Questions about saved games

Ask any question about playing and surviving in the Transcendence universe. Newbies welcome!
Zeke
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Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:12 pm

How do I stop the game from updating my saves? I like fixed saves in case so I can repeat an action until I like the result. But if I die the game updates the save to include the death. Mind you, I don't mind a game making autosaves if they are a secondary level function, but I want a hard fixed save that is left alone when I make them. Also, I don't like the requirement of having to close the game to save it. I want to save as I play along.

Is there something I need to alter in the game or a mod I need to install?

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Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:22 am

I usually copy the savegame files from the folder before I continue the game, then when the unwanted event occurred (Died or Mission failed) then I just replace it with the another one.

Don't know if it still working, but you might want to try it.

And also, as far as I know, there is still no mod for changing the savegame preferences, it always work like that.

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Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:46 am

What Amteloletom said.

Copy the save file when you want a fixed save.

This is the only way I know.

The game does auto-save at certain times. At the end of missions or after certain major points. This is often determined by code so it varies quite a bit.

There isn't a way to force a save during play as far as I am aware, except quitting and restarting. It should be possible to write a mod that allows the player do this but I don't think it would overwrite the current auto-save function.

Playing in debug mode gives a "Revert" option during gameplay. This returns the player to the time of last system entry and doesn't record what happened during gameplay. It may revert to an auto-saved point if one has been triggered. Not sure. The "Revert" feature is mainly used for mod and bug testing.
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Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:14 am

Gentlemen, I thank you for a workaround.

I'm less than happy the game has been purposefully designed to make you live with your mistakes while you learn. I'm already stuck with that in real life, so I don't like it in my games. It's clear that the maker has a problem with standard save game methods in most other games. But I'm not going to live with my time lost on a learning curve or accidents just for entertainment.

The workaround is a tiny bit clumsy, not too bad, but it was the difference between deleting the game or keeping it. Since no mod has been made to correct what I think is a game breaking flaw, I guess others don't see it as serious as I do. But I am happy to see some thought it irritating enough to figure out something.

Again, my thanks. :D

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Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:17 am

 The saving used by Transcendence is pretty standard behavior in most rogue-likes, which were a major source of George’s inspiration when he made the game.

 One minor addendum to making backups of your saves: Make sure you save out to the main menu before you make your backup.
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Zeke
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Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:17 am

AssumedPseudonym wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:17 am
 The saving used by Transcendence is pretty standard behavior in most rogue-likes, which were a major source of George’s inspiration when he made the game.

 One minor addendum to making backups of your saves: Make sure you save out to the main menu before you make your backup.
Rogue-likes are essentially a derivative of old arcade games, but instead of a quarter or earned free lives you pay in losses to XP, found treasure, or some such.

Problem is the vast majority of space game players are 4X game types, not dungeon or donkey kong types. 4X is exacting playing style. Rogue-like can't assume precision playing style. Especially not early in play. I've never left the Eridani system because the game randomly never gave me a targeting computer for missile fire in restarts where I finally sorted out the basics. Can't find or buy it, but you can't smoke Arco without it unless you get super lucky repeatedly with missiles trying to shoot offscreen at Arco. If he makes the screen then he smokes you with missiles that never miss. Dead stop, running battles, no matter. You are just dead meat without missiles that hit via homing. So through random opportunities then you need precision play with repeats -or- lots of allowance to survive and kill faster. You can't beat a computer player that hits every time unless you are loaded with lots of redundant armor and fire power at low levels.

I guess I need to replay enough restarts to get a targeting computer for my missiles. I remember I got one once when I was still just learning basic controls and didn't realize you need to up-gun for Arco to win the boss challenge.

Some likely would disagree with my stance on the matter. This game isn't brand new and once beaten is once loved. But I wonder how many old school 4X players simply deleted the game because of wrong habit game structure. Look at the first 4X space game, Masters of Orion. 1993 and the official forums are as busy as this place. A game on 4" floppies! Conventions are important. Transcendence tries to operate gameplay and challenge like 4X, but treats you as disposable as a quarter arcade player. Mixing genre with the flaws of 2 types of games is not a recipe for breakout.

Fortunately, the is a solution for RTS games that solves the problem. Iron man scoring. Games where people master it and don't need mass appeal can play a limited save game by choosing scoring methods. This game with 4X precision expectations and rogue-life optional scoring options (not mandates) satisfies n00bs and fanboys alike. This game already gives a lot of appearance, random opportunity, and need for precision that would appeal to 4X types. The maker could gather a new genre of fans with some ease of save game options, but still keep his early core lovers with Iron Man recognition play. A new crew of potential fans without really changing the game as it stands. What could be easier for a developer? Same game and just a save function and scoring elaboration and you get fans that are almost as old and loyal as the internet itself. 1993 was one of the internet breakout years.

Now I realize my speech is in the n00b section. Even old game fans that date back to dialup days realize age has no release from n00b status sometimes. I just hope you more experienced players of this game see that I have some broader cross genre perspective that could make this game appeal to a wider audience. Give it some 4X game style options and you'll get another advertising opportunity that gets more people to buy the later downloads. More money coming in usually means more developer attention. You likely know where and how to phrase better than me to get developer attention. The 4X exacting play (with relentless save replay) style would really work for this game. The guys who play it are old school hardcore types who see a few bucks for an upgrade as less than a thought if they are having fun. No teens needing weekly allowance cash or yardwork earnings in the MoO crowd. IIRC from the main pages, the developer's name is George. He is old school too. Arcade gameplay is even older than 4X. But he's obviously coming from a different old school. Clue him in. If this becomes 4X friendly then just a few thousand old timers coming over will keep this forum hopping and put a 5 digit number in his bank account when they drop $10 on expacs. Unless he's living off his Microsoft stock options then a 5 digit influx is real money worth giving more time to.

Sorry if my game criticism offends some, but when you have the first edition Civ and CnC games in their original boxes then you have opinions about computer games in general. I also realize that constructive criticism is only constructive if I offer solutions that don't screw over early fans. Lets keep the old game style for diehards with Iron Man options and open the door to 4X types.

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Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:57 pm

At least Arco is easier than he used to be. It was possible for him to spawn with KM500 Stilettos and attack from offscreen with no way to defend. In case of Arco, your tracking missiles will target him if fired while your ship is within range 30 or so, with or without targeting computer. (That is rather close, though) If all else fails, just shoot his house (which angers him) then run back to Starton (or any station with overleveled guards). The guards will make short work of him.

There was a ticket added somewhat recently to suggest adding built-in targeting computer to few items while they are installed like SmartCannon or Uzun targeting scanner, similar to trading computer on basic cargo hold expansion. Maybe George will add that feature. Having targeting computer with SmartCannon would make finishing the tutorial a nice bonus, for those who cannot find targeting computer. Aside from start-scumming with EI500 for it, finding targeting computer ROM in the first system is unlikely.
Rogue-likes are essentially a derivative of old arcade games, but instead of a quarter or earned free lives you pay in losses to XP, found treasure, or some such.
In hardcore games like Nethack, it is game over, permadeath! Start a new game.

Here in Transcendence, if player does not honor permadeath, he is practically immortal. If I do not try to honor permadeath, I let my ship run out of fuel, die, then reload game with a full tank of fuel.

Transcendence was designed like a dungeon game in space.
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Zeke
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PM wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:57 pm
At least Arco is easier than he used to be. It was possible for him to spawn with KM500 Stilettos and attack from offscreen with no way to defend. In case of Arco, your tracking missiles will target him if fired while your ship is within range 30 or so, with or without targeting computer. (That is rather close, though) If all else fails, just shoot his house (which angers him) then run back to Starton (or any station with overleveled guards). The guards will make short work of him.

There was a ticket added somewhat recently to suggest adding built-in targeting computer to few items while they are installed like SmartCannon or Uzun targeting scanner, similar to trading computer on basic cargo hold expansion. Maybe George will add that feature. Having targeting computer with SmartCannon would make finishing the tutorial a nice bonus, for those who cannot find targeting computer. Aside from start-scumming with EI500 for it, finding targeting computer ROM in the first system is unlikely.
Rogue-likes are essentially a derivative of old arcade games, but instead of a quarter or earned free lives you pay in losses to XP, found treasure, or some such.
In hardcore games like Nethack, it is game over, permadeath! Start a new game.

Here in Transcendence, if player does not honor permadeath, he is practically immortal. If I do not try to honor permadeath, I let my ship run out of fuel, die, then reload game with a full tank of fuel.

Transcendence was designed like a dungeon game in space.
As I said, with Iron Man saving options you get to keep the old scoring system because the only saves permitted are at level/map change, or in this game's case the star system changes.

But as a 4X game, which many old and popular space games are then this one falls on its face.

Add the change in save feature then you get a 4X game with anytime saves and the 4X player has to squeeze every possible point out of the levels, yet those who choose Iron Man save option get big bonuses for every point, so the rogue-like players can outpoint most 4X players simply by surviving the boss challenges and making the level change. This one addition to the save system satisfies two genres of players without altering the game itself. If you actually like slow development and slow forums, then by all means ignore what I'm suggesting. But if you like more money enticing the developer and more active forums then note what I'm saying. The rarity of being able to do a minor change like this and increase appeal of a game is hyper rare. Most games have to be purpose designed to give both options, or reconstructed so heavily that it angers the old founding purists.

You may dislike the 4X style, but with my workaround I just took a new game start, slammed Arco down, and squeezed the level for every erg it had. I'm about to go for the jump gate with 2450 points, 6500 in credits, and a couple dozen weapons because this version had no arms merchant in it. I could care less that I reloaded about 5 times. I feel no personal honor loss. That's not a 4X guilt trip. Remember the sword fight challenge in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Ford just pulls his pistol, plugs the swordsman , and walks off? That's about how I feel about honoring permadeath in this game. As long as I get my 4X fix I'm happy and guilt free. Having 4X players around is also how forum watchers learn every possible trick and game quirk. Everything gets tested repeatedly and analyzed for best practice methods. That even helps Iron Man save players pile on the score count too because you never miss the easy moves that add points.

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Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:34 am

Zeke wrote:But as a 4X game, which many old and popular space games are then this one falls on its face.
 That’s because it isn’t a 4X game. It never has been. You are trying to play baseball in the middle a football game. The tactics and mechanics you might be used to in a 4X aren’t necessarily going to translate all that well to a rogue-like.

 Maybe it’s not your cup of tea. Maybe a space-themed rogue-like is something of a niche game. I can appreciate the fact that you like the game enough to sort of brute force your way through it using whatever tricks you have at your disposal to make it playable by your standards — I’ve done that with a game or two, myself — but the rest of the regulars here like the game the way it is. We wouldn’t still be playing it and/or modding for it otherwise, after all, and we all understand that modifying its core mechanics would make it something that it was never intended to be.
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Zeke
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Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:14 am

AssumedPseudonym wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:34 am
Zeke wrote:But as a 4X game, which many old and popular space games are then this one falls on its face.
 That’s because it isn’t a 4X game. It never has been. You are trying to play baseball in the middle a football game. The tactics and mechanics you might be used to in a 4X aren’t necessarily going to translate all that well to a rogue-like.

 Maybe it’s not your cup of tea. Maybe a space-themed rogue-like is something of a niche game. I can appreciate the fact that you like the game enough to sort of brute force your way through it using whatever tricks you have at your disposal to make it playable by your standards — I’ve done that with a game or two, myself — but the rest of the regulars here like the game the way it is. We wouldn’t still be playing it and/or modding for it otherwise, after all, and we all understand that modifying its core mechanics would make it something that it was never intended to be.
You know, it helps to read the entirety of a post to get its context.

Changing, in this case merely adding, something that is not at all even remotely part of it's core mechanics would create an entire wave of new fans, and not take away what you already have.

Save games are not core mechanics at all. They are GUI.

Since I'm not suggesting that existing fans lose anything then I have to see that my suggesting the save additions threaten your desire for the status quo. You don't want a bunch of new fans hogging your cozy niche and don't desire the developer to make more money on the game. Let's face it, the Masters of Orion game of 1993 has a more active forum. A game that was created on a couple floppy discs for Windows 3.1 holds onto a larger fan base. Whereas adding the Iron Man save option was added to many high profile releases over the years that gain big bucks and big recognition. Iron Man save options is fundamentally giving the game the option to play roguelike.

So basically I see your post as the fear of the game becoming more successful. So don't expect me to feel much about it.

As for saying my way doesn't serve me well in the game is disingenuous. I'm getting every scrap out of the levels and I'm having fun. How am I not being well served?

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Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:57 am

Zeke wrote:You know, it helps to read the entirety of a post to get its context.
 I was specifically taking the one line that encapsulated what I was taking issue with, rather than just blockquoting your entire post. The game is not a 4X, if for no other reason than that there is no empire you control to eXpand with. The eXplore and eXploit Xs are covered, sure, and you might could argue that eXterminating enemy stations effectively expands the territory of the Commonwealth and Corporate Hierarchy (or whatever friendly faction happens to be in a given system), but that would be a rather loose take on the definition.
Zeke wrote:Changing, in this case merely adding, something that is not at all even remotely part of it's core mechanics would create an entire wave of new fans, and not take away what you already have.

Save games are not core mechanics at all. They are GUI.
 Actually, in a rogue-like, save mechanics are very definitely core mechanics, and arguably one of the defining mechanics of a rogue-like. Part of the whole experience of a rogue-like is that if you do something stupid or get particularly unlucky, you don’t get to roll back to an earlier version of the save and essentially undo what went wrong. That’s also part of the draw of the game, being able to overcome the bad decisions or bad luck.
Zeke wrote:Since I'm not suggesting that existing fans lose anything then I have to see that my suggesting the save additions threaten your desire for the status quo. You don't want a bunch of new fans hogging your cozy niche and don't desire the developer to make more money on the game. Let's face it, the Masters of Orion game of 1993 has a more active forum. A game that was created on a couple floppy discs for Windows 3.1 holds onto a larger fan base. Whereas adding the Iron Man save option was added to many high profile releases over the years that gain big bucks and big recognition. Iron Man save options is fundamentally giving the game the option to play roguelike.
 If I really wanted to limit new players from coming onto the forum, I wouldn’t have been the moderator who activated your account (and most other new accounts, seeing as I’m the most active moderator on the forum currently).

 From what I understand, the Escape Velocity games by Ambrosia Software also had more active forums right up until the site went offline earlier this year, and my experience with EV:O some twenty or twenty-five years ago is the reason I got hooked on Transcendence to begin with. Sure, it’s been a while, but I don’t remember a rollback save system for that game, either.
Zeke wrote:So basically I see your post as the fear of the game becoming more successful. So don't expect me to feel much about it.
 I’m not in the business of shutting down people with ideas I don’t necessarily agree with, I’m just expressing my disagreement and the reasoning behind it. (Trust me, I would have other ways of shutting you up if I really felt like it, but ”abuse of power” is not how I do things.) Do I like the game as it is? Obviously: I wouldn’t be playing it or arguing against a change like this otherwise. However, curmudgeon as I might be and with ossified viewpoints to go along with it — and I readily admit all of that — I can be brought to see things in a new light on occasion, given sufficient reason to do so. Hell, for all I know an addition to the save mechanics might not even be a bad idea, assuming George wants to sort out a new interface to implement such. Regardless, it would be a change to the game at a pretty fundamental level. It might be good for the game’s popularity, but is it good for George’s vision of the game?
Zeke wrote:As for saying my way doesn't serve me well in the game is disingenuous. I'm getting every scrap out of the levels and I'm having fun. How am I not being well served?
 At no point did I ever state that your save-scumming isn’t working for you. (Believe it or not, I even used to do it myself, back when I first started playing usually in the Arena when I wanted The Slicer’s PM6 because I couldn’t find a decent weapon anywhere, or at the end of the Charon Korolov mission when I wanted either regenerating nanos or a military ID for the reward.)
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Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:40 pm

Wait what..? 4X?
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The closest this game has ever been to 4X afaik was a proof-of-concept mod I designed to make the AI factions smarter, letting them (not the player) play against each other in a simulated/abstracted/cut-down 4X experience in order to make the world not be so static (granted, things have improved since then since that was done on version 0.99c or something) with the only major things happening that the player sees being player-initiated or otherwise scripted events, but rather have stuff dynamically happening all the time around the player with no player input while they're on their adventure through the game world - it worked, but it was an absolute pain to extend and maintain coding-wise, so been intermittently working at a vastly more streamlined system over the years. Its probably possible in older versions to find some ancient mods on xelerus that might be compatible together on the same version that happen to allow a semblance of empire building, but even the linear topology of the base game isnt built for it, and no mod to my knowledge ever attempted to build a full 4X-style total conversion (why bother anyways, this engine was not even remotely designed for it - just grab practically any modern featured open sourced engine, run it in 2D mode and make a 2D 4X game if thats what you wanted - you'll probably want that freedom to arbitrarily do multithreading if you intend to get fancy, otherwise the scope or features would have to be constrained lest you run into the stellaris problem where performance drops through the floor on big galaxies because of too many things still being single threaded).
4X is this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4X
4X is a genre of strategy-based video and board games in which players control an empire and "eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate"
I've enjoyed all sorts of games from that genre. But how is transcendence even remotely like that? One person in one ship flying around, blowing stuff up and looting it is hardly an empire builder game.
I love the 4X genre, it was my introduction to making mods with Civ2 Test of Time. Some other highlights - Civ4 had amazing mods, SotS was a whole lot of fun, balance and MP sync issues aside, the endless series has been good fun too, and Im getting back into stellaris after they addressed a lot of the pacing issues they introduced in the 2.0 rewrite of the game (still some glaring balance issues though, hopefully that gets fixed with the federations update) - and thats just the classic pure 4X genre. Games like X3, X4, avorion and the like let you progress from being one person to being an empire, but they are still games and engines designed to support that optional endgame content. Transcendence wasnt designed around that sort of progression. You loot stuff, you get better gear, and you progress to higher difficulty systems until you reach the end annnnnd... thats it. Theres no empire building phase at the end. Over time, with non-linear topology (expansion DLC or mods still required), it is slowly evolving into something more, but its not even close to being an actual 4X game though.

Maybe there is some other word you're looking for, since you do say you're having fun doing an activity that is decidedly not empire building.. but 4X is definitely not the correct word.

As for the topic of save games, its such a low priority issue in the face of everything else that needs to get worked on and improved to enhance accessibility and gameplay. In fact this is the first time ive seen that being an actual complaint - much more often I see things like people introduced to the game carefully trying to avoid crashing into asteroids or planets because they arent on different parallax layers, or people not understanding how the unintuitive damage type resistance vs level curve works, or people not understanding why they cant use their weapon (its insufficiently clear that it overloaded the reactor and was shut off since the prompt lasts for just a couple seconds and they're often too focussed on combat to see that) - or how to re-enable it after that happens (press b btw). I wouldn't mind if there was a 'revertible save games' conduct or even a proper save game manager and a separate PDX style 'ironman' mode, but at the moment it is possible to do it simply with alt-tabbing and some copy+pasting, and nobody actually found it an issue in any of the 'watching someone new to the game play it' that ive done, so at the same time its not a priority issue. Feel free to leave a ticket requesting it on ministry if you want: http://ministry.kronosaur.com/ - george can take a llook at it when he can get to it, but its something that requires engine level code changes.
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Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:05 pm

As others said, Transcendence is not a 4x game. The player(ship) is yet just another dungeon-crawling fool or murderhobo trying to find the exit while likely killing anything that moves and plundering treasure along the way, not unlike Atari's Gauntlet. Player is not a baron or head-of-state trying to buildup an empire before killing other leaders and their empires. Without mods, player cannot even build up an army, or even hire crew to pilot a single cruiser or capital ship.

@ Wolfy: As someone who came from Star Control 2 when I first played Transcendence, I was one of those who avoided planets and stars thinking collision would be deadly.
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Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:45 am

If it's just about your personal enjoyment/testing, you can play in debug mode. This gives you the ability to revert to your last save, but makes the game ineligible to submit high scores. You can also turn off mission autosaves in settings.xml. The game will still autosave whenever you gate though.

You can launch in debug mode by creating a shortcut to the game and adding " /debug" (without quotes) to the target. Or create a .bat file with this text:

Code: Select all

@start "" "Transcendence.exe" -debug
That will keep working if the file location changes, but only if it's in the same folder as the game.

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Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:30 am

AssumedPseudonym wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:57 am
Actually, in a rogue-like, save mechanics are very definitely core mechanics, and arguably one of the defining mechanics of a rogue-like. Part of the whole experience of a rogue-like is that if you do something stupid or get particularly unlucky, you don’t get to roll back to an earlier version of the save and essentially undo what went wrong.
Features, environment, feel, tradition, culture.....these are not game mechanics. Game mechanics are essentially code and how you physically operate the game. If it can be done then it is part of the game mechanics.

Above all of the physical game mechanics is the interface for the player, or GUI.

The reloadable freeze time saves are part of the physical substance of the game. The mere fact that I can do it means it's part of the GUI to the game mechanics, albeit in a clunky backdoor way. If the developer wanted to make it easier to do then it would not entail making changes to the game mechanics, just the GUI. Of course it would entail some scoring adjustments that would be actual changes to counters inside the game engine mechanics if you wanted a dual scoring system, but it wouldn't entail rewriting the code or debugging -- just changing values and repeating each value change counter twice for 2 possible score sets.

I was writing code all the way back in the days of Mainframes and Vax Minis using assembly language. All the tedium a man could desire.

All roguelike games are just RPV's . They run across countless genres. Playing the murderhobo with freeze game reloadable games is commonplace. The various Elder Scrolls and Fallout games are prime examples that have sold millions of copies over the last several decades and will sell more. The insistence of penalty death is just a subculture desire that isn't rooted in the game code requirements. To insist on it being mandatory is saying a flaw in the code architecture prevents it. That is clearly not the case here if I can do it without need of entering the game code. This game can be multiple types of RPV if it wants to be. It can even be real 4X too. Yes, I see one X is lacking because I mistook the Domina group for being more than it turned out to be. I gave the game more credit than it was due in that respect. But mods would solve that by adding factions. It need not even be limited to Domina. Miners, black market, pirates, the list of possible factions is large. Factions would make it 4X for all intents and purposes.

Saying the game should be played only one way because a core group of users doesn't want change is demanding to be catered to your tastes at the expense of potential new fan groups and developer income stagnation. While there are classic exceptions, when the income stagnates the developer looks for new opportunities to earn elsewhere and the game typically fades away. Maybe that won't happen here, but you still run the risk. Protecting canon is a double edged blade.

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