The Save-Game Issue

Saving a game takes a snapshot of a game world and all its particulars at a given instant in time and stores them away somewhere. The player can then load the snapshot, return to that instant in the game world, and replay the game from that point. This might seem like a fairly straightforward thing to offer the player, but, in fact, it has consequences both for the player's experience of the game—the story he's creating as he plays—and for the way the player actually plays. Saving and restoring a game is technologically easy, and it's an essential tool for testing and debugging, so it's often slapped in as a feature without much thought about its effect on gameplay. As designers, though, it's our job to think about anything ...

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