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Stan100

Doom III: Appease the massses?

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Stan100    100
With the release of Doom III comming soon, and its high end computer needs, it brings a new question: If this game is popular, do you think games will come out requiring new comps all the time? Doom III is basically saying, "Our game will be so good 90% will buy new hardware!" Maybe this post should be in Game Design, but as a game programmer, I would like to hear everyone''s response. Over time I have seen indie games with relatively high reauirements, and its form has been frowned on. Main Question: Do you think high end games are a good idea, and if so, is it because more is expected of them?

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_the_phantom_    11250
There are very few companies in the world whos reputation would allow them to basicaly say ''hey, are game is gonna run poo unless you''ve got cutting edge stuff'' and then have people upgrade.
iD is one, Valve is another and off the top of my head i cant think of others.
Frankly, iD can do it because they already have crap loads of money and just like to push the boundies a bit.
Valve havent done it with HL2, although there will be alot of people who upgrade to get it looking great.

I think games which push people to ugrade are good, otherwise we''d just get stuck with teh majority running 5year old machines and things wouldnt push forward.
Some balances is needed, but things do need to be kept pushing forward or things will stagnate.

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Ranger50000    100
I must disagree that forcing people to buy a new machine is good. I''ve still got an old AMD K62 500mhz with a 64mb Nvidia card and there isn''t a game I can''t run. Or if there is I haven''t found it.
Now of course I do run programs at onlt 800x600 because I''m still using the monitor that came with my 486 (O.K. maybe most people aren''t as much of a cheap bastard as me, but still no one wants to upgrade constantly.
I''m glad I don''t have to buy a new system every year, I''m comfortable with the system I have. I remember when I upgraded from my 486 it took three months for me to get everything setup the way it was and for myself to get used to it. I don''t know about you _the_phantom_ but that isn''t something I''m raring to go through again.

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Rickmeister    182
I agree with Ranger50000

Recently upgraded from my Celeron 400 (Whoooooo) equipped with a GeforceMX200 to a 3.2 GHz P4 with ATIRaedon.. Things looks alot better now..and games runs smooth as hell

Developers could give the end user the option to decide if he/she wants to play with a low resolution and crappy graphics.. Simply put a button there with the caption "APPLY SHITTY GRAPHICS SETTINGS BECAUSE I AM A CHEAP BASTARD!".

If I would run off to my local computer dealer and buy me a new, faster (and more exspensive) computer, just to be able to play Doom 3, two things might happend:

#1 - My wife shoots me! (after calling me stupid)
#2 - My bank hires someone to do the same (after calling me stupid!)

I just can''t see the reason why?? Sure, it''s probably fun to play, but it will still be fun in two years from now, when todays top of the line computers will be cheap as hell.. Also, I can live with the fact that I might be forced to use low quality textures and low resolutions.. Good looks != fun (don''t applies to women), I still think that Elite II Frontier is a great game.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H L Mencken

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Stan100    100
BTW, Here are the requirements:

Minimum:
CPU: 800 MHZ - 1 GHZ
GeForce 3 TI/ATi 9600 Pro
RAM: 256 MB RAM

Standard:
CPU: 1,7GHZ-2GHZ
GeForce 4 TI 4400/4600/ATi 9700/Pro
RAM: 512 MB RAM

Optimal:
CPU: 2.5 GHZ - 2.8 GHZ
GeForce 5800FX/5900FX/ATi 9800 Pro
RAM: 786-1024 MB RAM

The jump from min. to standard is big.

Beatles are the best!

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hplus0603    11356
The jump from "minimum" to "standard" isn''t that big. A 1.0 GHz Pentium III is about the same speed as a 1.5 GHz Pentium IV. The biggest difference is that Pentium III pretty much tops out at 133 MHz memory, while Pentium IV starts at 133 and can go all the way to 800 (effective).

Whether you should require high-end hardware or not is a business decision. If you feel that you want the most people to be able to download, run, and buy your game, like most indies, you''ll aim for something like "500 MHz CPU, 128 MB RAM, integrated dual-texture graphics or better". If you feel that your main selling factor is the gee-wiz technology, and you want the technology you build to be licensable three years from now without looking dorky, then shooting for the upper end might make more sense.

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Blue Mind    122
quote:
Original post by _the_phantom_
There are very few companies in the world whos reputation would allow them to basicaly say ''hey, are game is gonna run poo unless you''ve got cutting edge stuff'' and then have people upgrade.
iD is one, Valve is another and off the top of my head i cant think of others.
Frankly, iD can do it because they already have crap loads of money and just like to push the boundies a bit.
Valve havent done it with HL2, although there will be alot of people who upgrade to get it looking great.

I think games which push people to ugrade are good, otherwise we''d just get stuck with teh majority running 5year old machines and things wouldnt push forward.
Some balances is needed, but things do need to be kept pushing forward or things will stagnate.


Valve makes people upgrade?

Umm... no?

What about Epic?

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Imperil    100
quote:
Original post by _the_phantom_
iD is one, Valve is another and off the top of my head i cant think of others.
Frankly, iD can do it because they already have crap loads of money and just like to push the boundies a bit.
Valve havent done it with HL2, although there will be alot of people who upgrade to get it looking great.




Valve isn't even in the same league as iD software, which is why they really can't push the limits.

Valve has put out ONE good game based off an iD engine.. that's it. iD has put out more games than I can count, and almost every single one is a hit.

iD pushes the industry and creates new things. Valve has taken old methods and made games with them.. err.. game with them.

The key players in pushing technology for gaming are iD and Epic.. Valve has little to no say.

[edited by - imperil on May 27, 2004 7:42:07 PM]

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_the_phantom_    11250
ah, but HL does carry ALOT of weight in gamers mind, thus they will be more willing to upgrade for a Valve games, say HL2, then something from someone else.

And yes, Epic, i feel bad i forgot about them with UT2K4 being my game of the moment.

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Miserable    606
From what I understand, ID software makes more money from licensing its engine to other companies than they do from their own games. If this is true, then it makes a very great deal of sense to target top-of-the-line hardware, since what''s top-of-the-line today won''t be all that mindboggling when the next generation of games based on the Doom 3 engine is released.

This is, of course, based on the assumption that what I heard about that is correct, which may or may not be the case.

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OrangyTang    1298
iD has mentioned several times that a GeForce1 card is the minimum needed graphics card for Doom3, in that anything lower just doesn''t have the needed functionality. Sure you might have to run in 320x200, but it''ll still run.

Equally, iD has always had their engines in high demand for lisensing to other companies and games. A company using it for a game out in a couple of years time will find that the requirements are much more acceptable to gamers who don''t have cutting edge tech when they actually release their game.

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WilyCoder    100
id software makes CHUMP CHANGE from engine licensing, compared to retail game sales. It was not engine licensing that made them rich, nor will engine licensing make them significantly richer.

Do the math. If id only sells 1 million copies of Doom3, at $59.99 , thats close to 60 million bucks there. Yes I know, they do not get 100% of the profits from game sales, but tell me, how many companies will buy the engine at $250,000-$300,000 ? Even if 100 companies did, thats still only HALF of what they made from the theoretical sale of 1 million @ $59.99......

If I were Carmack, and had his creative(financial) freedom, then I would be pushing the limit just as much as he does.

[edited by - WilyCoder on May 27, 2004 8:03:04 PM]

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Waverider    169
Forcing consumers to go along with the idea that upgrading is necessary is a strong force in the success of the industry. I don''t think it''s necessary, but it certainly keeps the chip and graphics card manufacturers pressing forward in their research and development. If the games didn''t push the envelope, I don''t think people would pay as much attention to the power of their machines or the progress that the manufacturers are making.

As for actual game quality, I certainly hope both Doom3 and Half-life 2 have the elements that make them effective stories, or at least fun action. It has been a LONG while since I''ve seen a game do that. Now Bioware is putting romance arcs in their stories for the player to affect. Blech.

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Kuladus    380
"wake up mr freeman, wake up and smell the ashes..."

I can''t wait!
Although I am but a humble computer science student, I am willing to upgrade in order to play this game at optimal configuration. Even if it means not buying a car for the fourth year in a row.

Obviously the upgrade will benefit other games as well, and as I''m running a gf2 at the moment, I have not yet witnessed pixel shaders, decent t&l, and AA .

See how sad I am? Quick everyone buy me a geforcefx5800!

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genbot    122
I don''t know how old are you and if you remember the older days.

But before ID was pushing the limit another company was the owner of the title "ONLY PLAYABLE WITH FUTURE HARDWARE". The company that "create worlds". Among Origin''s many titles there are three series, which brought the customer to incandescence. The Wing Commander Serie with the most expensive game that time (or better say: half game, half movie) "Heart of the Tiger" with Skywalker/Hamilton and Biff/Wilson as actors. Or think of the Strike Commander titles, which were developed for running at high speed for the computers 5 years later. And last but not least... yes... the Ultimas. Black Gate and Serpent Isle ran slow, Pagan ran slow and Ascension too - but NOW is U9 worth (and even funny) to play - when it runs at the speed it was designed for.

ID was that time a company, who showed that you can make IMPRESSIVE games WITHOUT speed lost. For doom 1 carmack got back an old (and long time thought: slow) algorithm learned at the university. The BSP. Not only that, he simplified it to 2D therefore take in account that doors/stairs only open/move up and down. But THAT was ID. Unbelievable ideas brought to life. (I suggest you to read Abrash''s Black Book to get an idea about Quake development - I heard it is flying around the net).

I do not now, if ID has changed their mind. But I believe, that there HAVE TO BE companies, which looking for the limit, else there would no further development. The only thing is, that not too many firms should follow this way, and I do agree with the statement above, that a concern want to sell the game and will get it running as lo as he can.

And one last thing: My computer before was my good old 486 DX2/66... until january 2003 (since 1991) - and he worked as my programming/learning/DOS-Gaming platform... but I have also to say, many of my friends bought new computers for playing the latest games.

br, genbot.

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Fidelio66    164
Well Doom III has been announced and pushed for some time now. At the time the specifications said that your GF3/4 or radeon 8500 would probably not be enough. Since then nvidia and ati have released 2 series of cards, and have a new generation ready to go.
What was once announced as cutting edge might not be too spectacular once it is released. After all, when it was announced nobody used advanced shaders for everything. But now games like Far Cry have set the current top of the line for visual quality while still running fine on older cards.
It remains to be seen whether Doom III will be a technical miracle once it''s out or something that has been in development for too long and old already.

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PurpleAmethyst    335
What I get pissed off about is a line on the side of a game saying somthing like:

"Only runs on GeForce3/4 Ti MX not supported."

This annony me to the extreme becuase the consumer level cards are most likely to be MX. Why are you instantly locking out your largest target market with a statement like that. Most game shops now accept returns for this reason, even though they aren''t supposed to.

I keep a 486 running just to play Doom, Duke and Command and Conquer. The new M$ OS''s won''t run theese games and I still enjoy playing them.

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grekster    640
Havent all the iD engines since Doom I pushed people to upgrade? Surely the need to upgrade for Doom III is a "no-brainer" (as Carmack would say).

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daveangel    138
I think a lot of u are missing the point of why a lot of hardcore gamers are willing to upgrade to the latest hardware as soon as it comes out.
If all I wanted to do was play games that looked good and save money I would just buy a console that cost less than $200 initial investment and be done with it.
But NO i want to be able to program on my computer,make movies using digital video programs,etc. In other words my computer is everything and I can do just about everything on it and with the latest hardware I can do that faster and better looking than any console currently on the market!
If all u want to do is be able to play doom3 wait for the xbox,ps2,etc version and be done with it cuz apparently your outdated slowass pc is good enuf for what u are currently using it for(checking email,surfing web,using office applications).
Just don''t complain like one of my best friends when your computer refuses to run KOTOR,UT2004,or any other recent game that taxes your dog pc!



If God played dice, He''d win.
—Ian Stewart, Does God Play Dice? The Mathematics of Chaos

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Miserable    606
quote:
Original post by pkelly83
What I get pissed off about is a line on the side of a game saying somthing like:

"Only runs on GeForce3/4 Ti MX not supported."

This annony me to the extreme becuase the consumer level cards are most likely to be MX. Why are you instantly locking out your largest target market with a statement like that. Most game shops now accept returns for this reason, even though they aren''t supposed to.

The MX cards just don''t support the same features, as you may know. It''s not about speed, but functionality, and the budgets boards are lacking.

quote:

I keep a 486 running just to play Doom, Duke and Command and Conquer. The new M$ OS''s won''t run theese games and I still enjoy playing them.

Fortunately there is DOSBox, which is good and getting better, and which runs on a wide variety of platforms.

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Anri    972
I think this hardware stuff is starting to get out of hand again.

I can understand upgrading your CPU, Ram & harddisk space etc - but when it comes down to 3D accelerator cards - they should be judged on its ram alone. If I may explain...

For WarcraftIII: 8MB 3D video card( TNT, i810, Voodoo 3, Rage 128 equivalent or better)

For Legion: 2MB Video Card.

For Medieval Total War: 16MB Video card - 100% DirectX9 compatible.

and finally Prince of Persia Sands of time: Nvidia Geforce 3 or higher( excluding GeForce 4 MX)...

...now correct me if I''m wrong but when making a game, you should really make it for as wide an audience as possible. For the first three games, I''ve only to know how much ram my video card has( for WCIII, I assume they are using the different cards just as examples...) and therefore thats all I have to worry about where the graphics card is concerned - oh, and maybe a DirectX compatible driver( which they all have pretty much). But the last one requires a Nvidia-only card? Are they mad? Do they really think everyone is going to fork out the cash for a new graphics card just to play a single game? Funny how this title didn''t meet good sales on its release...

So I think the moral is - NEVER make a game that uses a particlar kind of hardware that you know the masses simply won''t have. Its madness - for they will say "oh, I''m not really sure I have that card..." and it will go straight back on the shelf! No sale! They didn''t take it home to say how wonderful your game was...which is the worst bit of all.




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zoggo    194
This argument goes both ways. Some people slag off Doom III because it WILL run at full spec on today''s machines. Some people complain Doom III won''t run on their TNT 2. You can''t please everyone.

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Etnu    880
PC games aren''t made "for the masses". They''re made for that < 10% of home PC users that upgrade most of their system components every 2 years or so.

Games that are made "for the masses" can be found only on those little boxes plopped in front of your television with controllers plugged into them.

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