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Game Saves Are Messing Up Our Drives!

Posted by , / 23361 views
My first article on here! Hi everyone! :)
I am writing this in the hopes that someone who can do something about this, reads it
eg. Valve and all game devs I guess.

I now have over 300 games for Linux. In most ways this makes me very happy. But there is one thing that is getting me very unhappy. Currently games seem to be saving wherever the hell they like, it's making one hell of a mess. Heaven forbid I might want to ever backup all my savegames.
Just trying to navigate my home folder to find something important is becoming extremely annoying.

There needs to be some rules that are followed. Like making all games save in a certain place
like /home/user/.local/share/gamename or /home/user/.config/gamename or better yet /home/user/.savegame/gamename
If they save ANYWHERE else, DON'T let them onto Steam.

Just for fun here is my current installed saved games (at least that I can find).
I will only write the names of really bad examples though.

3 folders In ~/ and NOT HIDDEN! Devs really didn't care here.
3089/, eschalon_b1_saved_games/, PlanetExplorers/

18 hidden folders in ~/.

4 folders in ~/Documents/ - not hidden
(cause we wanna be like Windows, right? Or maybe we like opening our savegames with LibreOffice.)
7 Days To Die/, BladeofDestiny/, NeocoreGames/, Shadowrun Returns/
The Shadowrun Returns folder is completely empty and doesn't need to exist, it saves elsewhere.

12 folders in ~/.config/
Harebrained Schemes/ is another empty useless folder from Shadowrun Returns.
Zigfrag also has a folder in ~/.config/unity3d/
Snapshot also has a folder in ~/.local/share/

60 folders In ~/.config/unity3d/ (Lots of Unity engine games, but not all Unity games save here.)
Here are some standouts.
Bigmoon Studios_ S_A_/, Bigmoon Studios, S.A./ both for Jagged Alliance
Headup Games GmbH _ Co KG/, Headup Games GmbH & Co KG/ both for Shiny the Firefly
N_Fusion Interactive/, N-Fusion Interactive/ both for Leisure suit larry
Pathea/ Pathea Games/ both for Planet explorers + don't forget also has 3rd folder unhidden in ~/
The Fun Pimps also has a folder in ~/Documents
Entheogen for Zigfrak also has a folder in ~/.config/
Harebrained Schemes for Shadowrun Returns has other folders in ~/.config/ and ~/Documents/
Logic Artists for Expeditions-Conquistador has another folder in ~/.local/share/

24 folders In ~/.local/share/
Snapshot/ Snapshot also has another folder in ~/.config/

71 folders In ~/.local/share/Steam/userdata/somenumber/ for cloud saves

So the Top 3 messiest games
--Planet Explorers
1 folder in ~/ wich isn't hidden, holds the actual savegame
2 folders in ~/.config/unity3d/ both with identical config files

-- Shadowrun Returns:
1 empty folder in ~/Documents
1 empty folder in ~/.config/
1 folder in ~/.config/unity3d/ which has prefs
1 folder in /home/bjorn/.local/share/Steam/userdata/3790390/234650 which has the savegame

-- 3089 and Eschalon Book share this spot for not at least being hidden in ~/

I only have 154 of 301 Linux games installed. I can only imagine the mess if I install the rest. I try to keep my HDD nice and tidy, with everything in its place. I don't have my music collection splattered everywhere, it's all in my ~/Music. Pictures are all in ~/Pictures etc.

Please someone with some pull, FIX THIS. Until then I might make a separate user just for games.

Does this annoy anyone else? Voice your opinion, let them know this isn't acceptable.
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Comments on this article are now closed.
Half-Shot 30 September 2014 at 11:41 am UTC
Well you are hitting one of the many issues that surrounds the games industry right now: There is Zero quality control. Steam have allowed almost anyone to submit a game and it's not like you have to pass a test or anything to make a game.

Not saying that's a good idea, it's awful to constrain by education.

There are plenty of games that don't even match up with their descriptions and so basically we have this problem where nobody adheres to standards such as having a working game so your problem is no less valid but I believe the real reason is that the games industry as a whole has very little standards.

For me I have the problem where most game devs don't use driver independant extensions for their OpenGL. They will happily use NVidia or AMD only extensions without a thought for other users.

I would like the ability to have my saves tracked on steam though so I could choose myself where they get saved and backing them up easily. Hell, we need a standard save file format so that I can put them in a database or something.
Jarno 30 September 2014 at 11:44 am UTC
Someone plx link this to Valve devs so they know about this problem and can inform gamedevs.
flesk 30 September 2014 at 11:52 am UTC
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Yes, this was a huge annoyance for me when I reinstalled the OS on my laptop a couple of weeks back. I had to back up my entire home directory to make sure I got everything across. Ideally I think Valve should point developers to the XDG spec or as a minimal measure suggest that they use ~/.local/share and ~/.config.
mirv 30 September 2014 at 11:56 am UTC
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Games should definitely abide by the XDG spec. That so many don't is....frustrating. There are actually games that I have immediately uninstalled because of the nuisance of their config/savegame locations.

This is something that Valve will have to push for soon as well, I suspect, for the sake of SteamOS, but I hope GOG is also looking at it for when their new service is deployed.
sub 30 September 2014 at 12:05 pm UTC
Sometimes, I really want to 'like' an article.

Half-Shot 30 September 2014 at 12:08 pm UTC
subSometimes, I really want to 'like' an article.
I like that suggestion.
tuxisagamer 30 September 2014 at 12:08 pm UTC
Actually, this is not limited to Linux games. Windows games are just as messy.
Beamboom 30 September 2014 at 12:15 pm UTC
They should just stop local storage of save-files altogether, and put all saves in the Steam cloud - at least make it a global option. it's just hassle to store stuff like that locally.
FutureSuture 30 September 2014 at 12:20 pm UTC
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How does GOG do it?
Xylemon 30 September 2014 at 12:30 pm UTC
tuxisagamerActually, this is not limited to Linux games. Windows games are just as messy.

Yeah but that's mainly due to the fact Windows can be like a warzone without any rules. Practically everyone does what they want. I believe the person behind this article is trying to stress that there are rules in Operating Systems like Linux, and they should be followed. I don't agree on forbidding them to be on Steam, but I think Valve should take initiative in laying down some guidelines for things like this. Then again, Valve does things their way too...
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