Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cedega : try to NOT piss off your community

The following is a modified version of a post run on the Cedega forums. The original poster ran a post that Cedega was losing it's paying subscribers, and most of his arguments were based on Blizzard's World of Warcraft

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I find myself agreeing in some aspects. While I personally find World of Warcraft to be watered-down and mass marketed to Ubuntu and back, it is the 900lb gorilla that opened a lot of doors for real Linux usage among desktop users.

Part of me feels a bit bitter about City of Heroes / Villains. The game is supposedly supported by the Cedega dev team, but it's been ages since the patch that broke Win2k compatibility and there hasn't been any public word or documentation on a fix for the game.

Also tied to CoH/CoV is MSXML and .net support. These technologies are going to be required for support of the NCSoft Unified loader... and NO, Mono is probably NOT the freaking answer to this. Mono technology MIGHT be the answer if merged properly into the Cedega engine.

What irks me most is that these technologies shouldn't even be up for vote, nor support for the NCSoft Unified loader. Yet, not only are these technologies placed in a voting list, substantial number of Cedega users are voting AGAINST these technologies.

MSXML
-2: 4.93% (18)
-1: 1.37% (5)
0: 74.79% (273)

.NET
-2: 7.4% (27)
-1: 2.19% (8)
0: 58.36% (213)

NCSoft Loader
-2: 16.71% (61)
-1: 2.47% (9)
0: 55.89% (204)

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So, from a voting point of view, a few people seem dead set to work against improving the Cedega Technology.

Anyways, moving on, other aspects that irk me are the lack of developer reports, and lets face it, what kind of catnip has Wulfie been smoking? I hate to break this to developers and publishers, but I have. Bringing games to the market using DirectX technologies is a Million-dollar mistake developers CAN NOT BE MAKING. Porting games to other platforms that do not use DirectX (e.g. Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, Linux, Mac) involves having to pay developers to either port the code or re-write the engines. If developers used OpenGL and OpenAL from the start, they can go across ALL platforms, even down to Cell phones and mobile devices like the Playstation Portable without a significant reinvestment into porting.

(I've been over this in this blog before when I took ExtremeTech out to the woodshed)

Cedega is in a unique place to give empirical evidence to publishers and developers that Microsoft's DirectX is a BAD business move for games. I don't see, or hear, them doing that.

I'm also a little grumpy about Cedega's documentation on the Cedega 6.03 release. I'd REALLY love to know what brand of catnip the dev team was on to state that ATi's drivers were broken and Nvidia's were not. Sorry. Nope. Nvidia is the one with the broken drivers.

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Now, I'm NOT saying that a simple posting on the main site saying something to the effect of "We are busy working on the EA games for the Macintosh and we need to put Cedega development on Hiatus until we finish" would have fixed the ill-will that has been, and IS being, generated.

(as a small note, the EA games were made available within the past couple of weeks, so a developers crunch to get them out the door makes a bit of sense)

But come on. Take a look at the website. Half the links are still broken on the transgaming site. Cedega sections still link to transgaming sections.

We don't see anything, and that is for one, making me more hesitant to paint Cedega and Transgaming in a good light. If anything, it's making me wonder why I even bothered promoting Cedega in the first place.


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Another almost personal problem I have is strange feeling the Cedega devs are content to let me handle the support requests and respond to off the wall votes. For a while my response to technical problems on the Cedega Support requests was faster than any official Cedega rep. I am NOT being paid by Cedega, and it grates on my nerves. Okay, it's just a feeling and I couldn't prove it was intentional... but in the case of Cedega, perception is playing a larger hand with absolutely no significant information coming back from the Cedega developers.
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