Quick Rant on Software

Civilization 4: Beyond the Sword is out. Unfortunately, I’m traveling and was unable to get it yet. But a quick swing by Civfanatics shows that there of course has already been an initial patch to the game, because the shipped version was buggy and terrible.

I know Firaxis is not the first (or last) developer to do this. I know that it’s a common practice. But it pisses me off that the internet age has led to such a terrible degradation in the quality of PC game QA. On the one hand, it is great that software developers can add content through patching. It’s nice that they can fix bugs that sneak through. But shipping what’s basically unplayable crap, knowing full well you can, and will patch it, is sloppy and inexcusable. →  Read the rest

A multiplayer world

Raph may want to think about updating his pic on his website.

The other day I was listening to the Penny Arcade podcast, specifically The Zone of Breakfast. First off, a quick shameless fanboy plug: although our glorious cult leader (may he always provide for us Kool-Aid), Jay, dislikes these guys, I’ve always been a huge PA fan. In particular, I enjoy their new podcasts because I get to listen to a lot of video game news I ordinarily would not. Rather than do research and reading, I can just listen to the voices from the computer, which is more comfortable to me, because I am illiterate and hear voices in my head. Anyhow, they were discussing a comment that Raph Koster, a designer for both Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies made at a E3 several years ago. →  Read the rest