When it comes to saving my progress, I'm an O.G. Very vigilant, always saving, even right after saving. Power outages? Pff, 10 minutes of lost progress at most.
Crashes? Same story.
Well. So I thought.
My computer hung on Sunday, no BSOD, just a frozen screen. Come back to find all of my game data files were gone. Everything had reset to default. I had lost everything. After a moment of nihilistic reflection, realizing the only realistic plan was to start over again. ( I had already invested too much time and money on this project to even consider moving on from it) I contacted a good friend and we started double-checking everything, maybe the files were still there.
Sadly, no. The game data was completely gone. It wasn't all doom and gloom, I still had all of my 3D models, textures, and the assets I purchased are always available, but all the work I put into combat, gameplay, scripting, missions, items, was all erased. I didn't think this was possible, and I still don't know how or why such a thing happened. But it did, and while I wanted to be angry and frustrated, I ultimately couldn't blame anyone but myself. I didn't have a backup... I had excuses, but no solution and no prevention in place.
Well luckily, I do a lot of totally random things, and at some point I copied all of my game files from my D drive to my C drive, probably because my SSD is faster, and I was tired of slow transfer rates. This version is about 3 weeks old. Not a huge loss. ( I spent most of those 3 weeks figuring out how to handle stealth mechanics and NPC schedules.)
My buddy helped me set up a raid drive in case of HDD failure, and I’m planning on buying a network backup to keep things local and secure, with daily backups set up automatically.
Ultimately, this was just a slap in the face, a wakeup call. If I want to treat game design as a business, I must make the right business moves. Accidents happen, and the most random things can utterly cripple your work. It’s best to prepare and over-prepare and never give yourself an excuse for failure.
Thanks for reading, it’s time to get back to work. The demo is probably going to miss its deadline, but after what happened, I’m just happy to be back on track…
By the way, check out the NU image for an updated and detailed lore description!