Why is there a TV icon in Microsoft Word?



  •  The usage of floppy disks has declined tremendously over the years and people who are new to computers may have little or no experience with them.  i never gave this any thought until recently when I was helping a co-worker with Microsoft Word.

     I noticed that she always saved files by clicking on File --> Save.  So I just casually mentioned "You know, there's another way to save files that I think is easier.  Just click on the disk icon".

    She stared at me blankly.  So I pointed to the floppy disk icon.  This was followed by a long pause and then she said "Oh ..... I thought that was a TV."

    A minor WTF, but it made me laugh.

     



  •  How old is this person?  I would understand if this was a 10-15 year old, but floppies were in pretty heavy use up until about 6-7 years ago I think.



  • @tster said:

     How old is this person?  I would understand if this was a 10-15 year old, but floppies were in pretty heavy use up until about 6-7 years ago I think.

    I remember using them quite frequently up to 2005 since that was the easiest way to carry files around HS.



  • An important point, and one that will get more and more valid as the years go by, and floppies fade ever deeper into dishonorable discharge.

    Interestingly, OpenOffice, and many Open Source packages, use the 'arrow-into-folder' icon instead.



  • I wonder if they noticed it was the same icon as the "Save" menu item.



  • I feel we are in a technology transition for removable media. I miss booting from floppy, it was much easier. Today booting from a USB memory key is still rocket science to me. I don't bother and simply burn Linux to DVD, I find it easier to install that way.



  • @MiffTheFox said:

    I wonder if they noticed it was the same icon as the "Save" menu item.
    Three words: TiVo.



  •  Well, Stargate: SG1 was portraying highly sensitive national security information used for blackmail being stored on a single 3.5" floppy as recently as 2004.

    In the scene where the Good Guys originally snag the data and save it (shot earlier in 2000 or so), I kept thinking, "The fate of the world depends on that, and you're putting it on one floppy? For chrissakes - one errant kitchen magnet and the world will be lost to Goa'uld dominion!



  • @pebcak said:

    Today booting from a USB memory key is still rocket science to me.
    Most likely because only techies that use Linux need said feature.



  • Well, I had some hard time trying to install XP as I didn't have a working DVD drive... Then again, installing XP from USB memory stick is rocket science (Linux isn't). In the end I gave up and installed using PXE boot (yes, that's easier the easier solution). (no, Vista is not a solution)


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

     PXE is awesome and any environment with more than 4 computers and no PXE server is underequipped.



  • @drachenstern said:

    @MiffTheFox said:
    I wonder if they noticed it was the same icon as the "Save" menu item.
    Three words: TiVo.
    Wait, did I miss something?

    Tivo is not three words.

    Tivo is not even two words.

    The fact that she thought the disk looked like a TV probably had nothing to do with tivo at all.



  • @robbak said:

    An important point, and one that will get more and more valid as the years go by, and floppies fade ever deeper into dishonorable discharge.

    Interestingly, OpenOffice, and many Open Source packages, use the 'arrow-into-folder' icon instead.

     

    I never thought about it until now, but it's completely true.  There must be a lot of perfectly literate users today who've never seen a floppy disk before.  And in most of my apps, where I use an icon for a "save" or "export" function, it's an icon of a floppy disk.  It could very well be a source of confusion.

    We definitely need a new metaphor or at least a new glyph.  I don't really like the arrow-into-folder one though, as it's really hard to make out at 16x16, and even in larger sizes it just looks too much like the arrow-out-of-folder ("open") icon, or any other folder-like icon ("browse", "close", "copy", etc.).  I'm almost tempted to suggest a USB key icon, but a lot of people don't use those, especially the older generation.

    Maybe it's time that the software industry as a whole moved away from the whole "save" concept in the first place.  Modern machines are plenty fast enough to do it automatically, and index the useful information like the date and content (where possible) so it's easy to find later.  Then allow users to "make a copy", which properly describes what's actually being done, and show an image of a copier, which is something that far more people are familiar with than a floppy disk or file system.

    Or maybe the industry just isn't ready for that level of automation (I don't see why not, it's par for the course in a web app).  Still, it's worth thinking about alternatives.



  • I'm unfortunately still all too familiar with floppy disks, as one of the requirements for one product at work is that it must work with hardware dating from the late 1980s.   I guess I can be grateful that we don't need to provide both 3.5" and 5.25" versions.

     



  • @Aaron said:

    Maybe it's time that the software industry as a whole moved away from the whole "save" concept in the first place.

    Interesting idea.

    Also, let's not identify files by file names. All personal files could be in a single folder, just identified by inode and contents. If you want to write a letter, simply press "new document" and start to type something. When you need to go, simply close the text processing thing. If you want to continue, just open "my files", click the documents filter, and if you have too many documents listed, type a few words you know your letter contains.

    Sure this might lead to many started-and-then-forgotten documents. We'ld need a cleanup tool that would (after asking) automatically delete every document which has been opened only once and contains only few words. And the text processor would delete empty documents. It would ask whether it was intended if a user deleted a large part of the document's content. The file browser would just have the options duplicate and delete. New file and rename are unnecessary. The cleanup tool would also delete files with identical contents.



  • @derula said:

    @Aaron said:
    Maybe it's time that the software industry as a whole moved away from the whole "save" concept in the first place.
    Interesting idea.

    Also, let's not identify files by file names. All personal files could be in a single folder, just identified by inode and contents. If you want to write a letter, simply press "new document" and start to type something. When you need to go, simply close the text processing thing. If you want to continue, just open "my files", click the documents filter, and if you have too many documents listed, type a few words you know your letter contains.

    Sure this might lead to many started-and-then-forgotten documents. We'ld need a cleanup tool that would (after asking) automatically delete every document which has been opened only once and contains only few words. And the text processor would delete empty documents. It would ask whether it was intended if a user deleted a large part of the document's content. The file browser would just have the options duplicate and delete. New file and rename are unnecessary. The cleanup tool would also delete files with identical contents.

    Please, please don't give anybody any ideas. Lots of us don't like it when the system tries to hold our hand. In many cases, the system doesn't do exactly what we want.



  • @pitchingchris said:

    Please, please don't give anybody any ideas. Lots of us don't like it when the system tries to hold our hand. In many cases, the system doesn't do exactly what we want.

    Don't get me wrong, first thing I do in a fresh Windows installation is uninstall Windows Search, WMP (because of its stupid context menu items that cannot be removed, regardless of files being linked with Media Player Classic) and IE, disable "Hide known file extensions" and delete all subkeys from and disallow creating new subkeys in \HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell and \HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam.

    But even my dad, who's an experienced Computer user and developer, gets confused by all those billions of directories in Vista's user folder, and the fact that they really have English names but there are localized Symlinks to them. For people that don't have a problem with that, there's always Linux.



  • @Aaron said:

    Modern machines are plenty fast enough to do it automatically, and index the useful information like the date and content (where possible) so it's easy to find later.  Then allow users to "make a copy", which properly describes what's actually being done, and show an image of a copier, which is something that far more people are familiar with than a floppy disk or file system.
     

    Oh sweet christ... the last thing UI designers need to be doing is confusing the users with even more abstraction of what's actually happening.



  • Fast-forward ten years or so: Co-worker, now senior level, is explaining to a new employee how to save more efficiently.  New employee says, "What's a TV?"

     



  • @Aaron said:

    Maybe it's time that the software industry as a whole moved away from the whole "save" concept in the first place.  Modern machines are plenty fast enough to do it automatically, and index the useful information like the date and content (where possible) so it's easy to find later.  Then allow users to "make a copy", which properly describes what's actually being done, and show an image of a copier, which is something that far more people are familiar with than a floppy disk or file system.

    Or maybe the industry just isn't ready for that level of automation (I don't see why not, it's par for the course in a web app).  Still, it's worth thinking about alternatives.

     

    I can only support that notion if you implement automatic revision control along with it, because otherwise you have a recipe for saving changes you don't really want saved.  Video games have had auto-save for a long time, and it's incredibly annoying when the game auto-saves your screwups in a misguided attempt to be helpful.

    Even with revision control, I find the notion questionable, if only because it's yet another concept that everyday users have to try and understand.



  • I think some of the most confusing icons were in PowerBuilder.  They had an export and an import icon. The icons were pictures of a boat near a pier.  The ONLY difference between the two icons was the direction of the flag on the ship...



  • @cconroy said:

    Fast-forward ten years or so: Co-worker,
    now senior level, is explaining to a new employee how to save more
    efficiently.  New employee says, "What's a TV?"

    Unless mankind is completely taken over by those beret-wearing freaks who actually enjoy watching movies on their phones, we will always have television. By 10 years from now, they won't have disappeared, they'll be OLED panels covering entire walls.



  • @Zylon said:

    @cconroy said:

    Fast-forward ten years or so: Co-worker,
    now senior level, is explaining to a new employee how to save more
    efficiently.  New employee says, "What's a TV?"

    Unless mankind is completely taken over by those beret-wearing freaks who actually enjoy watching movies on their phones, we will always have television. By 10 years from now, they won't have disappeared, they'll be OLED panels covering entire walls.

     

    ... running browsers displaying Hulu, or an online version of TiVo, or something. I'm not saying television programming will disappear.  But whenever the computer/TV/media center convergence finally happens, I don't expect that the appliance (or wall-screen; which reminds me, I've been meaning to re-read Fahrenheit 451) will be called a TV. 



  • @Justice said:

    Video games have had auto-save for a long time, and it's incredibly annoying when the game auto-saves your screwups in a misguided attempt to be helpful.

    You're playing the wrong games. It's perfectly appropriate in point&click adventures.



  • @Justice said:

    @Aaron said:

    Maybe it's time that the software industry as a whole moved away from the whole "save" concept in the first place ....

     

    I can only support that notion if you implement automatic revision control along with it, because otherwise you have a recipe for saving changes you don't really want saved.


    I think you just invented the versioning system that has been in VMS for a very very very long time



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @drachenstern said:

    @MiffTheFox said:
    I wonder if they noticed it was the same icon as the "Save" menu item.
    Three[b]1[/b] words:[b]2[/b] TiVo.[b]3[/b]
    Wait, did I miss something?

    Tivo is not three words.

    Tivo is not even two words.

    The fact that she thought the disk looked like a TV probably had nothing to do with tivo at all.

    Also, the tags had something to do with it. People also don't seem to grok that a DVR requires a HDD of some sort, so therefore there is a limited amount of space to store things. They think it's an artificial limitation.



  • @drachenstern said:

    Also, the tags had something to do with it. People also don't seem to grok that a DVR requires a HDD of some sort, so therefore there is a limited amount of space to store things. They think it's an artificial limitation.
    On the subject of anachronisms, is the act of recording a program still referred to as "taping" (if only occasionally) in most of the English speaking world?



  • In my usage and of those around me, those words have been generalized with "record" instead of "tape", and "movie/film" instead of "video" and "dvd".

    Ironically,  when a performing artist has some automated support music running, it's called "running a tape", rather than "playing a recording".

    But we do need a new Save icon. Some time ago, when floppies were already barely used, I used the database barrel icon for some web app's Save feature. But it's not as intuitive, unless you already have prior experience with RDBMSses's. MacOS has this huge beautiful hard drive icon which may be useful, but the sad thing is that I'm not sure commoners know what their internal storage device actually looks like. It's a very techno-style and thus scary object, a HD.

    Main problem: there used to be a popular physical object with an easy graphical representation, that, for everyone using computers, was firmly associated with "data storage" and "files". That iconic (PUNz0r!) object is gone, and we seem to have no replacement. There are many small portable storage devices, from USB sticks to microSD cards to external hard drives, but no single one is so widespread that you can make a universal icon out of them.

    I think the arrow-into-folder icon can be made to work, if it gets a redesign for all icon sizes. Maybe a document into a folder would be ok, if that wasn't used by My Documents already.



  • @PJH said:

    @drachenstern said:
    Also, the tags had something to do with it. People also don't seem to grok that a DVR requires a HDD of some sort, so therefore there is a limited amount of space to store things. They think it's an artificial limitation.
    On the subject of anachronisms, is the act of recording a program still referred to as "taping" (if only occasionally) in most of the English speaking world?
    I don't know about "taping" but the call movie filiming "filming" when there isn't always actual film involved.

    We do still refer to things as "tape delayed" though.  Some football teams will be unable to sell out their stadiums so their fans will not be able to watch the game live on TV.  They will be able to watch tape delayed versions.  



  • @belgariontheking said:

    Some football teams will be unable to sell out their stadiums so their fans will not be able to watch the game live on TV.  They will be able to watch tape delayed versions.  
     

    Really?  Where is that?  Here (Jacksonville) if the stadium doesn't fill (which happens all too often) the game is simply "blacked out" and you can't see it at all, unless you go to the game.  They don't run it later on TV from a 'taped' version.



  • @amischiefr said:

    @belgariontheking said:

    Some football teams will be unable to sell out their stadiums so their fans will not be able to watch the game live on TV.  They will be able to watch tape delayed versions.  
     

    Really?  Where is that?  Here (Jacksonville) if the stadium doesn't fill (which happens all too often) the game is simply "blacked out" and you can't see it at all, unless you go to the game.  They don't run it later on TV from a 'taped' version.

    I think he's referring to this recent announcement:

     @TFA said:

    NFL games that are blacked out in home team markets this season will
    be shown on NFL.com in their entirety on a delayed basis, the NFL
    announced Thursday.

    The league's new NFL Game Rewind package on
    NFL.com will make all games available on an on-demand, subscription
    basis throughout the 2009 regular and postseason. However, games
    blacked out locally for failing to sell out 72 hours in advance will be
    available on NFL.com at no cost in the affected home markets.

    These
    free "re-broadcasts" locally of blacked-out games will be available at
    NFL.com beginning at midnight on the day of the game and remain
    available for 72 hours (except during ESPN Monday Night Football telecasts).




  • @amischiefr said:

    Really?  Where is that?  Here (Jacksonville) if the stadium doesn't fill (which happens all too often) the game is simply "blacked out" and you can't see it at all, unless you go to the game.  They don't run it later on TV from a 'taped' version.

    Well, I don't ever have to worry.  I'm from Wisconsin orginally (go Packers!).  And now live in Boston (go Pats!).  I've never known a Packers game not to sell out.  And the Patriots have sold out everything for the last 15+ years...



  •  Oh great, I make a substantial, on-topic, thoughtful, intelligent comment not about Fallout 3, and the thread gets hijacked by sports.

    Feh.

    If you need me, I'll be joylessly hitting the VATS button in Little Lamplight.



  • @amischiefr said:

    @belgariontheking said:
    Some football teams will be unable to sell out their stadiums so their fans will not be able to watch the game live on TV.  They will be able to watch tape delayed versions.  
    Really?  Where is that?  Here (Jacksonville) if the stadium doesn't fill (which happens all too often) the game is simply "blacked out" and you can't see it at all, unless you go to the game.  They don't run it later on TV from a 'taped' version.
    Maybe they won't do it during the season, but for the preseason in Cincinnati, we didn't sell out the stadium, so the game wasn't on TV.  There were tape delayed versions later those nights.  I assumed that would continue during the regular season.

    Interestingly enough, in JAX, even an NFL sellout doesn't fill the stadium.  They reduce the number of seats that are available for NFL games because they could never fill that stadium (76,867) every week, as the stadium was built to house the Florida vs Georgia game every year. 

    I know you know this, amischiefr, but many here that probably don't.



  •  @robbak said:

    An important point, and one that will get more and more valid as the years go by, and floppies fade ever deeper into dishonorable discharge.

    Look at your local traffic signs, specifically the ones depicting a vehicle.

    Welcome back to the '50s and the 19th century respectively.

    As the technology gets more familiar, the icons will become more abstract until everyone knows what they mean and the original meaning is lost. I'm sure the 'power on/power off' icon means something too, but all people remember is that 'the circle with the line in it' means power, just like 'the square with a rectangle along one side' means save.

    Less sensible than the use of a floppy icon for save operations is the 'saving' animation in some games: a spinning cd. So what kind of pc or game console saves on a...



  • @Brother Laz said:

     

    Look at your local traffic signs, specifically the ones depicting a vehicle.

    Meh, they look fairly good to me.  Only the fire truck looks especially outdated (No roof in the cab?  Get with the times).




  • @bstorer said:

    @Brother Laz said:

     

    Look at your local traffic signs, specifically the ones depicting a vehicle.

    Meh, they look fairly good to me.  Only the fire truck looks especially outdated (No roof in the cab?  Get with the times).


    I've always been impressed by the posture of the guy on the tractor.



  • @Brother Laz said:

    I'm sure the 'power on/power off' icon means something too, but all people remember is that 'the circle with the line in it' means power,

    The power symbol is the combination of the power symbol (binary 1) and power off symbol (binary 0)*.

    So, it's actual meaning is that you're switching between 1 (on) and 0 (off). I'm sure most people don't really know about this, but have ones and zeros changed in the past 35 years since this standard was made?

    * If you want to get technical, there's also a "true power cycle" icon that indicates an actual power off, as opposed to a standby. Most people are familiar to that from the Windows shutdown dialog.



  • @Brother Laz said:

    I'm sure the 'power on/power off' icon means something too, but all people remember is that 'the circle with the line in it' means power
    It's a 1 and a 0, signifying that the button switches between on (1) and off (0).

    Or a bomb with a fuse.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    ...in Cincinnati...
     

    Even though I live here (as of 2008) I am actually a Denver fan <ducks />  I would like to appologize on behalf of the entire Bronco nation for Sunday, we are sorry for your loss.  We promise to find a real quarterback by the 2009/2010 season. 

    @belgariontheking said:

    Interestingly enough, in JAX, even an NFL sellout doesn't fill the stadium
    They reduce the number of seats that are available for NFL games
    because they could never fill that stadium (76,867) every week, as the
    stadium was built to house the Florida vs Georgia game every year. 

    I know you know this, amischiefr, but many here that probably don't.

    Yeah, we be poo folk down here.  They are predicting that every single game this year might be blacked out due to the current economy.  This place sucks. 



  • @derula said:

    @Justice said:
    Video games have had auto-save for a long time, and it's incredibly annoying when the game auto-saves your screwups in a misguided attempt to be helpful.

    You're playing the wrong games. It's perfectly appropriate in LucasArts point&click adventures and others where you can't die or get stuck.

     

    FTFY.

    Now ok, you might say those are the only "right" games, and I'll admit Monkey Island was loads of fun.  But in every other type of game, it is extraordinarily annoying when you accidentally lose some important item, or use all your grenades fighting the first two forms of the final boss and don't have any left for the third form, or spend all your money on the wrong items, and the stupid game says "Autosave!" leaving you saying "OH SHI-" and then quietly sobbing in the corner.  Or something like that.  But anyway:

    @OzPeter said:

    I think you just invented the versioning system that has been in VMS for a very very very long time

    Thanks for the heads-up, that's pretty cool.  I wonder why that hasn't been pursued more in other file systems.  I can understand wanting to preserve storage space at one point, but these days, why wouldn't you do this?

    And of course, it would be highly applicable to video games, especially with modern consoles with built-in hard disks.  I do this manually if I can, which leads to me having every save file occupied when I'm the only one playing.  It sounds silly perhaps, but it only takes one major screw-up to see the usefulness of it.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @pitchingchris said:

    type a few words you know your letter contains.
    Every time this STUPID idea comes up (and it comes up VERY OFTEN in discussions of design) I have to remind people that I HAVE NOT EVEN ONE FUCKING CLUE what wording I've used in any given document beyond my standard boilerplate. This shit is useless and an attempt to make the computer automatically organize things for people without actually having to analyze it for content (which is so impossible anyone suggesting it should be beaten)



  • @Zylon said:

    Oh sweet christ... the last thing UI designers need to be doing is confusing the users with even more abstraction of what's actually happening.

     

    Most users are already confused.  I'm not saying we do away with the file system - some people might prefer to organize things themselves, just like some people maintain physical filing systems - but I really can't see how a proper auto-save and indexing system would confuse anybody, at all.  Any abstraction can cause problems if it's a faulty abstraction, but I assumed we were talking about a correct one.

    The vast majority of users rely heavily on the MRU list in the File menu.  So why is it stashed in the corner, limited to 5-10 items, or even nonexistent in so many applications?  Microsoft made a good move putting that front and centre in Office 2007 as soon as you click the ribbon button, and giving you something like 20 items and a pin capability.  But I think that the "open" dialog, instead of being some crummy shell dialog, ought to be a much more detailed view of the MRU, showing a list (or thumbnails if applicable) of all recent documents, in reverse chronological order, with a last modified date and perhaps a summary of recent changes (again, if possible), and some optional user-supplied metadata like a title.  Stick in a keyword search for much older documents, and you're done.

    I think even I'd prefer this as a developer.  How nice would it be if Visual Studio, gave you, instead of that pathetic and useless "news" screen that normally comes up when you start it, just a large view of all your recent projects including information like when it was last modified, last built, last checked in/out (if using VSS/TS), and so on?  Nothing irritates me more than fumbling through the Open Project dialog when I'm trying to mentally juggle 12 different pieces of information and I feel like I'm going to forget something if I lose my concentration for even a few seconds - all because the MRU threw away the 10th item (yeah, I know you can set it to 24, but it's not designed for that, and scanning 24 tiny items is almost as bad).  And I'm a developer; it's not hard to imagine how irritating this would be for non-technical people.

    Removable media will always be around and therefore we'll always need the ability to "manually" save or open files, but I think the whole open/save concept is a relic from the days when ALL media was removable media and any kind of file I/O took bloody ages.  Local media and even online media is fast now; do we really need to keep foisting the antiquated concept of hierarchical file systems on paying customers?



  • So you can't remember what was in the letter... but you remember some arbitrary name you gave to the letter?

    That seems unlikely.  Usually what happens when people are that lost is that they start looking by date, which I mentioned above.  People have a reasonably good sense of time and the ability to scan long lists of items, so they'll try to remember when they wrote that letter and look for things from around that time.  In fact, most people who maintain physical filing systems usually index a lot of it by date.  Hence the point of putting the list in reverse chronological order, and actually showing the modified dates so people can quickly pinpoint the time period they're looking for.

    And what about the person you wrote it to?  Do you not put their name in the letter?  Can't you search for that?  If I'm looking at an inbox with a few thousand e-mails, it usually only takes me a few seconds to find what I want if I filter by the sender and look for the right date/week/month.

    If you really want to give it a title, fine, I said that the option should still be available and that some people will need/want it.  It can either be the file name, a piece of metadata, or both.  I just think it's a stupid idea to force people to rely exclusively on remembering a two-word name they came up with 3 weeks ago, when most people, most of the time, can't be bothered to put any kind of thought into a task like that.  Just how many generic "Status Report" or "letter to John" files can you keep around before the names become meaningless?



  • @Aaron said:

    How nice would it be if Visual Studio, gave you, instead of that pathetic and useless "news" screen that normally comes up when you start it, just a large view of all your recent projects including information like when it was last modified, last built, last checked in/out (if using VSS/TS), and so on? 
    Visual Studio 2010 has a fully programmable and designable start up page I think you will like.



  • @tster said:

    @Aaron said:

    How nice would it be if Visual Studio, gave you, instead of that pathetic and useless "news" screen that normally comes up when you start it, just a large view of all your recent projects including information like when it was last modified, last built, last checked in/out (if using VSS/TS), and so on? 
    Visual Studio 2010 has a fully programmable and designable start up page I think you will like.

    Yeah, but I heard it takes forever to start and the menus are unusable due to the background compiling.



  • @Justice said:

    I can only support that notion if you implement automatic revision control along with it, because otherwise you have a recipe for saving changes you don't really want saved.  Video games have had auto-save for a long time, and it's incredibly annoying when the game auto-saves your screwups in a misguided attempt to be helpful.

    Even with revision control, I find the notion questionable, if only because it's yet another concept that everyday users have to try and understand.

     

    These applications already have unlimited undo, so there's no reason they can't save undo history with the files.  In fact, I think it's insane that they don't already.  It's the worst feeling when you exit the program and accidentally click "yes" instead of "no" to the save prompt, knowing then that you will never, ever again see the content you just erased.

    Privacy issues dictate the need to be able to clear this history, otherwise somebody else would be able to see every change you'd ever made.  Common sense would be to make that the default action for "save a copy", but keep the history on a regular "save".

    Again, everything seems to hearken back to the days when storage was scarce and expensive and we couldn't afford to keep anything unnecessary.  Those days are long behind us.



  • Just change the "save" button to "commit."  Then change your file system to an SVN repo.



  • @Justice said:

    Now ok, you might say those are the only "right" games, and I'll admit Monkey Island was loads of fun.  But in every other type of game, it is extraordinarily annoying when you accidentally lose some important item, or use all your grenades fighting the first two forms of the final boss and don't have any left for the third form, or spend all your money on the wrong items, and the stupid game says "Autosave!" leaving you saying "OH SHI-" and then quietly sobbing in the corner.  Or something like that.
    No form of auto-save well help you in the Sierra adventure games, where failing to pick up a toothpick two minutes in will leave you unable to complete the game, though of course the game won't mention that to you.



  • @bstorer said:

    @Justice said:

    Now ok, you might say those are the only "right" games, and I'll admit Monkey Island was loads of fun.  But in every other type of game, it is extraordinarily annoying when you accidentally lose some important item, or use all your grenades fighting the first two forms of the final boss and don't have any left for the third form, or spend all your money on the wrong items, and the stupid game says "Autosave!" leaving you saying "OH SHI-" and then quietly sobbing in the corner.  Or something like that.
    No form of auto-save well help you in the Sierra adventure games, where failing to pick up a toothpick two minutes in will leave you unable to complete the game, though of course the game won't mention that to you.

     

    Well, at least you won't have to replay the first two minutes...

    Sierra seems to follow the same school of game design as Battletoads or Super Mario Bros. 2 (Japanese version), where instead of thinking up interesting challenges, they just say "how much of a jerk can we possibly be to the player?"  Sometimes that still works out ok, but it takes a whole lot of fun to make up for it.

    I'd actually been thinking of more recent titles.  For example, a friend of mine was griping about the autosave in GTA 4, which apparently screwed him over completely by auto-saving after a mission, even though he'd accidentally killed a character that was important to a side plot.  I think he'd adopted my manual revision control style of game saving, which helped, but he still lost a huge amount of progress.

    There are plenty of arguments to be had about "proper" game design, "realism," and all the other crap we've been bickering about since the NES, but my overall point is this: be it in games or application software, if you don't have some way to undo that boneheaded mistake you just made, then you've lost half the point of having a save function in the first place.


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