On Game Ports

The Problem With Porting Games on bit-tech.net talks with developers about the art of porting games from one platform to another. CPU and GPU architectures are analyzed, graphics, testing, and more. It's an enlightening read, as demonstrated by this discussion of PC ports:
The problem for multi-platform game developers making PC games is that at some point you have to say “stop” when it comes to extra hardware features. You can always add higher-resolution options in the PC game, but you begin to upset the guys in control of the game's budget if you start putting serious man hours into developing graphics features that are only available to a small number of PC gamers, let alone console gamers. “I know people are going to read this and say, god that guy's telling us that we've bought all this hardware for nothing,” says Bozz, “but the reality is that as much as I'd like to support this stuff, I can't do that at the expense of the other 98 per cent of gamers.”

A very common bugbear for PC gamers is that they feel that the graphics in a PC version of a game have been compromised, simply because the consoles wouldn't be able to handle the same level of graphics. However, Red Faction: Guerilla's system architect Dave Baranec disputes this, and says that in fact “we usually find it's the opposite”.

Part of the problem is that multi-platform games are usually developed primarily for consoles, which means that they're heavily optimised for those architectures. Baranec explains that “content targets, system design and overall structure tend to be tailored towards what the consoles do best. It isn't uncommon to find that even high-end PCs have a hard time holding up against the sorts of deep optimisations you can make on fixed hardware.” However, he also concedes that “the situation could certainly be reversed – you could build a game that caters to the strengths of PCs, and find huge problems trying to get it to run on a console”.
View : : :
10 Replies. 1 pages. Viewing page 1.
Newer [  1  ] Older
10.
 
Re: On Game Ports
Aug 19, 2009, 00:42
10.
Re: On Game Ports Aug 19, 2009, 00:42
Aug 19, 2009, 00:42
 
Yeah damn those console gamers and their dumbening of everything!

It is a fact that console gamers are younger (and therefore dumber) on average than PC gamers. Publishers sell the same dumbed-down product to kids and adults. It's like trying to sell children's clothing to adults. Yeah, ok a COBRA t-shirt is still cool (the movie sucked), there are always exceptions. But overall, the effect console games have had on gaming has not been positive.
9.
 
Re: On Game Ports
Aug 18, 2009, 22:21
9.
Re: On Game Ports Aug 18, 2009, 22:21
Aug 18, 2009, 22:21
 
And by "easier and cheaper" you mean "actually results in profit and sales, whereas the alternative would involve spending 50 million bucks on a title that 100,000 PC gamers buy."

That's a false premise. They are not mutually exclusive traits to a game. Blizzard has made a lot of money catering to both hard core and casual gamers. A great game is easy to pick up and play and also has a lot of depth.

Troll, I stab at thee!
Perpetual debt is slavery.
Avatar 23321
8.
 
Re: On Game Ports
Aug 18, 2009, 21:12
NKD
8.
Re: On Game Ports Aug 18, 2009, 21:12
Aug 18, 2009, 21:12
NKD
 
It's because the dumbening down of games (read: consolization) is easier and cheaper overall than creating deeply complex and engaging stories that are fairly open eneded.

And by "easier and cheaper" you mean "actually results in profit and sales, whereas the alternative would involve spending 50 million bucks on a title that 100,000 PC gamers buy."
Do you have a single fact to back that up?
Avatar 43041
7.
 
Re: On Game Ports
Aug 18, 2009, 16:31
7.
Re: On Game Ports Aug 18, 2009, 16:31
Aug 18, 2009, 16:31
 
It's because the dumbening down

Yeah damn those console gamers and their dumbening of everything!
6.
 
Re: Yawn
Aug 18, 2009, 15:29
6.
Re: Yawn Aug 18, 2009, 15:29
Aug 18, 2009, 15:29
 
It's because the dumbening down of games (read: consolization) is easier and cheaper overall than creating deeply complex and engaging stories that are fairly open eneded. Console games are all on rails - by and large - and like a rollercoaster there's no real interaction, just reaction. They can be fun for a very short period of time - often because they are so short - but they lack the overall depth and bredth that old school PC gamers are accustomed to.

Just...quit talking already, before you look like more of an asshole.
5.
 
Re: Yawn
Aug 18, 2009, 14:38
5.
Re: Yawn Aug 18, 2009, 14:38
Aug 18, 2009, 14:38
 
It's because the dumbening down of games (read: consolization) is easier and cheaper overall than creating deeply complex and engaging stories that are fairly open eneded. Console games are all on rails - by and large - and like a rollercoaster there's no real interaction, just reaction. They can be fun for a very short period of time - often because they are so short - but they lack the overall depth and bredth that old school PC gamers are accustomed to.
"Van Gogh painted alone and in despair and in madness and sold one picture in his entire life. Millions struggled alone, unrecognized, and struggled as heroically as any famous hero. Was it worthless? I knew it wasn't."
4.
 
Yawn
Aug 18, 2009, 13:46
4.
Yawn Aug 18, 2009, 13:46
Aug 18, 2009, 13:46
 


It isn't uncommon to find that even high-end PCs have a hard time holding up against the sorts of deep optimisations you can make on fixed hardware.

I will GLADLY put my midlevel rig up to that test. I'd seriously like to see what a Geforce7800 equivalent with 512MB of ram can run better than a 4Gig machine with a GX260. This is the same bullshit that Lucasarts was crowing, how a PC couldn't handle a fucking game that could run on a modern fucking cellphone.

but the reality is that as much as I'd like to support this stuff, I can't do that at the expense of the other 98 per cent of gamers

That's a more valid point, although I seriously doubt it's a discrepancy of 98 percent. Is he saying there's 49 times more console players than PC players? Or is he saying that only 2% of the PC market has access to advanced graphics hardware? If the latter, that's still a bit tight, but I'd be surprised if more than 25% of all PCs have a Geforce 7800 equivalent inside them. Then again, that's millions upon millions of PCs, so it's not like there's no market or anything.

Creston

This comment was edited on Aug 18, 2009, 13:48.
Avatar 15604
3.
 
Re: On Game Ports
Aug 18, 2009, 12:43
3.
Re: On Game Ports Aug 18, 2009, 12:43
Aug 18, 2009, 12:43
 
Yes and not only is a question of the inferior control scheme but also the philosophy of the console system too often imposes a 'dumbed down' mentality for the actual gameplay, not just the interface or graphics.

And it's not just a question of those things but also how mod-able is the game and are development tools coming out.

The gamepad is a great controller for the casual living room experience where the machine is turned off because mom just walked in. PC gaming really is a different animal.

This comment was edited on Aug 18, 2009, 12:48.
Perpetual debt is slavery.
Avatar 23321
2.
 
Re: On Game Ports
Aug 18, 2009, 12:28
2.
Re: On Game Ports Aug 18, 2009, 12:28
Aug 18, 2009, 12:28
 
My larger gripe with ports is that the game gets completely destroyed when simplified for console gamers.

This is true. The quality of most ports is actually solid. The PC versions look, run and control better than their console equivalents. The problem is that when you design a game for a console, you have to make concessions for the inferior control scheme and hardware and these concessions will carry over into the PC version.
Avatar 20715
1.
 
Re: On Game Ports
Aug 18, 2009, 09:58
1.
Re: On Game Ports Aug 18, 2009, 09:58
Aug 18, 2009, 09:58
 
Right now how a game runs graphically is completely moot compared to game play.

My larger gripe with ports is that the game gets completely destroyed when simplified for console gamers. As well as other things that have NOTHING to really do with the strength of the hardware, like proper KB&M support and the UI design to accommodate this type of interface.

The only thing graphically that's pissing me off to no end lately is developers not doing widescreen gaming properly. HOR- instead of VERT+ (Far Cry 2 and MANY other games. Granted SOMETIMES developers fix this {Bioshock}), black bars on the top and bottom of the screen because the game only renders in 16:9 not 16:10 (FEAR 2, Mirror's Edge, growing list of many others).

Developers and what not always run around touting that PC gaming is not dieing. Yet they turn around and say things like this that sure as hell is not strengthening the PC gaming market at least in my eyes.

This comment was edited on Aug 18, 2009, 09:59.
10 Replies. 1 pages. Viewing page 1.
Newer [  1  ] Older