The Sad State of Future Retro Gaming (and Managing Storage on New Consoles)

General and high profile video game topics.
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Atarifever
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Re: The Sad State of Future Retro Gaming (and Managing Storage on New Consoles)

Postby Atarifever » March 10th, 2018, 9:04 pm

ptdebate wrote: whereas old games had to release a whole new physical revision with the patches applied. This was too expensive for most situations, so more often than not buggy games remained buggy.

I see this line of reasoning online a lot. I disagree with using this line of reasoning in these debates.

People who say this on podcasts and things in my experience then go on to list one or two well known bugs (Impossible Mission 7800 for example) as though that was the norm and not the exception. As though Megaman 2 was just an utterly unplayable mess or Mario Bros level -1 was so overwhelming that kids across the world tossed their NES systems into a dumpster. Buggy games, in the way we now have buggy games (stuff that is borderline unplayable on day one) were not common.

I am not saying you can't make the case that modern games are too complex to test to the level of general polish that older, smaller games had. That is a viable argument.

But to argue about how hard or easy it was/is to patch is an apples to oranges debate. That argument is essentially that something being hard to fix the one time it happened in 500 games on old systems outweighs the 500 times it now happens every single game. Old games didn't need to be easy to patch, because they didn't need to be patched at all. New games need to be easy to patch, because they are released in need of patching every time.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: The Sad State of Future Retro Gaming (and Managing Storage on New Consoles)

Postby VideoGameCritic » March 10th, 2018, 9:50 pm

I agree with Atarifever but would take it a step further.

Before online was a thing, buggy games were the rare exception. Now it's been flipped around. Being on the Internet has allowed companies to release software before it's ready, because games don't make money when they're in a proper beta testing process. It's not the developers pushing this, it's the business people who really don't care about the game.

The sad part is, consumers have been tricked into this being the "new normal" where were are have become the beta testers, use our time and resources to patch up undercooked software. They get away with it because they can.

Also, the idea that games are now harder to debug is not true. Yes games are far more complex, but that's because they are built on rock-solid libraries that do most of the work. In addition, debugging tools are far more robust than those of the past. Not to mention that (in theory) big titles have entire teams dedicated to testing. I am a software developer by trade.

The bottom line is, we should maintain high standards of what's acceptable and not capitulate to anti-consumer practices. Getting back to the topic, it the business end that could create a "black hole" in retro gaming.

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Atariboy
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Re: The Sad State of Future Retro Gaming (and Managing Storage on New Consoles)

Postby Atariboy » March 10th, 2018, 10:07 pm

In partial defense of bug fixes, an awful lot of this stuff is fixing things that most people never noticed, or if they did, found very minor.

With the exception of large day 1 patches for games that could fit comfortably on a single Blu-Ray (Always an inexcusable practice), the average game patch isn't being done in an attempt to finish the job that should've been done on day 1. For every broken and incomplete game at release (Most of which never truly reach a state of completion before the publisher moves on to developing next year's garbage), dozens more are just doing minor touch up work when a patch is released.

Sonicx9
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Re: The Sad State of Future Retro Gaming (and Managing Storage on New Consoles)

Postby Sonicx9 » March 10th, 2018, 10:08 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:I agree with Atarifever but would take it a step further.

Before online was a thing, buggy games were the rare exception. Now it's been flipped around. Being on the Internet has allowed companies to release software before it's ready, because games don't make money when they're in a proper beta testing process. It's not the developers pushing this, it's the business people who really don't care about the game.

The sad part is, consumers have been tricked into this being the "new normal" where were are have become the beta testers, use our time and resources to patch up undercooked software. They get away with it because they can.

Also, the idea that games are now harder to debug is not true. Yes games are far more complex, but that's because they are built on rock-solid libraries that do most of the work. In addition, debugging tools are far more robust than those of the past. Not to mention that (in theory) big titles have entire teams dedicated to testing. I am a software developer by trade.

The bottom line is, we should maintain high standards of what's acceptable and not capitulate to anti-consumer practices. Getting back to the topic, it the business end that could create a "black hole" in retro gaming.


Here is something related critic is this situation: viewtopic.php?f=134797&t=16805

Glad to see you are not alone on this, because I can not stand buggy games as well!

Alucard1191
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Re: The Sad State of Future Retro Gaming (and Managing Storage on New Consoles)

Postby Alucard1191 » March 10th, 2018, 11:18 pm

Atarifever wrote:I hate that games that require patches will need a workaround in the future. I think it will decrease their value overall. This is because the part of the market for retro games made up of people popping on eBay to buy some random stuff from their childhood will disappear.

However, the core retrogaming market (i.e. the 2038 versions of us) will just buy whatever crazy invention 2038 Hyperkin or Playstationage.com or whatever have manufactured as a plug and play solution. You'll hook up some device in the old USB port on your PS4 (no one uses USB for anything other than old tech by then, obviously), and that will be tied into the global datanet through wireless upload to the SpaceX infocomet. This will hold all kinds of small files like 500GB old patches and games and will trick the PS3/4 etc. into thinking it's the old Playstation network, and will have the saved and uploaded patches compiled over the years by collectors. Easy.

Doubt it? Then please explain how there are technology solutions to using SD to store game files for the Coleco Adam? :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRG9pkGizE4

Don't worry. Geeks always going to geek.


You know... between retro systems, web databases like GOG and Steam, (mentioned earlier) and as you point out the creativity and innovation of nerds, I think gaming will be great for pretty much ever. I don't think we'll ever have a lack of fantastic video game options. I absolutely love GOG.com. Being able to have an easy to install option for classic games is something I love. Even games I own, like Baldur's Gate 1+2 run substantially better on the Dosbox emulated versions than trying to install it off my actual CDs and playing it in Windows. (And I run windows 7 which does alright with compatibility mode.) I really agree with this sentiment that in one way or another, gaming and retro gaming will thrive.

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Retro STrife
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Re: The Sad State of Future Retro Gaming (and Managing Storage on New Consoles)

Postby Retro STrife » March 11th, 2018, 12:40 am

ptdebate wrote:
VideoGameCritic wrote:
David wrote:I think this is kinda funny. You’ll deny yourself the experience of playing games optimally (or at all) now, because of a hypothetical situation where you may want to play it years down the line?


It's not just that. If I'm buying a game I don't want my ability to access it to be determined by the whim of some remote server. Also, there's another layer to it. My ISP is Comcast, and my connection is unreliable and often slow. So you could say optimally is a subjective term.


I don't know that this is a reasonable stance to take...games are just software, after all. The only difference between new games and old games (in terms of patches) is that new games can be patched easily via the internet, whereas old games had to release a whole new physical revision with the patches applied. This was too expensive for most situations, so more often than not buggy games remained buggy.

I respect your opinion because I know it is based on experience, but I must say that the online inconveniences decried on this board do not match anything that has ever happened to me. The Xbox stays connected, so I almost never have to actually experience a patch download. When I do, it's fast (granted, I now have a 1000Mbps connection). It usually happens when I'm not using the console.


Yeah, I gotta second this one, Critic. I'm terrible with technology and share a lot of your philosophies on being against the modern trends that games are taking. But that said, I feel that you're missing out on some great gaming experiences by not trying things online and not trying certain download-only games. Even if my 2009 purchase of Shadow Complex is someday inaccessible on my Xbox 360 - I'll be annoyed, but I'll still be very thankful that I spent $15 to experience the game before it disappeared. As much as I have concerns about current trends hurting the future of retro gaming, I won't let that deter me from enjoying modern gaming.

And my ISP is Comcast too, and a relatively slow connection, and yet I have absolutely no issues. More so than your connection, I blame your old-school stubbornness for this one. 8-)

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Retro STrife
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Re: The Sad State of Future Retro Gaming (and Managing Storage on New Consoles)

Postby Retro STrife » March 11th, 2018, 1:01 am

Atariboy wrote:In partial defense of bug fixes, an awful lot of this stuff is fixing things that most people never noticed, or if they did, found very minor.

With the exception of large day 1 patches for games that could fit comfortably on a single Blu-Ray (Always an inexcusable practice), the average game patch isn't being done in an attempt to finish the job that should've been done on day 1. For every broken and incomplete game at release (Most of which never truly reach a state of completion before the publisher moves on to developing next year's garbage), dozens more are just doing minor touch up work when a patch is released.


^This. I'm on board with some of the negativity about patches, but this is a fair point too. As Atariboy mentioned, most patches are just minor tweaks to tighten up a game, and not anything that anyone would ever even notice. Most modern games are released in a perfectly fine state, and are totally playable from beginning to end. While there are some egregious exceptions, it's also nice to see developers taking time after a game releases to fix a minor bug if it slips through the cracks.

People are assuming that games in the 80s and 90s wouldn't have gotten these tweaks -- as if rushing games out is a new thing, and those old games were somehow released in tip-top shape. I don't know about that... I bet most developers back then would have loved a little extra time to polish up the game before the publisher made them release it. And I bet most of them could have thought of a few post-release patches that they wish they could easily slap on the game after release. But since the technology for it didn't exist, we'll never know. I would note, though, that patches have been a staple of PC games since at least the 90s. The fact that developers start resorting to regular use of patches the minute that internet usage became ubiquitous (mid/late 90s for PCs, mid/late 2000s for consoles), tells me that patches would have been a thing in the 70s and 80s too if the technology was there.

Btw, to clarify my original post, I would note that my point is not that "patches are bad" (actually, given the choice, I'm glad they exist). Rather, my position is that modern gaming trends (including patches) will make it harder to preserve games and harder to be a retro gamer in the future. Our gaming habits are at odds--as modern gaming advances, it becomes more transient, and thus threatens future retro gaming.

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Atarifever
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Re: The Sad State of Future Retro Gaming (and Managing Storage on New Consoles)

Postby Atarifever » March 11th, 2018, 7:41 pm

Retro STrife wrote:
Rather, my position is that modern gaming trends (including patches) will make it harder to preserve games and harder to be a retro gamer in the future. Our gaming habits are at odds--as modern gaming advances, it becomes more transient, and thus threatens future retro gaming.

By the way, I just want to pause and reflect how incredible it is that we are currently in a world where we can get enough people together in one virtual place to have a deep dive discussion on hypothetical issues for future retro gamers. Future. Retro. I may be a bit of a Luddite on a lot of things, but I'll never be upset the internet allows me to find a place where this is a possible discussion. :)

VideoGameCritic wrote:
The sad part is, consumers have been tricked into this being the "new normal" where were are have become the beta testers, use our time and resources to patch up undercooked software. They get away with it because they can.


Not only that, but one of the "features" of things like buying a season pass, signing up for the EA Access program, etc. is that you sometimes get to be part of the actual beta, maybe even a rare alpha! You get to pay extra to get tired of playing the game while it is incredibly and understandably still broken. Your reward is to help with QA, and you pay them to let you do it! Imagine another industry doing this. Hey, want to try sleeping on a new type of mattress we're working on that might suck? Just buy a couch set in this store and you can get a bad back on the new mattress we're testing and then you can give us feedback on how bad it was! Best of all, you can't even keep it if it does turn out not to utterly suck. After that head over and pay to help McDonald's test a new burger that may be poison that you have to spit out if it turns out to be edible!

pacman000
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Re: The Sad State of Future Retro Gaming (and Managing Storage on New Consoles)

Postby pacman000 » March 11th, 2018, 7:56 pm

Awhile back I thought of starting a magazine which would track games through the development process. Each issue would come with a demo disk so you could play early versions of the games. I was in high school, so I had no real way to make it happen, but looking at Secrets of Sonic Team and other similar sites piqued my curiosity. In short, I can see the advantage of an early access service.

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Retro STrife
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Re: The Sad State of Future Retro Gaming (and Managing Storage on New Consoles)

Postby Retro STrife » March 12th, 2018, 1:59 am

Atarifever wrote:By the way, I just want to pause and reflect how incredible it is that we are currently in a world where we can get enough people together in one virtual place to have a deep dive discussion on hypothetical issues for future retro gamers. Future. Retro. I may be a bit of a Luddite on a lot of things, but I'll never be upset the internet allows me to find a place where this is a possible discussion. :)


Yeah I find it interesting, and always good to look ahead to what the future might hold.

I remember in the early 2000s, when the PS2 was king, I made a topic on the Digital Press forums talking about how the systems of today (then the PS2) would be the retro games of tomorrow. Somehow, this simple concept seemed totally lost on people, as the responses that I got seemed to give vibes of "Huh? No, NES is retro, PS2 is too high-tech to ever be retro.. what is wrong with this guy?"

Clearly we have a smarter group of members around here.


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