Loading and Saving

Category: Monsters' Den: Godfall

Traditionally in Monsters’ Den the game saves automatically in the background. There’s no need to explicitly save the game, and there’s also no rolling back to an earlier state. What happened, happened.

While I do like this aspect I don’t think it’s core to the experience. Despite some vague similarities, the game isn’t a roguelike. So for Godfall I’m strongly considering moving to a more conventional load/save scheme. Unlike the “slots” in Book of Dread, you’ll be able to have many saves per campaign. The game will still create autosaves occasionally, but you can also manually save as well as load an earlier game.

There are some strong reasons to do this, not the least of them technical. With Chronicles, especially, there were all sorts of issues with saved games failing or becoming corrupted. It was (and still is) kind of a nightmare. Manual saves are less likely to break, and it’s more likely that I can communicate to the user that it’s happened. (Often with Chronicles it seems like Flash wouldn’t save properly as the game exited, and in that case it’s too late). It’s also a somewhat more natural way to do it in terms of player expectations. Most games work like this. Lastly, it accommodates a wider range of playstyles– if some people want to keep loading games until they get every fight absolutely perfect, why not let them? I could still add an Ironman mode.

The downsides are that it loses a little bit of Monsters’ Den feel, and that it creates the possibility that some progress could be lost if the game closes unexpectedly or the user forgets to save.

But really, I want to hear what you think. Is this something you care about?