Jimquisition: Shaming PC Ports Because Why Not?

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Besides the obvious GFWL and the fact that I need a controller to play it I have never really had a problem with the Dark Souls unpatched port. I mean I guess it isn't the best looking game, but I honestly can live with that due to the 3 second loading screens. It's not like the port has any game crippling bugs or anything.
Am I being a fanboy? I think I'm being a fanboy.

If I've learned anything from the YouTube debates over LPs, if people got money for their fixes there would be outrage that they were making money off someone else's product.

Twenty Ninjas:
But wasn't the PC version of Dark Souls priced less than the console versions?

Weren't a lot of the "problems" with the game also that it was like the PS3 version? Isn't Jim complaining that he's getting something less than the console versions when one of his big examples was like the PS3 version?

PG:

Almost all PC games cost less but not by much, certainly not enough to excuse shoddy work. If you buy a washing machine where the door isn't fitted to the frame properly you wouldn't buy it for a 10 discount.

IIRC it retailed at 30 bucks, which isn't the typical pricing difference between versions.

T3hSource:
Eeeeeh, Dark Souls has a valid excuse of being the exception, FromSoft have never done a PC port and they never would've done it if it didn't have demand. But yes, via dsfix everything is fine and dandy and noone complains.

Demand? People were begging and screaming for the game. And From was bloody up front about this, weren't they? Meanwhile the PC community pitched a fit every step of the way. DS set up a pretty good argument for ignoring the fans.

Pebkio:

Ahem, while we expect some suckage, by no means are we accepting of lazy developers. Everytime someone has to step in and fix so easy-to-correct problem for free, we lose a few more people to the temptations of piracy. We are approaching the point were we have zero respect for AAA game designers and it shows.

Honestly, when people step in and do the devs' job, they're functioning as an enabler. CD Projekt isn't going to support Saints Row 2 anymore? That's okay, guys we paid for a broken product! You screwed things up so bad that people will still be offering new fixes in 2013, but MODDING COMMUNITY!

Deadly Premonition? Here, let me fix that for you.

Do I need to get in to Bethesda and Obsidian? Or Rockstar? Hell, PC gamers are having a fit over the lack of GTA V on PC, even as they're complaining that Rockstar won't do it right! And yet, I bet we'll see a lot of those same people buying on Day 1 when it does come to PC (because I have no doubt that it will).

Which leaves the question of why would they even feel shame for not releasing a solid product? Why would they even care a little bit?

Answer: They wouldn't.

When you reward bad behaviour, you get more bad behaviour. and while you might claim people are turning to piracy because of this, the Steam base of purchasers is supposedly growing.

Wasn't Deadly Premonition generally a crock of shit (mechanically at least)? As for New Vegas a lot of it's problems (which weren't limited to PC) can probably be traced back to it's ancient game engine (why Bethesda doesn't use id's and by extension it's own proprietary stuff is beyond me).

Jim:

I love your videos, but I really wish I could watch them at work on my lunch break. I'm not even talking about purple dildos. It's just that every sentence has a curse-word this week. Does it have to be every sentence? I kept turning the volume down and finally had to just stop the video.
Sorry to complain.

Weaver:

Epic_Bubble:
I assume next week Jim is going to do a episode on the whole Lets play debacle happening on steam?

Wait, what? I haven't heard of this! Can you post me to the steam link about it?
Not sure what it' about.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.836177-Major-Changes-In-Youtube-Involving-Lets-Players

Basically lets players wont be able to make money off the content they produce.

Mastemat:
"Japanese devs don't know how to PC port"....
um... what?
Racist.

If anyone doesn't know how to PC port... it's Bethesda.
For anyone who isn't a tentacle monster, a Hindu god/dess, or an elitist hipster... the base keyboard and mouse for Bethesda games are unplayable with these human hands and fingers.

At least they include controller support on their PC titles for all the humans who play.

It's not racist. He's (The person who said it, not Jim) not saying they don't know how to make a PC port because they're Japanese.
Japanese devs typically don't have as much experience making games for PC. If anything, it's an assumption based on the game development history of the region. An assumption that might not be accurate given that there are plenty of Japanese companies, like Capcom and Sega, that make perfectly fine PC Ports (The one good thing I can say about the first Lost Planet is that has a lot of options for PC specs).

Jimothy Sterling:

Jim decides to just rant unhelpfully about terrible PC ports, and the humiliating need for them to be fixed by unpaid customers.

Hang about a minute Jim.

Respect Bethesda?? Why on Earth should we do that? A company with terrible quality control that just jams "more" into its games because it can, regardless of how good or how buggy it is? A company that treats its employees like shit?

What is it that I'm supposed to respect about that company? Any company that releases games at retail with alpha-level bugs does not deserve respect.

Epic_Bubble:

Weaver:

Epic_Bubble:
I assume next week Jim is going to do a episode on the whole Lets play debacle happening on steam?

Wait, what? I haven't heard of this! Can you post me to the steam link about it?
Not sure what it' about.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.836177-Major-Changes-In-Youtube-Involving-Lets-Players

Basically lets players wont be able to make money off the content they produce.

That's on youtube, not steam lol :P.
I heard about that one! I think maybe you typed steam when you meant youtube :)

To be at least fair to the publishers, these games can be amazingly complex on the technical side with millions of lines of code, thousands of objects to juggle, and some of those modders out there really ARE that damn good. Just like life itself, the best fixes are often the simplest and most overlooked.

"If I am paying the same price for a console game for a PC game, I want the same quality."

I will disagree with you very quickly on that. Console quality generally seems to be worse than PC games and I don't want to pay $50 dollars, much less $60 dollars, for far less than what I should be getting anyways. We've also seen day one patches on consoles as well, so at this point, everyone is to blame. And I am still one of those older guys who will not pay more than $50 for a game on principle. There are only a few exceptions that have broken my rule because the game has proven itself after launch to actually be worth it and is clearly trying to be great. However, just because $60 may have become the norm for the consoles doesn't mean it should effect everything else.

Vote with your Dollar: if you don't like a publisher's methods, don't buy their product. This applies to ANY company, video games or otherwise.

Twenty Ninjas:
But wasn't the PC version of Dark Souls priced less than the console versions?

It also came with extra content, a hardcover artbook, soundtrack CD, 5 postcards, and a big-ass poster, none of which were included in the console versions of Prepare to Die (they did originally come with the Collector's Edition, though). Considering they didn't even really want to do one in the first place, I'd say it was pretty good.

Zachary Amaranth:

Weren't a lot of the "problems" with the game also that it was like the PS3 version? Isn't Jim complaining that he's getting something less than the console versions when one of his big examples was like the PS3 version?

In Dark Souls' case, the main problem was that the port was too barebones and didn't fit common PC-specific standards. The port didn't have anything *less* than the PS3 version, it just didn't have *enough* to make it a proper PC port.

But since it was done on a whim and without the devs even thinking about it until the community overwhelmingly demanded it, and they released it at a lower price with more content, an apology and a promise that they'll do it better next time, I'd say they're in a better position to be excused than in normal circumstances.

MonkeyPunch:

I'm pretty sure he was just generalising. You know instead of having to say "as for Darksouls, which is €50 on steam, $40 if you're in the States, $36 from Greenman Gaming or if you're in Brazil: 160 BRL..." etc. for example.
And as others have said, it doesn't really matter what the price of a game is.

This wasn't about country-specific price fluctuation though. The Prepare to Die version was cheaper across the board as well as having more content that was only released on console as paid DLC.

BrotherRool:
"Don't port games to PC" ~ Jim Sterling

Okay I'll stop stirring, more seriously, even if you don't know how to port to PC, you should be able to pay another company to do that for you. The fan fixes prove that

Contracting another company to finish the port could be very expensive. How about finding the fan modders and tossing them a few thousand dollars for what they would do for free so you can ship the fix at release and look competent?

I mostly agree with this, but FromSoft was up front about not knowing what they were doing, and weren't going to port it because of that. But then a lot of fans said they didn't care if it was a shit port, they just wanted it on pc, so they ported it. And in the end, aside from practically needing a gamepad, it wasn't too bad a port. It just didn't have all the stuff pc gamers expect.

It wasn't a shitty cashgrab, it was acquiescing to fan demands.

Zachary Amaranth:

T3hSource:
Eeeeeh, Dark Souls has a valid excuse of being the exception, FromSoft have never done a PC port and they never would've done it if it didn't have demand. But yes, via dsfix everything is fine and dandy and noone complains.

Demand? People were begging and screaming for the game. And From was bloody up front about this, weren't they? Meanwhile the PC community pitched a fit every step of the way. DS set up a pretty good argument for ignoring the fans.

Up front, yeah. When people started screaming for a port From just came out and were like "But, what, we don't even... Fuck, we don't even know how to do that. How do you..? What is a PC? What even is a PC?" And then people kept on crying and From just caved and put one out there then people started crying again because the port was shit. Should've seen it coming if you ask me.

Hitchmeister:

BrotherRool:
"Don't port games to PC" ~ Jim Sterling

Okay I'll stop stirring, more seriously, even if you don't know how to port to PC, you should be able to pay another company to do that for you. The fan fixes prove that

Contracting another company to finish the port could be very expensive. How about finding the fan modders and tossing them a few thousand dollars for what they would do for free so you can ship the fix at release and look competent?

Presumably it has to be a fairly official set-up because you're going to be shipping them a bunch of NDA content that you don't want other people to see and also if you want to do it efficiently, maybe even some in-house software.

I actually figure it might be cheaper to hire another company to port your game. If you don't know how to make PCs ports then all you're programmers have to spend a lot of time teaching themselves or making mistakes, whereas another company might fit in more easily (on the other hand, you're going to understand you're own game engine better)

But it'd definitely be cool if people started hiring some of the fan-patchers, they must have serious talent

Jim's argument is a rough paraphrase of my absolute hatred of Bethesda. I lump them right in with EA. I may like their products, but I despise how they go about making it. I bought Skyrim, my introductory game to WRPG's, at launch, on PS3. The game simply did not work. Years have passed and I had a friend lend me his x-box version and I enjoyed it immensely. However, if the "optimal experience" for this game requires a ton of user made content, why did they publish it at all? One port outright didn't work. The "vanilla" experience on the X-Box 360 was functional but had a bland, milktoast, story that an intern at square-enix would be ashamed to receive a credit on, and the best version game play wise almost required mods to even compare to the game they were marketing instead of the game they shipped.

Jim is absolutely correct. Charging equal price for an inferior version is outright thievery.

Well, this only applies to FROM and Dark Souls a little bit. It's true they never ported a game to PC and thus didn't have the experience. And from a consumer perspective, its true that is no excuse. But it's not like they were greedy and decided to do it anyways. They didn't want to port it, and lets not forget that it and its predecessor were developed on shoe string budgets compared to the AAA games of their day.

BAMCO wanted it, because the fans wanted it, so they did it. They admitted to it being crappy and apologized for it. Also, Dark Souls 2 is being developed for PC first and foremost. So this problem won't be happening come March. A developer learning from its mistakes and taking a step in right direction for the sequel is what we should want to be seeing.

Jim is correct, though. There are things that need to be done to get things right with certain ports. Derpesda really has no excuse with amount of cash they throw at the big franchises, namely ES and FO.

I agree with the major point, but in some ways it almost bothers me more that, depending on the EULA/TOS and how deep someone has to go to make their fixes, the fixer might be on the wrong side of the law. And that, to my mind, is a flaw in the law- no one should ever be in jeopardy for making a bent or broken product work properly. I don't see it as likely that a game's publisher would go after someone for doing so- such would likely culminate in a boycott that might actually stick, if it became public- but it underscores a framework of "supposed to be" that is completely at odds with the way things actually work.

Damn Jim, the weight is starting to fall off you.

Goood job, keep at it!

I didn't think it was possible for you to be even more sexy.

Zachary Amaranth:

Almost all PC games cost less but not by much, certainly not enough to excuse shoddy work. If you buy a washing machine where the door isn't fitted to the frame properly you wouldn't buy it for a 10 discount.

IIRC it retailed at 30 bucks, which isn't the typical pricing difference between versions.
[/quote]
$40 IIRC, but then it also came with a lot of physical extras (hardcover artbook, soundtrack CD, "Making Of" DVD, poster, art cards).

X-rebirth.

A game originaly developed for the xbox 360... then axed for whatever reasons... the ruins scraped up and packaged in a box to be sold as a "PC exclusive".

Despite the glaring obvious lines of code that all point into the direction of the xbox.. and the abysmal and mostly non customisable keyboard and mouse controls. Infact the best way to fly your ship is with a gamepad. Also the low FPS lock.

True this doesnt necesary fit this weeks jimquisition a 100% since the game never actually saw a xbox release... but since the writings on the wall that this game was clearly made for the xbox, didnt made it for whatever reason and then was ported to the PC as a steaming pile of broken code... it still somehow fits the bill

With regards to Dark Souls on PC, I agree it should have been done better. The PC is a format that Namco are getting used to after so many years on consoles. Perhaps they ran out of time or maybe just didn't know how to do 1080p with it. The langauge barrier might have also hampered them from fixing the issue, that many western devs might have easily finished.

Yeah, I'm sure Namco were humble by a random chap fixing it, but in turn such healthy feats of gallantry just help feedback into Dark Souls, a game where other gamers can grief you online or rally with you. Namco can only stand to get better as they embrace PC work more, but without this Dark Souls resolution stuff, nothing might have happened and its community would be less as a result.

More games should come out finished, end of. The realities of development might be different though.

If fans release a patch that fixes the problem, does the publisher release an official patch that does the same thing? Does it use the same code? If it does use the same could as the fan's, couldn't the fan sue them? That could make amusing race between the fans and devs, if the fans win they'd have to be paid or sue.

Aardvaarkman:

Jimothy Sterling:

Jim decides to just rant unhelpfully about terrible PC ports, and the humiliating need for them to be fixed by unpaid customers.

Hang about a minute Jim.

Respect Bethesda?? Why on Earth should we do that? A company with terrible quality control that just jams "more" into its games because it can, regardless of how good or how buggy it is? A company that treats its employees like shit?

What is it that I'm supposed to respect about that company? Any company that releases games at retail with alpha-level bugs does not deserve respect.

I'm with ya. At this moment, and for the last two months or so, Skyrim refuses to start. I've uninstalled mods, reinstalled mods, fan patches to fix the official patches, and fan patches to fix those fan patches. My only recourse now is to just wait for it to decide to be a game again (Which has been a solution in the past, stupidly enough).

I like Bethesda's games, but I hate Bethesda for building their games like shit. They're some of the most successful developers and publishers in the world. The least they could do is get an engine that is worth a damn.

I really don't get the extent of the flack against Bethesda. Perhaps because I've just been blessed with few issues. I've played Oblivion, Fallout 3, and Skyrim (Can't really count New Vegas by the way Jim it was made by Obsidian and published by Bethesda). The only game I've only had slight trouble with is Fallout 3 and if I remember, it was quite a while ago, it was because I was mucking about for the first time with mods ( IE. CTD-ing instead of the rare autoclip or droid rocketing across the sky).

I won't say I haven't encountered bugs or glitchs, I have autoclipped through the ground before and there's a bird permanently stuck in a tree just outside of Riverwood in Skyrim but, the only time I've CTD is running a ton of mods or in New Vegas which ya, putting that in the hands of Obsidian and Bethesda I'm surprised the game ran at all at launch.

Bethesda has admitted they even leave some bugs in because they're funny and I agree when I see robots just fly across the sky in Fallout 3 it's pretty fun. Now is this really a good excuse? Maybe not but, it doesn't break the game or ruin my enjoyment so I can deal with something like that.

Does this give Bethesda a free pass not to fix there games? Far from it but, I don't know personally I don't remember really having any trouble with their games to an extent that I'd say they weren't doing there job. However, I've played all of these for PC so I don't know what it's like for the console people (At launch too by the way, so maybe I do forget the launch state of the games but, if I can't remember anything it couldn't have been that bad or I've succeeded in supressing the nightmares :p *Upon editing I do remember it took them forever to get Operation Anchorage in a working state and it being delayed due to the bugs at launch but, that's about it)

Maybe I just have good luck with their games

My my, Jim, you sure are losing weight!

In defense of the Dark Souls devs they were upfront about the fact that they had never done a PC port and did it only because they were asked to do it anyway by many fans. It was priced cheaper, came with additional content and had "controller highly recommend" on the cover. I don't even think it was that bad a port. It never glitched on me, it was just missing some features people often expect of a PC game and didn't look as nice as it could have. Still not ideal but I'm willing to cut them slack for that.

Skyrim has way too many bugs. The fact that it's a huge game only gets it so far and doesn't excuse gamebreaking bugs. Even the main quest is bugged to hell. I've never managed to do it without having to use console commands to trigger a stage at some point which is unacceptable.
The first thing I do for every Bethesda game is get the unofficial patch for it and don't buy them on release because know it going to need patching.

redknightalex:
The biggest problem I had with the video is how Jim rather degraded those who made those mods/tweaks to get a PC port to work. Don't remember the exact words but I believe he was calling them plain and your average guy sort of thing. That bothers me to an extent, namely because not only do these average "guys" love to mod and change a game (for the most part) but also because there have been at least 3 success stories of modders being so popular that the land a job at Bethesda or Bungie. I wouldn't call them average at all; I'd call them better. They know what they're doing and even if the PC community needs to "fix" certain parts of a game, they are, for the most part, incredibly helpful. In a way, I almost prefer Elder Scrolls/Fallout games to suck because modders will be so much better at it and even teach you how to do it yourself.

You took Jim's words completely the wrong way. He did call Durante stuff like "layman" and "average joe" because by strict professional standards that's what he is. Doesn't matter how good he is, compared to the people making and porting these games, Peter "Durante" Thomann is a but a dedicated hobbyist as far as we know, despite his Ph.D. in computer science.

I get kinda mad at the developers when a spokesperson for the game says some simple feature was impossible to implement, and then have that same feature implemented within a week by the community.

Raziel:
If fans release a patch that fixes the problem, does the publisher release an official patch that does the same thing? Does it use the same code? If it does use the same could as the fan's, couldn't the fan sue them? That could make amusing race between the fans and devs, if the fans win they'd have to be paid or sue.

Um, no.

Just because you added a semicolon here and there doesn't negate that the other 99% of the code was written and belongs to the devs. Not to mention you don't own the rights to the IP. And even if you had a legal precedent to stand on, as soon as it becomes a trend, devs would then do what they can to make it as hard as possible to access the code, which makes fixing the problems they left in harder, and your ports even worse.

In all fairness to the guys who made Dark Souls, they came out and said (Im paraphrasing) "Hey guys, the reason there is no PC version of Dark Souls is because we suck at porting to PC, its not something we can do well, so we weren't going to do it. But since you keep asking, here is our best attempt." In other words they bent to the pressure of the community and knowingly put out an inferior product, having TOLD everyone that it would be an inferior product. So yeah, I don't really blame them, they were up front and honest about it.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-06-07-from-software-having-a-tough-time-porting-dark-souls-to-pc-frame-rate-issues-remain

He doesn't say those words exactly but it is pretty much the gist of it.

Gosh, what can I add to that? Damn good show, man. Well said.

Jim!
What is your opinion on the PC modding scene? Not the fixing scene, I mean the modding scene. As in, games like Black Mesa, Lost Alpha, Eastern Front, Research and Development, Minerva and so on. Basically, high quality games, made by the community for free?

Next time I hope Jim will talk about the way DLC is no longer the extra content for a game, but seems like original content that was cut then put back in, like the Catwoman DLC for Batman Arkham City.

Mastemat:
"Japanese devs don't know how to PC port"....
um... what?
Racist.

If anyone doesn't know how to PC port... it's Bethesda.
For anyone who isn't a tentacle monster, a Hindu god/dess, or an elitist hipster... the base keyboard and mouse for Bethesda games are unplayable with these human hands and fingers.

At least they include controller support on their PC titles for all the humans who play.

Skyrims default UI is unbearably worthless witha mouse and keyboard, why are the keys for actions in the menus so inconsistent?

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