New to COG-Do CS games automatically save progress between sessions?


#1

Hi all!

I am new, and this question will probably seem ignorant, but I have been searching the forums and tutorials for days and still am not sure what the facts are.

I am considering using Choice Script for a game that requires lots of variables and allows the player to customize their stats. I am concerned about what Choice Script games actually save/remember between sessions.

The COG games I have purchased seem to remember where I left off, and what my character stats were when I quit, and then reload that data automatically at the start a new session to continue the game.

I don't quite get though if this is something that the game authors implemented actively or if this is a feature of any game made in Choice Script?
.
I have been digging through the forums and I see lots of terms that confuse me. There is talk of GAME SAVING and talk of CHECKPOINTS. Are these features folks are adding to their games that are different than the game just remembering all the variables and what scene you were in between sessions? I just want to make sure that the player can continue the game and not lose any changes between sessions.

The game I am considering is fairly long, and it just won't work if every time someone quits to take a break the had to start over. I read in one thread that the folks at COG will add a save feature if they feel a game warrants it, but is that something different than what I am asking about?

Anyway, I hope I made some kind of rambling sense.

Thank you for any help in advance!


#2

Published games do have a save system implemented, but I think that's added by CoG themselves after the game has been submitted. If you're wanting a save system purely for testing purposes, then I'd suggest taking a look here.


#3

That's functional for published games (although even those can get reset), but for testing games, that doesn't work. You'll need to use CJW's plug-in.

Yes. Mostly it's someone designing their game so that you can return to point X without having to start the game over (while with CS normally, you have to start over from scratch to play the game a different way).

For testing purposes, that would probably make things significantly harder (but not impossible). You'll probably want CJW's save system for that.

If it's CoG talking about their save feature, yes that's probably different from what you're talking about. That's (probably) about saving from one game to another. That saving from session to session feature is (to my knowledge) standard across all CoG or HG games.


#4

While we're on the subject, what ever happened to that password feature that CS used to have? Did they remove it? I know the *show_password is still valid in CS, but that's it.


#5

It's deprecated to my knowledge (although it may have broke and/or been actually removed at some point, I haven't bothered to try using it). Essentially CoG prefers to use the linked to an email system they're now using.

I'm guessing that they decided it was just significantly cleaner on the user end, and as messy or scary UI can scare off some users (particularly younger users), if the save system even possibly looks scary, they end up skipping on the second game because of just not wanting to deal with the save system (not to mention loss of the code probably being a huge deciding factor, and a large portion of the audience using mobile devices where text codes are difficult at best and impossible at worst). But that's just a guess.


#6

Last I checked it's still in the codebase, it's just commented out so that it's no longer a valid command (deprecated as Reaperoa says).
It still works, you just need to uncomment it.


#7

With the ability to now parse strings, you can implement your own password feature if you know what you're doing. I'm likely going to look into this myself, and if it seems to work well, I'll post a tutorial on how to create one.


#8

Thank you all for the feedback. I have a lot to consider right now.

I have read in a few threads that COG doesn't like games with save systems, added to them and may not host or publish those games, is that true? Or am I misunderstanding something?

If I put in a save system for testing, then I have to remove that system before I submit a finished game to COG?

I'm really hung up on this issue. I'm afraid to put in a large effort on a project that
hinges on having no data lost between sessions. It's scary to me that even if I test a save system and it seems to work fine, that the save system that will be used in the final game will be different and I won't be able to test that.

Am I just being neurotic?

Anyway I really do appreciate everyone taking the time to explain things. Thank you all very much.


#9

There is an alternative to plug-ins, explained here:

COG has its own save systems that they implement before publishing, which usually fix any problems with authors wanting to save and restore checkpoints. Zombie Exodus, for example, has a save point at the start of any chapter; you can replay from the start of one and it will remember all of your stats as of that point. All of that is supported.

If people start writing their own scripts, not in ChoiceScript, to introduce to higher levels of programming - it could create unintended problems with the operation of ChoiceScript, so it's highly discouraged. Usually, people code their save states with a script or use plug-ins, then remove that when COG builds in the reliable save framework.

You don't have to. For example, some games depend on a password to unlock content or give the players access to "New Game Plus". All of that can be coded in CS, and can add some fun versatility to what you can do with save states. (New Game Plus can't reliably be coded in without a password, since there is no surefire way of maintaining the basic saved variables if people shut their browser and/or delete cookies.)

There are solutions to that, stay calm! First, you could provide your own hosting for variables to be called and remembered. Second, the ChoiceScript save checkpoints that will be added are pretty fool-proof, and allow for multiple save points. Third, you can relate things that ought to be remembered to achievements. If New Game+ is unlocked after you achieve "finished the game", it is PRETTY reliable to call back to these. It's not 100% but it will usually work.

The save system used works reliably; play a few App Store COGs and you'll see what I mean. If you quit out or your phone shuts off, it will restore your place in the story and stats as of that point. Authors can work with COG to allow for functions other than "save the last place I left off", like the chapter checkpoints in ZE.


#10

Thank you! There's lots of info for me to digest.

I am grateful for all the info being shared! smile


#11

I am interested in saves that another reader can use.

My idea is to write two games in the same setting. The decisions of player 1 shape the world in which player 2 also lives, so that would provide some kind of multiplayer capabilities.

The idea of a password that readers can insert at the beginning of a game is something I didn't really consider (even though I knew it existed), so thank you, @Sashira.


#12

That's a cool idea, Mayday!