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Autosave Profiles


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Please change the autosave function to overwrite only autosaves from the same colony.

 

Saves are already grouped somewhat hierarchically, under their respective comets, so it should follow that autosaves are as well, but this is not the case- as I learned the tragic way by booting up the game after doing some testing to find that I had lost any save from my real playthrough more recent than nearly 400 cycles ago, since I had relied on the autosave feature as it was implied to function- to my doom.

Let me elaborate a bit.

First, let's say hello to Mr. Elephant; yes, I failed to do something any long-time PC user would scoff at: I forgot to make my own manual save; and therefore woe betide me, may **** claim me, and I am, in fact, an idiot. Buuut... I'd argue that that is why autosaves exist, don't you think?

So, let's move on to the autosave itself, and note a few things. The player's first interaction with the autosave feature is in-game, when the icon descends from the heavens and like an angel of redundancy announces to the player that, yes, their data is safe from their own mortal fumblings (or that lag is incoming in older colonies, but still).

That implication sets a preconceived precedent that only continues- if multiple colonies' saves are present, they're kept separate within the load screen, including any autosaves, despite the autosaves overwriting each other after a set limit.

This creates the more specific implication that the player's data is tied to a specific colony, which is absolutely not the case for autosaves. This is never explicitly explained or stated- there is only red warning text under the preview image which states that the save will get deleted, at some point, as new autosaves are created. The how's and what-if's abound, barking their questions to the cosmos, lone and unanswered; for nothing further is explained, meaning the player has no indication that autosaves are not colony-specific, or what any of the limits even are.

Now, consider this hypothetical: A player starts their first colony, eager to avoid starving include some oxygen for their dupes, and does a reasonable job at avoiding some of the early pitfalls, but has some trials along the way. They take some losses, make some mistakes, release a few tons of superheated hydrogen, but they recover and keep going, never quite giving up, and make it many hundreds of cycles on their first colony. Great success! But after some unusual observations involving a mechanic they've not much toyed with, our player decides to make a test map, just to toy around a bit and figure something out with less risk of carbon-dioxide geyser-in-a-box infinite pressure explosions that nearly ruin it all. SO, our enterprising player makes their second save profile, learns some new things, and after ten or more cycles of default-save-interval testing, decides to hop back into their "real" colony, hoping to implement what they'd learned.

And only now do they know heartbreak, as their angel betrays them.

All dramatic reenactments aside, there is a very real implication here that isn't countered anywhere, and is even visually reinforced in the UI. If a player chooses to rely on the built-in autosave and does well enough to not need a new colony for some time, this scenario can easily occur. Having more autosaves will not fix the issue, but may alleviate this a bit; at any rate, this limit really should be player-controlled, or at the least, explicitly stated.

Honestly, if this is really unfeasible (doubtful, but you know your game's structure, not me) then some simple clarification within the UI should do the trick. Explain, somewhere, anywhere likely to be read, how the autosave limits work. Don't group the autosaves with their colonies- keep them as a separate group in the load game UI. And, at the very, very least, please update the red warning text regarding autosave deletion to specify that all autosaves share this limit, regardless of what colony they're of.

Also, it would be very beneficial to have a backup of any colony, not just the most recently played colony. In many cases, a backup of a test world before and after a patch or project could be very, very handy for debugging...

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