Why not all limitations should be mandatory.

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Why not all limitations should be mandatory.

I thought I'd make this it's own thread as I feel it's very important. I want to be better explaining the reasoning and why of why I think this should be done. I think I have an idea of where you, henceforth referring to the developer, are wanting to go with this game. That's fine. However, not all limitations are fun for people. The great thing about limitations though is that you can almost always have them as options. Such as you want this to be roguelike where you can't save and if you die you must start all over. Why not make this into a hardcore option? Or make an option you must check so as not to be limited by this. However you want to do it.I'm going to be frank, and I mean no disrespect. As someone who has played hundreds of games and have read complaints of games over the years, I'd like to think I have a decent idea of what makes a game accessible and fun to a large amount of people. The thing is, how your demo at least is currently setup, it has no doubt turned off a lot of people who would otherwise genuinely like the game. Part of it is because of the lack of tutorial as said in another of my threads. But I think the biggest reason is because of the unnecessary and forced limitations. Very few people are into losing everything upon one death. Very few people like having no clue of the mechanics of a game and being forced to slowly figure everything out, death after death. You can still keep this in the aforementioned hardcore mode, but I imagine if you implement saves and being able to reload upon death it will make a LOT of people happy, and anger few if any. Again, I understand you want this to be more "real" without any stats and such, but it just isn't fun. You made the game, you know how the game works. Someone who walks into it blind, won't, will get frustrated, X out of the page and never come here again. "It looked interesting but the design is stupid". Not to say I think that, but someone probably has thought that.

Those are valid points. You're definitely not the first to point out the steep learning curve, so I'm on board with making the game easier to learn. The major obstacle to doing that is more time than anything else. Just need time to work out some good tutorials that don't feel too forced, and implement them in the game gracefully. (Launching a studio and a game tends to eat a lot of development time!)Ditto for savegames and death. I do plan on adding save games, it's just a matter of working out the specs and "when" I can add it, more so than a question of "if." In theory, having saves will also reduce the severity of death, if players want to reload. I just have to figure out where the savegame will be stored, what data gets stored (e.g. player? monsters? plots? creatures? loot drops?), how, and hook it up.So I read you loud and clear. Just gonna take a little time, is all!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Saves should save everything. And yes it will take out the severity of death hence the idea of a hardcore mode where saving and all that is not possible.I think it was Miyamoto who said paraphrased "a bad game is forever bad, but a delayed game can be good". All that counts is that the end product is awesome, no matter how long it may take.

Few thoughts on saves. First off I just want to say that I am having a large amount of trouble with the game. I keep trying but I’m either not getting it or it’s not finished enough to get very far. I’ll post for some help later. But as to this post and the idea of saves, I am perhaps one of the few that would not want saves introduced into the game. I recognize that I am in the minority here, but still think there is a place for no saves games. So how about adding saves but only allowing one slot per game. When you save, it overrides the game previously saved. That way, when you save the game you need to decide if you are in a better place than the last saved. Just a thought.

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Why restrict how other people want to play? If that's what you want, then do it like that. If you don't like the idea of saves, then don't ever save; no one is forcing you. I'm just asking for the ability to save whenever and wherever I want. If you don't like that, you can impose whatever self limitations you want.

Please don’t take my post the wrong way Solaris32. It’s not about restricting how other people play the game. It’s about finding the balance between too hard and too easy. Making a game too hard will cause many people to give up and not play it. Make it to easy and you’ll find much the same, people not playing. Games are about challenges; it’s up to the designer to find out the right degree of that challenge. I offered my humble opinion about this game. For a quick example: What if you could guarantee water on any tile? Then the consumption of water just becomes a chore. You’ll always have it, so why force a player to click to drink it? Saving as a mechanic is similar. Now granted I don’t know how the designer of this game will implement saving but imagine if water couldn’t be found on any tile and you needed it to live. Now imagine you were out of water and about to die of thirst. Simply move to a tile with a search icon and save. Look for water. Don’t find any? Load your save and try again. Now you’ll have everything you need right when you need it. You just need to perform this save/load trick.

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I don't know if the items you find from searching are random, probably are. So you theoretically could do that if you were desperate. Ok maybe not be able to save anywhere, perhaps only at certain areas.

I am also in the "be careful with how to handle saves" camp. Personally, I don't feel the game is hard at all, it just takes 5-10 perma deaths to learn the ropes, but i can see how that might be 4-9 deaths too much for this game to prosper with current gamers.It's my opinion that when save comes, you should program 2 options, Normal and Hardcore. In normal the player can save whenever he wants, and have 1 save slot, in Hardcore the game automatically saves when the user ends the session and ONLY then, hardcore featuring 1 cool extra item (maybe a custom vehicle, or a sligtly upgraded rifle?). Dungeons of Dredmor does this and works very well, actually i would reccomend you to play that game if you haven't, dirt cheap in steam and it's a Rogue game heavy on the crafting, very similar in some aspects to NEO.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------It is only when you refuse to give in with all your heart that you begin to transcend your humanity.

Eh... I've lost count of the number of times I've died on this. Probably around 30+... Some times the deaths are a bit... I don't want to say unfair, it being a brutally hostile environment where everything is trying to kill you and all, but... well.. yeah.. unfair! I finally made it pretty far. Did a damn decent job of surviving and slaughtering all who threatened me for a good, long while. Then got killed in two hits from a random looter with a crowbar after shooting him twice. Granted, maybe if I had the right skills set up, that wouldn't have happened, but it was such a turn off for me that I found myself not wanting to bother with another go. I'm pleased to see that the inclusion of saves is on the agenda. It doesn't need to be anything fancy. Just something to spare us from having to get to that damn glow over and over, hoping nothing too brutal happens along the way. You don't need to make the game accessible to every whiny school girl who can't handle a little trial and error, but it may be a good idea to make it a bit more accessible to the people a step or two below the severely masochistic. *eye twitch*Oh! Before I hit the post button. Another point in favor of some sort of saves aside from difficulty:Not everyone can leave their browser open to come back to this later. I got pretty far yesterday, but was forced to close the browser and go home (from work >_<) the option to come back to your game later would be nice. Aww listen to us spoiled brats. Back in the day we only had 3 battle toads and had to start over every time we smashed into walls on those speed bike course bits... and we had to walk to school in the snow with no shoes... up hill... both ways!

As you guys are showing here, save games are a tricky subject. I definitely want some way to save games, but I was hesitant to add them too soon, as adding the wrong kind of save game can quickly change the way the game is played and perceived.You guys have already mentioned some of the major issues with save games: save-scumming vs. difficulty, and real-life interruptions.The biggest problem I want save games to solve is what Adfest refers to: real life forces you to close your browser (or crash it, or power goes out, or brother/daughter/parent accidentally closes a browser tab, etc.) and you lose hours of progress. There should absolutely be a way to guard against that, and allowing saves at any time is the most obvious solution.That said, the game becomes a different beast if players can save anywhere, and just reload if they die. It's not a worse game per se, it'll just change the way players prioritize their resources. Some players will exploit save/load to get the best loot, or cheat death. AdamP makes a good point in his water-in-every-tile analogy: players may come to view survival as more of a chore than a challenge. Yet both Solaris32 and Adfest make good points in the other direction: losing hours of progress to a random creature spawn/combat roll is extremely frustrating, and it would be a turn-off if that happened for many.Personally, I've tended to play a mix of hardcore and casual savegame strategies when I had the choice. I would try to role-play my dialogue and other game choices with a single savegame, and just live with the choice's consequences. I found that by trusting the designer to provide a good experience even when making "bad" choices, the game was more fun.However, when it came to combat, I would often save/load several times if the encounter killed me. I relished the opportunity to try other strategies, and not lose hours (sometimes days) of progress due to a roll of the dice.I still don't know the right answer. Maybe a hardcore vs. casual mode is the way to go. Tanakh's suggestion to check out Dungeons of Dredmor sounds interesting (maybe I can spare a few dollars of my meager income :).One other possibility to consider is a "deadlands" area in the game: whenever players leave Michigan (either cross the water to Canada or into Mainland USA), they are in the permadeath zone. Anything you do out there, including dying, is permanent. However, if you make it back alive, the game saves your progress. It would allow new players a little more safety to learn, and more daring players could risk it all for better loot in the "deadlands."As always, I'm interested in hearing more of your thoughts. Big game design decisions require big discussions!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

The deadlands is an interesting idea, but what happens if your browser glitches while you're in there? Do you lose your entire game as if you had died? If you don't then this just leads to scumming as you said; people will close the browser just before they die to try again. I still think this is the best idea:Hardcore mode: You can only save at certain places (towns maybe?) and if you die you lose the character. Yes people will cheat as pointed out above and close the browser before they die so they can reload, but there's always going to be cheaters. Hardcore mode should also have better loot as an incentive, maybe more places to explore, things like that.Normal/casual mode: You can only save at certain places (towns maybe?) and if you die you can reload. I imagine this is what most people will play (including me at first).I wouldn't mind a save anywhere, but too many people would probably abuse it. I wouldn't of course :P. If it were me, I'd do save anywhere because cheaters are gonna cheat regardless, why let the legitimate players suffer?

I think this actually boils down to what you (the developer) wants the game to be.If you are going for a roguelike/leaderboard-driven survival game, saves apart from save on quit don't make sense. If you are planning on focusing on plot quests and making a 'traditional' modern rpg, save everywhere is mandatory.In the current version, the difficulty is a bit punishing for either. I don't mean high - high difficulty is good for a survival focused game. I mean there is actively too little feedback for combat - even if you don't want to go as far as likely odds, weapon comparison or some information on mechanics (player status/skills/whatever) would be desirable - and water is simply too scarce.But outside of that, as stated, I think it really depends on what game you want to make. The feature voting includes a leaderboard options, so I suspect that is your current direction. If that is the case, you can simply allow 'save anywhere' in a gamemode that doesn't show up on the leaderboard, or on a seperate leaderboard, if you feel that Solaris32's comment of "why restrict how other people want to play" is valid.

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I think you're on to something with the deadlands idea. Reading through the comments here, I was thinking that a nice middle ground would be akin to some modern games we've been treated to lately that I think do saves in the right way: Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. I think if Neo Scavenger had a save system where the game itself chooses when you save, it would address all concerns. Basically, the game should save after a "game changing" moment. Defeat the super mutant dog man boss creature? Auto save. Enter the Badlands? Auto Save. Important story choice made? Auto save. That way, you may lose some hours of play if all you do is wander aimlessly, but if you're progressing the game and actually doing stuff, you should get semi-regular save states. Taking away the player's ability to abuse the save mechanic is key. Anytime saves are ripe for abuse, as anyone playing Fallout 3 or SKyrim knows. Take that possibility away and it forces players to decide before the save if they want to risk an upcoming action.

I wouldn't go lenghts to find a way to savegames not leading into cheating, because there is none (AFAIK), the best you can do is try to inconvinience the players that want to cheat with them. You can do this several ways, save into INNs is the classic apporach but i still don't like this on PC games, and think the Dreadmore idea works better, especially for a java based game in which you might need to end your session at a moment's notice.Also, if a player want's to cheat, they can simply read threads saying how to min/max (in this game for example i have found <spoiler> botany + nightvision to solve all my sustenance related issues </spoiler> ) or just be cynic and use hex editors (http://www.raymond.cc/blog/how-to-cheat-and-hack-flash-based-games/), heck I usually hex edit games once i have finished them if they are good enough for me to keep playing after that (this game might be a little tricky since some stats are not numeric, and those take a bit more tinkering). And ultimately, if the player cheats in SP games, isn't he only cheating himself?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------It is only when you refuse to give in with all your heart that you begin to transcend your humanity.

Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon has a neat way of dealing with saves. The game offers a “quit-save” that lets you pick up exactly where you left off after a play session is complete. It also offers a normal “Save” that lets you save and then reload previous saves, much like a normal save anywhere system. But, there is a catch. They have this system called “drama stars” which build up over a play session. When you load from any save other than the “quit-save” you lose them. When enough build up you can spend them in game to help deal with certain situations. It drives you to keep playing without falling back to past saves but still lets you reload if you feel you must. I leave it to Blue Bottle Games to figure out how such a system could be worked into this game, but really it’s the idea that counts. Give an incentive to not save/reload.

Here is a link to the blog post that talks about the system: http://rampantgames.com/blog/?p=3359

As for the game… It’s pretty fun. Any fan of indie gaming should give it a try. There is a free demo.

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I see, interesting. I always seem to forget the carrot and go for the stick, while the gamers seems to respond much better to the latter. A quick and dirty way to implement something very similar to this would be to remove water/food when you save, that is, all the water bottles to go empty and all the food from your bags to dissapear, and there we go again, going with stick rather than carrot  -.-''still... not a bad one i think.I am hesitant to the idea of "extra perks for exploring points" because at the end of the day you need to balance the game to be challenging without the perks, which leads to pack rats like to have 3 silver stars in Frayed Knights and a bunch of items, and be kind of overleveled after only the first dugneon. Is there a quit-save option in the demo? Couldn't find it.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------It is only when you refuse to give in with all your heart that you begin to transcend your humanity.

Check Unreal World. That's basically how I'd like the game to be. There's a trial too. That's also the game to which Rock, Paper, Shotgun kind of compare your game. 

  • Huge world
  • Surviving in the wilderness Hunting
  • Surviving attacks 
  • Wounds
  • Crafting (tear parts of your clothing to make rope that you'll use to make traps)

As for saving.. it's pretty simple.. save at interval and when you quit. Make it that a player can avoid getting attacked by being careful. If he goes out and does risky stuff, then, it's normal to get randomly killed. Make sure the player can find a safe haven where he can hide his stuff and feel safe. That makes risking going out feel more important and when you come back, you always have a big smile on your face. "It's my place".  If you stick there too much though.. food reserve will dwindle.. food will spoil.. and you'll be in a bad spot.*EDIT* You might be better off watching Let's Play on YouTube than actually buying the game. Otherwise, you'll loose all productivity for HOURS and HOURS.

Came here to post about unreal world. That is exactly how this game should handle saves. I love that game to death, but I love post apoc more then medieval Finland lol. 

Humm, that is an interesting game, guess i'll buy it for a lifetime to support the devs next month. About the saves, it seems to work the same than Dungeons of Dredmor hardcore, which if pressed to only 1 save option is the one i would pick.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------It is only when you refuse to give in with all your heart that you begin to transcend your humanity.

That's exactly what I did. Bought a lifetime.. and I'm quite happy I did.

Regarding Saving:I think it's important to add some way to save a game when you no longer wish to play. Most perma-death roguelikes accomplish this by adding a "save-quit" option, which I think is perfect and would basically be all I wanted from a save feature. I like perma-death, I like the idea of losing everything and starting again, but I don't think it would negatively impact the way I play the game if there was some kind of "easy mode" where you could save/reload as you want, as long as it was an option and not forced on me.There is also the problem that you may not realistically have the option of only doing a save-quit feature, for the most part roguelikes tend to be platform specific binaries written in a stable language decades old with years of development behind them creating a rock solid platform. You have obviously chosen flash for a reason and I am in no position to judge that, but a couple of the drawbacks are that you are reliant on the stability of both the current flash plugin and the browser software. So you need to recognize that no matter how stable you think the game is, the flash plugin/browser will crash and it will piss players off if they lose their progress, even if it is no fault of Blue Bottles.As far as save scumming goes, people will save scum no matter what. You can't stop people from "cheating", the important thing is whether it is cheating or not, the answer to that will probably determine the community that builds around the game. If it's an option in the game to save and reload whenever then it obviously isn't cheating, but if permadeath is, uh well, permanent and it is obvious the intention is for that to be permanent then it's save-scumming and therefore "cheating". I guess the decision has to be made on how accessible the game should be, that should probably be left up to Mr. Fedor.

The design of the game must also change depending of your choice. Thinking you can just put in on or off without changing the gameplay is ludicrous. There's no wildcards like that in a good game design. Having a restore point is a no-no in a Roguelike-like game IMO. Otherwise, you lose the risk of "trying something risky to survive" which is the fundamentals of this kind of game.

Absolutely, I completely agree. Having choices matter and knowing that there is always the risk of losing your character is one of the attractions for me, as I'm sure it is for many roguelike fans. In fact, I reread your post earlier in this thread and pretty much completely agree with it.

I'd have to agree on a "Save on Exit" strategy.  If it's automatic then it would work even if your local computer crashes or your explorer fails.  Just sign in to continue, but you can't save while still continuing to play so there's no "reroll" problem.  I can't say how many hours past totally exhausted I've played the game (well, merely the demo) just because my character hadn't died yet, and then death was actually a blessing.  No game should make you feel like the death of your character was a blessing.

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Another potential way of allowing saving but avoiding the "re-rolling" problem is exemplified by the <a href="http://basiliskgames.com/eschalon-book-ii">Eschalon</a> games.  There, when starting a new game, one of the options is whether or not to save the random-number-generator seed on exit.  Most re-entrant RNGs let you pass a seed in and out, so you can save it with your save game; that way, when the game is re-loaded, you'll get the same "random" rolls you would have otherwise.  Save/scavenge/reload will always give you the same outcome this way.  Now, if you go do something else that causes a call to rand() first, then you can come back and get a different result from scavenge.  Despite this, it tends to make re-rolling loot impractical, even if not technically impossible, because every time you want a new outcome, you need to add one more new action that calls rand(), and it becomes faster to just find new places to scavenge instead.Eschalon also several other optional realism/difficulty settings that can be made at the beginning of a game; you get an in-game bonus (I think to experience gain) for choosing a more hard-core mode of play.  I'm not suggesting you copy that model exactly, but it's worth checking out for ideas.

I totally agree with you. However, there's one little problem with this method. While it worked well in escalon, Neo Scavenger doesn't seem to fit the same mold. Let me explain.Even if you changed the map, you could still enter a crumbling building when injured and hope to get out alive. If you died, you could reload and respawn with all your stuff. The "risky" part of the actions is totally gone. Without it, I doubt the game would be entertaining for long. I might be wrong.

The game needs some scoring method and different game modes.Some players don't like it if they lose hours of progress (which is also lifetime spent) to some stupid unlikely chain of events, for others this is exactly the thrill that makes the game worth playing.Builders, hoarders and explorers have different reasons for playing/enjoying this game than survivalists, for whom it's strictly about the challenge.Fair enough, as soon as saving anywhere IS implemented, there can be a mode that allows saving only when quitting, a mode that allows save-reload whenever desired and/or whatever other modes come to mind.More hardcore modes should have a different scoring group.For some reason, most people crying for limited save functionality appear not to have the strength of will to just impose such limitations on themselves - which they easily could. However, those for whom the survival isn't the main draw and who want to be able to save have no such luck.That's why I think different game modes which you can select and which are scored on different lists are the way to go.Limiting content of the save-version is lame, imo, as it's punishing players which are possibly exactly interested in seeing everything there is to see as opposed to the thrill of sheer survival.-Refar

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Self imposing limitations in a video game is a far cry from having them as an integral mechanic. They are only the same in the same way putting a tent in your backyard is the same as going camping in the woods. It isn't. Those that like camping would argue to the ends of days that it isn't the same thing, those that don't like/care about camping might suggest it is the same thing and will never be convinced otherwise. If save-anywhere is going to be added, it needs to be able to be turned off/a different mode otherwise the game will lose that part of the community (the "survivalists" as you call them). There is no going back now, it has already been established that perma-death and "no saving" is "normal", the "de facto" game mode. Obviously there is also a desire for save-anywhere from some, by all means add it as a separate mode, but it needs to be separate. If it's not then I think there is a risk of alienating what is sure to be the "core player group" of this game.e: To try and explain more and really hammer home the differences:By your logic every game "features perma-death" because the player can just delete the save file when they die. That's not perma-death. A game is usually carefully balanced if it includes perma-death. It needs to be a completely separate mode, so they can be balanced accordingly. Why bother wasting all those bag slots on a med-kit when you can just save before every encounter and reload if the roll of the dice cripples you? Why even worry about the chance of collapsing buildings when you can just reload until the dice roll says you get the goods without it caving in? To say "oh just don't do those things" is misguided, to say it's a "lack of will power" on a player is bordering on ignorance. There was an article that made the rounds not long ago (I think it was written by a developer on Civ V), it was about balance and how players are drawn to efficiency and working out optimal game-play paths. You can't simply tell players not to do these things. Players will "hunt down" the most effecient way to play the game, even at the cost of fun and even if it ultimately leads them to hate a game they once enjoyed.

Well, the way it's handled currently is that it isn't handled at all. I was ready to hit the button and purchase the game two days ago, but couldn't log into my PayPal account.When I'd slept over it and opened my browser again on the following day, the window that greeted me was the one from the demo where I had reached the end and decided to play on for a bit on the day before. Only, the game doesn't save anything at all, so what greated me was the screen to begin a new game. That's totally unacceptable for me. It's ok for a demo, but the full version NEEDS some sort of savegame mechanic.It's fine if you need to return to some location (though it can't always be all the way across the map), or if you need to take some provisions (like build a campfire, for example), but closing the browser window always HAS to save the progress.It's acceptable if this throws you back to your homebase like in Diablo, but progress HAS to be saved somehow.Your camping example is a bit off, but of course I understand what you're trying to say, and I agree to a point. That's why I suggested taking scores and putting those harcore players on a different list. But even HC players should have SOME kind of save mechanism - if the finished game is, say 5 times as long as the demo, can you honestly say it's fine to play it start to finish in a single sitting?Edit: About the ignorance paragraph ... you might have noticed that, in my original post in this thread, I took them (the survivalists) and their "needs" seriously enough to suggest they should get their own game mode (as opposed to just ignoring them), my point was that they COULD impose such limitation on themselves, while the other way around, the players wanting save in a game which has none are screwed and can't make up for it in any way.-Refar

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Yes, some save game mechanism needs to exist. I have already posted a couple of times that I think it should be some kind of "save-quit" feature. It allows you to leave and return to your game but not reload a previous save just because something went wrong or you die.Yes, if a save/load anywhere feature isn't implemented then those that want it are screwed. On the other hand, just because some people want a feature doesn't make it a good idea. Should an FPS include an option at the start of the game to acquire every weapon instead of progressing as the developers intended? If not, why not? Just because players want it and those that don't want it can ignore it doesn't mean it doesn't change the game for everyone, balance is thrown out the window.There can be some middle ground and some things can try to appeal to "both sides" but at the end of the day a choice has to be made whether the game should have perma-death, because that's the core issue. Ultimately it's going to end up however Dan intends it to be, which quite honestly I think will be perma-death because that is a feature he touts on the "feature" page and is obviously a core idea to the game . Quote straight from the feature page:---------Challenging gameplay

NEO Scavenger is not an easy game. You will not be told what to do,
or how to survive. There is no hand-holding, and nobody's got your
back. Mistakes quickly turn into death in the apocalypse. And when you
die, that's it. Game over. ---------If you can save and load anywhere then it isn't perma-death and the game won't appeal to those that want that feature and the opposite is true for the other group of players. My point is, if saving/loading is actually added it needs to be a completely separate mode otherwise the game simply doesn't feature perma-death and you lose those players that want that, your point that player "could" impose perma-death themselves isn't an option as I explained in my previous post. The game either features perma-death or it doesn't....

A lot of FPS' have actually offered the option to get every weapon in the game right at the start.You could also play the game without taking damage.These things were called cheats...Anyway, I DO know what your point is. Doing exactly what most roguelikes do would be totally fine.-Save/quitting is possible anywhere and anytime. -No other saving opportunities. -Dying deletes your savegame.-People who want more "flexibility" can still cheat by copying the savegame folder and restoring it, but that's cheating.-Refar

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I'm all for the iron-man save-on-exit approach. People will always find a way around it if they're desperate to; certainly any single player game can always be modified by anyone with the will and dedication to do so- if that is the game experience they want, who are we to stop them? What should be focused on is the default game experience, which is similar to Dwarf Fortress... losing is fun and can happen often, especially for the inexperienced. A lot of the fun comes from learning the game through trial-by-error, not through save-scumming.

To me this game plays like a board game, you play, you put it away, you start over next time. And I like that! Not being able to save is part of the game. If you require a save before making any decisions you must be terrible at life... There are thousands of other games that allow saving, go play one of those. Seriously.. appreciate the game for what it is. You may not agree with everything, but if it bugs you this much then go dev your own game.

Well, if this were a completed product then what you wrote would make sense.  Love it for what it is or leave it.  But it isn't finished.   And there is a forum for ideas.  For exceptionally long and detailed board games, there is at least the option of leaving the pieces on the board so that you can finish later.  Not everyone will be able to devote hours of uninterrupted focus on a game of this depth - and that's cool, too.  

Oh I totally agree with that, sorry I though I mentioned that a save on exit is a very good idea. What I disagree with is the original posters sense of entitlement to get exactly what he wants from the developer, specifically in this case he says he hates that you "can't save and if you die you must start all over".  And yes it is not a complete game but I get the sense that allowing you to save and load your game if you don't like what happens is not what the dev intended. If it is added it will be because the whiny 'this game is too hard!' crowd with wear them down till they cave. I know coming on here and ranting is silly.. but IMO it is okay to make a game that appeals to a group and not everyone. 
solaris32 seems to think a game should be dumbed down enough that everyone can play it and enjoy it. In theory that makes money but it does not necessarily make a great game. You would be hard pressed to think of a classic game/movie/anything that was made to appeal to EVERYONE.I enjoy this game, I have paid to support it and whatever the dev decides I am fine with. If I am wrong and save games were always in the plans then so be it. I won't complain one way or the other because I certainly could not do better.

Oh great, another potentially good RPG ruined by "fan" feedback. Forced ironman is really the only way to go, it's a survival game in a post-apocalyptic world, that eerie creepy feeling of going into some abandoned ruin of a building to seek shelter from the rain, not knowing what you might encounter inside, all that would potentially be ruined if you could just reload your save if you die.

One of the terrible things about games these days is the lack of challenge, the dumbing down of complex mechanics in games in order to "streamline" and make it more "accessible" to as broad an audience as possible. The fact is, due to the turn-based and graphical style of the game, "most gamers" will never be interested in this game, they will just herpa derp "no good graffix" and go and play Call of Duty.

Also solaris32's comment is a form of blackmail, he's indirectly saying "you better make your game as casual as possible or you ain't getting through Greenlight".

I play the game Ironman-style by choice. It's not ruined by the option to save- you might ruin your desired experience by choosing to use that option- and I don't think it's the developer's duty to mitigate that lack of self-control that's ruining your experience by forcing a particular style of play on all of us. Some people will still derive enjoyment from games they can reload and one of the primary measurements and factors in a game's success is offering fun to a wide variety of individuals.

This isn't to say challenging games don't exist, nor shouldn't exist- in fact, many modern games can be played in a challenging manner that may or may not be 'officially' supported and baked in by the developer. I think having an official Ironman setting is a good thing. I also don't see any evidence of dumbing down in the game (although raging against accessibility has always struck me as stuck-up, prickish elitism coming from people who, having been forced to learn something the hard way, insisting that everyone continue to do the same- Dwarf Fortress community, I'm looking at you).

Your assertion that "most gamers" will never be interested in the game isn't entirely inaccurate- being a turn/hex-based retro styled game may rub many the wrong way- especially if they play it during alpha/beta/general development and take a bad first impression away from it. It just doesn't follow that 'the game is niche, so it may as well be more niche'.

Assuming that solaris32 has sufficient sway with Greenlight, his comments still don't amount to blackmail in the same manner that Microsoft's certification process doesn't. Unless he was suggesting that (and he certainly wasn't), without certain personal concessions, he would obstruct the game getting onto Greenlight with that personal power, his comments amount to strong criticism and advice at best. I don't think solaris32 represents Greenlight's standards for acceptance and it's entirely up to the developer if he wishes to get meet them, whatever they might be.

Crosmando, I suggest you go and make your own game. It sounds like you have strong feelings about design decisions that can only really be proven by doing it yourself. The biggest barrier to games development is motivation, and if your feelings really are that strong, you've got a step-up on most wannabe developers.

Admittidly I havent read through all of this talk, but that shouldn't keep me from adding my thoughts on the subject of saving.

In my world perma-death is just called Losing. Normally games or contests can be lost by your competator reaching a certain goal before you. But in the case of single player games like NEO Scavenger, you loose when you reach a point where you've failed to sustain your characters health through means of food, water, sleep etc. Giving out pardons to players in the form of the ability to load takes the edge, the challenge and the fun out of the game. It all becomes reduced to the point of the player simply reloading until he gets the magical combination.

Optimally the player should learn through his mistakes and slowly progress with his knowledge, and he will get further and further every time. This is what is called Mastery, one of the most fundementally rewarding things in playing, all of which will be undermined by a players ability to simply wrong his mistakes with a few clicks of a button.

Hey Guys,

Just to clarify, this thread took place during a time when the game was significantly different (back in March). So player opinions back then were shaped by things like random combat outcomes, lethal scavenge accident bugs, cholera not alerting player in advance, etc.

The game would just throw a "Game Over" screen up at random times, with no warning. So I think the urge to have save games was amplified by that environment. And I never really felt like anyone was threatening me. They just have strong opinions :)

These days, the game is a bit more under player control, and there's more room for the "mastery" that Kuranes talks about. Still issues and balance to work out, of course, but the game gives a bit more warning now.

Also, the save game feature isn't in much danger of being changed at this point. I think it's in a good place now. Everyone can save the game to walk away and come back later, if life interrupts (the primary goal for the feature). The player only gets one slot, which disappears if they die, increasing the game's tension (a major goal of the game's design). And players who really want to save-scum still can through clever manipulation of files, like with Nethack (not really a goal, just a back door I'm happy to leave as-is).

Overall, I prefer that NEO Scavenger be true to its roots as a hardcore, strategic role playing game. I'm willing to sacrifice audience share for that niche, because that's the niche I prefer to play in.

Oh, and when it comes to fan feedback, I won't add something to the game that I don't want to be there. I'm a bit of a pushover for being nice to people, and I probably say "that's a good idea!" more often than I should, but if I don't agree with a feature, I won't add it. Even if it loses customers. That's because I believe that compromising the vision of the game will actually ruin it for many more people (myself included) than doing what I think is right for the game.

Fans won't ruin this game. Only I can do that :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Ah! And about the fans thing, it is also something I keep in mind: Their word have no power, beside that which I give it. Or more plainly put, they dont have a say unless I let them.