Turnwheel / Autosave

Mid-chapter saves

I’ve seen turn wheels or mid chapter saves discussed a number of times, but I’m unaware of any hacks that actually use this mechanic.
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With the Iron Man playstyle being pretty rare, many hacks could potentially benefit from this. Do you want the player to restart your long chapter every time a character dies? Let’s be real, most people probably make the occasional savestate to protect themselves from the game being “cheap”. And some people will even spoil the game by abusing arena or RNG to get good level-ups. As fangame designers, we should consider how savestates might impact gameplay and plan accordingly. Some hacks even intend the player to use savestates to have any chance of completing it.

Why not have a savestate built into the game, then? Or have mid-chapter checkpoints that allow you to save?

@MisakaMikoto / Laqieer (github)'s Autosave killer allows you to use the Suspend + Resume function as a savestate/mid-chapter save, if you want it to.

The .bin code is found here:
FEBuilderGBA\config\patch2\FE8U\autosave_killer
(I couldn’t find another source for it. If you want me to link somewhere, Laqieer, please let me know and I’ll add it.)

Step 1.

Tools -> Patches
Install the patch Autosave killer

Step 2.

Ask the player to save every turn

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Eg. a turn event. Or you could make it a range event to only save at checkpoints. Up to you, really.

Text example:
image

image

EA event example
EVBIT_MODIFY 0x4
TUTORIALTEXTBOXSTART
SVAL 0xB 0xFFFFFFFF
TEXTSHOW 0xA11
TEXTEND
REMA
SVAL 0x7 0x1
BNE 0x55 0xC 0x7
ASMC 0xB5D5D
LABEL 0x55
EVBIT_MODIFY 0x0
EVBIT_T 0x7
ENDA

Step 3.

Result:

Answered “no”:
mmUhkAnPwP

Answered “yes”:
jloF0vwjP1

You can also reset multiple times in a row and the suspend data is never deleted.

Finally, the regular Suspend command works as usual, so nothing to worry about there. Or if you want ONLY mid-chapter saves and no suspend option, you could disable the suspend command as such:

Disable Suspend

Options / ideas

  • Vanilla: Force save after every action
  • Force save at start of every turn & remove suspend
  • Save at checkpoints only & remove suspend
  • Save whenever you want, always optionally, frequently reminding the player

Your hack could break from the mould and be a more relaxed experience. If I had permadeath in my own hack, then I’d personally put this in. I know I’d enjoy some hacks more if they did this.

casual

…or maybe I’m just a casual, haha. :sweat_smile:

What do you think? Is this still authentic Fire Emblem gameplay? Would you rather you just force the player to restart when they make a mistake? Do large maps become bearable when you can save?

I hope someone finds this useful. :slightly_smiling_face:

20 Likes

Yeah, I was thinking about this as well. If I do get to making a hack, I’d definitely want to allow the player to create savestates. As I’d want to play the hack on a GBA, savestates would need to be handled in-game.

The only issue I have with the options presented here is that you don’t mention having both a savestate to return to and a suspend save more akin to a quicksave/bookmark.

The idea I have is basically this: One can suspend whenever one wants to, but as soon as the suspend save is loaded in, it is deleted. Aside from these quicksaves/bookmark, one can also create a separate battlesave for a limited amount of times per battle to return to should things go awry. Alternatively one can create this battlesave as many times as one wants, but can only load these in for a limited amount of times per battle. Of course, a new battlesave overwrites the previous.

To implement this, one would probably need to sacrifice a lot of savedata in order to have both a suspend save and a battlesave, both of which are bigger than even two regular chapter saves, but I believe it can be done through extended modular save by lowering the maximum amount of player units.

One day I’ll put my theory to practice.

3 Likes

Mid-map save points like the DSFE games would be PERFECT. Can this be used to do that?

1 Like

This just gives you control over when you create suspend save data. It is just the one save point and obviously the game would no longer save after every action you perform.

Yes, you could save to suspend data in whatever way you prefer. I showed it as a turn event, but you could easily make it a visit, range, or talk event instead. If you want to make it have limited uses, you could do so using flags pretty easily.

3 Likes

Yeah, EMS would be the way to add more saves but space in ram is already quite limited, and I don’t think anyone really wants to re-allocate its data. People gonna complain that they can only have 40 player units fielded instead of 50 if you re-allocate. I would never play a chapter that had 50 player units personally but people are silly and get defensive when having to give up something, haha.

I do wonder if one could compress the theoretical second save data by saving just the changes to the first save data. Idk how that would work or if that even makes sense, haha.

I edited EMS though to make unit level in my hack saved in dark magic wexp instead on suspend. So i am basically a 1337 hacker now :robot:

1 Like

Well it looks like I’ll be using this for the MAFC V.

1 Like

Yeah probably. That’s why I should just make my own hack. No need to worry about people complaining about the odd hard-coded thing or limitations & such.

I like this idea. Not sure how much of it can be put to practice, but if the saves differ entirely it may not conserve space? If one has to account for this it won’t work. Maybe some wizard could pop in and provide us guidance.

1 Like

Is there anyway to have suspends delete themselves while the midchapter saves do not? If you leave the supsend available you let the player save at anytime during their turn, making midchapter saves pointless.

Remove the “Suspend” command from the menu. I show how in the OP.

Maybe I don’t understand something but I’m pretty sure that’s not what I’m talking about. If I did that wouldn’t the player be forced to return to midchapter saves anytime they wanted to stop playing? If they decided they didn’t want to midchapter save they would not be able to stop at anytime during the chapter. This could work if I let the player save every turn but not if I only want to leave a couple checkpoints. But if I don’t disable Suspend then midchapter saving is pointless because you can use suspend to save at any time. Could I maybe use flags or something to make suspends delete themselves while midchapter saves do not?

You could just not use the autosave killer. This way the suspend save is always updated, making it useless as a checkpoint. The midchapter save could still work separately.

Yes, you are correct.

You are simply trading one feature for another by doing this. You either have autosave enabled, or you disable it and create suspend data whenever you want to, such as mid-chapter with an event. That’s why I was recommending it as a turn event - I think it’s nice to remind players to save often. Mid-chapter saves have a bigger tradeoff, so you’d want to warn players.

I think Huichelaar is speaking theoretically. Nobody has re-allocated EMS data to allow for a full-on separate save data. It’d be more involved and you’d have to lower the number of units that can be fielded.

image
This new feature could be used for many interesting idea’s! I’d love to have a feature like this in my hack, functioning as an echoes/three houses turnwheel with a limited amount of uses (the minimum being 1 and the maximum being 5) but I don’t know where to put it!

Should I make it easy mode exclusive for example, or should I also include it in hard mode. Since I want my hard mode (a.k.a. Special Mode) to be a lot harder, I don’t know if the player would like to have an option to reset a death. I’m afraid it might take away a bit of the challenge.

I think I’ll experiment with this new feature when I have the time for it. I would love to have a working turnwheel at least for my easy mode. I am sure about one thing however! @MisakaMikoto did an amazing job! This looks very dope!

You should also check out the Autosave function patch in FEBuilder.

Does a lot of what we discussed before, but it’s not compatible with EMS sadly.

2 Likes

It’s just the one suspend data you’re writing to, but giving them choice over which turns they want to save is a good idea imo.

You could combine this with mid chapter save points that let you save for free once.

(Just use a counter or some flags to give it limited uses. If anyone needs help with the eventing for this, feel free to ask.)

Though I don’t think it makes sense to do as am easy-mode exclusive feature, as it means on other modes you no longer auto save your progress via suspend data that is being constantly saved as you play on vanilla.

1 Like

So I finally played around with EMS, and it seems this could work.

2021-01-03_20-10-22

I’m modifying the save that’s being saved to save4 (suspend2) the first time the suspend is saved. Then I’m letting it save to save3 (suspend1) as I move Seth. I’ve set it up so that holding L when resuming a chapter loads suspend2, if suspend2 is not empty/corrupted. The second time I’m resuming the suspend in this gif is when I hold L, thus Seth is back to where he was at the start.

I had to sacrifice the third regular save, some blue suspend units (only up to 41 or 0x29 can be saved with this setup) and five green suspend units which is why there’s only two regular saves visible and accessible in the main menu.

I’ll send in another update once I got it working more properly, but what remains shouldn’t be very hard from here on out.

1 Like

That sounds epic. It’d just need some sort of menu to resume suspend 1 vs suspend 2.

You should make it a config option in SkillSys github since it’s EMS stuff.

Alright. I finished it. No fancy menu/popup, but just press L instead of A to return to the backup. Don’t wanna spam the details here as well, so I’ll leave a link to my assembly collection.

2021-01-05_20-51-59

5 Likes

This is probably useful if you decide to be based and put your hack on a cartridge.

I got one of these,
https://everdrive.me/cartridges/everdrive-gba-x5-mini.html
so I really needed something like this, yeah.

3 Likes