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loyal fan, feeling betrayed

posted by zaqary on - last edited - Viewed by 192 users

loyal fans betrayed, the graphics issue
hi all, this is my first post.

Basically, I wanted to just put up a copy of a letter I recently wrote to tell-tale about the new sam and max season. Part of it includes a request to cancel my pc subscription for a PS-3 subscription. But the main point is that of two computers, neither is able to play Sam and Max at the lowest video setting. My basic point, the one I want to put out in the forums, is that the casual-gamers graphic-adventure enthusiasts (and nostalgics)--at least if they are like me--cannot play the new tell tale stuff. My feeling is that it is because they are making games for two types of fans/platforms: casual gamers who own shitty (from a gamer POV) PCs, and console owners looking for an alternative style game. I feel as a loyal lucasarts, sierra obsessie grown older, I fall into the former category, and I feel a bit betrayed. I was wondering if any other graphic adventure enthusiasts were feeling similar.

My letter:

My name is ____ I have been a long-term tell-tale subscriber, (and an even longer-term graphic-adventure-game enthusiast) and have loyally ordered all seasons of Sam and Max, Tales of Monkey Island as well as additional games. I also took the time to do a user-survey to help with the pre-release of the current Sam and Max season

I have two computers, a dell Inspiron D620 from September 2006, and an HP mini 110 from this september (both Windows 7 32 ed). The latter was able to play S&M seasons 1 &2 fine. TMI worked decently (at lowest graphics setting) on the mini, less so on the old inspiron. Neither of my computers can handle S&M on any graphics setting -- after the first 5 minutes, all the animation is running at a rate 6-10x slower than the sound to the point that gameplay--not to mention cutscenes--is unbarable.

MY problem: My current computer really cannot handle this season of Sam and Max, even at Graphics setting one. It just laggs too much. I had this problem (minimally) with TMI but it just meant restarting my computer after an hour of gameplay. Now, with the current season of S&M I simply cannot play the games at all.
--> I have a PS3 and would like to switch my computer order for the PS3 games. Now, I imagine such an easy switch is not easy. If this is true, i am requesting that you cancel my Season Three subscription, refund my money, and allow me to purchase the season on the PS-3. Under normal circumstances, I understand that this is asking alot--since the subsequent re-purchases would be handled through the playstation network. However, I am hoping that since I am such a long-term customer, you will be willing to assist me. In my fantasy, you can cancel my PC subscriptions and issue me playstation credit, or a cash-refund...

Without being rude, but just offering my feedback, I will also say that, as a long-term customer, I cannot help but feel that--perhaps in the haste to make everything console competitive-- you have alienated loyal casual-gamer fans by making games that cannot run on our kind of PC. And, since most other graphic adventure producers are producing stuff that works for the low-performance machines casual-gamers use. With all respect, there graphic adventure competition may not be great, but only TMI, I think, has come close to the kind of satisfying gameplay I felt with Ben there Dan That, or even Machinarium, and the system requirements those games had were practically xilch. It may be that the new Season of Sam and Max will outdue your previous work, and these competitor titles, but at the moment, I cant find out, because my computer suddenly cant handle the basic games you produce... On top of this fact, I am frustrated that you have no daytime customer support number, as a phone conversation would have made this much easier.

my telltale account is at this email, so you can verify all that I am saying. My phone number is _________. I would have contacted you earlier, after the first game was released, but I only just graduated from college this week and have not had the time to sit down and play till now. Please help me.

Again, I love the work you do, I just wish I could keep up with it on my PC...


P.S. I have written in such detail because many of my friends, lucas-arts style graphic adventure enthusiasts, have all expressed the same concerns (many of them could not play Sam and Max 1 when it came out!). I am proud to support the games you produce, especially at this risky time for producing graphic adventures, and--throughout college when I have had little cash to spare, have continued to shell out money to support your endeavors. If there are other departments of tell-tale--such as pr, marketing, etc.--who would find these comments useful, I give formal permission to pass them on.

11 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @doodo! said: Are you for real?

    yes. I am. I'm a frustrated just-graduated who was looking forward to playing the games this week and cant. I know I have shitty pcs but I wantto know if others feel this way. is that so redic?

  • Sorry to hear it isn't working for you. We can give refunds easily enough. If you can't play the game, there's no reason for you to have to pay for it. To purchase the PS3 version though you will have to go through the Sony store and purchase it the old fashioned way. There's no real easy way for us to loop into Sony's store (or really any partner's store).

    As for the graphics issue, all I can really say is that we work pretty hard to walk the fine line between quality and accessibility, and I think ultimately we do a pretty good job of it. That said, the line is always going to have to slowly march forward with the progression of technology, or we risk falling too far behind the times. But then, that's one of the reasons we do the consoles as well: to retain accessibility.

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    puzzlebox Telltale Staff

    Hi zaqary. :)

    I have an Inspiron 9300 from waaay back in 2005 (not that the year means much, it's about the capabilities of the PC rather than its age). It plays S&M3 just fine on graphics setting 4.

    If the adventure game industry never improved their graphics to take advantage of more modern hardware, we'd still be playing games in 640x480 and 8-bit colour. ;)

    So no, I wouldn't feel "betrayed" if Telltale's next game had processing/graphics requirements beyond what my laptop can handle. I'd just think it was time to get a new machine - I know mine is quite old and due for an upgrade, and I don't expect companies to cater to specs that are probably pretty inferior to what the vast majority of their customer base use.

    I can understand your frustration though, and hope you enjoy S&M3 if/when you do get to play it.

  • Yeah, in the PC gaming world, getting behind really isn't much of an option. That you like adventures isn't any exclusion from that.

    I am sure if TTG hold back on their graphics there would be far more complains than when it upgrades them and some people (like you) are unable to run them due to their outdated hardware.

    Personally I really need a new PC too. Mine's 4 years old, and while it can run S&M3 in 9, other games got to be set at their lowest, and some (like GTA IV) crawl at 5FPS. I don't complain though (okay, I do a little because those graphics races raise the expense of game creation, but that's another story), I know I have to upgrade. That's being a PC gamer.

  • @puzzlebox said: If the adventure game industry never improved their graphics to take advantage of more modern hardware, we'd still be playing games in 640x480 and 8-bit colour. ;)

    More like we'd still be playing text adventures.

  • @Pale Man said: More like we'd still be playing text adventures.

    What do you mean still? I still play them.

  • Well at LEAST you have a PS3...

  • @Pale Man said: More like we'd still be playing text adventures.

    more like we'd still be using our imagination instead of our GPU.

  • @zaqary said: yes. I am. I'm a frustrated just-graduated who was looking forward to playing the games this week and cant. I know I have shitty pcs but I wantto know if others feel this way. is that so redic?

    Well, it's kinda redic, because you're accusing Telltale for 'betraying' loyal adventure game fans by making adventure games compatible only with new computers.

    Not all loyal adventure game fans still hang on to their old computers, you know. Or, at least, computers old enough to not be able to play The Devil's Playhouse. I mean, I bought mine around 2002, and it works just fine on level 6 graphics. Did you upgrade your video cards?

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