Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

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sillyfly
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Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by sillyfly »

With 0.11.14, the game screen now darkens when the game is autosaving, and a progress bar is shown. This is a change from previous versions, where the game would slow/freeze, but there was no visible sign for the autosave.

Frankly, I'm not sure what I think about this change. At first I found this a little annoying, but then I thought - well, the game already freezes for the autosave, so I might as well get a progress bar telling me how long it would take, right?
But I'm still not sure.

So what do you guys think? Do you like this change or not?

Gammro
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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by Gammro »

The addition of the bar itself is nice, but I'd rather have it somewhere else on the screen(hint: at an edge/corner) and not darken the screen. It's only there for a short time, so it's a bit annoying having your screen flash darker for a second or two.
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Rahjital
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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by Rahjital »

I've turned off the autosave because of this. I barely noticed autosaves before, and even on large factories it was just a brief stutter, but now the darkening and progress bar are incredibly distracting. It would be great if it was possible to turn this off in options.
Last edited by Rahjital on Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dee-
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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by dee- »

The darkening is what distracted me the most. I had Factorio running in the background with a browser window in front and noticed it getting dark somewhere behind that browser window. I thought "whuut?", switched back to the game but everything was normal and innocent :shock: So I switched back to the browser... and there it happened again! Eagle-eyeing the game for full 120 seconds I finally got to know the new autosave darkening feature :D

Yeah, it distracts. IMHO an autosave function should be as transparent as possible as it's not triggered by the user but brought upon him. I welcome the autosave function and wouldn't disable it but if there just was a small progressbar somewhere to indicate it's doing something without the darkening I'd probably prefer this.

Edit: typos galore
Last edited by dee- on Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Marconos
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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by Marconos »

Better option .. make autosaves in a separate thread so they don't stop your game play. I would also like to point out that this could potentially be a real pain in the arse to implement, but hey, I wouldn't have to do it :D

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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by Rseding91 »

Marconos wrote:Better option .. make autosaves in a separate thread so they don't stop your game play. I would also like to point out that this could potentially be a real pain in the arse to implement, but hey, I wouldn't have to do it :D
Auto-saves and normal saves *do* happen in a different thread. That doesn't mean the game state can continue on while it's collecting what it needs for the save (without maintaining a duplicate instance of the world).
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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by Marconos »

Rseding91 wrote:
Marconos wrote:Better option .. make autosaves in a separate thread so they don't stop your game play. I would also like to point out that this could potentially be a real pain in the arse to implement, but hey, I wouldn't have to do it :D
Auto-saves and normal saves *do* happen in a different thread. That doesn't mean the game state can continue on while it's collecting what it needs for the save (without maintaining a duplicate instance of the world).
Actually you can without having 2 full world game states. It would involve some versioning logic to stamp the save values versus the current values and they would diverge from each other as things that are in the current state update while the save is going. Then removing the stamped version after the save is done. Think along the lines of a database server and snapshot isolation levels where the entire database isn't copied but knows where it's at. Something along those lines. Lots of work but a very cool to have feature, though not exactly a need to have feature.

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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by cube »

Marconos wrote:Actually you can without having 2 full world game states. It would involve some versioning logic to stamp the save values versus the current values and they would diverge from each other as things that are in the current state update while the save is going. Then removing the stamped version after the save is done. Think along the lines of a database server and snapshot isolation levels where the entire database isn't copied but knows where it's at. Something along those lines. Lots of work but a very cool to have feature, though not exactly a need to have feature.
I think that would require way more overhead than we can afford on larger maps.

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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by Gandalf »

I like the way it does it now, with the progress bar. Before, the short stutters used to throw me off and felt broken,
but now I know immediately what is going on.
However in my current game it takes about a full second to autsave. I imagine it's a little weird if it just flashes
for a fraction of a second, so I'd suggest only showing it if the save is gonna take longer then, say, half a second.
Of course that requires a way to estimate the total save duration beforehand.
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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by sillyfly »

Hmm... I think, like dee- said, the process should be made less intrusive. We all hope that with future versions the game will be optimized better and saves will be quicker, but it would always be possible to make huge maps for which autosaving would take considerable amounts of time. So what if the bar was moved to the top of the screen, and the screen itself kept at the normal brightness? That way you would get the progress indication, but it wouldn't be as distracting.

If any of you played Banished - think about the autosave indicator in that game. It is very non-intrusive, but still gives you the indication if you want to see it.

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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by Koub »

I must admit I really prefered the previous behaviour. Especially when I'm deconstructing something, and the area I was selecting unselects because I was deconstructing at the precise moment the autosave would fire.
Before, I bearly noticed the autosave, just a momentary stutter of the game, and that was all. If it took place when I was doing something static, I didn't even notice it. Now, whatever I do, when I'm on the wiki to check something, every time I see the screen darken (I play in windowed mode), I jump to the game to see what's happening ... bah it was nothing, just the autosave.

On an even more personal note, I don't know if the change was intended, but if it was, I'd have expected to see it in the changelog of the 0.11.14. I may sound like having OCD, but that's the point of a changelog, to log the changes ^^.
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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by Rahjital »

sillyfly wrote:If any of you played Banished - think about the autosave indicator in that game. It is very non-intrusive, but still gives you the indication if you want to see it.
Yeah, Banished did it really well. It only shown a little icon of a guy with a pickaxe in one of the corners. Perhaps Factorio could show a turning cog icon there?

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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by Marconos »

cube wrote:
Marconos wrote:Actually you can without having 2 full world game states. It would involve some versioning logic to stamp the save values versus the current values and they would diverge from each other as things that are in the current state update while the save is going. Then removing the stamped version after the save is done. Think along the lines of a database server and snapshot isolation levels where the entire database isn't copied but knows where it's at. Something along those lines. Lots of work but a very cool to have feature, though not exactly a need to have feature.
I think that would require way more overhead than we can afford on larger maps.
You might be able to do in a fairly light manner.

Along these lines
1. Save timer fires, save thread sets "saving" flag.
2. Save thread does it work walking through the objects saving them, using the new "status" state if an object has it.
3. On completion the save thread clears the save flag.
4. Save thread then walks all objects removing any preserved states that exist.

Now on to the main thread(s) that update object states.
1. All objects get a bit value that indicates they have a preserver state.
2. Objects needs to modify itself and uses the following steps
3. Check if save flag is set and preserved state is NOT set
4. Preserve state information
5. Continue on with normal operations.

Depending on how you implemented your objects and how they interact with each other the preserve could be very painful or pretty simple.

A model like this is possible but without knowing your system ... well ya.

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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by Malachite »

My two cents: an option for "silent autosaves" that reverts to the previous way?

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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by JimiQ »

Keep the progress bar, but in some corner, no darkening... also, is there possibility of showing "warning" 5 seconds before autosave, that it's going to happen? That would be nice

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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by onebit »

It's distracting when the current action is interrupted.

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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by warmadmax »

old "invisible" stutter VS new visible pause and progress bar, invisible stutter wins for me.

The new autosave reminds me of the UAC interrupt that windows does when prompting for admin credentials,
dimming the screen and popping up a dialog box that you have to sort out, basically windows telling you to"stop everything you are doing and give me a username and password".

Think it'd be better off as either a message or progress bar in the top left corner that does as little to interrupt gameplay as possible,
or even as one of the text messages that pops up in the console, like the "cannot pick-up item, inventory full" messages you get on screen.

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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by Nemoricus »

I'm with those people who favor a little message/progress bar in a corner of the screen, and no screen darkening.

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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by Aardwolf »

My suggestion for the autosave would be to do some serious optimization there so it doesn't take that long

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Re: Game stops for autosave - thoughts?

Post by Gammro »

I think you haven't been around for too long? Save times and size have already improved a lot, I'm not sure how much more they can improve on what has already been done :lol:
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