal positions or not?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2011, 00:24:46 »
Excuse me, I was thinking the save points were equivalent to checkpoints.

I would go for #1, then. I think saving should be very accessible to the player. There is nothing more frustrating than having to quit a session and being in desperate need of saving.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 00:32:53 by PONTO »

Re: Save points - reveal positions or not?
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2011, 00:56:00 »
On the one hand, I think #2 is best.

On the other hand, since the game also has checkpoints, it seems kind of weird to let the player return to the same room after dying, but not let them return to where they were if they want to stop playing the game.  The main thing I would like about #2 is if there were no checkpoints, so it would be like there are consequences for dying, and the player is motivated to play more carefully.  But with the checkpoints, there are no consequences for dying anyway.  So it's like you're giving consequences just for quitting the game, which is kind of a weird thing to have consequences for.

So, ideally I would say go with #2 and also not even have checkpoints.  But even with the checkpoints I think I slightly prefer #2, but it isn't as big a difference.

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Offline Nifflas

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Re: Save points - reveal positions or not?
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2011, 02:22:27 »
Quote
On the other hand, since the game also has checkpoints, it seems kind of weird to let the player return to the same room after dying, but not let them return to where they were if they want to stop playing the game.
Not really, this game have a whole lot more data it needs to save, so it can not do it in realtime without freezing the game for too long. It's actually not that uncommon that games moves you back to an automatic checkpoint rather than your last saved point when you die.

Quote
I would go for #1, then. I think saving should be very accessible to the player. There is nothing more frustrating than having to quit a session and being in desperate need of saving.
Well, that's what I mean with that #2 will result in a different playing style, which means a player will probably not run too far off from a save point, just to ensure a save is always close when needed. The player would probably circulate around a save point exploring new areas until another save point is found. It would sort of turn save points into outposts for exploration. Note that they tend to be a maximum of two minutes away from each other if you know where they are.

It'd be up to the player to play the game right. If people can not adjust, #1 might be a better choice. However, if players turn out to "get" this, then #2 can be the best choice. Perhaps what I need to do is some user playtesting.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 02:26:30 by Nifflas »

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Offline Gorfinhofin

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Re: Save points - reveal positions or not?
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2011, 06:50:26 »
Going to have to agree with the majority and say #2.


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Offline sergiocornaga

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Re: Save points - reveal positions or not?
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2011, 08:28:37 »
I think #2 is best. Most metroidvania games do this and they typically don't even have checkpoints, so I can't imagine you'll get too many objections.