Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Importance of Cloud Saving --- Ryviews Ryport

In the past, I was never much of an advocate for cloud storage. I didn't see the reason to centralize something if I could have it at my fingertips on my very own personal computer. The spectre of companies like Apple weighed heavily on my thought process, convincing me that online licenses and ownership was fraught with problems and disappearing content, so I wanted to stick with physical media and local storage.

I used to be pretty stupid.

To be fair, times have changed quite a bit since I believed that so thoroughly. And there is still merit to the claims that cloud saving can result in more losses that any kind of physical or local saving. But in a world where the number of connected devices each person owns numbers in the teens, it starts to become the more practical solution.

I'm someone who used to rely on one laptop computer in college. It was my entire life. I didn't have multiple devices and I didn't have any kind of connected home entertainment, so local storage was perfectly fine. If I flash forward to my current life, now I have a home desktop, a work laptop, a personal laptop, an Apple TV, an iPad, a kindle, multiple gaming platforms, and who knows what else. And if I want to watch a movie that I have saved on my desktop, it could take hours to jump through all the necessary hoops to play in on my TV. But if I bought it on iTunes, suddenly I can stream it through my Apple TV instantaneously.

It's like magic, if magic was much more boring...and real

Bringing my point around to gaming, I've had countless times where I lost local saves for numerous flash games, sometimes multiple times for the same game. And it's not like I'll begrudge a reason to replay something, but if I have progress I'd at least like the option to continue rather than start fresh from a new save file. Gemcraft Labyrinth was especially troublesome. I think I've started that game at least 4 times because I apparently lose cookies or cache or whatever I need to keep that file around. Gemcraft 2 has a cloud save attached to my Armor Games account, and I love it for that.

Once I was traveling on business, and I was bored in a hotel room, so I fired up Bunny Flags 2 on my laptop. My laptop is pretty old and very crappy, so once I got home I certainly didn't want to keep playing it on there. Luckily, because I had a cloud save, I could continue the carnage on my desktop. I hadn't even really thought about it while I was gone, but once I got back I was extremely happy that the game had the cloud saving option.

I think it's extremely important in today's world to have those kind of option available. I'm not saying it should necessarily be required (and for games like Gemcraft 2, they also indeed have a local save option), but cloud saving makes gaming much smoother for the connected individual. And for anyone who has a gaming style PC, desktop are pretty damn hard to move around. I'd imagine lots of gamers would like to have a cheap laptop to travel with, and without cloud saving there's no way to settle back into your hard earning, expensive hardware unless you start the game over.

I have my gaming desktop, and my travel laptop (which, to be fair, is still pretty much for gaming...travel gaming)

And it's the same situation on consoles. I am fortunate enough to own 2 Xbox 360s, and I never really considered cloud storage before because I previously always just used one console. Suddenly, I'm realizing how stupid that was. Luckily, with lots of local files like that you can transfer them to memory cards and move them over, but cloud storage makes it so much easier because you don't have to move anything. It's just always available to your gamertag wherever you log in. It's a very sleek, easy system.

I'd be interested to see comments to see what everyone else thinks on the subject, but for me, I think cloud saving greatly improves the life of the connected gamer. And in today's world, I can't imagine being satisfied gaming without it.

Until next time,


Pictures courtesy of Wikipedia

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