Game releases and patches.
This one is inspired by this blog, but I’ve been thinking about this before, and wanted to write a blog about it.. and I haven’t done it in awhile, so lets begin.
There have to be changes in the gaming industry. Games need to come out when they are “bug free” and ready, not when they are dated to be released, and that usually doesn’t happen. We see games being pushed out, with many annoying bugs in them, that are “being” fixed, although it takes them quite a while to fix anything. I don’t know what’s going on in the game companies, I don’t know when do they just stop doing anything and celebrate that they have finished the game, but I know that it’s too early. You got to be ready to work hard on fixing bugs at least first two months. You might think that you fixed every bug you could find, and maybe you did, but when the game is released and people start playing it, in no-time you’ll find yourself with loads of bug reports, and requests to fix them ASAP, especially on the PC platform. You can never test enough to find all the bugs that people will get on the various systems they have. So I guess, just get more people on fixing bugs in the after release time.
Now I know they should do that before they release the game, and they should not use us as their “testers”, but as I mentioned before, they can’t find all the bugs with the testing they do, its not enough.
Now lets talk about the patches. Developers tend to release patches that fixes a lot bugs at once, which usually takes them a while to produce a patch for. But what I’m asking for is regular updates. You fix few minor bugs, UPDATE THE GAME through the game. We would appreciate, if you fix any bugs that might interfere with our gameplay, which might annoy us. But all you do is collect bunch of bugfixes, wait for a while, then release. And then you find yourself with more bug reports, because something that you might have fixed, broke something different. So be ready to work hard after releases to satisfy your costumers. And don’t force us to update the game, make it optional, some people just want to get into the game as fast as they cant and not wait on the update process. Just don’t forget to remind them to download it after a while. Forcing patches for online play is OK, I understand that, there might be some complications, false bugs otherwise, but if player just wants to play the Offline portion of the game, he should be able without you forcing him to update the game.
And here I got to mention the team I still like for bringing a great sports game series – NBA 2k, and the team of course 2k Sports. Sports games tend to have many bugs, just because they have only a year for a game to be released. Now they don’t make a new engine, or even a new game all the time, they just kind of update the engine, add some new features, update the existing features and release the game. And since EA’s NBA series decided to rebuild their game from ground up, NBA Elite wasn’t released last year, they just had too many bugs, and they (surprisingly for EA Sports) didn’t want to release a “not-even-close-to-finishing” game. Now back to NBA 2k. NBA 2k10 and NBA 2k11 had some annoying bugs, which we asked for the dev team to fix, and they did – in few (more than 3) months they released a patched, which did fix a lot of bugs, but also left out some obvious ones. By that time, I’m sure many players stopped playing your game, for many reasons, one of them probably being that you don’t seem to give a shit about fixing your game. Also this year it was even worse for PC, the patch was ready, but they said that they have to sync the release of the patch with every Digital Distributor. Well who the fuck gives about them? I know Steam is ready at anytime. Fuck others if they can’t do it that early, I want the patch now, maybe it’s going to teach their costumers a proper lesson on where to buy their games. You can also add an alternative method for Digital version to be updated – like a simple installation (like for the retail version). And I heard that EA Sports has a similar issue.
If I buy a game after a month or two, I expect it to be all patched up and “bug free”.
Also a major problem for some patches, in their latest update, they block the possibility of people harmlessly moding (not like in cracking, but adding your own textures, models and stuff) the game. You loose a port of community doing that, some people get enjoyment from that, I know I like moding San Andreas downloading some high quality textures, or NBA 2k11, where I download some Cyberfaces, updated Jerseys or courts. But that’s a topic for another day.
I hope that with time the current system will change, and we get some stress free gaming experience.