Guides for all games?

So what you are saying is
‘I don’t want to play the game more than once. Give me a back button so I don’t have to start over/play again’

Am I getting you right?

Not necessarily. There are consumers who do appreciate not having a back button, viewing it as an achievement if they can do something without needing a ‘do-over’ or ‘scum-saving’ or anything else. In that case, by having those features would be seen as anti-consumer as well by those same people.

And don’t think it can’t happen. When asked by some people to make some games easier like Darkest Dungeon, or Cuphead, many fans erupted in anger at the thought of ‘dumbing down’ the game…even if it was features not implemented. So, at that point…the devs deciding not to make an ‘easy mode’ can be called ‘anti-consumer’ as much as if they did implement it to satisfy their current fan-base.

And there would be many people who would be offended since you presumed to speak for them. What you view as anti-consumer, many others view as a game feature…and would tell you if you don’t like it, then you are free to buy games elsewhere.

In the interests of transparency: I’m actually on record saying that I would like a save/reload feature myself. I actually agree with most of your arguments/stands, but the part about being ‘anti-consumer’ was a bit much, and was why I wanted to post. If they really were anti-consumer, they wouldn’t have implemented ways to enlarge text, or change color screen. Yes, much later than many people would like, but it was done.

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No. I’m saying I don’t want to play the game over just to reread a single page that I misclicked off of, having to redo the same choices over without changing them.

That argument can be countered by going with a compromise of making it so choices can’t be changed retroactively with the back button. Again, I know that can be done relatively easily. Or even just making back buttons optional. It’s not like the people who don’t want back buttons are being forced to use them, but the option should be there for those who do.

My posts are moderated so I can’t edit them-

They’d be wrong. I don’t feel entitled, I feel that having to completely replay the entire game to reread a single page is unnecessarily tedious. As a game developer myself, I’d never force that on my own customers.

I agree that it would be nice to have a back button that allowed you to re-read (not re-choose). I also think it’s silly to frame that preference as a dire threat

I mean, knock yourself out, with whatever audience you reach… but ultimatums like this would sound obnoxious and inane even coming from the guys at Penny Arcade.

Infinite choice is an illusion and an impossibility. Choice is made meaningful by the constraints on choice. If I can take back any choice, was it really a choice at all, or just a tentative exploration?

On this issue, CoG’s approach wasn’t arrived at “without considering what the customers want.” As they say in the FAQ, they found early on from player feedback that games with a back button turned into a “chore” of tension-free flipping through all options to find the “best” one. The choices in a CoG take on additional meaning and tension from the knowledge that you can’t easily take them back. It’s one of the ways these games improve on paper CYOAs, where you could always keep your finger on the choice until you’d seen whether you liked it.

I imagine you wouldn’t see this as an improvement. That’s fine, but it illustrates that the playerbase doesn’t have a single uniform desire on this point. Representing your own preference as “what the customers want” is unjustified. And it doesn’t seem to me that what some customers want should or can be decisive for a company’s design philosophy.

Finally, you also ignore Mary’s point above that, given the number of games CoG has published on multiple platforms, it’s no simple thing to update the UI. I’d appreciate a re-read button, but I’m not at all sure the benefit would outweigh the cost of installing it in all their current games–I’ve got no way of accurately estimating that cost. Perhaps as a game developer yourself, you’ve got a better idea.

PS - if you happen to be the reviewer of Rebels who just noted on Google Play that you missed the whole description of Harrowers, I feel your pain, but I don’t think this post is the best way to seek change.


Dude, you seem absurdly entitled.
Especially with you threatening the mods etc in a ‘do what i say or you will lose’ bullsh*tty way. Seriously?

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I do remember Vendetta having the most awesome saving system I’ve yet seen in any CoG, ever. However its maintenance also seemed to be a lot of work and that save system in particular was designed for beta testing so testers could rapidly go through all the permutations and choices, which does remove a lot of the tension and uncertainty in release versions, so I see why CoG perhaps doesn’t want to do that.

I am personally in the crowd who wouldn’t mind having a save system, but as for its implementation I would rather have the current three slot save plugin that is present on many current WiP’s made standard in the release versions, so I can determine where I save rather than having to go back through every choice by spam clicking a back button 132 times.
The limited amount of save slots the “standard” plugin has also do preserve enough tension for me in most cases, but obviously I can only speak for myself.
That said if I ever do get around to writing something myself I could definitely see myself pushing more strongly for the save feature. Back button sounds like more of a chore then just implementing the save plugin, particularly if’s a re-read mode only.

Indeed, @ToddTheSquid you really do not speak for me on this issue, so do not presume you do.

The cost wouldn’t be high. The time, maybe. A basic back button would take a couple lines of code at most, and could be copy-pasted between games of the same version, if my experience is anything to go off of. One that doesn’t allow re-choosing may be a little more complicated, but overall the cost wouldn’t be much higher, if it is at all. Maybe a little more time-consuming at most.

As for all those talking about abusing back buttons, I already proposed a compromise, of a simple “re-read button” to use the term of Lys above. And I’m mildly surprised nobody else suggested it or thought of it before, to my knowledge.

I can see how some people might also take offense to me calling it anti-consumer, and compare it to cuphead and darkest dungeon, but that comparison isn’t fair in my mind. You’re comparing an arcade shooter type of game [cuphead] and a roguelike/roguelite [DD] to a choose your own adventure type game. A back button is not “easy mode”, it’s a way to re-read pages you missed.

Those calling me entitled are wrong- If I were entitled, I’d be whining about what I want specifically. Those saying I don’t speak for them are right- I never claimed to speak for everyone. But I also don’t see how having a back button takes away from your own experience. If you don’t like back buttons, don’t use it. Nobody’s forcing you to. Just continue to play the game as before, ignoring the back button exists. If you do like back buttons, the option shouldn’t be denied you. Or of course limiting back buttons so you can’t alter choices.

And no, I’m not “threatening” them, I couldn’t actually do anything even if I wanted. They won’t “lose” if they don’t listen to me, the only thing they’d lose is a customer, which ultimately doesn’t matter to them I bet. I’m just of the mindset that every customer matters, and am hoping they think the same. Basically, the “threats” you perceived were no more than words, me speaking my mind. I couldn’t do anything to them, and never said I’d do anything other than state my experience and thoughts to others. If that’s what you think of as a threat, then you’ve never experienced a true threat before.

And yes, havenstone, that was me. It’s annoying and I don’t see why it can’t be fixed with some kind of compromise. A re-read button would solve all the problems of myself and potentially others. I see a lot of you aren’t particularly averse to re-read buttons, and just that much is all I’m really asking for.

Also, I can understand that some of what I’m saying might come across as aggressive or angry or something like that, but please note that, as much as I’m annoyed by both the first impression I’m getting from this community and the issues I’m having, I am trying to be civil. I don’t intend any offense with what I say, and potentially offensive opinions are just that-
my opinions based on my experiences.

I also saw a suggestion of a “new game plus” mode somewhere, and even that could unlock the back button much like the Lifeline series of games. It doesn’t even have to be retroactively included, much as was stated earlier in the thread, but just included in future games. I’d be fine with even that much.

In short- sorry if I’ve offended anyone, or come across as entitled and angry. I’m just stating my thoughts, which others may or may not agree with to some capacity, and I am in fact trying to stay civil as much as possible. Thank you for reading this, and I hope that any future replies read at least this part before assuming I’m some raving ungrateful entitled piece of crap. Some of what I said was in the heat of the moment as well, please excuse any of that you see.


“A couple of lines” goes to show how much you know bout coding…

Like I said, I’m a game developer myself. If I didn’t know about coding, I wouldn’t have the job that I have. @MeltingPenguins

I’m also surprised that a “re-read but not re-choose” approach hasn’t been more widely discussed on the forum. There have been some discussions that touched on it, but most people who want a back button seem keen to have the re-choose option and just focus on that. As I’ve said, the compromise you’re proposing sounds good to me, one which would improve my enjoyment too–though I’d also still be inclined to believe CoG if they replied that the time required to update hundreds of games was prohibitive.

For future reference, this is unmistakeably how you phrase a threat:

The fact that you’re actually powerless to hurt CoG, and walk it back a post later, doesn’t make your words any less a threat. It just means your threat was verbal, and largely ineffectual. You could easily have spoken your mind without phrasing anything in the form of a threat, and if you’d done so, you’d have had a friendlier reception. Just imagine all these folks agreeing with you and none of them feeling the need to grumble about your blustery tone! It would have been a whole different conversation. :slight_smile:


Ah. That’s what they meant by a threat. No, no, I was using that to prove a point- Their games feel less like games and more like real life. Which I like, honestly. Irl, you don’t get do-overs. Even if the back button wasn’t just a re-read, I’d only use it as one until I finished the first playthrough, and maybe not even then. I didn’t state this much before because it would’ve lost some effect… though I guess it didn’t have my intended effect anyway. Sorry, mildly embarrassing there.

Anyway, thanks for being polite- I always try to be civil, but especially so when others are civil as well. :slight_smile:

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No worries. Like I said, I feel your pain. I’ve had plenty of moments where a re-read button would have been extremely helpful.

And belatedly, I agree that it would be worth considering adding it as a feature of future games, even if the cost of retrofitting old ones was deemed too high.

Alright. First. Apolgies for rudeness. You do come across as pretty entitled nevertheless. Granted yeah. Being able to reread a page might be nice at times, but too many, judging by what they say, the fact that you cant turn back is what they like about it.

As for coding. I doubt that with the CS engine itd be as easy.
You have various stories that use random factors now (heart of the house eg) and other variables.
A simple back button would not do.

I don’t see how I’m coming across as entitled, but I’m sorry if it seems that way. I understand they don’t have to listen to me, I’m just saying what I think is best, which for all I know might be incorrect. I don’t have all the information. And I understand that people like not being able to turn back. They wouldn’t lose that even if a back button were added. They could just ignore the button until they need to reread something. Nobody is forcing them to use it, just providing the option.

I’ll admit I’ve never used the engine these games use, and I know RNG is included. But the stats page has a back button which doesn’t interfere with the RNG. Maybe they could take the code for that, modify it, and use that. Or, like I and a few others said, make it so choices can’t be changed via the back button. It’s possible that the randomness is generated by a seed at the start of a new game, which would mean that any RNG would remain the same. If it’s not seed-based though, it’ll be a bit more difficult and require a local cache for the current playthrough that caches RNG results and recalls them when the page is reloaded via the back button or continuing from where the back button takes you. But that’s just my take on it, and the engine may not support that, in which case a change to the engine could be done but that’d likely be more involved.

The stats button here is iirc more of an overlay than a page itself, so it’s not a back button in that sense.

I suppose so. It doesn’t seem like much of a difference to me, but again I’ve never used this engine so I may be wrong.

Hi, @ToddTheSquid. Welcome to the community. If you want to look at the coding for a lot of works in progress, then you can view stuff like that on a site called Dashingdon.

One of the community members here was gracious enough to host a site where people can upload their works in progress there (very unofficial, but quite useful) so that players can go through them and give feedback if they want to.

So, as an example… let’s say you wanted to play this work in progress called Fief, by @jasonstevanhill, right? Once you click that, it takes you to this page:

If you want to go behind the scenes and look at the code, just alter the URL like this:

That will show you a list of text files which effectively holds all the code for the game. You can basically do the same thing to see the code for the other games on Dashingdon, so feel free to study to your heart’s content. :slight_smile:

For the record, you don’t sound entitled (negative connotation) to me. You just wanted to speak your mind. Everyone is entitled (positive connotation) to their opinion, and you were just speaking your peace. I personally have no problem with that. Actually, I’d like it if everyone felt more free (not less) to speak their mind without fear of offending other people. I mean, we’re all adults here right? If not, perhaps we should be (pokes moderators). I’m saying that because that’s the problem that a lot of people seem to have… they take an opinion as if it was a statement of fact. It takes just a little bit of maturity to realize that the words we’re reading are in fact opinions and not fact, so there is no need to get upset at anything. All that’s called for really is an I agree (because reasons), or I disagree (also because reasons). Simple, right?

Also, would you mind telling us a little bit about what languages you code in and what kind of games you design? I would really like to hear about that.

Mhn… as an example additional to what Carlos said. Here’s a bit from the game I’m working on:

"Eh, nothing," $!{kid_firstname} @{(gender_child_count = "plural") say| says} and @{(gender_child_count = "plural") bury| buries} ${kidtheir} nose in the menu again. You can see ${kidtheir} mouth move and ${kidtheir} brows furrow.

   #Whatever it is ${kidthey}' @{(gender_child_count = "plural") re| s} looking at, ${kidthey}'ll likely order it for the weird name alone.
      Let's hope ${kidthey} never @{(gender_child_count = "plural") discover| discovers} Surströmming... No, don't look that up now!
      *set oddball %+5
      *goto ordering_food1
   #Whatever it is ${kidthey}' @{(gender_child_count = "plural") re| s} looking at, ${kidthey}'ll likely order it just to try it. $!{kidthey} @{(gender_child_count = "plural") have| has} a thing for trying new things and figuring stuff out.
      That is an interesting approach.
      *set busybody %+5
      *goto ordering_food1

The text behind the # is a choice the player can make.
The text below is (without the * ) is what appears when you made that choice.
I have a page_break (aka a next button) here, meaning that bit of text will appear on its own page before the ‘next’ button gets the player to what’s at the label (via the *goto command which moves to a *label )
A *page_break isn’t as such necessary here, but the flavor text will (if there’s any) appear above the text at the next label.
A back button would require to do the following here:
record which choice has been picked each time one is made and then re-display the flavortext.

Which… might at best lead to a tone of additional engine operations that will cause more bugs and crashes.