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The Value of Your Saved Game 161

Posted by Zonk
from the gaah-no-my-oblivion-adventures dept.
N'Gai and the LevelUp blog take on an interesting thought experiment: which is more valuable, the $60 game you bought at the store, or the save-game file sitting on your console's hard drive? The article explores the various ways save-games can be backed up, and calculates how much the average saved game is worth based on your age and income. "Our back of the envelope calculations clearly demonstrate that in all but one of the categories, the save file is more valuable than the game itself, and ought to be backed up regularly in recognition of that value. And that's without even attempting to figure out the worth of any intangibles: the frustration of having to replay familiar levels and challenges just to get back to the halfway mark; the attachment that you may have built up to the character; any customization and personalization you did the first time through; the loss of unlocks, user-generated content and other valuable elements." I have a massive save-game file for Oblivion that I would be very distraught to lose. Any saved-games you've been carting around or protecting over the months/years?
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The Value of Your Saved Game

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  • by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte AT drunksnipers DOT com> on Friday November 09, 2007 @12:01PM (#21295345) Homepage
    But I no longer see the point. I usually complete the game. When I don't complete a game it's probably because the game annoyed the hell out of me. And what use is a savegame of a game I already completed. Next time I play the game I would probably start a new game.
    For games that don't really end (like sim city or elder scroll games), why would I continue with the same instance, there was a reason I stopped playing that instance.
    • by eln (21727) on Friday November 09, 2007 @12:07PM (#21295449) Homepage
      I think most of the value is in a game that you're currently playing. Say you have played 23 hours into a 28 hour game, and you go back to play it again the next day and your hard drive crashes. You can reload the game from original media, but the save files are gone. Personally, there aren't many games that I would pick up and start over with after that kind of loss. The majority of games are the "beat it once and never play it again" variety.

      With games like SimCity, I don't think the loss would be all that horrible, because replayability tends to be fairly high. I tend to get bored with any one city after a few days with that game anyway.
      • by Altus (1034)

        even with games I do replay, old saved game files arent that interesting. Sure, I would hate to loose the saved game file for my current game of Civ IV but once Ive won I dont need the huge pile of files on my hard drive anymore. I might keep the last one so I can run though the "you've won" bit again and see the replay of the game but it wouldn't be the end of the world if I lost it.

      • Don't forget about games that have extra content to unlock. You are most likely to have to complete the game once, like most players will, but then you may have the option for extra levels/difficulties, alternate characters/paths or something completely different. Even though you may not play the original again perhaps on a rainy day in the future you may be included to revisit the story. Without you save game it will be that same old story.
        • I don't like unlockable, they suck. Games shouldn't hide features, just easter eggs.
          The only thing a game should unlock is the next level/area in the story.
          I play games for entertainment, not to achieve something.
          • For some people achieving something 'is' the entertainment.
            • "For some people achieving something 'is' the entertainment."

              and for some people it's not? I'm not sure what point you are making about the GP's argument for allowing someone to not HAVE to unlock stuff.

              it seems to be more and more of a reoccurring theme (esp with console games) and i believe it is because of the lack of real innovation, this way you add 2-3x of the play time to a game by making people "work" on the game to be able to play all of it.. and it really pisses me off.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tlhIngan (30335)

        I think most of the value is in a game that you're currently playing. Say you have played 23 hours into a 28 hour game, and you go back to play it again the next day and your hard drive crashes. You can reload the game from original media, but the save files are gone. Personally, there aren't many games that I would pick up and start over with after that kind of loss. The majority of games are the "beat it once and never play it again" variety.

        Take a more likely scenario - the game crashes on you that corru

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If we follow the reasoning of the article, the half-empty bucket of stale popcorn that I'll take home from the movie theatre tonight will be worth $50, simply because I've been eating out of it for 90 minutes.
      • by eln (21727) on Friday November 09, 2007 @12:21PM (#21295711) Homepage
        I don't think you can really overvalue the simple joy of eating half a bucket of movie theatre popcorn for breakfast on a Saturday morning.

        Although, at the local theatre they've recently started dumping about twice as much salt as they used to into the popcorn, rendering it nearly inedible, so it's not worth as much as it used to be.

      • That's about half what a movie theater charges for a bucket of popcorn, so maybe it's not too far off.
    • by mackil (668039)
      I agree with you for the most part. There was only one instance where I guarded my saved game and that was for Morrowind [wikipedia.org]. I was rather late in coming to that game, so when I had started, the two expansions had already been released. So once I completed the main game, I guarded my saved game so that I could use the same character in the later expansions (which I would purchase at a later date). Other than that, once the game is beaten I generally remove them along with the game.
    • by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear@NoSpam.pacbell.net> on Friday November 09, 2007 @12:31PM (#21295929) Homepage
      You're playing the wrong games then.

      My completed save games allow me to start new games with the stats or equipment from the previous incarnation, which usually unlocks a whole new series of areas I was previously unable to enter due to low stats or poor equipment.

      Then there is the value of playing a game without having to grind.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tepples (727027)

      For games that don't really end (like sim city or elder scroll games), why would I continue with the same instance, there was a reason I stopped playing that instance.

      Even if it's that you got more responsibilities in your life? A new job was the big reason that I quit Animal Crossing, though I still have the town of Chadonn on a GameCube memory card and the town of Picken on the DS game card. Not all simulators are intended to run for a few real-world days like SimCity; in particular, an AC town is supposed to last for at least a year. But then the GameCube version of AC used an uncommon feature of the GameCube OS that allows the file to be moved but not copied.

    • by owlman17 (871857)
      Maybe its just me, but I'm pretty sentimental about some of the games, particularly RPGs, that I play. Yes, while its true you usually just start a new game you just completed, I usually save the last turn or sequence (before the final boss kill, final room, whatever) as 'trophies' of a sort. I can just reload those final turns/sequences anytime I want to relive those moments.

      In other type of games, its so that the rooms I've already unlocked stay unlocked. (Q3 is the first thing that comes to mind.)

      In Civ,
  • Inter-Act Dex Drive (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    When I first started playing RPGs on the PSX, one of the first things I bought after a memory card was a Dex Drive [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org] to backup my saved games. After my memory card got stolen by my druggie roommate my freshman year in college, that thing paid for itself.
    • by WilyCoder (736280)
      Yes we all know what they say about drugs and memory cards...
    • by Hatta (162192)
      I just bought an Action Replay for my Sega Saturn so I don't have to worry about the dinky lithium battery dying and losing my Panzer Dragoon Saga save. But what I really need is one of these [gamingenterprisesinc.com] so I can dump the saves to my hard disc and use them with emulators if I want. It's a real shame they're windows only.
  • by Aladrin (926209) on Friday November 09, 2007 @12:03PM (#21295405)
    Games are about the journey, and the ending. Your save file increases in value until just before complete it... After that, the file is nearly worthless.

    The exception to this is open-ended games, of course... There is no end to those. Even Oblivion never 'ends' because you can continue doing minor quests after you beat the game. The Sims is another obvious sandbox game that had savefiles that only increase in value... Until a new version of the game (not expansion) is released. At that point, the saves are just as worthless as the ones from games that end.

    Any game that you quit before the end, for whatever reason, has no little or no value as well. The effort to get back into the game after a 2 month break is better spent re-playing the beginning and getting better at the game before you get to the stopping point.

    And one last remark: Games are entertainment, not work. Playing them produces nothing of value and is only useful for relieving stress or boredom.

    BTW, I'm an avid gamer with a couple decades experience.
    • by Kamots (321174)
      "Playing them produces nothing of value and is only useful for relieving stress or boredom"

      One of the people I know in FFXI made around $3000 this past summer by selling off excess gil (in-game currency) he had.

      I think he's now amassed a similar amount of gil and is thinking of selling it off as well.

      He's not playing to amass gil to sell, rather he plays to try to figure out the crafting system... and just happens to make a lot of gil while doing so.
      • by Aladrin (926209)
        So does he backup his game save? Oh wait, he has no control over it.

        The discussion was the value of your gamesave, not the value of your account on an MMO.

        Yes, perisitant multiplayer worlds are different than offline games. That just isn't the discussion at hand.
        • by Kamots (321174)
          Well, the point you were making was that playing a game produced nothing of value. If you're wanting to focus solely on offline games...

          I got extra when selling my SNES cartridge of chrono cross because it had a saved game with maxed level characters.
        • Dude, that is a brilliant sig.

          Thanks for making me think that I am thinking. ^o^

      • That actually makes his point. The value of the game is the stress or boredom it relieves. A major failing of MMOs is that they have boring time sinks which are required to alleviate the stress of not having good enough equipment. People paid your friend to get solve a problem with getting what they actually wanted from the game: relief of stress and boredom.

    • "Playing them produces nothing of value and is only useful for relieving stress or boredom."

      Same could be said of Art, Music, etc.
      Personally, I found inspiration in StarCraft and I suspect it was a strong influence in building my economy worldview.
    • The Sims is another obvious sandbox game that had savefiles that only increase in value... Until a new version of the game (not expansion) is released. At that point, the saves are just as worthless as the ones from games that end.
      There are plenty of people who still play Animal Crossing (2002) on GameCube because they find it superior to the DS version from 2005. Search for Captain Jim's posts on AXA Forum to find why.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LithiumX (717017)
      "Even Oblivion never 'ends' because you can continue doing minor quests after you beat the game."

      I enjoyed Oblivion. I didn't think I would, but I derived a few weeks of significant enjoyment from that game. It was the first and only full RPG I have actually considered worthy since the Ultima series. The dialogue scripting came out far better than the usual anime soap opera styles that have taken over RPG's (Lucien in particularly had some memorable lines). It was a fairly flexible system, and a trul
      • by trdrstv (986999) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:17PM (#21296841)

        The only game that's worse is Pac Man. I have played that game, in total, for hundreds of hours, but I never managed to reach the end. I've talked to others, and no one has reached the end of Pac Man. What's the point in making a game so difficult that no one can beat it?

        You did reach the end. You died. Many games simply get progressively harder until you simply can't continue and die. In that regard, it's a lot like life.

        • by LithiumX (717017)
          Death was never the end when you had an elementary school that let out early, a nearby arcade, and 8 quarters (that was given to you as "lunch money" that morning)...

          The hardest thing about getting older is that your reflexes are never as good as they were when you were younger. I love to torment teenagers with that one, because it's one of the problems with age that they can clearly understand. hehe.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jollyreaper (513215)

          You did reach the end. You died. Many games simply get progressively harder until you simply can't continue and die. In that regard, it's a lot like life.
          Fuck. That. Shit. Gimme the cheat codes.
      • by pla (258480) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:25PM (#21296973) Journal
        The only game that's worse is Pac Man. I have played that game, in total, for hundreds of hours, but I never managed to reach the end.

        You want to talk about unmemorable "endings"? Pac-Man has none. It just crashes after 255 levels [mameworld.net] (scroll down to the end of the page).

        Then again, if that had happened to me back in the prime of Pac-Man, I'd have thought it a random crash rather than "the end", and probably blown an aneurysm. So I guess you could call that memorable, in its own way...
      • by homer_ca (144738)

        Imagine how you would perceive the end of 1984 if the book had continued after Winston's story was done? If it had gone on for another 50 pages, rambling on with what's happening to others in the story, or the continued strengthening of the Party?

        Did you see the Lord of the Rings movies? The finale of the trilogy did exactly that. After Frodo was done, they spent a good 15-20 minutes on everybody going home, celebrating, saying goodbye. I was expecting the credits to roll, but it just went on and on.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Joe Mucchiello (1030)

          Did you see the Lord of the Rings movies? The finale of the trilogy did exactly that. After Frodo was done, they spent a good 15-20 minutes on everybody going home, celebrating, saying goodbye. I was expecting the credits to roll, but it just went on and on.

          How is that worse than the book which went on for (100+ pages) hundreds of years after Frodo's departure to tell you various mini-tales of the various kings who follow Aragon?

      • by Aladrin (926209)
        I'm the opposite on Oblivion... I remember how the main quest ends, but not the side quests... Probably because I finished them (both times I played through) long before I finished the main quest, and I -did- put it down after the main quest. But when I said neverending, I also meant the add-ons... I played them with my 'endgame' character.

        I loved Oblivion. I'm hoping for another big expansion and another major sequel. (I think the sequel is a given, though.) I spent upwards of 160 hours playing it..
        • by LithiumX (717017)
          Out of curiosity, how many people still play Oblivion for the user mods?

          I downloaded the various editors and got fairly good with them. I was just constructing test quests (focusing on technical matters rather than entertainment value), and got to the point where I could insert new structures into the cities without interfering with anything (as long as no one else used the same spot for another mod). I even wrote up my own index of different model types so I could build intricate buildings more easily
          • by Aladrin (926209)
            I haven't a clue. I tried some of the mods made in the first couple months, and while they did make the game more fun initially, they didn't make it enough more fun to keep playing. Now, as with Morrowind, most of the mods are completely amateur and don't fit well with the rest of the game. The few that ARE great are too hard to find in the mess.
    • by Sark666 (756464)
      "BTW, I'm an avid gamer with a couple decades experience."

      Well.... usually I really like to know a little more before making these decisions but what the heck. You're Hired!!
  • by EXTomar (78739) on Friday November 09, 2007 @12:06PM (#21295437)
    Like other software, the data I create is more valuable (to me) than the software I bought from the store. During the days I played Disgaea religiously, at the point where I had more than 20 hours of play, lots of bills/areas passed, many characters at least transmigrated once, the amount of time and energy put into that game alone was far more valuable than the disk itself. Far more valuable. The disk could be stolen (or exploded) by Prinnies at that point and I could go out and find a new disk. If the memory card the save game was stolen (or exploded), there is not much I could do because the only way to "replace" it would be to play the game from the start.

    You see this all over technology though. The 10 million piece model is more valuable than the CAD tool program that created it. The 500 million row database with years of collected data is more valuable than the software used to serve it up. This is why backups are so important to any IT infrastructure. You want to capture and safe guard the created content, not necessarily the software that runs it.
  • LEGO Star Wars (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AccUser (191555) <[ku.oc.esoat] [ta] [ghm]> on Friday November 09, 2007 @12:06PM (#21295441) Homepage
    I have a completed LEGO Star Wars game on one of my hard drives that has been there for a while now. It has survived countless operating system re-installs (it is on a PowerMac, so Archive and Install is your friend), whilst the game itself hasn't been installed for what must be over a year. What surprises me is that I cannot bring myself to delete it - and yet I have no plans to install LEGO Star Wars and play it again. I guess one day I might...
    • by svallarian (43156)
      The sequel actually uses this file to unlock characters in the new game...so you might want to keep it around!
  • I have saved games from Baldur's Gate (I and II) and Neverwinter Nights I. I would have them for NWN 2, but they dramatically increased the size of the save file - around 100MB if I remember right.

    I like having saves for multiple points throughout the game so I can replay certain sections or quests if I really enjoyed them and I like to have the option to skip the annoyance of being a low level wizard with almost no hit points.

    I don't know how much of a value I would put on the saved games - probably $20

    • by GiMP (10923)

      Neverwinter Nights I. I would have them for NWN 2, but they dramatically increased the size of the save file - around 100MB if I remember right.


      Neverwinter Nights I would easily create save files over 100MB for me, and I didn't get through more than probably 10-20% of that game. In fact, I have two DVDs of "saves" for that game.
  • by AccUser (191555) <[ku.oc.esoat] [ta] [ghm]> on Friday November 09, 2007 @12:09PM (#21295487) Homepage
    Or, at least the Steam service.

    I have just re-installed all of my Steam powered games, but what is missing are all my saved games. Wouldn't it be great if I could add those to my Steam account, so that not only do I always have access to my games, but also my saved games? I guess it would only be necessary to store the last saved game, but this could really be a useful feature.

    Valve? Anyone?

    • by vita10gy (932040)
      This would make a lot of sense, especially since half the point of steam is that you can sign in from different locations and get/play the games you've paid for. (Maybe I shouldn't say "half the point," but it's a cool feature.) There would be some issues to workout, because you can play in "offline" mode, but it seems to me they could fix that by an automatic or user prompted "hot sync".
    • by AmaDaden (794446) on Friday November 09, 2007 @12:23PM (#21295757)
      I was just thinking that. I'm gonna guess they plan on doing that soon. With the Orange Box they just added achievements for the PC. I remember that I noticed a change in the achievement system a few days ofter the games came out too. For those of you that are unaware your achievements are stored online. The change that I noticed was that Portal and HL2 achievements became visible from your Steam page http://steamcommunity.com/ [steamcommunity.com]. An issue with this is that if you complete an achievement while off line it's not counted. The problem is that saved games are far bigger and used for more frequently. They might just make a "back up this save" option from the save menu.
      • Even if you beat an achievement online it's sometimes not counted.

        I beat all six Portal advanced maps. According to my online achievements I haven't beaten any. Every time I start up Portal my achievements ingame show I beat them, but they never get saved to the server!

    • I was actually thinking this exact same thing a few days ago. I've had to restart Half-Life 2 a few times because I've been too lazy to look for the save files. It would definitely be something that'd be would sell me on Steam a bit more.
    • That's one of the main reasons I play realm characters in Diablo II. Transfers effortlessly between my computers.
    • Or, at least the Steam service.

      I have just re-installed all of my Steam powered games, but what is missing are all my saved games. Wouldn't it be great if I could add those to my Steam account, so that not only do I always have access to my games, but also my saved games? I guess it would only be necessary to store the last saved game, but this could really be a useful feature.

      Valve? Anyone?

      Hell, how about the 360? Persistent internet access, PLUS a hard drive so the failure rate should be much higher than on flash-based cards that we used in the past... You'd think it'd be a no-brainer. "Hey, backup your saved games on our server, just another Xbox Live Gold feature!"

  • Interesting enough, some games have 'hardcore' options : dying is dying. What about them? I imagine having a very-high level save of a living character is worth even more ...
    • by tepples (727027)

      Interesting enough, some games have 'hardcore' options : dying is dying. What about them?
      How do PC versions of these games prevent the single player from ghosting [wikipedia.org] back to an old savegame?
      • by polar red (215081)
        I'm doing Diablo2 hardcore myself, and you can just re-copy an old version over your dead character, but i don't find that gratifying.
      • by kalirion (728907)
        How do PC versions of these games prevent the single player from ghosting back to an old savegame?

        Why should they, at least in single player? The only one you'd be cheating is yourself.
  • by TheGreatHegemon (956058) on Friday November 09, 2007 @12:10PM (#21295495)
    Did we forget games are for fun, not for work? You can equate the "value" of your time as if it was work to playing games. If you lose a saved game, then the game should still be fun if you play it again. If not, you stop playing. Not like you're being forced to.
    • I am sure there is probably a site out there somewhere where you can buy saved games to save you having to actually play them yourselves. Let someone else unlock all the extras for you. Same as 360 saves get passed around for their GamerPoint value.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by ukpyr (53793)
      It's our job as consumers to support the war on terror through aggressive purchasing. If we don't 'play to win' - we're really losing. One to grow on.

      You're right though of course. Some people really enjoy saving every aspect of their life "just in case". Like people who get depressed for weeks when they lose 10 years of email. It would suck I guess, but that's why we have memories.

      There is something to be said for the "happy filter" human brains have.

    • by Hatta (162192)
      If you lose a saved game, then the game should still be fun if you play it again. If not, you stop playing.

      There are plenty of games where the fun value is in the novelty. Look at any RPG for instance. The enjoyment is so tied to the advancement of the story that if you lose your place half way through it's really not any fun to go back and replay the beginning. That leaves you stuck, you can either miss out on half the game, or you can go through 40 hours of tedium just to get back to the fun part. When
    • Precisely. It's not as if before having sex, a mug of beer, or call your mom you think.. damn, I'm going to lose $5.69 of potential income in those 3 minutes!
    • Let me rephrase that right back at you, using "novel" instead of "game", and maybe you'll realize just how silly it sounds: "Did we forget novels are for fun, not for work? [...] If you lose the bookmark, then the novel should still be fun if you read it again. If not, you stop reading. Not like you're being forced to.

      Seriously. If you've read half a novel, would you rather read the next part, or go back to reading the first half again?

      Yes, a good novel should be fun to re-read, eventually, but at some poin
    • by pfafrich (647460)
      Indeed very dodgy reasoning in the article. For one if you lost a save game and replayed from the start you would problem take less time to get to the same point again, as you know the route. You would also need to factor in the can I be bothered quotient. Also it depends on if you lost all your save games or just one, in the latter case its the time taken from the previous save.
    • OK, hypothesize: in any match you are playing against another person, let the referee arbitrarily re-set your score to zero.

      Why should you be upset? You're playing the game for FUN, right? And you can continue to play; in fact, depending on the game, if you were winning, your 'gameplay' experience has just been enhanced since you'll probably get to play longer.

      People play games and get entertainment about a lot of facets of games; to believe the 'fun' exists solely in the experience is naive at best.
    • Maybe so you'll realize that $20 isn't all that much to pay to register that shareware game you are playing instead of cracking it. This generation has a great difficulty placing a value on anything; thinking that a $60 is outrageously expensive, but a $1000 shirt is not.
    • by owlman17 (871857)
      I had an earlier post saying that I saved my old RPG games usually right before the final boss, etc, as 'trophies' to relive the final moments, or maybe show them to friends.

      Some of those games are so old I've long since lost the floppies they were on. I recently "re-completed" Bard's Tale I and now playing Wizardry I. (Having the old maps help a lot!)

      I agree that I don't have to be playing them because I'm forced to. Having lost those floppies has given me the excuse to play them all over again! Tedious ye
  • by RingDev (879105) on Friday November 09, 2007 @12:11PM (#21295521) Homepage Journal
    When I was in MOS school a buddy in the barracks had a Play Station and FF7. He gave me the first slot on the memory stick, so when ever I wanted to save, I just hit the OK button over and over. Well, after he moved out I was hanging out with another guy who had just moved in. He also had a PS and FF7 and he let me play on it one day. As we were sitting there chatting, with out thinking about it, I went to save my game, and yup, saved my brand new game over slot one on the stick.

    Right over his level 97 toons.

    whoops.

    I think there may have been tears. There was definitely a lot of anger. I was not invited back.

    -Rick
    • by MWoody (222806)
      And that, among other things, is why I always save in a rotating cycle of 3-6 save slots for 10+ hour games.
  • by ArcadeX (866171)
    I still have it backed up from a rom reader, not even sure if i'll ever dust off my team of 99th level guys to go after the pink again, but damn that's a lot of hours invested...
    • dust off my team of 99th level guys to go after the pink again
      That must be a euphemism for something?
  • Back in the late 90s I was really into the JRPGs on the Playstation, and I wasted hundreds of hours on the Squaresoft games. A memory card died on me one time that had a save game with an 80-some hours save game file on it. After that I bought what I think was called a "Dex Drive"? I could be wrong on the name. It let you backup your Playstation memory cards to your PC over a serial port. These days I don't play those kinds of games anymore, so I don't have any backup of my console save files. I do keep a
  • I just forgot that I didn't grab my Oblivion save before the last reformat. Thanks for ruining my day Zonk!

    OnTopic, I've got a roommate that plays SC:4 religiously. He's got CAM and the such all setup and testing out various textures for add-on modders. I can't imagine what would happen if a 6x7 map he's been working on were to suddenly disappear.
  • Upgraded my system last month and my RAID-0 2x80GB SATA-II array didn't get recognised when hooking it up to the controler on the new mobo. Do I miss them? No. I have a whole load of new games to play now that I couldn't run before. I am slightly annoyed about loosing some old level design stuff, but I've got no interest in that anymore. It was mostly sentiment and the fact that it represented 100's of hours in GTKRadiant. Not really missing the files makes me think that maybe I should stop hoarding all tho
  • by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Friday November 09, 2007 @12:29PM (#21295875)
    A major reason I rarely play games on my PS2 is because of its alarming frequencey of losing saved games.

    Playing for hours on end, only to come back to "saved game corrupted" and the prospect of going thru all of that again, just pretty much nullifies any interest in completing any game, and thus any interest in even starting one.
    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot
      Huh. I've played many games on my PS2, and never have I ever had any corrupted save file. Weird. I even have PS1 cards still around that have saves on them, that still work.
    • by sherriw (794536)
      The non-Nintendo brand memory cards for gamecube/wii have this problem too. Never by Mad-Catz anything, and stick with the Nindendo brand cards. I speak from painful experience!
  • by g_adams27 (581237) on Friday November 09, 2007 @12:30PM (#21295919)
    If you just don't feeling like replaying your game to get back to where you were, you can often find saved games from somewhere else. That's especially true for linear games, like FPS's. Just for example, here's a collection of Half-Life 2 [geocities.com] saved games. With some work, you could probably also find (for example) Oblivion saved games that might at least put you near where you want to be.
  • ... is usually the end of the game for me. Somehow I feel extremely demotivated to play for hours and eventually reaching the point I was.

    Even worse though, and you ALL know this; Loading instead of Saving. Don't lie, it happened to us all. Saving and loading usually require (with exception to quick load/save) a few simular actions after each other so after a while you have them automated in your head. And one fine day you start the "Load" sequence in your head instead of the "Save".

    Brutal memmories.
  • If it's a game I'm done with, then the save doesn't matter. If it is a game I'm either actively playing, or planning on finishing in the near future, the save file is worth (hourly pay rate) times the maximum of (time spent playing to get save || time to be spent replaying to get save back). Some games have rares that are almost impossible to get. The US version of FF4, for instance, had an item only dropped by an enemy 1/64 battles -- and that enemy only appeared 1/64 fights in one particular place. If
  • Not quite. My free time is worth more than my work-day time because it's precious to me. The rare-er it is the more it's worth. I do freelance work on the side in my spare time and I price it at twice what I make at my day job. So my free time is worth $40/h, and that will go up as my career advances. So, 5 hours into HalfLife2ep2, my saved game is worth $200. I'll say that's worth backing up alright. ... Note to self...

    However, there are often cheat codes that let you jump ahead to any level you choose so
  • Since the Internet is readily available savegames have gotten a lot less important. After losing them, its not to hard to find a savegame online that is close to yours. There might be a few open ended games where that doesn't work, but for most games you shouldn't have much problems. And even when that route doesn't work, you still have youtube and friends where you can watch the endings or special things of a game that would otherwise require plenty of work to get back to, its not as good as the savegame,
  • Some games are wonderful for backup of saves. There's an easy-to-find subfolder called "SaveGames" or "SaveData" or whatever. Others have it buried in a directory structure five levels deep past the game root, in an obscurely named folder and file like "C:\Program Files\Electronic Farts\Control and Overcome\gd\sd\sg0001\sg.dat", while others save in "My Documents\Leisure Suit Harry - Spoon Tang\Savedata\Save001.dat." The first is obviously really confusing and annoying. The second isn't too bad, except that
  • The bottom line is we are not earning our salary wage after we go home. I don't think about how much money I'm not earning as I sleep, thinking if I went into work at night I could be a billionaire. Either they should adjust the mean salary down to a 24/7/365 distribution of dollars/hour or accept the fact that what you do on your own time is a completely subjective cost. I had similar logic in college, after some estimations of cost I came on the number of $24 for one hour of class. This is how muc
  • by trdrstv (986999) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:02PM (#21296549)
    I think the basic value would be "how much work will it take to get back to where I was, and how motivated am I to do it?" I sold my PS2 and Guitar Hero II & I got GH2 for the 360. I put a lot of time into the PS2 version, but the value of the save file was still pretty low as I had no issue with playing the songs/ modes again. I didn't think twice about it.

    However, I put countless hours into F-Zero GX (which you can't back up the save file), and I would be very distraught if it got corrupted because the game is So blissfully, delightfully, mind numbingly fucking hard at times (most of the time) that having to do it all again just to get back to where I was would be crushing. There are other games that have a definitive "Value cycle" as the game save in the beginning isn't very valuable, gets more valuable in the middle, becomes Extremely valuable as you approach the end, then goes back to little/ no value after you beat the game.

    Even then the value changes based on the game length. If I lost my "almost at the end" save file in Zelda I would be much more upset about it than if I lost my save file for say... Max Payne.

  • Mission: Thunderbolt is an old Macintosh dungeon digger from the mid-90s. It's a great game, with tons of gameplay elements and randomly generated levels so each game is different. One of the interesting parts of the game is that they made a sequel, Mission: Firebolt, and if you won Mission: Thunderbolt (which was a pretty impressive task, frankly) you could save your game for use in the sequel. I saved that game for at least 5 years waiting to plug the character into the sequel, but never did.
  • This is exactly the realization that drives MMORPGs. Blizzard doesn't care if you distribute WoW. NCSoft also has a link to download the Guild Wars client off their website. The real money here is of course in the characters themselves. (i.e., the save file) When you buy WoW, all you really buy is a code that you then link to an account, and can use to access your save file from anywhere at any time. Can you imagine what Blizzard would have to go through if they lost a server or cluster or whatever wi
  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:03PM (#21297685) Homepage
    This is one of those areas where computer game software is a pain in the neck. On Windows, I have yet to install a game that didn't put the save files in with the game files. Hence, you must run as admin and the game save files don't backup. I remember complaining about this 5 years ago when XP came-out and nothing has changed.
    • by Dutch Gun (899105)
      Just FYI, it is actually changing. I believe current Windows game programming logo guidelines require putting save and config files in user data areas, not under the program files. For older games, Vista apparently uses a virtualization system to re-direct the save games to a user location. It's too bad this wasn't enforced in the OS earlier.
      • by MobyDisk (75490)
        I remember writing some software for Windows NT and the logo requirements stated this even then. So that's almost 10 years ago. But the logo requirements also said similarly stupid things like that your application must be an ActiveX control or container, which made no sense. So I suspect the logo requirements are just ignored these days.

        I do know, however, that the Vista logo requirements for this are being followed. I think that is because Vista just plain doesn't work with apps that try writing to th
  • I'd been playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for a couple of months when the hard drive it was installed to went corrupt and lost all file information. The data was still there but all the structure of the files on the disk was gone.

    I spent several nights that week with various disk recovery programs trying to get my saves back. In the end what worked was one program which allowed me to view the disk as one massive stream of characters, and a fresh GTA:SA install on a second machine so I could search for
  • Is that your Oblivion save-game file and my Oblivion save-game file are probably pretty similar.

    It's not like Morrowind where there were dozens upon dozens of faction combinations, and things *actually* worth stealing. (We could have a whole conversation about what the point of being a thief is in a world full of 'levelled loot' and hilariously powerful 'unlock spells', but that's another post). In Oblivion there really aren't all that many ways you can play it. And the differences between the character
    • Is that your Oblivion save-game file and my Oblivion save-game file are probably pretty similar.

      It's not like Morrowind where there were dozens upon dozens of faction combinations, and things *actually* worth stealing. (We could have a whole conversation about what the point of being a thief is in a world full of 'levelled loot' and hilariously powerful 'unlock spells', but that's another post). In Oblivion there really aren't all that many ways you can play it. And the differences between the character

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