# Forward Compatibility of Save Files

My game is driven by a scripting language, and the user can save at almost anytime in the middle of the script, so the instruction number of the script engine must be saved. The problem is that the game state breaks when the script is changed. If the script is A B C D E and the player saved at C (the 3rd), and then the script is changed into X Y Z A B C D E, then the player will load at Z. I think my game will be updated infrequently even after release.

I think breaking the script into sections and autosaving in each new section. (in case of incompatibility: restart at autosave) However, are there any other ways to make save files forward-compatible? I want to hear some examples of especially RPGs with DLCs and patches.

• I think you should load the game at C in both cases.. and have version numbers in your save games, and handle the missing stuff based on the version number. This can get horribly complicated though.. Dec 25 '12 at 7:58
• Starting at C both times, they would miss out on what XYZ had to offer. Sometimes changes are incompatible with existing saves.
– House
Dec 25 '12 at 8:13
• @Byte56 such is life. I'd find it much stranger to find myself in a completely different part of the story when I load the game. And in his (or her) example, the player would miss X and Y in any case. Dec 25 '12 at 8:25
• @JariKomppa True enough. I suppose that's why such radical changes are usually kept out of updates. Or at least they are only applied to new games and the save games use their current scripts.
– House
Dec 25 '12 at 16:28
• In Mass Effect 3, after installing Extended Cut, the I can no longer load the save at the final mission, but I can restart at the autosave "Citadel: The Return". Mar 15 '13 at 16:36