Need Vista!

It just dawned on me that I need Vista. I happened to be looking at one of Microsoft’s “why vista rocks” summaries, and there it was:

Features Windows Aero, an efficient and visually stunning interface that makes it easier to accomplish multiple tasks at once by providing a three-dimensional, real-time, animated view of all of your open applications and documents

Well I certainly wasn’t going to be won over by the table functionality. But 3D windows? Yes, yes, yes. That alone is worth $140+tax. The ability to see my Windows in 3D will make it easier to multitask. [sic]

The only real assets Vista has to offer are:

 . A new UI skin/theme,
 . Security delegation (confirm/deny),
 . DirectX 10

I can get the first two with Windows XP; the first for free, the second for $35 from a smaller company that has to shape its product on the lathe of the free market, in competition and struggle for life.

Nowhere is the stagnated, inbred development that MS products manifest lately more obvious than in the security “features” of Vista – as though they followed the trends of everything wrong with security products of yesteryear and chose that as the design track to embark upon.

It’s an unfair generalization to say that Vista is worse than XP when it comes to performance, I think in fairness you can only say that they have redistributed overall performance so that Vista and XP do not share the same performance peaks, but Vista is certainly not a general XP beater in performance.

In terms of gaming, if its not DirectX10 based, anticipate a drop; if it’s OpenGL based,

And the bad news is … we’re OpenGL based. TEII couldn’t be any more OpenGL based. Our Mac support ties us to OpenGL so the only way out of that barrel is to either drop the Mac and go to DirectX (which means as an ongoing operation we have to keep throwing time at redeveloping our graphics engine to support the latest DirectX, a treadmill we have no desire to get back on) or we have to go to 3rd party API/library that speaks DirectX and OpenGL as it sees fit (which still means throwing more months of dev time just making our graphics engine work “as is”, and makes serious optimization very difficult).

34 Comments

Is this a true new path, or is it just you thinking?

Will we have a BIGGER delay on Terrain II due to Vista, and the necesity of changing ALL the current work from OpenGL to DirectX?

Where is my gun? Where is Bill Gates?

I rather doubt WWIIOL could switch to directx anymore; too much has been invested into opengl, which is a better API anyway. Every game manufacturer is having trouble with Vista and its insanities, both directx and opengl based. It’s the OS equivalent of hell.

You could always abandon the fad toward games running under a customer’s OS, and go back to the game including its own OS and needing to be booted. 8^)

So CRS are dropping mac-support?

Lol, Spaltzer’s post is just awful plain awful. Spaltzer believes a blog post means that CRS is dropping mac-support. Lol learn2read buddy.

Ampos250, it is just KFS’s line of thinking, which is that Microsoft gives a good ol’ shaft to PC game devs who don’t use DirectX and that Vista is crap.

Before reading KFS’s blog you should assume that he left CRS 2 years ago and only posts as an enthusiast. Then and only then will you realize that most of his posts are ‘what if’ posts. Of course, if he didn’t work at CRS most of you wouldn’t be reading his blog huh?

I would be however.

Sorry, that’s not very well written is it:

so the only way out of that barrel is to drop the Mac and go to DirectX: which means as an ongoing operation we have to keep throwing time at redeveloping our graphics engine to support the latest DirectX, a treadmill we have no desire to get back on – or we have to go to 3rd party API/library that speaks DirectX

oliver, give it time man. when XP first hit it was slower in games (both DX and openGL) than win98 and win2k.

it took nvidia and ati (longer for ati) some time to develop drivers that kicked ass.

don’t get me wrong, i think vista is trash. but come vista SP1 i’m sure it will be ‘decent’. i still won’t pay for it … company provided volume licenses for the win :D.

p.s. have you guys played with cider at all? the packable compatibility layer from transgaming? just wondering ;).

Vuck Fista!

Friends do not let friends install Vista. Especially not if they want to continue playing this game.

Vista of course is useless crap, but it’s not necessarily slower than XP in Opengl, my experience with it tells me.

Madrebel, you have to understand that in Vista, OpenGL can no longer talk to the hardware. OpenGL calls are now converted into DirectX, and the DirectX calls are sent to the hardware.

This is a HUGE performance overhead, enforced by a newly-paranoid operating system that’s trying to prove how secure it is. The fact it’ll make OpenGL look like it’s terrible and DirectX look wonderful in comparison is hardly lost on Microsoft’s marketing teams, either.

I have Vista and the game runs great for me (of course I had to buy a rockin machine).. the only sucky thing is saitek does not have their programming software (SST) written for Vista. Other than that I have no issues with it.

I’d drop Mac support – nothing but a nightmare developing apps to run on both – returns are rarely worth the efforts. OK, some people get annoyed, but if they like the game they will buy a PC – they aint expensive any more…

Oh and $140 for 1 licence? Have you seen the Microsoft Partner Program? If not, check that out for some good licensing. There’s a number of restrictions and it’s for companies only, but as long as you adhere to them, it’s a great way to get the software you need…

I did not get onto XP until ’05. My plans for Vista….. 2010 or whenever XP is finally de-supported. That gives the rats plenty of time to develop that Linux version. :)

Then again 3 years is a long time.

I still think Mac support could pay off big if you guys could get effective demos running in the Apple Stores. They have massive foot traffic, and salespeople who say they’re eager to show and sell games…and WWIIOL used to be on their shelves, so presumably it could be there again.

That’s not a technical matter, of course.

I got a laptop with Vista. Very unimpressive. It’s unstable, all the nanny-security crap is annoying and it didn’t even really look that good. I’ll stick with XP for now.

Define your customer and the OS will follow. Why are you even bothering with MAC support if its less than x% of your market? Companies that are succesfull with mac games generally only do mac games and get a niche following.

DirectX has lots of nice features. 10 looks to be an amazing re-write. I’m especially interested in the potential of XNA / PC & Xbox 360 gaming and how that will turn out.

Vista will be ironed out, hardware will catchup. I’ve been through the “Windows 95 is slow” “windows 98 is slow” “windows 98 sr2 is slow” “windows 2000 is slow” “windows xp is slow” “Windows 2003 is slow” “windows vista is slow” cycle a half dozen times.

The OPENGL 3 release it’s comming on summer 2007.

OpenGL3 > DirectX10

Vista sounds like find. Especially if i want to spend days and weeks on trying to get all my current games and programs to work on it.

That’s the whole problem every release is so bad that it takes 2+ years before it is “stable”. 6+ years to develop 2 plus years to stableize. Most of the stabilization is coming with hardware speed overcoming all of the shortfalls in the design.

I think it’s amusing that you guys see no problem with all the effort you spend on mac support, but think that having to deal with a major direct x release every what…2 or 3 years? Would be a horrible hassle.

How many times have you had to change the audio API because of Macs?

Cowboy, the issue here is not DirectX. The issue is poor OpenGL performace in Vista. Changing from OpenGL to DirectX would be an issue, a much much bigger issue then going from one version of Direct X to antoher.

On a side note, it’s kinda typical for Microsoft to cripple open standards (like OpenGL) in order to promote and maybe even force developers to embrace Microsofts own closed API:s. Looking at it from a buisniess perspective, it makes sense for Microsoft to try to move developers to API:s that only runs on windows because then the customers that want to run the software needs windows.

And behaviour like that is really something for the justice department to look at as Microsoft uses it’s near monopol situation to hinder competition.

Speaking about macs and games. There are a couple of companies that ports windows games to the mac and they seem to make a profit. After all, they have done it for many many years and are still alive. Now, porting a game that was not originally developed with cross-platform in mind should in the general case be much much harder than porting a game that was developed with cross platform in mind, as WWIIOL was and is. So that would make a solid buisness decision for CRS.

But how does the windows users benefit from a mac-version? Speaking generally, developing code for multiple platforms often creates more stable code because some bugs that occur rarely on one platform might occur every single time a function is executed on another platform. So in theory it should create more stable code when developing for more then one platform.

Who cares if it works on Vista.

Make it work on XBox360 and you are golden

I think it’s amusing that you guys see no problem with all the effort you spend on mac support, but think that having to deal with a major direct x release every what…2 or 3 years? Would be a horrible hassle.

Which blog have you been reading, Cowboy? I thought everyone *knew* I am the Rat who thinks that the Mac version is – all things considered – currently a millstone around the project’s neck. I’m not anti-Mac, I’m glad we tried a Mac version, but we honestly don’t do the Mac justice with the version we give ’em, and while its easy to speculate about what could be – can be requires funding and the Mac isn’t bringing in the money to pay for that developer or to even remotely lead the investors to want to put more money into it.

But how does the windows users benefit from a mac-version? Speaking generally, developing code for multiple platforms often creates more stable code because some bugs that occur rarely on one platform might occur every single time a function is executed on another platform. So in theory it should create more stable code when developing for more then one platform.

Erh, I’ve been developing cross-platform apps since 1995. X-Dev doesn’t innately make code more stable, but typically people who develop x-platform code wind up dumbing it down to avoid the occurances of platform-specific code.

Putting significantly more developers on your project and thus spending significantly more time on testing? That produces more stable code.

But having the same number of developers code for 1 platform is vastly more likely to produce stable code than having some or all of them develop for two platforms.

Heh sorry Kfs. Didn’t mean to cast dispursions specifically in your direction.

Spaltzer, you are clearly unaware that WWIIOL used to be DirectX. they have gone through quite a few graphic API and audio API changes (plus one or two other API – direct Input et al).

And you think the justice dept should investigate MS because they choose not to implement an open library in their OS? Why not simply force them to sell potatos instead? If there was a serious market demand to have included native Open GL support they would have done it. It certainly shouldn’t be the governments job to dictate what and what enterprise should produce.

If you really want to read the tea leaves, at this point, with XNA and the success of the X-box, my money would be more on DirectX than OpenGl.

It’s all a moot point anyway, there is no way CRS would survive a port back to DirectX at this point anyway…not sure how we ended up on this conversation.

Oh and Kfs, I would also say that allowing really good coders have the time to develop infrastructure libraries, in the long run, returns a much higher ROI than simply adding more devs to a project. I think the amount of time that has had to be spent re-tooling the underbelly of this monster since release is testament to that. And by that I mean, taking the time to develop libraries such that folks like yourself don’t find themselves having to solve why a flag change in one circumstance is handled by not only a different section of code, but a different library/process altogether than the same flag change in a different circumstance. That has all the markings of a rushed infrastructure.

Cowboy, I replied to you cause it sounded on you that the fuzz was about going to a new version of Direct X when it is in fact about poor OpenGL performance.

As to the Justice departement, If OpenGL is slower then it needs to be on Vista it wouldn’t surprise me if Microsoft has made it that way intentionally. It all makes perfect sense business wise and it wouldn’t be the first time they are doing something like that. And yes, I think it is a problem if anyone uses their weight to stop competition. Standard Oil anoyne?

Kfsone, my experience doing cross development has taught me that when programming with the same API on different platforms, the implementation of that API may cope with erronous use diffrently on differrent platforms. It has helped me from time to time to nail bugs I didn’t know existed cause my code caused a crash on one platform but not on the other. This, of course, assumes that the user-code truley is identical on the platforms.

And as I said, people are making a living of porting windows games to the mac, so I would think that CRS would profit from a mac version. I do agree with you that the mac version currently does not do the game justice however…

Oh and Kfs, I would also say that allowing really good coders have the time to develop infrastructure libraries, in the long run, returns a much higher ROI than simply adding more devs to a project. I think the amount of time that has had to be spent re-tooling the underbelly of this monster since release is testament to that. And by that I mean, taking the time to develop libraries such that folks like yourself don’t find themselves having to solve why a flag change in one circumstance is handled by not only a different section of code, but a different library/process altogether than the same flag change in a different circumstance. That has all the markings of a rushed infrastructure.

Development? Sure, if CRS were starting a new project or had a white knight that permitted the company to come off the production line and go back to simple development.

This, of course, assumes that the user-code truley is identical on the platforms.

Ahh. How much of your cross-platform time was spent on instruction level optimization? How much of that development had performance as priority #1? Developing robust, stable cross-platform APIs is generally at odds with developing performance critical native code, n’est pas?

Sure, if CRS were starting a new project or had a white knight that permitted the company to come off the production line and go back to simple development.

heh…touche

I just remember the early days of directX. It held sush promise to make developing easier. It’s just that they released a major version every 6 months. Some of those releases esp 2 to 3 reqiured total rewrite of all of your directX code. I think 7 was the first version that lasted more than a year.

Are Mac users more loyal to the game than others? I know a couple of Mac users who are Year 1 players.

Krenn, sorry but you’re incorrect. Vista does not translate openGL calls into DX calls. The ONLY thing that changed is microsoft no longer provides an openGL ICD as part of the OS. But that doesn’t matter anyways because nvidia and ati have always provided their own ICD anyways.

microsoft isn’t stupid, by having a translation layer they effectively lose ALL of the CAD workstation market and they don’t want to lose that for many reasons.

Give the drivers some time, they will improve.

Stupidity is always relative. Microsoft’s decisions are certainly not stupid as business decisions – but as quality software development?

The only sane, sensible thing for Microsoft to do to assure a quality future for its Windows brand is to separate it from its consumers.

Try and imagine: if Hotmail or MSN were independent products that were threatening to switch to Linux for their backend servers — how different Vista would have been if it had been trying to retain those products on merrit rather than co-ownership.

I know its not official from you KFS1 but i’d be sad to see Mac version go :-/ Not having played the PC version i’m more than happy with the Mac version and don’t notice anything missing. :)

Cowboy, i also think Microsoft would purposely devalue opengl to promote its own version and force developers down that route, i mean its part and parcel of their working practice anyway :)

On a side note I do remember reading that Microsoft liked to use the Mac as a testbed for all its new gadgets in Office, and if they worked well added them to the PC versions :)

Nobody here (except myself, circular reference intended) is talking about letting the Mac version go.

microsoft can’t “devalue” openGL. they just stopped shipping a default openGL ICD.

but that is completely irrelevant because you get one in every ATI or nvidia driver you download.

I know KFS1, i was just saying :0)

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