RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on May 23rd 2010 at 03:54:40 PM by (Duke.Togo)
Posted under Game mechanics, Save, Autosave

After loosing about a hours worth of progress in Bioshock 2 today due to a system lock-up, I have to point out what is the true problem: manual saves (or poor autosaving).

The idea of the save file is nearly timeless in gaming, dating back to early computing. At that time initiating a save state manually was a requirement due to primitive storage technology. Take out the game disk, insert a disk to hold your save, now swap back to continue playing. At the time it met the needs of the gamer well, but games have evolved significantly. Unfortunately, the save mechanic has often remained archaic.

Let's take my situation. I'm playing a game that does have an autosave feature, but it only bothers to take a snapshot every stage. Any other save state requires me to initiate it myself. I'm not advocating removing the possibility to save when desired, but what prevents the developer to at least give the option of a continuous save state. Power goes out, game locks up... no problem just pick up and play. I certainly don't plan for my game to lock up, so why should I be forced to initiate a series of time consuming saves to make up for the shortcoming? Companies need to innovate, and this is long past due.

It reminds me of why I liked Space Giraffe on the 360 so much. The game itself was ok at times and a trippy mess at others, but it did one thing I have been waiting for in shooters for an eternity... auto fire. Unless I am playing a game that requires technique or limited shots, why would I ever not want to shoot? There is absolutely no reason that an auto fire button ever needs to exist on a controller. Developers are wise enough to figure out when it is needed, and to do anything else is just to test my patience and make my thumb sore.

So I think it is time for the save to evolve. Agree or disagree, what do you think?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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