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How To Ruin Your Game's PC Port 244

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-the-myriad-ways dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An article at Ars goes through some of the biggest sins game publishers commit when porting a console game to the PC. At the top of the list, predictably, are annoying DRM and inconvenient game settings. From the article: 'PC gamers like to play with their mouse settings, adjust the amount of detail in the characters or environment, and change the audio mix between the music and the sound effects. We want to adjust the resolution, the aspect ratio, and even the field of view settings. The more options given to PC gamers, the better. While some engines support more options than others, there is a minimum amount of tweaking that should be available when we jump into the game. For an example of how badly PC gamers can get screwed on this issue, we can take a look at Bulletstorm when it was launched. Not only was mouse smoothing turned on as a default, but there was no way to turn it off. You had to find the configuration files, which were encrypted for some insane reason, and then install a third-party program to be able to turn off mouse smoothing and get the game feeling like it should on the PC."
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How To Ruin Your Game's PC Port

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  • by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerteNO@SPAMdrunksnipers.com> on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @06:17AM (#36957534) Homepage

    Note how 3 of the 5 things actually mean extra work for the game developers and QA department. That work probably causes the 4th thing to happen: delayed release.

    • by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @06:44AM (#36957654) Journal
      My personal favourite is when they leave the "Press X Button" hints in on the PC ports... it gives me real confidence that they've spent the extra time to ensure a seamless PC experience.
      • by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @08:43AM (#36958420) Homepage
        What really irks me, is when they make the controls completely re-mappable in the PC version, but neglect to have the feature in the console version. They just assume that everyone will want to use the exact same controller mappings, or at best, pick from a selection of 3 or 4 different configurations. Tony Hawk 2 had this problem. I played it on the PC and it was so much better than the Xbox, because all the selectable configurations in the Xbox made it so that you had to move your thumb off the jump button to do a grind. Whereas on the PC version let you remap them so you could press both buttons without moving your thumb.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Novus (182265)

      2 out of 5, I'd say. Adding lots of configuration menus and control options is extra work, but I'd say DRM and useless network services are things that would be less work if they were never introduced in the first place. Also, wouldn't it be easier to develop the game on PC first, then port to console?

      Also, many of the settings mentioned, such as aspect ratio and sound/music volume, should be in the console version already.

      • by slyrat (1143997)

        2 out of 5, I'd say. Adding lots of configuration menus and control options is extra work....

        The thing is that they had to have tried different control schemes when they were playtesting the game themselves. So it shouldn't be that difficult to put some simple gui on top of what they already were doing. Not doing that is just plain lazy.

    • by rts008 (812749) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @07:08AM (#36957794) Journal

      Why should 'software development craftsman' be exempt from the rules/expectations required of real world craftsmen?
      You demand equal protections from the law, regulations, and business practices for your IP...or is IP something ephemeral and aether-like?

      You insist on calling yourself 'engineers'.
      Hmm. So I guess it's 'Hurray for me, and Fsck you!'

      Make up your mind/s already.
      [generalized warning...outliers expected]
      I guarantee you that I can 'hack and crack' the physical world far more than anyone can do so in any game. MacGyver be damned, for a n00b and amateur.

      Why not approach it from a 180 degree, player POV, instead of 'what will make next quarter profits'. It is not a binary choice....there is a middle ground.

      It has been arguably documented that a strong 'mod community' helped promotion/sales*KaChing!$* for said game.

      YMMV, but it seems to correlate with the perceived value of the game to the user/buyer to your game.. (hint:GIGO from POV)

    • Its only a lot of extra work if they did it poorly in the first place. It is, in fact, a little bit of extra work if they did it properly.
    • Sorry, I'm unimpressed.

      Having a lookup table for what keys are assigned to what function is technically a little extra work, but really very little. And in fact you have to do it anyway, if you want a game written for gamepad buttons to respond to keys and mouse buttons at all.

      Hard-coding key codes makes no sense and is really frakking retarded and all around an anti-pattern.

      Furthermore, most game engines and frameworks ALREADY have this kind of stuff. You just need to use it.

      So you're telling me... what? T

      • by Targon (17348)

        You assume the programmers in India and wherever actually have training, rather than just hacking code the way any high school student might. This is the real problem with outsourcing, where the developers may have no skill or talent, and that is why we see low quality software that gets released. The very concept of plan the design of the code before you start to write it is lost on many people.

    • by kikito (971480) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @07:39AM (#36957970) Homepage

      So? They are getting extra money. They should be doing extra work.

      • So? They are getting extra money. They should be doing extra work.

        Are they? Conventional wisdom is that they are just cannibalizing the sales from their console versions. A small fraction of gamers (probably overrepresented on /.) will flat refuse to buy a game that's console only.

    • Follow the money (Score:3, Insightful)

      by elrous0 (869638) *

      The last time I checked the numbers, console and handheld games sales accounted for something like 7x the sales of PC games in the U.S. (about $1 billion a year for PC games, and $7 billion for console and handheld games) And that gap has been widening for years.

      So which do you think they're going to prioritize?

      In fact, considering those numbers, I'm shocked that any developer still releases any PC-only games at all. If they're not developing console ports, they're basically throwing away most of their mone

      • by morari (1080535)

        In fact, considering those numbers, I'm shocked that any developer still releases any PC-only games at all. If they're not developing console ports, they're basically throwing away most of their money.

        A lot more people have computers than they have consoles. The only barrier you see is that some games won't run that great with onboard graphics. Sadly, most people are unwilling to spend the extra $50 on a decent video card.

        • What's really sad is that these days, all it really takes is that $50 videocard. Not more than 5 years ago, to play the best games, it would've cost closer to $200. And a decade ago, forget about it under a $800.

          Nvidia should do a marketing campaign: hey- pc gaming got cheap when you weren't looking... guyzzzz...
      • The last time I checked the numbers, console and handheld games sales accounted for something like 7x the sales of PC games in the U.S. (about $1 billion a year for PC games, and $7 billion for console and handheld games) And that gap has been widening for years. So which do you think they're going to prioritize?

        Where do those numbers come from? Do they include just a couple of major retailers of boxed games? What about digital downloads (like Steam)? What about the entire world and the growing Chinese market?

        I'm not trolling or trying to stir trouble; I'm just genuinely interested, because my google-fu had failed me.

      • Consoles: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii
        Handhelds: PSP/Vita, DS/3DS, Phones (sometimes)
        PCs: .... PCs.

        The obvious assumption is that maybe console and handheld games sell 7x more products because there's more consoles and handhelds to sell products on? A better comparison may be 'console-exclusive' game sales versus 'PC exclusive' sales. Willing to bet PC exclusives are largely in the lead in this category.

    • Note how 3 of the 5 things actually mean extra work for the game developers and QA department. That work probably causes the 4th thing to happen: delayed release.

      If 3 of the 5 things mean extra work and that's the explanation for the delayed release, then why doesn't that delayed game come with those 3 things? I think it would be reasonable to get a PC game if it meant a delay. I would understand that the developer needed to use some of the profits from its game to develop the PC-specific features of the game (although budgeting time and resources in advance would be preferred).

      The complaint is that the game is delayed... for a version of the game where the develope

  • 220 Volt (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @06:20AM (#36957558)

    Easy: just disconnect your joystick, connect your game port to the electric grid and the electronics will blow.

    • Re:220 Volt (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Z00L00K (682162) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @06:39AM (#36957622) Homepage

      I agree, I also did read the heading as "How To Ruin Your PC's Game Port".

      • by Dunbal (464142) *
        Eh? A trip down nostalgia lane... I remember when PC's came with a game port [wikipedia.org]. Or more specifically, I remember when they didn't. Xyzzy...
        • by lazybeam (162300)

          My 386 got a game port when we installed a sound card a year or so after we bought it. I still have my gravis gamepad, but no port to plug it into.

          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            Ah yes.... The great midi/game port. Seriously. I think that people forget how bad we had it back them. USB is a dream as far as joysticks/gamepads go. To get an idea of how bad it was, anything with more than 2 buttons had to use the 2 buttons from the second controller (which you could use with a y-splitter), Same goes for anything more than 2 axes. So you had a total of 4 buttons and 4 axes, or the equivalent of 2 standard NES controllers without start and select. Anything beyond that required cus
        • by Z00L00K (682162)

          When a good game was on a 80x24 screen and only the keyboard was needed. The challenge of finding the right command. And you were able to play over a 300bps modem.

    • +1

      That's exactly how I read the title too.

    • by Haedrian (1676506)

      I read that the same way. I was wondering why damaging your hardware deserved an article.

    • by rossdee (243626)

      Do PC's still come with that analog port on the sound card? I haven't seen anything but USB joysticks for years.

  • by isecore (132059) <.isecore. .at. .isecore.net.> on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @06:53AM (#36957710) Homepage

    ... have I (as a PC gamer) encountered crappy console conversions. Three examples off the top of my head:

    Mirrors Edge: Yes, you could configure the controls, but in-game they were still referred to by their Xbox 360 identifiers. I.e. you could set jump to space, but in the tutorial it kept referring to non-existant buttons. Made the game virtually impossible to play since you'd get confused by the bad labeling.

    Blur: Insane keyboard controls and completely unconfigurable. You had two keyboard layouts to choose from, both pre-defined and written in stone. Or you could use a 360-controller. Completely retarded. Various references all through the game telling you not to turn off your "console" while saving.

    Assassins Creed: Completely un-intuitive console controls. Impossible to change.

    Feel free to provide more examples.

    • by daid303 (843777)

      Worst offender remains the VR mode in Metal gear solid 2. You had a FPS mode, where you had to aim with the keyboard. (still loved the game, but that was just shitty console conversion)

      • by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @08:16AM (#36958210)

        MGS2 wins a special lifetime achievement award in the "bad port" category because you weren't actually using a keyboard, they had some kind of wierd controller-emulator that you mapped keys to buttons with outside of the game and that would grab your input and pretend you were using a controller. That's why you had to assign a key to "slow" and "gentle", so you could signal their controller-emulator-thing to pretend you were releasing a pressure sensitive button slowly or pressing it gently.

    • I bought Dead Space on Steam when it was on sale, only to be disappointed by similar issues: the controls are all written for consoles, you can't reassign e.g. mouse buttons and so on. It really wouldn't require much work to allow a user to remap the controls, but NO, screw users :S

      I never got around to play through the game then, I couldn't get over my irritation over the controls :/

      • The most aggravating part of the controls in Dead Space isn't PC related, IMO. It's just that moving the guy feels like moving a forklift. For instance, you can either move forward, or strafe, but if you try to move diagonally he just runs forward while really slightly inching away to the side. It's pretty bad, though not game killing, for me.

    • by slyrat (1143997)

      Feel free to provide more examples.

      Games that use the unreal engine have had some major control problems. In Batman: Arkham Asylum it had the forward back controls reversed for a standard usb dual axis controller (logitech in this case). The only way to get a controller to work correctly, and this is true of quite a lot of console ports, is to get a xbox 360 controller or an emulator to fool the game that you are using one.
      Also, one would think the developers changed controls during playtesting, so why is it so hard to change the controls

      • FEAR 2 had a similar problem, at least in the demo. The game would let you rebind controls in the menu, and then completely ignore that and still follow the default controls ingame... but only for some things. The most obvious example was "E" for entering and exiting the giant mech. Come hell or high water no matter what you bound that key to you WERE going to get in or out of that thing when you hit that button.

        • They may have fixed that, I just played through the SP last week and I remapped the melee to the middle mouse button. Whenever I'm prompted for a melee attack it flashes a mouse with the middle button being fired.
    • by slyrat (1143997)

      Feel free to provide more examples.

      Another example that got me to hate a probably good game was Bioshock. You could remap the controls, but the key I usually use for reload was permanently reserved for bringing the menu up. So half the time while I was going through the first stage I would get done with shooting things and bring the menu up to break up the game. Very irritating and really silly for them to have done something like that.

    • by jonwil (467024)

      Elder Scrolls Oblivion on PC is exactly like this.
      Why the hell cant I click my mouse button to open the chest that I am pointing at instead of needing to reach over and press the "open chest" button. Or the "pick up item" button.

      Another pet beef is games that dont let me assign controls to all the buttons on my mouse. My mouse has left & right buttons, clickable wheel (which acts as the middle button when pressed) plus left and right side buttons. Why cant games let me assign things like reload or "drin

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        > Why the hell cant I click my mouse button to open the chest that I am pointing at instead of needing to reach over and press the "open chest" button. Or the "pick up item" button.

        You can - I always bind the middle mouse button to open / activate. However the user interface makes it non-obvious - while you're likely looking at the small "controls" window in the middle of the screen, you need to click a button in the extreme bottom right (I believe it's termed "Device"). This allows you to redefine your

    • by Syberz (1170343)

      To add to Mirror's Edge's problems, you couldn't actually configure all of the keyboard as you wanted. I play with the numpad (old habits die hard) and Mirror's Edge won't let me configure half of those buttons, numlock on OR off.

      Lego Indiana Jones. I own and love the Star Wards versions, but for some reason this game forces you to play with an Xbox 360 controller. I have a Gravis controller with the same amount of buttons as a 360 but the game doesn't recognize it as an Xbox 360 controller. The workaround

      • by morari (1080535)

        To add to Mirror's Edge's problems, you couldn't actually configure all of the keyboard as you wanted. I play with the numpad (old habits die hard) and Mirror's Edge won't let me configure half of those buttons, numlock on OR off.

        Likewise, I seem to recall it not allowing me to use ALT. It made playing the game a lot less enjoyable for me, as I couldn't use the controls I was accustomed to. Otherwise, it was a very interesting title.

    • Dungeon Siege 3 is one of the absolutely terrible examples.

      The camera view is utterly useless, you need to hit a button to pick up *everything*, in coop mode, your camera flies all over the place in an attempt to keep both characters on screen, the menus are so obviously Console based it's not funny, and I could go on and on.

      Simply fucking terrible. I wish I could claim my money back.

      • by slyrat (1143997)

        Dungeon Siege 3 is one of the absolutely terrible examples.

        The camera view is utterly useless, you need to hit a button to pick up *everything*, in coop mode, your camera flies all over the place in an attempt to keep both characters on screen, the menus are so obviously Console based it's not funny, and I could go on and on.

        Simply fucking terrible. I wish I could claim my money back.

        I agree, and the game is pretty much unplayable without a gamepad. I had some friends really wanting me to get it but after seeing how bad the keyboard/mouse controls were I just scrapped the idea.

    • Assassins Creed: Completely un-intuitive console controls. Impossible to change.

      I finally broke down and got a 360 controller after trying this game for the first time last month.... It's a good controller, at least. I would've preferred it to cost about 2/3 the price, but what can you do?

      • by grumbel (592662)

        I would've preferred it to cost about 2/3 the price, but what can you do?

        It's half the price of a gamer mouse, so it's not exactly expensive.

        And speaking about Assassins Creed, Assassins Creed 2 had a really curios bug when it comes to Xbox360 gamepads: It would work with the wired Xbox360 gamepad, but not with the wireless one. It really baffles me how such a bug could not only slip past quality control, but then also never unpatched afterwards. That is something that literately should take five minutes to fix.

        Even more fun: The game had a second bug, it would always use the fi

        • AC II does work with the wireless Xbox pad, but by default some of the buttons are swapped from what the in-game context menu says. I havent gone back to remap yet so no word on that.
    • by SatanicPuppy (611928) <Satanicpuppy AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @11:19AM (#36960164) Journal

      FUCKING ASSASSINS CREED BLEEEEEAAAARG!

      Worst. Controls. Ever.

      That is all. Blah, blah, blah filter error. Looks like yelling? Well, duh, that was the fucking point.

    • "Feel free to provide more examples."

      Darksiders. Darksiders had horrible PC support on release and many had to use an xbox 360 controller emulator to fix the camera being stuck in looking at the sky/turning in loops. I wanted to buy darksiders but without taking PC support seriously it's pointless to buy these games that are one offs and have no lasting value.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @07:11AM (#36957802)

    1. Require Games for Windows Live to be installed.
    2. Require Securom to be installed.
    3. Sell the game on steam with the above two.

  • by goose-incarnated (1145029) <lelanthran.gmail@com> on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @07:13AM (#36957814) Homepage Journal
    Design for console, then port to pc.
    • by Elbereth (58257)

      That's pretty much all that needs to be said.

      However, consoles only have a subset of features that PCs have. This makes designing a game for the PC, then porting to the consoles a huge pain in the ass. When they design for the console, then port to the PC, they may get legions of angry PC gamers, cursing them for the horrible UI and lack of configurable options, but it's a whole lot less work for them. Designing for a neutral platform, then customizing for each platform is a rather large undertaking, and

      • by morari (1080535)

        It's a huge fucking pain having to fix all the console-inspired idiocy in each Bethesda game, but, once you install enough UI mods, there's actually a fun game.

        That has only really been a problem in their last two or three games though, hasn't it? It seems like consolitis caught up with them on Oblivion. Sure, you could install mods and fix a lot of the problems, but the game was still pretty dull... especially in comparison to the masterpiece which was Morrowind.

        • by Elbereth (58257)

          Morrowind was under development for years. That gave them a lot of time to hand craft the world. I like all the Elder Scrolls games, but Daggerfall was, by far, my least favorite, and Oblivion followed Daggerfall more closely than it did Morrowind. I thought that made Oblivion less fun than Morrowind, but it was still a fun game. Unfortunately, there's been a strong trend in the Elder Scrolls series to streamline away all the features, until you're left with an FPS -- but this started with Morrowind, no

          • I don't usually comment on game threads 'cause I don't play games, but that's what this comment is about actually.

            I love reading the threads. I don't understand but every other damned word usually, but the adamant stances and knowledge are both amusing and impressive to read.
        • by twocows (1216842)
          I disagree. Maybe it was because I didn't play Morrowind back in high school, but I thoroughly enjoyed Oblivion and found Morrowind to be much less enjoyable.
  • When I read "How To Ruin Your PC's Game Port", I thought "Easy! Just apply an overvoltage!" and immediately thought about all the wonderful hacks that we did, driving stepper motors via the parallel port and reading ultrasound proximity sensors via the game port...

    *sigh*

    Those were the days...

    • That was about my sentiment as well, only my brain added:

      But jeez... I don't have that old ISA SoundBlaster card with the game port on it anymore...

      [dons long, white beard and fake glasses] These younger kids probably don't even know what a game port is anymore. Now get off my lawn!

      • by wbav (223901)
        Damn whippersnappers. I remember when a modem was something you did to blades of grass.

        Yup, I modem real good.
  • A while ago I started playing Section 8: Prejudice [warisprejudice.com] on PC, and experienced something odd. In all the other games I play (even Quake TF, which is very fast-paced), I have no problem tracking enemies when they're in my face and running around me. In Section 8, about 1/3rd of the time I'd completely lose track of them.

    I soon came to realize this was due to optimization for consoles.

    Consoles have very limited graphics power, so game levels are usually designed to keep you from seeing too much at once: they'll

    • We have about a 120 degree field of view.

      But how much of this field of view does your monitor occupy? CSS specifies [w3.org] the standard viewing distance for a desktop PC monitor as 28 inches, meaning a 21" 16:9 PC monitor has only 36.2 degrees. (Showing my work: 21" diagonal VIS * 16/sqrt(16^2+9^2) = 18.3" wide. Horizontal field of view is 2*arctan(width/2/distance), or 36.2 degrees.)

      • by slyrat (1143997)

        We have about a 120 degree field of view.

        But how much of this field of view does your monitor occupy? CSS specifies [w3.org] the standard viewing distance for a desktop PC monitor as 28 inches, meaning a 21" 16:9 PC monitor has only 36.2 degrees. (Showing my work: 21" diagonal VIS * 16/sqrt(16^2+9^2) = 18.3" wide. Horizontal field of view is 2*arctan(width/2/distance), or 36.2 degrees.)

        Doing that would be a bit surreal. It would be a game that looked as though you were looking through a window into another world the entire time. Which would be kinda neat, but it is a bit better if you get more of a view of the world at all times so that you feel like there isn't a monitor.

        • It would be a game that looked as though you were looking through a window into another world the entire time.

          Which is perfectly fine if your game isn't first-person, such as the side view or semi-overhead view. This was common in the 8- and 16-bit eras.

          it is a bit better if you get more of a view of the world at all times so that you feel like there isn't a monitor.

          A 1:1 mapping of game FOV and eye FOV would require either A. a much larger monitor than is common with PC games (think 60" flat screen at 28" away) or putting the monitor much closer to the face and using goggles to change the apparent focal and convergence distance. I just want people to recognize that the common practice of squeezing 90 degrees of game FOV into 3

  • There are even more ways to ruin a Mac game than a PC version. All of the ones in that article, plus why bother to write a native port when you can run everything through a Windows API translation layer instead? It's a sure-fire route to making performance suck, and only the real pedants will care about things like .ini files randomly turning up in the Documents folder.

    What annoys me most is their arrogance; it's like the publishers expect me to be grateful for scraps. Assassins Creed II actually manages to

  • The number one gripe I have is that the interface usually ends up stunted. Fallout 3 was like this.
    - they tried to reduce the number of buttons needed so it could easily be ported to a console, and left the PC users with a clunky interface when we could have easily just used more buttons.
    - huuuge text that forced you to scroll all the time

    Knights of the Old Republic wasn't as bad, but was still obviously optimized for a console.

  • Just because your console is memory starved doesn't mean my PC is.

    Biggest offender: Thief 3. Thief 1 and 2 had *huge* levels. The one where you sneak around half the city on rooftops before entering the fortress is a great example- it really feels like you have the run of the city (although it is a bit linear)

    Thief 3? You can barely move across a room without seeing fog and a loading screen. You can't move around the city at all without endless jumps between areas. It totally kills the immersion, a

  • Hopefully, companies will start pushing tech again on the PC and develop games just for the PC to take advantage of it.
    • by grumbel (592662)

      I rather like the current situation, as it allows me to play PC games even with a rather old PC. The only annoying part when playing with a low-end PC is that most games these days are CPU bound and unlike the graphic details, you almost never can do much to degrease the CPU use in a game.

  • I used to be a big buyer of games. $60 a pop, often, no problem. Back in the golden days. But now I hardly buy any games, and I'm very wary of purchasing any game that was also released for a console. Most recent example, Dungeon Siege III. Thank god for the demo, because I may have bought it sight unseen.

    But I heard this strait from developers. If you're going to sell 10 million copies of the game for the console, and only 1 million for the PC, who do you think gets priority? You can explain all day to t
    • and only 1 million for the PC, who do you think gets priority?

      So, in other words, they're ignoring 15% of their sales worth up to $60 million? Remind me where the sense is in not hiring several developers to make the PC port something other than a complete failure?

  • #1 aggravation is not even in the article - usage of checkpoints or limited save capability. I have limited time and patience for a game, and the last thing I want to do is die and go back 10 minutes to the last checkpoint. I guess this makes sense in old school consoles with limited storage capability, but a PC game should be able to save its complete game state anywhere. Even if you have to make a complete dump of the game's image in memory, that is preferable to forced replaying. If I kill Foozle, he

  • by IrquiM (471313)
    Are people still using PCs to play games other than minecraft?
  • by mindwhip (894744) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @12:33PM (#36961222)

    I read this as "How To Ruin Your PC's Game Port"

    My first thought was they still make PCs with game ports?
    My second thought was I wonder what they are using the game port for that it gets ruined...
    My third thought was I've been playing games on my PC for a long time...
    My fourth thought was I wonder if I can get Tie Fighter working on windows 7

  • by The Archon V2.0 (782634) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @02:30PM (#36962802)
    My games library has rapidly grown to contain far more indie titles than recent AAA titles. I get accused being some sort of "I liked it when it was obscure!" hipster because of it. And I reply, "No, I just prefer giving my money to people who seem to want it and don't punish me for it."
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @03:42PM (#36963790) Journal

    Details cost money. A while ago I worked for a large company that produces printed content. During a presentation the presenter was very proud they had managed to get rid of a guy who was unwilling to adjust to changing times by retraining. The guy's job? Proof reading. He was a proof reader and that is what he wanted to do and continue to do. So when his position was made redundant, he was fired for being unwilling to change. This was meant to tell us that we had to be flexible and go with the flow. What it told me? I don't know, I was to busy noticing all the spelling errors in their publication.

    How does this relate? Stuff like the driver setup used to be a part of the core development team and the reason big companies made better titles. It wasn't glamorous work but there are many developers who are no good with the latest 3D tech but who can write a reliable installer and test it over and over again on varying hardware and keep the program up to date. But it isn't glamorous.

    So when companies can cut that job, they will. It used to part of every large publisher to have an installer routine that would handle all the setup. Now? That is an afterthought. When consoles became more capable then the xTh platformer, those companies that shifted towards the console instantly gave up configurability. There are a lot of console games where you can't even turn the music off. It just ain't an option. Why? Because it is easier, one less thing to test, one less setting that can be messed up.

    But as the article rightfully notes, PC gamers expect more. So we ignore the bad ports and game companies think that the PC gaming market is dying (plugging their fingers in their ears to avoid hearing Blizzard laughing all the way to the bank for year after year).

    Mind you, bad ports are nothing new. I remember some fairly old games that had it. Console producers can't do PC games. It is a different market. For instance, when I recently finally played on a console for the first time in over a decade I was quite surprised to see game go to a black screen to save progress at SAVEPOINTS... on a PC I just hit quicksave and it saves instantly never interrupting the game flow...

    Poor console gamers. They don't just have to deal with poor design in ports, their native games suck too.

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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