Computer games bizaaroworld.

Priest

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Disclaimer: I went to school and studied programming, although right now I'm not in the computer industry.

I usually post something like this on every board that I'm on, I guess now is the time for this board. Have you ever noticed that the computer gaming industry is sooooo different than the rest of the world. That is, things happen in the computer gaming industry that are considered normal, that if it happened in the real world you would be sued or reported to the Distict Attorney for fraud. Not only that if you even mention these oddities your the one one that's considered to be wierd or a trouble maker (I fully expect to get flamed for this post). So without further adu let's begin our journey through Computer games bizaaroworld.

1. The fact that computer games are knowingly sold incomplete or just don't work at all. Fresh out of the box most games need to be patched, not only to fix obvious problems, but, in the case of some games just to get them to run at all. So you sit there sometimes for months (in the case of SFP1 a year) until the maker of the program comes up (hopefully) with a patch that will get the program running or fixed something that should have been fixed before the game shipped. Now. I know that there are things that gamers do with these programs that can't be foreseen by the makers, but, there is the "known issues" thing.

2. Patches that patch previous patches, say that real fast three times. This is refering to patches that fix one "known issue" while creating another. For instance in HOI my editor ran fine then I upgraded to the next patch to fix another problem, guess what...the editor no longer worked. :argh: So, you call tech support and tell them that your editor no longer works and they "Yeah we know, that will be fixed in the next patch" ( :rolleyes: please someone just shoot me now.)

3. Quality Control, if the game doesn't run what are these guys doing, just making a list of things that need patching once the game is released?

4. Using computer jargon on the 'hardware requirements' that only a technogeek would understand. For instance I have several programs that won't run on my computer because I didn't know that my Voodoo3 card wasn't TS3/4300 compliant (OK I made that up, but, you get the picture). Please...PLEASE use plain english on the box. If a program won't run on a Voodoo3 card say that on the box.

Well this is the end of my rant, there are other issues, but, this will do for now.
 

SoccerDJ

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I see what you mean and I agree with you for the most part. That is one thing that kept me away from computer games for along time. And about not speaking plain English on the book I just bought Medevil War Total War and it won't work becasue I a graphis card that isn't supported by that game and that just made me extremely mad:mad: :hush: :dead:
 

Siberian HEAT

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I think the computer software world is really a tight market...and the PR debacle that comes with releasing an uncompleted game is probably slightly cheaper than delaying the game, paying high-priced testers, and watching similar games enter the market and cut into your share of the pie. It is cheaper to let the public be your Quality Control and testing - and then just patch as needed.

I'm sure it is all about economics, same as everything else LOL.
 

Kraut

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Depends upon the company, Blizzard for example is known for quality over quantity, and they tweak everything until it's close to perfection. Take Warcraft III for example, it certainly wasnt the first or most innovative RTS game but it beat all other competitors by quality. Thy had a long beta test and even long after the game was released tweaked slight multiplayer balancing issues that werent detected during beta-testing and generally keept the game alife long after similar games from other companies perished. Or take the upcoming World of Warcraft, it won't be the first MMORPG but it is almost assured to take the MMORPG world by storm! They are developing that game since 2001 and entered Beta testing moth ago with still many more month planed for further beta testing but already in this beta version the game is considered the best MMORPG game ever! And they will be rewarded for their hard work with yet another million seller. Sometimes quality wins because customers remember were they bought a quality game that was worth their money and they also remember which company sold them a half finished product that needed several patches to at least run without too many bugs to plague you.
 

Pfc TAZ

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SoccerDJ said:
And about not speaking plain English on the book I just bought Medevil War Total War and it won't work becasue I a graphis card that isn't supported by that game and that just made me extremely mad:mad: :hush: :dead:
Same thing happened to me Soccer DJ -- I was a little angry about that. :mad: I LOVED Shogun: TW and it ran fine on my PC.

Software is the only commodity where the quality never gets better. Everything else in the world gets more reliable as time goes by, but software is always bad.
 

Priest

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That's true Kraut, Blizzard has always been a quality outfit. I played and enjoyed all of the Diablo series without any patches for years, just didn't see any need for them. Then there are companies like Strategy First, responsible for HOI and the SFP1 debuacle. Bioware taught me to always check the tech support pages before purchasing a product from some companies (NWN had 104 pgs of tech support problems). Well I guess that the old saying "Let the buyer beware" is really true for computer games.
 

Ivan Rapkinov

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Priest: not to be critical, but Strategy First was just the distributor - Paradox Entertainment was the developer - tech support should be directed at them.

That being said, I'm definately not buying anymore Strategy First products after I bought the JA2:Wildfire pack, only to find they hadn't shipped the Aussie distributor the full deal (supposed to include JA2 and JA2: Wildfire on seperate disks - meaning 2 disks in the pack - well, the aussie pack only had one disk...). This wouldn;t bother me so much if they responded to my emails - but they don't...
 

laszlo.nemedi

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I think not just the computer game industry strange, but many other software industry. I worked for a company (I will never name), where one of the leading product's errors were known inside (the price is few thousands dollars at least), and the product is just not working. The working release came to the market one year after the first release popped up.
So it is not only the game industry.

Inside there is a saying: if you reached 80% working level when it is ready to release. The problem was in the above mentioned product it is reached only 60%.

Sometimes the company has to release a product earlier to annulate the competition's new version and to make the customer undecided...
 

Aries

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What makes me chuckle, is how I have heard sooooo many times how the computer will save wargaming.

Not entirely how I see it.

There are a few people out there doing it right. To many not doing it right.

And with programs like VASL, Cyberboard, ADC2 and others, we really DON'T need the makers of lousy poorly made programs.

Those board game using programs can only get better, while our need of lousy computer wargames can only get less.

And I have seen quite a few good board games made in recent years. It's not like board games are unwanted.
 

Tim

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What bothers me is , the cancellation of games that you would be really interested in like Harpoon 4, Sam and Max
The announcing the release date of a game and delaying it, like Steelbeasts 2
What amazes me is the release of new games that are crap or don't work the way they should. For that reason I always check out a review of a game before I purchase it.
 

Aries

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Reviews are tricky beasts.

You have to at least know the reviewer and know their likes and dislikes first. Otherwise the opinion will likely not be in sync with your expectations.

But if 20 or more years of wargaming has taught me anything, the only announcement of merit with respects to wargames, is when they actually state it IS on sale.

I would be sure rich if I had a dollar for every wargame that arrived on schedule. A good rule of thumb is to simply ignore release dates entirely.

I can't say cancellations have me overly bummed out, as I really know of any titles I waited for endlessly only to hear they decided to scrub the game.
I might have heard of a couple of titles over the years perhaps, but the game never grabbed my fancy.
 
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