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  Cheated by "the industry"  (Read 7194 times)
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Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #30 - Posted 2006-11-19 15:37:42 »

While I can see the logic in the Intel argument - it also does sound a bit bobbins doesn't it? I mean, the point of this thread is that the *big* games arn't intended to be run on Intel chipsets - they arn't properly tested on them and no dispensation is made for people running on them. They just stick a Required System panel on the box that says Nvidia or ATI card. So the cost of development and testing argument doesn't ring true to me.

I believe the issue is that, financially, you cannot "just do that" if you are a mainstream game developer - you can't afford to. Or, to put it another way, if you do then you'll just give up after one title and move to only making console games, because it's less hassle. You do also, of course, have all the hassle of people complaining your game is rubbish because it runs badly on their 3 ghz machine (becasue they ignore the graphics card requirement). Most people have no idea what "MX" stands for ("crap graphics card" would be one way of putting it Tongue) and have no intention/ability to go and learn the details of which card is which before buying a game and a computer.

...but I'm just trying to explain his argument here, not make it for him.

Quote
I also would think that the problem between PC gaming performance and console performance is more to do with the fact that you can buy the complete console for the price of an up to date graphics card. Thats never going to help a platform compete is it?

I'd say that's disingenuous - you're talking about prices charged to early adopters who want TEH BEST GAMING SYSTEM!!! to show off / be happy about / do something with their copious spare cash, not about what's actually needed to play current and upcoming games at high resolution with the majority of the effects (modulo some games these days add effects that they know only 1% of the market will be able to use).

If you know what you're doing, a good-enough-to-play-all-games-for-the-next-12-months-at-least gfx card costs around £75, and the rest of the PC to go with it around £400. That's the same price range as a PS3 - or even a 360 once you've bought decent controllers, the net connection, etc.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #31 - Posted 2006-11-19 15:46:36 »

Instead, Intel's sales are gradually destroying the PC games business.
How can one company's sales destroy the PC gaming industry? That makes utterly no sense. I'm not saying I'm siding with Intel or Dell, I actually prefer nVidia.

Sorry, I thought the last bit was obvious so didnt make it explicit:

Given all the above, most games developers *cannot afford* to develop AAA games - that compete with console games - on PC any more, and more and more of them are giving up on doing so, or are losing their crowns (e.g. id) to console-focussed companies.

It's *very* hard to tell in the games industry how many companies are actually going under, because there's dozens of games companies going bust and many more being bought out, split up, cut to pieces, etc every year. Ditto for trends in moving from PC dev to console dev - because develoeprs swiing back and forth from project to project, and each project takes 2-4 years.

But, from an economic standpoint, it's pretty watertight and there's not much you can argue with: this is, in fact, how funding and project-scope decisions are made in the industry, and they are definitely affected by the massive dominance of intel chipsets. It would be fair to say that intel has something of a monopoly, and one could even argue that they have every interest in destroying gaming on the PC because that would put GFX card companies out of business for PC - which would mean their great threat to profitibility in the chipset space would disappear. You could argue their purchase of GFX companies was part of this long-term strategy. But you'd be doing a lot of what-if's and assuming malice in a lot of places where it's probably just incompetence and laziness.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline thiagosc2

Senior Newbie





« Reply #32 - Posted 2006-11-19 15:51:33 »

However, each year intel chipsets increase in performance by around 5%.

Each year (averaged), console chipsets increase in performance by around 20%.

Each year, non-intel gfx cards increase in performance by around 25%.

I doubt PS2 performance increased any number greater than zero since it was first released and IGPs such as this Intel one can do better graphics than PS2. I don't buy the argument that a company satisfying its clients is guilty of killing the industry.

I have seen comments on forums of people running HL2 in a GeForce 2, with lower video settings of course, but running. The only reason for it not to run in Intel's IGP is the will of the producers, since it can easily outperform a GeForce 2.

Given the quality I can run some old games of mine, I think this IGP can easily make PS2-like or XBox-like games in terms of graphical quality. Surely NOT PS3 or XBox 360, but I don't think PS2 and XBox are that bad, especially because they still sell today. But we don't see anyone accusing Sony or Microsoft of still selling these underpowered gaming hardware, or of holding "game softhouses" back because of it.
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Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 117
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Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #33 - Posted 2006-11-19 15:53:19 »

Quote
I believe the issue is that, financially, you cannot "just do that" if you are a mainstream game developer

Um, hold on, thats the points - thats exacty what the main stream is doing - making games that don't run on low end systems like the one the OP has. They're rolling out games that are tested against the good hardware and sod the crappy stuff - good or bad, it's still the case.

It's indie folks that have to cope with all the crap cards to try increase the potential market so they can make *some* sales, especially in areas the big boys can't be bothered with.

Quote
If you know what you're doing, a good-enough-to-play-all-games-for-the-next-12-months-at-least gfx card costs around £75, and the rest of the PC to go with it around £400. That's the same price range as a PS3 - or even a 360 once you've bought decent controllers, the net connection, etc.

Hold on though, we're saying that the average person out there hasn't got a friggin clue what graphics card on a PC does what. They buy some bog standard box from Dell, it comes with some shit card - geeks like us tell them the card is crap so they go to the store and look for the bestest bestest uber goodness card they can find - see the price and thing, heh, I'll just buy an xbox360 instead.

Quote
...but I'm just trying to explain his argument here, not make it for him.

Fair enough, just doesn't sound like it holds water to me. More like someone trying to blame incompatible software on someone else - hmm, someone in the software industry trying to pass the buck, never seen that before Smiley

Kev

Offline thiagosc2

Senior Newbie





« Reply #34 - Posted 2006-11-19 16:11:53 »

They're not just cheap cards though, the biggest problem IMHO is that the drivers are really buggy, and tend to crash in uncatchable ways with no way of preventing it.

The drivers may not be the "best example of software" but look at EA games! NFS Most Wanted run flawlessly! By looking at the requirements they say they support Intel IGPs. Why EA can do it and other don't?

If I were the only one in the planet seeing these problems I could believe that my IGP alone is the reason for HL2 not working, but given the number of complains on forums about the stuttering bug, crazy recipes for "curing it" (like manually hacking the HL2 files to remove the autosaves) and other crashing problems, I think HL2 engine has some degree fault in here.
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder




Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #35 - Posted 2006-11-19 17:37:27 »

Well,  I'm not in the position to completely defend Valve, but your anger may be a bit misplaced. In the PC world is is nigh impossible to test for every single config. ...

But it is possible in the Mac world. Smiley  An advantage of having a single manufacturer.  Of course the price goes up a bit in that case.

PC hardware is, in general, crap.  Where I work we buy a lot of high-end motherboards, even they stink.  In the past we have had various problems from all sort s of manufacturers, such as:  USB doesn't work at all, USB for mouse and or keyboard doesn't work, PCI slots don't work, some PCI slots don't support bus mastering, etc.  Dual processors don't work, Quad core doesn't work, hyperthreading doesn't work.  All of these things are just with regular Windows 2k/XP OS.  It happens a lot.   I think the commodity nature of the PC market with cheap parts being integrated by companies that don't test things contributes to the effect.  Sometimes it could be that certain specifications are ambiguous and that leads to incompatible devices.

Mind you, I suspect Apple machines have the same problem to a degree.. but the advantage there is that if there is a problem, all the machines of that revision have the same problem so it is easier to deal with and work around.  20+ years ago when there weren't really any "clone"computers, Commodore and Atari and IBM et.c would make a few models of computers and if you got one it would work the same as if your friend got the same model.  Today it just doesn't work that way.

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #36 - Posted 2006-11-19 19:46:52 »

However, each year intel chipsets increase in performance by around 5%.

Each year (averaged), console chipsets increase in performance by around 20%.

Each year, non-intel gfx cards increase in performance by around 25%.

I doubt PS2 performance increased any number greater than zero since it was first released and IGPs such as this Intel one can do better graphics than PS2.

That's *exactly* why I put the "(averaged)" in there - console market upgrades by much more than 20% each generateion, but each generation lasts around 5 years. 20% may be a conservative estimate there - I was trying to do the compound interest rate maths in my head and tried to be conservative.

Quote
I don't buy the argument that a company satisfying its clients is guilty of killing the industry.

Those two statements are unrelated, bar the paranoia-theory I mentioned at the end - although there's something to be said for the fact that producing *better* chipsets each year could be cheaper thanks to shrinking die sizes and reduced support costs etc. The rate of improvement of intel chipsets is *considerably* below the rate of improvement of all other electronics, which is (I believe) part of Mark's fury - why is intel artificially moving their chips ahead slower than normal electronics, which get both cheaper AND better every year?

I do not claim to know the financial benefits - only that sometimes there ARE benefits (even just in basic cost) to keep your hardware upgrading over time, e.g. to lower power, smaller die size, etc - such that its not 100% clear that they keep the rate of improvement practically non-existent only to save money.

Quote
I have seen comments on forums of people running HL2 in a GeForce 2, with lower video settings of course, but running. The only reason for it not to run in Intel's IGP is the will of the producers, since it can easily outperform a GeForce 2.

That doesn't hold as an argument. Valve has more money than God (officially; didn't you get the press release? Wink) and can happily afford to optimize for all sorts of chipsets that others cannot justify.

Quote
Given the quality I can run some old games of mine, I think this IGP can easily make PS2-like or XBox-like games in terms of graphical quality. Surely NOT PS3 or XBox 360, but I don't think PS2 and XBox are that bad, especially because they still sell today. But we don't see anyone accusing Sony or Microsoft of still selling these underpowered gaming hardware, or of holding "game softhouses" back because of it.

Firstly, PS2 and XB quality is utter crap and horrible to look at - at least, once you've played any of the 360 games on an HD TV (which is proving a LOT more common than I thought it would for at least another two years to come; seems like MS's choice to force developers to build-in HDTV compatibility was a really good move).

Secondly, it's not just a question of the hardware's intrinsic ability, it's the compound issue of how much resource (programmers, testers, debugging) does it cost a games company to achieve that ability.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline OverKill

Junior Member




Java games rock!


« Reply #37 - Posted 2006-11-20 10:35:27 »

But I have to disagree, I think the gameplay of NFS is really good and the game is fun, especially for the GTA-like way of playing.
Less GTA then I would have hoped for. The game had a lot of waisted potential. Expecially multiplayer. From what I read, TestDrive did it a little better.
Not to mention the darn cheating system. (rhinos argh!)
The physics were often very strange. Riding over a curb (near the jail) at about 120 the inner wheel caused my porsche to flip.

I have Need for Speed Most Wanted and I have NEVER had a single problem with it - I get a constanst 60 FPS. Like I said, it could be your hardware. The game may not support what you currently have.
amd 2700, 1gig ram, geforce 6800.. never had problems with other games.
At times I had to reduce resolution and whatnot so the game does not stutter at the wrong times.
Offline Jamison

Junior Member




We're all idiots in one way or another.


« Reply #38 - Posted 2006-11-20 14:30:14 »

Firstly, PS2 and XB quality is utter crap and horrible to look at - at least, once you've played any of the 360 games on an HD TV (which is proving a LOT more common than I thought it would for at least another two years to come; seems like MS's choice to force developers to build-in HDTV compatibility was a really good move).
I partly agree with you here. I played Xbox for about two years till I upgraded my PC. I thought the graphics were just great, but once I got my PC, it just looked horrible. I have not played any Xbox games since then.

I don't like you. Check out my site Smiley www.gamedevforums.com
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #39 - Posted 2006-11-20 16:13:11 »

Just wait till you start playing 360 games... Smiley

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Jamison

Junior Member




We're all idiots in one way or another.


« Reply #40 - Posted 2006-11-21 04:06:08 »

Just wait till you start playing 360 games... Smiley
Yeah, but better yet... wait till I play PS3 games. Haha.

I don't like you. Check out my site Smiley www.gamedevforums.com
Offline Mr_Light

Senior Member




shiny.


« Reply #41 - Posted 2006-11-21 08:22:45 »

I've heard the ps3 doesn't even ship with  cables req for high dev, you have to buy them separately.

It's harder to read code than to write it. - it's even harder to write readable code.

The gospel of brother Riven: "The guarantee that all bugs are in *your* code is worth gold." Amen brother a-m-e-n.
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