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Anti-Aliased: Eye candy leaves a bad taste in my mouth pt. 2


This, in essence, would not only allow a player to resize the field of view to their big ass monitor, but would allow anyone to extend their "peripheral vision." A user could shove the setting up really high and squish their picture, but this would allow them to things on the sides of their screen that a normal user would be unable to see -- thus giving an unfair advantage. Sure, everyone could just shove their settings up really high and we could all run around with squished pictures (or rock three horizontal monitors for a panoramic view), but isn't that pretty much stupid? (The squished picture, mind you. I think three horizontal monitors are sexy, but certainly would give an unfair advantage if they showed a panoramic shot.)

So when Erez said, "No, this would give an unfair advantage," (the line that triggered Kyle's boycott of the company) he wasn't talking about the monitors giving an unfair advantage -- he was talking about unlocking the field of view setting. Oops.

Since then, however, Erez has said that the company will look to supporting the technology somewhere down the road. This would mean setting aside development time to make the game compatible with this type of setup without letting the user be able to unfairly manipulate the settings.

My problem with his editorial

"Would you want your favorite company spending more time on developing new content and fixing bugs, or would you have them spend their time working out how to support hardware that only 1% of the playing population uses?"

As I said at the beginning of my column, Kyle's entitled to his opinion. If he thinks Global Agenda sucks because it doesn't support six monitors stuck together with krazy glue, then that's his decision.

But, like Kyle, I have my opinion on the subject as well. And, not to devalue his opinion, but I'm not one for boycotting a company over an issue such as this one.

Games, to me, have always come down to one question: "Is it fun?" If the answer is yes, then I'm playing a good game regardless of how I'm playing it or what I'm playing it on. It doesn't matter if I'm running World of Warcraft on my old 1024x768 monitor or on my new 1600x900 widescreen LCD. I still had a damn good time with the game. Hardware is just the icing on the gaming cake.

Beyond that, however, I find his whole request insane from a developer's perspective and even a player's perspective. Look at it this way: Would you want your favorite company spending more time on developing new content and fixing bugs, or would you have them spend their time working out how to support hardware that only 1% of the playing population uses?

I'd like to have my gaming company spend time on the game itself and produce updates that benefit the entire playing population, not the whims of a few people who spent way too much cash on their monitor setups. (Unless, of course, the company has the time, resources, and manpower to accomplish both hardware support and content updates at the same time. Much like SOE just did with EverQuest II's new compatibility with nVidia's stereoscopic 3D.)

Hi-Rez is making the right call. They'll look at the technology later when they have the time, but right now they have bigger gameplay issues to fry. They have content to create, new gameplay styles to incorporate, and fixes to make to the current system.

Kyle and his hardcore gaming friends can boycott all they want, but in the end it just hurts them to try and shove this multi-monitor stuff down everyone's throats. Sure, games can become better when you apply awesome technology to them, but they need to be fun and interesting to play before we go adding any bells and whistles.

Make games fun, not pieces of soulless eye candy.

Seraphina Brennan is the weekly writer of Anti-Aliased who likes her games to be more fun and less pretty. When she's not writing here for Massively, she's rambling on her personal blog,The Experience Curve. If you want to message her, send her an e-mail at seraphina AT massively DOT com. You can also follow her on Twitter through Massively, or through her personal feed, @sera_brennan.

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