Please re-implement manual saving

Apologies in advance if i’m simply missing it, but I believe i’ve searched fairly well

Sunless Skies seems to have removed manual saves, a feature that was present in sunless sea. Instead only allowing a single autosave which is overwritten whenever the game feels like it during port. I can at least say for sure that it’s not simply saved once on arriving, but seems to save after storylets. This denies me the ability to reload and retry on results i dislike.

Naturally, i will use this feature for cheating, as I always have. I feel that’s my right, as the sole player of a singleplayer game, to reload and retry results i choose not to accept. Perhaps due to overly harsh consequences, or perhaps - in a great many cases, due simply to a desire to see each of the possible outcomes and experience the writing to its fullest. sunless sea also had many storylets where a certain option would have permanant consequences like killing a crewmember, or unpredictable ones like getting the urbane magician instead of the satisfied magician

I also did use manual saves a lot to make a backup at a safe place - like london, before setting out on an expedition that i might not be able to manage. There was a period early on where i tried to play sunless sea without manual saves, and I frequently ended up stuck - such as being at a far port with insufficient fuel to get home and none being sold there. I see that permadeath is no longer what it once was, with the opportunity to reload on death. But this feature will be stymied if the player manages to autosave themselves into an unrecoverable situation

And lets not forget the probably-unlikely but highly devastating possibility of save file corruption. Without a backup to load from, that would be awful to go through

Please do reimplement manual saves. Those who wish to accept fate as it comes can simply not use them, I personally would like the option

Seven upvotes but no replies. I’d like to collate the reasons why manual saving is important, in descending order of importance:

  1. Backups for data loss and corruption.
    Savefile corruption will happen, and it will happen in your lifetime. History is full of people and programs who didn’t plan for it, and suffered. Hard drives are not perfect machines. More importantly and significantly, your unity-based engine is far from a perfect application. All manner of bugs in hardware and software can permanantly corrupt a file to an unrecoverable state. And if sunless sea is anything to go by, you’re risking the possibility of losing 80-100 hours of gameplay. That’s how much time i spent on one captain.

  2. Unwinnable corners.
    The skies are harsh, as the neath was. It is entirely possible to end up in an unwinnable situation. Faced with a journey home that you don’t have enough fuel to see through, or too few crew members and food to survive. Or perhaps faced with a storyline that results in the death of a crewmember or even yourself.
    There have always been a variety of ways to **** yourself over and end up trapped. Manual saving has always been the defense against this. A smart player saves at every port on their journey - and especially keeps one save from the last time they were in london - so that if something should go horribly wrong they can reload a while back, and only lose 1-2 hours of gameplay, rather than sixty
    Given the alarming costs of supplies, and the literal &quotGame over, you lose&quot option on the no fuel storylet, I’d say this situation is as likely as ever

  3. Exploration of storylines.
    Your mileage may vary, how you play may vary. But personally, when presented with a controversial choice in a story, i like to save first, take one option, reload, take the other, and then reload a second time, and take whichever of the two options i liked best. There’s also a lot of cases where an option doesn’t do what i thought it would, and gives an unpredictable or misinterpreted result. I like the ability to fully explore quests and storylines, in order to experience every little grain of storytelling i can gather. Writing is what we’re here for, Failbetter Games is known above all else for great writing, and as far as i’m concerned everything is secondary.

  4. Cheating.
    I like to reload to try again on a choice i feel i should have won, or when my character does something i don’t think they would do. I do have my own personal standards - generally ill only only do this in cases where the odds of success are >60% and where i really care about the result. But my standards are my own. This, like it’s predecessor, is a singleplayer game. And it is my right to cheat as much as i please in order to enjoy the game to its fullest. There’s no point, purpose, or gain in trying to stop me from playing the game how i want to. Cheating is only a bad thing in multiplayer games, and this is not one.

Tl;dr, this is important. This is really important.
This is my showstopper issue. This thing matters to me above all other things

I currently have a negative review up on steam because of a variety of issues: Steam Community :: Nanako =^.^= :: Review for Sunless Skies
but this thing is the thing that stands above them all. While this persists, i’m not certain i can change that rating. For any or all of the reasons above, being able to manually save is of the utmost importance
edited by Nanako on 8/31/2017
edited by Nanako on 8/31/2017

well, one of those things i mentioned has happened.

Trapped and autosaved at a port with almost-full terror. it fills up before i can make the journey to any other port, which causes an inescapable and permanant death.

The autosave has locked me into an unwinnable situation, and this captain ive spent eight hours on is gone. Game over :(

It’d be nice to have a response from a developer regarding this save issue. Is the removal of manual saving intentional? Are there any plans to re-add it? What’s the reason for it?
edited by Nanako on 8/31/2017

It’s my understanding that your particular, if unfortunate, situation won’t be as much of a problem once the legacy feature is implemented. I was in a somewhat similar boat (or train?) earlier with regards to fuel and sovereigns, where restarting from my last port still left me with too little fuel to make it anywhere else, and not enough cash to buy more fuel. I get that it’s frustrating to not only lose your captain but your entire game progress, but I think it’s one of the hazards of buying a game in Early Access – Failbetter has clearly stated that things will be rough until more features are implemented.

Once we’re able to pass down legacies, I think the consequences of death won’t be nearly as devastating. I remember watching or reading something where FBG discussed making the early game of Skies less repetitive than it was in Seas, and (IIRC) having more choices carry over from captain to captain.

It’s an early access game. The current saving and system is not FBG’s final design goal, it is what they were able to code in time for the early access launch. This is not a matter of manual saving being unimplemented; it is a matter of manual saving waiting to be implemented after the higher priority features.

Death and legacies, and presumably manual saving, will be implemented once FBG has time to code a less bare-bones system.

As long as it will be implemented in future, ill be happy.

Personally i don’t do legacy systems at all. Although i am a fan of roguelike games, such as FTL, binding of isaac, and everspace; the difference between those and this, is that they’re procedurally generated games where an average run takes 1-3 hours, and is different every time.

Sunless sea, and by extension this game too, is a narrative driven RPG, where stories largely don’t change. and you can invest upwards of 60 hours in a single captain.
Failbetter themselves actually acknowledged this as a design problem with sunless sea a while back, iirc it was a blog post discussing what did and didn’t work. These games don’t lend themselves well to starting over and replaying.
Given that, i’m surprised to see that legacy stuff is making a return in sunless skies, but I intend to do the same thing now as i did then

opt out of it completely.
I played sunless seas as an RPG. one captain, reloading on death, etc. i think the game plays best that way. I did spend well over 100 hours raising that captain up to piloting a dreadnought with zong of the zee at my side

Skies is intended to have more complete Legacies than Sea, which hopefully should make it much more replayable through deaths. That said, I do think manual saving should be enabled. If Legacies are what they’ve promised, avoidance of death will eventually be needlessly locking oneself out of content, but it should still be an option.