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Old 03-04-2008, 09:44 PM   #1
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Default Video games rushed to release

So I was thinking recently about some of the more interesting games I've played over the years and I noticed a pattern... a lot of them had amazing potential, but were bugged to hell on release. It's only after years of patching, very often done by dedicated fans for free, that one can appreciate the games fully. To be fair, most of these games are very open-ended and must be a nightmare to code!

Just a short list off the top of my head...
Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall (gets special mention for being impossible to complete without a patch )
Elder Scrolls: Morrowind
X3: Reunion
Arcanum (RIP Troika )
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
Almost any paradox game (I love them, but the patch schedule... )

I guess I'd include Fallout 2 as well, since there was a lot of unfinished stuff that was left out of the final version. It's still present in the code though, so fans have actually tried to "reconstruct" the stuff developers didn't have time to finish.


Does anyone remember a time when you could actually play a game "out of the box" and expect it to work fine? Even our console games have patches now. Patches allow programmers to fix unforeseen problems, add new content, etc. ...but is there also an incentive to rush the release of a product and just figure "eh, we can fix that in a patch"? As much as I like some of the games I listed, without a devoted fan base those games wouldn't be anywhere near as good. A few might not even be playable.

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Old 03-04-2008, 10:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Video games rushed to release

Anything Valve makes. Sure, the public can mod it to high hell, but they don't release a game until it is well polished.

Hell, Team Fortress 2 was in development for 9 years before they thought it was ready for release, and Portal was pushed back twice while they fixed it up.

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Old 03-06-2008, 03:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Video games rushed to release

Also have to mention Blizzard here. I think the number of patches for Diablo II were extremely limited.

Can't count WoW in that mix. One, it was a new genre for Blizzard on top of the fact that it's an MMORPG, patches are expected.

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Old 03-06-2008, 06:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Video games rushed to release

I expect some patching, as the consumer will find bugs the creator can't always find, simply due to the amount of people playing versus the people available to playtest the game.

OTOH, I've owned one or two that weren't even playable really. Temple of Elemental Evil (the first D&D PC game to use the 3rd ed rules) had so many bugs you couldn't really play. They released two or three major patches, but even the patches were buggy (in fact, one of the patches "broke" some of the fixes provided by the first patch). Then, the company stopped all support for the game. Players had to step in and provide the remaining patches that fixed gameplay, and while they were at it, they added more eye candy. That was all well and good, but I would have preferred to just have a working product in the first place.

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Old 03-07-2008, 05:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Video games rushed to release

While you're on the subject, all of my PS3 games have 50MB+ patches clogging up my hard drive now.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Video games rushed to release

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Originally Posted by Wyvern View Post
OTOH, I've owned one or two that weren't even playable really. Temple of Elemental Evil (the first D&D PC game to use the 3rd ed rules) had so many bugs you couldn't really play. They released two or three major patches, but even the patches were buggy (in fact, one of the patches "broke" some of the fixes provided by the first patch). Then, the company stopped all support for the game. Players had to step in and provide the remaining patches that fixed gameplay, and while they were at it, they added more eye candy. That was all well and good, but I would have preferred to just have a working product in the first place.
Funny thing is, that's one of the few games that Troika made before shutting down. The situation for the other 2 games (Arcanum and Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines) was about the same; great game ideas but not enough time to finish the product.

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Old 03-07-2008, 09:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Video games rushed to release

Man it seems that this has been the case for YEARS now. I remember a few bugs in Mario64 what a decade ago now?. They were hard to find but once we found them, they were easy to duplicate.

I think since the market got saturated after the release of the original PS, so many games were coming out from so many different developers, the competition got real fierce real fast and so the general m.o. became, 'well as long as it sells and it comes out before Earthworm Jim' (or whatever was hot at the time).

I mean how many games can you think of for the SNES, Genesis, TurboGraphix 16, Lynx or any system pre-64 bit that had serious bugging issues? Right now I can't think of one...

Oh and I personally think Microsoft showed people that you COULD make money doing that. They have been making buggy tools that people need for their businesses and personal management ever since Win95, both on the OS end and the general software end, and practically rely on the public to fix their problems for them...

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Old 03-08-2008, 09:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: Video games rushed to release

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dt3r View Post
Funny thing is, that's one of the few games that Troika made before shutting down. The situation for the other 2 games (Arcanum and Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines) was about the same; great game ideas but not enough time to finish the product.
Nothing surprising about them shutting down if that's the quality of the product they turn out. It's too bad really though, as I really liked TOEE once I got the consumer made patches that made it playable.

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Old 03-08-2008, 10:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: Video games rushed to release

I never completed daggerfall or morrowind..
Wish I had time to ..
now I want to play oblivion.. still no time.
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Old 03-08-2008, 06:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: Video games rushed to release

I'm amazed and impressed people care enough about games to hack and fix them... I sure as hell don't have that kinda time...

Of course, that kinda programming has always been beyond me, too

Yeesh, NOW what's going to happen? ...
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