In this short article I want to discuss my ideal save system. I don’t claim it would be easy to implement, practical or even desired by others, it’s just how I want it. I’ve divided it into sections. Some of the ideas have been included in games before but not all. Read on to see if you agree with me.
I want each save to have a screenshot of when I saved. Yes, this has been done before and why it’s not included in all game saves I don’t know! It makes life so much easier for everybody.
Next I want some relevant statistics displayed alongside the screenshot for me to judge my health and ammo levels. There could be other statistical information displayed as well depending on the layout and game itself, perhaps a graphical list of weapons and other items collected. This might seem like overkill, especially if you have the screenshot but if the information is available I want it displayed.
As the main screen of the save menu I want an overlay of the level I am playing. Before you say that will spoil the game, the only the areas I have completed will be displayed. The rest will be invisible. Preferably this screen will be 3D and will allow me to navigate and see icons that are save points. By hovering over a save point the exact screenshot and other information will be displayed. The level of detail will be significantly reduce in comparison with the game, it’s just a basic £D map.
I want the game to automatically save under 3 specific scenarios:
- When I recharge my health to full. This could be by collecting health items or at some sort of recharge station.
- When my health drops to 10 percent or below. This is a simple precaution.
- When I reach a place in the game where moving back to the previous section is impossible. Dropping off a cliff etc.
I don’t mind if the game or mod authors want to set points that automatically create saves. However, I would actually prefer not to know that this has happened because then I know that the bext part of the game is going to be difficult. Why else would the author have it autosave?
I would also like a user-configurable setting that automatically saves the game every X minutes. X is set by me via the game options menu and can be changed at any time.
I would prefer to save via the normal HUD, in the same way that I select weapons etc. I don’t want to come out of the game at all.
I also want to be able to hit one key and save a game. Not in the way that most save and loads work, i.e. they overwrite the last save. I simply want to press, for example, F6, and know that it has created a new save point.
The next thing I want is to easily export my saves. Next week I will be launching a new feature on PlanetPhillip.com called Save City. It will be a project to collect and sahre saves from retail games, plus perhaps a few larger mods. It would be nice if a user could easily import saves via the game menu, that can be separate from their own saves.
Games that don’t allow you to create you own save points really bug me. I stopped playing Pariah IMALAZYBEEOTCH. Why do game developers do that? At least give the player the option of turning it off and if anybody tells me you can turn it off in Pariah I will be one happy puppy!
I’m a save freak. I have more saves per game than you! It’s that simple. I save almost every 2 minutes. I want a really cool save system. Have I missed anything?