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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: February 22nd, 2017, 4:37 pm
by paultakeda
Zombra wrote:Yeah, we've been over this before (and before that, and before that :)). I don't care about whether it's a "game feature" or a "system feature" or a "convenience feature". The difference is semantic and frankly meaningless. What matters is its impact on the user experience.
Everything is UX, so lumping it into that definition is meaningless. A feature defined as being game-specific, system-specific, and whether it exists as a matter of convenience or as a matter of being integral to difficulty, defines the various ways it can affect user experience.

A save anywhere convenience feature, which exists purely so someone can save and exit the game to do other things, affects user experience only in that for a given user they can do what they want with it. It is not inherently bad, good or otherwise for the user experience; it is dependent on that user.

A limited save feature, which exists as either 1) the archaic concept of limited space limiting slots or 2) a way to pace the game or 3) a way to affect the way a game is played, affects user experience in that it creates a limitation, but again, this is not inherently bad, good or otherwise.

So sure, anything impacts UX. But it isn't semantics to split up how a particular feature operates as in the above example one is definitely a convenience feature that can have zero impact on user experience/gameplay while the other directly impacts UX in that it creates situations where a user cannot simply save.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: February 22nd, 2017, 5:18 pm
by Zombra
paultakeda wrote:Everything is UX, so lumping it into that definition is meaningless.
On the contrary. Acknowledging that the save system is impactful to the user experience is of paramount importance. It means that that a responsible designer must consider that impact on gameplay.
paultakeda wrote:A feature defined as being game-specific, system-specific, and whether it exists as a matter of convenience or as a matter of being integral to difficulty, defines the various ways it can affect user experience.
So A "convenience feature" is defined as one that cannot affect gameplay, only the generalized "user experience"? That definition is false. My gameplay experience in Wasteland 2 was directly affected by the save system.
paultakeda wrote:A save anywhere convenience feature, which exists purely so someone can save and exit the game to do other things, affects user experience only in that for a given user they can do what they want with it. It is not inherently bad, good or otherwise for the user experience; it is dependent on that user.
Even accepting this framework, there are good and bad designs within it. Pretty much all game behavior is user-dependent; that doesn't make it OK to design something badly or lazily and just say, "the user doesn't have to use it wrong unless they want to". As a simple example, putting a +50 Sword of Instant Kill in the first room of an RPG is not good design just because the player "doesn't have to use it". It is in fact bad design. (I know you would call this "gameplay" and not "convenience", but that's immaterial to the example. The parallel is still valid.)
paultakeda wrote:So sure, anything impacts UX. But it isn't semantics to split up how a particular feature operates as in the above example one is definitely a convenience feature that can have zero impact on user experience/gameplay while the other directly impacts UX in that it creates situations where a user cannot simply save.
There is no such thing as "can have zero impact" in any system of behavioral incentives. A player can choose to ignore an incentive, but that does not mean that the incentive is not there, or that it is good design to put it there.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: February 24th, 2017, 8:57 pm
by paultakeda
Zombra wrote:
paultakeda wrote:Everything is UX, so lumping it into that definition is meaningless.
On the contrary. Acknowledging that the save system is impactful to the user experience is of paramount importance. It means that that a responsible designer must consider that impact on gameplay.
I did not say otherwise. What I said was to lump it all as UX defeats the point.
Zombra wrote:
paultakeda wrote:A feature defined as being game-specific, system-specific, and whether it exists as a matter of convenience or as a matter of being integral to difficulty, defines the various ways it can affect user experience.
So A "convenience feature" is defined as one that cannot affect gameplay, only the generalized "user experience"? That definition is false. My gameplay experience in Wasteland 2 was directly affected by the save system.
A convenience feature is one that is applied with no regard to gameplay. It can affect gameplay if used a certain way, but that is not how it was designed nor is the gameplay aware of it.
Zombra wrote:
paultakeda wrote:A save anywhere convenience feature, which exists purely so someone can save and exit the game to do other things, affects user experience only in that for a given user they can do what they want with it. It is not inherently bad, good or otherwise for the user experience; it is dependent on that user.
Even accepting this framework, there are good and bad designs within it. Pretty much all game behavior is user-dependent; that doesn't make it OK to design something badly or lazily and just say, "the user doesn't have to use it wrong unless they want to". As a simple example, putting a +50 Sword of Instant Kill in the first room of an RPG is not good design just because the player "doesn't have to use it". It is in fact bad design. (I know you would call this "gameplay" and not "convenience", but that's immaterial to the example. The parallel is still valid.)
That is the key point: game behavior is user-dependent. A convenience feature is not inherently lazy -- it is there as a convenience and can be abused just like anything else. A +50 sword in the game is inherently a game mechanic because it directly interacts with the game system. A save anywhere feature does not, even if a user can exploit it to affect gameplay. That distinction is very important and the reason why it cannot all be lumped as UX. This is not bad design. Design implies gameplay. A convenience feature is not about gameplay, even if it can be exploited to do so.
Zombra wrote:
paultakeda wrote:So sure, anything impacts UX. But it isn't semantics to split up how a particular feature operates as in the above example one is definitely a convenience feature that can have zero impact on user experience/gameplay while the other directly impacts UX in that it creates situations where a user cannot simply save.
There is no such thing as "can have zero impact" in any system of behavioral incentives. A player can choose to ignore an incentive, but that does not mean that the incentive is not there, or that it is good design to put it there.
This is subjective. A convenience feature like save anywhere can, for some, have zero impact. For others it can have significant impact. Meanwhile, a limited save system is non-zero impact as it immediately can impact convenience, even if it does not affect gameplay, per se.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: February 26th, 2017, 2:08 am
by Lord of Riva
To quote someone from the Steam forums:
i want to be able to savescum the interactions with my wife
that in actuallity is the crux of the matter :D

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: March 7th, 2017, 3:48 am
by Grampybone
Lord of Riva wrote:To quote someone from the Steam forums:
i want to be able to savescum the interactions with my wife
that in actuallity is the crux of the matter :D
Hahaha! Great quote.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: April 28th, 2017, 11:49 am
by Blindchance
I'm not a fan of forcing people to someone idea how a game should be played, especially in a single player game. Not all of us have time to fully understand the game or replay it over and over again because death of a character(s) made it unplayable. Introducing a ironman mode for an extra personal achievement, yes, forcing everyone to follow someone personal view on how gaming should be done, no.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: April 28th, 2017, 1:44 pm
by Gizmo
Blindchance wrote:
April 28th, 2017, 11:49 am
I'm not a fan of forcing people to someone idea how a game should be played, especially in a single player game.
Not forcing them probably means that the rest then suffer the servile design.

I would rather have an unforgiving game that I never finish ~or can't due to time constraints, than to have one that falls on bended knee to faun and flatter; and gives up its content easily for fear of losing the player's fickle favor.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: April 28th, 2017, 10:05 pm
by paultakeda
What servile design? If the save function is a convenience feature it is not taken into account for designing a good game. Does this mean someone who save scums may make it easier for themselves? Yes. But for someone who doesn't, no.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: April 28th, 2017, 10:57 pm
by Drool
Gizmo wrote:
April 28th, 2017, 1:44 pm
I would rather have an unforgiving game that I never finish ~or can't due to time constraints, than to have one that falls on bended knee to faun and flatter; and gives up its content easily for fear of losing the player's fickle favor.
I'd rather not have a game that spits in my face and tells me I suck. The advent of the "casual" difficulty where combat is toned way down to people can enjoy the story is one of the industry's better innovations. Far better than the old "ha ha, you picked easy so you can only play 40% of the game, sucker". Frankly, I found WL2's difficult levels more than adequate.

But then, I'm one of those weird people who things a game is supposed to be fun.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: April 28th, 2017, 11:15 pm
by Gizmo
Drool wrote:
April 28th, 2017, 10:57 pm
... a game is supposed to be fun.
One man's fun is another's hell —no? I [greatly] prefer that an RPG limit its presentation to only what the PC can give the player access to; and really consider it a cop-out to allow nonsense like Oblivion does, where a fighter PC can lead the mage's guild; and vice-versa... Or where the PC (that they developed) is lacking some crucial skill or aptitude... but the player gets the content anyway.

Yes, I am quite in favor of the PC getting 40% of the game —and the rest being for other character designs. It likely means that a replay with a different PC could be in many parts... completely new to the player.

Image

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: April 28th, 2017, 11:21 pm
by Zombra
Gizmo is right. This is not "freedom vs. oppression". This is one kind of game vs. another kind of game.

A game where saving is free and easy whenever you want is a design that does have implications. I don't want those implications forced on me any more than the other side wants my preferences forced on them.

"Like, whatever man" is not a pillar of good game design in my opinion.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: April 29th, 2017, 10:33 am
by phimseto
Gizmo wrote:
April 28th, 2017, 11:15 pm

Yes, I am quite in favor of the PC getting 40% of the game —and the rest being for other character designs. It likely means that a replay with a different PC could be in many parts... completely new to the player.

Image
Not talking about any inXile games, but RPGs in general, I'm a fan of having content available where and if you have the right characters in your party. The example that immediately came to mind when I read this was playing through Baldur's Gate 2 with my friend John. My character was a paladin, his was a druid. When we hit the part with the druid's grove, he was able to challenge for and when got that whole sub-quest. I thought that was pretty great. On the flip side, there was content we didn't get because John's character was in the party in lieu of one of the other PCs who doubtless came with their own story and quest arc. But like you say - that's content to be discovered if you ever replay the game (as I did years later with the Beamdog editions).

Also, Gizmo, your GIFs are quickly becoming my favorite thing on these forums.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: April 29th, 2017, 10:01 pm
by Drool
Gizmo wrote:
April 28th, 2017, 11:15 pm
and really consider it a cop-out to allow nonsense like Oblivion does, where a fighter PC can lead the mage's guild; and vice-versa... Or where the PC (that they developed) is lacking some crucial skill or aptitude... but the player gets the content anyway.
That wasn't even remotely what I was talking about.

We were talking about difficulty levels. An example of the 40% thing I was talking about was the SEGA version of Golden Axe. If you played on Easy, the game ended around the 3rd level, telling you that you needed to play on a higher difficulty level if you wanted to see the end. It would be like if Wasteland 2 ended in Arizona unless you played on Supreme Jerk or Ranger difficulty.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: April 30th, 2017, 12:45 am
by Grohal
Zombra wrote:
April 28th, 2017, 11:21 pm
Gizmo is right. This is not "freedom vs. oppression". This is one kind of game vs. another kind of game.

A game where saving is free and easy whenever you want is a design that does have implications. I don't want those implications forced on me any more than the other side wants my preferences forced on them.

"Like, whatever man" is not a pillar of good game design in my opinion.
They would only be forced upon you, if there would only be autosave.

Inxile should just make an ironman mode, idealy useable for all difficultiy settings, for people who know they can't control themselves. :mrgreen:

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: April 30th, 2017, 1:11 am
by Zombra
Grohal wrote:
April 30th, 2017, 12:45 am
They would only be forced upon you, if there would only be autosave.
No, but it's not worth arguing about any more.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: April 30th, 2017, 10:00 am
by Gizmo
Drool wrote:
April 29th, 2017, 10:01 pm
We were talking about difficulty levels. An example of the 40% thing I was talking about was the SEGA version of Golden Axe. If you played on Easy, the game ended around the 3rd level, telling you that you needed to play on a higher difficulty level if you wanted to see the end. It would be like if Wasteland 2 ended in Arizona unless you played on Supreme Jerk or Ranger difficulty.
It occurs to me that Golden Axe was originally designed to be configured with a hardware DIP switch. So I wonder if that was Sega's easy solution to an 'Easy' mode; just to truncate the game before its hardest level modes.

Did they do the same with Ghost's & Goblins? That game had quite a long quest to the end; and I think they repeated the whole game at the "end".

My own 40% comment was about side-quests, and alternative routes through the main story; not about giving 40% of the campaign...
[Think: Twenty Dialog/Action paths, where any four or five of them lead all the way to the end; each one affecting the availability of the next].

*Although, I don't have an issue with the complete game extending beyond its apparent end on different settings. Imagine if Durlag's Tower (in Baldur's Gate) had been Sarevok's retreat, and simply didn't exist in an essentially 'story mode'.
phimseto wrote:
April 29th, 2017, 10:33 am
Also, Gizmo, your GIFs are quickly becoming my favorite thing on these forums.
Thank you phimseto. 8-)

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: April 30th, 2017, 8:11 pm
by Drool
Gizmo wrote:
April 30th, 2017, 10:00 am
It occurs to me that Golden Axe was originally designed to be configured with a hardware DIP switch. So I wonder if that was Sega's easy solution to an 'Easy' mode; just to truncate the game before its hardest level modes.
I don't believe that was the case, but it's not like I've decompiled the game to check.
Although, I don't have an issue with the complete game extending beyond its apparent end on different settings. Imagine if Durlag's Tower (in Baldur's Gate) had been Sarevok's retreat, and simply didn't exist in an essentially 'story mode'.
I do. While I don't understand your example, I disagree with the premise. If I pay for a game, I expect every difficulty level to have all the content. I wouldn't expect an "easy" playthrough of Curse of the Azure Bonds to cut out the Beholder Corps, or an "easy" playthrough of the Dragonlance games to cut out the Dave's Dungeons.

Now, if these optional, difficult mazes were to retain their difficulty irrespective of the difficulty selected, fine. My point was just that selecting "Casual" difficulty shouldn't lock out content*. It can certainly mean that content is less fulfilling, but that's a different issue entirely. As for Ironman, I see that as a stand-aside option, like turning on and off Autosave or the like.


*I can see an exception for a detailed difficulty slider, like in System Shock, where you could adjust individual aspects. Obviously, I would expect to miss some puzzles on an "Easy" puzzle difficulty verses a "Hard". But I think that's enough of an outlier to be largely irrelevant in this discussion unless we hear that we will definitely have a robust difficulty selector.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: April 30th, 2017, 8:58 pm
by Gizmo
Drool wrote:
April 30th, 2017, 8:11 pm
I do. While I don't understand your example, I disagree with the premise.
Durlag's Tower was an added dungeon that came with the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion. Deathtraps & stuff. The example meant: What if the tower had been in the base game, and Serevok had escaped to it at the end (after the "end").

While I haven't seen it myself yet, IRRC the Witcher 2 had additional content that only appears on the higher (or highest?) difficulty level.
If I pay for a game, I expect every difficulty level to have all the content.
Aha... Here we have fundamental difference of expectation. I consider the purchase as granting the right to play; not granting the right to win. Rather a bit like anteing up at the table [come to think of it]. I certainly don't consider it a buyer's privilege to see the entire contents of the game in one go [with one PC; and one set of choices]. When the character agrees to one path and cuts off another, they should not be able to return to the fork and take the other path too. Personally I'm okay with both paths leading to different locations that they never see if they don't choose the path that goes there.

WL2 did this somewhat... When the Rangers had to choose whom they saved [between the agro-center and Highpool ]. While the player still sees the location later (if they go there), afaik they don't see both in the pre-devastated state.

To me, owning the game is like owning a puzzle-box with many compartments... with some that might never get opened.
I wouldn't expect an "easy" playthrough of Curse of the Azure Bonds to cut out the Beholder Corps, or an "easy" playthrough of the Dragonlance games to cut out the Dave's Dungeons.
I would have... but I don't disagree... It's just what would be the point of a hard challenge on easy settings —that either makes it not a hard challenge, or not one possible to win?

[ And yet I know from experience just how enjoyable it is to defeat the 'invincible' rated encounters in King's Bounty. :twisted: ]

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: April 30th, 2017, 9:09 pm
by Drool
Gizmo wrote:
April 30th, 2017, 8:58 pm
Aha... Here we have fundamental difference of expectation. I consider the purchase as granting the right to play; not granting the right to win.
I didn't say right to win. I said I want to have access to the whole game regardless of difficulty.
WL2 did this somewhat... When the Rangers had to choose whom they saved [between the agro-center and Highpool ]. While the player still sees the location later (if they go there), afaik they don't see both in the pre-devastated state.
Yes, but Wasteland 2 didn't eliminate, say, Leve L'upe Mine if you didn't play on Supreme Jerk. Again, I'm not talking about in game decisions cutting off content. I'm talking about out of game difficulty choices.

Honestly, this is getting very frustrating. "When I buy gasoline, I don't expect the station to give me biodiesel." "Yes, but what if you're at McDonald's ordering a Big Mac?"
I would have... but I don't disagree... It's just what would be the point of a hard challenge on easy settings
To give the player a taste of how tough the game can be? Because it's a very hidden (and in the case of Dave, locked until post-game) thing that people are unlikely to even know about, so usual difficulties are irrelevant? Incidentally, I believe that, in the case of the Dave's Dungeons, they had their own hard-set difficulty regardless of what you played the game at. They were designed to be brutal (and, in their words, sadistic), regardless.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: April 30th, 2017, 9:21 pm
by Gizmo
Drool wrote:
April 30th, 2017, 9:09 pm
I didn't say right to win. I said I want to have access to the whole game regardless of difficulty.
I know, but I consider all-access as a kind of winning. Image
(For once you have seen it all, that's all there is... unless perhaps there is more available on higher difficulty settings. :lol: )
I would have... but I don't disagree... It's just what would be the point of a hard challenge on easy settings
To give the player a taste of how tough the game can be?
Not by making it available in hamstrung mode.