Kevin Levine, explain yourself to the public
The 2K team has put together a game that many think will rival Crysis because of its innovative design aspects. This is no small feat.
But right now, the forums are awash with the problems of SM3 & Widescreen & 2 install licenses. Why? I have answers.
First of all, thank you Kevin Levine for your efforts in being an eloquent speaker and trying to put out all the fires. I realize that you and your team are probably reeling from all this backlash. But why is it happening?
1: Selfishness & Immaturity. Thatís key to understand. If you were making graphics design for NASA, you wouldnít be dealing with children who are adamant about widescreen FOV.
2: Ignorance. Almost no one seems to remember the struggles of 3DFX, and how strange and awkward the transition from 16bit to 32bit computing was in the late 90s.
3: Innovation. The same thing is beginning to happen now. The awkwardness of SM3 requirements is hard for people to deal with. Most of them arenít even old enough to be out of their diapers remember Win95.
4: Public Perception. Widescreen may be the future, but it certainly isnít better in my book. Iím betting that most people donít even know where 4:3 & Letterbox come from & why they are standards in the first place. It certainly has nothing to do with video games. Iíd say that most of this concern really is based on Selfishness & Immaturity. They want Bioshock to work with the same FOV as other games.
I think that everything will be ironed out in time and everything will be fine. But Iíd like to remind you that there are those of us out here in the public that respect you and your team and want every member of your team to continue their well-earned vacations and to relax for a little while before coming back to work.
In the meantime, tell the public. Explain to them WHY you chose SM3 only. Right now, they think youíre just being lazy. They donít remember the days when iD software forced every gamer in the world to upgrade every time they came out with a new Quake game. You chose SM3 for a real reason. You accepted the Unreal 3 limitations of shader modeling because you knew that the future was SM3 & that people would have to buck up & buy new cards. YOU KNEW THAT! So, tell the people. Run your statement by your friends and co-workers; make sure it is well-stated. Then back off the public scene and work on the patch for version 1.1 and stop wasting your time catering to these Selfish & Immature children who donít care at all about anything but their own desires.
Iím not saying to give up on the public. Iím not saying that everyone is Selfish & Immature. Iím saying, stop spinning your wheels. Make a final statement that really shows those ☺☺☺☺☺☺☺s that youíre going to take care of their stupid little FOV that theyíre so concerned about because they all bought into the widescreen LCD marketing lock,stock,& barrel. Then shut up. The more you talk, the more every word you say is twisted. Donít bend too far for these people. Donít break your team. Tell them to STAY on vacation & maybe even give them extra days if you bothered them already. Then, after everyone is properly rested to properly tackle this problem from a fresh perspective, come back for a point-release patch and after that, take more vacations because you all earned at least a month in the outdoors!
You guys made a great game. There is no shame in what you did. If anyone thinks they can make a perfect game, offer them a million dollars. I have never seen a game that was done when it left the developers. Ever. Not once. Sure, lots of studios stop work on games, that doesnít make a perfect game. It means they moved on. You guys did well. Be proud. Be forward thinking. Donít let these morons take your thunder. You did a good job!
About SM2: http://forums.2kgames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5680
They may have had a very good reason for not including SM2, but the point is that it is possible.
And uhh .. widescreen marketing? Don't take that tin foil hat off.
I have a solution for them with the widescreen issue:
-Keep the 4:3 version the way it is, as that is how it should be.
-Fix the FOV for widescreen. By choosing to not letterboxing for 4:3 user and choosing to instead lop off the top and bottom of the image for the widescreen user, they have in a way letterboxed (not really by definition) the widescreen user.
Don't get me wrong, I think Bioshock is amazing, I'm just hoping that the widescreen issue can be taken care of officially. If they really think that the current widescreen fov is the way it should be, they should at least give users the option to change the fov if they really want to without resorting to a hack.
I agree with Open_Minded.
A public/official anouncement about the Shader 3.0 issue would most likely INSURE less traffic on these forums and keep poeple at "bay".
SM 2.0 Can't play
SM 3.0 Can play
Xbox Can't play
Xbox 360 Can play
See what I did thur?
This thread exists: http://forums.2kgames.com/forums/sho...t=5680&page=29
Screw buying new hardware just for one game.
See what I did thur?
Wouldn't Ken be short for Kenneth, not Kevin?
yes, Ken Levine. Whatever.
I'm sure he knows who he is.
'awkwardness of SM3.0' my ass
SM3.0 has been around for 3yrs now. If anyone is to blame for the SM3.0 fiasco, it's ATI for choosing to leave it out for so long. People were warned that this was gonna happen sooner or later when the x800 series and the GeForce 6 series came out. ATI ☺☺☺☺ed you over. Not anyone else.
If Irrational ("the developer") were contracting for NASA ("the customers"), then the customers would have given the developer strict specifications, and the developer would have submitted a bid based on those strict specs, proposing both a price and stating how close they would follow the specs. All this would happen before the customers even considered making any kind of contract.
Originally Posted by Open_Minded
What has caused all of the controversy here is, the customers, in their specs, said "do widescreen this way," and the developer, in the now-infamous quote by [i]Chris the Lead Programmer[i], said: "yes, we are going to do widescreen this way."
Based on this information, the customers decided to buy from the developer. When the product was finished and the customers received what they had paid for, the product was different than the developers had told the customers it would be when the customers made their decision to buy it.
Now, if a car dealer tells me a car has 450 Horsepower, and based on this decision I buy the car, then when I get the car, and it only has 150 horsepower, I am probably going to feel a bit ripped off, and will probably respond in a frustrated manner.
Then, the dealer comes out and says "oh, well, after I told you it was 450 Hp, and you said, 'ok, here's my money,' well, after that we got together and decided that we liked 150 Hp better, so we changed it. 150 is the way it's meant to be. Deal with it."
That probably wouldn't make me any happier.
So, in short, the complainants are not selfish at all, they are rightfully frustrated customers who did not get what they paid for.
You know he won't respond to this specifically, right?
Of course he wont, he is on the beach with the other devs working their tans.
Originally Posted by jfodder
A: I don't want Ken to respond to me. I want him to tell the public to calm down & then for him & his team to calm down.
As far as all this ☺☺☺☺ about horsepower & all that, whatever. Look, the game is ☺☺☺☺ing awesome. If you don't want to play it, DON'T!
The real issue is DRM. Those that don't have SM3 need to get with the times. I upgraded from an X800 for this game. Now I find the demo has installed a root kit on my pc and I can't do a damn thing about it because if I don't learn how to do the magical voodo dance I'm only going to be able to install the game one more time.
I take it it's full reinstall/format time (or ghost) for the rootkit or is it as bad as the infamous sony one?? (fkin hope not).
Nirvelli, not only did they buy the game expecting correctly implemented widescreen many of us (me inc) bought a monitor especially because all the evidence we had told us it was going to be fine.
So that's why we sound pissy about the issue sometimes. It wasn't just the cost of the game.
Though of course the monitor is great and is used for other stuff but Bioshock was the spur on I needed.... how foolish was I to think such a high profile game would get it so wrong.
DRM is far worse I agree.. it's the #1 problem right now
When i dish out 50 dollars for a single player game, I expect to be able to play it. screw your widescreen problems and get over the two installs. When you release a minimum requirement, and i exceed that, i should be able to play. and screw you buddy for calling me selfish. hell yeah im selfish. but not as selfish as 2k is. and give me a million dollars. I could at least make a game that works on release.
The way this has been handled has been terrible. 2K definitely paid off the magazine publishers for these great reviews. There is no way any game can have a review above a 7.0 without dishing out the big bucks.
The more time pases the more one has to wonder.
Originally Posted by steamed_hams
Thanks for the thoughtful note. We're not actually reeling from the concerns. We've been doing this for a long time. Game launches are always interesting times!
We're reading every post. We're not responding to every one right away, because, as I mentioned, software development does not happen in seconds and minutes, it happens in weeks and months.
Jon Chey and I, heads of the Australian and Boston studios take very seriously any concerns people have about the game. He and I are in constant communication about the various topics brought up on these boards. We've also been liasing with the decision makers at 2k.
I believe some concerns are quite valid and some are extremely subjective. With the approval of our bosses at 2k, we will be doing what we can to address the valid concerns and will be seriously considering the more subjective concerns. We've stated our aesthetic position on some topics, but we would never question any customers right to disagree with our views.
We're _not_ making promises on any particular issue, but currently nothing is off the table for discussion here either here or at 2k. Now that our product has launched, we've turned our full attention to We're here at launch day +2 (US) and -1 (most of Europe), and we're listening.
My main concern is how twisted you guys at Irrational must be to have thought up some of the stuff in this game.
I'm literally shocked by how crazy and insane Rapture is.
I applaud this effort, this is more than a game, it's a true experience and a true journey into this underwater hell.
I'm completely baffled to how you and your team dreamt up this reality. It's twisted, brilliant, and insane all at the same time.
First I wanna thank you for answering us, I know a good bunch of developerswho would never have done that. And now the point, could you possibly tell us which concerns are valid, that you will look into and which ones are extremely subjective, that'll be on hold for possible check later?
Originally Posted by irrationallevine
Wow. That's cool. Actual platitudes from one of the Irrational team.
I really would advise you to not think of the Pixel Shader 2.0 issues as 'subjective' if that is what you were referencing. I am pretty sure youre 'valid' concerns stated are covering the secure installation fiasco which you know you need to resolve as a matter or urgency but I hope you realise the gravity of the shader issue since we know that the game can run well on the PS 2.0 cards we well. Please reference the rather lengthy thread on this issue as well as the fast growing petition and I hope you will sort out these two MAJOR issues asap so some sort of faith can be restored.
I got my Bioshock a day early here in europe and I must quite frankly say that the installation was pretty direct and problem free. I do understand the reasons for adding secure rom to the disk as it stands now the "pirates" have had since tuesday to crack the game and get it out. There is no release out yet and that means that their copy protection has been successful. Rootkit or not, If it doesnt screw up my computer in any measurable way im quite fine with having it on my computer as I can remove it after I uninstalled bioshock.
As for the 2 installs issue I read somewhere here that you get "refunded" one install if you uninstall the game correctly.
On the topic of PS 2.0 I would say that the reason for them not including support for it is that of optimization. PS 2.0 is ineffective and crude compared to 3.0 and 4.0, each version upgrade makes the shaders faster and less consuming on the gfx board(And the gfx boards are better) . I know more than one game studio that literally said "Screw it!" to PS 2.0 and designed in house solutions that worked better and was less computer consuming. If you think about it, the game is out tomorrow in the entire world. Do you think that it would be if they spent time on optimizing PS 2.0?
Theese little problems that we are having now might seem trivial after it's all been fixed and we are all enjoying a great game. To the one that hinted that someone bribed the gaming magazine to pump the score up apparently hasent played the game yet.
I hope my little post helped people understand a bit.
Unforunately that is not true at all! They already cracked the PS2.0 initial issue and we can see our cards can run the game at a fast pace, its just their decision to force PS3.0 compatability that is causing texture and water issues!
Just remember - there are only three games forcing this anytime soon - Crysis, Bioshock and Jericho. Even Unreal Tournament itself will allow PS 2.0 cards to play it on release. And its THEIR engine! The difference between PS 2.0 and 3.0 is not as you say, all they are doing is limiting a huge playerbase for a game that never needed it anyway!
One of the more major upgrades in Shader Model 3.0 is the addition of Vertex Texture Lookups. What this allows is features like Displacement Mapping. If there is going to be any major difference in image quality comparing Shader Model 3.0 to 2.0 it is going to be with the use of Displacement Mapping. Bump mapping which is currently used now to give the appearance of height in textures is just an illusion. There is no physical difference in the texture, meaning if you look at the texture from the side or dead on you will see that it is still flat, only from far away does bump mapping work. Even then it isnít the best option since the texture is physically still flat light and shadows do not reflect correctly. The answer is Displacement Mapping which physically adds surface detail by manipulating the height of the texture. Displacement Mapping can even go as far as to create the model itself. Displacement Mapping may be a huge boon to adding realism in games. If developers pick up on this technology and we see it implemented in games, this right here could be the deciding feature that shows the most difference between a game rendered in Shader Model 3.0 and a game rendered in Shader Model 2.0.
Originally Posted by Viz79
It seems that most of the new features in Shader Model 3.0 are there to help performance, which is definitely a good thing. The new SM3.0 feature that we will likely see make a direct impact any time soon in gaming environment immersion is Displacement Mapping. Displacement Mapping can certainly add to an environment as shown in the NVIDA/FarCry screenshots, but for us to see those, the content developers have to be using those features actively. As you will see linked below, even this can be "faked" in SM2.0 to some extent, but even this is different from the effects that can be rendered with "true" DM.
From the friendly minds at hardocp
See my reason for saying what I said?
I linked to the article so you can decide yourself.
I hope it isnt against the rules to post links to other sites to prove a point?
Originally Posted by SpeechMan
Particularly I would like to hear some official response on the issue of 2.0 shader support as a great number of people, including long-time fans and enthusiasts (myself included) have essentially been hung out to dry without any explanation as to why. Of course people can make the highly "subjective" (see what I did thur?) argument that every one should have to upgrade to 3.0 as it is "the future" however it is not practical yet (as the cost of a 3.0 card which otherwise matches my X800 Pro in performance is almost that of the PS3 console I had been planning on buying this year primarily for GTA4) and certainly does not have any weight in technical terms (ie: the false belief that support for 2.0 would diminish the quality of the game for all users or the blatant lie that the new unreal engine cannot support 2.0).
Besides which is the point that such a decision has shattered any sense of brand loyalty I and many others had felt in the past. By shutting out loyal gamers such as myself you diminish your potential profits for every quarter beyond the current one as I, for instance, will no longer be pre-ordering a collector's edition of Grand Theft Auto 4 and will most likely keep myself occupied with another company's game at least until I can purchase GTA4 second-hand from a local game shop or preferably borrow it from a friend and play it for free. Furthermore, I won't be supporting any of your company's releases in the form impulse buys, which I have done many a time before, and which the new Manhunt game most certainly would have been.
Regardless of how "irrational' such feelings on the part of a consumer might seem, they nevertheless have a real world impact on your company (both in terms of revenue and reputation) and any form of pseudo-logical debate purporting that the "customer isn't right" only serves to strengthen the customer's feeling of dissatisfaction and thus their resolve to take further actions resulting in the tarnishing of the company's reputation.
Do not get me wrong, I wish for nothing more than an amiable solution to this issue, however the solution must come from the same source as the problem for any sort of brand loyalty to be maintained. In other words, if Take-Two/2K/Irrational/ whatever do not provide official support for at least the 2.0 cards which are otherwise more than capable of running this game, then the companies can expect nothing more than diminished sales in the future and an increase in support for their competitors who do not needlessly alienate large portions of not only the gaming community in general but also their own (at least formerly loyal) consumer base.
You'd think they'd teach more rudimentary economics courses in business management programs...
Sorry to post again, just clarifying my point from my last post...
I am not demanding that the game look and play as graphically nicely, so to speak, on 2.0 as on 3.0, but rather that it should play period. Of course technology is advancing and my 2.0 card isn't always going to give me the nicest visuals compared to cards that are coming out now. However, I feel it is entirely reasonable to expect, at least at this point in time, that my X800 Pro can at least produce some visuals. It just seems ridiculous to me that my machine can play games such as Oblivion and Stalker at the highest settings, and will continue to be able to play games slated for the future (such as the new Unreal Tournament which uses the same graphics engine as this game) at minimum to moderate graphics settings, yet I cannot play this game at all.
Yes this game is on the cutting edge of technology, but no this game was not brought back through time from 2 or 3 years in the future where most games will not function properly on 2.0 like many of the new games now will not function properly on 1.0.
I can understand your explanation of the PS 3.0 system but the issue here is reasonableness. The last PS 2.0 cards are barely 2 years old and are capable of running games at a very good pace - Bioshock is the first to put a halt to this. As stated, half of Steam users dont even possess a PS 3.0 card. Do you feel that as a business decision their choice of having these graphical improvements was positive when they could have lowered some of this for honestly not a huge difference and allowed pretty much everyone to play rather than half?
Because of ATI's late decision to adapt 3.0, developers need to realise a large amount of their userbase still are using significant graphic horse power that will play their game as long as they delay PS 3.0 usage until most are ready to upgrade their cards. By not doing so, what you are observing in terms of community backlash will occur.
Here's how post-ship game development works:
You spend a fair amount of time compiling issues, feature requests and optimizations. You then decide which of these you think are reasonable and possible to address. You then sit down with your development team and build a schedule for how to do this.
Then you get to go do the changes. Then the fun part comes: testing those changes over and over again to make sure they have no negative unintended consequences.
Until we've done all of this, I'm not going to comment specifically on any one issue or feature request because we don't have any visiblity down the road on the "when and how" we're going to address it.
As I've said, for the most part game development is not a matter of minutes and days, it's weeks and months.
We'll release information when we have it available to release it. As I've said before, we would never argue with a gamers right to feel unhappy about something. Every concern is valid if it makes a gamer unhappy. But that doesn't mean we'll agree with that concern (aesthetic ones) or be able to reasonably address a concern (technical ones).
We are listening very careful to all concerns and are working with the decision makers at 2k to get info to you guys in the best possible time frame.
I understand your reply but you may want to have one of your team browse the internet right now to see what is happening. The backlash is quite impressive and I am sure you know that these sort of things can escalate to rather unpleasant states if not eased as fast as possible. I am sure you are having all sorts of emergency meetings and we do hope you have every intention of trying to resolve this for gamers.
The issue you are looking at is that Bioshock managed to get hyped to the point of it being a must have game. When gamers found that they couldnt play it because of PS 2.0 issues AND then only install it X number of times, I think many minds simply snapped. And now you have a popular game and a lot of very upset gamers. It is a unique and unenviable situation - fix fast and you have people ready to forgive, leave late and people will just decide to let the whole game go.
BTW I still reitterate, the PS 3.0 issue may seem like something you may have issues at delivering but you may want to consider the 'number' of people affected by it. The decision initially made to do this for its benefits vs the loss in revenue for those who didnt have those cards, especially the powerful ATI 2.0 PS cards is truly mindblowing. Still think it was worth it?
So do we get a list of what is valid and what you consider to be more subjective? All we want is some answers. Is the activation nightmare that is even effecting gaming mags like PC gamer going to be addressed? Will securom have a full uninstall? What about the technical support circle that seems to be going on between you and securom? Will the steam users ever be able to take their games to any system without this activation madness? And even more importantly are you going to remove securom from the game?
Originally Posted by irrationallevine
Right now nobody is giving anything even indicating a direction. Its hard to stand by and wait if nobody is telling you what you are even waiting for.
Activation problems are not subjective. Legitimate users should be able to activate their games. 2k is working on this.
not to be too big a douche here, but why was there no widespread beta testing? ie. ncsoft's model where you extract a minimal "pre-purchase" deposit for access to the beta? the flaws that have been exposed in the pc version seem fairly major compared to other releases, or even betas i've tested in the past. budget contraints? did 2k pull the plug on the development budget?, and why take the chance on securom? they've screwed up big time in the past ie. empire at war, and apparantly with your release yet again. It possibly delays counterfeiting by a month at best, yet completely burns valid customers.
If I had to take a very conservative guess, I would say that SecuROM, crashing and incompatibility issues are "valid"/priority. Widescreen issues are likely the subjective.
Originally Posted by Obturator
And 2.0 shader support is "extremely subjective"? Or isn't? Your shiftiness in answering direct questions is certainly not helping your case...
Originally Posted by irrationallevine
Maybe I missed this somewhere... I can't really scour EVERY thread for it. If you have a forced format and lose an activation credit... Is there any way to get it back? Who do you talk to? What if it happens a second time? Am I just out the 50 bucks? What's going on? Can I please have gummy bears?
I wasn't able to play a lot of games that came out LAST YEAR due to shader 2.0, I've since upgraded cards and haven't looked back, I suggest you do the same.
Originally Posted by Jebrobins