Charles et al,

I'm going to try to put this across in the best way I can without coming off
arrogant. Please excuse in advance any ego implied by this post.

I think you're absolutely right. In a lot of ways, the save game option is
like the difficulty setting of the game. Nobody is saying that you need to
play on a certain difficulty level, and it's up to you, the individual
gamer, to make that distinction. The upshot of harder difficulty levels,
aside from the pride in beating them, is that the skilled player usually
gets a better reward. In the case of MOTA it's a higher score.

However, there is nothing to separate the player who tackles expert mode
without saving from the lucky guy who tackles expert and saves every two
steps, restoring when necessary--and that, I think, is where the problem

I think anyone who tackles a game and masters it thoroughly hopes to be
recognized for doing so. Beyond that, though, I think--especially in our
market--that we can't generally make a game too difficult. One has to make
an exception for Techno Shock and the enemies who shoot the player as soon
as they see him, but in general the principle holds. Far too many of our
games have set a very low difficulty bar, and I think it's resulted in some
rather coddled gamers.

When the first version of Monte was released--James North's version--he used
true 2D movement. If your character jumped, and you pressed right arrow
twice while in the air, you would make a short jump. If your character
jumped, and you pressed right arrow six or seven times, your character
jumped a lot further. (Side note: this is how most mainstream games of this
style go, though you usually held the arrow key as you jumped). Additionally
every jump in Monte came with a burst of elevation, which meant that trying
to jump off a rope meant that one could hit one's head on the ceiling if the
character was too close to it.

I remember someone writing a post to the list at one point saying something
to this effect. "James, I spent over an hour trying to figure out that rope
puzzle you put into the game, and it was way too hard. You should take that

Whether we're dealing with "rope puzzles," game saves, or difficulty
settings, though, I think the concept is the same. Those of us who have had
experience with mainstream games want something closer to what we're used
to. On a more basic level, though, I think what's really needed is a general
raising of the bar for everyone involved. We have to understand that a well
crafted game shouldn't be beaten in a matter of hours right out of the
proverbial box, and we have to be willing to struggle and work at a thing in
order to be good at it. If we as gamers allow ourselves to be coddled by
games that are too easy, we can't ever raise that bar.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Charles Rivard
Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 10:48 PM
To: Gamers Discussion list
Subject: [Audyssey] the save game option

If there is an option of a game that I never use, I certainly would not 
complain about it being there.  That would make no sense.  The key is that 
it is an option, not a demand that you must use it.  It's up to each gamer 
as to whether he or she uses it.  What could be unfair about that?
Shepherds are the best beasts.

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