Evening Reading: tl;dr Games?

Game length keeps coming up as a topic of conversation. This time it was around Red Dead Redemption. G4 had me over to guest on their Feedback show and while talking about the game Patrick Klepek brought up that it was another Rockstar game that was too long. He went on to clarify that his point was more about the lack of focus to the story in the second act (Mexico) and how the game loses steam there. I think there are a number of factors to take into consideration when looking at game's length but I have started to wonder if something of a tl;dr mentality slips in sometimes.

We also have some Gears of War 3 Xbox Live Avatar stuff to give away. Let us know if you're on Live and would like a chance to win. We've got 5 each of guys and gals outfits and 10 codes for a pet ticker.

And with that, here's the gaming news of the day:

All the rest:
From The Chatty
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    June 8, 2010 5:00 PM

    WTF was that? Did the lights just flicker?

    http://store.steampowered.com/stats/

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      June 8, 2010 5:02 PM

      someone unplugged the internet

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        June 8, 2010 5:05 PM

        Steve Gibson got a tour of Valve's Stat Tracking HQ

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      June 8, 2010 5:12 PM

      holy shit. regular CS is STILL the 3rd most played game?

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        June 8, 2010 5:19 PM

        yeah thats really weird. im still surprised cs and css are still popular and nothing has replaced it.

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          June 8, 2010 5:22 PM

          It's an easy game to jump in and out of, plus dead-time is good for being chatty and I think that's CS's biggest strength if you find a good server without assholes on it

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        June 8, 2010 5:21 PM

        I don't actually know a single person on my friends list who actually plays it, and i've got knocking on 100+ friends. Is it possible that the counted players are just bots? or does it actually count steam player accounts?

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          June 8, 2010 5:23 PM

          Definitely has to be steam player accounts. Also I'd guess the sort of people playing cs to this day are the sort whose only game on steam is that.

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        June 8, 2010 5:24 PM

        I loathe Counterstrike. Not really for the game itself, but for what it did to multiplayer game modding.

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          June 8, 2010 5:38 PM

          What did it do that was detrimental to modding? I think it proved how profitable a mod can potentially be. Is that a bad thing?

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            June 8, 2010 5:43 PM

            I think the negative part of its success was the rising of consumer expectations for the "acceptable quality" of a mod, and how it resulted in the acceptance of less mods, to the point where some PC game developers stopped caring about even allowing mods (like Infinity Ward with MW2).

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              June 8, 2010 5:59 PM

              That's part of it. Basically, if your mod isn't a total conversion, probably in the form of objective-based teamplay, it's dead.

              Of course, because of how absurdly popular Counterstrike became, even if your mod is a total conversion in the form of objective-based teamplay, it's probably dead. Nobody plays anything but Counterstrike, so nobody leaves Counterstrike, so nobody plays anything but Counterstrike. This even affects AAA titles to some degree.

              How many multiplayer mods are even finished these days? Very few. Of them, how many rise to great popularity? Practically nil.

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              June 8, 2010 6:02 PM

              I really find it hard to blame this on CS at all. Although I can see how you'd arrive at that conclusion.

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              June 8, 2010 6:06 PM

              There are a few people who post here whom I've known for years online, who work for game developers, who would also say that you're so wrong, that you're an idiot.

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                June 8, 2010 6:10 PM

                I don't personally think it's responsible for the demise of modability in PC gaming. I do think it's responsible for multiplayer mods being unable to gain traction.

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                  June 8, 2010 6:16 PM

                  That's mostly due to how mods are released nowadays. There's a huge, huge push by most mods to have a full feature set before release so that they can compete with more well known mods. Unfortunately, this puts them into a typical development cycle where they're going without a release for 1-2 years. That's a long fucking time to keep a team together that, more than likely, never even meets up in person.

                  What mods should do is exactly what CS did to get popular. Have a core gameplay idea that you'd like to explore. Release a version that shows that core idea. Update constantly. What you really want to do is hit that sweet spot where you're not updating so often that you alienate your userbase because they have to continually upgrade and learn new stuff, but not so rare that you lose your userbase because the game gets stale or the bugs overrun the game.

                  I really think that if more people did this, then the mods would grow. It's what every single successful mod has done and yet so many inexperienced mod developers think they need to have a "complete" mod to compete.

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                June 8, 2010 6:30 PM

                And then there are people like this:

                "We would like you to play the game the way we designed and balanced it." -- VInce Zampella, Infinity Ward, November 3, 2009

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              June 8, 2010 6:13 PM

              Kind of like WoW to MMOs huh?

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              June 8, 2010 6:13 PM

              Well the zombie mod in Cs lead directly to left 4 dead and left 4 dead 2. Both games created by Turtle Rock studio dev team of Valve. I don't see that being a bad thing.

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        June 8, 2010 6:18 PM

        don't forget to add #1 and #3 for extra lols

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        June 8, 2010 6:25 PM

        Hmm the "current player" difference isn't nearly as big as the hours from TF2 on up. That's kinda interesting/strange

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      June 8, 2010 5:23 PM

      I wish they could filter out the non-standard servers from the combined TF2 server stats.

      So much nonsensical bits of data in there.