Poor autosave timing
First off, I have to say I'm loving this game. I'm ex Brit Army Air Corps and have been waiting for a game like this for years.
Having said that, after just buying this game and been playing it solidly for about five days, I've come across my first niggle. The timing of some of the auto saves. I'm on the mission where I have to shuttle back and forth picking up containers from the ship and dropping them off at the compound. I'm flying back to the ship to pick up the last container when I suffer the engine failure and have to auto-rotate to a landing.
The problem is it auto saves just 1 or 2 seconds before the failure and at that time I'm only 130 ft AGL over heavy tree cover. I have nowhere to go. My only option is to start the whole mission from the start again. If the autosave occured even 5 seconds before the engine failure I could at least gain some height to give myself a fighting chance without the need to start from the beginnig of the misson.
Jan 4 2012, 15:17
We've attempted some improvements in patch 1.03 (mainly not autosaving before imminent crashes), but still can see room for improvement.
In the meantime may I suggest using some manual saves in the cases you can see a troubling landing or other task coming? It's available from the interrupt menu (Esc).
Hi and thanks for your quick reply. I did exactly that when I restarted the mission after the above problem. I do make manual saves where I think I may need them. I just wasn't expecting this particular event on that last trip. Thanks again
After having experienced a simliar issue as the original poster (at the very same point in the same mission), I have had a very simple idea that could help avoid such issues without the appplication having to do any clever or 'heavy lifting' work.
Instead of initiating the auto-save instantly (at whatever event is used to trigger the auto-save), implement a short (5 seconds?) delay with simple user message indicating the count down. ("Auto saving in 5 seconds", "...4", "...3", "...2", "...1", "Auto-saving complete.")
If you wanted, you could get a little bit clever about it an allow the user to "(Press '<key>' to defer saving, or '<key>' to cancel)".
That way all the really clever decision making is left to the user and the computer is free to use all those precious clock cycles on rendering graphics, calculating flight dynamics and running those trojan viruses you 'picked up' from that website your mother would disapprove of.
There's a similar issue with the mission where you have to replace the tower on top of the space needle. If you are manage to collide with the tower the mission will decide you've managed to pick up the tower and trigger the auto-save but this occurs just after collision detection has decided that you've damaged your cargo beyond repair. You therefore end up with an autosave which immediately ends the game due to damaged cargo.