Thoughts on Load and Save and ranting reviewers

I just read an interesting review of The Lords of Midnight on the iOS store from PlaystationPaul. I’m posting it here and am going to discuss it as I have no right of reply for reviews.

Be warned – no proper save option

So the porter of this game is quoted as saying “We wanted you to have the ability to save but remove the temptation to just reload your game when something went wrong” and “But you have the ability to undo to dawn if you really mess up.”

Well thanks buddy for completely ruining the game, even the original Spectrum version had an option to save and load at any point – it’s meant to be a strategy game not a rougelike. The “undo” feature can only do so much – I lost Morkin after about an hour of play and can only go back to the dawn – he’s gone permanently along with all that progress – great! Do I really feel like going back and repeating all my actions again just to get to the point where I lost Morkin? No – not really – so thanks for completely spoiling a classic game by omitting one of the bare bone features which makes it enjoyable to play. Hopefully an update can rectify this somewhat arrogant and time-wasting decision.

I don’t know the circumstance on how PlaystaionPaul carelessly lost Morkin. Firstly, if he attacked something and died, then why not just perform a single-undo, and then send someone to his rescue, or keep trying the fight and undo approach. It’s as close to load and save as you are going to need.
Secondly, if he lost him in battle over night, well that’s the game. Maybe Morkin shouldn’t be left unattended where Doomdark’s armies can easily pick him off, and definitely not used in battle.

I presume by mentioning not wanting to redo the day’s work it was the former, so I really don’t understand not using the single-undo option.

Such and arrogant time-decision‘ – lets see. An arrogant time-wasting decision, made by Mike himself. Being honest, Mike wanted it removed completely, he didn’t like the idea of people arbitrarily loading and saving just to get passed a particular battle or fight. It took a lot of discussion to get the undo-to-dawn feature in the original release, and then I added the undo-one-turn during an update after a lot of discussion with other fellow Midnight players. So, if I am indeed guilty of arrogance, it’s by overriding Mike and adding the undo-one-turn option. Therefore Mr Playstation Paul, I shall not be releasing an update to rectify a somewhat arrogant and time-wasting decision that Mike and I spent a lot of time discussing and considering its impact on the game.

PlaystationPaul, email me personally and I shall refund your £2.99 and in future I will contact you before I make any design decisions on the game, because you obviously know what this strategy-adventure game should be more than Mike did, and without him around for me to consult, I obviously need to take advice.

“I hope you enjoyed yourselves. Excuse me for not showing you out. Straight up the stairs. You’ll find the way. I’m terribly busy. Whole day wasted. Goodbye to you. Goodbye.”

22 thoughts on “Thoughts on Load and Save and ranting reviewers

  1. Ah, Todays generation of gamers. If they can’t save every 2 seconds to remove all challenge, they go on an all out rampage.

    I don’t remember a save game facility in the original to be honest, but I suspect it would have been a nightmare to use being tape based. However I can see how it would have been essential, but not something to be used all the time.

    I suspect he still would have had to reload and lose a lot of time unless he literally saved back on the spectrum before every move.

  2. Ha ha ha – what a careless fool. I can understand your emotive response, Chris, but it’s really not required. You could not and will never be able to seize, please and then possibly appease everyone that interacts with something you create. There is little point trying (I know in this case you aren’t going to!).

    The game is an excellent ‘reboot’ / port of the classic game, which, for the ink on my arm, I played on the 64 anyway! It is nigh perfect. Mr Playstation is probably more annoyed that he is so utterly useless at the game, rather than the game itself.

    Take solace in the unshakeable iron-shod fact that very nearly almost everyone that buys and subsequently plays the game – loves it.

    Do you seek dawn..?


  3. I agree with Morgan that it must be a reaction caused by the trend in these times of making games that cannot be lost. If you make a game where you can fail and have to start all over, many will classify it immediately as a roguelike, even if the genre is totally unrelated. I have even heard someone say that x-wing is a roguelike because if you die, you are dead.

  4. The approach you’ve taken to the game is spot on. Interestingly XCOM has been lauded recently for introducing this very feature to stop people constantly re-loading. It’s hugely important in telling the story of the game and building drama and characters. If this reviewer doesn’t like it you don’t need him.

    He probably lost Morkin plunging through some wolves because he couldn’t be bothered to move. For what it’s worth I tend to play to the very very end, even if that includes Lord Brith cowering in a dark corner of Trorn whilst the last surviving lords die at Xajorith.

    • XCOM, the desktop version does allow you to save at any point, and it is far too temping to use as the game is very punishing. Can’t speak for the IOS version, which I will only buy when it is on offer. It is only worth full price if you don’t own the desktop version.

  5. For me the fun of the game is playing like a Roguelike. Not doing so removes much of the challenge of the original classic. Honestly, these kids don’t know they’re born with their checkpoints-every-5ft.

    I’m glad you’ve stuck to your guns on this one! Looking forward to DR 🙂

  6. Wow. He really does seem to be one of life’s trolls.

    I am a college professor and I see the same lack of patience in a lot of my students. I’m teaching the generation that grew up on expecting everything to be a ‘remote control’ style instant gratification.

    Games and indeed life is frowned upon if it doesn’t give instant success by kids these days. I bet he’s never had to work at anything for more than 5 minutes in his entire life before he threw up his hands and gave up.

    I also echoe some of the other posters and say, don’t let these trolls get to you Chris. Even Einstein had nay Sayers who believed he sucked! You’ll never win everyone over, but I like many would personally get down on my knees and worship you for bringing back Mike’s games so brilliantly. We love what you’re doing Chris, and I know I’m not alone in that belief.



  7. Ha ha – symptomatic of the yoof today. The original tape-based save was onerous and only really used at bedtime. The current system is just right.

    • We need to bring it down to modern culture level. If someone complains about dying in the game, just shrug and say with complete sincerity


  8. Just ignore him. Having said that we could do a collective conversion of Dun Darach and see how he copes when he gets robbed after 12 hours in without a save option. I still get anxiety attacks from experiencing this in 1986. Or better still a rigged Sam Fox strip poker conversion in which she whips out a royal flush every other hand. He wouldn’t last long…

    • ha ha, lol! i remember those days! Sam Fox poker uh? oh dear! I was guilty of owning that particular piece of dross too! nine quid down the gurgler there. would have been easier to buy a copy of the sun!

      made me laugh though!


  9. So he lost morkin ,big deal , it’s the game . There is more than one way to win . A true player , would change tactics . Change his strategy , and overcome this set back , making victory all the more sweeter . Don’t listen to him chris . Bad player .

  10. For me, the whole point of playing Lords of Midnight was to tell the epic story of the free peoples’ of Midnight against Doomdark. That means that you play it and let the ‘chips fall where they may’; if Morkin dies in a given playthrough then that is what happens in that particularly version of the story – Luxor’s mission then becomes one of conquest and REVENGE!

    I like how ‘saving the game’ is limited as it offers a massive amount of playability whereas a fully functional save game option would be too tempting to use and therefore produce less exciting results as the player wouldn’t play through potential story paths that they didn’t like the look of. With the current setup you either scrap the game you’re playing or continue and see where the story leads you.

    This PlaystationPaul fella just comes across as a bit of a troll and personally I don’t think everyone should be listened to – the creator(s) of the game should auteur their vision and this doesn’t always align to some peoples’ view. Or tl;dr “sucks to be you, PlaystationPaul”.

  11. Did kids get used to games being too easy, or game had to become too easy because kids like it so now?

    I think it’s a bit of both. Games today need to sell millions to be profitable, so they need to cater to people that years ago wouldn’t have liked playing games because they found them too hard.
    When LOM was written first, games were 48KB long (probably shorter than what a blank Word document takes today) and there is only so much story you can tell within those 48KB. Also, games were expensive to buy. So to make them last, they had to be hard and replayable. And gamers that used to play those games usually didn’t mind doing that at all.

    Fast forward to today, game companies don’t want you to take too long to complete their games, or to replay them too much. It’s much more profitable if you play through it fast and, if you want more, buy another sequel of it. (Being e-Sports, MMOs or DLC-ridden games a different subject).
    Also, “there is just too many other good games waiting in line to have the honor of pleasing me while taking my valuable, valuable time. You mean that I have spent 15 minutes of my life and I have lost and I have to go back to square one? Get out of my sight! Next!”

    With that mindset it’s impossible to enjoy a game such as this one, where the core gameplay isn’t about improving your characters’ stats or grinding XP or quests, but discovering the world and improving as a player as you replay the game trying to surpass your previous record or do better, or find a different ending.
    There is just no time for that in the Consumist Gamer life-style today. “Replay a game again and again until you win it by improving your skill as a player? What for? It’s a single player game. I cannot pwn sum newbz 4ss3s online or anything with those skills!”

    In the end, how much importance you give to this issue depends on how well you want the game to sell, Chris. If your goal is to get it to the hands of the same kind (and amount) of players that enjoyed the old philosophy of hard replayable games, leave it like it is. Otherwise, a broader target market almost always means, and I know that this sounds elitist and disrespectful, dumbing down the game to please the mass.

    That, or add a difficulty option to the menu:
    Noob: You can “Save & Continue”, Undo, and Load.
    Casual: You can only Undo, and “Save & Close”.
    Veteran: You can only “Save & Close”.

    And let everyone choose the “title” they deserve. 😉

    • Lad, Lord or Legend modes! good idea!
      Still it’s going to be more work for Chris.
      i say obllox, (or whatever word you can make with those letters)
      take the criticism, wipe your mouth and move on.

  12. In my honest opinion, this thread should be removed. Its beneath this website and, moreover beneath you. Your work is followed by 99.9% of people who’ve probably downloaded the midnight engine and like myself, have felt that you should be rewarded for your tireless pursuit of Mike’s ultimate vision of Midnight.
    Yeah, the guy who posted that review is “not the full lunchbox” tactically. I mean, Lord of Shadows is there, right above your starting position, to guide Morkin right up-to Farflame (i prefer to take all 3 to Lothoril), but posting his review and replying? no!
    You can please some of the people some of the time, not all of the people all of the time!
    Yeah, we love your work, but come on Chris, some people will just not see what you are trying to do with a newer version (or do over, if you will). So you’ll have to take the criticism squarely on the chin (he did pay for it you know!)
    Perhaps a difficulty setting? Novice, giving load/save privileges, with a Harder mode that saves between night & dawn, doesn’t give you a take back (they call it hardcore mode on most games) meaning you have to live with your decisions!



  13. Don’t lose any sleep over this . The game is class !!
    Sooooo looking forward to DDR , any release date on iphone ????

    • I bought LOM on every format except for android, having played them all, the one I look forward too most is MacOS. LOM on 27″ iMac was gorgeous!

  14. This is the Internet. Such reviews fall like snowflakes and should be left to melt away and be forgotten.

    I remember the “save game” facility on the Spectrum; I used it for DDR mainly, just so I could occasionally switch the computer off, before it melted.

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