I started replaying The Witcher, since I remember nothing about it. I noticed a very annoying thing about the game: How it handles saving.
The standard of saving I believe all games should have is thus: 2-4 slots for Quicksaves, with the newest save replacing the oldest one. 2-4 slots for Autosaves, which happen every time a player changes location, or if the game does not have loadable locations, then in every ten minutes. Then an unlimited amount of slots for normal saves, which have the location, date and time presented.
The Witcher screws up almost every one. The game autosaves very erratically. I have no idea when it decides to autosave, but it might have something to do with how one completes main quests. I have probably lost about an hour of total playing time to crashes and lack of saves. Just a few minutes ago I explored two large locations, got two new quests and completed one, only to die and realize that the game did not autosave at any of the two loading screens. All I want to know is why. Why did the designers not add autosave to every time one changes location?
Why did I not quicksave then? Everyone knows that you have to quicksave at every ten seconds. The answer is that quicksaving generates a new save slot. I once witnessed a person deleting 300+ saves from Fallout 3 on 360. It did not have any mass-removal tools. It was a sobering sight to behold. While a PC game would probably not succumb to the same degeneration of performance as the Xbox game, I still dislike the idea of having dozens of superfluous quicksaves cluttering my save folder just because I am used to saving often in tight combat situations.
And the last point, probably the most important one, is that The Witcher did not save the game when it ended, making it difficult to know just how much info The Witcher 2 requires on its previous-game-save-using thing. Though this oversight I can understand, as they were probably not planning to use the saves when they finished the prequel.
I think there should be one commandment for every game designer ever: Thou shalt not waste the players’ time. Always make a robust and easy-to-use save system. Autosave often. Autosave after important points.