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A saved game (also sometimes called a game save, savegame, savefile, save point, or simply save) is a piece of digitally stored information about the progress of a player in a video game.
A player character is a fictional character in a role-playing game or video game whose actions are directly controlled by a player of the game rather than the rules of the game. The characters that are not controlled by a player are called non-player characters (NPCs). The actions of non-player characters are typically handled by the game itself in video games, or according to rules followed by a gamemaster refereeing tabletop role-playing games. The player character functions as a fictional, alternate body for the player controlling the character.
A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.
From the earliest games in the 1970s onward, game platform hardware and memory improved, which led to bigger and more complex computer games, which, in turn, tended to take more and more time to play them from start to finish. This naturally led to the need to store in some way the progress, and how to handle the case where the player received a "Game over". More modern games with a heavier emphasis on storytelling are designed to allow the player many choices that impact the story in a profound way later on, and some game designers do not want to allow more than one save game so that the experience will always be "fresh".
"Game over" is a message in video games which signals to the player that the game has ended, usually received negatively in a situation where continued play is disallowed, such as losing all of one's lives or failing a critical objective, though it sometimes also appears after successful completion of a game. The phrase has since been turned into quasi-slang, usually describing an event that will cause significant harm, injury, or bad luck to a person.
Game designers allow players to prevent the loss of progress in the game (as might happen after a game over). Games designed this way encourage players to 'try things out', and on regretting a choice, continue from an earlier point on.
Although the feature of save games often allows for gameplay to resume after a game over, a notable exception is in games where save games are deleted when it is game over. Several names are used to describe this feature, including "permadeath", "iron man", and "hardcore", and the feature has developed over the years from being the only kind of save system per game to the more modern 'suspend game' feature among regular save points. For online games, the game's progress is maintained on the remote server. In some games, upon resuming the game from a save game, the software locks or marks the save game. Early examples include Moria and Diablo II 's "hardcore" mode where the character save game is managed by the battle.net server. Depending on the game the feature may be feasible or not, depending on how the game handles interrupting or ending a game session.
The Dungeons of Moria, or just Moria, is a roguelike computer game inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Lord of the Rings. The game's objective is to kill a Balrog, presumably Durin's Bane, deep within the Mines of Moria. A later port of Moria called Umoria inspired the Angband roguelike game. This game influenced the preliminary design of Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo.
Diablo II is an action role-playing hack-and-slash computer video game developed by Blizzard North and published by Blizzard Entertainment in 2000 for Microsoft Windows, Classic Mac OS, and macOS. The game, with its dark fantasy and horror themes, was conceptualized and designed by David Brevik and Erich Schaefer, who, with Max Schaefer, acted as project leads on the game. The producers were Matthew Householder and Bill Roper.
Blizzard Battle.net is an Internet-based online gaming, social networking, digital distribution, and digital rights management platform developed by Blizzard Entertainment. Battle.net was launched on December 31, 1996, with the release of Blizzard's action-role-playing video game Diablo.
The use of saved games is very common in modern video games, particularly in role-playing video games, which are usually much too long to finish in a single session.
A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.
In early video games, there was no need for saving games, since these games usually had no actual plot to develop and were generally very short in length.
The relative complexity and inconvenience of storing game state information on early home computers (and the fact that early video game consoles had no non-volatile data storage) meant that initially game saves were represented as "passwords" (often strings of characters that encoded the game state) that players could write down and later input into the game when resuming.
BYTE magazine stated in 1981, regarding the computer text adventure Zork I 's save game feature, that "While some cowards use it to retain their hard-earned position in the game before making some dangerous move", it was intended to let players play over many weeks. InfoWorld disagreed that year, stating that save games "allow users to experiment with different approaches to the same situation". Home computers in the early 1980s had the advantage of using external media for saving, with compact cassettes and floppy disks, before finally using internal hard drives.
On later cartridge-based console games, such as Kirby's Adventure and The Legend of Zelda , saved games were stored in battery-backed RAM on the game cartridge itself. In recent consoles, which use disc-based media for storing games, saved games are stored in other ways, such as by use of memory cards or internal hard drives on the game machine itself.
Some games do not save the player's progress towards completing the game, but rather high scores, custom settings, and other features. The first game to save the player's score was Taito's seminal 1978 shoot 'em up title Space Invaders .
Depending on the game, a player will have the ability to save the game either at any arbitrary point (usually when the game has been paused), after a specific task has been completed (such as at the end of a level), or at designated areas within the game known as save points.
The available ways to save a game affect gameplay, and can represent a practice of players or an explicit decision by designers to give the game a particular feel or alter its difficulty.
A video game may allow the user to save at any point of the game, any time, though using it too much may be seen by some as cheating and in such a context referred to as save scumming. There are modified versions of this, too. For example, in the GameCube game Eternal Darkness , the player can save almost anytime, if an enemy is not in the room. To make gaming more engaging, some video games may impose a limit on the number of times a player saves the game. For instance, IGI 2 allows only a handful of saves in each mission; Max Payne 2 imposes this restriction on the highest level of difficulty.
Some video games only allow the game to be saved at predetermined points in the game, called save points. (Not to be confused by "checkpoints".) Save points are employed either because the game is too complex to allow saving at any given point or to attempt to make the game more engaging by forcing the player to rely on skills instead of on the ability to retry indefinitely. Save points are also far easier to program, so when a game developer has to rush a game, save points are attractive to develop.
Some games use a hybrid system where both save anywhere and save points are used. For example, Final Fantasy VII permits saving anywhere when the player is traveling on the world map, but once the player enters a location (e.g. town, cavern or forest), saving is only possible at save points. Additionally, there is one location (called the Northern Crater) in which the player is allowed to deploy one save point in a spot of their choice.
Game saving does not need to be manual. Some video games save the game in progress automatically, such as at the start of each level, after the pass of a fixed amount of time (if saving anywhere is allowed), at certain predetermined points in the game (an extension to save point concept), or when the player leaves (the game saves when you stop playing).
Some games only permit suspend saves in which the game is automatically saved upon exiting and reloaded upon restarting. The aim of a suspend save is only to allow the gameplay to be temporarily interrupted; as such, suspend saves are erased when the player resumes the game. The act of copying and reusing suspend save files is a form of cheating.
Checkpoints are locations in a video game where a player character respawns after death. Characters generally respawn at the last checkpoint that they have reached. A respawn is most often due to the death of the in-game character, but it can also be caused by the failure to meet an objective required to advance in the game. Checkpoints might be temporary, as they stop working when the character loses all of its lives. Most modern games, however, save the game to memory at these points, known as auto-saving.
Checkpoints might be visible or invisible to the player. Visible checkpoints might give a player a sense of security when activated, but in turn sacrifice some immersion, as checkpoints are intrinsically "gamey" and might even need an explanation of how they work. Invisible checkpoints do not break immersion but make players unsure of where they will respawn. Usually, if a player does get a game over, then their progress will be lost, and the player would lose all of their checkpoints.
Quick saving and quick loading allow the player to save or load the game with a single keystroke. These terms are used to differentiate between the traditional saving mechanism where the player is required to invoke a menu or dialog box, issue save the order, specify a title for the game being saved and, if applicable, confirm whether an old saved game file with the same title should be overwritten. The term "quick save" may be used in video games that lack the traditional saving mechanism altogether.
The advantage of quick saving is its low burden: The player only has to press a button and, if applicable, wait a few seconds. The disadvantage is the automatic loss of the previous quick-saved game. Games that only offer quick saving may be impossible to play by two different players (or more) unless there is a mechanism to distinguish players, such as user accounts.
Passwords are a form of saved game not stored on non-volatile memory. Instead, everything needed to reconstruct the game state is encoded in a string of text (the password) and displayed to the player, who can then record or memorize it. The player may later resume play from that point by entering the same password. Passwords are only feasible when the amount of data being saved is only a few bytes.
A save state is a form of a saved game in emulators. A save state is generated when the emulator stores the contents of random-access memory of an emulated program to disk. Save states enable players to save their games even when the emulated game or system does not support the feature; this is commonly associated with cheating. For instance, save states may be used to circumvent saving restrictions or to abuse RNG. An associated concept is save state hacking, the practice of altering the save states to alter gameplay conditions, usually in favor of the player. Save states are comparable to snapshots in hardware virtualization or hibernation in computing, with save states being a limited form of snapshots.
Save states have started to receive mainstream usage in the early 2010s with Nintendo's Virtual Console. Some Wii U and 3DS Virtual Console titles allow players to save a restore point, which is like a quick save but has no restrictions on reloading.Although likely derived from quick saves, restore points are functionally identical to save states, and can be used for many of the same purposes.
Game designers often attempt to integrate the save points into the style of the game using skeuomorphism. Resident Evil represents save points with old fashioned typewriters (which require an ink ribbon item for each save), the Grand Theft Auto series used representations appropriate to the era of the setting: audio cassettes for the mid-1980s ( Grand Theft Auto: Vice City ), 3½-inch disks for the early-1990s ( Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas ), and compact discs for the late-1990s ( Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories ). Many RPGs integrate saving into the form of a journal that the characters write into, or auto-save whenever the character stays at an inn or other resting places. Undertale implements the save game feature into the story of the game, saying that the player's ability to save is based on their "determination".
Although save points are typically seen as boons, some games have traps which use this tendency to fool the player. In Chrono Trigger , attempting to use fake save point in Magus's castle can actually bring the party into battle. In I Wanna Be The Guy , one save point is actually an enemy in disguise.
Some games employ limits to saving in order to prevent players from using them as a primary means of succeeding in the game. In Tomb Raider save points are consumed upon use, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest charges two banana coins to use a save point more than once, and in Resident Evil the player must find and expend an ink ribbon for each save.
Another way saved games interact with each other is through passing along data to sequels. A famous example of this is the first three installments of the Wizardry series. To play the second and third installments, players needed to import the characters they'd used in the previous installment, which retained all experience and equipment gained in that installment. Later versions of the games made this feature optional, as do franchises such as the Fire Emblem , Shenmue and .hack series. Video games may also take the saved games of other video games into account; for example, the character Rosalina becomes available on Mario Kart Wii if there is a Super Mario Galaxy save on the console. The save game of Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition can be imported to the Remix version of the game.
For many years, sharing game saves among friends has been very common. From trading passwords to swapping memory cards, gamers have always been able to help each other out to unlock features in a game. With the growing popularity of the Internet, many people upload their game saves to help out their online friends. However, with the inclusion of a progress meter or "gamerscore" that tracks player progress in games for the Xbox 360, many players are beginning to view those who load other people's files onto their systems as "cheaters".Some games such as Grand Theft Auto IV prevent the use of saved games made by other users. The Legend of Zelda: Oracles actually encourages this with a password swapping side quest that is available after finishing the main story.
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Saved games have generally been rare at arcades, but have found some use, notably in the Konami e-Amusement system, or by the use of PlayStation cards, as in Dance Dance Revolution. These generally use either a magnetic card to store the data, or network (internet) connection, or some combination thereof. Similarly, passwords have generally been rare at arcades, with occasional exceptions, such as Gauntlet Legends.
River City Ransom, later released as Street Gangs in the PAL regions, is an open world action role-playing beat 'em up video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was developed by Technōs Japan and originally released in Japan on April 25, 1989. It is the third game in Technos' Kunio-kun series released for the console, preceded by Renegade and Super Dodge Ball. Like its predecessors, River City Ransom underwent great changes in its storyline and graphical presentation during its localization in order to make the game more palatable in the Western market. It was one of the first console games published by North American subsidiary American Technos.
A console game is a form of interactive multimedia entertainment, consisting of manipulable images generated by a video game console and displayed on a television or similar audio-video system. The game itself is usually controlled and manipulated using a handheld device connected to the console, called a controller. The controller generally contains a number of buttons and directional controls such as analogue joysticks, each of which has been assigned a purpose for interacting with and controlling the images on the screen. The display, speakers, console, and controls of a console can also be incorporated into one small object known as a handheld game.
Rock n' Roll Racing is a vehicular combat-based racing video game developed by Silicon & Synapse and published by Interplay Productions for the Mega Drive/Genesis and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993. The game prominently features a number of popular heavy metal and rock songs in its soundtrack, hence the game's title. The game was ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2003.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is an action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on 26 October 2004 for PlayStation 2, and on 7 June 2005 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox. A high definition remastered version received a physical release for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on 30 June 2015 and 1 December 2015, respectively. It is the seventh title in the Grand Theft Auto series, and the first main entry since 2002's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. It was released on the same day as the handheld game Grand Theft Auto Advance for Game Boy Advance. On 8 June 2018, the game was added to the Xbox One Backward Compatible library.
The iQue Player is a home video game console that was manufactured by iQue, a joint venture between Nintendo and Chinese-American scientist Wei Yen after China had made claims of banning video games. The system's Chinese name was Shén Yóu Ji (神游机), literally "Divine Gaming Machine". Shényóu (神游) serves a double entendre because the term also means "to make a mental journey". Although the console was never released in any English-speaking countries, the name "iQue Player" appears in the console's instruction manual. The console itself takes the form of the controller and plugs directly into the television. A box accessory is available that allows multiplayer gaming. It was only marketed in mainland China, as the console's unusual game distribution method is an attempt to curb game piracy in that region.
In video games, spawning is the live creation of a character, item or NPC. Respawning is the recreation of an entity after its death or destruction, perhaps after losing one of its lives. Despawning is the deletion of an entity from the game world.
Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is an action-adventure video game series created by David Jones and Mike Dailly; the later titles of which were created by brothers Dan and Sam Houser, Leslie Benzies and Aaron Garbut. It is primarily developed by British development house Rockstar North, and published by its parent company, Rockstar Games. The name of the series references the term "grand theft auto", used in the U.S. for motor vehicle theft.
Glitching is an activity in which a person finds and exploits flaws or glitches in video games to achieve something that was not intended by the game designers. Gamers who engage in this practice are known as glitchers. Glitches can help or disable the player.
In some video games, noclip mode is a cheat command that prevents the first-person player character camera from being obstructed by other objects and permits the camera to move in any direction, allowing it to pass through such things as walls, props, and other players.
In many video games of the 1980s and 1990s, after a level is beaten and/or when all continues are used, the game displays a password that when entered allows the player to either restart from the last level reached or restore the game to the state when the password was received. Overlapping in many ways with cheat codes, players distinguish passwords from codes by having received them from the game outright rather than finding them hidden within the game code. Using them is not considered cheating. They are rarely used today, having been largely supplanted by saved games.
Grand Theft Auto IV is an action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles on 29 April 2008, and for Microsoft Windows on 2 December 2008. It is the eleventh title in the Grand Theft Auto series, and the first main entry since 2004's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Set within the fictional Liberty City, the single-player story follows a war veteran, Niko Bellic, and his attempts to escape his past while under pressure from loan sharks and mob bosses. The open world design lets players freely roam Liberty City, consisting of three main islands.
Autosave is a saving function in many computer applications and video games which automatically saves the current changes or progress in the program or game, helping to reduce the risk or impact of data loss in case of a crash, freeze or user error. Autosaving is typically done either in predetermined intervals or before, during, and after a complex editing task is begun.
Cheating in video games involves a video game player using non-standard methods to create an advantage or disadvantage beyond normal gameplay, in order to make the game easier or harder. Cheats may be activated from within the game itself, or created by third-party software or hardware. They can also be realized by exploiting software bugs; this may or may not be considered cheating based on whether the bug is considered common knowledge.
Rockstar Games Social Club is a digital rights management, multiplayer and communications service provided by Rockstar Games for use with their latest generation of games. Rockstar Games Social Club was first announced on March 27, 2008, with pre-registration beginning on April 14, 2008. However, that date was moved to April 17, 2008. The name is a reference to organized crime, which commonly uses the term "social club" to describe a meeting place or hideout. The service received a major update in 2012, prior to the release of Max Payne 3, with the addition of social networking features and a "crews" system that allows players to form groups and combine their achievements to unlock bonus features.
A video game console emulator is a type of emulator that allows a computing device to emulate a video game console's hardware and play its games on the emulating platform. More often than not, emulators carry additional features that surpass the limitations of the original hardware, such as broader controller compatibility, timescale control, greater performance, clearer quality, easier access to memory modifications, one-click cheat codes, and unlocking of gameplay features. Emulators are also a useful tool in the development process of homebrew demos and the creation of new games for older, discontinued, or more rare consoles.
Grand Theft Auto is an action-adventure video game developed by DMA Design and published by BMG Interactive. It was first released in Europe and North America in October 1997 for MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows. It was later re-released on 12 December 1997 in Europe and 30 June 1998 in North America for the PlayStation. It is the first instalment of the Grand Theft Auto series, to be followed by 1999's Grand Theft Auto 2. The series, which has led to five main entries and several special edition games over 16 years, has sold more than 150 million units as of September 2013. The story follows a group of criminals in three fictionalised versions of US cities as they perform bank robberies, assassinations, and other illegal activities for their respective crime syndicates.
In video gaming, a life is a play-turn that a player-character has, defined as the period between start and end of play. It is sometimes called a chance or a try, particularly in all-ages games, to avoid the morbid insinuation of losing "lives". Generally, if the player loses all their health points, they lose a life. Losing all lives usually grants the player-character "game over", forcing them to either restart or stop playing.
Grand Theft Auto V is an action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released in September 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, in November 2014 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and in April 2015 for Microsoft Windows. It is the first main entry in the Grand Theft Auto series since 2008's Grand Theft Auto IV. Set within the fictional state of San Andreas, based on Southern California, the single-player story follows three criminals and their efforts to commit heists while under pressure from a government agency. The open world design lets players freely roam San Andreas' open countryside and the fictional city of Los Santos, based on Los Angeles.
This list includes terms used in video games and the video game industry, as well as slang used by players.