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Gamespot Article on XNA and longhorn

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Quote:
Original post by Pxtl
The keyboard is good enough for 90% of gamepad games, whereas the flightstick is needed for most vehicle/piloting games and isn't available.


um, the keyboard + mouse combo is great for first person shooters, but it sucks nut sweaty for platformers / racing games / beat 'em ups / etc. Fligthsticks are good for... um, flightsims? and thats about it too.
Controller design has really come a very long way. The whole dual-analogue sticks and more buttons than an octopuss can use is pretty damned nifty, they're not great for flightsims or first person shooters but they cover every other base with success.

I'd really welcome a good controller for the PC... in fact i already do :) i use a PlayStation2 to USB converter (because i don't like asymetrical pad layout) so my only fear is that MS will standardise the xbox only style pad... now that will suck! :)

Andy

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Quote:
Original post by NineYearCycle
Quote:
Original post by Pxtl
The keyboard is good enough for 90% of gamepad games, whereas the flightstick is needed for most vehicle/piloting games and isn't available.


um, the keyboard + mouse combo is great for first person shooters, but it sucks nut sweaty for platformers / racing games / beat 'em ups / etc. Fligthsticks are good for... um, flightsims? and thats about it too.
Controller design has really come a very long way. The whole dual-analogue sticks and more buttons than an octopuss can use is pretty damned nifty, they're not great for flightsims or first person shooters but they cover every other base with success.

I'd really welcome a good controller for the PC... in fact i already do :) i use a PlayStation2 to USB converter (because i don't like asymetrical pad layout) so my only fear is that MS will standardise the xbox only style pad... now that will suck! :)

Andy


Agreed, I prefer the symmetrical PS2 pad to the oddball GC and XB pads. Flighticks work fine for any vehicular game, not just flight sims. Gamepads are just friggin awful to do any sort of aiming with. The genres that gamepads fit best are 3rd-person side-view or 3/4 view games - platformers, fighters, brawlers, etc. The main appeal to those titles is that they allow multiple players onto your single screen. With the PC focus on online gaming, that's not really an asset - hell, its not even appropriate (how many people can you fit behind a computer hutch?).

The fact is this: mouse+keyboard = ideal platform for strategy and FPS/behindview games, plus any game that uses a strategy interface even if it isn't (Diablo, Sims, etc).

Flightstick + keyboard = ideal platform for vehicular games. Racing games, jetfighter games, spacefighter games, mech games, tank games, etc. Arguably a steering wheel is better for some - but that's overspecialised. Remember that the flightsticks have multiple sticks too - they have a POV hat, and your left hand is free for the keyboard.

Analog gamepad = platformers. Mario 64, Zelda 64, and all their ilk. I don't think those would ever catch on on PC anyways.
Digital gamepad = oldschool games that the keyboard alone works fine on, and fighting games because of their fscking supid rolls and zigzags.

My point is that, with the death of the flighstick, vehicular gaming has all but disappeared - its frustrating on PC (scuttling the mouse to deal with slow rotation), and frustrating on gamepad (we all know how hard it is to aim on a gamepad). Yes, people do it anyways, but its suboptimal. The granularity of control on an analog-stick is just too weak.

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Quote:
Original post by _the_phantom_
well, the major bulk of a game is assets, which dont need to be touched for either version (at worse you need some byte swaping in your loading routine on one of the platforms) so in theory, its just a simple matter of putting 2 versions of the code on the CD/DVD and letting the system pick the right one to run.


It's not quite that simple. For a start asset generation is and always will be very different for the PC and any console. The only time they're about the same is when the console first launches, and then they're only the same for a small window of PC spec', and not the whole gamut of PC technology.

Also we don't know whether or not putting multi-system exe's on a single DVD will even be allowed, how does it complicate getting games certified through MS's own Technical Certification Requirements? Will the PC version have to pass those too? For every possible configuration of hardware and software? How will that restrict the libraries that we can use in development of our multi-platform software? What about our Linux servers? our PlayStation version? our build system?

What you get on that DVD is not just two different exe's, it could be a different art pipeline that might have reprocessed the textures to support different formating for the different version due to the fact that you'll be viewing it on a big TV instead of a higher-res monitor.

oh... and then PC tech will move on, how will you support it? different shaders? with different art, again, new libraries etc.

I'm working on a multi-platform game, xbox and PC, it's not that simple, there's things we do to minimise the amount of work between them, but it is extra work and XNA isn't going to change that. Everything else i mentioned before still stands too, they're different platforms, different processors, with different memory and system architectures, what works well on one will work differently on another...

Here another example, on the xbox you can get away with thousands of draw calls per second without it affecting performance too much, in fact in some cases it can be faster to run with 4000 draw calls PER FRAME rather than batching them up, because the xbox has a unified memory architecture, try that on PC even my works with the newest Nvidia and Ati cards, and they're brought to their knees by it. So the PC has an entirely different graphics pipeline.

The situation is made worse between then xbox which is DX8.1 and the PC version is DX9.0c, but that won't go away with the Xbox2 either.

Andy

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