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Half Life 2 Stuttering Bug Official 456

Posted by michael
from the you're-all-beta-testers dept.
sinner0423 writes "Due to recent complaints on several forums, Steampowered announced they are working on a fix to this stuttering problem in Half Life 2. Usually, a game bug isn't news-worthy, but the sporadic nature of this bug makes me wonder - who else has problems with HL2 pausing/skipping? This site outlines the problem certain users are having in a very clear & concise manner, and also includes some stopgap solutions from Erik Johnson & other Valve employees."
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Half Life 2 Stuttering Bug Official

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  • Hmmm.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lxt (724570) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:48PM (#10875951) Journal might have thought given the year of so the game has thought to have remained in a workable state they might have come across a bug like this, especially if it's affecting large numbers of people...
  • by jkmiecik (242175) <slashdotdoesntneedmyem&iladdress,com> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:53PM (#10875988)
    from the you're-all-beta-testers dept.

    Yawn. Every Linux distro gets released bug-free, right? ...Usually, a game bug isn't news-worthy, but the sporadic nature of this bug makes me wonder - who else has problems with HL2 pausing/skipping?

    Well, you sure linked [] a ton [] of forums [], how about you just read those threads? Or perhaps other gamer boards?

    Listen, I know HL2 is the biggest thing to happen to the gaming community in quite some time. I know the controversy surrounding it, Gabe Newell, Vivendi, Valve and a piece of caerphilly [] cheese []. I just don't see why a bug that is sporadic and what seems like a very minute number of people are having makes the frontpage.

    Yes, I expected to get modded down.
    No, I don't care.
    Yes, I have "been around here for a while, and I know how the place works!"
    No, these aren't the droids you're looking for.
  • by Jrod5000 at RPI (229934) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @02:57PM (#10876024)
    this raises the question, "how many (known) bugs should be allowed to ship in a piece of commercial software?"

    obviously its in the developer's best interest to hit production as soon as possible (to enter the market for the xmas feeding frenzy). so, some "minor" bugs are apparently considered acceptable.

    i don't think so.

    but some customers, in particular the die-hard fans, apparently are willing to accept some problems on day one and will put up with the problem until a patch is released eventually.

    i wonder what the turnaround time will be. probably a few days. too bad its not open-source. we'd have a patch in a few hours.
  • Re:Hmmm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by moonbender (547943) <> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:05PM (#10876080)
    1920x1600? What kind of display do you have? I doubt there is any device available for less than, say, a thousand bucks that can make use of that kind of resolutions. Oh, many CRTs will display it all right, but their phosphor coating won't be designer for anything above 1600x1200 for a 21". If anything, higher resolutions would result in some sort of anti-aliasing (aka blurring). Or am I wrong? I'm not a display engineer after all... Or maybe you simply do have a very expensive display. :)
  • Re:Finally! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:07PM (#10876088) Homepage
    The problem is that, in the end, nobody really cares. Loading seamlessly is hard and raises system requirements quite a bit (since not only do you need to hold two levels in memory at times, but you also need to be loading an entire new level while the player is playing.)

    And in the end nobody's going to say "Well, I *would* buy Half-Life 2. But every ten or fifteen minutes I have to spend ten seconds waiting for a new level to load. So I won't."

    And therefore it doesn't get changed.
  • by lavaforge (245529) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:12PM (#10876113)
    Yawn. Every Linux distro gets released bug-free, right?
    Every Linux distro comes with a $50 price tag and no way to legally download it from somehwere else, right?
  • by bogie (31020) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:13PM (#10876127) Journal
    First off I'm sorry but what the hell does Linux have to do with this? Yea Linux has bugs, so what? Most of the distros out there don't cost $49. Even if they did what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Linux isn't a game and nobody here said "too bad HL2 isn't as bug free as Linux".

    Second and related to my first point this is a major problem that the game obviously should not have shipped with. Accepting your point that all software has bugs that doesn't mean something that was delayed for years and years should be able to ship with such a noticeable flaw. If they had done a public demo this would have been very apparent and could have been fixed. It is completely right to hold Valve's feet to the fire on this. On the topic of whether this is "front page material" I happen to think that it is. Slashdot is news for nerds and most nerds are playing HL2 right now being that its one of the biggest releases of any piece of software this year. I'm sure many of the readers here are glad to hear this info. Yea it could have easily gone in the gaming section but so what? What , you wanted to read yet another article on the Ipod?
  • Re:Finally! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Haydn Fenton (752330) <> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:27PM (#10876210)
    Yeah, no loading screens at all, ever!
    Oh wait, except that one before you can play, oh.. and the ones that come while loading games, and while not a loading screen as such, when entering buildings or starting missions, at times it can take up to around a minute with nothing but a black screen and the name of the place/mission in the bottom corner. And while walking around the map, or more specifically, while driving or flying about the map, sometimes the floor, walls or buildings don't actually load until after you have crashed into them, although that is somewhat more rarer than the above.

    But apart from that.. yeah, none at all. :-p
  • Re:Finally! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by general_re (8883) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:29PM (#10876225) Homepage
    But every ten or fifteen minutes I have to spend ten seconds waiting for a new level to load.

    If that was the actual ratio of play time to load time, I doubt anyone would complain at all - I sure wouldn't. But the problem is that it takes quite a bit longer than that, which becomes especially noticeable during parts of the Route Kanal chapter - you cover so much ground so fast on the hoverbike, that there are places where you're loading a new segment every two or three minutes, and then the ratio becomes a rather aggravating three-minutes-of-play-time to one-minute-of-load-time. It's hardly a dealbreaker, and I still love the game, but it's a bit annoying.

  • lol (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Apreche (239272) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:29PM (#10876230) Homepage Journal
    When open source applications have bugs in them, people report them to bugzilla or equivalent and wait. If anyone complains people say "they'll work on it, if you want it done faster, do it yourself".

    As soon as the software isn't free all of a sudden its "those bastards releasing software with more than 0 bugs in it!"

    Guess what. The introduction of money doesn't all of a sudden make developers more perfect. They have deadlines, priorities and are imperfect, like other people. Just because software is less than free doesn't mean you can expect it to be perfectly bug free.

    It's also funny all the complaints about half-life 2 have to do with the steam system. Nobody seems to be making comments about the actual game itself. Oh, could that be because the game itself is an indisputably amazing work of art? Sorry warez dudes, you can't get a free ride on this one. For me, I don't mind as its probably the only PC game I will buy for the next 5 years. Half-Life 2 and its mods will probably be the only pc game worth playing for a long time to come. Half-Life 1 lived up to that, and I expect no less from 2. It's worth more than the lousy 50 bucks they charge for it. So quit your bitching. If you don't like the DRM, then crack it, just like you do with all the RIAA and MPAA DRM.
  • Re:Hmmm.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cortana (588495) <<sam> <at> <>> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:30PM (#10876231) Homepage
    HOW long as the concept of checksumming data to detect corruption been around?
  • Re:Hmmm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JPriest (547211) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:46PM (#10876326) Homepage
    Especially in gaming these checksums are needed to prevent people form modifying the files to cheat online.
  • Re:lol (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bersl2 (689221) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:51PM (#10876361) Journal
    So quit your bitching. If you don't like the DRM, then crack it, just like you do with all the RIAA and MPAA DRM.

    You see, if everybody did this, then nobody would be telling them that legitimate customers don't want DRM.

    Let me say that again, so it has a chance of sinking in: Nobody would tell them that legitimate customers have a problem with DRM.

    So to the contrary: keep bitching. You don't have to preach to the choir, and you should direct the bitching at the right people, but staying quiet is the absolute last thing that people should do regarding DRM.
  • by aepervius (535155) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:53PM (#10876373)
    In 5 years, once the activation server is down, or in 10 or whatever, what you got is a pretty coaster because you can't activate your legally purchased game without a crack.

    OTOH about your points : * you can automatically patches if you program for it. That msot game except MMOG don't do it isn't because of a technical ground, but rather a money/marketing ground. So no advantage here. * I can install normal CD on many computer as I want, and only play on the one I have the physical CD. No change either here. * Delivery isn't as convenient as you say, if you do not have a broad band, or a nice DSL. Heck with a 26 modem I can order something on an online store and it is delivered at home. But Steam would be unusable on such a connection.

    I am sorry, but you are overplaying the advantage a lot. True this is a new mode of delivery for those which want the game on the day retail begin to sell it, but do not make up things out of thin air. This is pretty much the only advantage, the rest is only nice for the company selling the game.
  • by superultra (670002) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @03:55PM (#10876379) Homepage
    Earlier this year I read in several PC gaming mags about how 2004 was Year of the PC Game; about how Half Life 2 and Doom 3 would set the record straight and reclaim the crown of video gaming from the consoles. Doom 3 was fun, but didn't change the world, and Half Life 2 fully proves why the PC will remain a niche market. One person's comment here on this story tells people to quit whining about the problem because all they have to change their hardware around. That kind of comment - that it's a matter-of-fact that you have to spend hours monkeyassing with your PC to get a game to work - should deeply worry stalwarts of the PC industry.

    Even with fairly rampant Xbox piracy, Microsoft's anti-piracy strategy with Halo 2 was transparent to nearly all xbox owners who legitimately bought the game. Yet, not only are all of HL2's users penalized for the piracy, but obviously the game was rushed through testing. Now, to be fair, testing a PC game is far more work than testing a console. But when that so-called mainstream gamer goes to pick up Half Life 2, they don't give a rip if someone else is pirating or if Valve didn't have the time or resources to check if their game worked. To them, the only thing that matters is that their game takes hours to work, and when it does it does so half-assed.

    Console makers (Nintendo, MS, Sony) keep the publishers in check with quality issues like these. For the PC, there's no one entity at stake if PC games take 5 hours of work to run properly. But Valve is hurting not only themselves but the entire PC gaming industry by releasing games that require anti-piracy measures like Steam and then ultimately don't work.
  • Re:lol (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Number_1_Bigg$ (771467) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @04:16PM (#10876504)
    Most of those open source applicantions cost a grand total of $zero. If Half-Life 2 was free to download, shipped with source, and not DRM crippled, then you could make the comparison.
  • Re:Hmmm.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by (450073) <xanadu@ino r b> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @04:17PM (#10876512) Homepage Journal
    getting a slightly corrupted file off of Steam isn't something that you can really plan for

    You're right, you can't plan for it to happen, but you can safe-guard yourself against it before you even run into it:

    man md5sum
  • Re:lol (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 20, 2004 @04:54PM (#10876741)
    Guess what. The introduction of money doesn't all of a sudden make developers more perfect.
    Perhaps not, but I'd say it's fair to say that the introduction of money does all of a sudden make developers work more. They got paid for a job they didn't do, plain and simple.

    Guess what. If a product that I fucking paid for were defective, I'd complain too.

  • by Slack3r78 (596506) on Saturday November 20, 2004 @04:57PM (#10876766) Homepage
    I think the most interesting thing to note about HL2 is the fact that it does an excellent job of giving the *illusion* of emergent gameplay. For the uninitiated, emergent gameplay is a hot topic in gaming right now, and is basically a fancy term for the idea that the solutions to a given problem in a game should only really be limited by the creativity of the person playing it.

    What makes HL2's design so interesting is the fact that while many of the puzzles and levels appear to allow the player a lot of choice, the game is actually *highly* linear in reality. There were a number of situations where I thought I'd found or thought up an alternate solution to a puzzle only to discover that the level was designed in such a way that only the "intended" solution would work. Disappointing in a way, but for the most part, they did an amazing job of keeping the illusion up.

    *********SPOILER WARNING**************
    Sort of ironic given the G-Man's comment about "rather than giving you the illusion of free choice," eh? :-)
    *********SPOILER WARNING**************
  • Re:Hmmm.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by moonbender (547943) <> on Saturday November 20, 2004 @05:44PM (#10877009)
    That's the third reply stating that CRTs will display very high resolutions - I'm aware of that. You can also print 4pt fonts on a 350 dpi printer. That doesn't mean it's a good idea. Your Sony E400 has a dot pitch of 0.24 mm, (a) that means there are monitor width / 0.24 mm ~= 1650 phosphor dots horizontally, (b) which sets an upper bound for the resolution the monitor can display.

    Now, as I mentioned before, I'm by no means an expert (unless having basic knowledge on how a CRT works makes me one), so both (a) and (b) could be wrong. So feel free to address those, but please don't just tell me how you're happily running your 15" CRT at 1800x(400*Pi). ;) No offense intended.

    On a sidenote, I've also never heard of being limited to a certain color-depth when running a CRT - not as long as you're talking about more than 1 bit, ie black and white. The CRT just gets analogue color values (voltages, in fact) anyway, so color depth as a bit value is really a feature of the graphics card and operating system. Unless you were talking about signal/noise ratio of the analogue monitor connection limiting the color precision or something.

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