Save game option?

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Save game option?

I just stumbled on this game yesterday, and have spent many hours playing the demo. It is a very interesting, if not frustrating game, but I love the concept. However, the lack of a save function is a real deal breaker. I understand the desire for a challenging game where every decision is crucial, but with the sheer randomness of a game like this, a single life with no saving is too extreme.A 'ironman' mode should definitely be an option, but there surely must be some other alternative. I understand how a save/load feature can be abused. It encourages recklessness, and allows for someone to save then scavenge, then reload if they don't like the results.Death should have a real consequence and penalty, but a full start over seems too much. After restarting the game dozens of times, replaying the same opening sequence is tiresome, and dull. Most players will give up long before ever finishing the game. Sure bragging rights might be earned, but some people care little of the accolades of some strangers on the internet.How about an option where the game saves every say 10 turns? If you die you will have to restart 10 turns back, a lot can happen in those 10 turns. All loot since the save will be gone, with random looting it won't be replaced.It will be a real set back with out total loss of progress. As a gamer my times has value, and spending hours only to have to restart after death is a wasted afternoon. I have enjoyed the experience but would not keep playing knowing that every day spent would turn into 'Groundhog's Day'. I really wouldn't pay money for that experience, though I do see the appeal it might have for others. A Ironman mode and some sort of punishable saving mode could please both types of gamers.I routinely get crippled after a single punch from a looter, that takes forever to recover from. Then get chased half way across the map trying to flee from a mere unarmed looter, just to find the last hour an a half was completely wasted. It was a novel experience for an afternoon or two, but I wouldn't continue playing it too much after that, especially if I paid for the game.  I'll keep an eye on the game, and wish you luck with it. Too bad there aren't more interesting games like this, but I can't see myself buying the game when it's finished without some sort of compromise on the saving feature.   

Hello! Welcome to the forums!Actually, Save games DO exist. But since they are, at the moment, very buggy it is only within the beta.Love the idea of an "ironman" mode though. Maybe only save at camps (also in dev.)

Ketchup Packet Hoarder

"Save games are now deleted on player death...When I set out to add save games, it was mainly a feature of convenience
for players who don't have unlimited time to sit and play NEO
Scavenger."This is what I read in the Dev comments. Saving is only for when you need to step away from the game, but upon death the save is deleted, so a new game start is required. Hence, every death requires a totally new game to begin.Perhaps I am mistaken, but it sounds like the Dev's intention it to make death permanent, and no chance of continuing if a mistake is made. If that is the case, then that is the deal breaker I mentioned. If I am mistaken, and you can save at camp or anywhere for that matter, and savage your game if you die, them I will certainly by interested in getting the game when it comes out.  

Ah, I missed that. Good catch.I see your point on the matter. And I agree with you--to an extent. Save/Load system can currently be abused to death (saving right before a battle). I think a fair compromise is saving only on player camps.

Ketchup Packet Hoarder

Saving abuse is certainly a problem, especially in a game with so much randomly generated loot, you could keep reloading until you found the loot you wanted. Of course, you would only be ruining the game for yourself, and if cheating is your wish you will find a way to do it. The are always people trying to find exploits in games. But if it's a single player game no one else is affected, so what they do isn't my concern.I only am concerned that there is some compromise to insure against total loss, even saving at camp my be too frequent, if camps can be found all over. The latest dev comment mention every hex having at least the possibility of finding a camp.So saving in camp might be too easy. I want a tough, challenging game, not an virtually impossible one. 

Looks like its going full roguelike as far as saving is concerned.  I want a tough and challenging experience too, and I actually enjoy permanent death.  Maybe enjoy isn't exactly the right word, but when I die playing a game like this I usually get to learn from my mistake and hopefully not make that mistake again.  That being said, it is a beta, and some silly, maybe even unfair deaths are going to happen.  The good thing is that it doesn't take long at all to build up a new, resilient scavenger at this point in the game.If NEO Scavenger can rise to the levels of the classics like nethack, dungeon crawl stone soup, and powder then more power to the developer.  I respect the decision for permadeath, especially because it can turn people off and therefore directly affect his real life income.

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I love the permanent death feature and no convenient save-reload. It makes the game more challenging and frustrating but in a good way. It makes me strive just that much harder next time. I save-load so much in other games it's not so fun anymore, the challenge is gone. At least here you do feel like your fighting for your life and one wrong move can spell death. I really feel the survival aspect when I'm playing, that's why i love it so much.

Good points all, and I definitely agree that the game can be frustrating at times. I think the concern being brought up here is more about the frequency of game restarts, and the boredom induced by doing so, rather than the ability to save. The game is frustrating because you can die at any moment, often in ways completely out of your control, and you have to restart the game to return to the level of progress you had before. That represents lots of time spent retreading existing ground, which can be boring once you've seen them often enough.While more liberal save games could mitigate that process, I feel it robs the in-game decisions of their weight and role-playing potential. It also means I've failed to make the early game interesting enough that you're willing to play it many times. I see this as an opportunity to improve the game design to solve those problems. The ideal case would be more tools to let clever players narrowly escape death, and less cases where random dice rolls result in death. It also probably means I need more interesting and/or less tedious starting events to get players back into the "fun part" of the game: the part they'd rather be doing than the opening encounter/tutorials.Ultimately, I want NEO Scavenger to feel like a single-player crpg version of the pen and paper games I used to play. When I played D&D with my friends, death was a serious consequence, representing hours (if not days or more) of play time down the drain. However, death also meant a serious failure on both the player's and DM's part. A good player always tries to stay alive, and a good DM always tries to keep his players alive. This often meant "cheating" behind the screen, dramatic plot twists, and other events to accommodate continued play. It was always everyone's goal to keep the game going, because re-rolling characters meant lots of work for everybody, DM included.In this case, the game is our DM, and I need to give it some tools to help the game stay fun, fair, and in control. And I need to create tools for the player to do the same. Already, I believe the "killed in your sleep" issue is getting better with player camps and the removal of auto-kill from the AI behavior, and it should continue to get better as more tools are added.Similarly, combat is going to need addressing. Simply clicking the crosshair, and hoping the reciprocal attack from the AI doesn't kill you, isn't the most rewarding or fair combat system. However, if a weapon dealt wounds that you could address directly (rather than waiting days to heal), or if there were tools available in combat that let you incapacitate, hide, negotiate or otherwise mitigate disaster, that too would reduce the amount of time spent restarting the game.And maybe I need to make the early game more fun. It was meant as a taster of what the rest of the game would be like, but I agree, it can get boring after a dozen restarts.Finally, there may be a time when the game's length (plot or character growth) increases to a point where death is too much of a penalty. When we get there, I'd still prefer to use in-game mechanics to try and reduce the frustration. For example, what if when you die, the story continues with you reconstructed in a medical facility, but with a loss of humanity to machined parts? Or having you appear in the underworld to bargain for one more chance "up there"? They're drastic examples, yes, but they may be more interesting ways of solving the issue than just clicking "reload."I guess by now you can tell I'm pretty gung-ho about permadeath. In the end, it's possible we have different tastes in games. However, I think we may actually want the same thing (i.e. a game that's fun, rewarding, and challenging, with as little frustration as possible), and we just see different ways of getting there.Hopefully, improvements to the game's design will eventually "unbreak" the deal for you!PS: There is, of course, an undocumented way for you to restore a save game. Much like with Nethack, if you simply copy the save game before it gets deleted, you can restore it after death and resume where you left off. It's clunky, true, but it lets you do what you're asking for. See http://bluebottlegames.com/main/node/195 for details.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Those "drastic idea's" are rather interesting, anyway to continue the game I would be up for. As for the Nethack, if it's something that can be done by the player, why not just add it in and let the play chose if they want to use it?I really understand the appeal perma-death has for some players, and I suppose it would depend on the game length. I completed the demo, but only really explored about 3-5% of the game world on that play through. I can't imagine how long it would take to completely explore that map, and as this is a demo, the full game map may be larger. Perhaps much larger, as I recall reading something about Canada and the other parts of the US.If it were the sort of game that you could finish in a afternoon, then re-roll a new character with different skill and try again, perma-death would be a neat idea, since you couldn't really lose that much. But I game like this has the potential to be large, if not epic. And the idea of losing days or weeks of progress is too much to bear.I guess the part I don't understand is how someone who likes perma-death is affected by having a save system option. When you install the game have a option install perma-death mode, or install a save mode. This way they won't be tempted, since that installed the perma-death version. Hell, you could even sell a different version of each. Still the idea's you have about making death less a random dice roll, and more based on clever solutions to problems is encouraging. The game is still in Beta so much can still happen, I look forward to seeing how you address the problems in the game. One of the things I liked about the game was the fact that it wasn't focused on combat. There are a million and one games out there that focus on combat, this game made running from danger like a frightened school girl rather fun, lol.And if you solve things like the inordinate amount of times I get crippled by a single punch from an unarmed looter, (apparently I have the misfortune of running into Chuck Norris quite a bit), and the randomness of roofs falling on my head a whole lot, survival would depend more on my using my head, rather then I dice roll. Then death wouldn't be so frustrating.   

A few observations that may improve the early tutorial area.  I have only encountered three enemies. Bandits, Dogmen and looters.I would expect bandits to chase you around and try to kill you for your loot, they are bandits after all. I would expect Dogmen to be fiercely territorial. Attack on sight and follow you for a bit until you leave their marked territory, then leave you be, unless they are starved.  But looters? They're like you, I would think they would be as afraid of you as you are of them. I wouldn't expect them to chase me half way across the map, like they were the Terminator and it was their mission in life to kill me!I wouldn't expect a man armed only with his bare hands and a pocketful of Gummi bears to be itching for a fight with some stranger that just walked in from the wasteland.Looters should be less aggressive, fight if provoked, defend their scavenge area, perhaps attack if you came with in a hex or two of them, but not chase you to the ends of the earth.  The tutorial area could have more less aggressive looters, and as you ventured farther into the wasteland encounter more bandits and Dogmen.  Less chance of dieing before your first sunset.Having recipes for botany or trapper like 1x raw squirrel meat, 1X poison berry=poisoned meat that can be thrown at a Dogman to distract him and prevent him from pursing you would be a good way to escape an animal.Whether or not to waste food to escape an encounter would be a choice left to the player. For players without the melee or ranged skill it could be worth it.Or, 1x large stick, 1x dirty rag, 1x lighter= a torch which could be used against a Dogman. Animals are afraid of fire, one burn and the Dogman might flee. The Idea is to have different tools against different enemies, so a players wit would be his best weapon.Less death from dice rolls, more from lack of preparation or lack of wit. If you can learn to avoid death  from personal experience perma-death won't be so bad, since you could learn to avoid those pitfalls in the future. But death from a dice roll is unacceptable.

I don't know if I can explain it either, but having the unrestricted save/load definitely changes a game for me. I consider myself to be pretty disciplined, but I play a game differently if I know I can just reload at any time. I don't think about in-game decisions as much if I know I can go back and redo them later. It also changes the way I design the game if players have that option. Suppose you were negotiating with Hatter in the game. He is getting visibly annoyed with you, and his guards are tensing up for a fight. You could still walk out at that moment, and give up your audience with him to save your hide. You'll never get another chance to meet with him, parting on these terms. He's already decided to excommunicate you.However, you have one card left to play, or maybe a bluff, and you think it might turn the tables in your favor. But if you're wrong, and he calls your bluff, you're toast.Without save/load, this decision carries the weight of your entire playthrough: your heart starts to race, your hands get a little sweaty, great rewards could await you if you pull this off, but so could the ultimate penalty. And if I, as a game designer, know you can't just reload the game, I can rig all outcomes not to kill you, but maybe reward/punish you to varying degrees. You'll have thought you narrowly avoided death (even if at some cost), but you won't be able to replay the negotiation over and over enough times to learn all the outcomes. You'd feel a rush of tension released, and it would provide a greater amount of entertainment than if you knew you had nothing to lose.Would this mean no death outcomes ever? Probably not. If you tried to blast your way back into Hatter's office for a chat after the above, you'd likely die. But you'd expect that outcome, and only have yourself to blame.I'll admit, there's still a lot of work that must be done to ensure player death doesn't frustrate players into quitting forever. And I definitely don't have all the answers. But I think permadeath is one thing which sets NEO Scavenger apart from the sea of other games out there. It's a refreshing change for many, and with some careful fixing and planning, I think many will come to enjoy the experience.To your other points, about slowly ramping up difficulty in the starting area, and more varied AI behavior, I agree. Eventually, I'll get around to features that include more robust AI behaviors than what we currently have. And more tools for the player to interact with them. It's all stuff I'd like to do, if I can afford to work on the game long enough. Hopefully I get the chance!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Perhaps you can work on some of the little things that make the game tedious.For example, last night I played and realized for the first time that if I held a bottle of water in my hand I could see if it was purified, or not. If I can see if water is pure or not in my hand, why not when I look in my backpack?I had about 18-20 bottles of water, so each one I had to transfer to my hand, see if it was pure then move it to a different part of my pack to separate it from the impure ones. A lot of extra tedious work when a tool tip could have told me the same thing. I even had to drop my weapon before drinking once to double check it was pure, then left, forgetting my weapon behind, lol. Then I took the time, after finding a lighter, to purify the rest. Do we really need to build a new fire for every cup of water? 18 fires I had to build. For a small fire and a soup can this makes sense.For a large fire with a pot it doesn't. Surely we could boil say 3 cups of water with a large fire and a pot. This would cut down on the tedium quite a bit. Boiling water to make sure it's safe is a great idea, but the way to go about doing it isn't.I took a really long time placing each of the 18 bottles in my hand, one at a time, to check them, building 18 fires, boiling 18 individual cups of water, and re-bottling them.  And considering that one night of sleep can so dehydrate you where drinking 3-4 bottles still leave you thirsty, this is not much fun in practice. An interesting game mechanism gets to be a tedious chore by the way it is handled. But I was happy, rarely do I find that much water, so I thought I was set up for a good long game. So, I headed south for the glow. The next turn I had the misfortune of ending my turn next to a bandit that shot my in the face and killed me instantly...sigh...I decided to stop playing and go the bed.I wasn't scavenging without enough movement points in case of trouble, I had the tracking trait, looking for signs of enemies, I just happened to be heading south as a bandit was heading north. No amount of planning ahead, use of skills or caution could have prevented that death. It was just plain old random, game ending, dumb bad luck. Making all the time I spend doing the rather tedious water boiling and checking even more frustrating. The random dumb luck might be unavoidable, the way the game handles these task isn't.  It doesn't seem like a balancing issue either since twigs, branches and lighter charges are so plentiful.Perhaps making these things rarer, water included, but making the water rehydrate better might be a good idea. It would accomplish the same objective without making it such a tedious chore.

I can tell if water in a bottle is purified or not because it's worth $5.00 if it's purified and $2.00 otherwise.But yeah, there's lots of tedium in the game.  I'm okay with permadeath in general, but stripping out the tedium would make it much less rankling when you lose all of those countless clicks to some stupid death like tripping and falling down a ravine when the safety bar looks like it's at 97%.


好鋼用在刀刃上

Those little things build up though. I just has the longest game yet, I found a shopping cart, used squirrel traps to get gloves, had a ton of water, 4 back packs full of stuff, and a rifle with a scope and sling.I even had about 12 rounds of ammo. I thought I was ready for that bandit.I unslung my rifle, put it in my hands took aim...and punched him in his in the face?......Oh yeah, the game always defaults to punch, even when you equip a weapon. He then hit me with his rifle butt and killed me in one shot...sigh...This game is turning in a matter of setting a personal best for how many in game days I can waste until a stupid death ends me.  

Absolutely. The tedium is something I'm eager to iron out, as I want the game to focus on the more interesting aspects of problem solving, and less on wrestling with the UI.Regarding the fire-per-cup-of-water scenario, I think that's an issue I've since fixed in the beta. The campfire should degrade as a result of the fix, but not extinguish entirely upon crafting. The degradation period usually lasts several recipes, and then turns into a small flame, which can either be used again, or stoked into a new big fire with a stick.The randomness of combat and wounding are still an issue, but until the new combat/wounding features are voted up, I was going to focus on the other features players have voted for. (e.g. bigger resolution and font, more encounters, player corpses, crafting items)While NEO Scavenger is still pretty rough around the edges, hopefully it's getting better each day.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

I accidentally played the demo the other day and it does look like maybe a bug or regression has crept in recently where the full campfire is extinguished each time it's used.  (When I switched back to the beta this wasn't happening, though.)


好鋼用在刀刃上

It's good that you are ironing out some of this stuff, as it mars an otherwise good game.A few little things. Since punch is I assume the weakest attack in the game, can you not auto assign what even is placed in the hand as a weapon? I keep defaulting to punch when ever I move something to the hand slot. I've died many times after thinking I've just "equipped" a weapon when I was merely holding it.Another silly, but annoying thing, every time you are done scavenging, you have to click on the encounter button on the far lower left hand side, then click on the confirm button on the far right hand side.As the screen is mostly empty, could you not move the confirm button closer to the left? A lot less needless mouse movement. Or remove the need to confirm at all?The only time I really would like a confirm button is when I accidentally keep eating poisons berries, lol. I keep thinking I'm using the move cursor, while in fact it is the consume cursor. I know there are hot keys, but I'm more of mouse player. I would prefer to drag and drop items into the mouth, or an 'eat box' and ignore the consume cursor altogether.Any chance for weapon stats? I'm clueless as to whether I cleaver is better then a crowbar, or a rifle butt for example, as there are no damage points displayed.

One other thing is the seemingly wild swings in the randomness. I'm playing the demo version, so maybe this has already been addressed. In one rather short game I found 3 nano kits, normally it's rare to even find one.  Sometimes I struggle to find a shopping bag, while other times I find 8-10 back packs. I'd find 4 rifles in one game but no bullets, while another game it seems like it's raining dead squirrels!This is especially damning with water, sometimes I'm swimming in it, more bottles then I can carry, other times I'm sucking down ketchup pack trying to stay alive. Too much water kills the survival aspect, while needless to say, too little just kills me.  I realize it's a randomly generated game, but the seem like there are a lot of outliers. The swings in these extremes may be intentional, but they seem a bit too wide.