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Stop making horrible console ports - a guide


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#1 Denis W.

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:35

Broken menus, wonky mouse controls, single figure framerates – this is the familiar story of PC gaming prowess held back by consoles. We understand why it happens: console-land was where the majority of sales were, and thus the focus of development. But that reasoning has never seemed, well, reasonable: a trashy console port can knock a chunk off your Metacritic rating, sour a huge potential audience against you forever and lose you loads of sales on a platform that can be extremely lucrative if only you know how to approach it.
It’s really not that hard or expensive. After all, a pair of talented modders managed to make Dark Souls’ PC version immeasurably better within the space of an evening, and while devs might not want to spend resources making hi-res assets just for PC, there’s plenty of really basic stuff that can be done to not totally **** up a game. Which, given the amount of time, love and money spent on these creations, is surely something that would please the developers and publishers as much as their beleaguered PC audience.
We’ve thrown together a list of tips, common foibles and fixes – add your own in the comments!


Continued at source: PC Gamer

Gotta agree with the list, especially the bit about Games for Windows Live. Strange thing about Max Payne 3 and its inability to change resolution from the start - when I booted the game in Windows 8 for the first time, it picked 1280x1024 on my 1080p monitor, yet everything was still proportionally scaled. It's as if the game already knew what monitor I had, yet still put the game in 1280x1024.


#2 TheExperiment

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 13:34

I like some of his points but really don't care about most of them.

I mean, yes, GfWL is not that great, but otherwise? He picks the worst examples he can find but doesn't even mention that they're not that common.

And mentioning high res textures without mentioning dx11 support is just sad.

#3 Yusuf M.

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 14:15

I agree with the list too. It's a damn shame when developers don't even bother with the basics. One thing to add to that list is DX11 support. A lot of PC gamers have DX11-compatible video cards. Why not take advantage of it? Or at least anything beyond DX9 (e.g. DX10/10.1).

#4 Wakers

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 14:17

Deranged is a bit obsessed with DX11.

Adding DX11 features to a game is a major undertaking. This post was about getting the basics right and making ports decent. You don't need to add DX11 to make a port decent.

#5 McKay

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 14:27

I agree with him in places, there needs to be a balance, let PC versions have optional extras that can be enabled if your PC can handle them. What annoys me with certain people who bitch about games is the Elitist PC Gamer who has an insane Rig that can run anything bitches that games dont stress his PC. They want games to be so advanced without realizing that it'd cost an insane amount to develop that game and it'd only run on maybe 10% of PCs.

The first Crysis made such a horrible loss they had no choice but to develop the 2nd one for consoles too.

#6 TheExperiment

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 14:59

Deranged is a bit obsessed with DX11.

Adding DX11 features to a game is a major undertaking. This post was about getting the basics right and making ports decent. You don't need to add DX11 to make a port decent.

And yet very little of that screamed 'THIS IS A HUGE DEAL THAT DESERVES OUTRAGE' to me. It screamed more 'we're a bunch of whiners.'

If you're not going to use PC tech that's been available for four years OR the stuff that's been available for seven, why bother making a game for the PC in the first place? Keep it on the consoles.

#7 Wakers

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 15:02

What sort of attitude is that?

If you went with that idea there would be no games released on PC. Even PC exclusive games don't utilise every single feature available.

#8 TheExperiment

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 15:09

The good sort, obviously.

I'm not sure where you're going with that. Am I personally on a crusade to make every developer stop making PC games? No. I'd just prefer them to focus on quality over useless crap like these articles would suggest is a huge deal.

#9 billyea

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 15:12

The developers care. They're human, they want to be proud of a project they've released on whatever platform it may be.
But the money's just not there for the executives, and you cannot blame them. Consoles, aside from being high on sales, are also secure sales. That means reduced piracy,

Ask yourself as an executive, not as a gamer, why would you put effort into implementing your own matchmaking services and servers, custom options and aspect ratios, new textures and maps, new content maybe, testing out new button mappings and hundreds of different hardware configurations, finding new publishers. Most likely, you're just releasing a PC version because you used a PC to develop the game and you have a beta lying around somewhere.

#10 Guth

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 15:15

The developers care. They're human, they want to be proud of a project they've released on whatever platform it may be.
But the money's just not there for the executives, and you cannot blame them. Consoles, aside from being high on sales, are also secure sales. That means reduced piracy,

Ask yourself as an executive, not as a gamer, why would you put effort into implementing your own matchmaking services and servers, custom options and aspect ratios, new textures and maps, new content maybe, testing out new button mappings and hundreds of different hardware configurations, finding new publishers. Most likely, you're just releasing a PC version because you used a PC to develop the game and you have a beta lying around somewhere.

this is the problem, its a shame but its the truth.
Money is just not in it for developers on PC. NONE of my friends play on PC, yet every single one of them has atleast one console and loads of games. Thats the exact reason I bought a console too, was to play with friends. (i sold it eventually but that's off topic)
I'd love it if PC games utilised the hardware and capabilities but until the consoles bump it up, that wont happen. Hopefully when the next gen consoles come out then the PC games and ports will improve too.

#11 TheExperiment

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 15:21

Ask yourself as an executive

As soon as I become an executive I'll do that.

Instead I'll ask myself as a gamer what games I feel like spending money on and do that. Halfassed PC games do not qualify.

I'll note that every major publisher except Zenimax and Sony does have DX11 games out there, so the transition is well underway and I have few complaints left.

#12 McKay

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 15:25

As soon as I become an executive I'll do that.

Instead I'll ask myself as a gamer what games I feel like spending money on and do that. Halfassed PC games do not qualify.

I'll note that every major publisher except Zenimax and Sony do have DX11 games out there, so the transition is well underway and I have few complaints left.


I just enjoy the game instead of clawing at my face and screaming at the ceiling "OHHH IF ONLY THIS TREE HAD ADVANCED DX11 TESSELLATION!"

#13 Wakers

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 15:27

The good sort, obviously.

I'm not sure where you're going with that. Am I personally on a crusade to make every developer stop making PC games? No. I'd just prefer them to focus on quality over useless crap like these articles would suggest is a huge deal.


No but you do trash every game that doesn't use certain DX11 features, regardless of how well they perform and / or look.

#14 TheExperiment

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 15:31

I just enjoy the game instead of clawing at my face and screaming at the ceiling "OHHH IF ONLY THIS TREE HAD ADVANCED DX11 TESSELLATION!"

Cool. I just don't play it unless someone buys it for me.

No but you do trash every game that doesn't use certain DX11 features, regardless of how well they perform and / or look.

Which features would that be? I've never demanded everything use tessellation.

#15 Wakers

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 15:33

I've seen you in the GW2 thread whining about the lack of DX11 for sure. Several other threads although I can't remember specifically what games.