This article describes an ironman mode, which is intended to force a player to play "fair", i.e. without loading an old savegame. It is an extra challenging mode for those who prefer to play that way.
How it works
At the start of any new campaign, the player is given the opportunity to play the campaign in ironman mode. If the player does not choose to do so the campaign works as normal. However if the player chooses ironman mode, there are a few differences.
Firstly the player has to choose a save slot. This slot will be where the player's game will be saved, and no other slots can be used to save the game. Furthermore, the player can only manually save when exiting the game. The save button on the menu should be disabled. The game is automatically saved in the following circumstances:
- When the player exits the game. The player can not choose not to save the game.
- Periodically, in real time (but not on the battlescape).
- Whenever a mission starts. The game is saved as if the player had lost the mission; either a complete defeat or an unfavourable outcome of autoresolve. This goes for all missions, so in case of base defence missions the consequences of the destruction of the base should be pre-calculated at mission start.
- Whenever a mission ends. The outcome of the mission overrides the one saved in the pre-mission save, even if the player chose autoresolve.
- Ideally, on every big event on the geoscape that affect the player, such as an installation being bombed, a craft being shot down or completion of research.
Security and risk
Because the player only has one save slot available, his savegame is more vulnerable than normal. The saved file might get corrupted somehow, or accidentally overwritten by another save from a normal campaign game. There should be some mechanic to safeguard the data from such occurrences.
To prevent savegame overwriting, one could disallow writing to a save slot that contains an ironman save. The save should still be deletable from within tha game, but with a confirmation message.
To prevent data corruption, the game could be saved in two locations at the same time.