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August 26th, 2009, 09:48
Regarding checkpoints: Personally I also hate not being able to save whenever you want.. but I think it's a trend that is unfortunately going to be around for a while. I don't know the exact reasoning behind it, but I suspect DArtagnan is right - it's often done to extend gameplay by forcing players to redo certain sections when they die. Also it is easier to balance gameplay when you cannot quick-save at any point. Games where you can do that often becomes too easy - or too hard for those NOT wanting to save all the time.
Anyway, since I'm always around to defend the poor developers a little bit, I of course also have a short response to the comments about it being because the devs are lazy
Of course doing checkpoints can sometimes make the technology behind handling the savegames easier - but I still think it's mostly a game design decision. With one game I worked on we actually *had* implemented a "save anywhere" system that worked fine on consoles as well (PS2 and XBox). Late in the beta testing phase we were told by our publisher to scrap that and do checkpoints.. the reason they gave us was that they simply didn't believe us, when we told them it would work fine. They hadn't found any actual problems - they just didn't believe it would pass through QA.
So, in the end we *did* end up with a checkpoint system - but it was the same old "save/load anywhere" code that was used to create/load those checkpoints…
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