Saturday, November 12, 2005

Save Me Now!

Many games lack something important, making them wind up very unsuccessful. Reviews strongly advise against buying these games, and people unlucky enough to buy the game often mourn over the lack of a simple feature: saving.

Game designers can't understand it. They know people want to save things, but they realize that this makes the ame to "easy." But does removing the feature entirely solve the problem?

No. Designers need to find original ways to implement the same feature without making games too easy or too hard.

One easy way to do this is through "save points." When the character walks over a trigger, into a certain room, or finishes a level, they are given an opportunity to save. Games such as the Metroid series, Super Mario 64 DS, and others implement save points. These allow the player to save the game, while not entirely removing the challenge. Sometimes save points are strategically not added--like just before a boss level--so there is still a challenge to that part of the game (who would find a game where you can save during a boss battle fun?)

Another creative implementation is punishment. Saving reduces your score, or removes certain features, such as highscore elligibility. This method makes players want to wait to save, often resulting in the utterance, "Why didn't I save it first?"

A final way to implement saving features is through limitations. The player can only save, say, three times in the whole game. This makes players want to conserve their saves, resulting in more strategic gameplay.

Whatever the method of putting saving into a game, it is imortant simply to put saving into the game. Find a new, creative way to do it, or use the described methods, but somehow designers need to get it in there. Write your Senators today.


Blogger Mr. Levingston said...

mmm, so very true on so many levels, its not even false! (ha ha)

well, I personally love how the metroid series does it. that Roxeroz

another method is the password series, save via passwords that you collect at the end of events... that way people can curse themselves for copying it down incorectly =P

Sunday, November 13, 2005 2:37:00 PM PST  
Blogger BusterBot858 said...

Ah yes. Forgot that one.

Thursday, November 17, 2005 11:13:00 AM PST  

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