steve_v

2 quick save / load improvements

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Posted (edited)

Short and sweet, I here suggest two falling-off-a-log easy improvements to the save game system that I haven't seen suggested before. (this seems odd, but I really haven't).

#1 Natural sorting for save games in the load dialog, currently numbered quicksaves are presented as e.g 17,18,19,2,20...29,3,30 etc. this is pretty irritating when you have many saves.
#2 Save game compression: My saves are around 7MB each, and this adds up very quickly. Basic gzip compression brings this down to a far more reasonable 607KB per file.
Compression / decompression overhead should be minimal on a modern system (takes 83 & 24ms respectively on my machine) and have no impact on game performance if done in a separate thread.

Handy, yes? Easy too?

Edited by steve_v
Yeah, 83ms is pretty quick.
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As for #1, might Alt+F5/Alt+F9 work for you as a workaround? It enables you to name your saves any way you please.

#2 For me personally, I don't think the size that savegames have are a big issue anymore these days with HD space going in to Terrabytes cheap, not to mention that KSP is tiny compared to some AAA titles that go far beyond 60 GB installments.

Man I'm getting old, I remember owning an 20 MEGAbytes harddrive, and using 'Stacker' to compress the contents so you can nearly get 40 MEGAbytes out of it. (yeah baby! :cool:)

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Posted (edited)

10 minutes ago, LoSBoL said:

As for #1, might Alt+F5/Alt+F9 work for you as a workaround? It enables you to name your saves any way you please.

The default naming scheme when using Mod+F5 encounters this, as does any custom naming that uses 2 digits.
Sure, I could just work around it with different names, but that's a bunch of extraneous typing, and this is a trivial thing to implement in-game.

10 minutes ago, LoSBoL said:

#2 For me personally, I don't think the size that savegames have are a big issue anymore

Perhaps so, but again, it's trivial to implement. And while HDD sizes are increasing, SSDs are still expensive per-megabyte, and a career playthrough (if you don't delete saves) can easily hit 2GB+. That's enough for another copy of KSP or two.

10 minutes ago, LoSBoL said:

Man I'm getting old, I remember owning an 20 MEGAbytes harddrive

I still have my Quantum ProDrive ELS 40 MB. And it still works perfectly, despite being used as a paperweight (literally) all those years. :P

Edited by steve_v
+ != -, how confusing.

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8 minutes ago, steve_v said:

SNIP

I still have my Quantum ProDrive ELS 40 MB. And it still works perfectly, despite being used as a paperweight (literally) all those years. :P

You should stacker it, you can hold down twice as much paper that way!  :D

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1 hour ago, steve_v said:

#2 Save game compression: My saves are around 7MB each, and this adds up very quickly. Basic gzip compression brings this down to a far more reasonable 607KB per file.
Compression / decompression overhead should be minimal on a modern system (takes 83 & 24ms respectively on my machine) and have no impact on game performance if done in a separate thread.

Or... you could enable the OS folder/file compression on the saves folder (on Windows hidden behind the 'Advanced...' properties button) and have the OS do it on the fly without the game needing any adaptation. Essentially it works the same, performance-wise there will be no difference, and if you edit savefiles with some regularity, it is transparent to the notepads of the world that the files are compressed.

 

48 minutes ago, LoSBoL said:

Man I'm getting old, I remember owning an 20 MEGAbytes harddrive, and using 'Stacker' to compress the contents so you can nearly get 40 MEGAbytes out of it.

Conner, my trusty HD provider for the first ... forever. 20, two 40, then a giant leap to a 170 MB that swallowed all data from the three previous disks and still had almost as much space left empty. Sigh, and these days GB-size files are a regular occurrence...

Btw, if you really want to feel old, try asking the all-important question and be prepared for the confused stares: C/H/S of your first one? :D(615/4/17 if you really must know)

 

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1 hour ago, swjr-swis said:

Or... you could enable the OS folder/file compression on the saves folder (on Windows hidden behind the 'Advanced...' properties button) and have the OS do it on the fly without the game needing any adaptation. Essentially it works the same, performance-wise there will be no difference, and if you edit savefiles with some regularity, it is transparent to the notepads of the world that the files are compressed.

 

Conner, my trusty HD provider for the first ... forever. 20, two 40, then a giant leap to a 170 MB that swallowed all data from the three previous disks and still had almost as much space left empty. Sigh, and these days GB-size files are a regular occurrence...

Btw, if you really want to feel old, try asking the all-important question and be prepared for the confused stares: C/H/S of your first one? :D(615/4/17 if you really must know)

 

The numbers sounded familiar, but I had to look up CHS though, it's comming back to me now! :D

 

Then again, My very first drive had a counter on it :wink:

 c64_tapedrive_large-11391985.jpg

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Posted (edited)

^same here but mine had a Radio Shack label.  I still remember my first 33MB RLL encouding drive, wow.  Though first hard drive I worked with (it wan't mine) was 5MB, man how fast and big they were.  At least they weren't exploding by those days (hey how about an exploding hard drive to put in my early career games maybe in a test it contract).

Anyway when I save I usually use named saves.  Frankly though for me I'd rather have them sort by date rather than name in the quick save.

Edited by kBob

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Posted (edited)

I'd complain about the size of save files too, but then I remembered that my Battlefield 1, 3 and 4 folders takes up 168gb together and all of a sudden my KSP folder seems so small, especially since I only play BF about an hour per month...
Just delete your old saves as time passes, I honestly don't see the problem.

Edited by degenerate

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15 hours ago, degenerate said:

Just delete your old saves as time passes, I honestly don't see the problem.

I never suggested that it was a big problem, rather my point is: It's such a trivial thing  to implement, why wouldn't you do it?

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Posted (edited)

On 4/18/2017 at 5:20 AM, swjr-swis said:

Or... you could enable the OS folder/file compression on the saves folder (on Windows hidden behind the 'Advanced...' properties button) and have the OS do it on the fly without the game needing any adaptation. Essentially it works the same, performance-wise there will be no difference, and if you edit savefiles with some regularity, it is transparent to the notepads of the world that the files are compressed.

Saving the files in a real compressed format has one additional advantage: Network bandwidth consumption and transmission times would be reduced when sharing saves online. Yes, it's easy to make your own ZIP file, but not everyone does, and if the game did it for you, it'd be automatic and universal.

And I wouldn't try to sort the saves by name with some sort of numerical interpretation. Just sort them by the date the file was created. This is standard in most other games I've tried.

Edited by HebaruSan
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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, HebaruSan said:

Saving the files in a real encrypted format has one additional advantage: Network bandwidth consumption and transmission times would be reduced when sharing saves online.

And you get CRC into the bargain. If one was cunning, the details that the load game menu needs could even be rolled into a header in the file, and we could dispense with this ".loadmeta" bandaid. The standard zip format "extra" or "comment" header fields would do nicely.

1 hour ago, HebaruSan said:

Just sort them by the date the file was created.

Indeed. This is actually better, and would have the same effect for (auto)named quicksaves as proper alphanumeric sorting. Then again, IMO the best solution of all would be a "sort by" selection in the load dialog, with both options available...
The way it works now is pretty much the worst sorting I can think of, and is almost certainly some kind of default that nobody bothered to change.

Edited by steve_v

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The only downside to compressing save files I can think of is that I do quite a lot of reading/editing save files in a text editor and it would add several extra steps.

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Posted (edited)

On 4/18/2017 at 9:18 AM, steve_v said:

Short and sweet, I here suggest two falling-off-a-log easy improvements to the save game system that I haven't seen suggested before. (this seems odd, but I really haven't).

#1 Natural sorting for save games in the load dialog, currently numbered quicksaves are presented as e.g 17,18,19,2,20...29,3,30 etc. this is pretty irritating when you have many saves.
#2 Save game compression: My saves are around 7MB each, and this adds up very quickly. Basic gzip compression brings this down to a far more reasonable 607KB per file.
Compression / decompression overhead should be minimal on a modern system (takes 83 & 24ms respectively on my machine) and have no impact on game performance if done in a separate thread.

Handy, yes? Easy too?

Unity must have sorting modes, but I think that's a Linux quirk, as not only do capitals come before lower case with vessel names, 3 is higher than the 2 in 29, I'll have to look up that quirk but you should see different behavior on Windows for both vessel names in the quick launch dialogue and save ordering.

Also, dating the saves is already possible as we can see with the backups, so that really needs to be the default for regular saves.

Compression is used on the consoles, trouble with compression libraries though is the licensing, Squad would avoid anything GPL just in case.

On 4/18/2017 at 0:34 PM, LoSBoL said:

The numbers sounded familiar, but I had to look up CHS though, it's comming back to me now! :D

 

Then again, My very first drive had a counter on it :wink:

 c64_tapedrive_large-11391985.jpg

Mine too!, I still have my cpc464 with built-in datacorder.

47 minutes ago, tomf said:

The only downside to compressing save files I can think of is that I do quite a lot of reading/editing save files in a text editor and it would add several extra steps.

Squad would most likely go for a format you can open in most archive apps, as they do want to allow you access to your saves.

Edited by sal_vager
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20 hours ago, sal_vager said:

Unity must have sorting modes, but I think that's a Linux quirk, as not only do capitals come before lower case with vessel names, 3 is higher than the 2 in 29, I'll have to look up that quirk but you should see different behavior on Windows for both vessel names in the quick launch dialogue and save ordering.

Indeed, the sort order I'm seeing is the same as the default order produced by most GNU utilities (e.g. ls).
'ls -v' is "natural sort of (version) numbers within text" (and it's in my .bash_aliases since forever).
Likewise, 'ls -f' ignores case.

As I suspected, looks like it's a default nobody thought to change.

Don't take away my caps-come-first sorting though, that's a religion. :wink:

 

20 hours ago, sal_vager said:

dating the saves is already possible as we can see with the backups, so that really needs to be the default for regular saves.

This would be the best option, yes. (assuming you sort by date in a logical fashion of course).

 

20 hours ago, sal_vager said:

Compression is used on the consoles, trouble with compression libraries though is the licensing, Squad would avoid anything GPL just in case.

Well I don't know about libraries for Unity / C#, but zlib, info-zip and many others are under unrestricted BSD-ish terms. I'd be surprised if there wasn't something suitable to be found.
Then again, all the best software is GPL. :P

 

20 hours ago, tomf said:

The only downside to compressing save files I can think of is that I do quite a lot of reading/editing save files in a text editor and it would add several extra steps.

The 3 text editors I use regularly will transparently open and edit zip, gzip, & bzip2 files (and probably others I haven't tested) so long as the relevant utilities are installed. No extra steps at all. Dunno 'bout Windoze tho.
And you shouldn't cheat anyway, it's bad for you. :P

Edited by steve_v

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