Thursday, November 24, 2011


I've just stumbled upon an important design issue for this game: save points x save anywhere.

I always hated save points. RPG Maker 2003 lets you save anywhere by default. Still, lots of games made in RM2K3 have save points, which means they forbid you to save anywhere and force you to look for specific places to save. So, when you want to stop playing, you can't just quit and come back later... you have to look for a save point, which sometimes is not as near as you'd like.

It is worse when save points are badly placed. There are games with huge cutscenes before difficult battles that force you to rewatch the entire cutscene in case you die in that battle.

So, unless there are places in which the player may get stuck and you don't want him to be able to save there, I see no reason for not letting the players save anywhere.


Polymorphous Perversity is, in a way, a game about morals and choices. Will you pay the farmer to have sex with his daughter? Will you fist the tranny looking for treasure inside her? Well, some choices are important, some aren't. But in a game where you can save anywhere, it's very very easy to undo those choices. Just save-do-regret-load. I don't want this to happen. So, for the first time, I'm thinking about adding save points. But I still hate them, saving anywhere makes the game a lot friendlier.

What to do, what to do?


  1. Tricky! At least one consideration, perhaps, is to what extent consequences for one of these important choices are immediate or delayed? If they're delayed it's not such a big deal to have save-anywhere because you can rely on the time investment to prevent people from reneging on decisions...

    To the extent that there are important decisions with immediate consequences... well that's more tricky.

  2. Maybe you could have a bit of both?

    1. Regular save checkpoints
    2. Limited save-anywhere in the form of a save-on-exit that you can only load once.

    This way you at least solve for the case where you need to quit playing but aren't near a checkpoint. If you want to enforce limited usage of that mechanic, have the save-on-exit savefile deleted as soon as it's loaded again during the next play session. With this in place you can exit and resume play without trouble, but you can't save-do-regret-load.

    Keep the checkpointed saves around though. Maybe not all of them, but maybe the last two or three. This is just so people can deal with savefile corruption or the dreaded saving-during-fail-state issue should they encounter them.

  3. I would give the player the (irreversible) choice at the beginning. Well, most probably, I would.

  4. Hmm, what about auto-saving?
    People can save and quit at any point, but after making important decisions, the game will auto-save/overwrite their other save. This stops them from just testing the waters by making decisions and then reversing them, lets people save whenever they want, and encourages multiple play throughs.

  5. Sadly, RPGMaker2003 won't let me do those (autosaving, deleting quicksaves).
    There's an option I just thought of though... buying save items. That way you could save anywhere, but you'd save wisely. What do you guys think?

  6. I've always thought the way to resolve this was to distance the consequences from the event - not seeing what your choice does until much later. This means undoing the choice incurs a rather long replay.

    Of course, this only makes sense if it's not a game-destroying consequence in some way. You shouldn't cheat players into terrible consequences that aren't their fault - i.e. they couldn't possibly have seen coming.

  7. Save items would be cool, but could probably get annoying as well. In Resident Evil etc it works great, but in that case it really fits in with the game.
    I suppose you're the only one who knows if it would work with this game. It could be useful to look at it with some beta testers.
    Perhaps unlock some random stuff if you play through using a low amount of saves? Having save items (limited or unlimited) does give you some new options.

  8. Well, I guess I am in a better position of knowing what's best, but let me ask you this: do you guys get annoyed by not being able to save anywhere? Do you often recur to the save-do-regret-load option?

  9. I would prefer it if you went for the checkpoint saves as I really can't be trusted with manual saving (especially quicksaving). I completely ruin the few interesting choices Skyrim and Deus Ex give me because saving and loading is so painless. Though perhaps Skyrim needs rigorous saving to deal with potential bugs in the mission progression system and whatnot.

    That said, when I decide I want to quit playing I need to be able to reach a save point within a couple of minutes. With certainty. Anything longer than that will make things inconvenient. :)

  10. Save-do-regret-load isn't as bad as you might think. Thanks to this system, I've been able to experience everything there is in a storyline without having to replay it multiple times "just to see what happened if i said 'no'/did that". The choice is still there, and the player will still have to choose. If I want to fist the tranny, damn right I'm going to do it. I just want to know what happens if I don't.
    But, let's say, the tranny absorbs your dominant hand for masturbation or something like that, making it impossible to use certain abilities.
    Some people will stick to the consequences and others will cheat their way to safety. I don't think that's necessarily bad, since people get to play the game the way they see fit.

  11. Save-do-regret-load has ruined many games for me (or rather, has made me ruin many games for myself).
    But if you F up a checkpoint system, it will ruin it more...

  12. AisforAxe I don't agree with one thing. You said "the choice is still there". It isn't. When you can have it all, there's no choice. Especially when "having" something just means "seeing what would happen".

  13. What if saving was also a variable?

    There could be an item which is used any time the player wants to save, but there's a catch: the number of times one saves the game changes somehow the ending/whatever.

    Or else, there could be any kind of small penalty for the player when he saves ("HP" damage or whatever), I dunno. I bet you could find a clever in-game explanation for something like this.

  14. Ok, I've made my decision.
    Game areas are connected by train, and there's a spot on each area where you can take the train. That spot will be a saving point.
    You can also buy expensive items that allow you to save anywhere.