RPS Demands for PC Games

It’s the week of indisputably correct lists! Hot on the heels of Soren Johnson’s strategy games list, Rock Paper Shotgun posts ten things that all PC games should do. Now please start arguing about whether having a “My Games” folder in “My Documents” is horrible or not.

I prefer all my save games to be under the folder in which the game main files are.

It would be nice if all games allowed you to specify your own folder for all user-created files. That way, I can store my saved games and my mods in one handy folder and save it elsewere if I ever want to install the game years from now.

I fully support seperate quicksave and quickload keys though. It should be mandatory by now.

Can’t remember a game that didn’t support Alt-Tab.

Ability to skip all Company Logos/Cutscenes/Etc at boot is also a must. Even better with an option to turn that shit off.

Saved games should go in appdata because of user privileges. Some people put it in my documents because it has the same privilege situation as appdata, but it isn’t a document and doesn’t belong there.

Why not just in program files? Because modern os’s have multiple users. Takes admin to write to program files, and so if you actually have a login, your game won’t be able to save while you are playing it, unless you do the run as admin thing. People wonder why vista security is a pain for some games, and refusing to use appdata or mydocs is why.

Different users of the comp should have different quicksaves and config files, but w/e. That # of the list is rather naive.

A lot of Source engine games like HL2 and its episodes had flimsy alt-tab support that would often crash the game.

I like that save anywhere isn’t on the list. It’s written so it’s a given.

Good list.

You need to play more games, man. It’s the bane of my fucking life due to all the nonsense I have to play. And the ones which do it unreliably are even worse, in many ways.

Alec tried to make it as PC-specific as possible rather than doing general good rules, coz we are PC geeks.

KG

But the way he writes (twice) about quicload/quicksave implies that save anywhere is a given for pc games, which I agree with… even if he didn’t mean it that way.
He can agree with me instead, then.

Let us assume idea congress.

Re: Quickload, when I was towards the end of my stay at PCG (i.e. Burnt out and cynical) I used to ask almost every developer what they’re hotkeys for quicksave and quickload were. If they were by each other, I just mentally wrote off their game. If they can’t get something that simple right, what are the chances of them doing something actually hard?

KG

Regarding saves, another pet-peeve of mine is that I shouldn’t have to save. I’m just playing two PC games where the autosave is nonexistent (Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI) or worthless (Mass Effect) – in the latter case because the game only saves at area transitions, and you can easily spend an hour in a single area. Game freezes? Congratulations, you just lost an hour of gameplay!

Save automatically, to multiple slots and at timed intervals, people. Not just every once in a blue moon when it’s convenient for the engine to do so. And if creating an entire save is too slow then do incremental saves. Desktop applications have known how to do this for ten years or more.

Patches should definitely not break save games… I think it’s very lazy for developers to release patches that would do something like that. If their game was so bugged that it invalidates save games, then maybe they should’ve done more testing before releasing it.

Or write a little savegame conversion tool that runs when you install the patch.

Kings Bounty lets you specify whether to store save games in my documents or in the install directory.

I agree with all of these items except 3.

With games anywhere near the cutting edge I think you’re better off giving the user a fullscreen resolution that’s likely to give them good performance (based on profiling their hardware) than you are giving them a resolution that matches their display exactly. If you’re planning for the user who is too unsavvy to change anything he’s better off with a game that’s a bit blurry due to upscaling rather than a game that runs at 3 FPS because his monitor’s resolution is far higher than a game like Crysis or whatever could hope to display given his CPU/GPU/RAM.

Obviously if their desktop resolution falls within playable range, that is the ideal selection in that case and if possible you should try to give them at least the same aspect ratio as their desktop resolution, but I think playable performance should trump avoiding display scaling.

Great list. I wouldn’t mind the Widescreen Support bullet point to include proper Field Of View. Some games just zoom in on the FoV to accomodate widescreens, it’s the gaming equivalent of getting stuck w/ a full screen DVD. Yuck.

Yeah, it seems like that list was compiled by people with lousy LCD scalers.

Also, I like how they insist that the Esc key should have ONE AND ONLY ONE purpose (pause/menu), then immediately and with no hint of irony whatsoever demand an exception to the rule-- it should also skip cutscenes. To paraphrase this very list entry, no-one wants to be miserably jabbing at random buttons one-by-one because the phone’s ringing but they’ve got no idea what pauses a cutscene.

Well, the solution to that is obvious: ESC should bring up a pause menu in the cutscene, with the option to skip it. That way you can always pause a cutscene without inadvertently skipping it.

RPS seems to be very demanding.

Yet loving.

KG

What games allow cutscene pausing? (Apart from console’s autopause on menu.)

I’m not challenging this, I really don’t know. I always feel like I get one shot at a cutscene, and if anything interrupts it I’m fucked unless it has a cinema option.