Let Off Some Steam

Let Off Some Steam is a new section where we let you guys get something off your chest - it can be a vitriol laced rant, a sappy love letter to whatever, or anything inbetween. Send your magic words in this direction, and try and keep it under 600 words. First up is Tailblazers on how he learned to love video game bugs.

Video Game Glitches or How I Stopped Complaining and Learned to Love the Bug!

You know what really grinds my gears? Whenever a game is released and it has some bugs it becomes automatically popular to complain. I understand - yes it's annoying and yes, it can effect gameplay but remember that unlike games back in the '80s, current generation games have millions of layers of code, and only a select group test the game before release so they can’t catch every little pathetic glitch that randomly appears.

Look at Fallout: New Vegas! Awesome game - graphics are similar, but you play Fallout for the story and the experience. Now it seems that any time this game is mentioned it is always followed by the words: buggy, glitchy or, my favourite so far, the worst insult to video games since the invention of that dog in duck hunt.

I get it, Obsidian has released glitchy games in the past, but I have played all of their games entirely and never seen one in New Vegas. Maybe I’m lucky! Maybe my Xbox 360 runs a little different to everyone elses, or my game was one of the few the company decided, “Hey we made a bug ridden, piece of shit for a game but let's send out a few copies that work, wouldn’t that be hilarious?”

Now I understand people get pissy at not getting a perfect game but every single game has bugs and if I recall Call of Duty: Black Ops had a few game crashing glitchs like New Vegas, although strangely enough they weren’t talked about as much. I like the fact that people think they have the right to complain about a game - every game you buy is gonna have glitches and if they're a good developer they will patch it. Creating a video game isn’t like Game Dev Story, the debugging process isn’t perfect and there is no special tonic to stop them from occurring.

I don’t feel cheated out of my money when I put money $80 down for a new game and it glitches on me. If I didn’t I would have never played Mass Effect, GTA, Red Dead, God of War, KotOR, Neverwinter nights, and yes Fallout! For most trolls it isn’t even about the money or the game it's just they can make a smart arse comment and disappear into the internet waiting to strike again when something they actually have never played becomes a target.

I'm not saying developers shouldn’t care about glitches or bugs, but come on! How about some constructive criticism for a group of people who have given you hundreds of hours of fun!

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.


Comments

    You know what's funny? I NEVER ran into a glitch with Fallout:NV...
    Just goes to show how much people whinge...

    As to the feeling ripped off when you paid $80, I disagree. I know that a lot of hard work goes into developing a game, and that a few bugs are bound to get through, but considering the fact that I'm paying $80, I want it PLAYABLE at least. Games are too expensive for a developer NOT to ensure that MAJOR bugs don't exist. Minor bugs I'm okay with.

      My older brother was counting his NV glitches. Counting only crash-causing glitches he had over 40 last time I saw.

      I personally had a freeze at least once every four hours.

      I had one major game breaking glitch which I've talked about on here before. It was extremely infuriating to run into when I did, but other than that I haven't really seen anything important, a few instances of enemies getting half stuck in the ground, but this isn't really a problem and doesn't happen that often.

      I played Fallout: New Vegas on a fairly powerful PC (not absolute top of the line, but I play every game on the highest settings with no noticeable slowdowns, except a few minor cases here and there). The complaints about F:NV for PC are justified, the performance bugs in this game were absolutely game breaking for me.

      I had the sound/framerate bug, where the framerate would nearly grind to a halt whenever an NPC was on screen, ESPECIALLY when they were talking, and also whenever you turned your view more than 90 degrees. It completely ruined the gameplay experience.

      More than a month after release, it still hadn't been fixed by a patch. It ended up being an unofficial hacked DLL that fixed it for me...

        On another note, Call of Duty: Black Ops was released in SHOCKINGLY poor form on PC too. It was nearly unplayable for most users for the first 2 weeks. The PC platform in general has been getting poor ports for years now.

      i too never experienced a bug

      As for those bitching about oh games should be bug free, sure Cod should be bug free because theres less than 10 hours of content and none of it is accessable at the same time.

      when you make a RPG that is so large there are always going to be teething issues. there are always going to be conflicts that if you go somewhere with something that was never meant to go there it can cause issues

      As for not being patched out a month later, my guess is now that there working on the DLC, there probably trying to make sure more bugs don't show up when that comes out, it's much easier to do one massive bug squash after new content than it is to do a pre content one only to have the content not play well with the bug squashing done

      I understand to an extent the game breaking bugs being a problem and i would be annoyed if that happened but alot of the time forum posters havent either played the game or had the fault thats being discussed. Also thanks for all the posts and Serrels for putting this up i hope my rant wasnt a grammatical nightmare

      My question is- how did this outfit Steam get such a grip on control of the games market in Australia. Bought black Ops - first they sent me an inoperable verification link which took several hours to fix ( they didn't I did), then it took 17 hours to download updates over a cable link,. I paid for this game and I am totally opposed to some third party telling me how and when it can be played. i suspect they are in breach of several Australian laws.

    I think a gamer's response to bugs hinges on two things:

    1) How obvious it is whilst playing the game
    2) the responsiveness of a developer in fixing it, either in a patch or otherwise

      Precisely. I agree completely but people seem to not take in to account companies like bioware, bethesada or obsidian would update and patch very quiclkly

    First - this entire story is on the Kotaku Home Page again.

    Second - I can understand your reasoning Tailblazers, but my problem is that it seems more and more devs are just releasing games and not worrying as much about bugs, because they always know they can patch it. It makes it seem sloppy and lazy. I know, making games is a very hard, complex and extensive task, and I know how hard debugging code is, but I feel they've kind of let it slip and shrug it off, going 'Meh, we'll patch it later'. As opposed to PS2 games and before, where there wasn't really any opportunity to patch games, so devs were really busting their arses to make sure it works well and isn't broken.

    Third - I like this segment.

    I'd really like more game reviewers to actually have a degree.

    It does not even matter what in so long as they learn to actually break down and criticise something and then articulate it in an intelligent way.

    It would be best if they actually had it in something to do with the medium so they could discuss some of the technical elements of the engine or art but really even if they majored in English at least then they could actually criticise the story rather than just state they 'didn't like it' without going into any genuine detail.

      Have to agree a lot with this, though I hate to. I generally don't bother much with reviews, except for Game Trailers just because I can physically see the game and judge for myself. A lot of game reviewers just seem to be writing about what is hyped, or throwing around over used words like 'innovative.'

      I feel like some of these reviewers are either extremely optimistic or aren't gamers themselves due to some of the glaring facts that they gloss over in reviews. The other side is true too where they will mention something they don't like with no justification of why, or how it could be better.

        It could certainly be seen as a pretencious thing to say but at Uni you learn how to critically analyse something and express it. Rather than just throwing out adjectives, comparatives or superlatives. If you can't quantify something you feel about a game then you are not really reviewing it for us, you are simply stating whether or not you like it.

      I agree with this too! Although i still read reviews especially from kotaku and the reader reviews also the metacritic scores etc. because they are mostly not just one persons opinion but a large group. Although i got to ask do u think i need a degree or was it just a general comment?

    You know what? Just announce the PSP2 and Xperia Play already Sony. Seriously, I'm hyped, but this is ridiculous. I just want to see or hear something thats the real thing.

    I won't start New Vegas until I have finished 3, which I think I am close to. I've spent about 30 hours in there so far. I had a sh*t ton of bugs in that game. Graphic glitches so severe I can't tell what I'm doing on screen and so many crashes. I hope New Vegas isn't as bad. I don't think I have ever had such a glitchy game that I can still love to bits.

      This was meant to be a reply under TadMod's post.

      I finally finished fallout 3 yesterday after over a year of playing (I take forever to finish games).
      I put about 90 hours into the game and did pretty everything there is to do. That being said apart from the occasional freeze/crash and a few graphical glitches (which most of the time just ended up being funny :D) I never had any real problems. So, yet again, it must just be one of those things that's different for everyone.

    While glitches in new games do bother me, any reasonable person will understand that shit happens and the devs will get around to patching it soon, it's not like they intended on the glitches being there. What does piss me off however is when there is no support for slightly older games (adding trophy support, fixing glitches and bugs) and when Sony smashes out a firmware update to counter pirates but some of the highest voted features on Playstation Blog Share are nowhere to be found.

    I wouldn't mind writing a rant on the other side of this. Not specific to bugs, but rather the people that come down on other people complaining about a game. I understand a lot of people are unfair with complaints and come across as being kind of whiny.

    However some people are legitimately trying to point out where a game is weak in an attempt to let others, and the developers know. It helps to let people know if they will like the game, and let's developers know where we think they could have done some more work.

    You will find that often when you complain about a game people will just think you are bashing it for the sake of bashing it, or because it's popular or fanboys will come down on you. It seems like you have to qualify every complaint with the comment 'I really loved this game but...'

    I for one always try and keep open minded with all games, for instance back when Halo 1 came out and the lead up to Halo 2, I was the biggest Halo fanboy there was. I was into the game, the machinima, the tricking videos, the forums, the easter eggs. I must have played the game for hundreds of hours. But I could see some of the legitimate complaints that people had about the game, because I understood that no game is perfect and I could still enjoy it despite its flaws. Their complaints were in no way a personal attack on me or the things I liked.

      I would enjoy reading that 'opposing' rant. I have to agree sometimes i feel the same way but my major problem isnt fanboys or just someones opinions but the whiny unfair people who complain about everything and dont keep an open mind. When something comes out i will always try and look it and think about it in the same way u described. Thanks for the feeback

    LOL @ Bennett
    "I don't need no gun... I DON'T NEED NO GUN!!"

      "I don't need the girl, I DON'T NEED THE GIRL!"

    ROFL, Mark nice to see the title and pic come together so awesomely.

    You also make wanna watch Dr.Strangelove again !

    "I get it, Obsidian has released glitchy games in the past".

    This is inacurate...

    Obsidian have only released glitchy games.
    If there are two things I associate with Obsidian it is:
    1. Great Ideas
    2. Poor Implementation

    Sometimes, consistancy is good... sometimes, it is not.

      I'm almost in shock that (as far as I know) they didn't blame FO:NV's bugs on "having to rush it out the door because of the publisher's demands", like they have with every other buggy game they've done.

      Greatest buggy release of all time is when the expansion for Neverwinter Nights 2 came out, you had to install it in EXACTLY the right way ontop of your existing NWN2 installation which HAD to be a certain version. Otherwise the problems would range from it simply not working to... it corrupting your Windows installation. No, really, that happened to some people. The first week of that expansion's release on the Bioware forum was like the aftermath of a natural disaster.

        They really need to get bought out by someone with a good QA department.

    I'm fine with bugs, I've played through a dozen of them, three had a couple, and I ran into a couple in Red Deead Redemption.

    I've been playng games long enough to know that most games have bugs that can leave you under the world. In Dragon Age, I got shifted behind a wall during a quest completion cutscene and couldn't get out.

    It's not glitches per se that make gamers rage, it's the game breakers.

    My brother is currently playing through a New Vegas game where he has to reset his control preferences each start up, doesn't get acheivements, and can't finish a half dozen quests because the dialog trees have lost a limb. NPCs also disappear and reappear in random places and positions.

    He has put a substantial ammount of time in despite these bugs, but they have made it a far more taxing experience.

    If you're shelling out $80 for a game, and the bug is a game breaker, it's often a deal breaker, too.

    glitches can be useful

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1U5RUVENNE

    I am so pissed at how DLC is changing the way games are released and created nowerdays.

    DLC used to be something that added to a game months after release something not quite an expansion or just minor tweaks here and there.

    Now it seems the developers create a game and then the distributors take them aside and say "Great game ... what can we cut out and release later as DLC?" I'd like to see a company have the balls to say - "Nothing we're releasing a completed game" But well it's too much to expect they do anything to help their supporters.

      That's why everyone should play Metro 2033! It's just a good, solid, intensely atmospheric single player game with good gameplay and a good story. No strings attached.

    I m in the camp of played plenty of those buggy games...never saw any game breaking bugs.

    For all I know it's a intarwebz conspiracy.

    I played KotOR1 and 2
    Alpha Protocol
    Fallout 3.

    Fallout 3 has been the worst, my game just paused the action and I had to reset the whole 360.

      My KOTOR1 has started crashing, but only just recently. I don't get why I can put 50 hours into it problem free and THEN it starts stuffing up... :/

    I'm confused, can I submit a rant on anything or does it have to be about bugs?

    Can I just cut and paste and old TAY rant of mine?

      You can rant about anything you want old bean - just send it to me.

        You realize what you just did don't you......? :D

          Mark knows what he's doing. he saw the genius that was me ranting about FF8 and decided to share it with non-TAYers.

    For me it's about the love, with bugs. Take Battlefield Bad Company 2 for example. Bugs in it they've obviously just decided it wasn't economically beneficial fixing. Think I'm being flippant - I'm not. I've talked to their tech support, I've read their forums.

    I. Just. Dont. Like. It.

    That's what I hate - the lack of love. Not making enough money out of games? Well stop and go make something else you soulless thing!

    Hear fscking hear. F:NV was a kickass game, and deserved much more recognition than F3 in comparison.

      New Vegas is strangely overly criticised for its bugs. Considering that Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas all run on the same unstable buggy engine, it's odd to see New Vegas is the only one widely criticised for bugs, especially in launch reviews. It's even stranger considering that Obsidian didn't write the engine and shouldn't be held entirely responsible for its faults.

        Thanks to both of you that was the point. That games get criticized and the developer does to then it overtakes any conversation about the games.

    While bugs can be annoying if they affect gameplay (as opposed to just plain funny like some of the glitches in RDR), I'm more willing to forgive them in open-world type games like your Fallout / Elder Scrolls / RDR etc. For the simple reason that by giving the player so much freedom, there's no way they can possibly test all the possible interactions and combinations of circumstances in the game.

    For more linear games (e.g. an Uncharted game, not that those have had many bugs) then it's less forgiveable because the game is basically the same every time you play it, so with a decent amount of testing they should be able to find and fix all but the most obscure bugs.

    "but remember that unlike games back in the 80s, current generation games have millions of layers of code, and only a select group test the game before release so they can’t catch every little pathetic glitch that randomly appears."

    And also unlike games from the 80s, big name titles have budgets that range in the millions to tens of millions of dollars. Saying "oh they can't test everything" is a massive copout.

    Love the Commando reference!

    I've said it before and i'll say it again.
    Vampire the Masquerade was buggy as heck, but it's still one of my favorite games of all time.

    Did i complain when my game froze or corrupted? Apart from a expletive or two, no.
    I went straight on the hunt to fix it. Hours of hunting later and i finally found the right patch, fixed it and was back playing, imo, one of the greatest games of all time.

    People that do nothing but bitch about glitches shit me. Almost as much as boycotters.

    Worse are people that boycot because of glitches.

    If you can't handle a small glitch or two, then you, sir, have no right to call yourself a gamer.

      This argument partly fails when dealing with consoles. No option to find that patch online. If there is no official patch then there is no patch.

      Otherwise it all holds.

      I don't think the glitches that most people are complaining about are the little ones. It's the ones that severely impact the experience or make the game nigh-unplayable that get people worked up.

        Right on maddog

        I encountered a game ending glitch in fable 2 abt 4 hours in. Official patch didn't remedy.

        End result was me just canning it.

    Grand Theft Auto San Andreas - though it was partially my fault. I used the riot cheat (for some lols) and as I got to the latter part of the game, I couldn't pass a mission where I had to stop Madd Dogg from jumping off this building. Unfortunately he would jump off during the cut scene that was playing, and by the time the I was in control of CJ, he had already died! RAGE! So I looked up the problem and realised that it was caused by this stupid riot cheat that caused the game to glitch.

    Now I consider that glitch a blessing in disguise, as I have been cheat free ever since that incident - 4 years and counting!

    One of my little brothers broke my laptop and I don't have the money for a new one and uni starts again in a month.

    I'm predominantly a PC gamer these days and while I can have a lot of games run and look better than console games, I do have my fair share of problems.
    Most of them though (sadly) are steam related. Don't get me wrong I love steam, valve have done a great job at making games accessible and re-releasing older games that might not run on new systems. However it still has a lot of problems, and the annoying thing is is that they happen to some people but not others, and its nearly impossible to find out why :(
    For instance most of the times I've tried to install a hard copy of a steamworks game (left 4 dead, etc) all hell has broken loose. I'll either get freezes or crashes, or It will force me to download the entire game after installing (negative the whole purpose of buying hard copy). It's these sorts of things that really gets me mad, not so much glitches and stuff in game. There’s nothing worse than getting home with a new game and having to spend the next 3 days figuring out how to get it to work (like my experience with black ops).
    ...I still haven't managed to install left 4 dead 2.

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