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Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Art of Save Points

Playing enough video games nowadays, you notice little things... like how important loading & save points are. I don't know if enough game developers think about how much if affects the overall game. Good games can be wrecked by lousy/not enough save points.

And loading is another big problem. I'm playing Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on my PSP this morning, going through the Duel modes. The problem with this mode is that if you're defeated, even if you want to retry the SAME duel with the EXACT SAME settings, you still have to wait the full time for it to reload... about 20 seconds. I hate that.

It's like racing games: There are some racing games where if you restart/fail and want to retry it, there's a small amount of loading where it just resets the map. Terrible racing games are ones where it reloads the entire map as if you're turning on the game for the very first time. Drives me nuts! All the assets & stuff have been loaded, so why does all this stuff have to be loaded again?? It's just poor game programming or design.

When people complain that a game is too tough, I suspect that a big part of that feeling is just the poor design; where retrying it is almost equal to pulling the disc out of the machine and putting it back in again. Come on game devs, start thinking about this stuff.


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