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Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming

Total PC Gaming Magazine has some tidbits from an interview with Chris Taylor of Gas Powered Games from issue #30 of their print magazine, which hits newsstands next month. "Anytime you have a propriety system itís like a benevolent dictatorship Ė there are some short term benefits to it, but they fall down in the long run," Taylor told them. "Thatís been the way itís been over and over again in the history of technology and even the history of the world." He goes on to explain how the openness of the PC platform will protect against these proprietary issues: "So I think the PC is an open platform, and digital distribution means the ability for people to create strong (independent) publishing and distribution platforms- none of which is possible on consoles," he explains. "I could really go down the rabbit hole with this, but I see the PC as the only logical place to carry forward for everyone who wants to compete- itís the open market place." Thanks play.tm.

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29. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 23, 2010, 12:19 Pedle Zelnip
 
Wowbagger_TIP wrote on Jan 22, 2010, 12:51:
I don't even see it as much of a choice between console and PC. The experiences are so completely different that it's not a matter of choosing one over the other. I just don't enjoy the console experience except in the case of certain types of games, so it's really not an option for me. They are complimentary in that I enjoy some types of games on the PC and some on the console, with very little overlap. I still do about 90% of my gaming on the PC because that's where most of the games I enjoy are best played.

EXACTLY! The two are not mutually exclusive. You find that consoles aren't for you so you don't play them. I have zero problem with people who are in that boat. What I take issue with are the people who are PC elitists who feel that consoles must die simply because they are so committed to their own platform.

Jerykk wrote on Jan 23, 2010, 05:52:
Halo not on the Wii has nothing to do with "upgrading".

Sure it is. If you want to play Halo 3, you need to upgrade to a more powerful console (the 360). Similarly, if you want to play Crysis, you're going to have to replace your old 6800 GT. Unlike consoles, the PC doesn't have generations. It is constantly evolving. Many people think of it in the same manner as consoles and instead of upgrading the necessary parts as time goes on, they either wait until their computer is horribly outdated and then buy a whole new one or they just complain that their computer sucks and buy a console instead.

That's a bit of a stretch to call buying a new console "upgrading" in the same way that buying a new video card, sound card, etc for a PC is upgrading. One is incremental and constantly ongoing, the other is once every few years.

Jerykk wrote on Jan 23, 2010, 05:52:
I wouldn't call the problems inherent. With sufficient testing, 99% of problems wouldn't happen. However, many developers skimp on testing these days because QA can be expensive. As for driver issues, it's not that hard to go on Google and do a little research. PC gaming takes effort, sure, but the information you need is out there and you can find it.

Agree to disagree.

Jerykk wrote on Jan 23, 2010, 05:52:
That's not much of a choice. A) Play the game and put up with shitty framerates or B) Not play the game. On the PC, you'd have more choices like A) Play the game and put up with shitty framerates, B) Upgrade your computer and play the game with good framerates, C) Lower your detail settings and play with improved framerates, D) Find some mods that optimize the graphics and improve the framerate, E) Overclock your system and improve the framerate. F) All of the above. G) Not play the game.

And how many "typical gamers" are interested in most of those options? But you're right, those are all choices that are available to you, and this could be seen as a strength of the platform (choice).

And as a sidebar -- I've only ever seen a single game on my 360 which has had serious framerate issues (Quake 4). That's the plus of having the same hardware in every machine -- you can optimize to that platform, and you can be sure how the game will run on *every* console out there (as they're all the same). It also comes directly as a result of the "controlled" nature of requiring certification before being able to have your game on store shelves.

This comment was edited on Jan 23, 2010, 12:22.
 
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28. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 23, 2010, 05:52 Jerykk
 
Halo not on the Wii has nothing to do with "upgrading".

Sure it is. If you want to play Halo 3, you need to upgrade to a more powerful console (the 360). Similarly, if you want to play Crysis, you're going to have to replace your old 6800 GT. Unlike consoles, the PC doesn't have generations. It is constantly evolving. Many people think of it in the same manner as consoles and instead of upgrading the necessary parts as time goes on, they either wait until their computer is horribly outdated and then buy a whole new one or they just complain that their computer sucks and buy a console instead.

It's a characteristic that is inherent to the platform, that comes directly from the openness of it. And it's more than "common sense" to resolve driver issues.

I wouldn't call the problems inherent. With sufficient testing, 99% of problems wouldn't happen. However, many developers skimp on testing these days because QA can be expensive. As for driver issues, it's not that hard to go on Google and do a little research. PC gaming takes effort, sure, but the information you need is out there and you can find it.

I see your point about having to upgrade to play the latest games on the PC, but at the same time, its when you upgrade to the latest and the greatest that you're most likely to run into those technical problems as drivers aren't as mature, etc.

That applies to pretty much anything, including consoles. Remember all the Xbox RRoDs? If you rush out and buy the first iteration of any piece of hardware, you will almost inevitably run into issues.

The point I'm making is that it's a trade-off: openness comes at the cost of "plug and play" simplicity.

I agree. Nobody can ever claim that PC gaming is as accessible or convenient as console gaming.

You can not play the game, which I'd contend is the same thing you're doing on the PC side of the equation.

That's not much of a choice. A) Play the game and put up with shitty framerates or B) Not play the game. On the PC, you'd have more choices like A) Play the game and put up with shitty framerates, B) Upgrade your computer and play the game with good framerates, C) Lower your detail settings and play with improved framerates, D) Find some mods that optimize the graphics and improve the framerate, E) Overclock your system and improve the framerate. F) All of the above. G) Not play the game.

What PC gaming needs is a bug-free Tribes game.

It doesn't necessarily need to be bug-free. Skiing was a bug, after all, and it completely changed the game for the better. I'd be satisfied enough with just a new Tribes game, buggy or not.

This comment was edited on Jan 23, 2010, 05:56.
 
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27. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 22, 2010, 12:51 Wowbagger_TIP
 
I see your point about having to upgrade to play the latest games on the PC, but at the same time, its when you upgrade to the latest and the greatest that you're most likely to run into those technical problems as drivers aren't as mature, etc.
Which is a good reason to save some money and never upgrade to the bleeding edge, as the price/performance ratio sucks and as an added bonus you get to deal with all the bugs. Buy mid-range stuff that's been around for six months and you'll pay half as much and still be able to play all the latest stuff without nearly as much trouble.

I don't even see it as much of a choice between console and PC. The experiences are so completely different that it's not a matter of choosing one over the other. I just don't enjoy the console experience except in the case of certain types of games, so it's really not an option for me. They are complimentary in that I enjoy some types of games on the PC and some on the console, with very little overlap. I still do about 90% of my gaming on the PC because that's where most of the games I enjoy are best played.

This comment was edited on Jan 22, 2010, 12:54.
 
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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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26. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 22, 2010, 10:15 Pedle Zelnip
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 21, 2010, 21:16:
I don't think it downplays the negatives because it has nothing to do with the negatives. Taylor never claimed that PC gaming is as convenient or accessible to gamers as consoles are. He's talking about developers. On the PC, developers have the most freedom. You can make whatever you want. There is no certification, no approval process, no specific hardware you have to work with, no specific price you have to set, etc.

Fair enough.

Jerykk wrote on Jan 21, 2010, 21:16:
There is always a choice with the PC. It just requires some tech savvy and common sense. You can't fault the platform itself for technical issues you may encounter with your specific hardware or software. A lot of people are using old, outdated PCs. Is it reasonable for them to expect to play all the new games? Nope. If they want to play the newest games, they'll need to upgrade, just like they would buy a new console. You don't see people complaining that they can't play Halo on their Wii.

Halo not on the Wii has nothing to do with "upgrading". :p

I disagree though that the fact that technical issues are not a fault of the platform. It's a characteristic that is inherent to the platform, that comes directly from the openness of it. And it's more than "common sense" to resolve driver issues.

I see your point about having to upgrade to play the latest games on the PC, but at the same time, its when you upgrade to the latest and the greatest that you're most likely to run into those technical problems as drivers aren't as mature, etc.

Jerykk wrote on Jan 21, 2010, 21:16:
I choose to keep my system up-to-date. As such, I don't even need to read system requirements because I know I can run everything. If the game itself is broken, that's the fault of the programmers, not the platform.

But see that's where you and I differ. I've never had issues with games not working on my Xbox360. Why? BECAUSE of that certification process that games have to go through. Its onerous for the devs, sure, but there is a reason (and a benefit) to it.

The point I'm making is that it's a trade-off: openness comes at the cost of "plug and play" simplicity.

Jerykk wrote on Jan 21, 2010, 21:16:
That's a lot better than on a console where if something runs like crap, it runs like crap and there's nothing you can do about it.

You can not play the game, which I'd contend is the same thing you're doing on the PC side of the equation.

This comment was edited on Jan 22, 2010, 10:18.
 
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25. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 22, 2010, 08:36 Verno
 
I have a steam group of PC gamers that I've been playing with since the Ultima Online days and it's pretty sad when we all hop on Ventrilo that we can't find a game to play other than TF2 most of the time. Multiplayer is starting to belong to consoles and that really needs to change if the industry wants to keep pace. I hope BC2 works out as planned, we had our fill of the older gen FPS titles and finding decent co-op games on the PC is very difficult.

We were all hoping Borderlands would be the Diablo of the FPS genre and keep us going for awhile but that game was a disaster on the PC. What PC gaming needs is a bug-free Tribes game

This comment was edited on Jan 22, 2010, 08:37.
 
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24. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 22, 2010, 08:22 Muscular Beaver
 
I really want to hope that PC gaming will recover and continue where it left off a few years ago, but with GFWL, Steam, Social Club, DRM and other trash, I really dont see it happening. It will just become a more complex console, which complexity wont be utilized (except to even more boss around the honest customers). Actually I see more and more people jump to consoles frustrated, because they have so many issues with mentioned Software and just want to play their game without any hassle (like it was a few years ago).

And I can understand them very well. For many people the normal compatibility problems of the PC are enough of a reason already to switch to consoles, so this added bloatware and semi-malware doesnt really help.

And even people like me and many of my friends, who are PC pros, are starting to surrender to consoles, because they try to keep their PC clean, fast and stable, but with all this added software that needs to run while playing, its getting harder and harder each day. Just yesterday a friend of mine finally bought a console, because he found out that GFWL is causing hiccups in his graphic performance, similar to loading stutters.
 
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Oh that is so lame... You will PAY for your use of inappropriate dialogue!
- Mojo Jojo
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23. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 21, 2010, 21:41 Sepharo
 
Will be? It already is. And who loves to hate on Steam?

I think we've driven most of them out but there are probably a few lurking.

RILEY PIZT!
RILEY PIZT!
RILEY PIZT!

Actually he probably still posts here under a different name. That way he would never have to admit to being wrong about how bad Steam is for PC gaming.
 
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22. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 21, 2010, 21:16 Jerykk
 
It's misleading in the sense that "Open" and "free" are words so overloaded with positive charge that it downplays the negatives of the platform.

I don't think it downplays the negatives because it has nothing to do with the negatives. Taylor never claimed that PC gaming is as convenient or accessible to gamers as consoles are. He's talking about developers. On the PC, developers have the most freedom. You can make whatever you want. There is no certification, no approval process, no specific hardware you have to work with, no specific price you have to set, etc.

And "accessibility" is just as much an aspect of a platform being "open" as "choice". If I cannot access a game on my PC, then how can the platform be considered "open"?

There is always a choice with the PC. It just requires some tech savvy and common sense. You can't fault the platform itself for technical issues you may encounter with your specific hardware or software. A lot of people are using old, outdated PCs. Is it reasonable for them to expect to play all the new games? Nope. If they want to play the newest games, they'll need to upgrade, just like they would buy a new console. You don't see people complaining that they can't play Halo on their Wii.

I choose to keep my system up-to-date. As such, I don't even need to read system requirements because I know I can run everything. If the game itself is broken, that's the fault of the programmers, not the platform. For example, Cryoastatis runs like total ass on my 4870x2. Is that the fault of the PC as a platform? No, it's the fault of the developers for not testing the game properly. Is this a problem I can resolve? Sure. I can just swap out my ATI card with my Nvidia card. This isn't the ideal solution and it does require extra effort on my behalf but it is still a solution. That's a lot better than on a console where if something runs like crap, it runs like crap and there's nothing you can do about it.

I for example, cannot "choose" to play Halo 3 or Uncharted on my PC for example.

Relative choice. Obviously I can't choose to fly using my toaster. Nor can I choose to play Deus Ex on my X360 or Torchlight on my PS3. However, as a gaming platform and in terms of user control, the PC provides the most choice.

This comment was edited on Jan 21, 2010, 21:17.
 
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21. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 21, 2010, 20:45 Pedle Zelnip
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 21, 2010, 17:19:
The idea that the PC is more open is valid, though it's a bit misleading of a claim.

I don't think it's misleading. "Open" refers to choice, not accessibility. When it comes to choice on behalf of both developers and consumers, the PC is unrivaled.

It's misleading in the sense that "Open" and "free" are words so overloaded with positive charge that it downplays the negatives of the platform. And "accessibility" is just as much an aspect of a platform being "open" as "choice". If I cannot access a game on my PC, then how can the platform be considered "open"?

I agree though that the PC is unrivaled in terms of flexibility, and openness. I'm hesitant to use the word "choice" as it can be misconstrued. I for example, cannot "choose" to play Halo 3 or Uncharted on my PC for example.

loomy wrote on Jan 21, 2010, 19:13:
pedle, the PC hassles you're talking about are on a different level of abstraction than the openness topic

those hassles aren't inherent to the open PC platform any more than a fee for xbox live is for consoles. such issues are just a result of some software design that can be changed, like windows wallpapers always having blue sky

I disagree, I think the "hassles" are a direct result of the openness of the platform (you can add any piece of hardware you wish to a PC, and the vast majority of issues come as a result of hardware incompatibilities), and as such it is absolutely central to the openness issue.
 
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20. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 21, 2010, 20:22 Diabolus in Musica
 
Icewind wrote on Jan 21, 2010, 16:13:
As much as people love to hate on Steam, it'll end up being PC Gaming's savior.

Will be? It already is. And who loves to hate on Steam?
 
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19. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 21, 2010, 19:46 Roachmojo
 
I'd be happy at this point just to have a fucking console port that WORKS on my PC, unlike that aborted fucking fetus called "Prototype"...goddamned fucking sound doesn't even work on that piece of Activision shit...  
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18. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 21, 2010, 19:13 loomy
 
pedle, the PC hassles you're talking about are on a different level of abstraction than the openness topic

those hassles aren't inherent to the open PC platform any more than a fee for xbox live is for consoles. such issues are just a result of some software design that can be changed, like windows wallpapers always having blue sky

This comment was edited on Jan 21, 2010, 19:13.
 
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17. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 21, 2010, 17:48 tskiller
 
This is asinine, Taylor is part of the problem. Don't even get me started on the DOA level of consolitis supreme commander 2 has. Pisses me off to no end how he keeps claiming to be some sort of expert on PC games, yet he himself is one for simplifying and dumbing down so it has appeal to the masses of console players out there.  
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16. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 21, 2010, 17:19 Jerykk
 
The idea that the PC is more open is valid, though it's a bit misleading of a claim.

I don't think it's misleading. "Open" refers to choice, not accessibility. When it comes to choice on behalf of both developers and consumers, the PC is unrivaled.
 
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15. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 21, 2010, 17:19 Steele Johnson
 
Verno wrote on Jan 21, 2010, 15:34:
Actually thanks to the advent of PSN and XBLA, many of those indies are doing console stuff now too.

I agree. There are definitely some indie devs that did much better on the xbox 360 last year (and the iPhone) than they did on the pc. Same with ps3. So I have to disagree with Chris T. Consoles (and mobile devices) are enabling more ways for indie devs to make money, and they're starting to become more lucrative avenues than what the pc has to offer.
 
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14. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 21, 2010, 17:06 Pedle Zelnip
 
The idea that the PC is more open is valid, though it's a bit misleading of a claim.

Yes, there's more freedom for independent developers to self-publish on the PC than on consoles.

BUT, how many really great games can still be made by indy developers in their spare time? The old nostalgic vision of the Ken Silverman sitting in his basement coming up with the next Ken's Labyrinth is gone. Nowadays the types of games which most gamers demand require *huge* amounts of resources dedicated to developing them.

People mentioned games like Torchlight, but that's a game made by a studio, not an indy. Audiosurf sure, but honestly, while AS is a good game, it's a casual "pick up and play" kinda game. Put another way -- it's nothing that's going to set the industry on fire.

And aside from this, the idea that PC gaming is more "open" and "free", hides the fact that it's also more "techie". I've never had to upgrade, download a driver for, resolve a hardware conflict, or worry "will this game work" when playing games on my Xbox360. Over the holidays I purchased a number of games on Steam, and some worked great "out of the box", others did not, requiring a not-insigificant amount of tweaking. This is the price you pay for the "openness" of the system.

Why can't we move away from the PC vs consoles dichotomy, both platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, and both are and will continue to be for the foreseeable future major parts of the electronic entertainment industry.
 
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13. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 21, 2010, 16:46 Jerykk
 
And yes you can release content without a publisher, people do it all the time.

Are we talking about games here? And are XBLA and the Marketplace separate? I thought you bought XBLA games from the Marketplace? In any case, if you want to release a game on XBLA, you definitely have to have a publisher (either Microsoft or third-party). That's a pretty big downside.
 
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12. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 21, 2010, 16:17 Verno
 
Not exactly. If I recall correctly, you can't release anything on XBLA without a publisher.

When I refer to XBLA, I mean the whole XBLM thing including the Indie section. And yes you can release content without a publisher, people do it all the time. XBL segregates content into different sections so it isn't a total mess. And you forgot PSN.
 
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11. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 21, 2010, 16:13 Icewind
 
It's starting to change as we speak. Little guys are coming up and using the digital distribution platform to release games that are trumping anything you find on the consoles. Everything from Hardcore games (Mount & Blade) to Casual (Audiosurf) and everything in between (Torchlight).

In this decade, I fully expect to see a shift back to PCs thanks to this trend. XBLA and PSN are far more restrictive than, say, Steam or Impulse.

As much as people love to hate on Steam, it'll end up being PC Gaming's savior.
 
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10. Re: Chris Taylor Optimistic About PC Gaming Jan 21, 2010, 16:07 ASJD
 
dubfanatic wrote on Jan 21, 2010, 15:40:
I love how this news item is right above another item that demonstrates how corporations are trying (and failing) to shoehorn the PC into the console model. I wonder why they're trying to do that if it's such an inferior model?

Because that 'inferior model' is many times as profitable.


If this were compared to the real world, 95% of the world population would be in dictatorships that charged a 8% tax, while a much smaller population bought their goods tax free. Yet there was no government to protect merchants in that tax free world, so a good deal of the goods are stolen.
 
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