Thursday, April 8, 2010

6 PC game install and menu annoyances

*UPDATE: Corrected some errors*

Time for a little rant. After playing some recent PC games, some things got on my nerves. No gameplay annoyances this time - They all have something to do with installers and menus.

Note: My own game failed on some of these points - my (lame) excuse is that it was a no-budget casual game.

English, please

Don't ever install anything in dutch on my computer. I beg you. Yes, dutch is my mother tongue. No, I do not watch any movies with dutch overdubs. In my opinion, movie-cowboys in Texas should not be dubbed in German and Nazi's should not speak English with a German accent... And for the same reason I will never, ever play a shooter in Dutch, where teammates yell "De Fijanden komen eraan" with a horrible accent. Just give me a list to select my preferred language when installing, and we're ok.

Note: If there was a "Matroesjkas" videogame in native Aaantwerps, I'd be honoured to play it. "Iedereen blijve staan of ik knal de cravate zen flosj eraf!" - or something like that.

Don't spam

Don't bug me about playing online, registering online, starting extra downloads, creating an online profile or any of that crap unless I specifically ask for it (by navigating to the multiplayer menu for example). Don't install any services, tray icons and/or download managers unless I command you to. I already bought the game - There's no possible gain in spamming and bugging me.

Don't pretend

If I need to manually restart the game after configuring my video resolution etc ingame, why even bother putting that option there? Just make a pre-config windows dialog or something. It may not be as fancy, but it saves me some time.

No labyrinths please

It's cool to have a fancy menu screen. But the main purpose of a menu is to be easy to navigate. Both with mouse and keyboard. So keep all your rotating 5-layered labyrinth clusters for your own entertainment, don't put them in a consumer product!

Try first, enjoy later

I like cool intro movies and intriguing stories. But before I immerse myself in the game experience, I want to make sure the game runs smoothly, that my controls are correct and just try out the gameplay for one minute. So if you don't plan to include a skirmish/freeroam/practice mode, at least give me the option to skip those intro movies! Preferably by pressing escape, space or enter. This prevents me from bashing my keyboard and other hardware.

The way out

Finally: If I press Escape, this means I want to pause the game and/or go to the menu (or go to a higher menu level). Nothing else. Ever. If I'm in a hurry, and I press Alt + F4, this means I want the game to exit immediately. Without warning. Without saving. If that doesn't work, I'll go with ctrl-alt-delete, uninstall the game and eat both the dvd and the packaging with ketchup.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mission successful!

Newsflash: The game/experiment is over!

We had 99 participants... Damn, so close to 100! :) Anyway, the minimum of 60 was easily achieved.

This means my work is over... Which is not the case for my partner in crime Laura: The experiment was part of her master thesis, and she's currently processing all the data and writing the paper. Since all the data is looking good, "mission succesful" is the right thing to say.

Now the experiment is over, it's no longer possible to submit the survey or your highscore. I removed the download from moddb to prevent people from trying to fill in the survey in vain. But in a couple of days/weeks, I'll have a version of the game online with all the survey stuff stripped out.

Again, thanks to all the people who played and/or told others about the game!