saving in FTL

General discussion about the game.
Bluemage
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:17 pm

Re: saving in FTL

Postby Bluemage » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:33 pm

+1 for save and continue
+1 people who registered to ask for it

I get roguelikes. They're supposed to be hard- well, maybe 'strict, but fair' would be a better definition. Not having the ability to save makes sense, since being able to save and reload if things go wrong removes the consequences of your actions.

Still, I see no reason why the game should punish you for not having the time to finish it in a single session. I know it can be easy to exploit the quit/continue mechanic in some games (DoomRL comes to mind), but I can think of three different ways to prevent that off the top of my head, and I'm not even a game designer. FTL is a bit more casual than most roguelikes, and definitely shorter, so it makes sense to design it with players' time constraints in mind.
Spank n Uranus
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:56 am

Re: saving in FTL

Postby Spank n Uranus » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:58 pm

I'm going to say right off the bat I've not read through every page of this dicussion, but I'm going to leave my thoughts.

I understanding not having a traditional save feature, but I don't see why it can't be like some games I've played that save when you exit and restore that save when you start the game. That's the only time a save happens. This allows you to play in small increments but keep your progress.
aviphysics
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: saving in FTL

Postby aviphysics » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:38 pm

In terms of sample size, the fact that save on exit is one of the most discussed features and the vast majority of those in the discussion argue in favor of it, indicates that it is an important feature. It is definitely at the top of my wish list.

Definitely agree that most reviewers are going to deduct points for not having any save feature. It takes away from the game when you have to start over just because you had to shutdown the computer.

People that want to "save scum" are still going to be able to do it using VM save states so all leaving this feature out does is make it more difficult for normal players to enjoy the game.
Zeno
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:16 am

Re: saving in FTL

Postby Zeno » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:45 pm

Make saving be a ship augmentation. "Quantum State Recorder".
Luringen
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:54 pm

Re: saving in FTL

Postby Luringen » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:37 pm

I don't see any reason for saving. It takes time to implement, and is easily exploitable. To save, you need to save it to a file. It doesn't matter if it only happens on exit, and is deleted on start, you could still copy the file. Later, you could start a new game, quit and replace the useless save file for your backed up one. I can't think of any way to prevent this, if you can then please explain. It's easy to exploit and considering the fact that most games doesn't last too long (and the fact that you could just leave the game running unless you are using a laptop and need to move it) and the added development time, I don't find this necessary.
Bluemage
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:17 pm

Re: saving in FTL

Postby Bluemage » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:16 pm

Luringen wrote:To save, you need to save it to a file. It doesn't matter if it only happens on exit, and is deleted on start, you could still copy the file. Later, you could start a new game, quit and replace the useless save file for your backed up one. I can't think of any way to prevent this, if you can then please explain.


1. Don't make a separate save file. Make the save part of a different file, so users can't find it.
2. Record a history of file saves and loads within the program. It doesn't have to be long, either- just big enough to get the last, say, twenty events. Have the machine deny any load attempt that wasn't immediately preceded by a successful save in the log.
3. Keep everything in several places. If somebody copy-pastes save.ftl, for example, the program would be able to check where it keeps save information, maybe someplace inside the main executable, and see that it didn't actually have save information recorded. Then, since the two didn't match, it'd check the log(s), see that there was a file loaded and no following save, and not load the save file.

The trick is to combine these three approaches, and add enough obscurity that even the developers would have to dig through the source and spend 5-10 minutes with a hex editor to load the same save twice, let alone hack a save file. I'm not an expert programmer by any means, but I could write this myself.
Wintersong
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 11:38 am

Re: saving in FTL

Postby Wintersong » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:29 pm

Luringen wrote:I don't see any reason for saving. It takes time to implement, and is easily exploitable. To save, you need to save it to a file. It doesn't matter if it only happens on exit, and is deleted on start, you could still copy the file. Later, you could start a new game, quit and replace the useless save file for your backed up one. I can't think of any way to prevent this, if you can then please explain. It's easy to exploit and considering the fact that most games doesn't last too long (and the fact that you could just leave the game running unless you are using a laptop and need to move it) and the added development time, I don't find this necessary.

Cheaters will keep cheating without a save on exit option. Legit users get less options about when to play the game.

It adds more development time? So do other suggestions.
Tarnimus
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:26 pm

Re: saving in FTL

Postby Tarnimus » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:36 pm

VladePsyker wrote:Instead I'll just say you'll never please everyone so why try ? It's not like the people asking for a save on exit will stop playing the game if they don't get it ;)


Actually, that's exactly what it's like. Without a save, I will play the game far less. Long term, that will result in me eventually not playing the game at all.

As for fears that a save system can be exploited...I don't really see the issue. If somebody exploits their own isolated, single player game, then that's pretty pathetic - but how does it impact on anybody else?

I can understand some people not needing an ability to save/resume, as some people have a lot more time on their hands or different priorities. That's fine. But I do find it extremely odd that some of those same people would actively argue against others having access to such a feature. That seems unpleasantly elitist and exclusive.

People who are asking for a save/resume feature are asking for it because they already love the game and just want a practical way to play it, without changing any of the actual gameplay mechanics. And as others have pointed out, without this feature I won't be able to realistically recommend the game to any of my friends - not because the game isn't awesome, but because none of them would have time to play it effectively.
Luringen
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:54 pm

Re: saving in FTL

Postby Luringen » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:02 pm

Bluemage wrote:1. Don't make a separate save file. Make the save part of a different file, so users can't find it.
2. Record a history of file saves and loads within the program. It doesn't have to be long, either- just big enough to get the last, say, twenty events. Have the machine deny any load attempt that wasn't immediately preceded by a successful save in the log.
3. Keep everything in several places. If somebody copy-pastes save.ftl, for example, the program would be able to check where it keeps save information, maybe someplace inside the main executable, and see that it didn't actually have save information recorded. Then, since the two didn't match, it'd check the log(s), see that there was a file loaded and no following save, and not load the save file.

The trick is to combine these three approaches, and add enough obscurity that even the developers would have to dig through the source and spend 5-10 minutes with a hex editor to load the same save twice, let alone hack a save file. I'm not an expert programmer by any means, but I could write this myself.


1. Can still be copied, also easy to find by looking at the "last edited" time (making tiny edits to all the files could help).
2. Within the program? I'm assuming you mean within another file, that could make the system rather efficient. However, the file could still be copied by looking at all the files edit time. Again, tiny edits to all files could hide this. Giving saves to other people could require distributing .exe files, making it illegal due to copyright though.
3. That's basically point 2 explained.

Really good ideas, seems possible to implement. Could take a lot of time though, depending on how the game is coded.

... except you could STILL just make a copy of the FTL directory, which is just above 100 megabytes.
Bluemage
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:17 pm

Re: saving in FTL

Postby Bluemage » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:51 pm

Luringen wrote:1. Can still be copied, also easy to find by looking at the "last edited" time (making tiny edits to all the files could help).
2. Within the program? I'm assuming you mean within another file, that could make the system rather efficient. However, the file could still be copied by looking at all the files edit time. Again, tiny edits to all files could hide this. Giving saves to other people could require distributing .exe files, making it illegal due to copyright though.
3. That's basically point 2 explained.

Really good ideas, seems possible to implement. Could take a lot of time though, depending on how the game is coded.

... except you could STILL just make a copy of the FTL directory, which is just above 100 megabytes.


1. I like it. Edit all the files, put the save data into one or more of them, and leave them confused.
2. I *had* meant in the .exe, but I'm not sure what I was thinking. That wouldn't make sense. As for giving saves to friends, the whole point here is to prevent save tomfoolery, so why would making it harder matter?
3. The point here was use both 1 and 2 several times each, and I tried to illustrate that with an example.

And yes, you could, but you could also have some of those redundant copies saved elsewhere. That'd make it a tad more difficult.

It's possible to work around just about any measure out there, but between your ideas and mine, we've made it a good bit harder and less convenient. S'a lot of trouble to go to, in order to cheat at a video game.

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