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  • Notrium Ideas - Official Post

    roburky 12 years ago
    I'm quite surprised at your guys responses. Have you never played Nethack or Zangband?

    I never save in Notrium unless I'm turning in for the night. To save just to avoid dying feels like cheating. Which it is. It's cheating death. In a game where the whole point is staying alive for as long as you can, being able to reload a save from 10 minutes earlier every time you run out of food, then staying alive becomes meaningless.

    You don't get scared when you're out of food, and you can't find any more, and your health is going on, because if you die then you can just reload a save. You don't feel for your character because you've seen him die several times.

    Encouraging you to go out of the game and save every ten minutes is constantly reminding you that you're playing a game.

    That you play like this, Ville, perhaps explains why those bad guys are all so damn hard.

    To Ze, you misunderstand. All I'm saying is that a game-character gets only one life, and one file. You can still have multiple game-characters, you silly.
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    Crazy 12 years ago
    actually, i have to agree with roburky, one save file per character. But you still can save anytime you want, its just that if you are in a measly state, than are you sure you want to rewrite that save file? Also, there should be another save file for a character, just that this rewrites itself every hour or so. Maybe it wouldent rewrite, maybe it would have 3 every-hour save files at a time?


    PS! am i making any sense?
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    ville 12 years ago
    You are of course right, it would be infinitely more immersive if saving was disabled. But I must tell you a trade secret: Messing with the saving system for PC games means a professional suicide. PC gamers don't tolerate anything different from their normal system, they even mock console games for their poor saving systems.

    I've played both Nethack and Zangband extensively, loved them, and died a hundrets of times. I did manage to play Nethack to around dungeon level 25 without cheating on saves, then finished it by cheating.

    But you are right, I play Notrium by saving. It's meant to be. Maybe there could be a hardcore mode that has saving disabled?
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    roburky 12 years ago
    The saving system that has become 'traditional' for PC games is terrible, and only exists because it's easy to code, and prevents game designers having to balance their games.
    Using the 'ironman' system forces you as a designer to look at your game and balance it /right/.

    FPS games often use it because they are often very very long story-driven affairs, and the game designers want you to see the end.
    Notrium, however, is freeform, and can be completed in a very short amount of time if you're lucky. The best fun I had in Notrium was when I first started playing it, and I was discovering how everythign worked. I died many, many times, and I loved it. If I had used the saving method that you use, I would have completed it much, much sooner, but would have enjoyed it much, much less. In fact, I think I did use the saving option on the first time I completed it.

    I understand that Notrium has started out with the traditional method, and that's what you've been using, and it is certainly useful for debugging and designing. But I think the game would be considerably improved with a better save system.
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    ville 12 years ago
    And I would do it if it were up to me.
    The truth is, if I did it, there would be dozens of player complaining about it on this very forum, and every review would mention that the saving system is weird.

    I don't know of many commercial games that would have dared to limit saving. Anybody know of any that would have made good use of limiting saving only to exiting game?

    I can only think of Diablo, and it was really good in the sense that you could even recover your body/items later. It would be a good idea to Notrium too, but there are too many plot related items that would distort the gameplay.
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    Shekinahguild 12 years ago
    Ok, let's get realistic for a second.

    If you don't want to use the save feature than don't!

    Notrium may be fairly easy to finish... but what if you enjoy playing every aspect of the game.. experimenting with the Notrium world?

    I am still trying to figure out the various ways to win the game...

    If I couldn't save, that would just Suck!

    Not being able to save when you want is just like having a car that you can't change the oil on... unless you take it back to the factory.

    Games that have save points suck... and I hate them for forcing the player.. *typicaly to go through tedious and lenthy crap.. just to get the the part that is difficult.. and that is always right before the save point...*

    Let's face it... that sucks!

    It isn't cheating to be able to avoid having to do the same thing about 50 times.. just so you can get to the place where things go wrong.

    What if the game crashes?

    Saving.. saving is a way of life man! THat is why it is a computer game.. and not life. In life you can't save... and that is what is great about a game...

    I didn't die... I saved it just before I got reamed by a reaper, or wasn't paying attention to my food and got caught in the Ice zone.. froze, starved and died... and it can happen so quickly at times.

    Saving... always a good idea.

    Save, save, save.. and watch out for reapers!

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    ville 12 years ago
    And there's the other point. PC players are often very zealous about their savings. :grins

    A game developer just doesn't want to risk messing with saving. In console games the save points are somehow justified by the limited size of the available save memory, but a PC conversion would be considered bad quality if the console style save feature was still in place. But I digress as roburky's idea didn't have anything to do with console style saving.
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    roburky 12 years ago
    You obviously hang around different crowds to me, Ville. I don't know what 'console-style' saving is, and nor do I know anyone who defends the lazy traditional FPS saving.

    But... what /do/ you mean by 'console-style' saving? Halo saving should be the standard for FPSs, with the only downside that if the game isn't up to scratch, it makes it unplayable.

    ---

    In regards to Shekinahguild's comments on endings, you shouldn't be figuring out /all/ the ways to win the game, you should be trying hard to figure out /a/ way to win the game.

    Have you ever played Galatea? If not, go here:
    <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://jerz.setonhill.edu/if/gallery/galatea/index.html">http://jerz.setonhill.edu/if/gallery/galatea/index.html</a><!-- m -->
    There are an uncountable number of endings, and everyone who plays finds a different one, because tehy approach the game in different ways. It is impossible to find them all.

    ---

    One game I know that had the option of saving mid-game, or limiting yourself to one save, was Alpha Centauri. It gave you a 100% bonus to your score for selecting the 'ironman' option, but I would have selected it without that.

    ---

    But anyway, Ville. You're not a proffessional designer, as far as I know. You're releasing Notrium as freeware. While you do want Notrium to be popular, you don't have to satisfy everyone the way paid designers are sometimes forced to try to do by publishers. And you're making it on your own - that's a rare thing these days. You get to be a true auteur and do things according to one vision.

    Of course, if that means ignoring me, then so be it.
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    Shekinahguild 12 years ago
    Everyones feelings are valid as it entails what one desires in the game they choose to play.

    I just felt I should chime in.. and stand up for what I believe is one of the few decent things to become established in game design.

    As far as programming.. I couldn't program to save my life...

    On the other hand.. I have worked in Hardware for years.. uh.. probably making me the kind of person who likes to have a way of avoiding mistakes, like saving alot.

    It makes good sence in any decent app, so why not in games?

    You have a valid argument Roburky... but I do feel strongly about being able to save my game when and where I want. Certain limitations to my desire do apply.

    For instance, Lunar Lander by Psygnosis... you don't save your game, you simply complete a mission. When mission is complete.. it is as good as a save.

    The idea is that it works out.

    FPS that you play alone realy need a constant save option... Once you figure something out, you don't wish to go back to the beginning and do things all over again. It just isn't the same, so saving isn't going to wreck the experience. If anything it saves me the frustration of doing something I already did once.

    It all deppends on what suits the game... But for Notrium, I would say that the option to save should be made available to the player, since several endgame scenario exist... and additions such as the alien pet almost beg to save the game to avoid starting the game over because you failed to understand aspects of the pet and want to go back and not do somethin stupid.

    Example:
    I learned quickly that I wanted to save up enough food so that my alien pet could gain at least 50% health. If it doesn't then the pet isn't any help at all.. but more like a distraction since it will attack anything that crosses your path.. and, get killed pretty quickly.

    Then I have to go all over to find food, and it takes alot of food to heal the little guy/girl/it.

    Saving allows me to play various aspects of the game and take risks without having to start all over again.

    I collected the entire marine map items, set up a camp, and I would dread to have to go and do it all over again just because I had a bad run of luck.

    If you wanted to just play it to the solution.. heck ,that would be easy once you played the game a few times...um, though when I first played the older version of Notrium I really needed the save option.

    I was impressed with the difficulty and the steep learning curve. I died about 35 times before I got the hang of it.. and I was droping dead in the first 2 minutes of game play.

    If it were not for the save game option... It would have been hell.

    I appriciated the difficulty so much that I joined this thread, and read up on things and like the realistic world that is created.... but no save option may frustrate too many people who do not have the patients that I have...

    um, uhhhhhhhhhh... *sorry for the long post*

    and thankyou for the link... though I honestly don't like interactive fiction games... I am bigtime into simulations of space/science fiction and FPS that are not military...(yeah, which ones are not right?)

    I played DOOM years ago.. and can't get enough of the DOOM/QUAKE series...

    the underlying thread here is the story driven games and interactive element which is a unique style of the writers. LIke a book or poem.. er, which is exactly why I don't like IF games.

    In all cases, saving helps me enjoy my experience and not dread the drudgery of my fantasy Game reality being mucked up by the reality of repetition.
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    Quanrian 12 years ago
    I've got a suggestion that will maybe make everyone happy. Basically what I would suggest is a toggle in the Options to have an auto-save, that saves lets say.. automatically on each days new start. If you're playing with auto-save the saving feature would be temporarily disabled. Then of course with it off you could save willy nilly. The auto-save could probably be differentiated with a line or two of code that tells the game its an auto-save and can only be updated in the game and not in the menu. Of course you could always toggle the auto-save off than save to another slot.

    I think it'd work best if auto-saves had their own directory, to keep them separate from normal saves, which is I think how its done in Diablo 2 and whatnot. So essentially if the system is put into place you could have an auto-save or a normal save all working on the same game, offering a player either level of difficulty between the two and even the choice to change their minds later and switch to the other by just toggling an option.

    I can think of at least a couple reasons why it might not work or would be more trouble than its worth, but I do agree that it might immerse the player more and make you really have to make smart choices. I don't think making a game harder is ever wrong, so long as its an option and not forced.

    While on the subject, it would be nice to be able to delete a save from within Notrium, and also being able to name a save file has always been a huge asset to me with any game.
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    ZeXLR8er 12 years ago
    You mean that you could choose whether to play the game with autosaves or normal? I actually think it would be good if the game autosaved anyway, using the top save game slot to store the autosave.
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    ZeXLR8er 12 years ago
    Being able to change the name would be great; often when I've got a game saved in every slot it takes forever to check through them. I know that's why the dates are there, but it would be so much easier if you could type in your own name.
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    ZeXLR8er 12 years ago
    Actually, when you think about it, being able to delete a game would be good to; often when I'm modding, I use 6 slots for games, leave a space and then use the bottom two for modding. But when late at night after I've finished playing, sometimes I accidently save in the space I deliberatly left empty. So now I have no way of ever making that slot empty again, unless I re-install the game (but then doing that will kill all my other saves, so I'm definitly not going to do that!). Deleting would be great, especially if you make it so we can name our files.
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    Eternal 12 years ago
    Personally i think auto save would rocl, i say get rid of normal save alltogether and just have 9 (or how ever many slots there are) diff autosaves.

    In FPS i have a baaaaad habit of quicksaving all the time, i get health i quicksave, i survive an enemies attack i quicksave, i jump to the next platform i quicksave. But i do like the autosave because it would make it more realistic, i.e. your running around on 2 health and you have a hoard of enemies following you, if you had save you could just load an older one and continue from there, but like in real life if you had the autosave you would HAVE to survive otherwise you'd be faced with the same scenario again, the autosave wouldn't make it easier it would just destroy having to do things over & over again. But on the down side, what if it autosaves just as you accidently got yourself wedged in some rocks and a wave of liens are about to annihlate you, that would be VERY hard to get out of, i.e. load, die - load, die - load, survive for .5743 seconds longer, die.




    P.S. Anyone played gta2? i would like to see the same jump function in notrium, cause i have another baaad habit of getting myself trapped like the above scenario.
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    ZeXLR8er 12 years ago
    you silly.
    :tear
    Now it makes sense...
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    ville 12 years ago
    roburky: Console style saving means that saving is limited to specific places or save points. This way the game doesn't need to save the details of every object in the game to the limited save space.

    Perhaps an ironman mode could be an option in the new game selection, but the problem really is that the game has been balanced with the unlimited save/load feature in mind. The ironman mode would be really tough.

    Eternal: How do you get trapped? I'm hoping to make it impossible to get trapped, and I thought I had done it in 1.2.
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    ZeXLR8er 12 years ago
    Eternal: What version of Notrium are you playing? I thought it was impossible to get caught in rocks in v1.2?

    EDIT: Oops... Sorry Ville. I didn't read you message properly. I'll try to edit from now on. (note that I'm editing!)
    #
    ZeXLR8er 12 years ago
    I think I remember somewhere on this site something about that objects could no longer be placed on the edges of maps. Whenever I go to the alien hive I always try and get past lava by walking along the edges of the map, but almost every time I have to go onto the neighboring area to get past a large rock or rubble in my way. It usually happens on the lefthand side of the hive.
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    ZeXLR8er 12 years ago
    I'm trying as hard as I can!! :tear
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    Crazy 12 years ago
    note @ zexlr8er: instead of replying over and over again in a row, just edit one of your posts.


    [edit/] whoopsie, i didn't notice you have started. sorry
    #
    Crazy 12 years ago
    The ironman mode would be really tough.
    well, that's the whole point, right?
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    Quanrian 12 years ago
    I'm saying make autosave an option. I'm not saying, nor will I endorse getting rid of the current save system and replace it with only an autosave feature. The fact that it IS an option means those who want the REAL experience of trying to survive without being able to bail yourself out will be happy, while those who want the casual experience simpy don't use it and it should more than likely default to being off as it WILL make things more difficult.

    If autosave is implemented I'd suggest for the game to autosave at the end or beginning of each day, or even better to be set by the modder A day in Notrium isn't really that long so you'd still have a pretty fresh save quite often. I curse games at times that don't let me save whenever I like, but I also admire the fact it makes me think things out more, because I don't want to die and lose my progress. So if I can save all the time, why should I care if I die every 30 seconds ?

    All that being said one of the most interesting things I've found with Notrium is even using a save and bailing myself out of one bind I could always find myself in another, and there is nothing more thrilling than barely making it away from being clawed to death just to freeze to death, losing my final hit points, while also starving so the game tells me I should of eaten before I got chewed on and froze to death

    I wont shed a tear if autosaving isn't added, I'd just prefer it be done in the best manner if IT IS added. So if you're going to debate this further, please do, but make valid points, and don't forget to mention other things that might have some greater impact on the game.
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    Eternal 12 years ago
    I get trapped cause i run into the rocks, imagine a V shape made out of rocks & imagine me in the V trapped by multiple aliens; thats what i mean, not the old bug when you changed area and you "spawned" inside a rock.
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    ville 12 years ago
    Hmm... That's a difficult one. So you actually have to reload?
    How much is your framerate? (You can get it by pressing + while playing, it's the fast changing number)
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    ZeXLR8er 12 years ago
    It would be good if you could add another use parameter that speeds you up.
    It could be used for a weapon that, when you use it it would slow you down, or rocket boots:

    Rocket boots;//name---------------------------------------------
    135;//identifier
    10;//weight
    none;//short description
    none;//first pick up text
    0.35;size on map
    1;//show on radar 0=does not show, 1=show on scanner, 2=show even without scanner
    boots.tga;//texture name
    22;//use_parameter1: 0=nothing, 1=display text, 2=start alien attack, 3=drop item parameter2 amount parameter3, 4=heal player with parameter2, 5=activate scanner, 6=activate targeting beam, 7=activate flashlight, 8=activate goggles, 9=select gun, 10=drop creature, 11=extend battery, 12=change armor level, 13=enable detector, 14=make fire, 15=eat, 16=change into item parameter2 amount parameter3, 17=give energy, 18=change temperature by parameter2, 19=drop plot_object, 20=enable large map, 21=teleport to area parameter2, 22=change speed by parameter3 for time parameter3
    plot_object parameter3
    2;//use_parameter2
    20000;//use_parameter3
    none;//use_text
    -1;//use condition, -1=nothing, 0=must have item parameter0, 1=must be near plot_object parameter0, 2=must be near fire
    0;//use condition parameter0
    0;//discard after use
    1;//how many items can be combined with
    6;//combines with
    9;//result of combine
    1;//amount to give
    5;//combine time

    Bold is the new stuff

    :grins
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    ville 12 years ago
    Very much possible.

    Here's a teaser for you, the new items.dat looks like this:
    Repair Unit;//name---------------------------------------
    84;//identifier
    0;//item class
    3.000000;//weight
    You can use this to repair a broken Turret. \ \ It seems highly volatile and could easily be used as a weapon itself.;//short description
    none;//first pick up text
    0.350000;//size on map
    1;//show on radar 0=does not show, 1=show on scanner, 2=show even without scanner
    qbattery2.tga;//texture name
    begin_effects;
    9;//effect number
    20.000000;//parameter1
    0.000000;//parameter2
    0.000000;//parameter3
    0.000000;//parameter4
    0;//vanishes after event, 0=no, but cannot be reused, 1=vanishes, 2=no, and can be reused
    You hear the whirring of internal gears.;//event text
    none;//event failure text
    -1;//use condition, -1=nothing, 0=must have item parameter0, 1=must be near plot_object parameter0, 2=must be near fire, 3=must have bar parameter0 amount parameter1
    0.000000;//use condition parameter0
    0.000000;//use condition parameter1
    use.wav;//sound, none for nothing
    U;//use key
    0;//quick key
    end_effects;
    begin_combinations;
    end_combinations;
    #
    ZeXLR8er 12 years ago
    Do the 0.0000000 need to be there or are they there just to confuse me?
    #
    ville 12 years ago
    I wrote a short program to automatically do the changes in the .dat files for me. It outputs every floating point number with six decimals, so they are there only to confuse me.
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    ZeXLR8er 12 years ago
    Any chance I could get hold of that program after the update? :grins
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    Eternal 12 years ago
    Rofl Zex

    Also my framrate? dunno imagine it would be 60+ ill just check,
    BTW i definetly have the specs to run notrium ;
    Radeon 9700 Pro 128m
    1024mb RAM
    2.0ghz CPU
    120gb Hard Drive (16g Left)
    ummmmmm.... here we go it's about; 500+!! woah, ill just double check that with fraps, yep 540/ round about.

    P.S.The reason i get stuck is cause i'm not looking where I'm going, not cause i lag :grins .... Obvsiously enough
    #
    ville 12 years ago
    It could be the other way around, that the game runs too fast for you. Of course I won't put in a framerate limiter...

    ZeXLR8er: Probably not. It doesn't actually do anything but reformats the file a bit.
    #
    scifispirit 12 years ago
    So plot objects still have just one action, or did you plan to update plot dat too?

    I think Quanrian is right, the unlimited save feature is a must, no one has ever thought of what if you have technical problems and game is crashing and you keep losing you progress. It doesn't even need to crash often, it would still be very irritating. Especially when you can't fix it. Luckily I don't have any problems with Notrium, it has crashed only two times (or was it my comp ). Whatever the reason, it should be there as an option.
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    ville 12 years ago
    They can now have several effects that are activated at the same time. But they cannot be activated separately.
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    ZeXLR8er 12 years ago
    I think autosaving would be a nifty little feature too. *)

    Ville: So if I decided to start my mod now, that program wouldn't help update the files to v1.3?
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    Eternal 12 years ago
    zex isnt jan doing pretty much the same thing with the file viewer? i.e. being able to edit, instead of just view?
    i think his/hers will be out in time for the update (i haven't acccaulty got a grasp on jan's gender yet ).
    #
    Forum » Notrium Ideas - Official Post
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