Game Launchers, amirite?



  • (Edit: it just occurred to me that this would make a good blog entry, so cross-posted to my blog.)

    Remember when you could just double-click the icon for your game and be playing right away?

    I just ran an inventory, and I have eight games installed on my computer (the oldest being Overlord II, Oblivion, meaning they're all newish), and six of them have launchers. Let's take a look (as always, click to enhugeify):


    Sony's DC Universe Online


    Hi-Rez studios, makers of Global Agenda and Tribes Ascend


    Ubisoft's Might & Magic Heroes VI*

    Special added super-bonus: it crashed in the 45 seconds it took me to open the window and take a screenshot!


    Blizzard's World of Warcraft

    There's certainly a pattern forming here:

    1) Either a non-rectangular window shape, or (what we in the Mac Classic era used to call) a "borderless" window. None are resizeable, and finding a "handle" with which to change the window's position is difficult.

    2) No standard Windows controls in sight! Forget that they're well-designed, have been tested to rock-solidness over 20 years, and are instantly readable. Not good enough. Only the WOW launcher deigns so much to have menus.

    3) Everybody loves black. "Make the background black", the designers say, "it'll make us stand out!" Look at how much those launchers stand out! Color schemes are either black with offensively-colored call-to-actions (Hi-Rez, WOW), or just plain offensive all-around (DC Universe Online).

    4) The primary purpose of the launcher seems to be "buy downloadable shit!" (Or, in a noble exception for WOW, "watch a TV commercial!") Sure, the launcher also patches the relevant game, but that is obviously a tiny, secondary concern.

    5) 75% of the launchers have creepy people/things staring at you. (Maybe 100%, depending on what the Tribes dudes are looking at under those helmets.)

    Now that we have the pattern down, let's look at the last two:


    Bethesda's Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion


    Bethesda's Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

    What... what are these? They're actually... tasteful? They're not offensively-colored, or animated, or trying to sell me some worthless downloadable junk (and yes, both games have downloadable content for sale)? There's no Twitter feeds, no Facebook links, no social features of any kind? The options presented are actually all relevant to the actual game itself? Nothing creepy staring into my soul?

    Of course you still have to ask, "why do these launchers exist?" (Actual answer: because PCs don't have a unified way to handle installing/uninstalling content packs and mods, and console versions don't have advanced rendering settings necessary on PC, and thus the PC version needs a UI for those things somewhere, and they didn't want to put it in the actual game because then the Xbox and PC versions of the game code would diverge too much. It's a good reason, but still an compromise that makes for a worse product.)

    So what is the lesson we have learned? Fuck if I know. Maybe, "launchers are only present for games that are trying to nickel-and-dime you to death, or bad console ports." Maybe, "don't have creepy things staring at the guy trying to play your game, sheesh." Or maybe even, "Sony sucks."

    I think it's really, "details matter."

     

    *) Note: the name is no longer "Heroes of Might & Magic", it is now "Might & Magic Heroes". So in addition to a awful launcher, it breaks alphabetization on my Steam games list. Yes, I also complain about the first DOOM showing up in Steam as "Ultimate Doom" and thus is near the U's instead of D's. Details matter, people. Pay attention to the details.



  • Whenever I encounter a game with a launcher, I do my damndest to find out what the actual EXE is that runs, and just create a Desktop shortcut to that instead.

    The thing that pisses me off most about launchers, though, is that they represent an investment of time by a game's developers that could have been better spent improving the actual game.



  • That last one looks like it could be the main menu of the game instead.



  • @The_Assimilator said:

    Whenever I encounter a game with a launcher, I do my damndest to find out what the actual EXE is that runs, and just create a Desktop shortcut to that instead.
     

    +1

    @The_Assimilator said:

    The thing that pisses me off most about launchers, though, is that they represent an investment of time by a game's developers that could have been better spent improving the actual game

    The fallacy of this is that the launchers to basically no time at all to create, so leaving out the egregious launchers to save time would be like using fluorescent/LED bulbs to save electricity*

     

     

    *) old bulb:  60W. LED bulb: 6W. Computer: 300-400W. Saving on light is a pretty dire false economy that buys peace of mind but saves very little energy.

     



  •  L.A. Noire (PC) has the "launcher features" built into the game. The serial number check and "Rockstar Social Club" profile registration / log in is also integrated into the game. Consequently, launching the game takes a pretty long time. First, there's some legal stuff shown (no way to cancel), some vids (IMO), then there's a screen with messages like "Checking for patches..", "Checking for downloadable content..", "Checking game data" and then, finally, you're in the main menu.

    Also, in-game cut scenes can't be cancelled even if you've seen them before.

    It also has a game launcher, but it's a simple one (like  Skyrim, but not as nice-looking).



  • Launchers exist so if you select a combination of settings that causes it to crash/be unusable (such as a monitor frequency your monitor doesn't support) you can change it back. Might be more elegant to have that as a separate program than as a gateway to the game though as some (Lego Island springs to mind) did.



  • @dhromed said:

    old bulb:  60W. LED bulb: 6W. Computer: 300-400W. Saving on light is a pretty dire false economy that buys peace of mind but saves very little energy.

    Number of computers in an average house: 1-2

    Number of lights in an average house: 45

    While I agree with the sentiment, and you should make sure you're turning your computer off to save energy, how do you figure that buying better lights doesn't save any energy?



  • The energy saving light bulb thing is kinda iffy to be honest. If you think a twisted tube of mercury with a fairly complex inverter (crack open the plastic half carefully, there's a LOT of electronics in there because you can't run CFL on 240V AC) is more environmentally friendly than a basic, easily recyclable old fashioned bulb, you're probably selling them. LED ones on the other hand are nice but again they need some support hardware and as such probably take just as much work to make thereby cancelling out the energy savings. And I don't know if it's just the ones I've tried, but the light LEDs kick out is pants.



  • @nexekho said:

    (crack open the plastic half carefully, there's a LOT of electronics in there because you can't run CFL on 240V AC)

    Thank God I have 120V!

    @nexekho said:

    but the light LEDs kick out is pants.

    ... really? Like, shaped like pants? Or...



  • @The_Assimilator said:

    Whenever I encounter a game with a launcher, I do my damndest to find out what the actual EXE is that runs, and just create a Desktop shortcut to that instead.

    I apologize; I should have anticipated the "I'm a geezer who does things the geezer way, dammit! GET OFF MY LAWN!" response and tried to head it off in the main post by saying something like: HEY GEEZER you can do whatever you want with shortcuts, but I'm criticizing computer games by looking at HOW THEY SHIP BY DEFAULT which I think is more than fair.

    @henke37 said:

    That last one looks like it could be the main menu of the game instead.

    Ironically, the actual game's main menu is nothing but the Skyrim logo in silver on the left, with a very basic smoke/fog effect underneath it, and the controls in the lower right. It's extremely minimal for a game... and significantly less graphic than the launcher.

    EDIT: here's a picture:

    The smoke effect looks a lot better on the screen; the color banding there is due my grabbing that image from a low-bitrate video feed.

    @nexekho said:

    Launchers exist so if you select a combination of settings that causes it to crash/be unusable (such as a monitor frequency your monitor doesn't support) you can change it back.

    Monitor frequencies? Seriously? Is anybody on this board NOT a geezer? (Oh, BTW: Tribes Ascend, a brand new game shipping in 2012, defaults to 1024x768. So you geezers aren't alone... there are geezers writing the damned game!)

    That said, you're right: that's a possible purpose in addition to the ones I listed. (Configuration options needed on Windows but not on consoles; selling you expensive junk.)



  • @Sutherlands said:

    Number of computers in an average house: 1-2

    Number of lights in an average house: 45

    While I agree with the sentiment, and you should make sure you're turning your computer off to save energy, how do you figure that buying better lights doesn't save any energy?

     

    Because I don't believe you have 45 lights in your house, nor that you have them turned on all the time, even in summer.

    I have an apartment with 10 lights. Maybe 3-4 are on for prolonged periods on evenings.

    Do you have kids? Because then you have a bigger house with moar blinkenden lightz, I presume.

    Nonetheless you are right that I neglected to include the number of lights that on at any given time and for how long. That changes my calculations guesstimations, which means I have to start including pen and paper in my efforts and maybe I'll do that later because I'm all about saving resources. Also I'm all about upgrading my CPU so it uses up 1.5-2 times the wattage. :3

     



  • @nexekho said:

    And I don't know if it's just the ones I've tried, but the light LEDs kick out is pants.
     

    I bought one as an experiment. A Philips "MyVision", 2200K, according to the package. See what happens. I'm mostly just sick of the warmup period, low light output, and poor on-off resilience of fluorescents. None of that applies to LEDs.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I should have anticipated the "I'm a geezer who does things the geezer way, dammit! GET OFF MY LAWN!" response and tried to head it off in the main post by saying something like: HEY GEEZER you can do whatever you want with shortcuts, but I'm criticizing computer games by looking at HOW THEY SHIP BY DEFAULT which I think is more than fair.
     

    Dude, he agrees with you. He hunts for the EXE precisely because the launchers are often so stupid. I should know. I do the same thing.

    @blakeyrat said:

    That said, you're right: that's a possible purpose in addition to the ones I listed. (Configuration options needed on Windows but not on consoles; selling you expensive junk.)

    Not the first time a technical solution has been co-opted and overtaken for marketing/datamining purposes. Twitter's url shortener is another one.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Monitor frequencies? Seriously?

    Yes, seriously. My left monitor only does its native resolution at 59Hz. Not 60. Not 50. Not 75. 59. Many programs ignore this and default to 60 without asking which causes the monitor to blank, making it impossible to change back without a Bethesda style launcher or poking around in config files. Bought less than two years ago.



  • @nexekho said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    Monitor frequencies? Seriously?

    Yes, seriously. My left monitor only does its native resolution at 59Hz. Not 60. Not 50. Not 75. 59. Many programs ignore this and default to 60 without asking which causes the monitor to blank, making it impossible to change back without a Bethesda style launcher or poking around in config files. Bought less than two years ago.

    You should sell those things to corporations and advertise them as purposefully incompatible with 80% of all games. Imagine the productivity gain!



  • @nexekho said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    Monitor frequencies? Seriously?

    Yes, seriously. My left monitor only does its native resolution at 59Hz. Not 60. Not 50. Not 75. 59. Many programs ignore this and default to 60 without asking which causes the monitor to blank, making it impossible to change back without a Bethesda style launcher or poking around in config files. Bought less than two years ago.

    Where the holy fuck did you buy a defective piece of shit like that from? I hate to break this to you, but Skyrim doesn't even give you the option to change the refresh frequency maybe because, hm, it's problem that hasn't fucking even come up in the last fucking decade.



  • @dhromed said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    I should have anticipated the "I'm a geezer who does things the geezer way, dammit! GET OFF MY LAWN!" response and tried to head it off in the main post by saying something like: HEY GEEZER you can do whatever you want with shortcuts, but I'm criticizing computer games by looking at HOW THEY SHIP BY DEFAULT which I think is more than fair.
    Dude, he agrees with you. He hunts for the EXE precisely because the launchers are often so stupid. I should know. I do the same thing.

    That's not really the point. INCOMING CAR ANALOGY: it's like trying to talk to someone about what colors a car ships in, and then some grump interrupting your discussion by saying, "I ALWAYS TAKE MY CAR TO MAACO AND HAVE IT PAINTED BLACK". Well good for you, but that's not what we're talking about.

    Besides: how can he (and you) "agree" with me by turning off the launcher when I never said the launcher was a bad thing? Hell, I didn't even really make a solid argument one way or the other, except perhaps that Sony's was ugly as sin. And as an added super-bonus, the fact that you and he think you agree with me also means you didn't read the fucking post before replying, which is always a fun happy thing to see.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Where the holy fuck did you buy a defective piece of shit like that from?

    It's a Tesco's own brand HDTV. Running it over HDMI.



  • @nexekho said:

    The energy saving light bulb thing is kinda iffy to be honest. If you think a twisted tube of mercury with a fairly complex inverter (crack open the plastic half carefully, there's a LOT of electronics in there because you can't run CFL on 240V AC) is more environmentally friendly than a basic, easily recyclable old fashioned bulb, you're probably selling them. LED ones on the other hand are nice but again they need some support hardware and as such probably take just as much work to make thereby cancelling out the energy savings. And I don't know if it's just the ones I've tried, but the light LEDs kick out is pants.

    I have a LED porch light, which I bought to leave on for long periods of time while keeping the property manager happy (since I don't pay my own electric bill). It's not a bad sort of light; mostly it's just not very bright. All the LED offerings seem to be incredibly directional, or to top out at around 30-watt incandescent levels. This is okay for the porch and some secondary illumination, and maybe would work for track lighting, but I wouldn't want them for my primary illumination source just yet. Maybe in another decade or so.



  • @nexekho said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    Where the holy fuck did you buy a defective piece of shit like that from?

    It's a Tesco's own brand HDTV. Running it over HDMI.

    And you didn't return it for being defective, ... because you discovered too late? Because you like having compatibility issues because of problems that the rest of the world solved a decade ago? Because masochism?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @dhromed said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    I should have anticipated the "I'm a geezer who does things the geezer way, dammit! GET OFF MY LAWN!" response and tried to head it off in the main post by saying something like: HEY GEEZER you can do whatever you want with shortcuts, but I'm criticizing computer games by looking at HOW THEY SHIP BY DEFAULT which I think is more than fair.
    Dude, he agrees with you. He hunts for the EXE precisely because the launchers are often so stupid. I should know. I do the same thing.

    That's not really the point. INCOMING CAR ANALOGY: it's like trying to talk to someone about what colors a car ships in, and then some grump interrupting your discussion by saying, "I ALWAYS TAKE MY CAR TO MAACO AND HAVE IT PAINTED BLACK". Well good for you, but that's not what we're talking about.

    Besides: how can he (and you) "agree" with me by turning off the launcher when I never said the launcher was a bad thing? Hell, I didn't even really make a solid argument one way or the other, except perhaps that Sony's was ugly as sin. And as an added super-bonus, the fact that you and he think you agree with me also means you didn't read the fucking post before replying, which is always a fun happy thing to see.

    You say that like any thread around here always stays on topic. No, wait, just that you expect everyone else to keep to your topic. Fuck you and the topic you rode in on.

    Anyways, he was just extending the discussion to how he deals with the shit. It's not like he was excusing it or being an apologist for it. It wasn't even off topic.



  • @boomzilla said:

    You say that like any thread around here always stays on topic. No, wait, just that you expect everyone else to keep to your topic. Fuck you and the topic you rode in on.

    You're conveniently ignoring the part where you DIDN'T FUCKING READ WHAT I FUCKING TYPED. Then LYING about "agreeing" with me, when in fact it's not agreeing with anything I said here at all. That's really what bugs me. It's like you kind of skimmed it a bit, then ASSUMED you knew what my message was (no need to actually read the words typed there to see if your assumption was right!), then ASSUMED that The_Assimilator was making the same WRONG-ASS assumption that you were, then decided to murder a puppy using a sausage grinder, then posted that shit-ass-fuck-dick useless fucking shit reply.

    And once again I ask myself: why the fuck do I visit this fucking site, you're all assholes. Specifically, why the fuck did I spend so much time realizing the forum was moving kind of slow, finding a topic, taking screenshots, cropping them, uploading them, typing the text, fixing the fucked-up CS bugs, just to have the whole thing completely unread. The only possible answer: because I am fucking stupid. I am the most retarded person on Earth. My IQ is in the single-digits, if its even a whole number. I was dropped on my head as a baby-- from the Empire State Building. You know that gag where you write "what is the definition of gullible? (turn over)" on both sides of a piece of paper? I'm STILL WORKING ON IT, STILL TRYING TO FIND THE DEFINITION OH GOD WHAT IS IT.

    Extending the topic is fine (although light bulbs? Fuck.) I'm talking to fucking Tesco-fan about his defective-ass HDTV, because at least it relates to video games and it's the kind of thing that cheese me off. (By not returning his defective-ass TV, more defective-ass TVs will enter the market, and the retarded refresh rate issue that was solved a decade ago will come back to make all of our lives worse. Because of idiots not returning their defective-ass TVs. That kind of thing bugs me.)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    And once again I ask myself: why the fuck do I visit this fucking site, you're all assholes. Specifically, why the fuck did I spend so much time realizing the forum was moving kind of slow, finding a topic, taking screenshots, cropping them, uploading them, typing the text, fixing the fucked-up CS bugs, just to have the whole thing completely unread. The only possible answer: because I am fucking stupid. I am the most retarded person on Earth. My IQ is in the single-digits, if its even a whole number. I was dropped on my head as a baby-- from the Empire State Building. You know that gag where you write "what is the definition of gullible? (turn over)" on both sides of a piece of paper? I'm STILL WORKING ON IT, STILL TRYING TO FIND THE DEFINITION OH GOD WHAT IS IT.

    Bah. Less whining, more hitting the highway, please. :)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    You're conveniently ignoring the part where you DIDN'T FUCKING READ WHAT I FUCKING TYPED. Then LYING about "agreeing" with me, when in fact it's not agreeing with anything I said here at all.
     

    Pretty sure the topic was "motherfucking stupid-ass game launchers", no?



  • Because you like having compatibility issues because of problems that the rest of the world solved a decade ago? Because masochism?

    Because I bought it to play games and had already owned it for a year when my monitor went and I used the TV as a monitor? Most 360 games run at 30fps anyway so the problem is impossible to spot. The TV doesn't expose its native resolution of 1680x1050 over HDMI, only 720/1080p idiotically, so you have to use the custom resolution panel in the nV settings to force it. I've since upgraded my GPU and had the exact same thing. 1680x1050 = 59Hz only. 1080P = 50Hz only. Anything less can go 60Hz. It uses a fairly standard TV firmware as far as I can tell. (listed as CVTE in the panel)

    You can get 60Hz 1680x1050 over VGA but I only have one VGA port and there's no DVI in so HDMI is all I have if I want to keep using my other monitor.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    You're conveniently ignoring the part where you DIDN'T FUCKING READ WHAT I FUCKING TYPED. Then LYING about "agreeing" with me, when in fact it's not agreeing with anything I said here at all.

    Look, it's not my fault that you can't remember what you were talking about. The part I quoted was about the guy who hates launchers and tries to skip them. But by all means, go ahead and launch into an off topic confused rant.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    why the fuck did I spend so much time realizing the forum was moving kind of slow, finding a topic, taking screenshots, cropping them, uploading them, typing the text, fixing the fucked-up CS bugs,
    When you do all that, and then end it with: @blakeyrat said:
    So what is the lesson we have learned? Fuck if I know.

    You probably shouldn't be surprised when the thread goes to shit.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Sutherlands said:

    Number of computers in an average house: 1-2

    Number of lights in an average house: 45

    While I agree with the sentiment, and you should make sure you're turning your computer off to save energy, how do you figure that buying better lights doesn't save any energy?

     

    Because I don't believe you have 45 lights in your house, nor that you have them turned on all the time, even in summer.

    I have an apartment with 10 lights. Maybe 3-4 are on for prolonged periods on evenings.

    Do you have kids? Because then you have a bigger house with moar blinkenden lightz, I presume.

    Nonetheless you are right that I neglected to include the number of lights that on at any given time and for how long. That changes my calculations guesstimations, which means I have to start including pen and paper in my efforts and maybe I'll do that later because I'm all about saving resources. Also I'm all about upgrading my CPU so it uses up 1.5-2 times the wattage. :3

    Average number



  • I was skipping the rants, and all I read was this:@blakeyrat said:

    I am the most retarded person on Earth. My IQ is in the single-digits, if its even a whole number.



  • @Sutherlands said:

    I was skipping the rants, and all I read was this:[quote user="blakeyrat"]I am the most retarded person on Earth. My IQ is in the single-digits, if its even a whole number.
    [/quote]

    Yeah, I know! In other news, Democrats want to raise taxes, and water is wet.

    (i'm just teasing, blakeypoo. ./~)



  • @nexekho said:

    Because you like having compatibility issues because of problems that the rest of the world solved a decade ago? Because masochism?

    Because I bought it to play games and had already owned it for a year when my monitor went and I used the TV as a monitor? Most 360 games run at 30fps anyway so the problem is impossible to spot. The TV doesn't expose its native resolution of 1680x1050 over HDMI, only 720/1080p idiotically, so you have to use the custom resolution panel in the nV settings to force it. I've since upgraded my GPU and had the exact same thing. 1680x1050 = 59Hz only. 1080P = 50Hz only. Anything less can go 60Hz. It uses a fairly standard TV firmware as far as I can tell. (listed as CVTE in the panel)

    You can get 60Hz 1680x1050 over VGA but I only have one VGA port and there's no DVI in so HDMI is all I have if I want to keep using my other monitor.

     

    Do you have an NVidia card? http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=215268



  • @blakeyrat said:

    FUCKING FUCKING ASS shit-ass-fuck-dick fucking shit.

    fuck fucking assholes fuck fucked-up fucking

    Fuck. fucking ass ass

     

    Huh.  I thought blakey was older than 12.

     



  • @Juifeng said:

     L.A. Noire (PC) has the "launcher features" built into the game. The serial number check and "Rockstar Social Club" profile registration / log in is also integrated into the game. Consequently, launching the game takes a pretty long time. First, there's some legal stuff shown (no way to cancel), some vids (IMO), then there's a screen with messages like "Checking for patches..", "Checking for downloadable content..", "Checking game data" and then, finally, you're in the main menu.

     

    That's going to be the future.  You can thank the PC pirates for that.  Only way PC gaming is going to survive next to the more secure consoles.

     



  • @Juifeng said:

    in-game cut scenes can't be cancelled even if you've seen them before
    SERIOUSLY?! How long have video games been around, again?! What are those developers thinking? Are they even thinking? "Oh boy, our little videos are sooooo cool, everyone will want to watch them every single time, over and over again!"?

    I guess that's one game that I won'tbe picking up, even though it looked interesting at first.



  • @Anonymouse said:

    How long have video games been around, again?! What are those developers thinking? Are they even thinking?
     

    Asscreed 1 has unskippable cutscenes and the formal exit sequence via the menus is four layers deep. Thank god for Alt+F4.

    They fixed that  in Asscreed II and Bro, with a "quit to windows" option right in the main menu, so I guess they are thinking.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Master Chief said:

    @Juifeng said:

     L.A. Noire (PC) has the "launcher features" built into the game. The serial number check and "Rockstar Social Club" profile registration / log in is also integrated into the game. Consequently, launching the game takes a pretty long time. First, there's some legal stuff shown (no way to cancel), some vids (IMO), then there's a screen with messages like "Checking for patches..", "Checking for downloadable content..", "Checking game data" and then, finally, you're in the main menu.

     

    That's going to be the future.  You can thank the PC pirates for that.  Only way PC gaming is going to survive next to the more secure consoles.

     

    Except the pirates broke that crap in fifteen minutes and improved the experience doing it. There is NOTHING that can't be broken by a sufficiently bored individual with a copy of Wireshark, a pirated copy of IDAPro and the free version of Visual Studio.

     Stub every piracy check out of the game, stub out the launcher EXE, stub checksums, and if that doesn't work, sniff around the network traffic and see if you've got Ubisoft's "Fuck you we're going to encrypt all the content and make you ask for decryption keys on the internet" system going on. If so, play the damned game and capture all the keys and write a server emulator to carry out the transactions.

     

    It's an unwinnable arms race - if PC software can be written, it can be changed.  Period.

    If PC gaming survives at all, it'll be in the hands of the publishers and developers who figured out how to do it without participating in that idiotic arms race. As of now, it seems like delivering large, compelling experiences on that $60/copy budget is the way to go (See: Skyrim, Fallout, everything else by Bethesda Softworks)



  •  @blakeyrat said:

    @nexekho said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    Monitor frequencies? Seriously?

    Yes, seriously. My left monitor only does its native resolution at 59Hz. Not 60. Not 50. Not 75. 59. Many programs ignore this and default to 60 without asking which causes the monitor to blank, making it impossible to change back without a Bethesda style launcher or poking around in config files. Bought less than two years ago.

    Where the holy fuck did you buy a defective piece of shit like that from? I hate to break this to you, but Skyrim doesn't even give you the option to change the refresh frequency maybe because, hm, it's problem that hasn't fucking even come up in the last fucking decade.

     fuck fuck shit fuck time to come out of your cave. True 120hz LCD monitors have been available for more than a year, finally closing the hi-refresh gap between LCD and CRT. I haven't gamed in anything less than 100hz in the "last fucking decade".

    But go ahead, defend poor console porting that only supports old man technology like 60hz on PC lmao



  • I totally agree with Blakey. Game launchers like that are a useful interface to downloadable content packs, configuration settings, and other options without loading the bloat of the entire game.

    If a game doesn't come with a launcher it makes me think that the games designers didn't do a good job anticipating the needs of users like me.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    And once again I ask myself: why the fuck do I visit this fucking site, you're all assholes. Specifically, why the fuck did I spend so much time realizing the forum was moving kind of slow, finding a topic, taking screenshots, cropping them, uploading them, typing the text, fixing the fucked-up CS bugs, just to have the whole thing completely unread. The only possible answer: because I am fucking stupid. I am the most retarded person on Earth. My IQ is in the single-digits, if its even a whole number. I was dropped on my head as a baby-- from the Empire State Building. You know that gag where you write "what is the definition of gullible? (turn over)" on both sides of a piece of paper? I'm STILL WORKING ON IT, STILL TRYING TO FIND THE DEFINITION OH GOD WHAT IS IT.

    Hmmm, I always thought that it was because of your daddy issues, we are kind of your surrogate family or something like that.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Anonymouse said:

    How long have video games been around, again?! What are those developers thinking? Are they even thinking?
     

    Asscreed 1 has unskippable cutscenes and the formal exit sequence via the menus is four layers deep. Thank god for Alt+F4.

    And NO subtitles. And it was a plot-point to listen-in to a conversation, from a tiled bathroom, through a metal air vent (with all the appropriate sound filters applied), and the game acted as if you actually HEARD the conversation, when of course all I heard was-- well, what'd you expect to hear through a metal air vent in a tile bathroom. And no subtitles.

    Also if you rode a horse, you instantly became a criminal. Even if it wasn't stolen. I never did figure out how that bug made it into the product, and why it wasn't fixed.

    ... frankly, between the retarded anti-science, anti-logic, plot (GENETIC MEMORY!), the horrible critical bugs that remained in the game even years after launch, and the fact that the developers basically pissed all over their customers by excluding subtitles... it's a miracle the game got a sequel. I still can't figure out why people like that turd.



  • @serguey123 said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    And once again I ask myself: why the fuck do I visit this fucking site, you're all assholes. Specifically, why the fuck did I spend so much time realizing the forum was moving kind of slow, finding a topic, taking screenshots, cropping them, uploading them, typing the text, fixing the fucked-up CS bugs, just to have the whole thing completely unread. The only possible answer: because I am fucking stupid. I am the most retarded person on Earth. My IQ is in the single-digits, if its even a whole number. I was dropped on my head as a baby-- from the Empire State Building. You know that gag where you write "what is the definition of gullible? (turn over)" on both sides of a piece of paper? I'm STILL WORKING ON IT, STILL TRYING TO FIND THE DEFINITION OH GOD WHAT IS IT.

    Hmmm, I always thought that it was because of your daddy issues, we are kind of your surrogate family or something like that.

    crudely hacked shoop


  • @blakeyrat said:

    it's a miracle the game got a sequel. I still can't figure out why people like that turd.
     

    For me, Ass I felt the most like I was in a strange land with a strange mystery deepening. Basically all the things you describe as major problems didn't register with me as much. I noticed them, but just shrugged and moved on and played the story. After a while you get the hang of combat and you cut through whole contingents with ease.

    Ass II felt the most like playing through an adventurous story. I liked it the best of all so far. It started to feel too long just before it ended, thought. And Venice. Oh Venice how beautfiful your buildings and music.

    AssBro was a problem. I still liked it but it felt the most sequelly and I don't like the open end. At first, it felt like playing %$! Settlers, what with all the constant shop upgrading. Story-wise, after Ass II Ezio gets full resolve of his personal issues, his main motivation in AssBro is kind of contrived/overproduced/crafted. Really liked the Catherina memories. Would have worked much better with a different protagonist. Brutus' unbreakable armour is ugly.

    I am very curious about AssRev. I hope Ezio's age is not going to break the fantasy. I mean, the guy is 40-50 by then and still parkours all over the place.

     

    What I found most curious is that AssBro looked worse (er, less good) than Ass II. Maybe it's the slapdash faux-glare from the sun when near a wall, or the lack of texture and location diversity. Or maybe I need to try and max a few more settings now that I upgraded my CPU.



  • @DaveK said:

    crudely hacked shoop
     

    +1



  •  Wait, I don't need to make a bootable floppy to play these newfangled games?



  • I would have loved to play the story (retarded as it was), but I couldn't HEAR IT. Seriously, what the holy shit were the devs thinking? I can't get over lack of subtitles in a 2007 game.

    BTW, they are trying for yearly releases, which is why the new game looks like shit. No time for engine improvements. It'll be the 21st century version of the Army Men games.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I would have loved to play the story (retarded as it was), but I couldn't HEAR IT.

    Did you try turning your volume control clockwise?



  • @CrisW said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    I would have loved to play the story (retarded as it was), but I couldn't HEAR IT.

    Did you try turning your volume control clockwise?

    No, because I have a TV made in this century. Again I ask: is anybody on this board NOT a geezer?

    That aside, the main impediment to hearing the dialog wasn't the volume, it was the crazy "listening through a metal air vent" filters. When I said I couldn't hear it, what I really meant is that I couldn't make it out... and yet the game acts as if this particular piece of dialog was extremely important. (For one thing, you can't enter the next level until you go into the bathroom and listen to it.)

    But let's assume volume, not clarity, was the issue. Let's also assume I'm not deaf. Let's also assume I'm in a place/situation where I can turn up the volume (for example, not in a room next to a sleeping roommate.) Let's also assume I'm in a quiet location with no competing sources of noise (for example, not in an Internet cafe, a company breakroom, or another public location with game consoles.) If you assume all of those things, then yes, turning up the volume might have helped. Might.

    Now let me ask you a question: why are you defending that brain-dead retarded design decision? What's in it for you? Do you go around defending the shittiest thing about games because you love shitty games? You want more shitty games in the future? Or maybe you hate disabled people and want to see them deprived? That's my guess. But what's your real reason?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @CrisW said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    I would have loved to play the story (retarded as it was), but I couldn't HEAR IT.

    Did you try turning your volume control clockwise?

    No, because I have a TV made in this century. Again I ask: is anybody on this board NOT a geezer?

    WTF? I haven't used a TV with my computer since my Commodore 64, you geezer.



  • @boomzilla said:

    WTF? I haven't used a TV with my computer since my Commodore 64, you geezer.

    1. There's no difference between a TV and a computer monitor here in the far-flung future of 2011. It's been that way for, oh, 5-6 years now. (Well, ok; there is a slight difference: something labelled a "TV" is guaranteed to have a ATSC tuner here in the US, where something labeled as a "monitor" may or may not have one.)

    2) Assassin's Creed came out on Xbox 360, which is the platform I was playing it on. Last time I checked, Xbox 360s were designed to be plugged into TVs.

    3) I actually own the PC version of Assassin's Creed, due to an extremely cheap Steam bundle, and I installed it specifically to see if the PC version had been patched to add subtitles-- nope!



  • Today I had deer chili for lunch! Truth be told, it was more like a sloppy joe than a chili; I prefer a lot of beans in my chili. Nevertheless, It was sweet and spicy and all-around filling. A+


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