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May 9th, 2011, 09:26
Originally Posted by Roi Danton View Post
Yes, it may depend on the game how important quicksaves and limitless saves are but there is no reason whatsoever not to implement them in every game. What people tend to forget is that limited saves were not a design choice but a solution to the problem of very limited memory in older game consoles and computers. But since every hand held device has a nearly limitless amount of memory (and lets not even start with PCs) there is no reason not to have these options. I like to save. I like to play a game for five minutes and save. And so on.

And no, that has nothing to do with so called design choices by various designers. Movie directors also make their movies to be watched in one session and not in ten. And yet that's exactly what I can do. My BD player even has a memory chip so that I can interrupt a movie, turn the thing off and start watching again in three weeks and the same part of the movie I stopped.
It's true that, in the past, it was often a limitation due to hardware. But, today at least, it's often used as a design crutch - to artificially increase longevity.

I find that a checkpoint system ruins the flow of a game, and makes the "trial and error" aspect painful to the player. It makes the player less willing to experiment and tends to make him focus on the "safe route" - because we don't want to risk repetition.

I understand that it can also enhance tension - and enforce careful play, both of which are good things. However, I don't like it when the source of tension is meta-gaming - as we don't fear dying because the beat is nasty, but because we don't want to replay the same section again. That's artificial.

So, from a design point of view - it's really about what's more important. That kind of tension - or an experience that supports experimentation and exploration.

In DE3 - I think it's obviously the latter - and so I hope the designers agree.

Also, and I don't know if it's just me - but I actually think that checkpoints ruin immersion MORE than being able to quicksave. There's nothing more artificial than a big machine that stands ready to "save your life" - and that you have to backtrack to, if you want to save before some big fight. It's totally counterproductive in many games - like recently in Dead Space. I mean, the whole game is about immersion (ok, maybe not - but to me it is) - and yet they have these lifesaving machines everywhere, that I have to find or backtrack to, to save up when I've upgraded or whatever.

Pushing "F5" is much more natural and unintrusive to the experience. But I realise it's incredibly "unrealistic" and, unlike checkpoints, tends to inspire CARELESS play instead.

So, I don't think there's a way to definitively prove what's best - I just know that I ALWAYS prefer quicksaves.
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