I cannot save you from the beauty of the world

undoTo save or not to save…

Mike and I spent a long time talking about the save game feature in LOM and DDR. Both us came down on the side that a save game on a modern platform diminishes the story nature of the game. Unlike loading the game back for 10 minutes from a tape as it was back in 84, it take less than a second to reload the game, and therefore a lot of the challenge is removed. I’ve discussed this previously here…

Anyway, I received an email today about the save game feature…

Due to the complexity of the gameplay, it is difficult (impossible) to excite new people to play if you do not include a true “Save” mechanism in the game.

I’m still not of the mind to add a save game feature, but I ended up wondering if it was time to expand the UNDO feature a little.

The game creates an undo position after every single move. It allows to roll back completely through the game. It marks special undo records such as Dawn and Night. However, in the game it only utilises the last move and dawn. I originally wanted to give the facility to playback the undo records as a way to watch the game unfold… never happened. And I was going to add difficulty levels that utilised the UNDO facility more… Also, never happened.

The undo records except dawn and last are purged as you end the story and return to the menu. This happened because I received a report that stories were taking up a lot of space. An undo record is actually a full uncompressed, unoptimised save game and takes about 30k. They can soon mount up.

What I was thinking was… how about if I left ALL the undo to dawn records live and possibly the last x moves too. That way you could undo a couple of moves, or undo dawn, undo dawn, undo dawn… etc… Maybe an option to redo so that you could step back up the dawn undo list if you have not pressed night since undo.


6 thoughts on “I cannot save you from the beauty of the world

  1. Personally, I like it the way it is – it adds tension and pressure to the game, gives it a reality.

  2. HI, I didn’t know there was an UNDO feature till I wrote to Chris asking how I could save a game. I use the ‘UNDO feature only if I realise I’m getting a critical character into a killing scenario. Like Chris I won’t quit a game except through defeat. I don’t se the need for a ‘proper SAVE feature.
    The Undo thing works fine. I didn’t realise it could be ‘cycled’ through. I’m enjoying the game so much that My personal preference would be to leave it as is, the only difficulty bugging me slightly is the protracted difficulty of locating the Runes of Finorn and that the crowns don’t recruit as readiuly as the did in the Speccy and C64 and XP versions but I’drather have them as is than see any great alterations which MAY have a very adverse effect, much as the adage about drivers ” If it isn’t broken… don’t fix it!’ Thank you for rescuing this fantastic game of Mike’s from a ‘games grave.’ as have so many hundreds of other great games.
    best regards,

  3. I think it’s a good idea.

    I really like the Undo function in case of slips (especially ease of error on a touchscreen), and I suppose the return to dawn feature if a really catastrophic accident occurs.

    The part of me that’s an experienced player from the Spectrum days says there’s no need for a save. Definitely not in LoM because it’s easy to keep key characters away from dangerous exposure. In DR there’s more utility, because it’s quite annoying when some random wandering lord bumps in Luxor and the worst happens – but it’s trivial for an old hand to restart and get up to speed.

    However, putting myself in the shoes of someone new, I might find it very annoying to press for night, wake up and find I have to effectively restart the game. Consequently, if it’s easy to program as you appear to suggest, even though I personally wouldn’t use it I’d say it would be a good feature.

  4. I think DDR must have proper save option. LOM must have option to undo few dawns at least, i think.

  5. I think the idea of leaving all the return to dawn records is a great (and very generous) alternative to save games.

    ps. Finished LoM for the very first time last night. Only taken me around 31 years to learn how to play it properly 🙂

  6. Keep it simple.. the game saves at the END of every night.. dawn is your restore point, but you can fall back to any dawn, just no where in between

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