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User information for Michael Russell

Real Name Michael Russell   
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Nickname RomSteady
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
Description QA Manager, Ritual Entertainment
Formerly Test Lead at Microsoft Game Studios, Access Software
Signed On Feb 17, 2002, 23:26
Total Comments 38 (Suspect)
User ID 12495
User comment history
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News Comments > Windows Panorama?
26. Re: News? Aug 12, 2006, 11:34  RomSteady 
The primary problem if Microsoft replaced the console license freely is that if they did, a person could go to a friend's house, log into Live with their account, download the game for their friend, log out, and their friend would then essentially "own" a copy of the game that they could play as long as their Xbox was alive, which would eliminate any need for the friend to buy a copy of the game for themselves.

Having secondary licenses tied to Live is an acceptable strategy because that way, the person who bought the game can still play it regardless of which Xbox he goes to as long as he can connect to Live.

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News Comments > Windows Panorama?
24. Re: News? Aug 12, 2006, 11:08  RomSteady 
Actually, there are two licenses: one tied to the Live account that purchased it, and one tied to the console.

It's best explained by the people behind it...who, conveniently enough, wrote an article on it on Thursday.

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News Comments > SiN Episodes Stats
19. Re: SiN Jul 21, 2006, 11:08  RomSteady 
That is a completely specious position. This is 2006 not 1996. More than 10% of game customers are web-savy enough to go to a game's official website especially when the link to it is installed with the game. If no more than 10% of your company's customers are web-savy, then your games must only appeal to the ignorant in which case that may be why you are selling such little content for $20 and mandating Steam since those fools wouldn't care.

Less than 3% of the customers for Links 2003 ever visited the website. Less than 10% of the customers ever downloaded a patch from anywhere (FilePlanet, et al.). But market research showed that almost 80% of the customers for that game had an active Internet connection at the time.

For some who believe that gaming is the center of the universe, it is hard to believe that the vast majority of people who buy games don't read forums or gaming websites or game magazines, but it's true.

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News Comments > SiN Episodes Stats
16. Re: SiN Jul 21, 2006, 10:12  RomSteady 
Lots of people saw the nine episodes listed and freaked out. We weren't thinking about this as a single game for $180. We never did.

We had three total "games" planned in this series. Each "game" was split into three "episodes," giving each game a clear beginning, middle and end.

While each three-episode arc had a self-contained story, there was also a meta-story that tied all three arcs together.

And Beamer, as for your statement that people will not pay for story only, I can point to dozens of counterexamples where people pay more than $20 for less than two hours of non-interactive story-based content willingly on a regular basis.

But instead, I'll just point out that since we released the game on May 10, we've released an entirely new game mode, seven new maps for that game mode with more on the way, we're working on multiplayer to give away, and we'll have an SDK out soon.

Thanks to Steam, we can make sure that everyone who purchased our game gets all of the freebies that we give away, not just the 10% of customers who happen to be web-savvy enough to read gaming news sites, know how to track down the downloads, and are able to install them.

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News Comments > SiN Episodes Stats
6. Re: Stats Uploading Jul 20, 2006, 18:54  RomSteady 
Are you certain that is the case? All Ritual says on its website is that "Up until the 1.4 patch, we only received data from players when they explicitly opened the Stats interface." That implies that the collection and uploading of stats may no longer be optional or user-selectable.

I'm 100% sure that stats upload is completely optional because I'm the person who tested the feature prior to the v1.4 update going out.

And even when people explicitly opened the stats interface, we received nothing unless they clicked the "Upload Stats" button.

As of the v1.4 update, if someone elects to upload their statistics during gameplay, they are uploaded at each level transition during the single player game, or at the completion of their arena mode match. If they choose not to upload their statistics, we receive no information about their playthrough.

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News Comments > SiN Episodes Stats
3. Stats Uploading Jul 20, 2006, 17:47  RomSteady 
Until the patch was released on Tuesday, no stats were uploaded unless you specifically went into the Stats screen and hit "Upload Stats."

Any new games started after Tuesday have a checkbox on the "New Game" dialog that ask if you want to upload your stats or not.

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News Comments > SiN Episodes: Emergence Patch
16. Re: Steam=No Problems Jul 19, 2006, 09:49  RomSteady 
If you set it to the Games window, it remembers your mini-view settings.

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News Comments > SiN Episodes: Emergence Patch
10. Re: Steam=No Problems Jul 19, 2006, 01:17  RomSteady 
Dagok, regarding the store opening every time you start Steam...

File > Settings > Interface > Favorite Window > Games

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News Comments > SiN Episodes: Emergence Patch
2. Re: blah blah blah Jul 18, 2006, 22:27  RomSteady 
Well, at least you were able to bring something constructive to the conversation.

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News Comments > Sin Episodes: Emergence & Red Orchestra Patched
4. Re: Arena Mode Jun 26, 2006, 21:43  RomSteady 
Kanniballl, this happened to a couple of people when we initially unlocked as well. They were able to fix it by either validating their local cache, or deleting their ClientRegistry.blob file.

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News Comments > Half-Life 2: Episode One Preloads
19. Re: No subject Apr 29, 2006, 17:51  RomSteady 
I think Tom's "gold vs. unlock" post was actually on another board, but the gist is that the English version is done, but foreign language versions are taking slightly longer to handle, and there are always those wonderful corner-case config bugs (because the PC has billions and billions of possible hardware configurations) that always come out shortly after gold.

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News Comments > SiN Patch
15. Re: No subject Apr 19, 2006, 21:35  RomSteady 
MakersMarksman, if you pre-order "SiN Episodes," you get "SiN 1" immediately for play.

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News Comments > Dear Diary - SiN Episodes Goes Beta
2. Re: Now we can start saying Feb 23, 2006, 22:15  RomSteady 

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News Comments > SiN Episodes Delay
61. Re: A six hour episode Dec 17, 2005, 23:53  RomSteady 
Go ahead and find the link, but given that I'm Ritual's QA Manager, I'd hope I would have found out at least a small something about the price.

As for the 3-4 month goal, that is definitely the goal. We've got a massive code merge with all of the Source engine updates from Valve since we branched off coming shortly after release of Episode 1, but that won't stop the rest of the team from working on Episode 2.

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News Comments > SiN Episodes Delay
56. Re: A six hour episode Dec 17, 2005, 23:48  RomSteady 
Not feeding per se. Merely correcting the fiber intake in their diet.

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News Comments > SiN Episodes Delay
53. Re: A six hour episode Dec 17, 2005, 23:39  RomSteady 
Just a few clarifications here related to Dagok's "FACT" post...

#1. Episode 1 is currently in the 4-6 hour range. How did we measure that? We brought in local hard-core gamers and had them play it.

#2. We haven't announced a price for Episode 1 yet.

#3. We'll know how long it will take between episodes once we finish this one. This one has been taking longer because we've had to learn a new asset pipeline and generate the vast majority of assets from scratch.

#4. Not sure about future episodes, but Episode 1 ends with closure for small parts of the arc, but a cliffhanger leading into Episode 2.

#5. We'll be able to reuse character assets and props at the least.

#6. We're aiming for SiN 1.12 (Steam version) to be available before Episode 1.

#7. No comment.

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News Comments > Stainless Steel Studios Follow-up
2. Re: No subject Nov 28, 2005, 17:58  RomSteady 
Because the ~$2 million spent in development is significantly less than the additional ~$8 million necessary for marketing and press tours, packaging and materials, shipping, purchasing shelf space, and warehouse space for storing the copies that didn't sell that inevitably you'll have to buy back from distributors and retailers.

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News Comments > Half-Life 2: Lost Coast Released
35. Re: hmm Oct 27, 2005, 20:46  RomSteady 
Drop an object or panel into the cannon thingy while it's open

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News Comments > Ships Ahoy - Quake 4
10. Re: No subject Oct 18, 2005, 14:51  RomSteady 
That is exactly why I don't understand "preorder" and all of that happenstance. Could have went and picked it up at 9:00 am at a store near you. Including, but not limited to:
Best Buy
EBGames (and all affliated)
GameStop (and all affliated - same as EB? I forget)

Well, I live and work in Dallas, and the EBGames I preordered it at won't have it available until tomorrow...oh, well...

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News Comments > California Game Bill Signed
16. Re: A couple of things.... Oct 7, 2005, 20:17  RomSteady 
And where does it say this affects games rated Teen, or they are going to have a new rating system in California? If you could link it I'd love to see it.

Read the bill yourself.

Essentially, the bill ignores the ESRB rating and uses a set of very vague criteria, some of which involve what the player is thinking when he's playing the game, to determine if the game needs the sticker.

I'm fine with the ESRB rating system being enforced. I'm *not* fine with having to worry about yet another regional rating system when shipping a game. ESRB, PEGI,'s nuts.

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38 Comments. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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