Common practice here for me when working in Flash or Lightwave is to always save. I save often and I save many copies. I will typically save a new version every time that I reach a new step, fix the latest problem, or undertake a new phase in the project. I typically label them with numerical values attached to the end of the filename. For example, “test1.fla,” “test2.fla,” “test3.fla,” and so on.
This is the best way to work in my eyes because there are always mysterious and unforeseen problems that can occur.
For instance, in Lightwave we had a project that we worked on for a long time and had been saving many copies. Then a mystery error occurred which corrupted the file we had saved and it would not reopen. It wasn’t a catastrophic problem because we could just open the last version of the project and minimize the damage.
Another problem that could happen is accidentally deleting something important that can’t be undone. Yet another, is a mysterious error in your latest version that makes the program close itself every time you run it. These can both be remedied as long as you have backup versions that you know work and haven’t been tainted with any of the latest code or errors that you may have made.
This practice is the best way to ensure that there are no devastating problems that would cause you to start over from scratch. If you aren’t saving multiple versions yet, you should start.