Archive for the 'Anger Management' Category

Anger Management #5: Save Games

Let me have them, you massive, massive wankers.

By which I mean: if you are a games developer, or publisher, or distribution platform, or hardware platform, and you decide to restrict your players’ ability to copy, backup or otherwise move their saves around, you are an unforgivable, small-minded cretin.

If you tie your saves to anything which relies on the player being online, or having access to a unique identifier tied to their system, you are an unforgivable, small-minded cretin.

If you conceal the location of your saves, force them to be saved on a specific drive letter ignoring the install path of the game they’re tied to or the location of Windows’ libraries, you are an unforgivable, small-minded cretin.

If you don’t allow the player to easily manage and delete their saves from within the game… well, you’re quite annoying. But I can just about forgive you, so long as the above issues aren’t the case, and all I have to do is browse to an easy to find save directory where my saves are logically laid out and delete from there.
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Anger Management #4.1 – Mortality

Okay, the title’s misleading. This isn’t a complaint about mortality in media, or even really an anger management article. This is just an apology for not posting much this fortnight, and a heads up that normal service won’t resume for a week or two. I’m attending a funeral this weekend (leaving Thursday – funeral’s a day’s travel away), and following that I’ve a lot of real work to do, so expect internet silence for a bit.

Anger Management #4: Patches

Actually, as I write this the issue I really want to kick and scream about is that of flaky internet connections. Weekends are for lazing around, idly reading interesting articles and uploading Anger Management. They are not for staring at “This page is not available” screens. Regrettably, however, that’s not a perfect fit for this column. What is a good fit is a discussion on the horrors of an endemic patching culture amongst game developers.

Patching is an everyday activity for PC gamers, not only in the hope of improving the experience of playing the game, but out of necessity should they wish to engage in online play. Rare, if not non-existant, is the retail game which doesn’t receive patches post-release. And PC gamers are no longer alone – many 360 and PS3 games receive patches post-release, and should the player be connected to their respective online services, the machine will not let them play a game until it is completely up to date, patch-wise.

Things were not always this way.
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Anger Management #3: Steam

Welcome back to Anger Management, a weekly rant about whatever topic’s taking my fancy at the time. Sometimes it might be specific tropes and flaws, sometimes more general issues; other times it can be even more directed, focussing on individuals, companies or releases. Whatever the case, it’s completely partisan, unbalanced and entirely, wonderfully subjective. Try not to take too much offence.

And this week? This week I’m after the poster boy of digital distribution systems, Valve Corporation’s Steam.
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Anger Management #2: Irreversible Actions

Welcome back to Anger Management. What inspired this week’s rant? Universe at War. Mainly known for managing to craft three impressively balanced-yet-asymmetrical sides to play as, then scuppering the hard work by having a lacklustre single-player campaign and forcing players to use Games For Windows – LIVE if they wanted a multiplayer game, Universe at War managed to annoy me for an altogether different reason.

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Anger Management #1: Genre Loyalty

Hello there, and welcome to Anger Management. This is the section of I:D where I rail out against the things that really rile me up. Some of these things really bother me, others are just minor irritations. They come in all sorts of forms: from tropes to aspects of fandom. You can be sure they’ll relate to the general topics of discussion within this site, but beyond that, the only guaranteed shared factor is that they get right up my nose.

So what have we got today? Well, as it’s the first thing I’m choosing to cover, you might expect this to be one of my biggest peeves of all: but you’d be wrong. Truth is, I’m still not sure about the direction this feature is going to take, so I want to iron out the creases before getting to the really good* stuff. Nope, this week I’ll be looking at something that just irks me a little. Genre loyalty.
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