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bumpkin
16-07-2015, 21:35
As a gamer on all sorts of platforms since 1984, I wonder at what point the gaming community decided it was OK to spend their money on a game which is not complete? This is not directed only at PCARS as it is well documented that many of the latest releases are patched on day one and then subsequently patched multiple times and we seem to blindly accept that this is absolutely fine.

Back in the 80ís my sim of choice was Geoff Crammonds Grand Prix on my Atari ST, it came on four floppy disks and worked out of the box. Indeed this very novel idea managed to keep going right up until the Xbox and Playstation2, then it all went to pot. I guess that there may be the argument that developers are pushing the boundaries of the hardware, but I would suggest that has always been the case and certainly titles were multi platform back in the day too, in fact there wasn't even commonality of hardware as there is now, a PC running DOS was very different to the Acorn, which was different to the TOS machines with Motorola processors, yet they all sported the games we grew up with.

Simple question to the gaming industry then - why?

OperatorWay
16-07-2015, 21:41
As long as people continue buying it, companies will gladly continue selling it.

Mr Akina
16-07-2015, 21:42
Programming was simpler back then. Maybe the ability to patch games has lead to that becoming a substitute for a lack of testing?

Roger Prynne
16-07-2015, 21:43
As a gamer on all sorts of platforms since 1984, I wonder at what point the gaming community decided it was OK to spend their money on a game which is not complete? This is not directed only at PCARS as it is well documented that many of the latest releases are patched on day one and then subsequently patched multiple times and we seem to blindly accept that this is absolutely fine.

Back in the 80’s my sim of choice was Geoff Crammonds Grand Prix on my Atari ST, it came on four floppy disks and worked out of the box. Indeed this very novel idea managed to keep going right up until the Xbox and Playstation2, then it all went to pot. I guess that there may be the argument that developers are pushing the boundaries of the hardware, but I would suggest that has always been the case and certainly titles were multi platform back in the day too, in fact there wasn't even commonality of hardware as there is now, a PC running DOS was very different to the Acorn, which was different to the TOS machines with Motorola processors, yet they all sported the games we grew up with.

Simple question to the gaming industry then - why?
This is one reason.

Another budget and deadlines.
Another is the internet. (downloads are available now)

Plato99
16-07-2015, 21:47
"Because they can" and "because its the norm" would be my two guesses.
Also time pressures from publishers / Manufacturers (think Forza 5).

Its not on, in fact it appalls me, but when a game shows so much potential as Pcars does I can live with it....just about and to a point.
When its a bag of nails and will always be a bag of nails (Grid Autosport) and the dev answers forum support queries with "we don't work weekends" then you know something is fundamentally wrong with the industry.

GRTfast
16-07-2015, 21:47
Like everything else in society, the way games are released is driven by what is projected to make the most profit in the shortest amount of time. Since the advent of the Internet and vastly complex games, I think it has been a natural progression. I don't really mind to tell you the truth. Games have some issues on release, but there are enjoyable parts too, and you can be pretty sure they will eventually have the bugs worked out.

gds1972
16-07-2015, 21:48
I think there were still bugs in games released in the 80s but generally these were not game breaking bugs. Also games back then fitted into only a few K or MB of memory so there was minimal amounts of code to debug making these games easier to make and less prone to bugs.

Also allot of the updates issued for games nowadays don't just fix bugs they also add new features and such like.

Plato99
16-07-2015, 21:51
I'd like to see a system where we pay 50% upfront and 50% on completion.
However, who and how a game is declared complete would be open to debate!
I wouldn't pay a plumber or joiner 100% upfront and then wait months for him to fix his problems.
There would be more incentive then for devs and publishers to get their acts together.

Mr Akina
16-07-2015, 21:52
You can always take a stand. Wait 6-12 months to buy a game (so they have time to fix it) and then buy it preowned - from an indie retailer, so the industry loses money.

They'll eventually get the message and know not to release crap to the public lol

gds1972
16-07-2015, 21:58
Reading this has also reminded me of the game Goat Simulator where the charm of the game is the bugs in it, the developers stated they will only fix the game breaking bugs.

Lukeymonster
16-07-2015, 22:13
i too grew up through the rise of gaming. What a trip! I think that since the industry has become such a juggernaut, corporate pressure, intense deadlines and the rapid consumption of consumers have become the norm. Those factors coupled with the massive rise in complexity in games has built the gaming culture we now live in.

bumpkin
16-07-2015, 22:18
This is one reason.

Another budget and deadlines.
Another is the internet. (downloads are available now)

I would argue that the amount of boundary pushing by Geoff Crammond on the available hardware at the time was equal to what we see today.

I have been playing Dirt Rally the last few days and despite only costing me £25 I am having a ball, I expect issues with Early Access and have been pleasantly surprised, this is more like the half now / half later route, watching / playing it as it develops will probably encourage DLC purchase later.....

OverHaased
16-07-2015, 22:22
Inside the industry you need to know of the multiple camps inside the software company. They are all on the same team but they do not necessarily work with one another.

Camp one are the code writers themselves. These guys are the ones that take all the concepts ideas and visions and create something out of nothing They are also divided up in multiple department-ed teams that have specific skills needed. They have managers that push them and support them by constantly supplying them with source data.

Camp 2 is the business side of the operation. They provide funding and keep the lights turned on. They are less artists/engineer and more accountant/lawyer side of the equation.

Camp 3 is marketing, they are the furthest from the actual knowledge of how these pieces of software actually function and they only want to know enough to be able to do a competent and thorough demonstration and not look like an idiot during any Q&A they are subjected to. However these people can make or break an entire company. They are deeply immersed in the world wide market and keep very close track of what trends are in play. They follow the competition and maneuver their products to be in the right place at the right time.


All three camps are under the control of the CEO, and in many cases the CEO gives too much weight to the third camp, when this happens the 1st camp must change delivery schedule, re-prioritize features and functions, leave problematic bugs in place thinking they can get back to them before or right after release. That then effects the second camp as additional expense and resource are now going to be taxed and hard decisions will be made that result in some of the long term issues never achieving solution.


It is a fine line, if the 1st camp had unlimited time and the second camp unlimited resources marketing would probably have a much easier job to do, however the money and resources spent may never be realized if the released product is 2 or 3 years behind the competition.

Colorsound
16-07-2015, 22:23
I started my gaming on an Atari 2600 way back

I think a big thing about today vs yesterday

I believe they would have shipped games long ago with bugs and patch them later if they had a way to get the updates to us.
The Internet changed everything.

Back in the SNES era, they had to get it perfect for release, as they only had one chance.
There was no way to fix it

Another thing - games are so complicated now.
There are so many variables in the design, it's so easy to overlook a lot.
Games are more advanced than ever before, with so much code running

Raven403
16-07-2015, 22:34
As it was previously stated, every single one of us now has the power to change this, when a game announces it's release date, just add 3-6 months and then buy it preowned, most likely after some patches have come out.

It's tough bc the industry does a good job of selling them to you before they release, with things like E3 and flashy promos and commercials, but if we change the norm, they'll have no choice, the industry will lose money and it will be no secret as to why.

PC games have functioned under the patch as u play system for a long time. And for some that's ok, alot of the time your only paying 20? 30? Maybe less for the game, by the time it's fully patched up they release dlc and make their extra 20-30 bucks back off that. But this should not be the norm on consoles. It's trending that direction as it is, and unless we the gamer do something with our Wallets, it will continue to do so, and all of us will continue to be Beta testers for AAA companies except we pay THEM

No other industry functions that way for good reason, let's not let this get out of control.

AdM1
16-07-2015, 22:40
No surprise a thread for people to moan in pops up after the 2.0 thread got lock lol ;).

OperatorWay
16-07-2015, 22:50
No surprise a thread for people to moan in pops up after the 2.0 thread got lock lol ;).

No surprise that when someone posts something civil that isn't gushing with rapturous joy, someone soon pops up to label it "moaning."

Plato99
16-07-2015, 22:52
It's a debate, not a moan. I'm very supportive of PCars, thankyaverymuch, I'm just not supportive of many modern business practices. The way games software is released being one of them.

OperatorWay
16-07-2015, 22:55
It's a debate, not a moan...

I'd call it a conversation and/or a discussion... You know, that thing that forums exist for. :)

Roger Prynne
16-07-2015, 22:59
No surprise a thread for people to moan in pops up after the 2.0 thread got lock lol ;).

Don't be silly, no one is moaning here, it's just a civil discussion for a change.

Back on topic: It does have a lot to do with timing as well, I mean how long do you wait before you release a game.

AdM1
16-07-2015, 23:06
Maybe the off topic section of the forum would be better than the xbox section then as people will use this thread to moan about the bugs and the delays of patches etc.

Roger Prynne
16-07-2015, 23:11
^^^ Done... moved to General Discussion.

Mr Akina
16-07-2015, 23:13
I won't be buying the new Star Wars game or Batman for at least 6 months after release as historically they are flawed. I now know to do the same with Project CARS 2.. which is sad as I had high hopes for it. This is the way the industry is. Whereas a lot of games count on parents buying them for Xmas, pCARS is in the niche genre where the players aren't as affected by the seasonal sales - so they rely on pre-release hype. This might be affected by the previous game's issues.

Dynamic weather is all well and good and is a good buzzword to sell a game on, but as I can't race competitively in the rain over 2 months after release because I'm waiting for a patch from the developer, what's the point of having dynamic weather?

The games industry is "sloppy" but has good marketing to counteract it. Project CARS is a great example - but it is far from alone.

Raven403
16-07-2015, 23:20
Another thing that grinds my gears, is bumping back release dates. It ALSO seems to be becoming the norm, and no one seems to be held to any sort of standard or accountability.

Forgive me but I'll use Pcars as the example here, it was delayed not once, not twice, but 3 times. And the third delay was explained as necessary to get the .1% of bugs out of the game, I won't go on.

But what penalty did anyone suffer from it? If I missed not 1, not 2, but 3 deadlines at my job and I feel many others, you wouldn't be gainfully employed anymore.

I'm not saying this is SMS's fault entirely, since it's seemingly the norm, but just don't announce release dates unless you can and WILL meet them in my opinion.

My days of PreOrdering anything are over, I've learned my lesson finally

I also don't want anyone at SMS to think I think they aren't good at their job, my remarks are a comment on the industry and not directed at SMS personally. Hope that's clear

widcard
16-07-2015, 23:24
I"ll be investing in my own fix and it's called PS4, I'm all about the multiplayer, have been for a very long time now, but after buying all in with "The Crew" and that pretty much turned out to be another multiplayer matchmaking disaster and their response was "We are aware of the problem and are doing are best to address the issue in the next coming patch" end quote....In some ways the problems associated with PJcars multiplayer is even worse, The Crew had it's fair share of long wait times joining a lobby and then dropped you back on the street, but it never crashed to dashboard like PJcars, in fact in all these years I've never had a multiplayer racing game that would crash as often, On to PS4' they seem to be having less headaches with their multiplayers. I've finally had a gut full of this patch wait patch wait with xbox. and after all this time leading up to the release of PJcars and how much that and xbox meant to me, it never crossed my mind that this would be the last straw. And how some of you guys keep defending this lack of quality control is beyond me.

OperatorWay
16-07-2015, 23:29
Another thing that grinds my gears, is bumping back release dates...

Given a choice between just these 2 options, I'd much rather wait longer for "delayed" (or just more realistically-scheduled) games that are ready to play & fully functional at the time of purchase, instead of buying problematic games that can only be partially played until (hopefully) some unknown point later (but with no guarantees).

Mahjik
16-07-2015, 23:31
The basic problem is that gamers are expecting more from games but aren't opening up their wallets more... While game prices have increased, they haven't increased much and the market is now saturated with smaller entries (especially on the PC side) which takes away more sales from certain genres. Developers always want to fulfil what gamers are asking for but budget-wise it doesn't work out (or is not worth the risk since most game development is "invested" into in hopes of good returns). Unfortunately, under-promising and over-delivering doesn't work in the gaming market.

Raven403
16-07-2015, 23:36
Given a choice between just these 2 options, I'd much rather wait longer for "delayed" (or just more realistically-scheduled) games that are ready to play & fully functional at the time of purchase, instead of buying problematic games that can only be partially played until (hopefully) some unknown point later (but with no guarantees).

I 100% agree. Just don't give yourself a deadline u can't meet is all I mean.

OperatorWay
16-07-2015, 23:37
The basic problem is that gamers are expecting more from games but aren't opening up their wallets more... While game prices have increased, they haven't increased much...

Maybe prices haven't increased much, but sales certainly have. Games (in general) are reaching larger markets & getting more revenue than ever.

Raven403
16-07-2015, 23:39
The basic problem is that gamers are expecting more from games but aren't opening up their wallets more... While game prices have increased, they haven't increased much and the market is now saturated with smaller entries (especially on the PC side) which takes away more sales from certain genres. Developers always want to fulfil what gamers are asking for but budget-wise it doesn't work out (or is not worth the risk since most game development is "invested" into in hopes of good returns). Unfortunately, under-promising and over-delivering doesn't work in the gaming market.

I would argue our expectations are crafted from Developer's promises.

Mahjik
16-07-2015, 23:39
Maybe prices haven't increased much, but sales certainly have.

Unfortunately that hasn't necessarily scaled with costs.

Raven403
16-07-2015, 23:41
Unfortunately that hasn't necessarily scaled with costs.

Yes, but then Devs release paid DLC which never existed before recently to bolster profit

Mahjik
16-07-2015, 23:41
I would argue our expectations are crafted from Developer's promises.

Typically, developer's promises come from user asks... ;)

It's in a software engineer's nature to alway want to provide what users want. Time/money always get in the way. FWIW, I've been in software development since 1993. Not necessarily game development, but software is software in general.

Mahjik
16-07-2015, 23:43
Yes, but then Devs release paid DLC which never existed before recently to bolster profit

That's to offset continued development (in most cases, to keep a franchise relevant for future releases). Future development just can't be free. Software personnel are expensive and they don't work for free.

OverHaased
16-07-2015, 23:44
Deadlines are seldom met, public announcement of a deadline is a recipe for failure.

I sure was not there, but I can bet real American Dollars that public announcements of release dates was from the marketing side. That pressure on a highly taxed development/production staff can not be healthy nor conducive for team moral.

Schnizz58
16-07-2015, 23:48
I think the software industry is fairly sloppy in general. (And I work in the software industry.) For one thing, Microsoft lowered the bar for everybody and it became OK to have to reboot your computer every day (or more), or restart your internet browser or whatever. MS brought lots and lots of new software users into the market and those people had no preconceived notions of what to expect from software, quality-wise. So they just accepted that software was difficult and that there were going to be bugs. Designing bridges is difficult too but you don't see bridges falling down daily. Software engineering hasn't reached a level yet to where it can be considered a true engineering discipline. Part of that is the "soft" nature of software. If you design a bridge or a circuit or an engine, you can lean on a lot of math to help you find out if the bridge will fall, the circuit will catch fire or the engine will throw a rod. Those tools exist in the software world but they are primitive by comparison. Another factor is that the parameter space of software is enormous. The parameter space of a bridge is non-existent but just look at all of the settings you can twiddle in Project CARS. Just about any piece of software you buy is going to be the same way and it's incredibly difficult to test every combination of every configuration parameter all in conjunction with each other. There are automated tools that can help but you will always run into somebody that sets this value to this and that value to that and then suddenly the program falls over. Users find ways of using the software that the designers never thought of. Speaking of design, scope creep is the eternal bane of the software designer. You start out with a wonderful set of user needs, create the requirements and come up with a great design. The architects start laying out the plans, eventually the coders start writing code and consuming vast quantities of Red Bull. Then the boss says, "Hey your design doesn't have sub-articulating spatial compatibility with geo-referential data sets." Well that was never in the requirements, you say. The boss then says that he just gave a 2-hour powerpoint at a trade show that promised that feature. Back to the drawing board.

So I guess my point is that software *is* hard but it shouldn't be as hard as we make it and that customer expectations are fairly low (compared to other engineering disciplines). The end result of that is going to be sub-standard quality across the industry.

Mahjik
16-07-2015, 23:57
Designing bridges is difficult too but you don't see bridges falling down daily. Software engineering hasn't reached a level yet to where it can be considered a true engineering discipline.

It's not that, it's costs. If you look at software disciplines such as development within programs like space exploration (NASA), that was some expensive development. Their coding, review and process artifacts would grind every other company on the planet to halt delivering software. Granted, they weren't developing GUI applications, but their software had to be as flawless as possible, and it was extremely costly.

It's not much different than food processing. There is a limit of how much "non-food" can get into the processing (i.e. parts of bugs, etc). Why is there a limit? It should be zero! The cost for zero contamination is too expensive. Software is no different. It's just always down to cost.

OperatorWay
17-07-2015, 00:06
Software development has made some great strides. Management of software development - not so much.

Schnizz58
17-07-2015, 01:04
It's not that, it's costs. If you look at software disciplines such as development within programs like space exploration (NASA), that was some expensive development. Their coding, review and process artifacts would grind every other company on the planet to halt delivering software. Granted, they weren't developing GUI applications, but their software had to be as flawless as possible, and it was extremely costly.

It's not much different than food processing. There is a limit of how much "non-food" can get into the processing (i.e. parts of bugs, etc). Why is there a limit? It should be zero! The cost for zero contamination is too expensive. Software is no different. It's just always down to cost.


Software development has made some great strides. Management of software development - not so much.

Both are certainly valid points.

Raven403
17-07-2015, 02:06
Yea, well said indeed.

widcard
17-07-2015, 03:02
The basic problem is that gamers are expecting more from games but aren't opening up their wallets more... While game prices have increased, they haven't increased much and the market is now saturated with smaller entries (especially on the PC side) which takes away more sales from certain genres. Developers always want to fulfil what gamers are asking for but budget-wise it doesn't work out (or is not worth the risk since most game development is "invested" into in hopes of good returns). Unfortunately, under-promising and over-delivering doesn't work in the gaming market.

That nail's it pretty good, and I alike so many others "Gamers" as we are called' we're the geeks' we more than get what's going on, and that's fine we do are best to stay passionate for our love of Video Games, it's what we do, and I know for a fact that if dev's needed $80.00 buck's on release, Day One' you'd be quite surprised how many of us would do just that, here yea go $80.00 buck's thank yea very much..... If' I'll say if again.... If it meant a close to completion with a few bugs here and there after a few patches......... shazam! all's right with the world. hell yeah we'd pay freakn $80.00 bucks if thats what it takes to get a working game on day one, who wouldn't?

Rombo Deadfish
17-07-2015, 03:11
The true answer is in the distribution channel. Back in the 80's if you released a buggy product you were dead. There were dial up modems at the time and company bulletin boards, but those were few an far between. Software distribution was done by mail, so if you released a sub par product the cost to create a patch and mail floppies to registered users (people who sent in snail mail registration cards) was enormous. This lead to the release cycle being dictated by the quality control team. Fast forward to today, all software is available by download which has a fixed cost to the publisher, if there is an issue then release a patch that users can have instantly with no additional distribution costs.

In general technology has made human beings lazy. Go back 30 years ago in America and see what percentage of the population had obesity issues compared to today.

widcard
17-07-2015, 03:33
The true answer is in the distribution channel. Back in the 80's if you released a buggy product you were dead. There were dial up modems at the time and company bulletin boards, but those were few an far between. Software distribution was done by mail, so if you released a sub par product the cost to create a patch and mail floppies to registered users (people who sent in snail mail registration cards) was enormous. This lead to the release cycle being dictated by the quality control team. Fast forward to today, all software is available by download which has a fixed cost to the publisher, if there is an issue then release a patch that users can have instantly with no additional distribution costs.

In general technology has made human beings lazy. Go back 30 years ago in America and see what percentage of the population had obesity issues compared to today.

Yeah' there yea go' bringing out the old school and how thing's used to be, back then they'd kicked this patch, patch, stuff down the road so fast it'd make your head spin. I just wish I could articulate myself like Rombo can, Well put' knocked that one out of the park breaking windshields down the block!

Ryzza5
17-07-2015, 06:19
A bit off the point, but if we scaled up the price of the software on those 4 floppy discs towards the price of today's 15-20GB games I reckon the ratio slip would be in the consumer's favour.

The more interesting phenomena is the recent and sudden spike in -early access- games being sold from the last few years. pCARS, rFactor 2, Spin Tyres, Assetto Corsa, DiRT Rally, Wreckfest, etc, etc,

fa-racing
17-07-2015, 06:49
This is one reason.

Another budget and deadlines.
Another is the internet. (downloads are available now)

Not everyone has solid reliable, affordable internet. So why should they miss out on a completed game?

Bluedice
17-07-2015, 07:10
There are several factors, but two of them for me are the major ones responsible for this change, pre-order and digital download.

That is what has ruined games for customers. People pay in advance for a promise allowing companies to feel extremely comfortable to do whatever they want since they know they can fix it later with customers doing the QA for free.

With something like PCars it's even admissible since its a new IP with a smaller company behind it and with less resources available, but seeing this with major franchises with giant companies behind them is far from comprehensible.

Plato99
17-07-2015, 09:24
Not everyone has solid reliable, affordable internet. So why should they miss out on a completed game?

I have had to install fibre broadband to cope with the amount and size of patches my XBox One INSISTS on downloading before I play.
I wanted a quick game of pool the other night and was forced to sit out a 4.3Gb UPDATE !!!

Daveesaunders
17-07-2015, 10:16
I have had to install fibre broadband to cope with the amount and size of patches my XBox One INSISTS on downloading before I play.
I wanted a quick game of pool the other night and was forced to sit out a 4.3Gb UPDATE !!!

Yeah I hated this on the 360 as I dint use it much every-time I went on it needed to do an update and by the time it was done I had no time left to actually play, at least now with the One I can have it download in the background so when I do turn it on I don't have to wait for it!

Testing is a difficult job, normally you will a script to follow and if you follow that and it works then it pass QC, the problem is people come at things from different angles whenever I need to test a change to our SAP system I always look to try and break it, I will always follow the script to check basic functionality but then I'll try other things to see if something breaks, we recently found an issue that never came up in testing that causes us a compliance issue because a user didn't follow the required process and decided to change something later one it didn't actually update the records properly.

A lot of users would be happier if the patches came out quicker but SMS are at the mercy of Sony and MS as both companies must ensure consoles and online services are not compromised by a patch you just have to look at the attacks both suffered on their on-line services to see the dissatisfaction that was caused you would have thought the world was ending the way some people were going on.

Kishan945
18-07-2015, 07:27
Game has a bad impact on children, specially when games based on fighting, is it right time to apply some strictly rules in these kinds of games

cluck
18-07-2015, 10:52
re. the OP's question, it probably 'went to pot' when games no longer had to support a fixed platform (DOS) where there was also very little variety in graphics and sound cards. I remember the hoops I had to jump through to get Strike Commander working on a friend's PC and, after spending nearly 2 days fine-tuning the base memory and extended memory, he gave up playing after a day or so as he didn't like the controls, not realising it was more an arcade game than a real flight sim :D.

I still remember getting patches for DOS games sent on floppy disc in the post, so they were not universally perfect even back then. Indycar Racing springs to mind.

Games are simply far more complex at heart these days and have to support a far wider variety of hardware than ever before. Releasing a perfect game for every customer out there is a damn near impossibility.

This is also all aside from commercial pressures. Gone are the days when a game was developed by a tiny team with a budget in the hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands. Top tier games cost millions these days to develop and that money is paid for up front either by a publisher or the devs themselves. Yes, in an ideal world, more money would keep getting pumped in until the game is better, but it will never be perfect for every single customer and to believe it can be is pure folly :).

bumpkin
18-07-2015, 13:41
But in my original post I commented on the fact that back then we had at least three very distinct and different platforms, and so they were not supporting a fixed platform then and would argue it is more "fixed" now, at the end of the day the PS4, Xbox and a mid range gaming PC are basically utilising the same architecture, it is just how the system speaks to that architecture which is different, or have I got that completely wrong??

Thanks to all for your comments :)