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Proposal: Include information on save system


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I've had the idea that the infoboxes should somewhere contain information about a game's save system, since there are a lot of different ways games handle it:

- Roguelikes (dying completely resets you, but you retain certain benefits)

- Hardcore-modes where dying deletes your savegame, e.g. "Trial of Iron" mode in Pillars of Eternity 2

- Only at the start of each level, e.g. Freespace 2

- Only checkpoint / autosave, e.g. most modern shooters

- Checkpoints that can be manually activated several times, e.g. Resident Evil typewriters or sleeping in Kingdom Come: Deliverance

- Bonfire-system, e.g. Dark Souls (like above, but respawns all enemies)

- Free, manual saving (and whether it also allows in combat + how many available save slots)

- "Free" saving that still resets you to checkpoints, e.g. Tomb Raider: Legend

- Manual saving, but at a cost, e.g. Kingdom Come: Deliverance (consumes alcohol)

- Quicksaves

- Special savegame shenanigans (e.g. message if you save too often in Metal Gear Solid 1, deleting your savegames if you die too often in Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, voluntary savegame deletion in Nier and Nier: Automata...)

- Whether it allows to select individual chapters to replay, e.g. Syndicate (2012) and Condemned: Criminal Origins


What do you think about this feature? For me personally, not being able to save freely is almost disqualifying for a game, so I always want to know such information. And it often changes even inside a franchise (e.g. FEAR 1 has manual saving, 2 and 3 only have checkpoints; Splinter Cell 1-4 allow manual saves and quicksaves, 5 and 6 only have checkpoints; Call of Juarez 1+2 has quicksaves, 3+4 only has checkpoints; etc.), so even if you like the previous installment you can't be sure if the next game works the same when you want to buy it.

This information could be included in the infobox below the "save game location" info. It could just be simplified into a simple checkbox whether the game allows manual saves or not, and a "Notes" field with additional information (e.g. the things I listed above, how many save slots etc.). This way it wouldn't be cluttered, you just have a simple "Manual Saves?" checkbox next to the save location, and if there is any additional custom information, it can be written into the Notes field. What do you think about that?

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Might actually not be too bad of an idea, seeing how some late 1990s and early 2000s ports featured differences comparing to console releases (like original Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay as far as I remember featured quick saving and manual saves, while console release didn't... I think developers even mentioned it in commentary) and we already have a save section... or could expend glossary.

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A simple solution is just have it under its own subheading without a table or any parameters, but then you wouldn't be able to search for or track it. Giving it it's own table and/or parameters would be a bit tricky trying to decide what to and what not to include and would require a lot more working creating a template for it.

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  • 2 months later...

I drafted an accessibility template a while back which included a save system section, but at the time I hadn't considered handling permadeath, respawning, etc.

One option would be to have fields that support keywords, similar to the infobox taxonomy, so that multiple options can be specified to accommodate games where multiple possibilities apply (e.g. Minecraft optionally supports permadeath).

What happens when the character dies or you trigger a failure state in a mandatory task required to progress the story (the enemies destroy the base, a critical NPC gets killed, etc.)

  • Reload - you can only roll back to the last save/checkpoint, no progress is retained (other than maybe some meta thing like achievements)
  • Respawn - infinite lives: games like Minecraft - death/failure jumps you back to the last rest point etc. as often as needed and retains at least some form of progress (unlike rolling back to a checkpoint)
  • Respawn - limited lives: as above but you can only try again if you have lives (or equivalent) remaining, after that it's game over
  • Permadeath - dying means game over (in some games this might unlock additional characters etc. for the next run, but that particular run is over)

Save system:
How you can save the game

  • Continual save - games like Minecraft (everything you do is constantly saved with no player input)
  • Autosave - game progress is saved automatically (based on some criteria specific to the game)
  • Save anywhere - you can do a manual save whenever you like
  • Save anywhere (outside combat) - games like Mass Effect where you can save anywhere as long as you are not actively in combat
  • Password - games that save through a password that must be entered to return to that point
  • None - games that can't be saved at all (you have to finish the game in a single run)
  • N/A - games where the concept of saving does not apply (e.g. multiplayer-only games where everything is retained online)

There should maybe be some way of identifying whether you get save slots (so many games now have a single save per character or whatever with no way of going backwards to an earlier state).

Anyway, see what you think.

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