Friday, July 29, 2005

Off Topic: Facade Broke the Rules

By the way...

After waiting for Facade to download overnight, then waiting for it to install while I was at work, I got home today expecting to be able to play it. Instead, upon launching the program I received an error message telling me that my computer was too slow to run it. Apparently it requires a 1.6GHz processor, and 1.4GHZ+ processor wasn't up to scratch. I have seen no evidence in the form of screenshots or feature lists to suggest that it requires that much horsepower. I don't care what kind of natural language processing or emotive engines they've build into the thing.

It's like telling a student they can't take a class because they failed to recite 30, but not 29, numbers from memory.

When a warning on a site says a program will not run on a processor slower than 1.6GHz, even when italicized, a person who's after a new game cannot be expected to take the warning literally. From a usability standpoint alone, all anyone wants is the download link, and that's all anyone will look at. What are you accomplishing by placing such artificial constriants on the acquisition process?

If I gave up on a project whenever I'd been told something wouldn't work with my current equipment, I'd have accomplished very little by now. Traditionally, I've been unable to afford the equipment necessary to run most of my preferred tools at their peak condition; so I make do. My best friend once said that if the computer has taught our generation anything, it's patience.

I dare the developers to prove to me that the lack of < 0.2GHz will prevent me from studying the technology behind their work. If the game runs slowly on my machine, then so be it. If I have to disable machinery in my OS, so be it. If I have to exhaust my RAM, then I'll exhaust my RAM and start thrashing the hard drive. It is presumptuous and arrogant to think that I will be unable to derive value from this program because I miss the mark by 12%.

What makes me even more mad is that there was a Georgia Tech brain involved in this. This shouldn't surprise me.

It is a sin to perform this kind of test. Developers may not use unreliable benchmarks as a gauge to determine whether a program will run acceptably, and they most certainly may not refuse to run a program based on that measurement. I, the user, will make the decision as to whether the program runs acceptably. If I invest the time to download the 800MB monstrosity using a dubious BitTorrent distribution method (it's slower than Christmas, but I'm helping other users get shafted...), then I expect to be able to run the executable without being met with a damned decree!

It's a shame too, because now it's unlikely I will remember to look at Facade once I upgrade my processor.

Don't tell me what I can't do.


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