I just got a “new” video card, and I thought I’d check out the Half-Life 2 HDR demo. I couldn’t see it in action before, since my old GeForce 5200 couldn’t make with the fancy pixels. So, with grim determination I began installing HL2, which means installing Steam. I had totally forgotten about this part of the installation process:
Oh yeah. Thank goodness Valve encrypted my software. Otherwise I might, you know, use it. I have a fancy new system, and it still sat there for fifteen minutes chewing on data so that I could run my own software. I’m still amazed at the audacity of these punks to LOCK a game from the ostensible owner.
ME: I’d like to run my game now.
VALVE: Oh but it’s locked.
VALVE: Don’t be stupid. If it wasn’t locked you would be able to run it.
ME: Yeah, that’s the point.
VAVLE: Yes, well, if YOU can run it, then ANYONE can run it. Maybe even your pirate friends, who run those warez sites?
ME: I never… what? Look, how am I supposed to play my game?
VALVE: Just ask. Just sign on to Steam, and let us know you’d like to play.
VALVE: It’s quite fast and painless.
ME: That’s not the point.
VALVE: Only takes a second!
ME: Look, do I own this software or not?
VALVE: If you owned the software, would you be locked out of it?
ME: Er. No?
VALVE: There you go. Enjoy the game. But not too much. And only when we say you can. And only by yourself.
Quakecon 2012 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
Game at the Bottom
Why spend millions on visuals that are just a distraction from the REAL game of hotbar-watching?
Trashing the Heap
What does it mean when a program crashes, and why does it happen?
Juvenile and Proud
Yes, this game is loud, crude, childish, and stupid. But it it knows what it wants to be and nails it. And that's admirable.
Charging More for a Worse Product
No, game prices don't "need" to go up. That's not how supply and demand works. Instead, the publishers need to be smarter about where they spend their money.