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Asrial
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Saved Game Lost (again)
« on: August 09, 2008, 06:35:51 am »

Once again I lost a saved game because I forgot it was stored in an unfriendly place.

Again I propose that all saved data be stored someplace better (such as the directory the game is installed to in a SAVED DATA subdirectory).
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Asrial
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Re: Saved Game Lost (again)
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2008, 06:40:38 am »

In fact, I actually found the thread I created last time...

September of 2004.

Time to create a batch file that copies it before and after running the game.
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Re: Saved Game Lost (again)
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2008, 06:44:54 pm »

Once again I lost a saved game because I forgot it was stored in an unfriendly place.

Again I propose that all saved data be stored someplace better (such as the directory the game is installed to in a SAVED DATA subdirectory).
I see this was previously discussed in this thread.

Your suggestion is misguided for several reasons:
  • It prevents different users from having separate configurations and saved games.
  • Unless normal users are explicitly granted write access to the installation directory, they can't save at all.
  • Roaming profiles and mixing user data with programs don't mix.
  • UAC on Vista will make a fuss if you do this.
  • Transferring or backing up all user data in one go is harder if you have to spend time hunting for saved games and configuration data all over your hard disk, especially if they are intermixed with the game itself (I recently ran into this when transferring Age of Empires campaign data from one PC to another; the cryptic game0.nfo file in the main install directory turned out to be the one tracking where I was, not the file named after my user profile!). Having all user-generated files in Documents and Settings (or /home) makes setting up a backup set trivial.
  • It violates pretty much every accepted guideline that almost everyone has followed since XP was released. Seriously, has any major game done this in the last 5 years?
  • Copying program installation directories won't copy registry entries or any necessary system components installed elsewhere on the system, so many programs won't work if you transfer them like that.
  • The -C command-line option allows you to override the configuration directory anyway.
The first four reasons may not mean anything to you personally (as a single Administrator user on XP or whatever) but explain why many users would have problems doing things your way. The following three explain how you're going about this the wrong way, and the last one is why you don't need to complain.
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Asrial
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Re: Saved Game Lost (again)
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2008, 02:57:38 am »

You certainly took an aggressive stance in your response, especially when my recommendation was just something I spent all of 30 seconds coming up with.

Anyways.

.

My response to your first 5 points: This is easy to work around. I'm sure you guys can come up with something.

My response to your 6th point: This game is the only one where I've lost saved data because of where it was stored.

My response to your 7th point: Why are we discussing the registry? The saved data isn't stored in the registry.

..and my response to your 8th point: Thanks for the tip.  I'll look into whatever that is.

.

My whole point isn't about HOW or WHERE the data SHOULD be stored, but that the "default" location is BAD.  Backing up the entire DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS directory, while guaranteed to get almost all a user's important data, is a waste of time and space when 90% of that data (which can be quite large) is junk.

UT2k4 saves it's configuration data (and downloaded data) to the installation location.

Command and Conquer 3 saves it's saved data to the user's My Documents.

The Red Alert 3 beta saves it's saved data to the user's My Documents.

Guild Wars saves it's Screenshots and Templates to the installation location.

World of Warcraft saves it's Screenshots to the installation location.

I AM seeing OTHER data for RA3 and C&C3 in the Application Data directory, but it's nothing earth shattering like a saved game.

You guys are eager to make sure this game works perfectly for alot of different situations. Well, I presented you with a situation where it did not work all that great (on two separate occasions). Either take the feedback and maybe spend a minute thinking about it, or just post some random "this is why that's a stupid idea" points.

My solution?

2 minutes creating a personalized XCOPY batch file that copies the directory before and after I load the game.
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Re: Saved Game Lost (again)
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2008, 04:35:45 am »

Either take the feedback and maybe spend a minute thinking about it, or just post some random "this is why that's a stupid idea" points.
We have actually thought about it. As you yourself said, four years ago:
Quote
It sounds like you've given this alot of thought so I don't see it changing.  Just need to make sure I check that location for saved games.

The arguments haven't really changed in the four years since then, except that "Documents and Settings" has gained some popularity among game developers (though not as much as I would have expected), Vista doesn't let you write in "Program Files" anymore, and there is now a second reported case of someone accidentally deleting his UQM saved games.

The following isn't meant as a further argument, but I did find it rather funny to find a similar rant, but from someone taking the opposite position.
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Re: Saved Game Lost (again)
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2008, 04:15:05 am »

You certainly took an aggressive stance in your response, especially when my recommendation was just something I spent all of 30 seconds coming up with.
Not any more aggressive than your stubborn insistence that the rest of the world adapt itself to your ill-conceived notions of usability deserves. Maybe you should spend a little more than 30 seconds considering whether you're doing something wrong before blaming others for your own ineptitude.

The whole purpose of my post was to end this discussion quickly by exhaustively presenting all the arguments for our position clearly and concisely.

Quote
My response to your first 5 points: This is easy to work around. I'm sure you guys can come up with something.
No, it isn't. Asking users to disable UAC or manually set their configuration directory is more or less guaranteed to be a tech support nightmare. I can imagine some people expecting shared save games to be the default, though.

Quote
My response to your 7th point: Why are we discussing the registry? The saved data isn't stored in the registry.
No, but some applications do store their configuration in the registry, so if you want to transfer it, looking in the installation directory won't help. I'm trying to explain why you shouldn't be doing what you're doing.

Quote
..and my response to your 8th point: Thanks for the tip.  I'll look into whatever that is.
The fact that you need to "look into" changing the configuration directory (even when told how to do so) justifies my entire reasoning; changing this is hard and the default must therefore be chosen to work in as many cases as possible.

Quote
My whole point isn't about HOW or WHERE the data SHOULD be stored, but that the "default" location is BAD.  Backing up the entire DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS directory, while guaranteed to get almost all a user's important data, is a waste of time and space when 90% of that data (which can be quite large) is junk.
One man's junk is another man's gold, or something like that. However, it is true that e.g. Firefox happily places its cache there (which is, as you say, junk, and in fact one of the few special cases in my backup procedure).

Quote
My response to your 6th point: This game is the only one where I've lost saved data because of where it was stored.

UT2k4 saves it's configuration data (and downloaded data) to the installation location.
Multiple users are apparently handled by naming the configuration file after the user. Note also that the successor, Unreal Tournament 3, puts its settings in My Documents.

Quote
Command and Conquer 3 saves it's saved data to the user's My Documents.

The Red Alert 3 beta saves it's saved data to the user's My Documents.

I AM seeing OTHER data for RA3 and C&C3 in the Application Data directory, but it's nothing earth shattering like a saved game.
This is how it should be, in my opinion. From your previous posts on the subject, I got the impression that "My Documents" is also the wrong place in your opinion for saved games.

However, you now seem to be suggesting that saved games be stored in My Documents and other settings in Application Data. Unlike your original suggestion, this is actually something we can do; the only problem is handling saved games from a previous version (which is something that can be worked around).

Quote
You guys are eager to make sure this game works perfectly for alot of different situations. Well, I presented you with a situation where it did not work all that great (on two separate occasions). Either take the feedback and maybe spend a minute thinking about it, or just post some random "this is why that's a stupid idea" points.
On two separate occasions, you've made the same suggestion that has led nowhere. My "random" points, on the other hand, seem to have directed the discussion in a more constructive direction by exposing each party's underlying assumptions.
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Re: Saved Game Lost (again)
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2008, 12:30:09 pm »

I happened to come across this page where Microsoft describes where some of their games store their saved games.
Interesting enough, they don't seem to know themselves where these saved games are supposed to go. Either that, or, being Microsoft developers, they just ignore all standards, apparently including their own. Tongue
Note however, that none of them go for "Program Files".

To use "My Documents" is defendable. Microsoft describes the "My Documents" folder as the default location for user-created files, while appdata is for data created by the application. Something can be said for either choice.
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“When Juffo-Wup is complete
when at last there is no Void, no Non
when the Creators return
then we can finally rest.”
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