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I am using play game services and decided to create a small progress manager which will protect user progress. Now consider this, Player launches the game and sign in to cloud service (play game services or whatever) and sign out by mistake or intentionally. Then make some good progress as a guest player and then later choses to sign in to loud again. Should I overwrite local progress (with more coins and scores) with cloud or do vice versa? I am confused. What should I do?

The solution I came up with to ask user if they want to overwrite the data or save the current local progress to cloud but this seems more ui work and user might find it less like a game and more like a boring software.(no offence to them).

Thanks.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Assuming each user can only have one save state, have you thought of adding a timestamp to the save and keep the newest? Or if you want something better, ask the user which save they'd rather keep? \$\endgroup\$ – TomTsagk Nov 1 at 14:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I thought of compairing timestamp but the target is to choose best progress. Which should be easy now that I am thinking of it. Just compare the values against each other. \$\endgroup\$ – Ankit singh kushwah Nov 1 at 14:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ but this seems more ui work Yeah. Making games require hard work as you have probably noticed. Your users will not be thankful if you add that feature, because it's a "hygiene factor", but they'll complain much less than any other options. Steam does that, if I recall. \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt Nov 1 at 14:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Definitely ask them which they want to keep. List the date/time they were each saved, and any device names you can get so they can make the right decision. \$\endgroup\$ – Almo Nov 1 at 14:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ The game is not that big. This would have blended well with big linear game. \$\endgroup\$ – Ankit singh kushwah Nov 1 at 14:50
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As you’ve noted, you’ve got two ways to handle conflicting data. Either pick one, or try to merge the two games together. I have worked on games that have done both, and I highly recommend the first option.

With the first option, whenever there is a conflict, the game simply presents the options to the user, with a bit of info about each save state (eg. What level they are, how much time they’ve played, how much progress they’ve made, how many coins they have, etc.), allowing the user to pick which one with a simple button. It isn’t really that much UI work, and it gives the user agency over the choice, which they will almost always prefer. Trying to determine which game to keep automatically may either anger or confuse the user of they see their data change or become lost for reasons which are unknown to them.

The second option, where you try to merge the games together, works only in certain kinds of games, and is very game-specific, so I can’t really tell you the specifics of how it ought to be implemented. I can only say that it is a headache and a half, more error prone, and I much prefer the first option. Although if your game is simple enough, it could be the right solution for you.

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