Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I hate being trendy

There has been something bugging me for awhile now but I’ve been too lazy to actually research it. I now find myself faced with the choice of going off and doing said research or risk humiliation when my dearly held opinions turn out to be based on unfounded information and conjecture.

. . .

If you had any doubt that I would take the later of those two choices, there is a whole slew of links along the right of the page that will take you other sites and I invite you to pick one because I want nobody reading my stuff who has even the slightest notion that even the smallest iota of a well thought out point would appear in any of the rapidly firing words that I am typing in what can only be described as a mish mash of run on sentence after run on sentence pouring forth with no end in sight especially in this one which appears to being doing so well that I have decided it is a sort of challenge to see just how long I could go. Yeah as soon as I thought about what I was doing it ended itself, lucky escape for us all.

Starbucks LogoBefore I go on about this thing that is bugging me I want to say right up front that I think the whole notion of hating big evil corporations simply because they are big evil corporations is way too trendy. There was somebody going off on Starbucks today for what in the end, after you removed all the adjectives, seemed to come down to just that reason. I prefer to hate them because in Australia when you ask for a Venti Vanilla Coffee Frappuccino you get a cup that in America would be called a Grande. For those of you who don’t speak Starbuck-ese, a Venti is a large and a Grande is a medium.

Starbucks Scuba TankLike all Americans I prefer my beverages in as large a size as possible. I would go so far as to say if they come up with some giant refrigerated (a Frappuccino is cold drink along the lines of an iced coffee slurpee) tank that I could strap onto my back and drink through hose, I’d be all over that.

So now that we got that out of the way and it is clear I’m an evil capitalistic bastard lets get on with picking on Microsoft. As so many people do pick on Microsoft, I felt it was important to let you know I wasn’t doing it to be trendy.

We would like to put the Microsoft “Games for Windows” logo on the Fury box.Games for Windows logoWhy?

I don’t honestly know. I can’t think of a single person who would look at a PC game and see the Windows XP/Vista listing on the system requirements but still not buy the game because it didn’t have the “Games for Windows” logo on it. Microsoft has such a solid reputation especially with this whole “DirectX 10 only graphic feature” thing they are getting game companies to promote that turn out work not only just fine under DirectX 9, but in most cases run better under DirectX 9.

Just assume we want said logo for no other reason than that is what I’m telling you.

In order to qualify for the distinction of being a game worthy of such high branding we have to follow a set of standards. Its one of these which is bugging the hell out of me and really the point of this whole post which it is nice of me to finally get around to don’t you think?. Microsoft appears to think it’s a good idea to mandate that any files you save out from your game, for example screenshots and log files, have to be saved in a certain directory.

The first part of the reason is sound, if the user doesn’t have Admin permissions to the machine you can’t save them to the game’s own directory within the Programs folder.

I get that.

But the next part is where they lose me. I’ll preface this torrent with the fact that I’m basing it all on Windows XP and haven’t a clue what Windows Vista may or may not do differently.

Microsoft says that you must save them under the following path
C:\Documents and Settings\Joseph\Local Settings\Application Data\MyGames\Fury\...

The “Joseph” directory being what ever your user name happens to be. Besides being over half a dozen directories deep before you get to the Fury directory, two of those directories along the way are hidden! Local Settings and Application Data are hidden directories by default! I’m looking at the Joseph directory under Documents and Settings and I only see Desktop, Favorites, My Documents and Start Menu. I don’t see a Local Settings directory. I don’t see anyway to unhide directories. How does Microsoft expect Timmy’s Dad to figure out how to get at his screenshots?
"Sorry little Timmy. I know you took that cool screenshot of you pwn’n newbs and you want to parse your combat log, but I can’t seem to find where it saved them. The manual says there should be a Local Settings directory here but I don’t see it."
I would prefer something like a My Games directory under the My Documents folder. Though I never did understand why things like My Music, My Pictures, etc. where all under the My Documents folder and not in the same directory as the My Documents folder. But what do I know?

FrappuccinoLittle Timmy by now has gone back to World of Warcraft, whose makers don’t seem to care about the “Games for Windows” logo and save their screenshots where ever the hell they feel like it. They also probably sit around drinking Starbucks Frappuccinos all day in Venti sized Venti cups. Bastards, all of them!


BugHunter said...


I didn't realize the path went all the way to "Local Settings" (and beyond). I'm pretty sure I've seen game files in my "...\wes" directory and not all the way into the hidden directories (Tools->Folder Options->View tab).

I think I might have at least one "Games for windows". I'll try to remember to look at my files and see where the game data is stored.

BugHunter said...

World in Conflict is a "Games for Windows". There is a "...\wes\My Documents\World in Conflict" folder. In here are useful files like saved replays and saved games.

There is also a "...\Local Setting\World in Conflict" folder but there isn't much in there, and and certainly nothing that I want, like screenshots or match replays.

Something similar is going on with Visual Studio 2005. Are you sure there isn't a part of the specification that says you can place the usefull stuff in the users "My Documents" folder?