#1 Edited by wizpig64 (31 posts) -

EDIT: apparently transitioning the forum broke this diagram, so i've rejiggered it and embedded a pic:

Original post:

I was very excited to hear my idea briefly mentioned on the latest bombcast, so i'm pasting the email i sent here to share and add some context. GB doesn't seem to like monospace stuff, so paste the diagram into notepad or something. using the "old" editor i've gotten it to be close enough:

May be a bit long-winded, but bear with me:

Regarding the August 2nd discussion on Fallout/Elder Scrolls gamesaves, and how annoying they are to dig through. Someone suggested a single save file, but this loses flexibility, as noted in the discussion.

How about a hybrid between the current system (a giant sack of timestamped save files all thrown in one folder) and this single save idea? Each character the player creates could have his or her own save tree, where states are sorted by in-game playtime rather than a real-time timestamp. This tree could be navigated almost like Apple's Time Machine software or like the Animus' DNA navigator from the Assassin's Creed series, adding in branches of course. People familiar with code version control software like git may be able to comprehend this better.

Diagram that probably won't work well reading out loud on the podcast, and the monospace formatting will probably break somewhere:

John Doe - Male, (headshot pic), (other start-of-game specs) ------------------------------------------------------------ +-----------------+ +-----------------+ +-----------------+ +-----------------+ | 00:00:00 - LVL1 | | 00:04:06 - LVL1 | | 00:07:01 - LVL1 | | 00:12:56 - LVL1 | | VAULT 153 |---------->| VAULT 153 |-->| VAULT 153 |-->| VAULT 153 | | 8/4/11, 6:30pm | \ | 8/4/11, 6:45pm | | 8/4/11, 6:49pm | | 8/4/11, 6:54pm | | (Autosave) | \ | (Quicksave) | | (Autosave) | | (Quicksave) | +-----------------+ \ +-----------------+ +-----------------+ +-----------------+ \ \ +-----------------+ +-----------------+ \ | 00:06:20 - LVL1 | | 00:11:18 - LVL1 | -->| VAULT 153 |-->| VAULT 153 | | 8/4/11, 6:36pm | | 8/4/11, 6:40pm | | (Autosave) | | (Autosave) | +-----------------+ +-----------------+

In this example, the player goes down the lower branch path, and decides to go back to the first save because he didn't like one of his actions. Saves differentiate between auto, quick and manual types, but all get appended to the current branch. Quickload would just load the most recent quicksave on the current branch. Hovering over each node on the tree could show extra stats, quest information, etc. On the pc, an export button could pull out a single save or branch for sharing with friends.

In the end, you still have a giant roster of saves, but everything would be much easier to sort through.

#2 Posted by Tennmuerti (8100 posts) -

I don't get it. Why are timestamped saves hard to sort through again? They are in chronological order with a screenshot attached to them. Choose the one you want, done. Even when I almost have a 100 saves now, it still takes only a second to get the one I want since all the recent ones you are likely to need are at the top. Never found them hard to use in either ES or F3/NV ever.

Why would you need an export functionality on PC? This is needless extra bullshit for developer. You have files on PC, if you want to send your friend those just send him/her the file, done.

#3 Posted by AyKay_47 (293 posts) -

There's nothing wrong with Bethesda's save system. Other developers should take some pointers. They just need to stop with these bullshit endings that lock you out of the game.

#4 Posted by wizpig64 (31 posts) -

the idea was in response to Ryans complaints, mainly because he needed to find an old save to play the new dlc in new vegas. Probably because I'm a programmer, the idea for a tree like this popped into my head and I just wanted to write it down. Just sent it to the bombcast because I could, but I wasn't expecting a mention on the show. Only sharing it here because I was pleasantly surprised by them mentioning it.

Regarding exporting: the actual save folder and filetypes would not have to change. This is just a new way of browsing the saves with organization and metadata, which could all be saved in a single text file. The export feature would let you package up a single save, one decision branch, or the whole tree.

---
Sent from my phone.

#5 Posted by wizpig64 (31 posts) -

Aaaaand now it's in Papers Please!

source: https://twitter.com/dukope/status/350919332613726208

and it looks like the forum redesign broke the diagram, I found the original email and took a screenshot:

bwahaha, personal gratification

#6 Edited by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1807 posts) -

They could fix the save system if they just kept the saves grouped by character.

#7 Posted by laserguy (444 posts) -

I think I get it.

#8 Posted by Capum15 (4899 posts) -

While I've been alright with the save systems in F3/NV/Skyrim,

They could fix the save system if they just kept the saves grouped by character.

That. I loved that about Mass Effect.

#9 Posted by laserguy (444 posts) -

Ok I get it, I havent played Skyrim for a while and forgot how the saves worked, i hate that system. I have I think close to Two Hundred saves. If I could organize my saves, group them in my own way, that would be nice, but that is unrealistic to the developer. I dont know what kind of extra work go's into creating a save system like that.

#10 Posted by Hailinel (24751 posts) -

@aykay_47 said:

There's nothing wrong with Bethesda's save system. Other developers should take some pointers. They just need to stop with these bullshit endings that lock you out of the game.

I realize that this is a two-year-old post, but Bethesda's save system has serious problems. Not the least of which being the way that save files bloat and bloat and bloat over the course of play.