The 10 commandments of PC games

Picture this for a second: you just unpacked the latest PlayBox 720-X blockbuster game, Gran Gears of Duty Fantasy XVIII. It’s a game so juicy and dreamy that it’ll send you flying into all the colors of the rainbow, twitching and jerking with pleasure-induced spasms just from looking at the loading screen. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that said game is a first-person shooter, like, oh, about 135% of recent releases. You insert the Megaray disc, go about the installation process, and merrily start to play.

All of a sudden, you notice the left stick is used for switching weapons. The right stick moves the character, and shooting is only accomplished by pressing it. The camera is moved with the directional buttons, and the triangle, square, A, and B buttons are used for your character’s smartass quips. You enter the menu to change the controls, but you can only navigate them using the motion sensors. After five minutes of furniture-dusting motions, you finally enter the options menu and find out there are barely any options, and none that matter. Frustrated, you throw the TenAxis controller at your 4D TV screen and take the shiny disc out of the console to find out whether it will blend.

Now you see what us PC gamers have to put up with.

Let’s make one thing clear: this is not meant to be any sort of attack on consoles—and yes, trolls, that means you can all go back under the bridge now. What you’ve just read is merely an analogy for what’s been happening in the PC gaming world in recent years. The underlying reasons merit another discussion altogether (and a lot of violence inflicted on dead horses, I might add). This post is a filing of complaints—a request for a redress of grievances. My intention is plain and simple: to tell game studios how they’re doing it wrong. 

No comment. 

I. Thou shalt not shun thine player’s mouse

See this nifty thing called a "mouse pointer"? It was invented quite a few years ago, and it’s positively great for, you know, pointing at menu choices and item lists. Thanks, Captain Obvious, you’re my hero! So, pray tell, how come I have to press keys and/or gamepad buttons in your game to select options and choose the color of my character’s underwear? Why do you have to add insult to injury by choosing menu navigation keys other than the arrow keys and then not letting me know what they are—or, alternatively (and this is my personal favorite), showing me which Xbox 360 controller buttons to press? Dude, come here for a second and look at this box I have with cables coming out of it. It doesn’t have a red ring of death at the front, now does it?

The shop and inventory interfaces in Borderlands are good examples. Pointing at items? Psh, that’s too old-school. Mmmm, arrow keys—let’s have arrow keys for nearly everything. Hit a button to compare guns! Back in my day, we had to point and click to dress our characters… and it took a tenth of the time.

On that note, Burnout Paradise, son, come here. Now, explain to me whose idea it was to make me press F1 and F2 (of all keys) to go back and forth between menus. You can speak up son; no one’s going to hurt you. Yet.

II. Thou shalt not accelerate mouse input

This issue mostly affects shooters, but it’s one of the worst and most widespread—and it’s actually a show-stopper in a number of so-called "triple-A" titles. Maybe it’s the proliferation of Unreal Engine-based games, but it seems like having mouse acceleration enabled has become the default for many titles. Yes, Mass Effect 2, it’s your turn on the chopping block. ("Game of the year," my shiny metal bottom.)

Mouse acceleration is a good idea for moving an on-screen pointer, but it’s not such a good idea when the mouse is controlling a camera or an aiming reticle. Games that have acceleration enabled can sometimes end up totally unplayable with a high-sensitivity mouse. Usual symptoms include overly fast movements, headaches, nausea…

III. Thou shalt not make a mockery of third-party controllers

You know a game like Gears of War has problems when my most vivid memory involves my character swirling around after the game first started. I actually sat and waited a bit for the cut-scene to end… until I got motion sickness. I finally caught on that it wasn’t a cut-scene, and after spending the better part of 10 minutes quitting, restarting, and reconfiguring the game, I finally realized what was happening. One, you had defaulted to use my joystick (yes, my joystick, not my gamepad) as the default control input method. Two, it didn’t even work, and I had to disconnect the joystick just to be able to play.

Bad Company 2, I was hoping to use my joystick when playing you. Too bad you’re somehow too thick to notice my joystick’s throttle function, and the best that you can come up with is half-baked joystick controls with the configuration file editing du jour. Even then, the throttle still won’t work.

Street Fighter IV, you bring a real challenge. I’m not talking about Zangief; I’m talking about getting past your thrice-damned gamepad configuration. You first assume that I have an Xbox 360 gamepad, which I don’t. Then, you let me map the buttons on my gamepad… to the Xbox 360 buttons. That’s right. I can’t map a button to "heavy kick". I have to map a button to "X" outside the game and then map "X" to heavy kick in the game. I actually had to draw out a little chart of the mappings so I could play without having the "guess-the-button" minigame thrown in. Hey, maybe they did this on purpose—a new concept, mixing Excel with a fighting game. Yes, this is the game that some people lauded for being such a great conversion. Capcom’s marketing spin sure got a victory there.

The puzzle game for the controls in SF4 is quite annoying. They should have left it out. 

IV. Thou shalt not mix thine bindings

Bad Company 2, trust me on this one. I really don’t need "reload" and "use" actions bound to the same key. I absolutely love trying to disarm a bomb only to keep switching guns with the dead guy on the floor like I’m some clothes-switching fetishist. And you, Borderlands, sonny: even though I love playing with you, reloading my weapon every time I want to pick up an item (like, say, ammo) makes me want to slap you hard enough to knock your teeth fillings out.

V. Remember thine user-interface conventions and keep them holy

Human beings tend to have short memories for important things, and some game developers seem to take that trait to a whole new level. By that I mean they willfully and blissfully ignore nearly every single UI convention in history. Icons, drop-down menus, combo boxes, modifier keys—they’ve all gone right out the window and are raining down on the unsuspecting hobo below.

Have you ever seen the convoluted, unintuitive mess that is the Unreal Tournament 3 menus? The game doesn’t even have that much stuff to customize, yet you can easily get lost. Back, forward, oh wait, I want multiplayer… gah! Another example would be the menus in Bad Company 2, which were apparently designed by a sadist with little to no regard for organization.

Another common infraction includes the curse of the Huge Text of Doom. Apparently, developers expect PC gamers to sit half a world away from their 22" displays. Even when playing console games on the TV, the huge text in games like Fallout 3 seems to serve only as some sort of legal protection against lawsuits by near-sighted people. (You can’t trust that bunch—I was one of them until I got my eyes lasered.) Now, here’s a scary bit of math: a 22" screen viewed from two feet away has roughly the same visual viewing angle as a 100" TV at 8.5 ft. Didn’t that just blow your mind?

VI. Keep thine configurations options exposed

PC gamers are used to be able to configure things. That comes from both necessity and whim, and while one doesn’t necessarily need to cater to the latter, the former is a must. Games don’t have to expose a 1000-line menu for every conceivable detail level on the torches of King Whatever’s castle entrance, but we’d like at least some amount of granularity. A pet peeve of mine is the lack of anti-aliasing options in graphics-intensive games. Even recent heavy-hitters like StarCraft II lack proper AA support. There are old technical reasons for this, but come on; we’re in 2011.

If your game has VoIP, letting us pick different audio devices would be a nice touch, especially given the proliferation of USB headsets and other assortments. Mr. Developer, just sit with us for a second, play the game, and think about what you would like to see. It’s not that difficult.

More often than not, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have to dig into some stupid configuration file just to tweak games to your liking. It’s a good thing online tutorials are around, too, because most of those config files tend to be so convoluted that you don’t know where the spaghetti ends and Cthulhu’s barbels begin.

VII. Thou shalt allow players to host dedicated servers

Even though the amount of PC users playing the latest Call of Duty undermines this point somewhat, I’ll put it plain and simple: we like dedicated servers in multiplayer games (where applicable, of course). We really love them. First, we can actually have people administering them (and dispensing righteous fury on the hecklers). Second, they often have customizations or improvements we’ve grown to know and love. Third, we get to pick where we play, which both makes it easier to gather friends around and lets us get optimal ping times. This functionality has existed pretty much forever, and stepping away from it is stepping back.

VIII. Enough with the save points already!

Once again, there are historical reasons for a poor or otherwise lacking feature: back in the early days, console games couldn’t count on having much storage space, so they had to be stingy with saved games. But, once again, it’s now 2011! Consoles and personal computers have gigabytes of storage at their disposal, so I can’t really comprehend why you insist on having very defined places where progress can be saved. Even worse are those titles with auto-save checkpoints. Thanks, saving right as I run out of ammo or walk off a cliff is really helpful.

Granted, there are games where saving the progress at every millisecond might prove tantamount to cheating, but allow us gamers to be the judges of that. If you really must block us from saving in a few spots, at least minimize those. Let us play your game our way.

IX. Thou shalt not worship false gaming services

Ah, Games for Windows Live. Glad to see you’ve joined us. It just so happens that you’re really late to the party and so many dollars short that I wonder how you managed to pay the cab fare. Got ID? Sure, you can get in… just come here for a sec and I’ll let you in on a little secret: everyone hates you.

Steam is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the realm of online game services. Other than sheer weight, there are actually pretty good reasons why it’s so successful. One of them is that, for the most part, it stays out of our way—unlike you, GFWL. When all I want is to play Street Fighter IV, you insist on making me create a profile. Without that profile, my unlocked characters won’t be saved. Just brilliant. Did I mention the GFWL log-in screen also pops up after you purchase the game on Steam? 

GET… OFF… MY… GAME! 

X. Honor thine modders and mod communities

Counter-Strike. Even though I’m not into it myself, that’s surely the gift that keeps on giving. I’m also pretty sure every game publisher on Earth would love to have a product that successful. For those who don’t know, Counter-Strike started as a mod for Half-Life, and that mod wouldn’t exist if Valve hadn’t provided gamers with the necessary mod tools.

Not every game benefits from mod support, mind you. When they do and the tools exist, however, the result is almost invariably a much bigger and more pervasive community (especially on the multiplayer front). That, in turn, leads to a constant stream of sales. It truly is a win-win situation.

Of course, making mod tools in the first place is neither simple nor free. I am no stranger to software development, and I realize homegrown software tools tend to be quite quirky and lacking in features. Still, a small investment in polishing and releasing them to the public can pay off big time.

Addendum

Although I’ve mentioned a few titles by name, I don’t hold a grudge against any of them. I love games. However, I’ve started to feel like I’m being punished for daring to buy, play, and attempt to enjoy games on my platform of choice. I get the distinct feeling that, when targeting the PC market, game studios are a bit passive-aggressive. They seem to be hell-bent on doing everything they can to annoy their customers, and when we complain, then they show us a bewildered face of incomprehension or turn on the waterworks about piracy or whatever the magic eight-ball came up with that morning.

I just don’t get it, guys. This is first and foremost a business, so why can’t you just sell us what we want? Maybe, just maybe, you’d sell more games if you did. It’s that whole tailored-to-the-market thing your marketing folks love to talk about.

A handful of the problems detailed above have been fixed with patches, and you’ll notice that many of them can be circumvented by the judicious use of game mods and configuration file changes. I don’t want to do that, though. Sure, being able to tailor my experience is part of why I play games on the PC, but that doesn’t mean I have some ingrained desire to do it without a really good reason. First and foremost, I want to pick up a game, play it, have fun. In this day and age, that’s becoming difficult. Not providing a good out-of-the-box experience is what drives the average gamer away from the PC in the first place.

Comments closed
    • DarkUltra
    • 8 years ago

    XI. Provide an option to turn off automatic reload

    I need to automatically reload as much as I need an automatic jump button in side scrolling platform games. It’s much easier to learn to count the bullets/magazines if I hear a tactile “click” when I’m out. It also adds a bit of depth to the game.

    • Kaleid
    • 8 years ago

    The 6 Most Ominous Trends in Video Games
    [url<]http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-6-most-ominous-trends-in-video-games/[/url<]

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Another really, really big one, at least for me, and it eluded me the other night.

    Stop caking post-processing on top of everything like it’s styling gel on some sort of ridiculous mullet. Almost all of the games now days feel like you’re either walking through a oil painting or you have cataracts. Worst yet is when it’s buggy and the effects don’t dissipate, they just build up and even more so when the graphical options don’t even turn it off (even when you do turn it off). Latest violator of this is DNF.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    Totally agree. It’s so odd that formerly PC developers release console ports to PC that are bewilderingly poorly designed for PC. I mean, Epic made HOW many games on PC? And look at them now… seemingly not aware of what PC gamers want?

    That said, your bit on GfWL is true. Very true. I’m with you. Thing is, our situation is going to get worse. MS just recently announced their intention to further integrate Live into all their platforms, PC and mobile included. As in, imagine GfWL, but baked into Windows by default. Of course, this is made easier to justify now that they are no longer being monitored for monopolistic actions by the government.

    So instead of GfWL on top of Steam, it’ll be Steam on top of GfWL-equivalent built into Windows. Hopefully, this will be built with other ecosystems in mind so that you can insert Steam or Impulse in its place and have build in an API to translate equivalent achievements from one system to the other to keep people using Live while also using Steam.

    It’d be nice to replace the built-in system.

    • RobbyBob
    • 8 years ago

    Could we get someone from Microsoft (someone who has some clout) to read IX and the comments section?

    • ppp
    • 8 years ago

    Very nice, but there is a very important thing missing: LAN support. It doesn’t do a thing about piracy, it removes features from paying customers, and it’s been done longer than dedicated servers (not that dedis are not also important!).

      • SonicSilicon
      • 8 years ago

      Clraification? Does LAN support do or not do these things, in your view?

        • khands
        • 8 years ago

        LAN play should be supported is his point.

      • paladinstorm
      • 8 years ago

      On your ‘piracy’ point: Do you know what a VPN is?

      Not trying to argue against LAN- I’m all for having LAN support more widely supported again… I’m just playing ‘devil’s advocate’/pointing out a loophole.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      And COOP.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        Lan support is a pretty easy to implement feature and does not have any pre-requisites outside of the game having multiplayer in the first place. Coop on the other hand the requires quite a bit of forethought in order to make it work and be good. Bots don’t count IMO.

          • l33t-g4m3r
          • 8 years ago

          I never said it didn’t, but there are plenty of games that could and should have put the extra work into implementing it. Farcry1, Painkiller, Halo PC, Crysis, and a few others.

          I don’t think it’s as difficult as you make it out to be. Look at id’s older games: doom-quake2 all featured coop modes. Was coop perfect? No, but it was good enough to be fun, and it doesn’t seem like it was that difficult to include. I think the real reason many developers don’t include it anymore, is that it increases the replay ability and that may sabotage sales of future games.

            • Bensam123
            • 8 years ago

            I think the amount of time and investment in really old games is a bit different then it is now. I would prefer time and effort being put into polishing other features (or completely rethinking them) then spending a little bit of time tacking on coop in some half-assed way.

            Perhaps when I think of good coop, I think of more then just waltzing through a single player campaign with another person. Coop in my opinion is where you have to cooperate with people you’re playing with to accomplish something. Usually something that you wouldn’t be able to accomplish on your own or there is a lot of coordination that takes place between players (where they can help out each other and it has a lot of benefits of doing so).

            Last stand maps and zombie’esqe games are more popular takes on coop which work and are quite rewarding. Faces of War (Men of War) is a particular example my friends and I are into right now.

    • Kendu72
    • 8 years ago

    This needs to be sent to all game developers that wish to port their games to PC and actually WANT sales on that platform. I will not buy any more consoles; I’ve tried them in the past and they’re junk. PC gaming suits me so much more, but after reading this I realize that most PC ports nowadays are afterthoughts and throwaways for a few meager sales numbers. It’s a depressing thought.

    • provoko
    • 8 years ago

    Thank you for this.

    • Das_Fleisch
    • 8 years ago

    Duke Nukem Forever MP wins the stupidity award for me: There is no option to enable “push-to-talk”-VOIP, and also there is no option to disable VOIP. The only related thing you can configure is the volume of incoming VOIP. However, everybody can always hear what you’re doing/saying/sitting next to, with good echo/feedback from those with speakers.

      • travbrad
      • 8 years ago

      Wow seriously? I thought maybe the reviews were just expecting too much from the game, but it really sounds like it was completely half-assed if they can’t even include a basic setting like that.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        Play your ‘friends’ copy and you’ll see what a gimick it is.

        Whatever DNF started out as it is no longer anything like that original dream and just your a-typical CoD funnel with Duke.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    #11 Get the gun out of my fucking face.

    I can see I have a gun, I don’t hold a gun on my chin.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    “Ah, Games for Windows Live. Glad to see you’ve joined us. It just so happens that you’re really late to the party and so many dollars short that I wonder how you managed to pay the cab fare. Got ID? Sure, you can get in… just come here for a sec and I’ll let you in on a little secret: everyone hates you.”

    That gave me a good laugh and so true. Nothing like seeing a piece of software with no less then three DRM schemes on it, Live, Steam, and their own login servers for kicks.

    Problem with Rule #10 is a lot of the games coming out are far, far worse then what moders make. Mods are becoming quite a bit better then paid games and they’re free done by a community that didn’t give up on the PC.

    How can you honestly make a mod for a game like Duke Nukem or Left4Dead which are so cut and dry there is nothing to change besides a few tweaks? Half-Life, the source engine is a beast. Tribes 2 was a beast. Warcraft 3 was a beast. Oblivion was a beast. UT3 engine was a beast. Crysis (the engine) was a beast. There are numerous combinations you can spin off of such things because the original was so awesome that it triggers a spark, a epiphany in the players that play it and they go… hey I can add to this.

    Even the small little bits you could scrounge up and addon in terms of maybe maps or game types are being sucked up and cut and packaged as pay DLC. What you’re suggesting is like driving a stake directly into the heart of today’s shitty business model for making games, which needs to change. Stifling innovation and attempting to strangle your customers so they’ll accept whatever you throw at them is no way to push things forward or make a big profit.

    The great have fallen so far.

    “They seem to be hell-bent on doing everything they can to annoy their customers, and when we complain, then they show us a bewildered face of incomprehension or turn on the waterworks about piracy or whatever the magic eight-ball came up with that morning.”

    Hear, hear!

    I do agree with what you wrote. It seems like they’re striving to maintain the status quo in a market that was built on innovation. Even going back on what they’ve already accomplished to an easier settings that wreaks of old age and becoming placid and complacent.

    • jimmy900623
    • 8 years ago
      • Meadows
      • 8 years ago

      MLM tagline: “deliver your friends”.

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 8 years ago

      This is a spammer, ban him. You have no “report” function that I can see (quickly while on my lunch break at work)

        • rndmuser
        • 8 years ago

        …but, but, you have pretty “thumbs up/down” options! Just give that poster “minus points”, that will surely show the other users to not take the post contents seriously! /sarcasm

      • thanatos355
      • 8 years ago

      You almost have to kind of grudgingly respect someone that can post such obvious drivel in such a way that makes it blindingly clear that they didn’t so much as even read the title of the article. lol

      Good job, spam bot, good job! 😀

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 8 years ago

      Let’s see if this get a record “thumbs-down”…

      • yogibbear
      • 8 years ago

      Nike shoes for sale – CLICK HERE TO HELP FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN! Bank cheques accepted made out to Prince Yogi from Nigeria. I will give you $100,000 deposited into your bank account 2 weeks after receiving your kind donation towards world domination of $100.

    • Kulith
    • 8 years ago

    Very cool article!! Although I think Dragon Age 2 should have received a hefty, hefty dose of criticism as well.

      • morphine
      • 8 years ago

      I haven’t played it yet, besides, there were [i<]so[/i<] many games to choose from! I first started thinking long and hard about where I had to dig for dirt, and then quickly realized that I had too much dirt on my hands heh. I had a lot of trouble keeping this article in a manageable size, and kudos go out to Cyril (the editor) for chopping it to down to size.

    • C-A_99
    • 8 years ago

    In BC2, aside from the stupid gun-switch/bomb arm/disarm mixup, they also mixed around the Y-axis inversion for flying helicopters and UAV’s. Everytime you want to switch between the UAV and chopper, you have to go through the menus to adjust the inversion setting.

    Of course, if they separated the UAV and heli controls, it wouldn’t be such a problem. That said, it’s nice that BC2 doesn’t have a completely screwed up keybind setting menu like BF2 did. Most controls you tried to set in BF2 wouldn’t work at all. (i.e. Setting yaw to mouse x axis; works in BC2, impossible to do in BF2, but it’s no good for BC2 because it screws up your UAV controls.)

    • DarkUltra
    • 8 years ago

    II . Thou shalt standardize on mouse sensitivity and acceleration.

    With two numbered sliders. Then I can use, for instance, 2 for acceleration and 5 for sensitivity. Then it would be easy to set up new games and I wouldn’t need to adjust to a new game. This would expect setpoint or windows to not touch the mouse inputs, and you would use the same DPI setting in every game.

    I prefer some acceleration in fps and rts games. It allows me to be precise and able to turn 180° with a flick of the mouse. If you don’t like it (don’t want to bother adjusting to something new) just let it stay at 0.

    • [SDG]Mantis
    • 8 years ago

    Rule X was definitely the worst thing about Supreme Commander 2. You can argue whether you love or hate the revised economy and generally dumbed-down game. But not even a mad editor and no modding? Those were big features of the original SupCom.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 8 years ago

    Games for Windows life is the absolute worse “service” I have ever used. My only real true experience with it is when I bought the Dawn of War 2 pack from a recent Steam sale. Now here is what happened. I bought the retail version of the first game DoW2. Finished the campaign and loved every single min of it. Now to get G4WL out of the way I created a offline profile. All my wonderful saves in a dir to be backed up so when I loaded the expansions I can resume with my awesome party. Well, that never happened. I installed the “online” versions from Steam, copied my save games to the correct save location and started up the game to resume where I finished. No option to use old saves. The reason is you cannot have offline and online saves. In order to play the expansions I have to start with a new party with basically crap gear, or play the first campaign again (which took me over a month to finish).

    So as it stands today I have all the expansions but have yet to play any of them because I don’t want to start from level 1. Because of this I will never buy a game that used G4WL as the saves. Shame since I want to play Fallout 3 but I cannot imagine losing saves in that game.

    • crazybus
    • 8 years ago

    I appreciate it when games seamlessly support the xbox 360 controller, as long as that’s the controller I’m using at the moment. Games like Shift / Shift 2 don’t manage this very well, as you’re left guessing which buttons to press to navigate the UI.

    Also what’s up with EA’s online services? I can’t seem to stay connected for more than a few seconds in any of the recent games I have that use it, like Dragon Age, Mass Effect or NFS Shift.

    • GTVic
    • 8 years ago

    #1, Don’t Invert the Mouse

    Because everyone likes playing the game for 60 seconds and then getting frustrated and then quitting in order to check the “Invert the Mouse” box.

      • morphine
      • 8 years ago

      You’re lucky if the “invert the mouse” box exists.

      • Meadows
      • 8 years ago

      I’ve used an inverted Y axis for 12 years in every game. It feels more natural.

        • Chrispy_
        • 8 years ago

        Yes, it does. You move your head back to look up, forward to look down. Why should your mouse arm (mimicking head movements when looking around in games) be any different?

          • Flaw
          • 8 years ago

          Let me get this straight, so you are actually imagining, that instead of the mouse, you are holding the top of the head of your character, and moving that around? Because that is the only way moving the mouse on a flat surface would correspond to head movements in the way you described.

          Tell me, how does looking left and right fit into that twisted logic of yours?

          Yes, it doesn’t. And me being such a good guy, I’ll help you out:
          Instead of using the mouse to move the head, you are using it to move the point where your character is looking. Imagine the desk as if it’s a flat (invisible) surface in front of the character, and the point where the character is looking is your mouse on said surface.

          Suddenly it all makes sense. And inverted y axis, as usual, makes no sense at all. At least in first person games.

          Not saying people used to inverted y axis should change, I just couldn’t let that poor excuse of a logical conclusion go unscathed.

            • Bensam123
            • 8 years ago

            Who says the way we feel things out or are mapped neurologically is logical?

            • Meadows
            • 8 years ago

            Your logic has your nickname on it. When in a videogame, I don’t use the mouse to “move a point”. I use it to [i<]look[/i<]. It's called immersion, and it feels more natural than being painfully aware of a crosshair or cursor motion.

            • fyo
            • 8 years ago

            What makes moving the mouse FORWARD the equivalent of looking DOWN? Why should that be any more immersive than just moving the mouse in the direction you want to look?

            Do you know the actual, historical reason for the inverted mouse nonsense? Flight simulators and their joystick-down to fly up. That’s it. The only reason. When I’m playing an FPS, I’m not pulling cables to adjust elevators and ailerons.

            If you logic were actually… logical… moving the mouse forward on the desk should move the cursor down. We look where we point with the mouse, so natural mouse movement should follow the same convention as looking around in a virtual environment.

            • Das_Fleisch
            • 8 years ago

            There is no right and wrong here.

            Some people (like me) like it inverted, others don’t. Since the others are the majority, most games come with a configuration setting of “not inverted”, and the minority of people like me have to change it in the options. Not a big deal, as long as that setting still _is_ an option.

            • Meadows
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]"If you logic were actually... logical... moving the mouse forward on the desk should move the cursor down."[/quote<] Your desktop is not immersive. Whether you arrange family photos, browse the web, chat with people, or take part in any range of other activities, you perform [b<]work[/b<]. You point at objects on a surface, where your mousemat is the upright analogue of your display screen, and your mouse cursor is the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_box<]mirror box effect[/url<] extension of your hand. You're not immersed, you're working with machines and a limb extension. What is immersion? Deep involvement that keeps out foreign information. Games are immersive. You don't navigate a slate full of pictures, you navigate [u<]yourself[/u<]. That's a very big difference, and from that point, pulling back to make [u<]you[/u<] look up is the most obvious thing in the world. Why? It's the same reason why airplane, joystick, flight sim, etc. controls are designed that way. Because it's [b<]more natural[/b<] to follow. So ironically, your mention of airplane controls is actually a reason FOR using inverted Y axes in games, not one against it.

            • GTVic
            • 8 years ago

            You are not moving a pointer you are moving the character’s head. It all depends on your conception of what you are doing. People that visualize moving the head want the head to go down when they move the mouse forward. People that visualize the game as if they were looking out a window want the opposite. Arguably the people that visualize a head moving are more immersed in the game.

            • Chrispy_
            • 8 years ago

            Well, that’s a big long rant from someone who clearly hasn’t read the post properly, or hasn’t bothered thinking it through in any way other than the bigotted way they decree as correct…..

            To explain non-inverted is simple: move the mouse in the direction you want the view to pan. As many people replying to you proves though, it’s not the ONLY way to rationalise the connection between mouse movement and the view of the game world.

            To explain inverted is almost as simple: imagine that you are grabbing the top of your character’s head instead of the mouse. move it forwards obviously translates to down, and backwards translates to up. You rotate a mouse (and a head) clockwise to look right, anticlockwise to move left.

            Before you thoughlesstly argue that you don’t ‘rotate’ a mouse, here is why almost [i<]everyone[/i<] rotates a mouse: Some part of your arm will be static in relation to the rest of you, normally whatever's resting on the desk - either your wrist, forearm or elbow - Agreed? To keep one part of your arm static and to move the mouse left or right results in a [i<]rotation[/i<]. It's so [i<]natural[/i<] that you have probably never even thought of it as rotation, but it is. The fact that you rotate the mouse as you sweep it in an arc from left to right is exacly why your windows pointer moves in a straight line on the screen and not an arc. So my 'twisted logic' in fact refers to the natural rotation of your arm/wrist that is corresponds to the rotation of your character's head. This is mimicked in language too - you turn your head, you don't point your head. If you were trolling, then you need to try harder. If you weren't, then you need to understand that people have different ways to interpret things. [u<]Your way[/u<] is no more or less correct than anyone else's way, so long as everyone arrives at the same endpoint. On the other hand, there are words that describe 'people-who-presume-their-way-is-right-and-therfore-the-ways-of-others-must-be-wrong': Bigot Zealot Fanboy Troll Closed-minded Intolerant. Empirical data suggests that whilst the opinions of people in these groups may indeed be 'correct', their assumption that all other opinions must be wrong is very flawed logic indeed. Historically, wars have been waged over this simple lack of tolerance for foreign opinions, and people who still think that way belong in medieval times, not modern society. Yes, I'm an asshat for posting this instead of just letting it slide, but [b<]that's what this whole topic is about: Game developers doing things the way they like it and ignoring the broader wishes of the players.[/b<]

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      Even better if the mouse and joystick axis settings were separate. (I like the joystick inverted, but mouse not.)

    • jalex3
    • 8 years ago

    Good read and oh so true, but just to point out for some people that don’t understand.
    The ue3 engine is not the problem when it comes to console ports, in fact one of the best PC shooters coming this year red orchestra 2 uses it. The devs even added AA in themselves.

    • sydbot
    • 8 years ago

    Sweet! New GAME-OF-THE-YEAR rules!

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    I cannot rate this post highly enough. I hope that digg, twitter, facebook and other such networks spread this hard-hitting rant all over the web.

    These problems are symptoms of the virus that is infecting multi-platform gaming: laziness.

    Commandments 1, 2, 5, 9 are serious enough that I’ve avoided a game entirely because I don’t agree with paying for a “bug-riddled afterthought of a release”. They all indicate a total lack of committment to the PC platform and prove that nobody has taken the time to actually playtest properly. [b<]I have pirated some offending games (yes, I'm a bad man....) and refused to waste my time with them even when I'm getting them for free.[/b<]

    • burntham77
    • 8 years ago

    VIII. Enough with the save points already!

    I don’t even like this crap on consoles anymore, for the reasons stated. Everything, even our phones, have gigs and gigs of storage. The only reason to use checkpoints now is to add some sort of cheap artificial difficulty to a game. Stop it. I am an adult. Sometimes I have to quit my game and go do things, like take the wife out to dinner. No adult should have to say to another adult, “Give me a few minutes to find a check point, honey.” Are you trying to make me look like a jackass?

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      I agree with the part about artificial difficulty. Save point = boss battle or some sort of situation where you’ll die endlessly until you figure out their sure-fire kill mechanic.

    • indeego
    • 8 years ago

    Aaaaaaaand the industry moves on, ignoring the vast majority of these requests. Cute though!

    • Dposcorp
    • 8 years ago

    Awesome Article ++. I’d like to subscribe yada yada yada………

    • cwditter
    • 8 years ago

    Stop using controllers to play FPS games on PC. Just stop it.

      • thanatos355
      • 8 years ago

      You+Nail=Headshot!

      I’m with you 100%. I honestly couldn’t believe it when I read this article last night. Who would even dream of handicapping themselves in such a way. Especially someone that calls themselves a pc gamer. It’s just sad.

      But some people like pain, even find enjoyment from it. To each their own.

        • morphine
        • 8 years ago

        I don’t see where I said I played an FPS using a gamepad 🙂

        I mentioned the gamepad because of SF4 and Batman-AA. Perhaps the bit about Gears of War? In that situation specifically the game could have picked keyb.+mouse, gamepad, or joystick… and picked the joystick for some arcane reason, and even then it didn’t work.

        Nevertheless, even if I did want to play an FPS using a controller (I don’t, thank you very much), don’t you think that the game in question should support it anyway?

          • thanatos355
          • 8 years ago

          I agree that a game should support any control device (within reason) that you should choose to use, and to do so as intuitively as possible. The complete lack of almost any customization with the majority of console ports is infuriating. Whether it be with controls or a/v aspects of the game. It’s enough to make you scream in frustration.

          I think that the fps confusion could be a result of mentioning fps games so frequently in the article.

          That being said, I use kb+m for all my pc gaming. The only time I’ve ever wanted any other control device is during aerial combat sims, and that to just immerse myself all the more. I personally find no enjoyment or increases in skills with a “steering wheel” controller or the like.

          All in all, I really enjoyed the article. 🙂

          *cough-controller_noob-cough* 😉

      • burntham77
      • 8 years ago

      I know, what the hell are you doing? That’s like driving your car with your feet when you have perfectly good hands. Sure you can do it but… why?

      • jthh
      • 8 years ago

      A joystick in BF2 with choppers or planes is pretty frickin’ awesome.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    There’s one thing I don’t really get in all of this. If we want competition in the hardware arena, why don’t we want competition in the services arena? It seems that most of the comments (and indeed what morphine wrote in the blog entry) indicate that “Steam is so great, and all others should shrivel up and die”. How is that good for anyone?

      • morphine
      • 8 years ago

      In hindsight perhaps that should have been clearer: what I meant is that: 1) publishers should pick ONE and stick with it. 2) the one they pick should stay out of the way.

        • Noigel
        • 8 years ago

        I think one is fine as long as it doesn’t “turn communist.” Why shouldn’t I be able to have all my games on one service? Why do I have to have multiple accounts… one for Steam, Games for Windows, and EA’s mess, Bioware (for DLC), etc?

        There’s one decent middleman that’s actually helpful (Steam) and then a bunch of half-arsed others that don’t really do anything but put their hands out expecting cash.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 8 years ago

          [quote<]turn communist[/quote<] What does that even mean? It's going to take over all businesses and distribute wealth equally?

            • thanatos355
            • 8 years ago

            Those bastards better keep their missiles out of Cuba, that’s all I have to say on the matter!

    • Joerdgs
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t think there will be much change in dedicated server hosting when it comes to games like Battlefield. They found a middle ground by only allowing players to rent dedi servers (for ridiculous prices), thus ensuring that players can’t reach server binaries and crack these to allow pirates to play online. It’s really annoying for community leaders like myself who already fork out plenty of dosh for the dedicated machine that runs 3 TF2, 1 Counter-Strike, 1 Garry’s Mod (got to love the Source engine) and 1 MTA server. Still that’s far cheaper than having to rent these separately at a third party.

    • puppetworx
    • 8 years ago

    I agree with everything probably one of the best reads I’ve ever had on TechReport.

    Tweeted.

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    The ten commandments of making a ‘shitty’ port to PC:
    1. use the unreal engine
    2. use really bad mouse accelleration with no way of turning it off completely
    3. have zero graphical options, and/or make them fixed based on arbitrary hardware differences that aren’t based on real world performance
    4. have bad FOV adjustments, inappropriate screen stretching, hud stretching, FMV stretching etc. for various aspect ratios
    5. sell a primarily online multiplayer game with no dedicated servers
    6. put draconian DRM on the product (or multiples of)
    7. release different day 1 DLC/items depending on which store you purchase the game from
    8. make the game completely unplayable with anything but a x360 controller (putting $500 steering wheels, $200 joysticks to waste)
    9. limit the game to console hardware levels, then release it on PC and make it use 100% cpu utilisation so we have to listen to our fans blarring away for no reason
    10. delay the port until the game is sooo irrelevant to PC gaming and then complain that it didn’t sell due to ‘rampant piracy’ and vow to never again spend “countless hours” producing your amazing product.
    11. (because i’m a PC gamer so I can count up to 11) use Quick Time Events that involve SMASHING your $200+ keyboard and $50+ mouse to pieces just to get past a sequence in the game for zero enjoyment factor

      • Ruiner
      • 8 years ago

      That list is as good as the original article. Kudos, sir.

      • anotherengineer
      • 8 years ago

      What’s wrong with the source engine?

        • designerfx
        • 8 years ago

        ask yourself what year the last unreal engine came out.

          • paladinstorm
          • 8 years ago

          Ask yourself why newer source games still look good; it’s called ‘robust design’.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 8 years ago

      #1 is the BEST.

      • ClickClick5
      • 8 years ago

      Very very good sir! I like #1 and #9 is the best….so true.

      • burntham77
      • 8 years ago

      On number 11, I am looking at you The Force Unleashed. Stop making me stop slashing bad guys just to smash the space bar (loudly) so I can take down a stupid AT-ST.

      • Pettytheft
      • 8 years ago

      #1 is the bane of PC gaming right now. Because it encompasses $2-4

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      I don’t even know why #11 has evolved. It’s some sort of stupid mechanic they devised to chastise players for wanting to get into combat and somehow thing punching the same key numerous times will change anything or get your adrenaline pumping. All it does is piss me off.

      Everything is so scripted now days I suppose you can’t blame them for throwing more scripts at you to somehow keep you alive and ‘into’ the action.

        • khands
        • 8 years ago

        11 exists because developers can make actions look smoother/cooler in a scripted/pre-rendered sequence than they can unscripted, and since people would rather be immersed by pressing something than just see a cutscene, we have quick time events. The first time I remember them was in Dark Cloud back in the day and it was new and cool. Now it’s simply over used.

          • Bensam123
          • 8 years ago

          My question reeked heavily of being rhetorical, especially if you read past it and my point with a bit of satire was that it doesn’t immerse players at all, it just makes them angry.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 8 years ago

          This reminds me Shadow of the Colossus was amazing and did big impressive cinematic boss fights without resorting to QTE.

    • kvndoom
    • 8 years ago

    As someone who only buys and drives manual transmission vehicles, and who really loves to drive, I can relate to your frustration with not being able to buy what you want the way you want it.

      • willmore
      • 8 years ago

      You said it! We’re looking for a car and finding a M/T is really hard. Their logic seems to be “Well, if we make an A/T, we’re sure to sell it. Why would we make an M/T?” Uhh, because I have a *pile of money* I want to give you’ll do it. Are you really the same industry that’s complaining that they are in hard times and can’t sell enough units? Yeah? Okay, then, shut up, make the M/T, and take my money!

        • kvndoom
        • 8 years ago

        It took some researching, but I wound up with a Honda Accord Coupe V6 6MT with leather and nav. Got a great price [i<]and[/i<] 0.9%. My choices were slim pickings though, to get all the features I wanted without going up into the "1 year's salary" price range. Absolutely loving the car, and not one ounce of buyer's regret.

          • indeego
          • 8 years ago

          After driving an auto transmission I’ll never go back to manual. I think it has to do with age.

            • willmore
            • 8 years ago

            How old is old? 🙂

            • Bauxite
            • 8 years ago

            For me it has to do with the ****ing commute:

            -When you dare not leave a car length + 1 inch in front of you lest you get cut off
            -When you can go from 70~50 to 20~0 to 70~50 in a 30 second time frame with no warning or real reason (see previous)
            -When you have all lanes occupied with passive-aggressive jerks going the same speed and a freight truck in the far right that can’t help it (left lane fast, right lane slow, sometimes there are even signs to remind the idiots)
            -When turn signals are non-existent
            -When a significant % of the drivers are obviously drunk, high, on their phone (which is equivalent to drunk) or have no grasp of basic driving tenets at all like lanes and consistent speeds

            Then manual is exhausting and completely sucks.

            • thanatos355
            • 8 years ago

            I actually find a manual tranny easier to use during such situations. When hair trigger response is needed, there’s nothing like a mt to keep you right in the perfect rpm range to fully take advantage of your car’s available power.

            But, I’ve been driving sticks since before I got my license and performance driving is in my blood.

            • xeridea
            • 8 years ago

            I would much rather have a manual in those situations. Waiting for automatic to decide what to do, delay in downshifting, and not knowing what transmission is going to do (though much can be somewhat predicable though delayed by taking note), are super annoying. I don’t find it a “chore” or harder to drive a manual at all. Perhaps somewhat in stop n go traffic, but I don’t tailgate like a gay guy so its not really that bad. I like knowing what my car is doing, not accepting what it decides to do. And those “manual” shift automatic shifters are pure marketing crap. It is totally not the same, and you can do the exact same thing with the standard automatic shifter. I find them a lot harder to actually use for regular purposes also. Its a shame to see america dumbed down / lazy with automatic transmissions which are only beneficial in rare situations.

            “Then manual is exhausting and completely sucks.”
            Funny, I never broke out in a sweat by shifting, but I get frustrated by automatics all the time. Automatics just suck by nature, performance is terrible, predictability is non existant, doing what you want, when you want is iffy, reliability sub par, cost to repair is through the roof, weigh to much, to big, require external cooling, more TLC, harder to work with (not even considering taking apart).

            • Usacomp2k3
            • 8 years ago

            Have you driven an automatic recently? Or anything better a $10k Kia?

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            I find a manual more fun. To each his own I suppose.

          • willmore
          • 8 years ago

          The Honda might be our next stop if Hyundai can’t get us an Elantra in a reasonable time frame.

          The Accord is probably more car than we need and is likely to come with stuff we specifically don’t want–like leather. We’ve got kids, and they’re pretty imicable with leather. 🙂

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 8 years ago

        Interestingly, in at least some parts of Europe the situation is nearly reversed. Even rental cars are manual shifted!

          • anonymous jack
          • 8 years ago

          Living in England, I can honestly say that I have never been in, or knowingly seen an automatic car in Britain.

            • Chrispy_
            • 8 years ago

            They’re in the cities where traffic and congestion prevent you from actually driving. Also the UK is hilly compared to lots of the US, so farting around with 0-5 mph stop-start up a hill is more work.

            Personally, I can’t stand auto gearboxes, despite living in London. The hit to economy, performance and driving pleasure is not worth the minor convenience of freeing up your left hand and left foot. It’s not like I was doing anything else with them whilst driving 😉

            London is a giant traffic-jam made of rich people who don’t care about fuel prices. Automatics work well in that situation.

          • Firestarter
          • 8 years ago

          My mom has an automatic, but only because after 30+ years of driving she still couldn’t shift worth a damn.

          Part of the reason that people here in the Netherlands almost exclusively drive manuals is because we learn to drive in a manual car. If you get your license in an automatic, you get a reduced license and are not allowed to drive a manual. Also, automatics are more expensive over here and not widely available in the used market.

            • travbrad
            • 8 years ago

            It’s exactly the opposite in the U.S. I bet less than 1/3rd of people could drive a manual transmission car. I actually learned to drive in an automatic-transmission car, but was able to drive a manual the very first time I tried, probably from all my race simulator experience. Who says videogames can’t be fun and educational at the same time? 🙂

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            The Civilopedia (from Civ1 and 2) taught me all the history I needed until highschool, then I still knew most of it before the teacher said anything.

    • RostokMcSpoons
    • 8 years ago

    I noticed something missing from this article – Field Of View. It seems we’re having to suffer very zoomed-in views frequently in modern games, and this too seems to be related to the consolitis.

    Maybe a 60 degree field of view on a large telly (but at 6-8ft from the viewer) is acceptable, but that same thing on a monitor at 2ft distance feels like looking through a letterbox with a telescope. I feel myself leaning in to the screen as my brain tries to adjust to the weired feeling. Add some view bob and some vehicle travel to the mix and the result for some players (like me) is something akin to seasickness.

    Please give us an option to change the FOV on all PC versions, or set it nearer to 90 degrees in the first place!

      • Firestarter
      • 8 years ago

      I prefer my FOV at about 100, 110. I remember Medal of Honor: Allied Assault to be guilty of a narrow FOV. The game was pretty awesome, but the narrow FOV made entering a room with a shotgun rather perilous..

        • RostokMcSpoons
        • 8 years ago

        Yes, I never finished that game because it made me feel seasick. Far Cry 2 did too, until I found a FOV fix.

        I forgot to add a corollary – PC versions should have multi monitor support – playing on 3 screens is absolutely brilliant. But I must admit that does involve a bit more work.

    • Farting Bob
    • 8 years ago

    EA, how i hate you, so very much.

    I brought spore on the day of release, the special edition one no less (only £5 more, came with a pretty good making of DVD and few other bits) because i had been nerdgasming over it for years. You have to have a EA account which validates your install to let you download other peoples creations (it does this automatically and randomly) but EA ballsed up when i created my profile. It said my code was invalid, then i tried again and said already in use. So i emailed them and said to reset it and they said everything should already be fine. So create a new account on a different email and it says “serial code already in use”.

    After much rage, i finally got someone to remove all accounts i had registered and remove my serial code from their database of used codes. I actually create a new account and it goes successfully through, then 2 minutes into the game, it looses its connection to the server for half a day.

    I havent actually purchased an EA game since.

      • EffKay
      • 8 years ago

      What’s needed here is a way to return the game for a refund.
      You did not get your money’s worth and like all other things it should be returnable for a refund.

      Which by the way is totally possible by each valid / genuine copy having a unique serial number.
      This unique item can be returned and re-registered and sold to the next person.

      What is actually driving the DRM / Pirating cold-war is this very fact: Customers lack the ability to return a game for a refund if it’s clearly broken, bad or plainly of low quality.

      When faced with such a situation where there is no way to recover or to mitigate the risks of wasting good money on crap games, then is it any wonder that people would copy them first to see if they’re any good and actually largely discard the ones they’d never play nor purchase anyway.
      Last time I checked, the people browsing magazines in the store haven’t been blamed for sinking the magazine publishing industry.

      If the buying and paying customers were given the right of return and refund then all that would be involved in purchasing games is that purchasing is no longer a potential risk of loss but a potential reward of enjoyment.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 8 years ago

    I like this better than Brad Wardell’s frequently revisited “bill of rights”.

    Missing “thou shalt not use annoying drm”. Don’t make it easier to pirate than to buy. If you’re going to treat your customers like (crap) pirates you deserve your piracy. Also see Gog’s business model.

    • Firestarter
    • 8 years ago

    II takes the cake for me for FPS games. For anyone who played one or several first person shooters for a significant amount of time, aiming using the mouse should become second nature once the mouse setup is right. Mandatory mouse acceleration destroys that setup for many!

    Suddenly, instead of learning to play that game I have to reprogram my brain to use your half-assed setup and in the process unlearn any aiming skill that I may have built up in other games. Not only will I require more time than necessary to do well in your game, but I have to sacrifice my ability to do so in other games just because you sods were to lazy to make a damn menu to disable it!

    Unreal Engine 3 was responsible for some of these titles (Bioshock was completely unplayable for me). Something else UE3 did as well was default to a video configuration that resulted in very high input lag. Many people don’t even notice it until they find out that they just suck horribly at aiming in general and specifically in hitting moving targets or dodging incoming projectiles, and even then most players blame their system for not pushing enough FPS.

    • KoolAidMan
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]Mouse acceleration is a good idea for moving an on-screen pointer[/quote<] Mouse acceleration is bad for gaming [i<]period[/i<]. As bad as it is for shooters, it is arguably worse for fast RTS games where pointer consistency and accuracy are so important. Good article either way, every developer needs to read it.

      • Meadows
      • 8 years ago

      There are exceptions. I know I mention Quake Live a real lot, but it has to be said again – you can’t play professionally without using mouse acceleration. It’s impossible. All the pros use it too, the guys who make money off of playing it.

        • KoolAidMan
        • 8 years ago

        Really? How so, in order to improve fine tune accuracy with the rail?

          • Meadows
          • 8 years ago

          No, acceleration actually adds an exponential multiplier to every movement, even the fine ones, so the method is to use a (sometimes very) low sensitivity, and add acceleration.

          Your fine movements will remain, but rocket jumping, strafe jumping etc. will only require a gingerly flick of the wrist, and done. Without accel, you’d tire your arm out by merely [i<]strafe jumping acceptably[/i<] in any tournament or cup.

        • Firestarter
        • 8 years ago

        I can understand it being a preference, but impossible to play without? That’s ludicrous!

          • Meadows
          • 8 years ago

          I said you can’t play [i<]professionally[/i<] without it. Which is not ludicrous.

            • Firestarter
            • 8 years ago

            The strafejumping argument sounds valid enough. I never got the hang of that 😛

    • TravelMug
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t really understand the hatred towards GFWL. I have an account, login when the game starts and have my achievements or whatever in there. Yes, hated it in the past for a moment, but the only reason for it were GTA – you have to have GFWL and a Rockstar account. I find that stupid.

    Agree with the notion that any game on Steam should only have Steam of course. None of the other (GFWL or publisher) accounts.

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      You dont need a rockstar account with the latest patch for GTA4. But yea, when i got GTA4 on release day i needed to make 2 accounts, and the windows one wasnt playing ball. And neither account helped make the game better at all.

      • willmore
      • 8 years ago

      How about this for a good reason: a normal windows update comes along. One of the items is for GFWL. Sure, what can that hurt, you say. Install it. Time passes and you notice that you can’t mount drives from your machine on your set top box any more. Try a half dozen things to diagnose the problem. Finally, google saves you by letting you know that the GFWL update *broke remote authentication for CIFS*.

      WTF does GFWL have to do with sharing a filesystem over the network? Why, oh why?

        • TravelMug
        • 8 years ago

        Didn’t have this issue as I don’t connect that way, but also a short googling showed it has nothing to do with GFWL, but there was an issue with the “Windows LIVE ID Sign-In Assistant” which cames with the mentioned GFWL update as it’s a required component. Samba had a problem with this component. The GFWL update has been released November 2010, Samba has been patched back in July 2010 because the issue was not with GFWL but with the assistant. Except you didn’t encounter it until the assistent was installed onto the PC with GFWL. The problem was/is if you settop, nas, media player/box etc. used an older Samba release.

        [url<]https://bugzilla.samba.org/show_bug.cgi?id=7577[/url<]

          • willmore
          • 8 years ago

          How is the “Windoes LIVE ID Sign-In Assistant” ‘nothing to do with’ GFWL when it’s a required component of it?

          Yes, SAMBA had a bug that this update exposed. The SAMBA guys fixed it. Yeah for them. That doesn’t do a ton of good for my STB–until they chose to release a new firmware that incorporates this fix.

          But, that’s missing the point. The point here is that a part of GFWL changed the way CIFS authentication worked. Those aren’t logically related parts of Windows, are they?

      • cynan
      • 8 years ago

      Games for Windows Live sucks more balls than the ball collecting cart at a popular driving range on father’s day weekend.

      I still remember the fiasco with Bioshock II on Steam (one of my first Steam games). The day I got it, I played through about half of the single player campaign in my first sitting. Then realized I had failed to properly sign into a GFWL account and I could not save my progress. I have never bothered to replay Bioshock II ’till this day (though some of that has to do with how it wasn’t a very good game – not nearly as good as the first).

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      Exactly – it’s not like you have to log in, in every game. If you have a GFWL account and log in with one game, you log into the next automatically.

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    Funny, but I just couldn’t bring myself to get excited about new PC releases anymore. It’s like they’re all the same. Everyone just emphasizes cool graphics without bringing more immersion to games. Sure, a lot of these new games [u<]are[/u<] immersive, but what's really new? It's the same old, same old. Except for some favorite franchises, I haven't bought a PC game in quite a while now. For playing new titles, I just use my X360 because I feel today's games aren't worth upgrading your PC for every year or so. Don't get me wrong. Today's games are nice, but they just don't excite me the way Wolfenstein 3-D did back in 1992. What I'm into right now is ZSNES, and soon, I might install Kega again. I find these old console titles simple yet entertaining. Many people play Facebook games nowadays. They're simple, fun and don't eat up all your CPU cycles. Those titles may be roughly compared to SNES or Genesis titles in terms of complexity or graphics (just use ZSNES' HQ filter to try to smooth things out though), proof that you don't need mega-graphics to make games fun. Not to mention that if I don't go back to new titles soon, my current setup should last me till the next blockbuster PC game comes out, which probably isn't due for at least a couple of years. I know ZSNES and Kega are low-res. Ignoring that though, the classics do have decent graphics and, more importantly, are a lot of fun.

      • ronch
      • 8 years ago

      And yeah, IX takes the cake, by a long shot.

    • rika13
    • 8 years ago

    It was Unreal Engine 3 in the grassy knoll, with binaries for consoles and PC.

    It is damn tempting to half ass things when you simply have to throw a different binary in and make the disc for PC. I say vote with dollars, don’t buy pre-orders of games that don’t explicitly advertise (or just can’t be) they are more than shoddy console ports.

    The industry caters to consoles, they reasons of piracy are HALF right, it is more likely the cost of anti-piracy (Sony and Macrovision take cuts) and a lack of desire to make PC games (PC games being games more capable than a X360 controller can handle, Dragon Age is the most PC game I have seen in a while, I’ve seen the X360 version and it feels so confined by the controller, then again, Bioware started on PC). Most of the advantage of PC’s are moot, consoles have storage and power, but are still limited by controllers.

    • Sencapri
    • 8 years ago

    This….. article…. is EPIC! Enjoyed everybit of it! *golf clap* great job bruno excellent work 😀

    • thesmileman
    • 8 years ago

    How about:

    “Release it on Steam!”

    and

    “Don’t only release your game on your own F****ing service that sucks”

    I am talking about you EA. With you F****ing origons game service and Alice Return to Madness. Which I bought over 8 hours ago and you still haven’t told your own F****ing service that I have paid for it and that I will now be waiting for days before I can download a F****ing downloadable game.

    I F***ing hat your stupid services.

    Sorry I needed to get that off my chest.

      • ClickClick5
      • 8 years ago

      This is a bar moment. Drinks on me.

      • burntham77
      • 8 years ago

      Bravo. I love me some Bioware, but really hate their games being tied to some shitty EA account. Just use Steam, EA. Spare us your mockery of online services.

      • willmore
      • 8 years ago

      Amen

      • jalex3
      • 8 years ago

      origin is not that bad. seeing as ea never used steam works its not like you lose anything. origin even lets you activate some steam keys. I will not buy it because I refuse to pay almost double that of US customers.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      yes, we need just one singular online service. This is dumb.

        • paladinstorm
        • 8 years ago

        I think you’re ignoring the overall point: That publishers shouldn’t jump on the bandwagon like EA has done, and to instead look to companies like Stardock (Impulse) and Valve (Steam), who are dedicating resources to maintaining and improving such services, and, equally important, not denying other publishers or developers the opportunity to use their service for any game so it’s actually a widely-useful service instead of becoming the publisher’s personal bloatware. And, let’s face it, nobody likes bloatware.

        EDIT: My ultimate point here being that if a publisher wants to make their own online service, they better make it a worthwhile service that isn’t virtually bloatware.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      Yup, because making your own service will somehow make you popular and awesome like Steam. Everyones a fucking me-too now from the games themselves to the damn distribution, Steam or CoD. People wonder why Apple is so popular, maybe they try being different.

        • thanatos355
        • 8 years ago

        In America; first you get the games, then you get the distro, then you get the bitches.

    • MixedPower
    • 8 years ago

    Point IX should be broadened to “Be service monotheistic.” A game purchased on a particular service shouldn’t require any other service to run. Also, a game bought in a retail store shouldn’t need any service at all. Even if a service adds features to a game there should be an option to not use it.

    While I’m at it, I have neither the time nor patience to be registering for and using every Cerberus network and Uplay service that publishers and developers cook up, especially since that means more passwords to memorize and more places online where my sensitive information is stored. Make additional content easy and convenient to download and install for all users and don’t force us to use your half-baked service that will be defunct in a year or two anyway.

    EDIT: Clarified the first paragraph a bit.

      • rika13
      • 8 years ago

      I’d disagree there. Steam is mother, Steam is father. The big advantage of Steam installs on retail discs is no need for media, no need for some copy protection which just pisses us off until we crack it, and redownloading if the house burns down.

        • Dashak
        • 8 years ago

        How are you disagreeing?

    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]II. Thou shalt not accelerate mouse input[/quote<] What worries me is that with recent updates now even Valve's Counter-Strike:Source has an option for mouse acceleration. Why the hell did Valve include it, it sucks, OMG it sucks so badly! At what point did they think it would be a good idea? I saw that they recently got into console porting but this is B.S.

      • cegras
      • 8 years ago

      In addition to that they also included an option to directly take hardware input from the mouse.

      Some people actually like to play with small amounts of mouse acceleration. While I am not included, I briefly experimented with Valve console commands for mouse acceleration, which were by far the most advanced, and included settings for threshold, speed of acceleration, and x/y independent settings.

      But I really agree with what’s being said here. The single biggest shame ever visited upon PCs by console ports is the fact that either people were too lazy or too dumb to even code a proper mouse slider in UT3 based games. Everytime I play one of those retarded games I have to go edit an .ini file, I’ve pretty much memorized the procedure now. Not to mention the insanely high mouse sensitivity quickly leads to nausea and a general lack of wanting to play the game any further.

        • The Dark One
        • 8 years ago

        e: oops, not meant as a reply

        Assassin’s Creed II was a weird half-way failure when it came to key/button mapping. It would let you bind any function to any input, but the in-game tooltips all used action icons instead of showing you the actual button that it wanted you to press. The bindings also carried into the menu system, so whatever button you had chosen for sprinting/jumping acted like Enter or a left-click would on any normal program. The cancel button was whatever you had bound as the ‘hand’ key. They also got rid of any scrollbars and carried over some awful auto-panning system that would probably work well with a joystick but that was just frustrating for someone using a mouse.

        • Meadows
        • 8 years ago

        X/Y independent settings are undesirable, and Quake Live offers the same customisation, if not more. Therefore, your “by far the most advanced” comment is out of line.

          • cegras
          • 8 years ago

          Have you looked at valves console commands for acceleration?

            • Meadows
            • 8 years ago

            I don’t play CS or TF2, so no. Have you looked at QL’s console commands for mouse settings?

            • cegras
            • 8 years ago

            The whole point of “X/Y independent settings are undesirable” is not the undesirability, but rather how Valve lets you fine tune any point if you desire. I played with the settings for a while. They even have X/Y sensitivity settings.

            [url<]http://poutred.crew.free.fr/sharpe/console3.htm[/url<] Not as detailed as Valve controls, sorry. [url<]http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Console_Command_List/M[/url<] m_customaccel

            • Meadows
            • 8 years ago

            What you linked is outdated and wrong. Also, I never said that asynchronous X/Y response is bad, I said asynchronous [b<]acceleration[/b<] of the two axes is retarded. (Quake Live experimented with it before, and it failed painfully. Nobody used it.) QL uses fps-independent pointer vertex acceleration. The available commands are as follows: [b<]/m_cpi[/b<] (set it to the DPI rating of your mouse, and the sensitivity setting will calculate using centimetres. This way, configs and mice become directly comparable - you never need to adjust the values [u<]below[/u<] ever again, just this DPI setting. "0" disables it and uses the old game engine units like before, meaning the response curves may vary based on the DPI of the mouse. That's why m_cpi was introduced in the first place.) [b<]/m_yaw[/b<] (for every horizontal pixel the mouse moved, the camera turns by this many degrees. Default is 0.022, required for m_cpi to compute centimetres properly. Floating point variable.) [b<]/m_pitch[/b<] (for every vertical pixel the mouse moved, the camera pitches by this many degrees. Default is 0.022. Floating point variable, use negative amounts for inverted Y axis.) [b<]/sensitivity[/b<] (on the one hand, with m_cpi at 0, it's a general multiplier for the above input. On the other hand, with m_cpi set, it means "degrees per centimetre". Floating point variable.) [b<]/cl_mouseaccel[/b<] (strength of acceleration. Floating point.) [b<]/cl_mouseaccelpower[/b<] (exponent to use when accelerating. 2 is default, higher values give sharper speed curves unless you never attended maths. Floating point.) [b<]/cl_mouseacceloffset[/b<] (real mouse speed needs to [b<]surpass this value[/b<] before acceleration starts getting applied, otherwise response stays linear. It is used for hard isolation between speed flicks and fine aiming speeds. Floating point.) [b<]/cl_mousesenscap[/b<] (Sensitivity cap: accelerated sensitivity cannot shoot past this value. Floating point.) I'm experimenting with them all on occasion, but the way you talk, you wouldn't know what to do with half of them.

            • cegras
            • 8 years ago

            I have fiddled with acceleration years ago on valve, so I am familiar with how they work. XY acceleration is handy in at least one specific example: wrist pivoting on a gel wrist rest as the Y axis is restricted in motion.

            On a somewhat unrelated tangent I noticed that for all the tweaking that can be done, there is a certain threshold that must be breached in between settings for noticeable effects. That or you can spend a week getting used to the result, then tweaking it and forgetting about the previous one.

            Anyways, cool last sentence dig there. Completely unrelated to my main point and you spent a bunch of paragraphs pretty much confirming that valves mouse adjustment allows for more fine tuning than quakes. Thanks.

            • Meadows
            • 8 years ago

            No it doesn’t, I pretty much proved QL has more settings. You’re welcome.

            • cegras
            • 8 years ago

            Can you count? You listed 8 settings to their 12, with sensitivity that is 13.

            • Meadows
            • 8 years ago

            I left out the following:

            /m_filter (not so widely used in Quake nowadays)
            /m_side (meaningless in both games)
            /m_forward (meaningless in both games)

            That makes it 9 vs. 10 (edit: counting useful settings), and get this
            /m_mouseaccel1 (Windows mouse acceleration initial threshold (2x movement).)
            /m_mouseaccel2 (Windows mouse acceleration secondary threshold (4x movement).)
            /m_mousespeed (Windows mouse speed factor (range 1 to 20).)

            These three are [b<]all meaningless[/b<]. You want a raw input, not Windows settings mumbojumbo, I'm almost certain they're legacy garbage and default to zero or 1 anyway. So when we clean up the field, it's 9 vs. 8, because you forgot counting "sensitivity". How about that, Quake Live wins.

            • cegras
            • 8 years ago

            Um, it doesn’t matter if they are meaningless or not. Valve included them as settings that allow you to tweak acceleration and mouse controls in general. Whether settings are useful or not is purely your (rather uninformed, ignorant, and ego-centric) opinion.

            Facts are facts. Don’t cherry pick. You can’t count.

            • Meadows
            • 8 years ago

            No.

            • cegras
            • 8 years ago

            I No you can’t count, like to argue, and are excessively confrontational likely because you go into debates thinking you are right.

            • Meadows
            • 8 years ago

            No no no, I *am* right. Quality over quantity, my son. For me to consider your extraneous console commands, you’re going to have to prove they’re useful.

            Gamers don’t desire Windows-related variables, and I don’t know if you’ve tried, but m_side and m_forward don’t even do anything, no matter what you set them to.

            So I’m still right. The best I will agree to, considering you can show something for it, is feature parity between the games.

        • Arclight
        • 8 years ago

        Are you saying it is a good thing to have mouse acceleration in CS:Source? I have a laser wired mouse and at 1600DPI the mouse is already way too sensitive, what would i use acceleration for? Extra nausea?

        Are we gonna debate that modern gaming mices don’t have enough DPI so they need acceleration? What is this setting good for? Show me some proff professional gamers used it in the past?

        [quote<]In addition to that they also included an option to directly take hardware input from the mouse.[/quote<] On this front i aplaud the introduction of this option. I know for a fact that profesional gamers used in a past a mouse fix (it was actually a registry) to disable the "Enhance pointer precision" option, which in windows XP remained enabled even though the option was not selected in the mouse settings window from the Control Panel. It was called CPL mouse registry fix CPL stands for Cyberathlete Professional League

          • cegras
          • 8 years ago

          [quote<]Are you saying it is a good thing to have mouse acceleration in CS:Source? I have a laser wired mouse and at 1600DPI the mouse is already way too sensitive, what would i use acceleration for? Extra nausea?[/quote<] Mouse acceleration is primarily used for low sensitivity gamers. By the way, you can offset high DPI with low sensitivity. Generally you want the DPI at the natural setting of the mouse as otherwise the hardware may not work as well. And I'm not saying that acceleration should be used just because it is included, but that just because Valve included acceleration tuning into a game does not mean it is a console sellout. It is just another point for its commitment to the keyboard / mouse interface. It is not intrusive and you have a very clear, unambiguous way of turning it off. I say that their implementation of acceleration is so thorough and tweakable that this is a plus for their supporting the mouse interface, not a detriment.

      • jalex3
      • 8 years ago

      i dont see the problem with it, but i must say im unhappy with valve look at the gui in hl2 and its settings then have a look at portal 2….

    • wujj123456
    • 8 years ago

    Huge thumbs up for IX. I hate games for windows live. It does nothing and yet bound with certain games. I refuse to buy any games with this crap and I missed most codemaster games, including Dirt 2/3.

    Steam’s community feature is far better than that GFW. And ironically, from wikipedia, GFW = Games for Windows Live = Great FireWall of China.

    • bill94el
    • 8 years ago

    Agree with all, but “IX. GFWL” takes the cake. What a waste.

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