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User information for Nick Davidson

Real Name Nick Davidson   
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Nickname Duc
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 2, 2003, 13:19
Total Comments 330 (Amateur)
User ID 17321
User comment history
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News Comments > Remedy "Too Small" for PC Alan Wake
32. Re: Remedy Apr 1, 2010, 03:51 Duc

Do you actually know anything of Microsoft's history? You are aware that they paid $50 MILLION just to get GTA4 DLC timed exclusivity? You really think they wouldn't be willing to pay a little more for a PC port if they weren't hell-bent on making everything an Xbox-exclusive?

Yes I was aware. What I was actually trying to express was the cost relative to the size of the user base - and as we all know that Microsoft doesn't actually give a shit about PC gaming and I find it extremely unlikely that they'd throw more money at an already massively delayed game.

You honestly think that MS aborted the PC version because of QA costs? And wtf? 30-40 people? You would need maybe 5-10 more people to work on the PC version and that's mostly QA (on temp contracts with no benefits).

I think that Remedy supposedly developed the engine from scratch rather than use an existing engine, which means their required investment in testing is going to be proportionately higher than using something like Unreal. Doubling is probably extreme though, so I guess that's a fair point.

In addition, it's not like the PC version is a completely new game. The artists, designers and programmers who work on the X360 version? Yeah, they work on the PC version too. That's how multiplatform development works. You don't hire a completely new team for each version of the game. Multiplatform development is so popular because it's cost-effective and 360-to-PC ports are about as cost-effective as they get.
Yes I am aware you don't need new assets or code for a multi-platform title, in fact I'd go further - I bet they alrady have a PC version working, as people have observed it at least started out on the PC and I doubt they dropped something as useful as a locally debuggable, demoable variant.

What I suspect is that Remedy doesn't have the cash to expand and test and Microsoft won't pay.

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News Comments > Remedy "Too Small" for PC Alan Wake
29. Re: Remedy "Too Small" for PC Alan Wake Apr 1, 2010, 02:45 Duc
Speaking as someone who does multi-platform software development (ARM, x86 *nix, Windows) and I can tell you that it's not bullshit and if any of you stopped to think for five minutes you'd realize why.

Conservative estimates put the time you spend fixing bugs at approximately 50% of development and every platform you have needs it's own QA, carefully honed test procedures and probably dedicated staff. Don't get me wrong, if you can do it properly multi-platform development results in better code for a variety of reasons - but we don't have to QA any other platform than ARM for our own internal development and if it turned out we had to support any of the others for anything other than internal use we'd probably need to double our team size.

The PC ecosystem has many things going for it but consistency isn't one of them - it's probably the area Microsoft have done the most actual harm to PC gaming - Modern versions of Windows come in Starter, Home, Premium, Professional and Enterprise variants in 7 alone, all in 32 and 64 bit versions and that's not even considering Vista,XP, DX9 vs DX10 or the myriad of different hardware options. It's not like Microsoft couldn't afford to add the 30 or 40 people necessary to get this game out on the PC but this is easily the most plausible and honest reason why they are not releasing it. Compared to supporting one or possibly two console SKU's the PC doesn't make much financial sense, consider the sales numbers from something like modern warfare 2, in Nov 09 it sold approximately 4.2 million units for the 360, 1.8 million for the ps3 and 170,000 units on the PC 1. (Note, NPD numbers don't appear to include digital sales, but then Steam and all the other digital stores represent their own set of challenges as I'm pretty sure DSmart went in to previously on this very forum.

Now, if you want to slate Microsoft for massively confusing the market with dozens of pointless options (and Games for Windows, I doubt that's helped.) and Remedy being too cheap to spring for a PC release that's fair enough I guess

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News Comments > Crysis DL Update Issue
5. Re: No subject Sep 8, 2008, 09:58 Duc
I don't think anyone is really pro-drm, it sucks and just about everyone will admit iy - The problem is that people steal games, movies , tv and music as a kind of default activity. Even if devs offered a tip jar, the evidence suggests hardly anyone would tip them. In fact if people have a choice between paying nothing or grabbing a torrent people would rather grab a torrent.

And that's with music, something that although not an retail exact equivalent of a game is an order of magnitude cheaper, sadly I suspect regardless of our wishes DRM is going to increase and the best we can hope for is eventually consumer law catches up and we start getting a fairer deal. Until then all we can do is vote with our wallets, for example prefering Stardocks on line delivery service over EA.

This comment was edited on Sep 8, 10:03.
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News Comments > Bad Time at Spacetime
6. Re: ...the space combat genre is d0med Aug 6, 2008, 10:10 Duc
It'll be interesting to see how Jumpgate Evolution and to a lesser extent Stargate Worlds do. Jumpgate has remained solvent for years thanks to low costs and a dedicated fanbase, and Jumpgate Evolution is looking quite interesting at this stage and appears to have Codemasters on board to publish it - a success for Jumpgate might get people a bit more interested in the space flight genre as a whole again.

Likewise a win for Stargate likewise might make Publishers regard non-traditionals as a whole with a more friendly eye.

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News Comments > More GTA IV PC Rumor Mongering
30. Re: You guys are crazy... Jul 27, 2008, 04:05 Duc
I've wondered about this actually, I ran Crysis fine through the simple expedient of not running at 1600x1050 or any other wide-screen resolution because I've got a CRT. The problem with ultra high resolutions is that they usually punish your graphics card when combined with per-pixel effects like full screen anti-aliasing and HDR and so on. I wonder how many people are incapable of making this deduction and combine high levels of AA with their LCD panels native res and then wonder why it runs slowly? Not that I blame the end user for this, game developers haven't really noticed the paradigm shift in display technology that's been happening in the last 2-3 years and haven't really provided an alternative now one of the PC's most direct scaling mechanisms is effectively obsolete.

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News Comments > On Impulse & User Content
28. Re: ... Jun 21, 2008, 20:08 Duc
I'm a bit puzzled by the anger this is provoking in you sponge, after all to a certain extent 'mod', 'community release', 'expansion' and so forth are a bunch of terms to describe really quite similar things. The quality vs price for all of the above range all over the place, and I've played mods I'd have paid for and expansions that barely qualified as mods. The strategy Stardock is outlining worked pretty well for the NWN1 community, which had semi-pro teams releasing pay-for expansions along side plenty of free content drops and free mods.

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News Comments > Sins of a Solar Empire Patch, Desync Issues
18. Re: Worse Apr 11, 2008, 04:34 Duc
Weird, I suppose it's either a hijacked account or someone is actually pre-planning troll attempts to the point where he's registering accounts years in advance in order to always have a pulpit to spew his nonsense from, if it's really the second case then hats off to him for his dedication to idiocy.

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News Comments > Sins of a Solar Empire Patch, Desync Issues
13. Worse Apr 11, 2008, 02:40 Duc
This comment was deleted on Apr 11, 06:29.
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News Comments > PC Mass Effect May 6
48. Re: Release date, DLC, and Steam Feb 27, 2008, 04:04 Duc
Funnily enough Steam has been delivering lower prices, but by an accident of exchange rates rather than from any direct benefit brought by the platform. The $ getting a pounding has saved me money on a couple of occasions, once I've checked the cost of exchange on my debit card and factored in EU sales tax. However COD4 having a price per territory points to a future where everyone pays more.

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News Comments > Duke Nukem Forever Follow-up
38. Re: No subject Feb 7, 2008, 04:51 Duc
I personally can't actually think of anything worse professionally; enthusiasm is *required* to work on the development of something for three plus years and then start all over again on something fresh and new. You have to have a certain kind of mind-set to survive that process and part of it is actually getting to the end, regardless of wether you are developing software, an engineering project or any other peice of large collaberative work.

Missing the carthis of actually finishing something for as long as 10 years can be pretty dispiriting, which I guess is partly why 3DRealms seem to have a fairly regular flow of new tallent without any obvious external signs of progress.

This comment was edited on Feb 7, 04:52.
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News Comments > Valve Releases Steamworks
9. Re: ... Jan 29, 2008, 14:12 Duc
You do know you can disable auto-updating for steam games?
Right click on a game -> properties -> [updates]

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News Comments > EA Completes BioWare/Pandemic Acquisition
3. Re: R.I.P. Bioware Jan 7, 2008, 12:17 Duc
Sorry to be pedantic but neither of those games are from the U.K. the Witcher was by CD Project RED from Poland and STALKER was by GSC Gameworld who are from the Ukraine.

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News Comments > MMO S.T.A.L.K.E.R.? M.a.y.b.e.
34. Re: No subject Dec 18, 2007, 04:56 Duc
I don't think GSC are liars or fools but possibly they are foolhardy, they spent an awful lot of time developing hugely complicated models and interactions between AI entities but ultimately didn't actually have much to show for their work - behind the scenes the game might be doing some very clever mathematics and modelling thousands of creatures to create the player experience but ultimately the end result was often inferior to the AI that was scripted and 'cheated' like in Half-life or FEAR.

Additionally if the AI life simulation system was never designed to be networked and given they took out co-op because they couldn't figure out how to make it work this isn't that unlikely then chances are that converting it to a networked model now would be not only extremely complicated but something they already failed at once.

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News Comments > BioShock Movie
14. Re: No subject Aug 9, 2007, 07:31 Duc
System Shock 2 managed a variety of environments even though it was all set on a ship, and while all the decks were thematically quite similar (especially with the tiny texture budgets they had back then) they played quite differently, partly depending on your progress.

Engineering for example was cramped and filled with radioactive waste, zombies and twisty corridors while the rec deck was open and infested by the many - a contrast to FEAR where while new enemies were occasionally added the vast bulk of the combat and the way you moved through the level stayed the same from beginning to end.

This comment was edited on Aug 9, 07:32.
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News Comments > Steam Beta
18. Re: let it burn Aug 7, 2007, 04:44 Duc
You don't know what steam is!? Just for that I'm going to invoke godwin's law and compare all the anti/pro steam people to Nazis!

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News Comments > Morning Safety Dance
7. Re: No subject May 17, 2007, 06:23 Duc
Funnily enough thats pretty much the typical age of a Daily Mail reader, the paper is a worthless rag and has the reputation of endless scaremongering and shoddy reporting in the UK. I'd pay it about as much attention as you pay one of your supermarket tabloids.

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News Comments > TimeGate Plans
2. Re: No subject Apr 17, 2007, 09:37 Duc
Holy shit, I'm excited about a new Jackoff games project. I cant wait for some fuzzy thumbnails of static renders so I can foam at the mouth over the graphics.

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News Comments > Steam Plans
5. Re: No subject Mar 10, 2007, 18:51 Duc
I believe we are missing the word back, as in major new publisher back catalogue.

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News Comments > Game Downloads - Like a Virgin
3. Re: High prices hamper growth. Feb 13, 2007, 04:01 Duc
"This is a really exciting development for us, as it gives us the opportunity to do for PC games what iTunes has done for music,"

If I was a Virgin Interactive stockholder I'd be thinking about the fact that revenues were approximately 2 billion over 4 years with Apple making a loss or breaking even on many of the tracks sold on iTunes in a market where illegal downloads are still estimated to outnumber legal by 100-1. Additionally Growth in the digital music market is levelling off and even predicted to fall in 07, Apple pushed iTunes because it represented their attempt to be the sole provider for digital music to the hordes of iPod users - a platform in which they were already the market leader and where they make a very substantial profit.

Virgin doesn't sell hardware, it doesn't have the PC equivalent of an iPod to make money from and like Valve they still need the brick and mortar distribution channel to sell the majority of their product, I honestly can't think of a worse model to base themselves on than iTunes, DRM in digital music is a resounding failure.

If any of these companies wanted to take a lesson from Apple and iTunes it should be that the way forward is to develop a non-invasive consumer friendly and open method of digitally signing and distributing games. When digital downloads are essentially compatible no matter which store we buy them from and we can move subscriptions and purchases to another store if the one we are using folds then they might have a chance.

If they arenít careful the direct download market is going to end up exactly like iTunes.

This comment was edited on Feb 13, 04:02.
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News Comments > Half-Life 2: Episode Two Delayed Again
7. Re: No subject Feb 7, 2007, 15:01 Duc
Is it paranoid to wonder if the release of the PC product is being delayed for the simultaneous release of the product(s) across all 3 platforms? In all honesty I was mostly interested in portal and TF2, the delay removes any lingering desire I had for another 2 hours of half-life 2 style run-and-gun in this post-FEAR world.

Simultaneous development also makes a big leap in polygon count, shader complexity and texture resolution for dx10 even less likely (not that Valve have promised anything but vague comments about updating the engine as episodes are released) because it'll limit the reuse of assets across platforms. Not to mention that without such a leap the by then 3-year-old source engine will be going up against games like Crysis and the no doubt imminent crop of Unreal Engine 3 products.

This comment was edited on Feb 7, 15:03.
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330 Comments. 17 pages. Viewing page 1.
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