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EternalGamer2

Steam Box, Nvidia Shield, Steam OS ETC: Not Supporting Controllers in 2014 Released Game Is NOT Forward Thinking

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On the note of "playing Arma with the controller over a WLAN". That is a worse case scenario. I think anyone using the Steam Controller for competitive games will be on a more even ground vs M&K than a standard analog controller. The point of the streaming feature is a temporary duct tape measure for games that haven't or won't be ported. The games that won't be ported (if all goes according to plan) are probably older games in a franchise and/or single player games. The most likely games to be played competitively will be newer games, and hopefully those won't need to be streamed. Thus meaning the players with a Steam Controller won't be as disadvantaged as they would be otherwise.

 

The only games I could see being an issue here are EA games, Blizzard games, and perhaps a few others because they are no longer, or haven't ever been, available on Steam. I will hold on to scrutiny on what will be available for SteamOS until after the Dev Days conference next week as I expect to hear about some AAA support outside of Metro and Valve titles. If I don't here anything then I will start being a little more negative nancy about this.

 

@PrimeJunta - I hope GoG gets on board with linux, but they seem rather resistant at present. I read a statement that because of their "if we can't get it running on your rig then we will refund you" policy that they can't see moving to linux because of all the different Distros and the like making that very problematic. I wish they would pick a couple Distros like SteamOS, Ubuntu, Debian, and/or Mint and say they support those, but anyone on different Distros won't get official support and are on their own. I will keep my fingers crossed.

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They did stick a store on top of Windows, launching at the start, requiring you to exit it without a setting to turn it off. It was a pretty aggressive move by Microsoft, I can understand why GabeN decided to look for an out.

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@Ganrich I agree re GoG and Linux. OTOH it's pretty easy to run most GoG's with Wine although it is a bit of a chore to find and/or set up the wrappers.


I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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MS is definitely gunning at "competing" with valve on PC. That is pretty obvious. They hired Jason Holtman, former Valve employee involved with Steam, to help with their GFWL replacement as well. They were definitely heavy handed about it, and I think that scared many developers. MS is definitely looking to drown out Valve as opposed to competing with them on equal footing, and that has always been a MS tactic. The argument can be made that MS is making similar moves with windows 8 and metro/modern to the slow destruction of DOS. Which is why I said it is unlikely that they will lock their OS down completely, but I won't say it is impossible. Valve is going where MS won't though... To other OSes. After 30 years of being the top dog MS is finally getting competition, and it is on every front of their business. Browsers, Desktop, phones, Console, etc are all getting attacked in some form. Some weren't popular to begin with, but are having trouble competing.

 

Since Valve is investing in Linux it is possible to have the system boot to a storefront selection screen allowing equal access to steam, origin, GoG, or whatever Linux storefront you would like. This allows equal footing. This is unlikely in SteamOS, but possible if a fork of it evolves or if a new distro shows up with those intentions. This isn't something Valve can do on Windows to fight Metro/Modern.

 

Also, I remember when Valve first announced their "Steam Box" plans they mentioned Bigfoot (which is what SteamOS and Steam Machines are) and littlefoot (which was a mobile solution for Valve). I wonder when, and if, we will hear about a Steam Tablet or Steam Phone. I am curious about what they would bring to the mobile table. I was hoping to hear snippets from CES about Littlefoot, but understand the focus on Steam Machines. I also am hoping for some answers to support from Streaming services (Netflix and the like) and Valves Music venture as well at Dev Days. They may not be ready to discuss though.

 

Edit: Yeah, most GoG titles I've used on WINE work with some tweaking, and they work well. I am fully onboard with native support though. That wouldn't fall to GoG with most their titles though.

Edited by Ganrich

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Obviously the big hurdle with SteamOS right now is the game library. Perhaps they think they'd be overextending themselves by launching a mobile platform at the same time. The game selection can't be the same; UI differences alone mean that much.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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I agree, PrimeJunta. I also wonder if they had plans to support Canonical in their Ubuntu Touch venture by having a store front that allowed for x86 based ports for when the phone is docked to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard. While simultaneously having games based on touch controls and UI. A game like Bastion (that is on PC and Tablets) could work on the go and on the dock.

 

I expect when Valve has finished with their major hurdles in SteamOS they might start murmuring about littlefoot. I don't truly expect it any time soon (maybe years from now), but I was hoping for some clarification I guess. There are a lot of new phone OSes coming out of the woodwork at the moment. Sailfish, FirefoxOS, Ubuntu Touch, Tizen, etc. So, I was expecting Valve to be working with one of them. Ubuntu was the most likely to me because of Valve's initial support of Ubuntu when launching Steam for Linux. Sailfish could also be a good one as they are supporting Google Play and their own store, and their phones have replaceable backs that could be used for a steam controller attachment.

 

Sorry, derailing the thread. I will stop now lol.

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On the note of "playing Arma with the controller over a WLAN". That is a worse case scenario. I think anyone using the Steam Controller for competitive games will be on a more even ground vs M&K than a standard analog controller. The point of the streaming feature is a temporary duct tape measure for games that haven't or won't be ported. The games that won't be ported (if all goes according to plan) are probably older games in a franchise and/or single player games. The most likely games to be played competitively will be newer games, and hopefully those won't need to be streamed. Thus meaning the players with a Steam Controller won't be as disadvantaged as they would be otherwise.

 

Worse case?  No.  There are 287 games available through Steam that can be played natively on these things.  Games streamed over a WLAN is the reality.

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I never said that streaming wasn't a reality. I was saying older competitive games aren't a priority and are a worse case scenario. The streaming feature is more for playing something like Kotor or any other older single player title that is unlikely to see a port. Competitive games typically become obsolete when the newer title releases. There are exceptions of course. I know a lot of Battlefield players that went back to 3 after the issues with 4 were very apparent. There are some older titles that have a solid group that still plays them, and they have windows machines capable of playing them.

 

Arma players have a Windows machine and are likely to be happy at the desk. If they want a couch solution it comes at a latency cost or hauling your Windows machine to the living room. I would stay at the desk for the Arma games atm. Perhaps Arma 3 and DayZ may get ports announced at DevDays though. It's unlikely, but possible.

 

That said, this system is being aimed at living room gamers, and that crowd is mostly on the consoles. They probably aren't aware of Arma, and if they are would they care about it? If they have a Windows machine is it capable of playing Arma 3 very well? Possibly, but not 100% guaranteed and teetering on unlikely. The console crowd is big on CoD, and that is the title I would be most worried about. On PC it isn't that big of a title by comparison, but on consoles it is different.

 

Arma 3 is the game that will entice the SteamOS adopters to buy an Arma game (not the first 2 titles). So, if it isn't a native port I don't see gamers buying the system for Arma. PC gamers will stay at their desk for Arma 3, and console gamers, are possibly unaware of, or won't have a machine capable of running it well(or at all). Console gamers that 'do' have a PC capable of playing Arma 3 will stay at the desk to be competitive. They will still have access to the controller on Windows if they want to use it though. This makes it a worse case scenario as it isn't going to be the norm.

 

Streaming will definitely be a major component of SteamOS for years and years, but I don't see many people using it for multiplayer competitive games. It is a legacy feature for older titles and more so for single player.

 

I know there are other titles that might be looked at other than Arma, but that was the example used so I stuck with it.

 

Edit: I read that they will have 400 Linux titles by the time the majority of these machines launch. It's possible some of these titles will be AAA.

Edited by Ganrich

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I have a feeling that streaming is going to eventually be the default way of delivering AAA titles. It has massive advantages from the publisher's POV: no more compatibility problems, instant patch deployment, and of course ironclad DRM. It will take a few years until the necessary infrastructure is in place so latency, bandwidth, and server capacity won't be holding it back.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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PrimeJunta, I don't agree or disagree. I have heard arguments from both angles on the internet streaming topic that are very valid. I would say that there are perks to selling your game vs a streaming service. Larger possible market as not everyone has the best internet being one of them. Another is that the developer would have to sink a large amount of money into the servers so that they can host the appropriate amount of players. If they don't have enough servers we have issues similar to SimCity's launch. While too many results in wasting money that inevitably end with server consolidation like many post-WoW MMOs.

 

However, I agree the internet streaming method is more likely to be taken by AAA developers, but doing so as a sole way of getting your title out before the infrastructure is there could cause a major issue for the studio. I still believe for a good many years online streaming systems won't be viable, and that is particularly true of competitive games.

 

However, the Valve method of streaming is over your WLAN from one PC (presumably Windows in one room) to your set top box (presumably SteamOS around your TV). I am sure you know that. I am just reiterating the difference to keep others from getting confused.

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Arma 3 is the game that will entice the SteamOS adopters to buy an Arma game (not the first 2 titles). So, if it isn't a native port I don't see gamers buying the system for Arma. 

 

Yeah, you're forgetting that the only way to really play DayZ is to buy ArmA 2: Combined Operations and install the mod.  That's not going to change anytime soon.  Maybe no one will buy one of these specifically for ArmA but no one is going to buy one of these for the platformers that make up the bulk of native games, either.

 

Also it's incredibly difficult to take Valve's word of titles available when their store stats count DLC as separate games.

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Actually valve said 250 titles when they talked about it at CES. That's currently accurate. You are right though. As of now it is mostly indie + valve titles + MetroLL.

 

If Valve gets around 10 AAA titles (give or take) to launch alongside the units then that isn't too far off from the new consoles. I take Valves word with some trepidation, but Valve rarely talks out of their ***. Valve has a tendency not to talk without something to show.

 

The system definitely needs AAA or it goes the way of Ouja. They need to press PC only developers for ports (like LoL and Blizzard titles) so they can claim some exclusives vs other consoles. These don't have to be sold through steam, but at least available. Not true exclusives, but exclusives like Titanfall is an xbone exclusive.

 

I personally think Valve will have to patch up their EA relationship for sports titles in particular. While getting a next gen version of gtaV and 2ksports titles will also help.

 

Until they show AAA games this is a niche console for indie gamers at a higher system cost.

 

I don't believe this system will ever launch and compete with Xbox or playstation. I believe Valve is waging a war of assimilation vs the typical war of attrition. This year Linux stats on steam may see a small rise to 5% on the steam survey, but it won't just trump windows. If in 3-4 years they hit a 20% mark on the survey then I consider that a success. That means more secured cross platform development, and less reliance on D3D instead of OpenGL. By then, based on current rate of growth, linux will likely have 1000 (or more titles). This means, if in the unlikely scenario MS does try to lock down windows that gamers have a choice. Which is what Valve has said this is about from the onset.

 

I also believe the current iterations on the machines aren't (for the most part) aiming for the living room gamer, but current steam users. Which I think is a bad idea, but there are a few diamonds in there. Cyberpowerpc, Alienware, and ibuypower all seem to be geared to price and size for competing in the living room. Albeit they are a little pricier than the PS4, and the Alienware price hasn't been nailed down. Dell is claiming console price and power parity to the consoles and also has an hdmi input like the xbone in their Alienware box.

 

I still think we will get some AAA announcements next week. Valve initially said that those would come at CES, but CES is more about gadgets and hardware. With DevDays right around the corner it makes perfect sense to hold software announcements until then. I will likely change my tune if DevDays comes and goes with little to no announcements for games.

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Legend of Grimrock had sold 600,000 units a year ago. Do you seriously think PoE would sell less than 1/30 of that?

 

While I am not detracting from the reputation it has gathered (it's on my list), nor am I doubting P:E's ability to sell, Legend of Grimrock was less than $3.00 USD steam sale for like a week. I'm sure that was a contributing factor. I picked up Alpha Protocol at a similar price.

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there's always autohotkey if you've got your heart set on a controller. there's even scripts that take analogue stick input and remap it to mouse movement.

 

****, i'd be surprised if valve doesn't find it necessary to include an autohotkey-like universal remapping feature in steam at some point, but with a GUI.

Edited by agris

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I think it's utterly preposterous that this game doesn't support the Occulus Rift.  Shucks, I'd settle for 6 panel multimonitor support, but it doesn't even do that!

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old school, by its very definition, is the opposite of forward thinking. this isn't a game for you to sit back, prop your legs up, and hit the awesome button evrey 5 seconds.

Edited by ItinerantNomad

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old school, by its very definition, is the opposite of forward thinking. this isn't a game for you to sit back, prop your legs up, and hit the awesome button evrey 5 seconds.

So, Old School means it should not progress video games in any meaningful way? I can assure you that projects like PoE, WL2, and BA are progressing the industry. And even then, you're saying that Old School cannot in any way incorporate any knowledge of the past X years? You do know that Baldur's Gate 2 was made in 2000? Torment in '99. 

 

I often play games sitting back. Sometimes on a bean bag. Sometimes with my feet on the couch or table - or even desk. And I can most likely assure you, if something awesome is not happening every five seconds, I'm doing something wrong. I play games to have fun, not to contemplate how pretty the landscape looks.

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if something awesome is not happening every five seconds, I'm doing something wrong.

that's the key - in old school You make something awesome happen instead of game making something awesome for You.

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So I know this topic has been discussed on the forums before but the devs answers always seem to stubbornly be that it's a "niche" audience that plays games this way on PC.  What I want to ask is, if it is such a niche audience way are companies as big as Valve and Nvidia putting significant amount of efforts into supporting big screen experiences?  Why Steam OS, Steam Box and Nvidia Shield?  Are you implying Valve is seeking out a niche audience? Are you assuming the Steambox won't be successful?  Because if not, it makes no sense in 2014 why you would develop a game that seems like it could very easily support controllers w/o even considering it as a viable option.

 

Obsidian doesn't have to say anything. Valve's official stats say they are chasing a niche market. 

http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey

Scroll down to "March 2014", Click "OS Version"

Windows = 95.04%

OSX = 3.62%

Linux = 1.21%

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Making CRPGs compatible with controllers is not moving forward in a positive way. Its the opposite - dumbing down the game to cater for casual players.

 

You cannot get the same level of control from a gamepad that a keyboard and mouse allows, and RPGs that do allow controller support are nowhere near in the same league as old school CRPGs that this game is being made like.

 

To summarize - you cannot make this game playable on controllers without also making it significantly worse and dumbed down.

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Legend of Grimrock had sold 600,000 units a year ago. Do you seriously think PoE would sell less than 1/30 of that?

 

While I am not detracting from the reputation it has gathered (it's on my list), nor am I doubting P:E's ability to sell, Legend of Grimrock was less than $3.00 USD steam sale for like a week. I'm sure that was a contributing factor. I picked up Alpha Protocol at a similar price.

 

LoG is a great game, but I have to agree, it's been on sale sooo many times. On many different services as well, GOG included.


Exile in Torment

 

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The Steam Controller is designed to work well with games that only support mouse and keyboard. PoE should be quite playable with it.

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