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Next-gen headache


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Even if I don't think much about Gabe Newell, but even then, if he is right, he is right.

Check out the 1up.com video interview of Gabe as he talks about what the sees in the future and how he sees it should be done.

I can't help but feel that, something is not broken but MS, Sony and Nintendo are trying too hard to fix it.


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That was really interesting, the only other Game dude I've heard talk like that is ... Will Wright?

Sony are evil btw :-D:-D

Oh and there is a part 1.

Will is a good guy, thinks before he says anything. There is alot of stuff in that 1up article, but that next-gen thing was almost the only thing I found interesting, everything else was just saying the obvious and retelling everything everyone already knew.

I have come to the conclusion that all console makers are evil, everyone is tryin to pull the market to their own direction, PS3 with their hardware that is extremely difficult to code for and to port for and from, Xenon that also made things harder and actually is pushing the development costs up to the skies, and Revolution with their cooky soon-to-be-published controller, if the controller truely is something groundbreaking and revolutionizing, how do you think games translate from dance dance revolution gyromovementsensorspeechrecognizion-matt to regular joe controller, or mouse and keyboard?

I didn't think I'd say this, but these guys fucked up.

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I think it's good that Gabe talks so openly about how Steam basically sucked from a technical standpoint when it was introduced. In many cases, I am still very dismissive of the technology for one reason: Overhead.

TFC on WON = 100 fps in pretty much all cases with my old system (1600 XP)

TFC after Steam was released = ~40-100 fps (Exactly the same PC. Recording demos made it unplayable)

Now, if a (then) five year old game was visibly destroying my PC in terms of framerate, it makes me wonder just how much performance steam saps for modern games, too. I've heard stories of the pirated version of HL2 (the one that runs sans-steam) running a decent amount better than the Steam version. I obviously can't quantify these claims, but I wouldn't be surprised if such a thing were to happen.

I still don't like a few aspects of steam:

A: It makes editing a lot more painful than it used to be. Running Hammer without steam was so much more simple than the situation we find ourselves in now. Everything is packed in .gcfs, you have to run steam to use hammer, the directory structure is a total and under TRAINWRECK when you have mod source files, texture source files, compile directories, sdk directories, sdk content directories and then all of the corresponding directories under /SteamApps/SourceMods/. I just about died of heart failure the first time I compiled a prop... nightmare.

B: The ability to rectify mistakes relatively quickly has indirectly caused Valve's release QA to become absolutely shocking. Various updates were released where FUNDAMENTAL gameplay or technical issues have been overlooked, thus requiring an immediate update to fix the earlier one, and/or a recall of the original update. Anyone remember when they released a fairly big update that was recalled? Trouble is that instead of allowing you to roll back, they just deleted your CS .gcf for you. That was really helpful.

I guess Valve are pioneers in this sense, and for that I do applaud their ingenuity, but I don't think they can deny that their push to Steam was motivated by money (especially considering the cyber cafe stuff) just as well as independence from publishers. Steam, in beta, was probably one of the worst pieces of software I've ever used. The UI wasn't even multithreaded, so the moment the steam servers were unresponsive, your system would hang. Steam could take your whole PC down! It was unbelievable. The trouble was that most of the teething issues were far from ironed out before HL2 was looming on the horizon, but they were hellbent on releasing HL2 via Steam rather than letting Steam reach maturity as a content delivery system before the release. The fact that one of steam's best features has been permanently broken for like two years is also ridiculous. When it worked, Friends was fantastic. I kept up with my mates and played a lot of games using it, then it just broke. Disappeared. Dead. Gone. No word, no nothing. One of the key features of Steam just disappeared off the radar and nobody said anything about it. Even a simple "Friends is currently disabled and won't be returning until an announcement is made" message would've been better than nothing.

Valve still has a lot to learn about actually satisfying the customer. Yeah, Steam does make updating and a lot of other stuff easier, but I can't really think of any other piece of software that has caused me so much grief both in gaming and modding. Like I said though, they are pioneers, so I guess a lot of hiccups are to be expected. If I were in their position, I probably would've done it, too. Who wouldn't want to guarantee the ability to make games and sell games on their own terms?

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My main grief with Steam is that it tries to get EVERYTHING you need under one hood, content management, mod developing, server browsing, friend list (basically server browsing and friend list are the same thing). If I was the one designing Steam I'd have done things fairly different, first of all, I'd have broken up the mod development to it's own shards, like it used to be, jsut the programs, nothing to do with Steam itself. Then I'd leave the content manager part as it's own separate part that is used WHEN THE USER WANTS TO, maybe then it might be possible to update my drivers through Steam and update my games.

I should have to run a content manager and a server browser when I'm playing a single-player game, nor should I have to run a downloader and content manager when I'm browsing for server to play on or playing on it.

Steam is basically a series of bad decisions and betatesting.

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I don't like this next-gen stuff at all, games shouldn't be so damn realistic (art wise), it gotta look like a game for me to have fun with it (it can be a realistic shooter etc, but not to realistic gfx wise).

And when Gabe talks all this :banjo: about next-gen code etc, it makes my head even hurt more.

But its an interessting interveiw I'd say.

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I think it's good that Gabe talks so openly about how Steam basically sucked from a technical standpoint when it was introduced. In many cases, I am still very dismissive of the technology for one reason: Overhead.


I just wanted to say that I agree as you got a lot of good points there:)

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