Rock Paper Shotgun have posted a very interesting article about their ten technical demands for PC games, and it makes for excellent – and very agreeable reading. However, I must also point you towards the comments, as there’s some brilliant and indeed insightful stuff from both readers and developers, not least of which the small reveal that Positech’s latest game Kudos 2 is out tomorrow. You should care one because it features the artwork of the very talented Jamie McKelvie and two because Positech games is of course headed by one Cliffski, who as well as releasing the pretty good Kudos: Rock Band also undertook a fascinating bit of research into games piracy. Well worth a read.

I know that the latter part isn’t exactly ‘new’ news, but heck, it was a nice way to tie everything together and direct your attention to it without making it seem I was too behind the times…

Anyway, the bit I most agree with in the RPS piece? Alt-Tabbing:

Quickly and smoothly, and in the original release of the game, not in a patch down the line. This should be as big a priority as graphics or sound. Don’t care if it’s a massive pain to code in. Don’t care if you have to re-start the entire game from scratch to put it in. Alt-tab is absolutely integral to the way we all use our PCs. Half of us essentially live at our computers – we need to be able to task-switch to an IM window or an inbox or even another game in moments, not be locked into one program. Frankly – if your game doesn’t alt-tab, it’s not really a PC game.

Possibly deserving an entry of its own, but in the name of keeping this list to 10 I’ll include it here – all PC games should be able to play in a window. I’ve missed social events because someone’s instant messaged me about going to the pub, but not bothered to phone or text when I don’t get back to them right away because I’m off in a game. One day, the girl of my dreams will magically message me, and by the time I’ve exited the game she’ll have got bored of waiting and declared her love for my arch-nemesis (I don’t actually have an arch-nemesis, but I’m working on it). Then I will hunt down and kill the developer of whichever unwindowable game I was playing at the time. They will appreciate why.

Hear hear. And apologies to everyone I’m ignoring while writing this blog post too…


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One Response to Kudos, Rock Paper Shotgun. Kuockpergun.

  1. Seniath says:

    I must admit, one of my favoured features of WoW (and also EVE, with help from EVEMon) is the ability to run the game in windowed mode, but maximised. Like this, it is indistinguishable from a game running in fullscreen mode, but allows for instant alt tabbing and all the other niceties of windowed mode. Yes, there’s a slight performance hit, but I think it’s more than acceptable for the extra utility it provides. I can’t count how many times I alt-tabbed back in my raiding days.

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