Keeping Track of Saved Games

For Polaris, I've decided to take the game development in little bite sized pieces and use the same approach to development and design of the game as I did for Worldmaker: Modular pieces that can be expanded later.

I chose to start with something pretty boring but important: Saved game management.

I've kept myself from creating a new Polaris project just yet, and am trying to keep the project generic for now, which means functionality over form in every aspect.

  • No skinning UI elements
  • No adding images or other visual flourishes
  • Implementing layouts is okay as long as they use the default Flex skins

As far as RPGs go, I've always liked Bioware's Dragon Age: Origins and it's likely going to be my biggest influence here other than Krin's Sonny. I like Bioware's emphasis on a story-focused game with player choices driving the narrative.

Dragon Age's save system has several has functions:

  1. Start a new character
  2. Select a character to load an existing game from
  3. Load an existing game from a list of saves
  4. Delete an existing game from a list of saves
  5. Delete a character
Dragon Age: Origin's "Load Game" menu, accessible from the main menu

Once in the game, auto-saves, quick-saves, manual saves, and chapter saves take place and are organized under the current character.

I implemented this system pretty quickly, with saves existing in a straightforward folder structure using character names. Everything so far works pretty smoothly which is nice. The game-state serializes/deserializes to json, and saves are sorted by their creation date.

I still want to add some of the details like time played, location, or a screenshot. I really like how Bioware displays your "story so far" to indicate progress - it's a lot more interesting than a "39% complete" indicator you see more often. Overall, I'm happy with what I have so far and think I'm ready to start piecing together other parts of my game.