Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Very Nice Thing To Have

One type of mod I've become accustomed to using in the Bethesda games I play (since they own the Doom franchise now, I suppose I should say the other Bethesda games) is anything that enables game saves to be created automatically in adjustable intervals. I hate my game immersion being broken by thoughts like: "Oh, wait... I'm about to open an unfamiliar door. I should probably save here..."

But such convenience mods also have a major drawback: once I become accustomed to using them in one game then while playing other games I am constantly forgetting to save my progress. Such was the case when I recently returned to Doom.

But there's hope for people like me, thanks to Stephen Clark aka The Ultimate DooMer and his autosaver mod designed for use with ZDoom and GZDoom. With this mod in play, once you begin a new WAD all you must do is enter a one-time console command and for the remainder of that map or set of maps your progress will automatically be saved at whatever interval you've specified. Like the title of the post says, this is a very nice thing to have because you never know what might happen in Doom. I keep my auto-saver set at a 60 second interval because those nasty little surprises can tend to happen rather quickly.

Now, if you're one of those hardcore Doomers who believes that levels must be cleared without saving your progress ever, then obviously this is not the mod for you. Pistol-starters, however, might find this quite useful since starting a particularly intense map with just the revolver can be quite an ordeal and require quite a bit of luck.

My observant readers may have noticed in screenshots in previous posts a tiny purple number can be seen in the upper left-hand corner of my screen while I'm playing. That's the auto-saver timer counting down to the next save. Aside from this tiny number and a message that will be briefly displayed when the actual save is made, once the auto-saver is running you won't even know it's there. Though I should note that, in huge maps with hundreds of monsters and GL lighting effects, the auto-saver can cause a split-second framerate stutter when the actual save is recorded. This could become a detrimental issue on PCs with slower processors, insufficient RAM or sub-standard video hardware, but in this day and age it's likely safe to assume that most of my regular readers will not have any problems with this.

So, in closing, let me give a huge THANK YOU to The Ultimate DooMer for sharing this auto-saver mod with us. It works like a charm, and is a must-have for absent-minded players like me who can tend to get so "into it" that game saves don't enter my mind until after that unexpected Arch-Vile has toasted me...


  1. This could be a handy little program. Might even get me out of using cheat codes (yes, I'm still a Heretic). Definately worth a look.

    And mentioning Bethesda now owns Id, I guess the chances of Doom 3 becoming Open Source are now gone out the window.

  2. The open source Doom 3 is still up in the air AFAIK. I tried to google it, but most of the news I found was several years old.