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Thanks for replying Rob. I've sat here and thought about your response a bit.
You zeroed in on an interesting and really important game topic: 'save and restart' or 'save-scumming'.
One problem I have is the effect of 'save and restart' on the original game-design. Although I've used that feature many, many times, I keep wondering how it alters the game designer's approach to the game: balance, content, playing strategy, AI development, environment layout (level design), and so forth. I'm not a huge fan of "Perma-Death" games anymore, but relying on that "save-scumming" feature rather bothers me. I think that it influences how the game-designer does (or really, DOESN'T) put enough effort into the layout of the game mechanics.
Matt talked about this at length, in his interview with Jay Barnson (Rampant Coyote), and seemed to really like the "Drama Stars" approach to the issue of handling 'undesirable situations/outcomes'. I'm wondering what other potentially new approaches and solutions might deliver.
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