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Stupid Slashdot Exchange

I have no idea why I visit or post to Slashdot.

There was an article up a couple days ago about a new open source multiplayer FPS game. I like multiplayer FPS games, and I like free things, so I thought I’d give it a try. Big mistake.

After one of the game developers (“qreeves”) received a lot of negative comments about the game, he posted a plea for fair treatment. So here it is.

The game was actually not that bad, but the website was abysmal. Anyway, after struggling for over 15 minutes just to figure out how to download the game, there was the following exchange:

 

My Challenge to Slashdot Users (Score:2, Insightful)
by qreeves (1363277) Alter Relationship on 09:31 AM February 26th, 2009 (#27000285) Homepage

I’ve noticed quite alot of misinformation and negativity from the users of Slashdot, and I must say that I am quite disappointed by it. Geeks are supposed to be intelligent people with thought out answers and responses, and it seems to me everyone who comments either did not bother to try the game at all, or find some other off-topic fault to complain about.

I have worked in Open Source for a decade now, and this is the reason most developers become jaded and rude to their users – nothing else. You all want Free and Open Source Software, but where is your empathy? What do we get out of it other than an earful of crap? Please wake up to yourselves and do something to benefit the community for once, rather than idly making rude remarks to inflate your own sense of ego.

My challenge to you all is this: Actually play the game and come up with some constructive criticism. Otherwise, please just ignore this post and move along.

 

Re:My Challenge to Slashdot Users (Score:2)
by Blakey Rat (99501) on 12:12 PM February 26th, 2009 (#27002825)

The download link on the website doesn’t work. It took me 15 minutes to find how to download the game, and that’s only because I was deconstructing how terrible the website actually was (so I could talk about it to some co-workers.)

In short, what did you expect would happen? You couldn’t be bothered to test whether your own website works, and it’s *our* fault you’re seeing negativity.

 

Re:My Challenge to Slashdot Users (Score:1)
by qreeves (1363277) Alter Relationship on 06:46 PM February 26th, 2009 (#27007683) Homepage

You’re still not providing any useful feedback. I can only test it on so many configurations considering my limited access to everything under the sun.

 

Re:My Challenge to Slashdot Users (Score:2)
by Blakey Rat (99501) on 08:40 PM February 26th, 2009 (#27008305)

Dude.

The download link, on the website, does not work. The website. It’s HTML, it’s the same for every platform. It doesn’t work. Does. Not. Work. Clicking it does not begin a download, instead it takes you to the release notes. Every platform’s download link does this. If you think the download link works, you’re living in some bizarre fantasy-land full of flowers and daisies. How is that not useful feedback?

It took me something like 15 minutes to figure out how to download the game. But since I did, WTF, here we go:

1) Is the name of the game “Blood Frontier” or “BloodFrontier?” The website has it one way, my Windows Start menu the other way.
2) On first startup, the game sets the resolution of my main monitor to … something, and also blanks out my secondary monitor for no reason whatsoever. Despite changing the resolution, it still runs in a letterbox, which prompts me to ask what the hell the point of changing the resolution was. Kudos on it correctly handling Alt-Tab, however.
3) When I’m typing in my username, and I press shift to capitalize a letter, my “character” seems to duck down, even though I’m typing in a username and not actually playing… WTF?
4) When I’m done typing in my username, nothing happens? I think I’m in a game, but there’s no other players, and no way of figuring out how to get to the menu. (Turns out escape, or walking up to the bank of monitors, does it. If I were new to the world of FPS games, I’d have no idea either of those two options existed.)
5) The font used for menus is almost unreadable on my monitor. It has some kind of shadow effect, and it’s really tiny.
6) Turning off “fullscreen” in options/display does nothing. (Although the option stays unchecked.)
7) Changing the game resolution in options/”gfx” does nothing. The resolution you check doesn’t even stay checked.
8) Some quality settings are in “gfx”, others are in “display” with no apparent rhyme or reason.
9) You can’t simply set all options to “slow and pretty” by clicking the text that says “slow and pretty” in options/”gfx”. That would be too easy. So would auto-detecting what my hardware is capable of, apparently, since it’s running at 120+ FPS in the default configuration.
10) The radio buttons in options/mouse are backwards. For some reason, the COLUMNS are labeled “fixed, panned, free” yet the rows are labeled as the specific mouse mode you’re setting. Actually, this might make sense if it were presented as a single table of radios instead of three columns next to each other, but as-is it’s pretty unusable. (You also have to ask: how many people will change this? Seriously? I doubt it’s enough to warrant the code to support it.)
11) While speaking about options, the tabs at the top don’t give any sort of mouse “grace period”, therefore it takes very deliberate mouse movements (vertically straight down, then left) to interact with the options. If you move your mouse quickly, like a normal rational person does, the tab will be accidentally changed before your mouse pointer reaches the option you want to change.
12) Also, there’s no tooltip telling me what the hell some of these options are. “Absolute mouse?” “Mumble positional audio?” “stencil bits?” … uh, WTF are those? “Yes, please, I’d like the positional audio to mumble. I hate it when it’s too clear.”
13) Autoexec.cfg? Seriously? Did I go back in time 15 years to when this crap was acceptable?
14) To start a bot match, I go to “Game” and click “Vote?” WTF.
15) And why is there a “mystery map” in the middle of the maps list? Does this mean randomly select a map? If so, why is there a text field next to it? What do I type in the text field? “Yes, I would like a random map please!” was my guess, but it did nothing.
16) The “Get online support” option under “Help” does… some… confusing… thing. I suppose this is the IRC interface? (It’s hard to tell because I can’t read the damned font.)
17) It says “if you do not agree please part now.” Part what? Do you mean DEpart? Also, how do I do that? There’s no X button or any visible way of closing the IRC window. (Although escape seemed to work. For all I know, that just hides it and doesn’t exit it.) … Oh wait, I’m still seeing people’s chat, presumably in IRC, so I guess “escape” didn’t exit it.
18) My game is still in the intro/menu level, and the message says: “Please Wait, Ready to respawn.” Ok, but how? Left-clicking does nothing. Right-clicking does nothing. Space does nothing. What would be the point of respawning in an empty map anyway, except to walk up to the monitors to see the menu again? (Also, how did I die on an empty map with no enemies?)
19) While I’m in observer mode, I can pass the camera though solid objects. (Possibly intentional, but it looks like crap on screen because of the clipping.) If you’re going to let the camera pass through solid objects, follow the example of most games and make the object translucent proportionally to how close the camera is, then entirely transparent when the camera “enters” it.
20) While I’m in observer mode, the menu no longer opens when I bring the camera close to the monitors.
21) Opening the “Servers” menu doesn’t ping the servers by default. What the hell else are people going to open this menu for? It should just do it.
22) Of the 5 servers running, one is me. One is labelled “v156 != v157″ which I assume is a version mismatch error, but who the hell knows. 3 are empty.
23) 1 player. The server has 1 player, and that’s it. And it’s me. Hard to play-test a multiplayer game when there’s nobody playing! Shadowrun has a more active community, and it sucks.
24) So I join an empty server, other than my own. There’s a map marker named “base” which is off-screen, apparently. No matter which way I turn, it’s always stuck against the top or bottom of the screen.
25) Grenades fly in a straight line, apparently not subject to gravity.

There, 25 pieces of feedback, and I didn’t even play against an actual human. Happy?

 

Re:My Challenge to Slashdot Users (Score:1)
by qreeves (1363277) Alter Relationship on 12:21 AM February 27th, 2009 (#27009313) Homepage

14:17.19 * Blakeyrat (n=Blakeyra@pool-71-113-17-244.sttlwa.dsl-w.verizon.net) joined
14:24.31 [+bfbot] Blakeyrat has joined the game
14:28.36 [+bfbot] Blakeyrat has left the game
14:28.36 * Blakeyrat (n=Blakeyra@pool-71-113-17-244.sttlwa.dsl-w.verizon.net) quit (“Blood Frontier, It’s bloody fun! www.bloodfrontier.com”)

Yeah buddy, you really gave it a chance.. So no, I am not happy; your feedback is done with malice and spite. While you make valid points; for a beta you are just nitpicking. You made no attempt to talk to us or work out how to do things, you’re just too self involved to care. I’m not afraid to say these truthful things either; people like you, we do not need – people who are helpful; they’re more than welcome.

 

Re:My Challenge to Slashdot Users (Score:2)
by Blakey Rat (99501) on 06:14 AM February 27th, 2009 (#27011083)

Wait, I played, according to your IRC log, 11 minutes on an EMPTY SERVER (a server with NO OTHER PLAYERS), and I didn’t give it a chance? What’s the typical user behavior when joining empty servers? Sticking around for an hour? Three hours? What’s the cutoff for me having “given it a chance?”

Look, I’m trying to test a multiplayer game, there’s no players. It took me 15 minutes to figure out how to download the damned thing. As pointed out in the issues I brought up, which you apparently don’t care about despite (most of them) being valid bugs, the usability of your game is abysmal. Arguably the two most important functions for a game (changing to Windowed mode, and changing the game resolution) simply *do not work.* The menu text is impossible to read. Maybe I’m an old fogey with bad eyes, but it’s impossible to read.

We’re talking about a game that is, supposedly, in beta and you don’t even know what the NAME of it is. (“BloodFrontier?” or “Blood Frontier?”)

I think I’ve jumped through about a dozen more hoops than anybody should EVER have to jump through to test a beta product, and you just come back with: “oh well you only played for 11 minutes.” Dude, 11 minutes of this shitty game with no players is an ETERNITY.

Oh well, just like every experience with open source, it just encourages me to never, ever help open source programmers. You simply do not give a crap about the quality of your product. Someone points out tons of low-hanging-fruit bugs, and you just reply with “oh well you weren’t serious.” Screw that.

 

Do I come across as a jerk? Yah. I am a jerk most of the time. But that list of bugs, they’re all valid. And people who will get Slashdot to post an article to thousands of people before even checking that their own website works, those people piss me off. What a colossal waste of time.

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  1. March 1st, 2009 at 18:14 | #1

    blakeyrat,

    We didn’t get Slashdot to post the article. Hell we didn’t even submit the article. We preparing to release with a target date which we rarely hit (read we have not yet.) When one of our players decide to submit a story. After the story was accepted but hadn’t gone live yet he told us. We had nothing, and I meaning nothing even close to up-to-date to download on our website. Our two main devs burnt the midnight oil to ensure there was even a release candidate on the website so we would get feedback on the “latest and greatest” not the year old Alpha 2 release. I know you probably don’t care, but the exposure helped us find and kill a large number of bugs. Bugs it would have took us a long time to find otherwise.

  2. March 1st, 2009 at 21:58 | #2

    You do know every mission-critical bug you submitted was fixed not long after you reported them, right? I fully well understood your points but it was the way that you said them that solicited the response that you got. What startles me is that I agree with you once again; I don’t know why I visit or post on Slashdot either, there are nothing but trolls there – and you were one of the main people who ended up with me feeling that way. I might just point out a bug in your post here too; it’s Q-reeves, not G-reeves.

    But I digress, the fact of the matter is I don’t want anything to do with jerks. I pour 18 hours of my day, every day, into making a project in addition having a nightmare of a home life and slowly dying from a mystery chronic illness; I simply don’t need the stress your type gives me. Sorry, but you’re not paying me to take your crap, so I really don’t have to sit and listen to it.

    I really do hope you get past your own preconceptions for a moment to understand the pain you’ve caused another human being, and why you got responded to the way you did. I believe in a fair go, and I gave you more than a fair chance to do the right thing by me, but you continually chose to act with spite. Please, for all that is good in the universe, learn to control yourself a bit better.

  3. March 2nd, 2009 at 07:00 | #3

    Quinton, all I could suggest is trying to internalize your sense of self-worth so that you don’t give a crap what random people you’ve never met, and will never meet, on the Internet think about you.

    I also find it ironic that your concept of “not wanting anything to do with me” somehow includes posting on my blog. Might want to work on that as well.

    Fixed your screenname in the post.

  4. March 2nd, 2009 at 12:30 | #4

    You came up in a Google Alert, and I investigate all internet content pertaining to Blood Frontier; if you’re gonna come up on Google when people search for the game then I have to set things straight.

  5. Bob Jonson
    March 9th, 2009 at 19:42 | #5

    Quinton Reeves, welcome to the Internet.

    Also, you may be the proverbial pot calling the kettl black:
    “I pour 18 hours of my day, every day, into making a project in addition having a nightmare of a home life and slowly dying from a mystery chronic illness”

    You say blakeyrat should be more careful lest his completely valid points hurt your feelings and then you go and try to guilt him into feeling some kind of remorse because you’re dying and misguided enough to spend all of your time making a video game? I’ve got news for you, guy, we’re all dying slowly and we will be remembered for how we lived our lives and not for the video games we made instead of spending our time withe friends and family. I am sorry that you have chosen to define your life around a failure, it might be time that you define your life around something else.

    Good luck out there, big guy.

  6. February 17th, 2011 at 12:49 | #6

    How will the developer feel motivated? Were you QA’ing his game? There are some good points you have bothered to put down. My opinion of open-source developers is very high. They are taking their valuable time and putting it in projects nobody is bothered to work with. You could be nice to them.

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