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Author Topic: Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?  (Read 5972 times)

Offline damiac

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Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
« on: October 28, 2015, 10:05:57 pm »
After my previous feedback thread, it seems that the dev team is willing to accept patches for a save&quit option from the battlescape.  Essentially, a player should be able to do a battlescape scenario over several playthroughs, but should not be able to easily savescum.  So the only option should be "Save & Quit".  This would need to save the current battlescape situation, write into the campaign save that a battlescape save exists, then exit the program.

The next time this campaign save is loaded, it needs to load the battlescape save, then delete it.  Think of a roguelike here, where you can save and quit, but once you reload, the save is deleted, thus preventing the player from reloading that save again to get a better result.

So, firstly, is there a great desire in the player base for a feature like this? I personally have trouble fitting a long battlescape scenario into the time I have to play games, so it would be great for me.  But I also can't code it!

So I figured it makes sense to see if the community is interested in something like this, and then maybe we can nail down how it should be implemented.  Finally, maybe we can actually create a patch to submit to the dev team to bring this feature into the game.  I think it would open the game to more people who can't devote long chunks of time, but still want to play the game.

Offline geever

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Re: Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2015, 08:58:19 pm »
I wouldn't say so... (about accepting)

-geever

Offline damiac

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Re: Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2015, 04:45:39 pm »
Yeah, in the thread where I brought this up originally, Geever brought up an important point, if this were to get submitted as a patch and accepted, the dev team would then need to keep it maintained whenever the battlescape variables change.  So due to that, any battlescape saving code would have to be a seperate fork, meaning it would be lost when the next version comes out.

Of course, since it seems to take a while between releases, the code would last for a while before it was obsolete. 

I am probably underestimating the work involved here, but wouldn't a battlescape save, at its most barebones level, just need to be able to dump all the battlescape information from memory into a file, and then on load, dump the contents of that file back into memory?  I guess I'm wondering if this battlefield info is all sitting in a structure, or if it's more scattered than that.

Offline pete conway

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Re: Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2015, 05:00:46 pm »
Nah!... I think that the option of retrying the mission is good enough, I understand that base attack missions are long and can be tedious but there are ways around that... one way is to make sure you have some cannon fodder to hand, and another is to ust the cameras,... neither of which I did when I first 'complained' about getting wiped on easy mode.

My opinion should not carry much weight here as I am a bit of a one life masochist... Hadrcore (one life) mode from Skyrim to Minecraft... Just one mistake is all it takes :'(

Offline damiac

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Re: Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2015, 08:57:23 pm »
Pete, the idea isn't about making the battlescape any easier, or even any faster.  It's about the fact that sometimes real life demands our attention, and it would be nice to be able to come back to a battle in progress, rather than having to start all over again, or play in a sub-optimal way, losing good soldiers, just to keep the mission time reasonable.

Offline pete conway

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Re: Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2015, 09:21:52 pm »
Damiac, I understand what you mean as I've been through having a newborn... to 18 yrs old now, and not having time to have a cr*p was a bind... in more ways than one, the thing I feel that the 'initial devs' here had in mind was to create the game that they always wanted and set about it, baring in mind all these guys give their time to make it as enjoyable as poss and remain free it really is their call, I won't pretend to know how much work it would be to create a battlefield savable but cheat-free system as I have absolutely no idea what it would involve, but I think I can say if they ain't keen then the only way it'll get done is through someone else and get presented as a mod.

I'm sure there are others that want a savable battlescape and perhaps even some will know how to go about it... it's a matter of time and motivation!

Offline anonymissimus

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Re: Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2015, 09:45:03 pm »
battlefield savable but cheat-free
That's not going to work. If you can save, you can also cheat via saveloads much more easily. The question only is if you allow yourself to do that. I, for one, always felt better by disallowing it. Hurts like hell at first, but in the long run it feels good.
Perhaps some people need to have battlescape saves unavailable in order to force themselves not to cheat, huh ?

Offline hwoarangmy

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Re: Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2015, 12:00:10 am »
how much work it would be to create a battlefield savable but cheat-free system as I have absolutely no idea what it would involve
The question is not about cheatig or not. If I want to cheat, I will overpower human weapons (or underpower alien ones).
However, geever's point about the work saving would require is perfectly valid and for having done it for another game, I can say it's not an easy task. The battlescape code architecture is probably not suited for that and will need many changes. Moreover, even once it gets done, coders will have to be very careful about not breaking the saving feature. And because UFO AI is in a release state, savegames will have to be stable and newer version compatible. That's pretty much work.
In any case, since savegames are not planned, I think maps should keep a reasonable size or the AI should be more active so that we don't spend ages searching for that last taman that just spawns from nowhere killing good soldiers because we got tired after searching for 20 turns.

Offline damiac

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Re: Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2015, 06:15:21 pm »
Yeah, trying to prevent cheating in a single player game is just lying to yourself.  Not making it super easy is the most a dev should really do, if the player is determined to cheat, you can't stop him, and it's a real waste of your effort to try.  Basically, if something is cheating, the most you can do is make it clear in the game that it's cheating, then it's up to the players themselves to play by the rules.

If someone really wants to savescum turn by turn in the battlescape, it's already possible via VM.

Offline pete conway

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Re: Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2015, 08:18:56 pm »
Yeah, trying to prevent cheating in a single player game is just lying to yourself.

I agree Damiac, but, not wishing to seem to turn my cap around too much, I think that each player to his own... after all, a game is as much about enjoyment as it is about 'competition' we all have different styles of play and adapt them to the best of the game we play, don't get me wrong I used to use save/load in the old UFO games, and even today I use my save for reclaiming a mistake...albeit not on the battlefield!

Offline damiac

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Re: Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2015, 09:33:26 pm »
If you give the players a save/load option, that they can use at will, you can guarantee at least some will use it to painstakingly replay turns for the best outcome.  Not only that, since it's offered by the game, it's a legitimate way to play.  Not only that, but because it's legitimate, and provides the best possible outcome, it's the optimal way to play this game.  This is a problem!
This results in players having to choose between trying their best to win, but not having much fun, as it's a tedious exercise, or choosing to purposely handicap themselves, in an effort to avoid the tedium.  Generally this takes some of the fun out of the game too, because you know you're holding yourself back from really trying your best to win.

Nowhere in there do we have to consider the player using a memory editing program to give his soldiers infinite health, it's only about what the game itself communicates to the player.  If someone wants to take extraordinary measures outside the game to ruin their own fun (or for that matter, if they actually have fun cheating) then oh well, they certainly can't come to this board and complain that the game isn't any fun to play with infinite health!

So, if you give the players a save&quit option, and automatically restore this save on the next play session, you no longer have to consider the player who saves & loads each and every turn for the perfect outcome, because the game doesn't offer this option.  It doesn't matter if it's really easy to cheat such a system, as long as the game itself doesn't give you the option to do so.  That's really as far as you should go to "protect the player from himself".


Offline Gnith

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Re: Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2015, 09:53:10 pm »
Do I want a Battlescape Save?

NO

Do I want a Battlescape Save&Quit?

NO

Do I sometimes have to get up and go do things in the middle of a battle .... YES
and what do I do when this happens ??  I get up .. and walk away ...
It's that simple .... if I have to use my computer for other things .... I just let the game run in the background

People who gravitate to this game are looking for the harsh difficulty of the games from the 90s. It's not supposed to be easy, it's supposed to be brutal. The fact that I CAN'T save during the middle of a battle is one of the things that I LOVE about this game. It's not a deterrent ... it's why I'm here in the first place.

Offline TC

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Re: Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2015, 08:13:12 pm »
Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
Yes

Offline rambo919

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Re: Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2015, 10:54:58 am »
Honestly every time someone uses their aversion to "save-scumming" as a reason to disallow saving it just plain p-s me off. If YOU can't control yourself just ask for a option to dis/enable battlefield saving or a save limit (3?) per battle to be put in, there is no reason to deprive someone of their preferred play-style simply because you snobbishly/superiorly dislike it. What business is it of anyone else if a player wants to cheat/save/whatever like a maniac in a off-line game anyway?

On the other end it could just be a superficial excuse to not do the work of implementing a saving system. And finally most players probably would not have the skill-set to do it on  their own but there must be a few that could actually attempt to do it themselves instead of just complaining about the guys at the top showing no interest? If you see a problem no one is interested in FIX IT don't throw a tantrum.

Offline hwoarangmy

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Re: Do you want a save&quit option from the battlescape?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2015, 08:44:14 pm »
I don't get why everybody continues saying that the feature is not done to avoid cheating. I think geever was pretty clear about it. The saving feature is not straight forward and would require much work (which is probably true). Nobody in the team wants to do it.
Moreover, maintaining it would also require many work. That's also something the team do not want to do. That's why they would not even accept a patch implementing it.

IMHO, this vision is pretty clear and understandable. UFO AI is a free time project and the team can work on whatever it wants.

For my part, I feel many maps are becoming too big considering the fact that we cannot save in the battlescape. But that's only my opinion.