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Old 01-09-2006, 06:58 PM   #11
JadussD
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Default Re: Save States cheapen gaming somewhat?

> I couldn't disagree more.
>
> You're saying that being able to stop playing whenever you
> want without losing your game data is somehow a BAD thing?
> That doesn't make any sense.

I am not saying that. You're thinking in terms of absolutes. I am not saying that save states are bad. I'm saying that, in terms of the way their availability works with the human psyche, they can have some downsides that can detract from a gaming experience. That said, and I guess I should have said this earlier, I am not "opposed" to save states and would even prefer their prescence in the BSNES emulator I mentioned before.

> If you're bored of a game and want to stop playing it -- you
> should be able to stop playing it. Being in a way "forced"
> to keep playing up until the save point seems pretty lame.

You're still inferring that I am speaking in terms of absolutes, that me bringing up one negative aspect of save states trumps the enormous, already established worth that they have.

> I recall times in the past I was downright sick of playing
> Final Fantasy on my NES but I was in the middle of a dungeon
> and couldn't save. Yeah... lack of savestates kept me
> playing longer... but it was no longer fun... it was forced,
> boring, and just generally really lame.

Alright, this is where my response becomes pseudo-intellectual (ie, I'm smart and thoughtful, but I never went to university lol):

Games are not always supposed to be completely fun. Games are supposed to encompass as much of the whole of human experience as possible, and produce scenarios which stimulate the aspects of the human psyche which make a person feel like they've triumphed over some kind of adversity. The adversity part is just as important as the feeling of triumph. The feeling of "fun" you get from playing a game involves a precarious balance of unpleasantness (say, beating a really hard boss whom you throw your controller across the room everytime you fail) and the resulting "release" from agony upon beating said boss that makes everything feel better. The "release" is the most important part. Any time you've triumphed over adversity, in a video game, it triggers the same feeling of greatness that humans farther in the past would have had when they, say, killed a wild boar and obtained a hearty meal, and thus ensured survival for their tribe. Now, with that said, requiring the finding of a save point is a way that really clever game designers can engineer a sense of "release from danger" that makes you feel great once you've succeeded. Otherwise, why wouldn't they allow you to save anywhere? Think about it. It's all part of the mindfucking design that goes into any good video game.

> Games are SUPPOSED to be fun. You're SUPPOSED to put them
> down when you're sick of them. They are SUPPOSED to
> accomodate and entertain you.

I just addressed this, but I strongly believe that video games are supposed to create an illusion of (struggle->success). Just giving someone success feels hollow.

That's the whole point. If
> anything, I'd say the entertainment experience is cheapened
> when you get burnt out of a game way sooner than you should
> have because the game forced you to tredge through it longer
> than you wanted.

The thing is, games (well, of certain genres) are supposed to have "dull moments" and then peaks. Without the dull moments, the peak of a game does not seem as great as it could have been in a game that made you struggle your way out of the dull moments to get to the PEAK of the gaming experience, which TOTALLY fucking RULES (lol).

> The only way I can see savestates cheapening a game would be
> if you abuse them to make the game easier --

I totally agree with this statement.

but that's not
> hard to avoid -- as anyone with the least bit of self
> control can resist using them in this manner --

Yep, but the thing is, most people (myself included until recently), didn't realize this.

> although
> even this comes down to personal preference. If it makes
> the game more fun to abuse savestates... then do it! It's
> all about what's fun..... having fun is the only thing that
> matters.

I agree with the totality of what you said in the last part.
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Old 01-09-2006, 08:40 PM   #12
Disch
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Default Re: Save States cheapen gaming somewhat?

> Games are not always supposed to be completely fun.


Maybe "fun" wasn't the right word... but they should certainly be entertaining and enjoyable 100% of the time. I mean it's an entertainment product... if it doesn't entertain you why the hell would you spend your time on it?

> Games are supposed to encompass as much of the whole of human
> experience as possible,

I can see what you're saying here -- but I'd argue they only are supposed to encompass positive human experience. If there was a video game that inflicted pain on me or gave me hemorroids or some shit... I sure wouldn't want to play it. Likewise... if a game is going to just bore me I'm not going to want to play it.

There comes a time in playing a game where the game is no longer enjoyable. At that time, you should be able to put the game down and pick it right back up when you're in the mood. Having to stick it out and keep playing so that you don't lose all your progress doesn't enhance the experience... it just makes the experience less enjoyable.

> (say, beating a really hard boss whom you
> throw your controller across the room everytime you fail)
> and the resulting "release" from agony upon beating said
> boss that makes everything feel better. The "release" is the
> most important part.

Not that I disagree with what you're saying here.... but I really don't see how this applies.

Are you comparing the feel of accomplishment you get from beating a difficult portion of a game with the feel of "fucking FINALLY" you get when you can finally turn off your game console? Because I never ever found the latter to be anything at all like the former. In fact after the latter I always felt like I just wasted an hour of my life.

> Any time you've triumphed over adversity,

I wouldn't call the inability to save an adversity you triumph over. I'd call it a nuisance you have to put up with.

> Otherwise, why wouldn't they allow you to save
> anywhere? Think about it. It's all part of the mindfucking
> design that goes into any good video game.

Lack of SRAM for a full save comes to mind for older consoles -- and even for newer consoles when you consider that a single true savestate may take up like half of a single memory card. Limiting when the game can be saved can make it so that only certain information needs to be saved, and the other stuff can be inferred/assumed. For example in a game like Kid Icarus -- it assumes you start at the beginning of the level and that you just died (since that's the only time you get your password) -- it doesn't have to save your exact position, or the enemy positions or other object stuff.

On systems I've played with seemingly limitless save-game space (like my PC)... I've found that in many games you CAN save anywhere. Emus, XCom, Half Life, Moria.... nearly all the games I've played either let you save whenever you want... or just lack the ability to save (like Windows Pinball).

Of course I'm not saying that ALL PC games let you save anywhere.

> I just addressed this, but I strongly believe that video
> games are supposed to create an illusion of
> (struggle->success). Just giving someone success feels hollow.

Somehow I just don't get that feeling of accomplishment when I reach a save point. Next thing you know you'll be telling me that not having to blow dust out of the cartridge is taking away from my gaming experience.
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Old 01-09-2006, 08:44 PM   #13
Isildur
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Default Re: Save States cheapen gaming somewhat?

> Alright, this is where my response becomes
> pseudo-intellectual (ie, I'm smart and thoughtful, but I
> never went to university
lol):
>

From my experience, one is most likely to hear something pseudo-intellectual from someone who is the exact reverse of that-- someone who's spent a lot of time learning the trappings of intellectual discourse, and little else. =P
Your post, however, was a good read. I've thought about this stuff for a while too, partly because lately I've been making some games of my own.

> Games are not always supposed to be completely fun. Games
> are supposed to encompass as much of the whole of human
> experience as possible, and produce scenarios which
> stimulate the aspects of the human psyche which make a
> person feel like they've triumphed over some kind of
> adversity.

I don't think I'd put it quite that way in one respect-- realism isn't absolutely necessary, which is why something abstract like Tetris is still able to trigger the general challenge/reward emotional response. The instinct can be guided to work with novel challenges, and not just ones that reflect natural circumstance. Of course, realism can help further bring out the hunting/fighting instinct: After all, there's a reason it's so darn fun to shoot stuff. [img]/wwwthreads/images/icons/wink.gif[/img]


> The adversity part is just as important as the
> feeling of triumph. The feeling of "fun" you get from
> playing a game involves a precarious balance of
> unpleasantness (say, beating a really hard boss whom you
> throw your controller across the room everytime you fail)
> and the resulting "release" from agony upon beating said
> boss that makes everything feel better. The "release" is the
> most important part.

Yeah, that's definitely the core of most games-- challenge and reward, tension and release, a way to satiate our instinctive desire to battle obstacles and odds. The same obstacle that makes us curse under our breath is also part of what keeps us coming back to a game, because we feel all the more need to conquer it. When friends tried out a game I made, I knew I'd done something right when they muttered about the time limit set for each level not being fair, yet kept on playing. =)

> Any time you've triumphed over
> adversity, in a video game, it triggers the same feeling of
> greatness that humans farther in the past would have had
> when they, say, killed a wild boar and obtained a hearty
> meal, and thus ensured survival for their tribe.

Which, if you think about it, means that an alien visitor descended from a long line of grazing herbivores would probably find our motivation for playing games (of nearly any kind-- boardgames, sports, cards, etc.) completely baffling. Of course, maybe such an alien species might never bother taking up the challenge of space exploration to begin with, being content to just keep munching grass placidly. =P

> Now, with
> that said, requiring the finding a save point is a way that
> really clever game designers can engineer a sense of
> "release from danger" that makes you feel great once you've
> succeeded. Otherwise, why wouldn't they allow you to save
> anywhere? Think about it. It's all part of the mindfucking
> design that goes into any good video game.
>

Yeah, it's a game designer's job to be the player's enemy. =)



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Old 01-10-2006, 12:02 AM   #14
byuu
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Default Re: Save States cheapen gaming somewhat?

I agree that not having savestates can be good. Despite beating games in the past in ZSNES without savestates... the games just *feel* more exciting when you literally can't simply press a button to save your progress.

Games that force you to continue playing even when you don't want to with little save options are a flaw in the games themselves, and not in the emulators that run said games.

That said, I'm not about to pretend my emulator lacking savestates is a feature. It's a testament to my apathy. They'll get there eventually. But I'll share my thoughts on it anyway.

Most of the advanced configuration options I am planning on hiding from the main interface to avoid ending up with an SNES9x GUI. So for people who go into the config file, I plan to add some nice savestate features. One will be no savestates ever, for an authentic feel. One will be auto savestates on exit and load, so you can simply turn off the emulator and resume where you left off for when you need to leave. Reset and Power functions handle when you really do want to "shut off" the system. Savestates in-game will not be permitted in this mode. Then obviously one with savestates anywhere, with the exit/load savestates as an option.
And of course, I'm always interested in new ways of performing "rewind" emulation. Not that I'll ever get around to it or anything.
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Old 01-10-2006, 03:24 AM   #15
The 9th Sage
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Default Re: Save States cheapen gaming somewhat?

> When friends tried out a game
> I made, I knew I'd done something right when they muttered
> about the time limit set for each level not being fair, yet
> kept on playing. =)

I have two words for this: "Blast Corps" AAAARGH! <img src=smilies/banghead.gif>

Yet I kept on playing. Those Platinum Medals are hardcore.
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:31 PM   #16
MonsieurSirhan
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Default Re: Save States cheapen gaming somewhat?

To me it is a way to compensate for some glaring flaws in some games, as the forementioned lack of battery (or any other saving method) on long games.

Some games really lose half the experience with savestates, as they were designed to be played in a single run (Contra games, Metal Slug games, Super Turrican 2, Megaman X, etc), but they are useful for experimenting stuff that would generally involve having to replay the entire game just to see if anything changes.

I like the ideas byuu posted. Way to go for classic.
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Old 01-21-2006, 08:57 PM   #17
WinnieThePujols
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Default Re: Save States cheapen gaming somewhat?

> I've found that when using savestates, that it becomes all
> too easy to hit a key to save your state, and just exit the
> game when you get even slightly bored of it, then move on to
> something else.

Uhm, yeah, they're cheap as hell.

I hate it when I hear people talking about them saving during a battle, and waiting until an enemy misses, or something... They'll keep re-loading when the desired outcome doesn't come about!

Save states are cheap. I don't like them. Someone earlier mentioned the Ancient Cave... that's an unbelievable achievement to beat that place! You've got to take the time, the effort, and get a little bit lucky... but you strip yourself of the accomplishment if you're using save states!

Another problem I have with emulators is the fact that some let you increase the emulated speed of the game. For instance, you can run the game at 300% of it's original speed. When I first got into emulators, I'd play Japanese RPGs that were translated that we couldn't get in America, but I would do mass-leveling because it went to quickly. It sucked.

Emulators are fantastic. Personally, nostalgia will always result in my having a better experience on a console with the original controller. I don't even care about those USB clones! Not the same! While they are great, some of the features seem to be like forbidden fruit just tangling there, waiting for you to snatch them up and abuse the game.


Someone also mentioned something about missing the days of writing down passwords... I do, too. I remember when I got the Mega Man collection for PS2, and it allowed you to save... which was kind of a bummer. I think I actually used the passwords to continue my games.
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Old 01-21-2006, 09:11 PM   #18
Disch
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Default Re: Save States cheapen gaming somewhat?

> Uhm, yeah, they're cheap as hell.

They're a tool meant to make gameplay more enjoyable. They're for use at your liesure (or can be ignored if you choose). They can be used simply to resume play if you're interrupted or don't want to/can't play any more and don't want to throw your game in the trash, or they can be used to cheat or undo that last mistake you just made.

Personally, I'd consider the latter to be cheating and is the only thing about them I'd call cheap. But it's totally up to the person whether or not they want to do it. They're no more cheap than GG codes that give you infinite life or other stuff like that.

> I hate it when I hear people talking about them saving
> during a battle, and waiting until an enemy misses, or
> something... They'll keep re-loading when the desired
> outcome doesn't come about!

I typically call this save-state abuse. And I agree, it's pretty lame. I'd argue that's not what savestates are for, though.

> Save states are cheap. I don't like them. Someone earlier
> mentioned the Ancient Cave... that's an unbelievable
> achievement to beat that place! You've got to take the time,
> the effort, and get a little bit lucky... but you strip
> yourself of the accomplishment if you're using save states!

It depends on HOW you use savestates. If you play the game normally and only use savestates to pause/resume your play... I fail to see how that would take away any of the accomplishment. I mean you still accept when you die and restart from the last place you saved. You're just able to take a break whenever you feel like it instead of having to throw away all your progress because something came up and you can't play video games any more.

> Another problem I have with emulators is the fact that some
> let you increase the emulated speed of the game.

I fail to see how this is anything but a plus.

I don't understand how waiting through slow areas of the game can be considered fun. Nobody likes to wait... it's boring. Games aren't supposed to be boring.

> When I first got into emulators, I'd play Japanese
> RPGs that were translated that we couldn't get in America,
> but I would do mass-leveling because it went to quickly. It
> sucked.

There's an easy solution for that: don't do mass levelling. [img]/wwwthreads/images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]


> Emulators are fantastic. Personally, nostalgia will always
> result in my having a better experience on a console with
> the original controller.

Not me. The only use I have for the real consoles is for development purposes (emu development, or homebrew development). I would much rather play any NES/SNES/Genesis/you name it game (except for maybe PSX/N64) on an emulator than on the real system. For those systems... it's gotten to the point where emulation is just all around superior to the console. Sharper image, better sound, infinite saves, never having to worry about your cart screwing up, translations, hacks, so many perks.

> Someone also mentioned something about missing the days of
> writing down passwords... I do, too.

*shrugs*

I guess some people must have missed wiping horse shit off the streets after cars came along, too. Why you would want an extra pain in your ass is beyond me, but hey... whatever floats your boat.


note: I'm not trying to be mean or rude or anything -- I know I come across that way, but it's not intended <img src=smilies/magbiggrin.gif>
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Old 01-22-2006, 12:36 AM   #19
D--
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Default Re: Save States cheapen gaming somewhat?

> I guess some people must have missed wiping horse shit off
> the streets after cars came along, too. Why you would want
> an extra pain in your ass is beyond me, but hey... whatever
> floats your boat.

Nostalgia.

Hey, I liked Mega Man codes, they made sense.

It was the kind of codes used in fucking USA Metroid, Guardian Legend, Battle of Olympus, and Hydlide that I hated. Those 48 - 64 character chains of incoherent letters that you were bound to fuck up somewhere on and have to rewrite the whole damn code.
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Old 01-22-2006, 01:01 AM   #20
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Default Re: Save States cheapen gaming somewhat?

> Those 48 - 64 character chains of incoherent letters
> that you were bound to fuck up somewhere on and have to
> rewrite the whole damn code.

Vegas Dream:



From the manual:
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

Continue and Password
When you select Game Stop in the Vegas Dream mode, a password will be dis-
played for each player (Sorry it's so long!). When you restart the game,
select Continue on the opening screen, and the Name Entry screen will be
displayed. Enter the password in the same way you enter players' names.

<hr></blockquote>
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