A Solution for Save Game Abuse?

by Darius Kazemi on August 23, 2007

in design,games

Jay Barnson, AKA Rampant Coyote, has written a thought-provoking piece on his blog about how he’s solving save game abuse. The gist of it is that he has a drama meter which fills up as the player does interesting (read: risky) things. When the meter’s full, you can buy special powers. But if you save and reload, you lost the meter–it’s not saved with the game state! This encourages lengthy play sessions without reloading.

I’m very guilty of abusing save/load all the time. I think if I were playing a game with a mechanic like this, I would be far less likely to say, “Hmm, I took 2HP of damage from that encounter. Let me reload and finish it so I take 0 HP of damage instead.” Instead I’d say, “Ehh, I’ll keep on going. I’m almost to the point where I can buy Diplomatic Immunity.”

{ 1 comment }

Ian Schreiber August 24, 2007 at 5:00 pm

Eh. I’m not sure it solves anything completely. Rather, it adds a new decision for the player, weighing the relative benefits of reload (instant healing, etc.) versus drama. I suppose it turns a no-brainer into an interesting decision, which is an improvement, but there will be times when your drama meter is empty and so you may as well reload.

If anything, it would seem the way to abuse the system is to cash in your drama meter just before a big boss fight, so that you get the drama benefit AND save/reload :-)

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