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[Ars] How publishers punish us for buying new games - Page 11

post #101 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordikon View Post
The reality is that most games that ship have hundreds, and sometimes thousand of known bugs. Most known bugs that are shipped with are considered minor or cosmetic, which means they can be noticed but usually aren't much of an annoyance and sometimes are small enough that the average player won't even notice (things like Z-fighting of small objects off in the distance near the back of the camera's frustum, are common examples).

Fixing almost all known bugs could literally take a year or more. Some bugs are incredibly tough to fix, and involve rewriting large systems that are part of the architecture of the game. And then, when you make a large architectural change to the code you end up causing 80 new bugs in the process, and as you go to fix those you find out that those bugs require the rewrite of another large system to fix. The cycle continues and you're a year into it and you've fixed 800 bugs, and caused 300 bugs. Generally you'll fix more bugs than you will cause, and over time you'll have fewer bugs and less severe bugs.

There's comes the point in all games where you've tested it, players have tested it, and most people agree that on all known configurations of any supported platforms that you can play through the game as intended without bugs negatively impacting the experience enough that it would be worth it to delay it any longer. "worth it" applies to both the publisher and the players. If only 0.2% of your customers are going to notice bug #10472, and when they do notice it they will not really be affected much by it, is that worth delaying the project a week at the cost of $300k?

This leaves the unknown bugs, the ones that require very specific hardware configurations, or rare/old/or brand new drivers. Those kinds of bugs can sometimes not even show up until the final product has reached a large customer base. Now, at that point, if you're those customers would you prefer a patch, or not?

I've literally worked on a project that would crash only if the person was running Windows XP, 64-bit, and had a USB foam rocket launcher attached to their computer at the time the program was starting up. Is that a configuration you expect the developer to test before they ship?

I will concede there are probably occasions when there are more severe bugs that publishers know about and ship a game anyway. I've never worked for a publisher like that, and hope I never have to.

Another huge factor most gamers don't consider is that gold master discs, and advertisement slots must be purchased/completed months in advance. Once a gold master disc is pressed, any bugs found after that will have to be part of a day one patch. This is why most games end up with day 1 patches, because in the 3-4 months after the gold master disc was made they've fixed 100 bugs, and they want the player to not have to deal with those 100 bugs once they get the product in their hands. This is also another reason why you cannot just continue to delay a game forever, at some point you have to be able to reserve advertising slots and give a shipping date for the game, otherwise you end up being another Duke Nukem Forever.
QFT. Good information and an excellent post. +1

The article in the OP comes off as the ramblings of a baby who thinks he is entitled to the "perfect game/movie" sans advertising and the like -- who has given NO thought to the devs' side of things.
Edited by JCPUser - 4/18/11 at 1:04am
post #102 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by XNine View Post
What i find worse is that practically every NVidia sponsored game has the stupid Nvidia intro, that you CAN'T skip, even if it's your 100th time playing it.
I like the Nvidia intro. Makes me feel better than ATI.
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post #103 of 116
i download movies i have on dvd. helps me skip all the ads and stuff. not to mention i feel that im spoiled for choice when trying to decide on what to watch
post #104 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Half_Duplex View Post
Gotta agree. Game wasn't shipped unfinished, bugs were found when 20,000 testers came online on release date.
I think the point is that, for we old guys, there was a time when we didn't see day-one patches as being a necessary and normal part of a game release. As Lordikon suggests, I seem to recall most patching back then being related to specific hardware config issues.

Maybe I'm remembering the world through rose colored glasses, but I don't really think so. I mean, until this generation, console games had no patching mechanism at all, yet they were able to release games that worked just fine. But now it seems as if almost every major console title releases a patch or two, which implies one of two things: these patches are actually discretionary, despite being made "mandatory" if you want to stay signed into the online game; or there has been a lessening of quality control in the console gaming world because they know they can patch defects after release now. And if that mentality exists even a little in the console space, one must believe it excists in spades in the PC world, where patching has been standard practice for decades.
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post #105 of 116
The whole premise of this article is retarded. Publishers do not have to compete with pirates. Pirates are getting faster access to content by BREAKING THE LAW. There is no equivalency there whatsoever. I agree that the publishers need to ask themselves how much extra crap they want their paying customers to have to wade through before they get to the content.

There is one thing that this writer has right and that is that we should vote with our wallets. You vote by buying one publisher's movie and NOT BUYING another's.

Piracy is not voting with your wallet. It's just illegal.
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post #106 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by VulcanDragon View Post
I think the point is that, for we old guys, there was a time when we didn't see day-one patches as being a necessary and normal part of a game release. As Lordikon suggests, I seem to recall most patching back then being related to specific hardware config issues.

Maybe I'm remembering the world through rose colored glasses, but I don't really think so. I mean, until this generation, console games had no patching mechanism at all, yet they were able to release games that worked just fine. But now it seems as if almost every major console title releases a patch or two, which implies one of two things: these patches are actually discretionary, despite being made "mandatory" if you want to stay signed into the online game; or there has been a lessening of quality control in the console gaming world because they know they can patch defects after release now. And if that mentality exists even a little in the console space, one must believe it excists in spades in the PC world, where patching has been standard practice for decades.
I could be wrong, but I think part of the lessened quality control would be simply because games today are more complex and more prone to bugs than those games of earlier generations. Although, there is still no reason to release games as buggy as they have been.
 
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post #107 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlayerS_`Archduke` View Post
The whole premise of this article is retarded. Publishers do not have to compete with pirates. Pirates are getting faster access to content by BREAKING THE LAW. There is no equivalency there whatsoever. I agree that the publishers need to ask themselves how much extra crap they want their paying customers to have to wade through before they get to the content.

There is one thing that this writer has right and that is that we should vote with our wallets. You vote by buying one publisher's movie and NOT BUYING another's.

Piracy is not voting with your wallet. It's just illegal.
Yes, but part of the point is that honest paying customers are ending up with a worse product. It's like when they put invasive DRM, or DRM that requires always being online, those things end up annoying the paying customer but not the pirate. If I'm going to pay for something, please don't punish me for it.

I do agree though, pirating is not voting with your wallet. If you want to give publishers a sign, just don't buy. Image what would happen if a game sold really poorly and it was also nowhere to be found on any torrent and nobody had pirated a single copy. At that point the publisher knows they've made a terrible game, and cannot blame piracy. Anyone contributing to piracy is just helping to keep games mediocre at best.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pez View Post
I could be wrong, but I think part of the lessened quality control would be simply because games today are more complex and more prone to bugs than those games of earlier generations. Although, there is still no reason to release games as buggy as they have been.
I would say this is probably part of it. Additionally, before this generation there were less multi-platform games generated at once. I'm sure that releasing a game for 3 or more platforms at the same time is going to result in more quality issues for each of those releases.
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post #108 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Dolans View Post
I like the Nvidia intro. Makes me feel better than ATI.
Don't be fanboyish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VulcanDragon View Post
I think the point is that, for we old guys, there was a time when we didn't see day-one patches as being a necessary and normal part of a game release. As Lordikon suggests, I seem to recall most patching back then being related to specific hardware config issues.

Maybe I'm remembering the world through rose colored glasses, but I don't really think so. I mean, until this generation, console games had no patching mechanism at all, yet they were able to release games that worked just fine. But now it seems as if almost every major console title releases a patch or two, which implies one of two things: these patches are actually discretionary, despite being made "mandatory" if you want to stay signed into the online game; or there has been a lessening of quality control in the console gaming world because they know they can patch defects after release now. And if that mentality exists even a little in the console space, one must believe it excists in spades in the PC world, where patching has been standard practice for decades.
This is how I feel about patching in games today.
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post #109 of 116
I hate it when DRM keeps me from playing games when a pirate can play it no matter what.

For example, I bought Crysis, but it's annoying to play now since I'm out of activations (yea, I forgot to deactivate, but that wouldn't be a problem if I pirated the game). I don't want to have to contact EA each time I want to do something with installing. Luckily, 64 bit Crysis Warhead doesn't have DRM, but unfortunately, the 32 bit version does.
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post #110 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchkinpuncher View Post
Well if you already paid for the movie I wouldnt feel too bad about downloading it as well.
Why would you waste your bandwidth on a movie you already own?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chronostorm View Post
I hate it when DRM keeps me from playing games when a pirate can play it no matter what.

For example, I bought Crysis, but it's annoying to play now since I'm out of activations (yea, I forgot to deactivate, but that wouldn't be a problem if I pirated the game). I don't want to have to contact EA each time I want to do something with installing. Luckily, 64 bit Crysis Warhead doesn't have DRM, but unfortunately, the 32 bit version does.
Same thing happened to me. It's really sad that they don't remove this on a 2 year old game already. Also I was disgusted at the message that told me I actually had to purchase a new copy.

The message does not say this but you can call in and get them to refresh your activation limit.
Edited by james_ant - 4/18/11 at 9:15am
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