View Full Version : Steam makes me steam and consoles are to blame too! by [R-DEV]Deadfast

2010-08-17, 13:20
Figured I'd give this blog thing a try too :)
Before you try to rip my head off for that consoles part please give me a chance to explain myself.

So, a Mafia II demo has been released a while ago. Being on vacation I only had the chance to try it now. Only available on Steam? Damn. I dislike Steam. Call me old-school but I prefer boxed copies. I like the though of having a physical copy. Although if I was to nit-pick the EULA actually only lends me the data anyway.
Actually the main reason is that even though I suck at math I can do it better than Steam and know that 1.00 < 1.29. Yes, I am ranting at that ridiculous 1 EUR = 1 USD policy.

I'll be honest with you - I do have a Steam account anyway. Actually I have 2, one of them forgotten forever (both username and password :roll:). How comes such a Steam hater has an account then? Well, I am a cheap bastard and a friend had an extra Half-Life 2 copy he didn't need (which grants me the Source SDK and therefore all HL2 mods) :p

But the demo is free so what the hell. Ah, yes, what the hell, Steam!


To be honest the crazy number of windows is me holding down the Enter key in anger. That said anger was caused by that pictured message telling me to try again later. I had been trying later for 3 hours at that point.

Turned out the install was corrupted and/or my computer needed to be restarted 3 times.

Buy hey, the full game will be released in a week and I can buy a DVD, old-school style and get rid of Steam forever. Well, yes and no.
Yes, I can go buy a physical copy.
No, I cannot get rid of Steam.

Why? One word - Steamworks (http://pc.ign.com/articles/110/1107536p1.html) (or is that two?).

So even if I go to my local shop and buy a physical copy I will be forced to install Steam which will force me to go online (at least at my first run I presume). That is not a problem for me, at least not now, I have a 24/7 cable connection at my apartment. But what if I eventually get a laptop that can run the game and decide to take it with me on travels - something that usually means no internet connection.
And even if I never do it's just the idea that is a bit against my principles. Mafia II is a 100% offline game otherwise. It only requires internet connection because of stunning laziness - Steam is a convenient way to handle DRM (yes, Steam is a DRM) and achievements (which I personally never cared for anyway) with little effort.

And here it comes, the most feared consoles part...

See, Mafia II is a multi-platform game. While most of the content is shared there are these little differences. These differences cost time and money and the publishers/developers are looking for an easy way to cut corners. Sometimes they try to push as much under that "shared content" I mentioned earlier. Here is an example of that directly from the game itself:

Good luck finding that on your keyboard :)

Another example from other games would be "Press any key to continue" aka a simple change from "Press START to continue". Yes, the UI in general (user interface) gets this a lot.

Ever noticed how the menus and options are getting more and more harder to control? It just doesn't feel right... Well, usually it is the layout to blame. See that "Back" button all the way down there? That is the reason for that slowness you feel. You have to move your mouse to weird places in order to reach the controls.

Why are they badly placed in the first place? Because they are an afterthought. The screen either doesn't exist in the console version at all (graphic settings) or the control isn't there. You don't need a back button on a console, there is a dedicated key for that on the gamepad. For PS2 that was O for back and X for confirm. Unless it is a Konami game we're talking about that has it the other way around, probably just for the laughs I guess.

The overall text and control size can also be large as hell too. No, the developers don't think you're as blind as a bat, they think you're sitting 5 meters away on a sofa.

So, who is to blame?
Is it the consoles? No, a console is just a machine.
Is it the developers? Could be, they might be lazy.
Is it the publishers? Could be, they might not want to finance such "unnecessary" changes. They might also push the developers to finish the game until a certain release date.

Right, I hope you enjoyed my little first time blog post (rant) and if there is any interest I could actually bring you something more on-topic PR-wise next time. Obviously I am not going to reveal any "company secrets" but if any of you are interested in the technical details behind ARMA 2's configs or scripting (and maybe some other stuff I am less proficient in) let me know what :)

More... (https://www.realitymod.com/forum/blogs/15074/b229-steam-makes-me-steam-consoles-blame-too.html)