During the last couple of days Jay nudged me about adding a save game feature to HX so I spent some time this morning evaluating how to technically do this. As soon as I came up with a solution I couldn't help the feeling that as soon as i would add this feature i would fall back to Deus Ex singleplayer behaviour and the back of my head would be nudging me about reloading the game if something didn't work out as I wanted it to be. But one of the things I really enjoy in playing HX is that you are freed of that burden. Things are permanent. Period.
As the main reason for a save system was to be able to continue the game at some later point it became apparent that a resume system instead of a save and reload system would be a compromise. First idea was to make it map based so you would resume at the beginning of the current map, but it just felt like this would be some indirect save and reload system again, and my head would still nudging me. One further step back would be to make it mission based, so you would resume at the beginning of the current mission, but that didn't turned out to feel different, but I got a great idea what to do instead. So I made my descission:
HX will not have a save or resume feature. Period.
So without a resume feature it becomes even more important to make the start at a later mission as pleasant as possible. So lets recap what makes up the progress in Deus Ex:
- Skillpoints and Skills
- Augmentations and Augmentation Upgrades
- Flags (NPCs beeing freed or killed, violent behaviour in first mission, etc.)
The first two points are already accounted for as you can set additional Skillpoints, Augmentations and Augmentation Upgrades when starting a new game. Inventory is secondary, as you are well equiped after the first or second map.
So my idea which ultimatly lead to the descission to not have a save or resume feature was that one can randomize what happened in previous mission. So you would get a random collection of NanoKeys, while the easy to find would be granted with a fairly high chance and the hard to find NanoKeys with a lower. Also descission whether you fled through the window and let Paul be killed or if you killed Anna already would be at random. That sums up to beeing just a minor penalty to start at a later mission and makes it each time you start there a bit different and let you experience gameplay elements in Deus Ex which you might have missed if you do by fall back to the same patterns each time you play Deus Ex.