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How should this game handle ingame deaths?

posted by Chyron8472 on - last edited - Viewed by 1.4K users

How should this KQ game approach dying? Specifically, should it have a "Restore/Restart/Quit" popup with only manual saves, should it have a "Try Again" popup with autosaves set right before encountering unavoidable death, or should it have less frequent autosaves and still require you to manually restore?

Do you have any different ideas?

193 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Save points are just as bad in the way that they limit player choice.

  • @chucklas said: Just to play devils advocate (I agree with the manual saving) how would you feel if they only had automatic saves, and they ONLY happen after certain major puzzles are solved (infrequently compared to the length of the game)? This way you feel the need to do things perfectly otherwise you will lose progress without the opportunity to have the game saved? This way a careless death of falling into a moat or river could kill you and force you back. Also if you were doing the cliffs of logic and failed and died it would pull you back to a previous major event. I think this would add into the sense of peril because it is a forced consequence.

    You mean no manual saving at all? In other words, the equivalent of predefined checkpoints? That certainly goes to SHODANFreeman's point that if a game allows the player to save anywhere anyway, what difference does it make if the game has auto-saves supplementing the player's manual saves. Checkpoints are the real way to give player deaths consequence. (Incidentally, SHODANFreeman, contrary to your assertion that you're being ignored, I have read, understood, and thought about your statements; just because you don't change people's minds doesn't mean you've been ignored.)

    There's nothing inherently wrong with the suggestion, but why do it that way when the way the old KQs did it is what people really want? Now, I don't really agree with the implication of MusicallyInspired's post that deaths are required for an adventure game to be challenging and fun gameplay-wise; I got just as much satisfaction from playing/solving DOTT and Myst as I did from KQ games. But basically I think Chryon8472 said it best:

    @chucklas said: I want this game to feel like a real King's Quest game that's worth being called canon. I want it to feel like King's Quest.

    However, I don't think auto-saves need to be completely eliminated to retain that feel. (Besides, there are reasons for both auto-saving and allowing manual saves that have nothing to do with the consequences of player death.) If I'm facing death in the game, then I'm not going to be tempted to rely on periodic auto-saves, at least not as they're routinely implemented. For instance, I seem to recall that TOMI auto-saved whenever Guybrush walked past the courthouse in Ep1. But because you could solve puzzles in any order, the auto-saves wouldn't necessarily have been helpful if I'd needed to reload after death. I'd be wondering which of my actions were captured in the last auto-save, eg. was it before or after I set the dock on fire? Whereas if I'm managing my own saves, they'll be in order and I'll have a system to remember which saves encompass which of my actions.

    So I think of it like this: the old-school setting could have the usual auto-saves and, in the event of death, a "reload" button that goes to the saved games screen. The other setting could include extra auto-saves right before potential death situations and a "retry" button that would automatically load them.

  • I don't want save points. That sounds like it's going too far.

    I voted for choice, but if I were actually given a choice ingame of which option to use it would probably be an infrequent after-puzzle autosave which I can supplement with my own manual saves when I so choose.


    autosave, not save points.

  • @Lambonius said: Save points are just as bad in the way that they limit player choice.

    This is exactly my point in my post. I think certain people have jumped on the notion that we want to manually save just because to us it makes the game more perilous and nothing else. This is one of the reasons for sure, but not the only one. I think Lamb got it just right here. For me more than anything, choice will ALWAYS be better than no choice.

  • Unlimited manually saving is not always good.
    1) it can break immersion.
    2) if you know you can die, you will save every 30 seconds. Manually. Bad.
    3) Vantages? I don't see many.

    Points to consider:
    A) you must save if something happen you while you're gaming and you have to quit: (you're late work, you've to stop, you have to turn off).
    B) Avoid frustration. Difficulty is good, frustration no.

    Some other options to considered:
    - If you die you've to do a minigame to resurrect (do you remember Prey?)
    - Limited saves (ie: max 5 savings for each episode)
    - If you die you lose parts of the game (dialogues, locations, etc)
    - Every time you die you lose a wonderful achievement out of i.e. 10 possible ones that will be displayed at the end of the episode.
    - You can die max 10 times, after that game ends and you've to restart.
    - Every time you die you've to wait 1 minute to resurrect
    - Every time you die you have to go back to your body (WOW style)
    - Dying let you enter another dimension with new enigmas.
    - Dying makes you repeat actions (ie: if you woke up a charachter, when you resurrect he's sleeping again.)
    - When you die the world change somewhat (characters are located differently, so the objects and some enigmas)
    - Unlockable savegame slots. You get a savegame each time you solve 3 puzzles
    - Static saving locations (like Dead Space)
    - Every time you die and restart you lose part of your inventory (you have to take objects again)
    - Every death you lose a save slot
    - Games automatically save every 10 minutes. Trivia after death, the more you answer correctly, the nearest to the death point you'll be restored. Wrong answer lead you back in saves games i.e. 10,20,30 minutes back. Somewhat I like this one. :P



    Many of these go a little off-road, but consider them for which can lead to a better game.

  • @wilco64256 said: Never scared or felt any dread in the game due to that very feature. Actually deliberately did stupid things on a number of occasions just to see what happened or do some exploration and then just let the autosave load up to bring me back.

    Compared to Silent Hill Homecoming where if I screwed up I was going back to wherever I was able to save last and could lose a solid chunk of work if I wasn't careful. That one had me far more on edge.

    This is where I am completely baffled, why do you intentionally ruin games for yourself? I just don't understand why you would refuse to play a game as intended simply because it saves for you sometimes.

    dontplaytowin.png

  • I didn't ruin the game in any way, and I didn't say it was a bad game. I very thoroughly enjoyed it. But I didn't find it either difficult or particularly frightening. Being "immersed" in a game world to me means that I should be responsible for my own survival, and if a game takes care of the whole survival aspect for me then it's difficult for me to feel like I'm really that immersed in the game.

    Autosaves have a tendency to take place right before significant game events, so I'm typically just on othe watch for that to happen to be on the lookout for something interesting to happen. If I'm responsible for saving, then I need to be constantly on the lookout for something good to come up without any warning.

  • @wilco64256 said: I didn't ruin the game in any way, and I didn't say it was a bad game. I very thoroughly enjoyed it. But I didn't find it either difficult or particularly frightening. Being "immersed" in a game world to me means that I should be responsible for my own survival, and if a game takes care of the whole survival aspect for me then it's difficult for me to feel like I'm really that immersed in the game.

    Autosaves have a tendency to take place right before significant game events, so I'm typically just on othe watch for that to happen to be on the lookout for something interesting to happen. If I'm responsible for saving, then I need to be constantly on the lookout for something good to come up without any warning.

    But why are you okay with dying and being sent back to an auto-save, but not a manual save? What about auto-saving makes you desire running around like a maniac? How is it satisfying to play a game and die 2036 times? Even if a death only sends me back 35 seconds, I avoid it like the plague because even looking at a loading screen is too much time spent not playing the game for me. I get really agitated when I die in a game, regardless of whatever consequences there may or may not be, because failing is not my desired outcome in any situation.

    In all honesty, if Uncharted didn't auto-save as frequently as it does, I probably would've gotten so frustrated with some parts of the game that I'd have given up on it long before completing it. Being thrown right back into the action where you left off is a godsend for me, as I can't be bothered replaying something I've already completed for all intents and purposes. I don't think being forced to replay a section you've previously finished adds to the difficulty at all, as you're essentially just redoing something you've already done before, it just adds to the frustration and kills the entire experience with pointless repetition to the point of monotony.

    In the case of an adventure game, this is even more pointless, as most of the gameplay is based on solving puzzles, and once you've done that, there is no challenge left to it, beyond repeating everything you've done before and avoiding whatever it was that killed you the last time, and you can avoid losing any progress whatsoever by just repeatedly saving the game any time you do anything.

    Also, either I'm not human, or it's not "basic human psychology" to be more invested in a game by being forced to save yourself, because literally the opposite is true for me. If every game on earth had auto-save I'd be the happiest gamer ever. At the same time, dying massively frustrates me and there is literally nothing I hate more than failing, regardless of the penalty, or lack thereof. I would never in my life intentionally half-ass my way through something even if I knew that I could just re-spawn and lose no progress at all. Amnesia terrifies me every 3 seconds even though I know that there is no "real" penalty for dying.

    My penalty for dying is knowing that I failed like a miserable loser, and that's far more severe than having to replay through the 10 minutes of a game that I may have forgotten to save during.

  • @thom-22 said: Now, I don't really agree with the implication of MusicallyInspired's post that deaths are required for an adventure game to be challenging and fun gameplay-wise;

    I didn't say that it's required for adventure games to be fun (though, personally, I do think that for myself), I said it's required for a King's Quest game.

    I got just as much satisfaction from playing/solving DOTT and Myst as I did from KQ games.

    So did I. But for completely different reasons. I outlined those reasons above. LucasArts games had witty and funny dialogue and great storytelling to make up for it. King's Quest was great for completely different reasons. That's why there are fans of Sierra and people who hate Sierra. And the same for LucasArts and Myst games. You can't compare the two that way.

    @thom-22 said: dontplaytowin.png

    Of course a game should be played to win. Otherwise it's not a game. Why play it? To watch?.....that takes us back to BTTF and Jurassic Park.

    @thom-22 said: But why are you okay with dying and being sent back to an auto-save, but not a manual save? What about auto-saving makes you desire running around like a maniac? How is it satisfying to play a game and die 2036 times?

    Overcoming it is satisfying. Being responsible for yourself is satisfying.

    Even if a death only sends me back 35 seconds, I avoid it like the plague because even looking at a loading screen is too much time spent not playing the game for me.

    Avoid looking at the loading screen? Talk about breaking immersion. My motivation is to avoid my character dying. And it feels more like that to me when I have to save myself. It sounds backwards but it's true. I know this doesn't make sense to you. Honestly, I'm just as baffled as to why it doesn't make sense to you. But both are perfectly valid viewpoints and that's why a choice is the best option. You'll never convince us and we'll obviously never convince you. So why are we even having this conversation?

    I get really agitated when I die in a game, regardless of whatever consequences there may or may not be, because failing is not my desired outcome in any situation.

    It's not about agitation or frustration. A game can have those with autosaves or not. It's about being in full control of your game. I just think in an adventure game particularly you should be responsible for all your gameplay actions. And like I touched on earlier, autosaves for me break the immersion, weird as that sounds. Because the game is constantly reminding me that it's got my back. It's like the difference between someone teaching me every little facet of playing basketball and holding my hand through the entire process criticizing my moves and strategies and someone giving me a ball and a jersey and saying "go have fun." The former is great for a tutorial section, but not for the entire game! Let me play the game myself! Stop holding my hand! That's how I feel. Or it's like how newer versions of Windows always add these stupid user-friendly tasks and functions that just get in the way of how I want to run my computer. Some people find it useful. Great. Offer an option. Case closed.

    In all honesty, if Uncharted didn't auto-save as frequently as it does, I probably would've gotten so frustrated with some parts of the game that I'd have given up on it long before completing it.

    Uncharted is not a King's Quest adventure game. I mean really, you're telling us to accept games the way they were meant to be played giving Amnesia as an example (for the immersion, not to win), but that's exactly what we're arguing. King's Quest was on its best day always made the way we're arguing. That's what we want back. If you don't like it don't play a King's Quest game. We're just the fans of a franchise wanting what we loved about the franchise.

    Being thrown right back into the action where you left off is a godsend for me, as I can't be bothered replaying something I've already completed for all intents and purposes. I don't think being forced to replay a section you've previously finished adds to the difficulty at all, as you're essentially just redoing something you've already done before, it just adds to the frustration and kills the entire experience with pointless repetition to the point of monotony.

    You're going for that FPS comparison again which completely holds no ground whatsoever. Go play a King's Quest game and get back to us. Though, I'm sure you'll get thoroughly annoyed and quit in the first 10 minutes or less anyway.

    In the case of an adventure game, this is even more pointless,

    In your opinion. Why are we arguing over opinions again....?

    as most of the gameplay is based on solving puzzles,

    ....and avoiding danger. Integral part of King's Quest. Again, play a King's Quest game. You can't make these accusations and arguments over a game you've never played.

    and once you've done that, there is no challenge left to it, beyond repeating everything you've done before and avoiding whatever it was that killed you the last time, and you can avoid losing any progress whatsoever by just repeatedly saving the game any time you do anything.

    Taking your own responsibility for avoiding having to do it again is a challenge. Because you could get cocky and think you could just fly through it only to find that you weren't as skilled as you thought you were and have to start over....and isn't that what a game is all about? Testing your skill? And don't you do the same thing over again regardless of whether you manually save or not? Manually saving as opposed to autosaving doesn't have any bearing on repeating something you just did, which I guess is your point but that's completely missing our point. The point is it feels more real like a life is really in peril because you have to back yourself up. In real life you prepare everything for yourself to handle situations. Same for a game. Manual save to avoid having to go all the way back. To me that's immersion. Again, I don't separate the save function from the story or gameplay experience. It's all the same to me. It all is the game. It all must be under my control.

    Also, either I'm not human, or it's not "basic human psychology" to be more invested in a game by being forced to save yourself, because literally the opposite is true for me.

    Only because you refuse to accept it that way. And that's fine. If you gave the idea a chance you might just get used to it but you'd have to completely change your way of thinking. In my way of thinking, it psychologically makes the game feel more real and alive. And that my actions actually matter.

    If every game on earth had auto-save I'd be the happiest gamer ever. At the same time, dying massively frustrates me and there is literally nothing I hate more than failing, regardless of the penalty, or lack thereof.

    See, you're angry at dying whether you autosave or not. That's a completely different issue. We don't mind dying as much as you and others do. Sure, it makes the game easier for you to autosave....but that's exactly our problem with it.

    I would never in my life intentionally half-ass my way through something even if I knew that I could just re-spawn and lose no progress at all. Amnesia terrifies me every 3 seconds even though I know that there is no "real" penalty for dying.

    Good for you. But as Wilco pointed out, not everyone thinks the same way as you and would play that game completely differently, as has been proven.

    My penalty for dying is knowing that I failed like a miserable loser, and that's far more severe than having to replay through the 10 minutes of a game that I may have forgotten to save during.

    You have to replay either way. I don't understand this argument. Manual saving just gives the choice to me as to how much I will fail. That's an advantage in my eyes whether you see it or not.

    The sad thing is I understand your point of view but you will not understand mine and you continually belittle it. Not that I'm surprised, it's all anybody has done even since the parser vs P&C debate. The 2D vs 3D debate. The P&C vs C&D vs WASD debate. I guess I can finally call myself and old-timer adventure for preferring something that's been replaced by something easier and increasingly meaningless instead of embracing it.

  • Shodan, would you just fricken play KQ6 already? Geez. Play the game all the way through and then come back and tell us that manually saving sucks ass.

    Stop telling us that TTG's King's Quest should be less like old school KQ and more like unrelated modern action-adventures. Compare King's Quest to King's Quest or at least King's Quest to something else Sierra.

    I'm becoming more and more convinced that you either have never played an adventure game where manual saving was required or you have played one but it was for 10 minutes and/or a very long time ago.

    The truth is, if you had played such a game for a reasonable length of time, you would know that when one dies and has to retrace their steps because they hadn't saved in a while, it makes one mad at themself for not saving more often not mad at the game for being a douche. Sure, unfair deaths are irritating, but that's a different issue from, for example, learning to save at various points while walking down Manannan's mountain in KQ3 so that when you fall you don't have to walk all the way down from the top again.

    Besides all that, manual saving in King's Quest never took any longer than 10 seconds. ~3 seconds if you didn't have to rename your savegame. Why does taking an average of 6 seconds or less to save once in a while break the immersion? If anything, it increases immersion in the gameplay anyway.

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