From : ****
Subject : ahhhhhhhhhh
aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh much better
oh yes much better aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
ooooooooooooooh yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh that's the spot
say it with me now "aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"
PlanetQuake Mailbag. Reaches the parts other columns don't reach...
Is it done yet?
Our recent article "When
It's Done" by Tony Fabris brought in some mail about release dates and the way
some companies have released games before they were strictly speaking "done"...
From : Jake Gilbert
Subject : When It's Done
I agree completely with Tony Fabris. It's near impossible to give a set
date for when a piece of software will be released. Platforms change,
drivers change, etc. I won't requote his entire article, but I did want to
point a few things out (like they haven't already been pointed out by every
Id rushed Quake II so it could ship at a certain date, Christmas no less,
and look what it got them. Countless patches have been cranked out, and
with almost every one there was something else that needed fixing.
However, some companies do manage to deliver on their release dates.
Lucasarts in particular has shipped X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter and Jedi
Knight on solid release dates, and they needed maybe one or two patches.
There are a few decent exceptions, but on the whole release dates should be
more seasonal than down to the day, like 'Summer, 1999.' If that's still
too specific, then 'When It's Done!' will work, and screw all those people
who need to fill their calendars with something.
There's my two cents. Oh, and the Mailbag rules! It's the only reason I
keep coming back to PQ.
From : Chris Melton
Subject : When it's not really quite done!
The editorial was great but you have to admit, that release dates
of 'when it's done' will never be accurate. Look at Quake II. It was
released when it was 'done' and you still got patches and changes coming
out of id's bazooty. If you wanted Quake II when it was done, well, I
got the feeling we would still be waiting.
No matter how much we want the vaporware or buy into a concept for
a game, the rush to market will always get the first buyer a version
that is essentially an upgraded beta. Then the fun of patching and
Thanks again for a great mailbag.
Hey, what is this - suck up to Gestalt day?
From : Mike _
Subject : "When it's done" by Tony Fabris
I just finished reading the editorial about how the only true release
date for software is "when it's done." I agree with what Mr. Fabris had
to say. The problem is, even when the release date is not until it's
done, the software hits the shelves needing patch after patch to work
I know that it would be very difficult to get every piece of
software working on every system all the time, but I think the the
software industry as a whole could do a lot better. He brings up the
example of a clip not stopping the production of a car. Minor bugs will
slip through unnoticed. That's just a fact of life. Sometimes they
will be serious enough to warrant a patch. But how often does a car
company release a new model without fully building the motor?
I remember way back when Quake 1 was being developed. One of the major
breakthroughs was in the ability to play over the Internet. The release
was held way back, with id quoting the release date as "when it's done."
I also remember how absolutely revolting the Internet play was. I would
harldy consider it finished, in any sense of the word. Numerous patches
and upgrades later, we had a great game.
What I mean to say (and it's taken me a while to get there) is that,
as a consumer, I would feel much better purchasing software that is
complete than to blow money on some buggy piece of junk that was
released before its time, then have to further waste my time downloading
and installing patches.
I think it is taking far too long for software developers to realize this,
and they are driving themselves into the ground. I would never buy a car if
it had no axle. Even it the vendor promised it to be in a later upgrade.
Also, I think more companies should release demos or public betas for its
customers to try out.
This is something I agree with, as you'll know if you read my editorial
Testing..." a few weeks back.
Releasing a demo not only gives us a chance to try out the game and
decide whether we want to buy it or not, it's also a great way for a
company to get feedback on the game before release, and to fix any
bugs that slipped through their internal beta testing.
In my humble opinion, the only reasons a company won't release a demo
before the game goes on sale is because they know it stinks, or
because they're rushing to release it.