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Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend

Futuremark Games Studio's multiplayer first-person shooter Shattered Horizon will be free to play this weekend beginning at 00:01 GMT Friday (7:01 pm EST Thursday) and ending 21:00 GMT Sunday (4:00 pm EST Sunday). Additionally the game will be on sale all weekend for 50% off. This will give everyone the chance to sample the content of the just released Moonrise expansion for the zero-G shooter. They also say: "Players and game hosting companies who would like to put up their own servers during the free weekend can get the dedicated server files now from the Shattered Horizon website or from the Tools tab within Steam." Full details are in this announcement.

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22. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 19:03 elefunk
 
I mean, it just seems like plain common sense to me. Why else would a developer deliberately limit the audience of the first game they ever produced if it didn't make financial sense to do so?

Obviously for each individual it sucks if you can't play the games that you want to say, but that's quite a different story from directly insulting Futuremark for making a supposedly "stupid" decision here.
 
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21. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 16:32 Wowbagger_TIP
 
If it lowered their development costs a lot, then I can certainly understand it. I may check it out this weekend. I've been running Win7 for like 9 months now (I skipped Vista), and I would never go back to XP. From what I've read about DX9 vs DX10/11 development, I can't blame them for wanting to ditch DX9.  
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20. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 14:18 Ant
 
Bet wrote on Feb 17, 2010, 14:13:
Yeah, and I think the game came out before W7 was on sale.

Windows 7 had been in stores for two weeks before the game was released on Steam, so not quite.
Ah OK. Even if that was the case, it would be dumb to make the game DirectX 11 only since W7 barely came out.

This comment was edited on Feb 17, 2010, 16:33.
 
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19. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 14:13 Bet
 
Yeah, and I think the game came out before W7 was on sale.

Windows 7 had been in stores for two weeks before the game was released on Steam, so not quite.
 
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18. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 14:09 Prez
 
I thought it was DirectX 10

My mistake. Either way, because I am using XP, I can't play it, even though I would probably buy it if it weren't a DX 10 exclusive.
 
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17. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 14:05 Ant
 
LMN8R wrote on Feb 17, 2010, 13:58:
It is DX10, not DX11. I'm not sure why people ever got the idea this game was DX11-exclusive.

Regardless, DX11 is supported by both Vista and Windows 7, and is backwards compatible with DX10 hardware, so even if it was a DX11 game (though it's not), the exact same set of users would be able to play it.
Yeah, and I think the game came out before W7 was on sale.
 
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16. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 13:58 elefunk
 
It is DX10, not DX11. I'm not sure why people ever got the idea this game was DX11-exclusive.

Regardless, DX11 is supported by both Vista and Windows 7, and is backwards compatible with DX10 hardware, so even if it was a DX11 game (though it's not), the exact same set of users would be able to play it.
 
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15. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 13:38 Ant
 
Prez wrote on Feb 17, 2010, 13:35:
I easily have a computer that could run it hardware-wise; I just don't have a DirectX 11 OS. I agree with those who say making this game a DirectX 11 exclusive was a mistake.
I thought it was DirectX 10.
 
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14. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 13:35 Prez
 
I easily have a computer that could run it hardware-wise; I just don't have a DirectX 11 OS. I agree with those who say making this game a DirectX 11 exclusive was a mistake.  
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13. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 13:34 Ant
 
Nucas wrote on Feb 17, 2010, 11:48:
it does require windows vista/7, which turned me off back during that holiday sale...
Yeah, I wanted to play it, but it required DirectX 10/11 since I still use XP Pro. SP3. I am fine with it too. I will upgrade when my OS gets trashed or support is gone (probably in a few years).
 
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12. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 13:26 elefunk
 
Making this is a DX10-only game was a huge mistake. Cuts out about 50% of the potential audience who still uses XP.
The question is whether the 50% who still use XP instead of Vista, or now more importantly and more likely, Windows 7, would actually be considered the target market using high-end hardware required to play this game in the first place.

Developing exclusively for DX10 is far less expensive than developing an engine for both DX9 and DX10. The API is exponentially more straightforward to develop for, there is less diversification of compatible hardware to account for, less troubleshooting and potential problems to work around, etc. etc.


FutureMark hasn't developed anything that supported DX9 for years and years. They would have had to practically create a brand new DX9 engine from the ground-up for Shattered Horizon since they don't have anything recent to pull from.

The question is - would the huge cost of developing an engine for an old API that negated the groundbreaking visuals they wanted to do for Shattered Horizon been offset by the extra sales they would have gotten from gamers still using XP?

Or did it make sense to instead drastically lower their development costs, exclusively develop for Vista/Windows 7 systems, and hope the enthusiasts with high-end hardware were already ready to play the game?


And even better, was it worth it to FutureMark to hedge their bets that more people would be getting DX10 systems over time as more people continued to upgrade to Windows 7, making more potential customers for Shattered Horizon in the future?

If they keep releasing content updates and having free weekends like this, it's a great marketing strategy to get that ever-expanding new wave of DX10-capable gamers a way to try this game, and it's far cheaper to do it this way than build in DX9 from the start.
 
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11. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 13:23 PHJF
 
It's a shooter... with one gun.

Of course I'm not going to play it.
 
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10. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 13:13 Verno
 
kxmode wrote on Feb 17, 2010, 12:24:
Well that's great!*

*for the 9% who have Windows 7

It's not the percentage that matters, it's the adoption rate. Windows 7 went from nothing to 30% in a very short period of time compared to other Windows results in the hardware survey's past reports. It will probably be 70-80% by the end of this year.
 
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9. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 12:56 fujiJuice
 
kxmode wrote on Feb 17, 2010, 12:41:
JaguarUSF wrote on Feb 17, 2010, 12:28:
kxmode wrote on Feb 17, 2010, 12:24:
for the 9% who have Windows 7
Actually it's more like 30%.

I was looking at "Windows 7 (+1.58%) 9.03%". Totally missed Windows 7 64 bit.

Plus it also includes Vista so it's actually 49%.
 
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8. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 12:54 Parallax Abstraction
 
I bought this during the Steam sale and I actually really like it. It's a very different take on online FPS. Problem is that because of the high system requirements (which it didn't need because while it looks good, I don't see where it really benefits from needing DX10), not many people bought it and fewer have stuck around. I used my 3-day passes on two friends and while they both enjoyed it, the population was too low to convince them to buy it. I'm hoping this free weekend combined with the new maps will breathe new life into it as it's a really good and more important, unique idea. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend giving it a shot this weekend.  
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7. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 12:41 Kxmode
 
JaguarUSF wrote on Feb 17, 2010, 12:28:
kxmode wrote on Feb 17, 2010, 12:24:
for the 9% who have Windows 7
Actually it's more like 30%.

I was looking at "Windows 7 (+1.58%) 9.03%". Totally missed Windows 7 64 bit.
 
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6. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 12:29 Jerykk
 
Making this is a DX10-only game was a huge mistake. Cuts out about 50% of the potential audience who still uses XP.  
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5. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 12:28 JaguarUSF
 
kxmode wrote on Feb 17, 2010, 12:24:
for the 9% who have Windows 7
Actually it's more like 30%.
 
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4. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 12:24 Kxmode
 
Well that's great!*

*for the 9% who have Windows 7
 
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3. Re: Shattered Horizon Free This Weekend Feb 17, 2010, 11:48 Nucas
 
it does require windows vista/7, which turned me off back during that holiday sale. been meaning to upgrade, have the disk right behind me, but it's still a matter of "eh."  
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