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GDC: Randy Smith Doesn't Save the Day

For every yin there is a yang. Though on the one hand it is comforting to be able to save and load at will, continually loading – thereby undoing events, and making consequences irrelevant – tends to diminish a player's belief in the game world, making it all the harder for the game to affect the player in a meaningful capacity.

The situation is kind of damned if you do, damned if you don't, in that allowing free saving tends to lead to abuse yet disallowing it leads to player complaints.

EALA game designer Randy Smith gave a brief speech on the psychological factors that tend to result in save abuse, and how potentially to avoid or undermine those triggers, such that players are tempted to save and load far less often, thereby allowed to take their in-game experiences at face value.

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gamasutra.com
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