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The UPlay Giveaway

The UPlay Giveaway

I can't link to this one since it's in the client, but if you have it: check it out! It's three games... and they're free. Deadline's in two days.

The GOG Winter Sale!

The GOG Winter Sale!

It's on! First day with a free giveaway - Grim Fandango. Mystery game stars and deals all the way till Christmas. Background here.

Winning Winning Winning

Winning Winning Winning

Read on...

The Save Game Strategy, Part III

On the topic of saving games again! It's strange.

Even though I know I should save often I find myself trying to play for as long as possible without. Like it's a challenge. Like I want to see how long I can go resisting the impulse to save, and the longer I go the more satisfying it feels when I finally do.

Other people might go to casinos, and gamble away their material wealth on the dream of a brighter future... with even more material wealth, but this is how I gamble instead. With time. With the prospect of losing progress, instead of just saving it and retaining it.

There is no potential surplus. It's not like the longer I go without saving, the more I can earn. I can only lose more if I lose, and the bigger the wager of time the bigger the potential loss.

So why does it feels like a victory when I do?

At first thought it didn't seem so different from a regular gamble, since time is money, so whichever you choose to wager would have the same potential for loss. But here... there's no way to win! Why do it? Am I settling for less, when I could wager bigger things, outside games? Change my life?

That latter question's a different topic entirely, but I guess by not saving I am placing a bet on the time I save by skipping each save point, so the longer I go without saving the more time I might save, yet if I lose the wager then it's all the more time lost.

The chance of losing is on the one hand much more calculated than throwing chips at lady luck, but on the other hand the potential time you win doesn't seem worth the risk in the first place. And you can only calculate so much. Boss fights: can I beat the boss easily at my current level? System errors: how common are they? Battery death: there's little risk I won't see the blinking red light in time to reach a save point, even if a local power surge makes simply connecting the power supply undoable.

What are the odds? How much time can you save? How much of that time you might be saving do you instead spend thinking about when to save? And if you do save your game, how often should you do so if checkpoints are common, and you have the ability to save more than once at any major point of the adventure? At which point does saved time outweigh the risk?

The more I consider it... the more meaningless a gamble it seems.

Moral of the rant: save your games while you can if you can't save your game all that often, cause every game not saved is an unnecessary gamble.

The Save Game Strategy, Part II

I thought I'd caught up with that other game I spoke of more than well, after a pace like chasing Pell in a so grand line that I reveled! I had a great time! I excelled! I leveled! I was compelled to skip the shells with which you save... but unexpected system error... what the hell?!

It popped up on the screen, and the system shut itself, so at bed time again today I'll delve into this well, and instead of riding the swell I'll ride an echo of accomplished wealth. Like a shadow. Like it's stealth. Oh well...

Not saving's for the brave. And the lame. Really: save your game.

The Save Game Strategy

Nowadays pretty much all games have autosave, and way back in the day games didn't even have a save feature. But somewhere in between... and still with some titles, saves can be a difficult thing.

Take GTA III for example.

It doesn't have autosave.

Nor does it have quicksave. It requires you to drive to a special safe house (save house?) to save your progress, and usually that's fine and dandy. It even feels like a feature, since it adds a sense of realism to the game. Yet there are times, when you due to unforeseen circumstances fail to reach the safe house, you really wish you had visited that house a bit more often! Or there was a feature that saved the game automatically.

It can be a simple thing. A flipped car. A drop in the ocean. An error that causes the game to crash right after a particular mission has been successfully completed...

That last thing happened to me a while back, after I'd been playing for considerable time, far from the safety of a save house, and I left the computer feeling... not so happy.

I played One Piece: Romance Dawn right after and didn't care to save before a boss fight there either, and I lost. WHAT THE HELL. Up until then the fights had been simple, and I didn't think there'd be any risk in skipping that somewhat time-consuming precaution this one time... who knew it would've been an incredible time-saver instead.

It's the little things.

Today however I decided to resolve the issue! With the first game at least. With mods.

CLEO is the best innovation within the GTA world in decades, giving modders an easy to add random hooks and features into the game without actually modifying the source files.

If you know your thing there's no limit to what can be added and achieved here, though most focus on just particular small; missing features, like in this particular case a save feature. There's both Quicksave and Autosave (and a few others) in this one package.

Quicksave just wuldn't work. It crashed the game. I thought it might be a conflict with keys, so I managed to install Sanny Builder (the program you use to build CLEO scripts), load the source code for the mod, bind the commands to new keys aaaaand it crashed on load anyway. I gave up.

Autosave worked better, though the downside is saves only occur after a mission, so I really would like to get the quicksave working again... or better yet: I'd like an autosave script that saves regularly even outside story-based events, like after you've been dozing through the city with a firetruck for three (in-game) days straight trying to break a record.

At such times it's just impossible to get a break and crash for a night in the safe house before resuming your earlier firefighting duties! A checkpoint to which you can transport back in time at your leisure in case the mission goes to hell, or a power surge, or some other devastating game-crashing events occurs, however...

I made it back to the point I'd been at before the crash and called it a day anyway. The other game... I'll catch up with that one later.

Sometimes the best strategy is just not being overconfident, lazy, and stupid. If there's no autosave: save your games.

And while you're at it save your files too!

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