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Old 25 February 2002, 05:15   #1
APFelon
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Developers and programmers weigh in on "Abandonware"

Gamespot has recently penned an article on Abandonware featuring opinions of publishers, programmers, and the IDSA, as well as the webmaster for The Home of the Underdogs. Worthy read for all retro fans.

http://gamespot.com/gamespot/feature...are/p2_01.html
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Old 25 February 2002, 06:45   #2
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Don't you just love IDSA? Man what a bunch of Nazi thugs
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Old 25 February 2002, 11:45   #3
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no not a bunch of nazi thugs, but a bunch of
MICROSOFT minded alien scumm
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Old 25 February 2002, 12:07   #4
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It's hard to call them developers and programmers. The "copyright holders" are bitching. Read this "publishers". Ownership of digital information should be reconsidered. Abandonware ,even warez cannot be stopped therefore different approaches should be taken like making everything free

Quote:
"Abandonware is piracy, pure and simple."
-Pete Hines, Bethesda marketing and PR director
The guy saying that is a PR fuckhead, it's nothing to do with the programmers, they don't care shit for they are already robbed by publishers anyway.
 
Old 25 February 2002, 12:42   #5
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Actually he's right about it being piracy as long as they haven't given up the rights to the game.

But noone really cares. People care about as much about it being piracy as the guys with the copyright care about supporting the games. And when that support want drops to "Not at all" people feel that what they're doing is wrong at a "not at all" level too.

They made a reference to Disney and they're somewhat right. There's just the big difference that your VCR will still play the tapes released again. They said it would damage profits if they decided to re-release the games. Well if they were going to re-release the games wouldn't they have to at least work on better compatibility? Maybe better graphics now that they can release it on a CD? Extra stuff? I doubt anyone but the true lovers of the game (who might have found it to be a great game because they downloaded it in the first place) would buy a game at full retail price which hasn't got any enhancements at all.
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Old 25 February 2002, 13:04   #6
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If something can be copied and distributed, it will. Keeping their income at a reasonable level is the publishers' responsibility. They are taking a wrong decision by choosing war against pirates, for it's a war they can not win. Abandonware may be piracy, so what? Do I feel sorry for my immoral behaviour? No. Should I? Maybe they want me to, but no I still don't. As long as I'm treated as a potential pirate, I don't hesitate to be one. You know BSA's advertisements "buy it legal or you'll be sorry", I will be a lot more sorry if I buy something legally because I am forced to.
 
Old 25 February 2002, 13:07   #7
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Especially if the legal thing you buy turns out to be yet another piece of cr@p you wouldn't have bought at all had you known what it was in the first place.
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Old 25 February 2002, 20:18   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dizzy
no not a bunch of nazi thugs, but a bunch of
MICROSOFT minded alien scumm
Well perhaps Dizzy, but because IDSA isa publishers trade group made up of many different publishers we can't assume that M$ is the driving force behind everyone of these groups? Or perhaps we can
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Old 25 February 2002, 21:08   #9
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I think personnaly, that today new games are piece of shit for many reason.
I will explain:

1)There is a lot of bugs that make the game unplayable or make it unfinishable.
With previous games (the old classics games), there whas not every month A LOT of patches to repair corrupt games.
There whas finish product, and only public release/bug free sold.
Today EVERY software house sold bugged software and unfinished programming games.

Just for example, Fallout 2 and Jagged Alliance 2 are bugged to death and with the patch applyd, the games regularly crash loosing every move made in the game(s).

If the software house publishing want sell shit, then i will not buy it anymore, they are blind enough to see that they are making selfkill.

2) They say that he loose billions of dollars because piracy.
Well, this is a true story.
I want really a lot the last 'Jagged Alliance 2' game and the adds-on 'unfinished bussiness".
I have contacted the german distributor by mail, the french distributor by mail, and directly Sir-tech at Canada.
I have phonecall more than 20 games shops here in Belgium.

The distributors never reply and the answord of Sir-Tech-Canada 'Contact the local distributor'.

When i got finally (second hand on E-bay) it whas bugged to death both of it and the adds-on editor whas poorly made ('you can just create simplified map with some ennemis and objects).

I whas terribly disapointed because the previous version of 'Jagged Alliance' (dos version vga) whas perfect enjoyable.

Today Sir-tech is death because they sold bugged software and the contact/selling/distribution of there games whas shit.

With this very bad experience, i laugh when i read report like this in the press or on internet.

'Piracy have made a lost of x millions of dollars '.
Really, they cannot loose monnay that they have never want sell.
With shareware authors, i have made more good contact than whit big software house !!!

3) The games of today have no good story or no spirit.
When Doom whas out, there whas a lot of bad clones sold after.
Today, everithing is 3D games, where are the good 2D arcades games, where are the good old fashioned bug free adventure games like 'Explora 1 - 3' on Amiga or the 'Flight of the Amazone queen' on Amiga and so many games that had a very good story ?

Before i whas buying every month 2 modern games for the pc (and before for the Amiga ) but after a while of disapointing, i buy very few games today !
The last new games whas 'Jagged Alliance 2 + Add-ons' sold separately on E-Bay (because no new to find !).

Today, i play and enjoy more the good old game that had buy and played in the past on the Spectrum emulator and the Amiga.

4) If the software house sold there games for 12.5 € then i will buy every game that interest me (if they are not bugged to death !!) and i think that every serious gamers will do it the same.

Because, at this price i will not loose my time to search internet a warez copy just for testing the game.
I will buy it in the boxed with original cd-rom.

Fighting warez/pirats is stupid and it is a loosed war.
1) You have the right to make a personal backup of your program/game but you can't because the protection.
Only the honest user is punished because pirats will remove rapidly the protection, and (you can see today with billions of games emulated) protections will never stop somebody to play the pirated game, but the software loose in all case.
There games are somelike corrupted (part of screen at the begining is gone for space for example) and the history will give him bad reputation.

In place of finding difficult protection sheme, they better create better games and more imaginative ones like CodeMasters, Ultimate Play The Game, UBi-Soft, ect... in the good old time of bug-free games.

5) I think that software must think twice about the emulation and the abandonware:

a) Real good games of old classics is a good advertising method and make a good reputation.
Why they don't use some of the old succes games to make a new story with the previous characters like an 'Explora 4', an Manoir de MorteVieille 2' or Maupity Island 2' with enhanced graphics/musics/ect...

And then make the original games disks/tapes of this games downloadable.
They waste millions of dollars and thousand hours of programming for protecting games and in the advertising system (radio/tv/press), they better think again they economic strategy because to go directly to selfkill like Sir-Tech Canada and so many software publishers !!!

6) A day of another day, the gamers community will be bored to buy craps and bugged games, and this time, software publishers will have only theyr eyes to cry.
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Old 25 February 2002, 21:39   #10
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Maverick357 has some valid points, though I may not completely agree with some of his opinions. That is, of course, only normal. I must however point out one area that is clearly inaccurate, that being the assertion that in days gone by, all the software we bought was normally "bug free". As long as there have been programs, there have been program bugs. With the added size and complexity of newer titles, there are simply more of them in any new program than there used to be when the programs were simpler. But the old programs alway did have their own bugs.

There is something of an old programmer's parable that relates to the inevitability of bugs, that goes something like this:

"Every program contains at least one bug, and can be reduced in length by at least one instruction. From this, we can deduce that every program can be reduced to a single instruction which does not work."
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Old 25 February 2002, 21:56   #11
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Good point there Maverick357

Another aspect in this debat:
If u look at the film industry. When a movies is 3 yrs old, you can watch it for free in the tv (I know the channels pay for it, but I don't). If u would like to buy the movie u go for the DVD, with extra stuff on. Then it's fair to pay for it.

The software industry could do the same. Like Sierra did with there compl of the old adv. game. They where well done, with extra stuff, and they where made to work on newer machines. They have made some of the old stuff avaible for abandonware.
They also have support for all their games not just the new ones.

The futur belongs to the internet. And to sharing through the internet. The industry have to reconsider their attitude towards stealing our money with alot of bugs-infected games/software. Start treating the comsumers with respect. Otherwise people would continue to share software.

Like the message from the cracking groups. A game worth playing is a game worth buying. This still counts. The problem today is most game are not worth playing.....
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Old 25 February 2002, 21:59   #12
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A fair point, all programs have bugs. But today bugs seem more "acceptable" to the companies who release the software. A large number of people have Internet access now, so the companies can get away with releasing unfinished games and distributing patches later. Nowadays the number of bugs a game contains is often mentioned in reviews in the same way as it's graphics or sound, as though they were an acceptable part of the product .

Also, I think a lot of the bugs in PC games are much, much more serious than those in older software. Sure, if a game crashes it may not be the fault of the game itself - it could be the graphics or sound card drivers. But is the developers responsibility (IMHO) to ensure at least a decent level of testing. Sure, software is much more advanced today; but then our development tools and knowledge of software development are too (supposedly).

I can never remember an Amiga game which crashed as much as PC games. Sure, some games didn't work on some configurations (esp the A1200) - but at least then, they would never work. They wouldn't let you play for twenty minutes and then dump you back to the OS.
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Old 25 February 2002, 22:41   #13
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I agree that software companies today are much more tolerant of the notion of releasing new titles which contain bugs than they used to be. To a certain extent I can understand that, given that the programs are much more complex than they used to be, and thus the bugs can be much more difficult to trigger in the first place. Also, since the number of possible variations in the hardware from one PC to another has greatly increased over the years, problems which might occur only for certain configurations can be very difficult to discover unless you just happen to be developing the program under that same configuration. To come reasonably close to preventing that from happening, much more time, effort and money would need to be spent in playtesting and debugging than is likely to make economic sense.

Unfortunately, most companies developing games are too likely to release a game when their "due date" arrives (whether self-imposed, or imposed by a publisher), rather than when it has been tested to a reasonable degree. This is where the fact that many reviews now discuss the bugs comes in handy, as far as I'm concerned. The reviewers save me from having to risk paying full retail for a game that works poorly, if at all. If a promising title comes out which is badly bug-ridden, I simply don't buy it, at least not at that "premium" price. If I'm going to have to hunt for a patch in order to run the game at all, then I'm not paying full retail for it - I can wait till it's featured in the local bargain bin. If it's TRULY buggy and the developer consistently puts out badly buggy titles, I'll skip it altogether. If the publisher's eventually figure out that people won't pay full retail for a product that is rushed to market with huge flaws, maybe something will begin to change. If the next big game took another 3 - 6 months to be finished, but I could count on it working when it was released, I wouldn't mind the delay at all. Heck, I might even be willing to pay more for it, if I knew it was a solid release.
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Old 25 February 2002, 23:17   #14
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Speaking of bugs reminded me of a review of Anarchy online I read on Somethingawful (which usually doesn't feature reviews). As far as I could tell from the numerous crashes described this was more like a pay per play beta version wrapped in a box. Buggy indeed.

But there are still some games which aren't bugged to death. I don't know if anyone of you know the game Oni. I just bought the PC version after having played the cracked version for a short bit (need to find someone to throw it at. CDs make great throwing discs). I was actually surprised at that game when I went to look for patches. I've only been able to find cracks, and a patch for the demo to add another level. Not one patch apart from that. The game runs fine without them too. That's a rare thing to find. Especially in a kind of game which defies the typical game genre by combining hand to hand combat with 3D instead of the typical only shoot games.

Just goes to show that there are at least hope that some games manufacturers may still actually care wether there are bugs or not in their products.
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Old 25 February 2002, 23:22   #15
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Speaking of patches, I should mention Fallout: Tactics.
There is a bug in the game that prevents "some users" display item graphics in the inventory at all. I was one of them . Interplay made a very creative approach against this issue. They made a patch and included all item graphics in the game. The size was about a hundred megabytes but who cares, the patch released after all

They totally ignore 56k users by this approach and I was an 56k user back then. I'd rather download the game to see what a crap it is rather than buying it and downloading a patch. The game was not crap by the way, it was ok in my opinion, if it worked !
 
Old 25 February 2002, 23:37   #16
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That's another of the things that is a "red flag" for me is the size of the patch download. If you have to download more than about 10 megs (tops), then that tells me that the bugs are pretty extensive. I'm still a 56K user, so the speed is one issue. But another issue is simply disk space. If the original install used only a couple of megs of space on my hard drive, but the installation of the patch requires me to put aside 100 MB or more of hard drive space, that's just sloppiness on their part. It doth not cause me to be kindly disposed towards their next release.
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Old 26 February 2002, 08:55   #17
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Oh woe is the PC gaming scene (this is not really new...PC games have always been the epitome of flawdom...) So in the year of 2002, with all of the technology at our expense, gaming has reached a new high. Any game released is assumed to be unfinished, still in beta, or crawling with bugs. Patches (yes, plural) are assumed and anytime this is deviated from, it's a shock to the gamer. At this rate, games will be decided as good just by whether they are bug free or patch free.

I still remember when the quality of a game was judged by the game itself. The actual gameplay. But I guess I am just an old fart living in the past...just a retro gran'paw, of sorts.

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Old 26 February 2002, 15:54   #18
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If what you describe is really the truth, and people like you are wrong then I don't want to be right.
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