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Posted by agentboolen

At this point Microsoft should just give the guy a free patch and stop the future of throwing poop.

Posted by thomasonfa

The only sucky part is that I saw this story on Joystiq and they "mistakenly" did not include a link to your site. If it was not an accident, that would be a dick move on their part.

Posted by Grissefar

@Sammo21 said:

@Grissefar: You know people who say "first" in posts mostly show people they are dicks, right? Also, saying "first" doesn't net you the achievement anyway, even though you stated you already had.

Personally I think they should ban people from commenting when they do the whole "first" thing.

Ha ! Ha !

I guess it rubbed you the wrong way huh. As the only one. Not even Alex got pissed, since I was pretty graceful about it.

Edited by KingPossum

Just watch as Phil Fish backtracks on his stance that this should stay a console game in the coming year when Fez eventually gets its release on PC. He's a huge asshole who would have benefited from having someone else speak for him when it comes to PR.

https://twitter.com/PHIL_FISH/statuses/95911109667733504

This little quip sums up his horrible attitude towards customer service and his elitist attitude towards his game. The responder was joining in on speculation that it would eventually see a PC release in the far future. Phil will eventually prove him right and he has been far from professional about such matters.

Posted by EXTomar

The reason why both parties are the wrong:

- Bugs happen because software is complex and the platform it runs on can be complex.

- $80,000 is a lot of money just to distribute a fix to a bug of almost any class.

Neither the software cost or the hardware is worth that much money. Both Fish and Microsoft have to share blame because we are in a situation where it makes just as much to keep the flaw unpatched.

Online
Edited by JasonR86

@egg said:

"We remain huge fans of Fez."

What an abstract pandering comment. If you're huge fans, how come you don't pay for the update?

That's about as useful as saying "Why didn't Polytron make a perfect game and then release it?" No offense to you for making the statement. It's just it isn't Microsoft's responsibility to make arrangements to off-set the costs related to game development pre- and post-launch for the games they don't publish. More importantly, Fish and Polytron had to know about the costs of the updates prior to making arrangements to release the game on XBLA. I don't buy this nonsense that Fish and Polytron were apparently blindsided by the cost. If they were, they are terrible business people who didn't understand the marketplace they were releasing their product on. That's their fault and not Microsoft's.

EDIT: Just to be clear, the cost for patching the game seems crazy high. But that's another discussion.

Online
Edited by vinsanityv22

Phil Fish took 18 years to bring this game to XBLA, and talked loads of shit on other (far more efficient) developers and games the entire time.

For my money, I'm sticking with Microsoft. Fuck this guy. I don't care how good the game may be; this guy's douchiness has tainted the hell out of it. I know it's prohibitively expensive to release games on XBLA for indie developers, and that getting patches and updates done to games takes a whoooooole lot longer than, say, on Steam. But I've never heard anyone complain that putting out a patch costs a ton of money. Well, until the article mentioned something about Tim Schafer saying it's 40k (which seems ridiculous; no game should've been updated on the 360 ever for those prices).

Odds are, this guy is full of shit, and wants to wash his hands of this thing already. If he takes as long to make his next game as he did Fez, than he's looking at another 6 years for development on that. Why waste some of that time polishing up this game?

Posted by egg

@vinsanityv22 said:

Phil Fish took 18 years to bring this game to XBLA, and

18 years?

Posted by bill

"According to Polytron, less than a 1% of Fez players are vulnerable to the bug in the original patch. The bug specifically affects saves from completed games, or near-completed games."

LOL pretty fked up

Edited by MattClassic

Phil Fish was the dude that said his game was console-only because you're supposed to play it on your TV with a gamepad while sitting on a couch, right?

I don't have an opinion on this he-said she-said thing going on between him and MS, but goddamn is that a dumb argument. Tons of people play PC games like that. I do it all the time and I don't consider myself to be super tech-savvy or anything. These days it takes about as much time and effort as setting up an actual console.

Posted by Ghostiet
@LD50 said:

@Shady said:

@big_jon said:

Can someone explain to me all the hate for Phil Fish?

Is it because of his awesome name?

My understanding is he acts like a jerk when he opens his mouth.

Dammit, I may be a jerk. He's sounds like he's being honest to me, not so much a jerk.

But you're right Shady, that's the rep he has.

He's a dude who said that "PCs are for spreadsheets". Now he's bitching about how they should have released FEZ on PC and Steam.

It's not honesty like Jaffe's or Schafer's - they both make bold and sometimes insulting statements, but you can be pretty sure they'll either stand by their word, back it up or confront others about them.

Phil Fish sounds like Perez Hilton.

Posted by KestrelPi

Getting somewhat tired of the 'should have made the game work the first time like in the old days' bullshit. Games were much simpler then, and fewer things could go wrong. Now they have a lot of moving parts and it's difficult to know what'll happen until lots of people are playing it. Even with testing, some stuff always gets through.

I can't think of ANY recent release that hasn't had to go though some level of patching. Having a simple, inexpensive patching process means that developers can continue to support their game after the release (which they really want to do, because they don't WANT the game to have any serious issues!) which is a fucking win for consumers, but some of us choose to complain about it anyway.

When we released the last patch for our game, we made a small fix to the game to help out a tiny minority of people who have their windows font set to something other than 'black' who were having some problems reading the text in the game. Mainly affecting visually impaired people using high contrast desktop themes. It was an oversight by us, and cleaning up the code to make sure everyone saw black text made sense, even though the problem could be fixed by users changing their windows font colour while playing. After we released the patch, we started getting bug reports where in a very small number of cases, people were now unable to see text at all. Weird! We didn't experience this on any of our computers and couldn't reproduce it, but apparently it was a thing, and it couldn't be fixed by the user, so we had to reverse that small change we made and just tell people to make sure to set their windows font to a dark colour before playing. If we'd had a problem of a similar scale on an XBLA game, we'd be down $80,000 by now for finding that out.

Posted by MrBungle

I'm in the "he has had two attempts at getting this thing to work properly and still couldn't do it, so tough shit, pay up" camp.

Find it amusing that he has a dig at Japanese games development, yet they are the best at releasing games which don't need patching imo.

Funny seeing people say how games are more complex these days. So make your QA more rigorous to compensate. If he had released a game in DS or PSP he would have been royally screwed (or rather his customers would - which doesn't seem to worry him too much)

Edited by Sooty

@MattClassic said:

Phil Fish was the dude that said his game was console-only because you're supposed to play it on your TV with a gamepad while sitting on a couch, right?

I don't have an opinion on this he-said she-said thing going on between him and MS, but goddamn is that a dumb argument. Tons of people play PC games like that. I do it all the time and I don't consider myself to be super tech-savvy or anything. These days it takes about as much time and effort as setting up an actual console.

Probably less hassle to set up because you don't have to put up with Microsoft's current and horrendous 360 dash, where advertisements and "apps" come first, gaming last.

Posted by HansKaosu

Phil Fish is a douche bag and a moron.. Will never buy any of his games..

Edited by Kosayn

I feel that what has been lost in all this discussion and reporting is that apparently, if you are starting new on the current patched version of the game, the save deletion glitch won't occur. So, good for people who didn't buy it before the patch, I suppose. I'd rather see it on a different platform, of course. I can think of a few that could handle the game easily and wouldn't be subject to the same level of pointless closed platform restrictions.

It's unfortunate that Polytron and Microsoft won't sort things out for the core fans of the game. But we really have no sure data about what the 'work together on it' price would be for Fez to get a second title update. $20k? Free? I'm sure it's all very NDA'ed up. It's amazing we know about the $40k standard price in the first place.

Posted by Cirdain

Oh god It's impossible to counter the ignorance that's in all of the Fez news post comments because the quantity of mis-assumption & temporal differences in Phil Fish himself is being ignored (meaning that he's grown up over time and understands what shit he's said).

Posted by CronoXtream

wow i never knew they had to pay cash to make a title update..that just sounds very dumb

Edited by CptBedlam

I can understand both parties, to be honest. Maybe MS should look into scaling the update prices according to size or sales numbers (Activision, for example, should be paying more for updating the millions of COD copies than some small developer who only sold a fraction of what COD usually sells).

But man does Fish have a talent for making himself look bad whenever he opens his mouth.

Posted by scottygrayskull

Sure MS' policies seem skeezy and designed to just wrench every bit of money possible out of a developer, but...

...

... Polytron still released the game in a broken state. And not a 1% thing either. Anybody could play it for 5 minutes and see it was broken. Regardless of how the revenue breaks up, I still bought the game and would like it in a working state. If Polytron is going to release a broken game then pass the buck when it comes to patching it... I'll remember that next time they ask for my money.

Edited by AssInAss

Brad Muir had a salient thing to say about this:

Valve: "ONE OF US ONE OF US ONE OF US"

Posted by aspaceinvader

I think a lot of people are blaming both sides for this and not really reading the articles properly, if the patch has a major bug that was not detected at the time it was passed by both parties then who is to blame. Fish wanted to re-patch the game to fix the issue but cited it would cost too much to do so. Microsoft would have come to some sort of arrangement to have had the second patch released probably free, I'm not saying that they would have but if the first patch was bugged then I'm sure they would have let them re-patch the game with bug fix in place. To be honest I didn't think there was an issue with the game as I had no issues with saves and all. Does this bug affect your saves after the patch as in if you start a new game and complete it? I know the pc used to do this when patching games a few good years ago. You had to start a new game as your old save would not work with the new patch.

Edited by Brodehouse

@AssInAss said:

Brad Muir had a salient thing to say about this:

Valve: "ONE OF US ONE OF US ONE OF US"

While Steam is great and all, the difference is still there. I had to go get a separate, off-site patch in order to make Vampire Bloodlines run through Steam. To get Hitman Blood Money to run I have to set Steam to offline and back, and for some reason that clears up the issue. PC gaming isn't quite the old wild west of "well, it was working yesterday and now it's not." but there are still problems. There haven't been Myth 2 or Pool of Radiance type bugs that uninstall your partitions.

@aspaceinvader: Microsoft does not check save games, they are not doing QA for Phil Fish. They make sure Fez doesn't break the console or won't connect to Live. They make sure it won't put the system in a loop or won't boot up in the games menu. This is absolutely in no way Microsoft's fault for 'missing' it. That's not their role in all this.

Posted by bhhawks78

Again, boo hoo my game sold million + but I can't afford to patch it after I released a fucked patch.

Fuck off Phil Fish go away.

Posted by SeriouslyNow

@Brodehouse said:

@AssInAss said:

Brad Muir had a salient thing to say about this:

Valve: "ONE OF US ONE OF US ONE OF US"

While Steam is great and all, the difference is still there. I had to go get a separate, off-site patch in order to make Vampire Bloodlines run through Steam. To get Hitman Blood Money to run I have to set Steam to offline and back, and for some reason that clears up the issue. PC gaming isn't quite the old wild west of "well, it was working yesterday and now it's not." but there are still problems. There haven't been Myth 2 or Pool of Radiance type bugs that uninstall your partitions.

@aspaceinvader: Microsoft does not check save games, they are not doing QA for Phil Fish. They make sure Fez doesn't break the console or won't connect to Live. They make sure it won't put the system in a loop or won't boot up in the games menu. This is absolutely in no way Microsoft's fault for 'missing' it. That's not their role in all this.

Vampire Bloodlines is a different matter entirely. Troika went out of business and the 'patch' you had to get was a fanmade release to make the game work on more modern hardware. You're cherry picking an absolute worst case scenario and comparing it to an every day issue.

Posted by Brodehouse

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Brodehouse said:

@AssInAss said:

Brad Muir had a salient thing to say about this:

Valve: "ONE OF US ONE OF US ONE OF US"

While Steam is great and all, the difference is still there. I had to go get a separate, off-site patch in order to make Vampire Bloodlines run through Steam. To get Hitman Blood Money to run I have to set Steam to offline and back, and for some reason that clears up the issue. PC gaming isn't quite the old wild west of "well, it was working yesterday and now it's not." but there are still problems. There haven't been Myth 2 or Pool of Radiance type bugs that uninstall your partitions.

@aspaceinvader: Microsoft does not check save games, they are not doing QA for Phil Fish. They make sure Fez doesn't break the console or won't connect to Live. They make sure it won't put the system in a loop or won't boot up in the games menu. This is absolutely in no way Microsoft's fault for 'missing' it. That's not their role in all this.

Vampire Bloodlines is a different matter entirely. Troika went out of business and the 'patch' you had to get was a fanmade release to make the game work on more modern hardware. You're cherry picking an absolute worst case scenario and comparing it to an every day issue.

I'm not cherrypicking shit. I bought that game on Steam and wasn't able to play it. They sold me something that won't load after it's downloaded. That's beyond 'there are save corruption issues' that's 'this game doesn't work'. You wouldn't tolerate Microsoft selling you a game that doesn't work on XBLA.

Posted by Kartana
@bhhawks78 said:

Again, boo hoo my game sold million + but I can't afford to patch it after I released a fucked patch.

Fuck off Phil Fish go away.

this.
Edited by ChrisHarris

@Brodehouse said:

I had to go get a separate, off-site patch in order to make Vampire Bloodlines run through Steam.

There's a good reason for that. Troika, the studio behind Bloodlines, collapsed a few months after the game came out (late 2004)... long before the game ever made it on Steam. Sadly, the game only sold something like 70k copies when it launched (compared to HL2 which sold in the millions in roughly the same period), in spite of the critical praise it received apart from the numerous bugs.

Activision (rather than bringing people in to fix the game breaking bugs) just tossed the game aside to die in its bug-ridden state, leaving the task of fixing and promoting the game to the community. Then, over two years later (early 2007), Activision finally put it on Steam to get basically free profits off of the cult following the community had built around the game (in addition to providing support)... and still didn't bother to fix any of the problems... or even just incorporate the fan-made patches.

Online
Posted by Seeric

This is probably going to steamroll into a much larger mess.

At any rate, in this specific case Fez really should have been playtested more; launching a game with some crashing bugs and other issues is sloppy but tolerable since Fez has enough gimmicks that it is probably a nightmare for a small team to test (sort of like how Skyrim gets a pass from most people because even with a big team it is a massive game), yet the recent save corrupting patch is utterly unacceptable regardless of how small of a group it affects (and 'less than 1%' is still pretty high if it's even remotely near 1 out of 100 people being affected).

On the other side of things, Microsoft can't be entirely blameless in this. Relying on 'they signed a contract' is a really poor excuse; there's not that many truly viable platforms for indie games, especially if you are looking specifically at the console market and ignoring PC and mobile devices, so when a company says "we'll publish your game, but if anything goes wrong you need to pay us gobs of money just to be allowed to fix it" an indie developer is probably still going to take it because they may never get an alternative. I really wouldn't be that surprised if a bunch of both indie and more high-profile developers start coming out of the woodwork to tell nightmare stories about Microsoft's patching and QA policy to force a change.

Posted by SeriouslyNow

@Brodehouse said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Brodehouse said:

@AssInAss said:

Brad Muir had a salient thing to say about this:

Valve: "ONE OF US ONE OF US ONE OF US"

While Steam is great and all, the difference is still there. I had to go get a separate, off-site patch in order to make Vampire Bloodlines run through Steam. To get Hitman Blood Money to run I have to set Steam to offline and back, and for some reason that clears up the issue. PC gaming isn't quite the old wild west of "well, it was working yesterday and now it's not." but there are still problems. There haven't been Myth 2 or Pool of Radiance type bugs that uninstall your partitions.

@aspaceinvader: Microsoft does not check save games, they are not doing QA for Phil Fish. They make sure Fez doesn't break the console or won't connect to Live. They make sure it won't put the system in a loop or won't boot up in the games menu. This is absolutely in no way Microsoft's fault for 'missing' it. That's not their role in all this.

Vampire Bloodlines is a different matter entirely. Troika went out of business and the 'patch' you had to get was a fanmade release to make the game work on more modern hardware. You're cherry picking an absolute worst case scenario and comparing it to an every day issue.

I'm not cherrypicking shit. I bought that game on Steam and wasn't able to play it. They sold me something that won't load after it's downloaded. That's beyond 'there are save corruption issues' that's 'this game doesn't work'. You wouldn't tolerate Microsoft selling you a game that doesn't work on XBLA.

You bought a game made for older computers that was released in 2003. An apt comparison would be buying an XBOX game and being annoyed that it no longer works on 360 due to limited backwards compatibility, which is actually what happens in reality. Be thankful that fans of Vampire : Bloodlines made a patch because Troika doesn't exist to offer a patch. Steam hosts the most current version of the game, that's all they have to do.

Posted by Eckshale

@Brodehouse said:

I'm not cherrypicking shit. I bought that game on Steam and wasn't able to play it. They sold me something that won't load after it's downloaded. That's beyond 'there are save corruption issues' that's 'this game doesn't work'. You wouldn't tolerate Microsoft selling you a game that doesn't work on XBLA.

Steam bears no responsibility as to whether your hardware can run a game or not, the game has always worked on all my machines even when unpatched i only grab the patch for the enhancements it brings.

And on another not Phil Fish can go suck a cod

Posted by craigbo180

Phil Fish wants to cold blooded fucking murder Microsoft...

Posted by Masamune

To those claiming they should have gotten it right the first time: That's not how the real world works. No game is 100% bug free from any developer of any caliber. The patch fixed many of the problems and introduced an error for a very small number of players, that would be next to impossible to catch. Games have bugs. At least they tried to fix them, and, for the most part, succeeded.

To those claiming they should have known what they were getting into: You're right! But, back when Fish signed the contract, XBLA was far and away the leader in downloadable indie titles. Not even Steam had been proven viable due to its high barrier of entry. Any indie would have given an arm and a leg to get the kind of deal Fez got. They're paying for that deal now, but it's easy to judge in hindsight. Steam wasn't the savior service it's perceived to be now. The market is a very, very different place from what it was a few years ago. It's also worth noting that many other indie developers have complained of similar problems with the service.

And finally, to those claiming that the patch costs are a good thing to keep build quality up, just look at Steam. Steam doesn't charge a cent for patching or updating games, and their games seem to be doing alright. Clearly, there are feasible alternatives than charging tens of thousands of dollars to fix bugs that, as I said earlier, are inevitably going to find their way into any game, ever made. Ever.

Edited by xbob42

I can't believe people are actually saying "get it right the first time." There's no such thing as releasing a perfectly bug-free game the first time unless your game is incredibly simple, and Fez is the opposite, being very complex. It doesn't matter how big or talented your studio is. Everyone from Blizzard to Nintendo to Valve all release games with bugs in them and patch them in their own ways, and they always have. With Skyward Sword we got a weird sort-of patch to fix broken saves, with Ocarina of Time we got multiple revisions that were still absolutely LOADED with bugs (All speedruns of OoT seem to be based on enormous bugs.) with the Half-life and other Valve games we got a steady stream of patches as with every title Valve has released on PC.

Back in the cartridge days it was the same, you either issued a revision of the cart or just didn't do anything about it. But there's entire WEBSITES dedicated to videogame glitches, so you fuckers thinking that this is some new issue or that you should "get it right the first time," are totally and completely clueless children.

That said, Phil Fish is a dumbass for signing a contract and then complaining about it. Don't sign bad contracts, people.

Posted by Hailinel

@xbob42 said:

That said, Phil Fish is a dumbass for signing a contract and then complaining about it. Don't sign bad contracts, people.

The contract Fish signed wasn't "bad." It was, in all likelihood, no different from any contract that Microsoft draws up for exclusive game releases for new licensees. It was Polytron's responsibility to ensure that they could meet the standards set forth by Microsoft and, if need be, provide payment for any patching beyond the initial freebie. Microsoft, in that sense, treated Polytron no differently than any other developer, but Fish seems upset that he wasn't given the special snowflake treatment to which he feels entitled.

Posted by OneManX

...the more I hear and read about Fish, the more I dont want to even think about Fez.

Posted by Brodehouse

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Brodehouse said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Brodehouse said:

@AssInAss said:

Brad Muir had a salient thing to say about this:

Valve: "ONE OF US ONE OF US ONE OF US"

While Steam is great and all, the difference is still there. I had to go get a separate, off-site patch in order to make Vampire Bloodlines run through Steam. To get Hitman Blood Money to run I have to set Steam to offline and back, and for some reason that clears up the issue. PC gaming isn't quite the old wild west of "well, it was working yesterday and now it's not." but there are still problems. There haven't been Myth 2 or Pool of Radiance type bugs that uninstall your partitions.

@aspaceinvader: Microsoft does not check save games, they are not doing QA for Phil Fish. They make sure Fez doesn't break the console or won't connect to Live. They make sure it won't put the system in a loop or won't boot up in the games menu. This is absolutely in no way Microsoft's fault for 'missing' it. That's not their role in all this.

Vampire Bloodlines is a different matter entirely. Troika went out of business and the 'patch' you had to get was a fanmade release to make the game work on more modern hardware. You're cherry picking an absolute worst case scenario and comparing it to an every day issue.

I'm not cherrypicking shit. I bought that game on Steam and wasn't able to play it. They sold me something that won't load after it's downloaded. That's beyond 'there are save corruption issues' that's 'this game doesn't work'. You wouldn't tolerate Microsoft selling you a game that doesn't work on XBLA.

You bought a game made for older computers that was released in 2003. An apt comparison would be buying an XBOX game and being annoyed that it no longer works on 360 due to limited backwards compatibility, which is actually what happens in reality. Be thankful that fans of Vampire : Bloodlines made a patch because Troika doesn't exist to offer a patch. Steam hosts the most current version of the game, that's all they have to do.

No, an apt comparison would be if I bought an XBOX game through the XBLM store and it didn't work after I downloaded it. The entire point is that Microsoft's cert process exists to prevent that kind of thing from happening. Steam "hosts the most current version of the game, that's all they have to do". Exactly. If you're going to promote Steam with "oh man free patches!" you can't pretend the downsides of that policy aren't relevant.

@Eckshale said:

@Brodehouse said:

I'm not cherrypicking shit. I bought that game on Steam and wasn't able to play it. They sold me something that won't load after it's downloaded. That's beyond 'there are save corruption issues' that's 'this game doesn't work'. You wouldn't tolerate Microsoft selling you a game that doesn't work on XBLA.

Steam bears no responsibility as to whether your hardware can run a game or not, the game has always worked on all my machines even when unpatched i only grab the patch for the enhancements it brings.

But Microsoft does bear that responsibility. That's the entire point.

Posted by Ronald

Here's a question that's been bugging me a little. Do we know how long it takes for Microsoft to pay creators on XBLA? I would hope Fish has been paid by now and does have enough money to afford the patch but I do know other services in other mediums that can take from six months to a year to hand out the earnings to the company/people who created the content. In Demand in particular takes up to a year to issue the pay outs to the content providers.

Posted by xbob42

@Hailinel said:

@xbob42 said:

That said, Phil Fish is a dumbass for signing a contract and then complaining about it. Don't sign bad contracts, people.

The contract Fish signed wasn't "bad." It was, in all likelihood, no different from any contract that Microsoft draws up for exclusive game releases for new licensees. It was Polytron's responsibility to ensure that they could meet the standards set forth by Microsoft and, if need be, provide payment for any patching beyond the initial freebie. Microsoft, in that sense, treated Polytron no differently than any other developer, but Fish seems upset that he wasn't given the special snowflake treatment to which he feels entitled.

You misunderstand me. I believe any contract you sign with MS is a bad one. They're out to milk your ass. Phil was dumb for signing it and then complaining about it, but I think MS' entire system here is also rotten to the core. Charging for patches is absolutely absurd. Signing a contract that you have to pay for exclusivity (they received funding to finish making their game, but paid for it in other ways.) and then complaining about said contract is also absurd. The entire situation is a clusterfuck.

Posted by xbob42

@Brodehouse said:

No, an apt comparison would be if I bought an XBOX game through the XBLM store and it didn't work after I downloaded it.

That's not an apt comparison at all. You bought a game for your PC from 2003, designed for an entirely different set of operating systems, driver standards and even DirectX version. The only comparison that is apt is you buying an Xbox 1 game.

Edited by EXTomar

Fish didn't get a "bad deal" but Fish should have realized that there was a giant risk. If the game needs a certain level of maintenance then XBox Live is a terrible platform to release a game on.

ps. Lets not forget how spotty XBox 360 "support" XBox games was and still is. I can't believe Brodehouse is trying that argument.

Online
Posted by Hailinel

@xbob42 said:

@Hailinel said:

@xbob42 said:

That said, Phil Fish is a dumbass for signing a contract and then complaining about it. Don't sign bad contracts, people.

The contract Fish signed wasn't "bad." It was, in all likelihood, no different from any contract that Microsoft draws up for exclusive game releases for new licensees. It was Polytron's responsibility to ensure that they could meet the standards set forth by Microsoft and, if need be, provide payment for any patching beyond the initial freebie. Microsoft, in that sense, treated Polytron no differently than any other developer, but Fish seems upset that he wasn't given the special snowflake treatment to which he feels entitled.

You misunderstand me. I believe any contract you sign with MS is a bad one. They're out to milk your ass. Phil was dumb for signing it and then complaining about it, but I think MS' entire system here is also rotten to the core. Charging for patches is absolutely absurd. Signing a contract that you have to pay for exclusivity (they received funding to finish making their game, but paid for it in other ways.) and then complaining about said contract is also absurd. The entire situation is a clusterfuck.

The idea of charging for patches is not absurd. Microsoft doesn't want to waste bandwidth, either online or personnel, in testing and posting patch after patch because a developer released a shoddy game, and then felt the need to release patch after patch after patch after patch in order to fix their broken mess. Microsoft put the fee in place for one primary purpose, and that purpose is to encourage developers to do proper QA on their games, because Microsft is not going to debug their games for them. Microsoft gives all developers one free patch to fix any issues found in the initial release, but if you need to keep fixing things, then you're going to be charged because the certification team has other business that needs tending to and they shouldn't have to keep spending time recertifying your game because you're own QA is too sloppy to catch the most damning issues the first time around.

Posted by xbob42

@Hailinel said:

The idea of charging for patches is not absurd. Microsoft doesn't want to waste bandwidth, either online or personnel, in testing and posting patch after patch because a developer released a shoddy game, and then felt the need to release patch after patch after patch after patch in order to fix their broken mess. Microsoft put the fee in place for one primary purpose, and that purpose is to encourage developers to do proper QA on their games, because Microsft is not going to debug their games for them. Microsoft gives all developers one free patch to fix any issues found in the initial release, but if you need to keep fixing things, then you're going to be charged because the certification team has other business that needs tending to and they shouldn't have to keep spending time recertifying your game because you're own QA is too sloppy to catch the most damning issues the first time around.

I've heard this argument several times, and it makes no sense on any level no matter how much I think about it.

Charging for a patch simply means that companies, motivated by profit, will patch less often. This doesn't help shore up QA.

Patches and bugfixes tend to be absolutely tiny. The amount of bandwidth they use is so trivial that it's not even worth mentioning. Steam allows me to download a 30+GB game an unlimited number of times. Bandwidth isn't that expensive.

Charging for patches and bugfixes means that if a developer can't afford or isn't willing to invest $40,000 to fix a few bugs, then the consumer is permanently borked. Great logic there, Microsoft.

Microsoft has no business telling anyone about their QA with the RRoD, constant dashboard updates and the fact that every Windows release has about 30,000 "FIXED A GAPING HOLE THAT WOULD ALLOW A HACKER ACCESS TO EVERYTHING" patches per week. Getting something "right," is done via iteration and mass testing, NOT INTERNAL TESTING. Internal testing can only do so much.

This idea that if your "QA was just good enough, you wouldn't have to patch," is patently absurd and the double standard from MS here of all people is so amazingly ironic that the fact that anyone is defending it is ludicrous.

Edited by EXTomar

To point: The fee isn't surprising. Unless I'm eyeballing it incorrectly, the software and hardware and service can't possibly add up $40,000 let alone $80,000 so Fish might have a point in that the fee structure is a bit inflexible. But then again Microsoft has a point too that Fish is being unrealistic. The truth may be that the bug effects so few while it is too expensive to fix where both of parties share the blame here. No one wins in this case where the more both parties snipe at each other the worse both will look.

This happens a lot in software let alone video games. When people are screaming on the interwebs that "This bug in Black Ops 2 is the most horrible thing ever...why doesn't Activision fix it?" it is probably due the fact the cost of fixing and delivering compared to letting it sit as fringe case bug isn't favorable or is only favorable when rolled up into a giant patch.

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Posted by avidwriter

They still admited there is a "fee" for patches. Maybe if that fee wasn't so expensive (greedy fucks) they'd have patched the game.

Posted by Hailinel

@xbob42 said:

@Hailinel said:

The idea of charging for patches is not absurd. Microsoft doesn't want to waste bandwidth, either online or personnel, in testing and posting patch after patch because a developer released a shoddy game, and then felt the need to release patch after patch after patch after patch in order to fix their broken mess. Microsoft put the fee in place for one primary purpose, and that purpose is to encourage developers to do proper QA on their games, because Microsft is not going to debug their games for them. Microsoft gives all developers one free patch to fix any issues found in the initial release, but if you need to keep fixing things, then you're going to be charged because the certification team has other business that needs tending to and they shouldn't have to keep spending time recertifying your game because you're own QA is too sloppy to catch the most damning issues the first time around.

I've heard this argument several times, and it makes no sense on any level no matter how much I think about it.

Charging for a patch simply means that companies, motivated by profit, will patch less often. This doesn't help shore up QA.

Patches and bugfixes tend to be absolutely tiny. The amount of bandwidth they use is so trivial that it's not even worth mentioning. Steam allows me to download a 30+GB game an unlimited number of times. Bandwidth isn't that expensive.

Charging for patches and bugfixes means that if a developer can't afford or isn't willing to invest $40,000 to fix a few bugs, then the consumer is permanently borked. Great logic there, Microsoft.

Microsoft has no business telling anyone about their QA with the RRoD, constant dashboard updates and the fact that every Windows release has about 30,000 "FIXED A GAPING HOLE THAT WOULD ALLOW A HACKER ACCESS TO EVERYTHING" patches per week. Getting something "right," is done via iteration and mass testing, NOT INTERNAL TESTING. Internal testing can only do so much.

This idea that if your "QA was just good enough, you wouldn't have to patch," is patently absurd and the double standard from MS here of all people is so amazingly ironic that the fact that anyone is defending it is ludicrous.

The RROD was a hardware issue unrelated to software QA and certification, or the certification of the dashboard firmware updates. The RROD cannot be held against the team responsible for certification testing of games. And while internal testing can only catch so much, it is not the responsibility of Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo to do any such QA testing for a developer unless there is specifically an agreement between the companies to do so. If Microsoft has no vested interest in your game (i.e.: They are not the publisher), then it is not their responsibility to make sure that your game isn't a buggy piece of shit. It is only their responsibility to ensure that your buggy piece of shit does not cause damage to the console or violate any other certification requirements. If you do not put in the time, money, or effort to perform solid QA testing prior to submitting the game for certification, then it is your fault if the game is revealed to have severe issues that are only found post-launch.

The real problem with the QA process is that many developers do not treat that aspect of development properly. Rather than foster internal teams of experienced, qualified testers, they're content to farm the work out to temporary help for low pay. QA staff that they do have on as permanent employees are are largely responsible for shepherding these temps, but if the temp agency sends you knuckleheads, then you're working with knuckleheads. And if the culture of the developer treats testers like shit, then that doesn't help the process either. Too many developers treat QA as an afterthought, but it is not Microsoft's, Sony's, or Nintendo's responsibility to make sure that you aren't contracting a bunch of trained monkeys and treating their efforts with the aloofness of a cruel taskmaster. It is the developer's responsibility first and foremost to ensure that they have the resources in place to perform QA on their game. This isn't as easy to do for small, independent teams, but it can be done.

But even despite the best efforts, issues can and do slip through the cracks. That's unfortunate, but it happens. Even so, if you need to patch, Microsoft's policy is put in place so that when you do prepare that first patch (which is free), you're encouraged to find and fix everything that you can. If there are further problems beyond that, then you need to weigh your options and either be prepared to pay the certification fee for a second patch, be prepared to negotiate with Microsoft to either reduce or eliminate the fee, or leave the issues as they are (hopefully with more grace than Phil Fish could ever dream of mustering).

Posted by laserbolts

Wow did Fez do so badly that they can't afford to patch it? Figured it did fairly well considering the undeserving hype around it.

Posted by Declarius

@Brodehouse said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Brodehouse said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Brodehouse said:

@AssInAss said:

Brad Muir had a salient thing to say about this:

Valve: "ONE OF US ONE OF US ONE OF US"

While Steam is great and all, the difference is still there. I had to go get a separate, off-site patch in order to make Vampire Bloodlines run through Steam. To get Hitman Blood Money to run I have to set Steam to offline and back, and for some reason that clears up the issue. PC gaming isn't quite the old wild west of "well, it was working yesterday and now it's not." but there are still problems. There haven't been Myth 2 or Pool of Radiance type bugs that uninstall your partitions.

@aspaceinvader: Microsoft does not check save games, they are not doing QA for Phil Fish. They make sure Fez doesn't break the console or won't connect to Live. They make sure it won't put the system in a loop or won't boot up in the games menu. This is absolutely in no way Microsoft's fault for 'missing' it. That's not their role in all this.

Vampire Bloodlines is a different matter entirely. Troika went out of business and the 'patch' you had to get was a fanmade release to make the game work on more modern hardware. You're cherry picking an absolute worst case scenario and comparing it to an every day issue.

I'm not cherrypicking shit. I bought that game on Steam and wasn't able to play it. They sold me something that won't load after it's downloaded. That's beyond 'there are save corruption issues' that's 'this game doesn't work'. You wouldn't tolerate Microsoft selling you a game that doesn't work on XBLA.

You bought a game made for older computers that was released in 2003. An apt comparison would be buying an XBOX game and being annoyed that it no longer works on 360 due to limited backwards compatibility, which is actually what happens in reality. Be thankful that fans of Vampire : Bloodlines made a patch because Troika doesn't exist to offer a patch. Steam hosts the most current version of the game, that's all they have to do.

No, an apt comparison would be if I bought an XBOX game through the XBLM store and it didn't work after I downloaded it. The entire point is that Microsoft's cert process exists to prevent that kind of thing from happening. Steam "hosts the most current version of the game, that's all they have to do". Exactly. If you're going to promote Steam with "oh man free patches!" you can't pretend the downsides of that policy aren't relevant.

@Eckshale said:

@Brodehouse said:

I'm not cherrypicking shit. I bought that game on Steam and wasn't able to play it. They sold me something that won't load after it's downloaded. That's beyond 'there are save corruption issues' that's 'this game doesn't work'. You wouldn't tolerate Microsoft selling you a game that doesn't work on XBLA.

Steam bears no responsibility as to whether your hardware can run a game or not, the game has always worked on all my machines even when unpatched i only grab the patch for the enhancements it brings.

But Microsoft does bear that responsibility. That's the entire point.

HAH! Since when is it Valve's problem if someone buys a game they don't meet the system requirements for. With your example the free patches don't matter because the developer no longer exists. The only reason you can play it AT ALL is because of a fan patch. Why would Valve host a fan patch?

"100% Windows® 98/ME/2000/XP-compatible mouse, keyboard, and drivers"

The information is there, if you didn't read it, it's your problem.

Posted by SeriouslyNow

@Hailinel said:

@xbob42 said:

@Hailinel said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Brodehouse said:

@SeriouslyNow said:

@Brodehouse said:

@AssInAss said:

Brad Muir had a salient thing to say about this:

Valve: "ONE OF US ONE OF US ONE OF US"

While Steam is great and all, the difference is still there. I had to go get a separate, off-site patch in order to make Vampire Bloodlines run through Steam. To get Hitman Blood Money to run I have to set Steam to offline and back, and for some reason that clears up the issue. PC gaming isn't quite the old wild west of "well, it was working yesterday and now it's not." but there are still problems. There haven't been Myth 2 or Pool of Radiance type bugs that uninstall your partitions.

@aspaceinvader: Microsoft does not check save games, they are not doing QA for Phil Fish. They make sure Fez doesn't break the console or won't connect to Live. They make sure it won't put the system in a loop or won't boot up in the games menu. This is absolutely in no way Microsoft's fault for 'missing' it. That's not their role in all this.

Vampire Bloodlines is a different matter entirely. Troika went out of business and the 'patch' you had to get was a fanmade release to make the game work on more modern hardware. You're cherry picking an absolute worst case scenario and comparing it to an every day issue.

I'm not cherrypicking shit. I bought that game on Steam and wasn't able to play it. They sold me something that won't load after it's downloaded. That's beyond 'there are save corruption issues' that's 'this game doesn't work'. You wouldn't tolerate Microsoft selling you a game that doesn't work on XBLA.

You bought a game made for older computers that was released in 2003. An apt comparison would be buying an XBOX game and being annoyed that it no longer works on 360 due to limited backwards compatibility, which is actually what happens in reality. Be thankful that fans of Vampire : Bloodlines made a patch because Troika doesn't exist to offer a patch. Steam hosts the most current version of the game, that's all they have to do.

No, an apt comparison would be if I bought an XBOX game through the XBLM store and it didn't work after I downloaded it. The entire point is that Microsoft's cert process exists to prevent that kind of thing from happening. Steam "hosts the most current version of the game, that's all they have to do". Exactly. If you're going to promote Steam with "oh man free patches!" you can't pretend the downsides of that policy aren't relevant.

If you had a machine of the recommended specs for Vampire : Bloodlines your comparison would be relevant. Your machine would be the equivalent of an Xbox 360 in that it would be the same fixed platform it was in 2003. You don't, so it isn't. You have a machine well beyond those specs with hardware which is markedly different than what was available and recommended for the game in 2003. You are most certainly cherry picking an impossible to replicate scenario on XBox Live because PCs have changed a whole lot since 2003 and the 360 hasn't effectlvely changed much at all since its release (different motherboards and hard drive sizes sure, but effectively it's still the same system as it was when it launched).

Then there's the whole other aspect where you're trying illustrate a downside when it's really an upside. Troika went out of business and without fan patches like the one you easily procured to 'modernise' the game there would be no simple way to even purchase it were it not for Steam or even patch it if we were left to only one port of call for access as in XBOX Live.

Edited by SpudBug

I think they're both at fault.

Polytron should have gotten it right the first time, or the second time with the free patch. I mean, this isn't a multiplayer game that changes and is dynamic, it's a single player puzzle game. Fez will be the same game 10 years from now that it is today,

Microsoft should loosen their regulations and fees for certification and patching of titles. Allow developers to have one free patch every 6 months or something. They're just scaring away potential development on their plaftorm. They already make enough money from their profitable console, profitable games, ad sales, and XBL subscription fees that they don't need to stick it to the people who make the reasons people buy their consoles and subscribe to XBL and view their ads as well.

At this point I don't understand why any indie developer or even regular publisher chooses XBox first over PSN or Steam. Get it right on those platforms, then give Microsoft the scraps once all the bugs have been ironed out for free. That's what they're asking for.