"Start a new game? Are you sure?"

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"Start a new game? Are you sure?"

Since we only get one "save slot" that can only be manually backed up... can we please PLEASE have the "Play" menu button ask "Are you sure? This will delete your game in progress!" when clicked?

I don't normally like tons of warning prompts (since usually "are you sure?" is answered with "of course, or I wouldn't have clicked!")

Since Neoscavenger currently deletes your only save the moment you click "Play", however, I would very much like to have it either warn me, or not delete my old game-in-progress until I "Save and Quit" my new game (overwriting the old one).

Either is fine by me, but I presume the former (warning!) is easier to implement?

My Mods:SaveMan|Fishing|Shouldered|Bottles

Good suggestion, a lot of people have lost saved games this way.

The game doesn't delete your save until you click "Save and Quit," so you can avoid this by force quitting the application (by closing the game window). There is no option in the menu to quit without saving, which is the other problem. In the meantime, you can also backup your save files, which is a good idea anyway because the game is still in Beta.

Part of the reason I made this was because of one too many such easy-to-make mistakes! :)

I would still like to see Neoscavenger have two or three "save slots", even if (to keep Dan's desire for permadeath intact) each one had to be a different character (i.e. not "multiple save" slots, just "multiple games-in-progress" slots).

I definitely agree that a "Quit" button (and don't save!) should be added too.

My Mods:SaveMan|Fishing|Shouldered|Bottles

Definitely +1

Player was gored and eaten by a sabretooth tiger.
Survival Time: 48 days, 16.51 hours.

I agree with this. Of course I haven't had any issues since I force quit after accidentally hitting the button.

I just stumbled across this post today, and I'm not sure if there's a clear solution yet. Before I get into solutions, though, let me try to summarize the problems:

1 - Clicking "Play" deletes save games immediately. (Or does it?)
2 - It is not possible to quit a game without saving it.
3 - It's too easy to accidentally start a new game when one intends to load an existing game.
4 - It's not possible to save multiple characters simultaneously.

I think #1 is either a bug or a misconception. The game should actually leave save files alone until either the player clicks "Save and Quit" or dies. By the sounds of orbitneo's comment, this is still the case (and force quitting is a way to work around #2). However, if that's not the case, something is broken, and I should fix it!

Regarding #3, this is true. While it's still possible to recover a save game after clicking "play," restarting/reloading the application isn't intuitive nor convenient. So one possibility is to adjust the main screen's language/buttons to be clearer. E.g. "Play" vs. "Delete Save and Start New Game" or something like that.

Regarding #4, this is technically possible to build, but a bit more complex. It's something I'd be willing to explore, but there are some critical path features that I should finish first.

I've made a note to myself to make the main screen a bit clearer, and now may even be a good time for that, since I'm working on the new UI for widescreen anyway. I'm not sure what yet, but I'll see if I can make it more intuitive.

Regarding the ability to save without quitting, I'm hesitant to add this. As far as I can tell, there are two reasons to quit without saving. The first case is what you describe above. The "oops, I meant to load, not restart." The second is to bail out of a game to avoid saving progress.

The first case is fine, and I'm hoping I can fix it via a clearer menu. The second case, though, seems like it encourages the player to quit when something bad happens, and try again. This runs a bit counter to the idea of choice and consequence, upon which NEO Scavenger is heavily based.

In my experience, having the ability to "save scum" makes the game easier, causes less frustrations (e.g. "Oh well, I'll just quit and reload"), but makes the game less interesting/gripping. I'm guilty of save scumming in quite a few RPGs, in fact. But I almost always regret it.

The one exception is if the game does something to me that I don't think is fair. E.g. I'm punished for something I couldn't possibly control or predict. In that case, I feel like reloading is justified. But then, I also kind of lose respect for the game for pulling a "cheap shot" or outright cheating.

Ideally, players in NEO Scavenger would feel like everything that happens is logical, and a result of their choices. And if something bad happens, it becomes a challenging-yet-fun quest to try and repair it, heal it, or otherwise mitigate it (e.g. survive long enough to crawl to Haggerty Health for a prosthetic leg, instead of quitting/reloading if one's leg is crippled). That's what a good GM would do in a tabletop RPG.

Unfortunately, NEO Scavenger doesn't have a good, human GM. Therefore, I try to add as many in-game solutions to problems as possible. With that in mind, before I allow quitting without saving, I'd want to explore why players are choosing to do so, and see if there's something about the gameplay that can be improved. Often it's a shortcoming in gameplay that causes meta-gaming such as quitting and reloading.

Unless I'm missing something, which is totally possible :)

In any case, I'll definitely look into the main menu issue. And as mentioned above, there are a couple of "unofficial" ways to quit without saving, and back up saves. I'm happy to leave those in place, since players can still do it if they really want to. I just wanted to avoid making it too easy, for the reasons given above.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

I can understand your points, but I do not really see the relevance of your post to the question asked.

can we please PLEASE have the "Play" menu button ask "Are you sure? This will delete your game in progress!" when clicked?

I think, this will be totally enough to solve the problem. You won't need to implement a save without quitting and you won't need to use a really cumbersome and lengthy Button-Text like "Delete Save and Start New Game" which would definitely screw UI design.

Anyway, I do not see the difference in Saving and Save+Quit. If I do want to save, I can simply save+quit and restart the game. And if something bad happens, rage-quitting using F4 is still viable unless you implement a fall-back emergency save ... well then the taskmannager will do using forced kill process on the flash player or plugin. So I do not see the point (except philosophically) in advocating Save+Quit over Save alone. But this does not bother me anyways, Save+Quit works well enough for me.

Player was gored and eaten by a sabretooth tiger.
Survival Time: 48 days, 16.51 hours.

That suggested message would technically be inaccurate because starting a New Game does not delete the save, clicking "Save & Quit" overwrites the Save (which players can avoid). Personally, I think Dan just needs to make the UI clearer and more intuitive, which is what he said he is working on in the previous post.

I've noticed in most triple-A titles that the "LOAD" button at the top, so it's the first thing the player tries to click. I'm playing Skyrim and Portal 2 right now, they both have a "Continue" button at the very top of the play menu options and I've never accidentally started a New Game with either titles. Just a thought.

It doesn't really matter where Load/Start button is located... What Banjo and Ineluki are asking for, and I fully support that, is to put Yes/No confirmation question whenever player clicks Start button, be it deliberately or by accident caused by earthquake, sudden hand spasm or sheer stupidity.

Message might look like: "This action will overwrite your previous progress. Do you want to continue?" - while not technically accurate, it will both save people from miss-clicks and new players form loosing progress by experimenting with menu. And veterans will know/find out that they can force-quit the game anyway.

On a side note, I am much more used to old-school Play first and Load later key setting - probably nostalgic thing.

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

A more intuitive menu would have a sub-menu screen after clicking "Play" as seen below:

- Load
- New Game (Delete Save)
- Back

"Play" is would still be at the top of the Main Menu with Options and Quit in descending order. As Dan mentioned, he wants to find an intuitive menu solution, presumably to avoid having a cumbersome "Are you sure?" prompt. Any mistake in Neo Scavenger can cost you your Save Game and I suspect Dan wants to avoid too much hand-holding in the menu. If that's the case, I completely agree with that decision.

Remember that the main reason behind proposition to implement confirmation is to prevent miss-clicks. Adding sub-menu as you proposed won't solve the issue at all, since now you have 3 options next to each other, making miss-click even more possible and still needing confirmation to prevent them.

Also, since when simple "Are you sure?" became cumbersome? It has worked well in tons of games before (especially rouge-likes always warned you before restarting) so I see no reason to repair what is not broken.

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

If you miss-click in the game, you'll die and lose your save progress. It makes sense to keep that theme going throughout. Dan mentioned he wanted the solution to be menu clarity and I completely agree. The solution I set forth is common because it is a UI design solution rather than a way to "cover up" the problem of an unclear user-interface.

The idea is to make the options clearer and improve usability, rather than forcing the player to confirm every single input. We're trying to make a hard-core survival game, not a Pony Princess Adventure Game.

Two buttons, Start and Load, are less clear than a adding a sub-menu?
And how button size and placement in menu have anything to do with a game setting and difficulty level?

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

Do you mean "Play" and "Load"? There is no "Start" option.

For your information, I've actually worked in Software design. A good user-interface designer might direct each of the Main Menu buttons to a sub-menu. The "Options" (currently there is no Options) should have a sub-menu and "Play" could have a sub-menu as well. There should also be a separate screen for "Credits" and "Instructions" as well. If that's not the way Dan wants to go, I'm sure he'll come up with a great solution for his menu.

I don't mind educating you, but please avoid being so combative.

Agree to disagree if you like.

Sorry if what I said sounded a bit "combative", didn't meant that this way. Actually I am, indeed, very interested in the game development as a process (from hobbyist/amateur point of observation) and am grateful to Dan for giving us all that much insight into the whole thing and for community for presenting their opinions. That is why the subject we currently talk caught my attention. You mate, picked up the discussion (and good for me because now you mentioned you have some sort of expertise in that matter) and that is why I asked you those questions to clarify some things.

That is, this whole discussion started with a guy asking for clarification message on starting a new game because it sometimes happens that a player clicks Play while having game in progress and there is no in-game way to return then (force-ending a game doesn't count here). Now Dan in his response didn't responded to that suggestion mentioning only that making menu more clear can lower chances of miss-click. Now I find old NeoScavenger menu as clear and transparent as necessary/possible but mentioned that miss-clicks (for whatever reasons) can happen no matter where and how big buttons are and confirmation question is a good simple idea to prevent that.

You, in return, proposed your vision of menu containing a sub-menu and suggested that menu button placement and construction have direct connection to game difficulty and setting and hence my two questions.

With the first one I am really curious about: do you think that adding sub forum, for essentially two button menu (Instruction and Credits aside since they not essential and miss-clicking them does no harm), is a right way to clarify NS menu more than it is now and can actually help with the problem discussed? If yes, why? Cause no matter from which side I am looking at that I can't see it. For me your proposition is a over-complicating smoke-screen to cover up the problem.

The second one was a bit "trollish" actually, because I don't really believe that you think menu set-up have anything to do with game's difficulty and setting but it came that way when you said:

We're trying to make a hard-core survival game, not a Pony Princess Adventure Game

Unless you meant it that way, in which case that is real "must agree to disagree" situation cause I cannot agree with that...

Now, English is not my primary language so I spent more than half an hour writing this and I hope that this way I made myself clear and don't sound too aggressive to be impolite (or not aggressive enough for the internet :).

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

Really guys we are arguing over button placement, we can all agree that something needs to change. How about this the screen looks like it does right now when you first start after you have a save file the menu changes to Continue at the top and New Game under it. If there is no save file the first menu is chosen if there is a save file then the second is chosen.

Edit: Although that load button would have to go

Edit 2: Hey what about me D:<

Official Trained Dogman

We are not really arguing, just talking about stuff in heated and chaotic manner :D.

Menu changing it looks depending on situation might possibly make clicking something wrong occur more often I think (people clicking fast from memory or something like that...).

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

I guess but you would still just have to know 2 screens and the only button you would press would be the upper one.(play/continue) Which also prevents data loss because if you miss click continue the worst is just losing a minute of time. Also the load button is only on the 2 second menu below the continue button for the reasons above. I guess im not really saying 2 different menus just a change in button names and the addition of the load button after the fact of saving. What it would look like.
Menu one ///////// Menu after saving
Play ///////// Continue
(nothing) ///////// New Game
Instructions ///////// Instructions
Credits ///////// Credits

Official Trained Dogman