Make save game overwrites less dangerous

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malventano
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Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by malventano » Wed May 17, 2017 6:17 pm

This probably should be a bug, but someone else submitted it as such and it got shut down, so I'm putting it here as a feature suggestion.

1. The save game dialogue defaults to the name of the last save. This is normally fine, but that default is carried forward if a new game is started, which adds a possibility of overwriting the save of the last game/map you were playing on. This should never be the case for after a new game was started. The name field should be blank for the first save on a fresh game/map. This is further complicated by #2.
2. There is no overwrite prompt for overwriting a save. This means that if a player starts a new map, plays it for a few hours, and then does the reflex of saving it before quitting, if they go with the default option presented, they have just overwritten the save of their *other* map that they were playing on with not so much as an 'are you sure?'.

This is the sort of expected behavior from anything that starts something new. If you start a new word document, the first attempted save of that document does not default to the name of the previous document you had open. Folks would lynch Microsoft if that was the behavior :)

Recommendations:
1. New games should clear the previous/default save game name variable, forcing the player to enter a new name for their new map or choosing another from the list.
2. Save game overwrite prompt might also come in handy. The game already prompts to save upon quitting, it should also prompt for overwriting. If we don't want to bombard the user with prompts there, perhaps make it so that overwriting is only prompted if the player attempts to overwrite a *different* save than the previous one, but care must be taken to fix #1 first, otherwise the code will just overwrite other prior maps without prompting.

*edit* as an additional note, the previous save default carries over to a new game even if one was started just after launching Factorio - not only if a prior map was loaded within the same session.
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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by Moosfet » Thu May 18, 2017 12:32 am

1. New games should clear the previous/default save game name variable, forcing the player to enter a new name for their new map or choosing another from the list.
Actually this just needs to be changed from being a global variable to a map-specific variable. Load a map and you might want it to save with the same name you loaded it from. (Personally, I don't, but that's another issue.) Create a new game and there's no reason at all for the game to suspect it knows what you'll want to name it, and so it shouldn't suggest anything. Reload that first game and it should then go back to assuming you want to save with that file name again.
2. Save game overwrite prompt might also come in handy. The game already prompts to save upon quitting, it should also prompt for overwriting. If we don't want to bombard the user with prompts there, perhaps make it so that overwriting is only prompted if the player attempts to overwrite a *different* save than the previous one, but care must be taken to fix #1 first, otherwise the code will just overwrite other prior maps without prompting.
I'd prefer a "keep old saves" checkbox on the save menu, which then causes it to automatically generate a new save file for every save by incrementing a number. Then people who don't want to overwrite their saves can just check that box, and people who do want to overwrite their old saves won't be bothered by an "are you sure?" dialog.

However, an "are you sure?" would be nice in the event that someone chooses to overwrite a map that isn't the map that is currently loaded. In that case they likely are making a mistake and so it makes sense to ask. If it were to ask every time someone opts to save to the same file they've loaded from, people would quickly learn to just click away the dialog and thus it will be useless, so it is important that it ask only when the user is doing something that is genuinely unlikely to be what they want to do.

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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by malventano » Thu May 18, 2017 3:20 am

I don't think its a global variable right now - I think its just the last modified file in the save dir, but for the first save of a new map, it shouldn't try to overwrite the most recent save for that case.
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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by Linosaurus » Thu May 18, 2017 5:42 am

If you load an auto save, it'll suggest the auto save name next time. Perhaps something to change at the same time, I don't think overwriting auto saves is a good idea.

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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by YokoZar » Fri May 19, 2017 9:01 am

Thank you for posting this thread. This is probably the worst UX issue in Factorio at the moment :)

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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by Ingolifs » Fri May 19, 2017 9:16 am

Linosaurus wrote:If you load an auto save, it'll suggest the auto save name next time. Perhaps something to change at the same time, I don't think overwriting auto saves is a good idea.
Yes! I've done this before, and kept on going for a while without realising it. Fortunately I only play one map at a time and so didn't lose heaps of progress.

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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by JohnyDL » Fri May 19, 2017 9:17 am

Just need to make the save game default to a time date stamp, that'd fix both problems, you'll always save as a new file if you're quickly saving without paying attention and if you want to overwrite a save you have to select it first that selecting it (choosing a name) is your check against overwriting old files

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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by malventano » Sat May 20, 2017 5:06 pm

JohnyDL wrote:Just need to make the save game default to a time date stamp, that'd fix both problems, you'll always save as a new file if you're quickly saving without paying attention and if you want to overwrite a save you have to select it first that selecting it (choosing a name) is your check against overwriting old files
Naah, that's taking it a bit too far in the other direction. Once a name has been set for a new game that has been saved for the first time, it should stick during that session. No need to reinvent this behavior in an entirely new way as the mechanic has a decades-long established standard. Just look at anything else that loads and saves things (notepad, word, etc). Starting a new file (game) means your default first save attempt will not be your previously opened file, for starters.
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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by JohnyDL » Sat May 20, 2017 6:13 pm

Honestly I'd like the time/date stamp + file identifier to be default everywhere, it means I can have version continuity and look back at the differences between files (and game saves) indefinitely.

A decade or 2 ago storing anything like this would have been far too expensive, 40MB HDDs were once cutting edge of storage, but in the modern days of NVME drives, 1TB SSDs and 6TB HDDs for most people storage is now 'cheap' most of the time casual users'll never be able to fill a drive on a computer they have it 'just incase', I have a 3TB drive for steam saves and I do go '1705201900 Railworld V12' as my save names, and then another 10 minutes later I could '1705201910 Railworld V12' without it being an issue as I've still only used about 1/5 of the drive with all the games I play and all the saves I take. The 'Railworld V12' section provides continuity of naming between saves while the dating means I have independent saves each time in incremental ordering (if further switching the name and date round on the fly was an option too that'd be awesome but I don't ever see that happening.) The date coming first means your most recent files are either at the very top or very bottom when sorting by name (with explorer that isn't necessary cause windows lets you order by date and last accessed too) which is useful in Factorio when you've got hundreds of saves and want to find that exact one you were playing yesterday.

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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by malventano » Sat May 20, 2017 6:16 pm

JohnyDL wrote:Honestly I'd like the time/date stamp + file identifier to be default everywhere, it means I can have version continuity and look back at the differences between files (and game saves) indefinitely.

A decade or 2 ago storing anything like this would have been far too expensive, 40MB HDDs were once cutting edge of storage, but in the modern days of NVME drives, 1TB SSDs and 6TB HDDs for most people storage is now 'cheap' most of the time casual users'll never be able to fill a drive on a computer they have it 'just incase', I have a 3TB drive for steam saves and I do go '1705201900 Railworld V12' as my save names, and then another 10 minutes later I could '1705201910 Railworld V12' without it being an issue as I've still only used about 1/5 of the drive with all the games I play and all the saves I take. The 'Railworld V12' section provides continuity of naming between saves while the dating means I have independent saves each time in incremental ordering (if further switching the name and date round on the fly was an option too that'd be awesome but I don't ever see that happening.) The date coming first means your most recent files are either at the very top or very bottom when sorting by name (with explorer that isn't necessary cause windows lets you order by date and last accessed too) which is useful in Factorio when you've got hundreds of saves and want to find that exact one you were playing yesterday.
Large maps will very rapidly overflow the steam cloud save limit, especially if you are creating another copy every time you save.
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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by JohnyDL » Sat May 20, 2017 7:28 pm

the cloud limit not my own personal computer limit :) I know that already :) I just have to keep my own backups and not expect my saves to be on other computers but thanks for the concern.

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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by malventano » Sat May 20, 2017 7:32 pm

JohnyDL wrote:the cloud limit not my own personal computer limit :) I know that already :) I just have to keep my own backups and not expect my saves to be on other computers but thanks for the concern.
That's the thing - the devs must be concerned with the general user of this game, not your specific case. I have a 65TB NAS, but no need to just generate excessive saves for funsies.
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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by JohnyDL » Sat May 20, 2017 7:54 pm

I was just presenting it as a valid option (that could be added via a check box) I'm not the only one that would use it a lot of youtubers and game streamers might find running backups like this very useful and already do it manually for their lets play series, I know it's not the general case but it is a case worth considering.

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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by malventano » Sat May 20, 2017 7:57 pm

JohnyDL wrote:I was just presenting it as a valid option (that could be added via a check box) I'm not the only one that would use it a lot of youtubers and game streamers might find running backups like this very useful and already do it manually for their lets play series, I know it's not the general case but it is a case worth considering.
Oh yeah check box totally makes sense there.
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[UI] Warn before overwriting savegame with a different world

Post by Lyneira » Mon May 22, 2017 9:40 pm

TL;DR
Make the game warn the user before overwriting a savegame if the current world is not the same as the save being overwritten.
What?
I lost a 100-hour Marathon save game by overwriting it with a save of a test world without realizing it.
How did this happen?
I've been playing a Marathon save for over 100 hours where I just got to the point of setting up a nuclear reactor. In order to build a good one, I've been switching back and forth between a creative test world and the marathon world, saving and loading both of them frequently. I don't know exactly how this happened but what's certainly at play is the routine of clicking on the save button automatically. When you go to save the game, the UI might not always select the right save that you loaded before, or it may have been an error on my part where I clicked the wrong save before hitting the save button.
Suggested solution
The game should warn the player if they are attempting to overwrite a save that isn't a later version of itself.

It could be implemented by generating a unique ID for the world when a new game is started (or when loading a save that doesn't have one) and saving that with the world. When the user attempts to overwrite a save, warn if the save being overwritten is a different world or the save's game time is later than the current world. (user loaded an old version of the same world and is attempting to overwrite a newer version of the world)
Why ?
This will prevent disasters like accidentally overwriting a 100+ hour save when the user is swapping saves often. From a dev or experienced player perspective I know it would be easy to blame this on user error and say everything is fine, but a well designed user interface will catch easily detectable errors. This is especially valuable when the potential impact (losing a long running save) is huge.

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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by Koub » Mon May 22, 2017 9:44 pm

[Koub] Merged new topic into slightly older, exactly same subject
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by YokoZar » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:28 pm

Is this bug still live? I haven't tested the recent versions.

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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by deer_buster » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:28 pm

Yes

I would definitely prefer the saves to be game-name unique instead of just name unique

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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by BlakeMW » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:46 pm

It'd be really nice if this issue gets some attention... it doesn't have to be anything complicated, I'd be content if the game would just forget the last save slot when you start a new game.

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Re: Make save game overwrites less dangerous

Post by DaveMcW » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:41 am

BlakeMW wrote:it doesn't have to be anything complicated, I'd be content if the game would just forget the last save slot when you start a new game.
The game always forgets the last save slot, then recalculates it when the save dialog opens based on the last modified file.

The fix would involve remembering that a new game has been created, until the first time you try to save.

But what happens in multiplayer? Does the bug reappear after 1 player saves? Does it desync? It gets complicated. :P

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