kiefac

Saves: how do they work?

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Just a few questions about saves... I already know the location (C:/Users/<username>/AppData/Local/Astro/Saved/SaveGames) but I want to know more specifics.

1) What is inside a save file?

2) Is there any way to decrypt the pseudo-random crap in it to turn it into human-readable or otherwise useful data?

3) Why are saves so small? I would expect the full worlds to be in a save, but I guess I haven't really explored much of Terran and barely any of Barren, and only really have the low-poly, far-away-LOD models of the other once. Still, it seems like they just have the seed for the random generation and the world is built up on-the-fly as the player explores.

4) If I did decrypt a save file, would I be able to see the locations/id numbers of buildings, dropped items, etc.... and then delete them to remove buildings in a very complicated manner, or add new ones in to "hack" in free resources?

5) Why do I have 2 saves in my save folder? Is one a backup/fallback that I can use if my previous save gets corrupted or something?

6) If I cut'n'paste the files into a backup folder, could I have multiple saves that I just could flip through by switching them out? (This is one of my bigger concerns, along with 4, because I built a ridiculous amount of connectors trying to get a stuck [as in immovable object that couldn't be moved by an unstoppable force] large solar panel hooked up to my base that was miles away. I'd rather not start a whole new save but its better than having 7 FPS)

and finally

7) Isn't there an issue with using the .sav file format? It has the Portal 2 icon on my system which makes me think that maybe Valve has a trademark/patent on the format.

 

I understand if some of these can't be answered because its a trade secret or something, I was just wondering.

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4 hours ago, kiefac said:

Just a few questions about saves... I already know the location (C:/Users/<username>/AppData/Local/Astro/Saved/SaveGames) but I want to know more specifics.

1) What is inside a save file?

2) Is there any way to decrypt the pseudo-random crap in it to turn it into human-readable or otherwise useful data?

3) Why are saves so small? I would expect the full worlds to be in a save, but I guess I haven't really explored much of Terran and barely any of Barren, and only really have the low-poly, far-away-LOD models of the other once. Still, it seems like they just have the seed for the random generation and the world is built up on-the-fly as the player explores.

4) If I did decrypt a save file, would I be able to see the locations/id numbers of buildings, dropped items, etc.... and then delete them to remove buildings in a very complicated manner, or add new ones in to "hack" in free resources?

5) Why do I have 2 saves in my save folder? Is one a backup/fallback that I can use if my previous save gets corrupted or something?

6) If I cut'n'paste the files into a backup folder, could I have multiple saves that I just could flip through by switching them out? (This is one of my bigger concerns, along with 4, because I built a ridiculous amount of connectors trying to get a stuck [as in immovable object that couldn't be moved by an unstoppable force] large solar panel hooked up to my base that was miles away. I'd rather not start a whole new save but its better than having 7 FPS)

and finally

7) Isn't there an issue with using the .sav file format? It has the Portal 2 icon on my system which makes me think that maybe Valve has a trademark/patent on the format.

 

I understand if some of these can't be answered because its a trade secret or something, I was just wondering.

"What is inside a save file?" - Everything from the terrain and how it was created to the objects on the floor...

"Is there any way to decrypt the pseudo-random crap in it to turn it into human-readable or otherwise useful data" -Most likely :) 

"Why are saves so small? I would expect the full worlds to be in a save, but I guess I haven't really explored much of Terran and barely any of Barren, and only really have the low-poly, far-away-LOD models of the other once. Still, it seems like they just have the seed for the random generation and the world is built up on-the-fly as the player explores." - It only saves the chunks that you have explored/generated :) The planets in the distance are non entities and you can clip right through them until the player travels to one in a shuttle :D 

"If I did decrypt a save file, would I be able to see the locations/id numbers of buildings, dropped items, etc.... and then delete them to remove buildings in a very complicated manner, or add new ones in to "hack" in free resources?" - Yes :D 

"Why do I have 2 saves in my save folder? Is one a backup/fallback that I can use if my previous save gets corrupted or something?" - I believe the first one is when you save in the starting habitat and the other save updates to your next save point such as a rover :) 

"If I cut'n'paste the files into a backup folder, could I have multiple saves that I just could flip through by switching them out? (This is one of my bigger concerns, along with 4, because I built a ridiculous amount of connectors trying to get a stuck [as in immovable object that couldn't be moved by an unstoppable force] large solar panel hooked up to my base that was miles away. I'd rather not start a whole new save but its better than having 7 FPS)" - Yes you can do this :D I usually do this so I can "Name" my worlds so I can easily tell them apart :) 

"Isn't there an issue with using the .sav file format? It has the Portal 2 icon on my system which makes me think that maybe Valve has a trademark/patent on the format." - No every file format will have the icon of the program that you "open with" and Portal must have opened it with the option "always open with" :) 

I hope this helps :D 

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On 7/15/2017 at 6:55 PM, Jeremy Squires said:

I don't see the saves in this location.  I'm playing on Win10, but with Xbox Anywhere/Live.  Is there a new save location?

No, this is the correct location for Win10. However, you need to change your File Explorer to 'Show Hidden Files' in order to see the AppData folder, and of course, you need to substitute your username in the indicated place.

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