Checkpoints?


#1

In the game I’m making, its possible for you to die before reaching the ending, if that happens to a player is there any way I can implement a start over mechanism which doesn’t make the player start from the very beginning but from a selected checkpoint not too far back from how far they previously progressed?


#2
*label checkpoint
Will you try to jump the chasm?
*choice
  #Yes
    You jump but it's too far.  You fall to a gruesome death
    Will you start again or go back to the last checkpoint?
    *choice
      #Start again
        *finish
      #Checkpoint
        *goto checkpoint
  #No
    You don't jump and live to fight another day.

#3

It gets more complicated if you’ve changed any stats between the death-point and the checkpoint though, since that method won’t automatically reset stats or any other variables.


#4

Thanks! =D>


#5

@FairyGodfeather

Hmmm…yes, that could get a bit muddy…

Do other published games also face this problem, or is there a way to bypass it?


#6

@Harian
Sabres of Infinity (and ZE, if I recall correctly) uses a more complex system, which involves making save-copies of all relevant variables at each checkpoint and then reverting to those upon checkpoint load.


#7

@Cataphrak

That’s something I would be looking for, how does it work via coding in ChoiceScript?


#8

Heroes Rise 2 does something too. I think it bumps down your legend stat. I can’t remember.


#9

@Harian
Basically, every time the player reaches a checkpoint, the script copies over each individual relevant variable to a “dummy” variable, like

*set svitality = vitality

If the player character dies and chooses to load the last checkpoint, the process is reversed, restoring the main variable to the value that it was at during the last checkpoint:

*set vitality = svitality
And so on.


#10

So every time I make a checkpoint I should be setting a vitality?


#11

Or whatever stats you have.


#12

@Harian Just personal opinion here. I’d suggest doing away with checkpoints altogether and just making it a little bit clearer that the PC might die in the situation if they continue on this road. That way, they’ve made an informed decision as to whether they want to proceed. If they don’t die, it looks epic and possibly established a new enemy. If they do die, well, as long as they go down in a blaze of flaming glory, I don’t see the problem.


#13

@_jl
In Trial of the Demon Hunter, there are many situations in which you are required to fight; so, there are many situations in which you have the probability of dying. Were I not to include a checkpoint system, I’m sure I’d get a lot of reviews saying “UGH IT’S SO ANNOYING THAT THERE ISN’T A CHECKPOINT SYSTEM BECAUSE I KEEP DYING AND I HAVE TO RESTART!!! I GIVE IT A 1!”


#14

One of the things I’ve added to Rebels is a checkpoint system, with checkpoints before and after Ch 2. It’s not because people die but because it makes it easier to replay the chapter with the most branches without having to start all over again. Halian, I’ll send you a link to the code when it’s ready to go.


#15

@Samuel_H_Young True and it does depend on the game. For me, I look at it like this. The player character and their posse is to some extent special; more so than the other people you encounter. The reason being, for me, is that it is important that someone feels invested in their character. That doesn’t mean things won’t be difficult however.

So with that in mind, if a game were to not have a checkpoint, the combat could be very dramatic and at times very difficult. It may be life-threatening but in all cases, perhaps the player has an opportunity to back away or end the fight by doing something cool or avoid the fight altogether. Again, this is dependent on the game but I think there should be the option to resolve any given situation in a number of ways.

Of course, having a reasoned discussion with a blood-thirsty goblin - as in your case - is going to be difficult but perhaps in some situations, a player could use stealth, for example? I should say though, I don’t think removing checkpoints is appropriate for any and all games but where possible, if you can remove that safety net and still make it seem tense and exciting for the player, I would go for it.

@Havenstone For replayability, I can see the value of a checkpoint system. Again, I do have some personal disagreements with it but they are only personal feelings and I can completely understand why people would want checkpoints in their system for whatever reason.


#16

@_jl
I agree! There are cases in Trial of the Demon Hunter where you can avoid combat altogether by using stealth. However, because of the plot, you aren’t able to avoid it by talking the aggressor(s) out of it.

I personally don’t like checkpoints that much, but I’ve seen a lot of readers give (for example) Sabres of Infinity bad reviews because of the initial lack of a checkpoint system. So, I implemented one to stop that from happening.


#17

@Samuel_H_Young Yes, I was playing through a bit of it earlier today (unfortunately I’m not going to be free to play anything properly for a week or so) and noticed you definitely had these options present. Your method reminds me (and I’m not sure entirely as I haven’t had the chance to play all the way through) of the various Hitman/Thief games.

Within them, if you’re unfamiliar, the objective was definitely to kill or steal but there was ‘more than one way to skin a cat’. If you want a more contemporary example, take a look at Dishnoured too. The reason I’m against checkpoints - and perhaps you agree with this - is because they remove agency from the player in some respects. So say if I had suffered some grievous harm in my most recent encounter, I would like to make the choice to escape the next encounter but also in addition, to face great penalty if I made the choice to still go ahead all guns blazing anyway.

Egoraptor makes this point really well on his “Sequelitis” series, especially the <a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FpigqfcvlM>Megaman video. If you get a chance, take a look at the rest of the series. Although some of his points are (deliberately?) silly, some of them are actually really good insight into game design.


#18

What about implementing an easy and hard mode? Easy mode would have the checkpoint system, and hard mode would not.


#19

@fantom That would definitely circumvent some of the issues we’re discussing here. That’s a good idea. :slight_smile: I’m not sure what it would involve coding wise but I don’t think it would be overly complex.


#20

@_jl
You were playing TotDH :open_mouth: ? I wasn’t aware I had any working links up, still.

I also give options for your goal to be to redeem the aggressors.

I agree with you on that. Checkpoint systems are somewhat like back buttons, which take away suspense.

I’ll take a look when I get the chance.