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Tycho / on Wed, Dec 26 2007 at 12:06 am

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Have A Holly, Jolly Xmas

When we were working on our first serious comic project, a comic about angels in high-school that would probably have made us wealthy beyond mortal imaginings, we got into our first real fight about religion.  Shaking with rage, he essentially threw me out of his house.  He called me up a few hours later to play Duke, but still.  We never talked about the comic again.  We try never to discuss anything of substance if we can help it, though we do allow an annual fracas as a gift to one another.  Oh, and here’s a Gabe tip:  never end the Lord’s Prayer with "Psyche."  Never.   

Epic’s Mark Rein took exception to my recent post about Unreal Tournament III on the Playstation 3, being sure to CC the personal correspondence to his trusted agents elsewhere.   

> > the PS3 version didn’t actually support mods at launch, and even now that
> > they are patching in their campaign promises
> That is incorrect. The PS3 version of UT3 supports mods right out of
> the box.

Yes, but the PC version doesn’t.  And that’s where you make them

> The Unreal Editor that ships with the PC version requires an
> update (which is hopefully coming very soon) to allow end-users be
> able to "cook" mods into the proper format required for the PS3. This
> functionality requires us to release some code provided by Sony and
> we’re working through the licensing paperwork with them now. In the
> mean time we’ve picked a few cool UT3 mods off the Internet, cooked
> them ourselves (with the same tools we expect to release to end-users
> shortly) and released them back to the Internet in the proper format.
> We started with a single map but we’re going to release a few more
> maps, a mutator and a new gametype later today. These are all
> user-created mods - all we’re doing is converting them into the PS3
> format. We’re working on some cool stuff of our own to release down
> the road as well.

I’m not talking about down the road, though - I’m talking about at the launch of your retail product.  Saying that you, yourself can bring mods over to the Playstation 3 doesn’t even begin to answer my point. I already know you can bring content to the box, because the game is available at retail.  I’m saying that the tools don’t exist now for users to accomplish the incredible feats you have promised over the course of this game’s development.  Like the gods of old, you are withholding fire.  The difference is that Zeus had no PR agency on Mount Olympus to call his tyranny benevolence. 

> > Mods need to come over on memory cards for some inexplicable reason.
> > Indeed, gamers lured by the promise of the $400 forty gig machine (or those
> > who purchased the twenty-gig, as I did) don’t even have the slots to use mods built in.
> You don’t need a "memory card". I use the term "memory card" but in
> fact any PS3 readable memory device should do. A USB memory stick
> plugged into one of the PS3’s USB ports (all models of PS3 have USB
> ports) works fine. If you already have a memory card from a digital
> camera and you want to use that then you can buy a pretty cheap USB
> memory card reader and plug it that into the USB port of the PS3. One
> of our guys even used an iPod to transfer the files on to his PS3.

From his hacked iPod, you mean.  Remember:  if you want to use mods on your PS3, it’s easy!  Just install Linux on your music player.  Look, I’m sorry if your scenario is so tangled that you can’t even express it yourself in interviews.  What type of external storage you need to use isn’t even my concern, so the ability to use Jump Drives doesn’t speak to the issue.  The fact of the matter is that you can’t play mods without additional hardware, or media, or both.  Period.  The problem is simply more substantial on some models than others.  The reality is that there are still many people surprised to learn the actual parameters of your product’s much-touted mod support. 

And yeah, I know about Mutators.  I doubt very seriously that Mutators are what comes to mind when people think about "mods."  You don’t want the liability, and you don’t want to host, you don’t want to moderate, and Sony’s "Open Platform" is apparently only semipermeable, so owners of the more costly Playstation 3 version get a diminished experience. 

This entire discussion is about one partially delivered part of the game.  I’m not saying it’s a bad game.  It’s a good game.  And it should be, since they’ve released it twice before.           

> We’d appreciate it if you could let your readers know about this.

Oh, I’ll bet you would. 

As Huckster General for Epic MegaGames, of course you have interpreted your products with the maximum charity.  As a consumer, I’ve assessed them by a more robust standard.  Be sure to send any other tidbits my way in the future, so that I may again separate wheat from chaff.      

(CW)TB out.

  every time she blinks

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