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Game Support

posted by AG Rocks on - last edited - Viewed by 543 users

Hi,

I am summarizing in short the things I wrote as a reply in the "Bugfix version of "Muzzled!" available!" thread, since I think they deserve their own thread and replies.

Basically, I have a major problem with the game support of Telltale games.
I would like to say that up until the last two Wallace & Gromit games I had no problems with the Telltale products. However, the last two games give me white screen when trying to launch them - you will see it is a very common problem if you will browse the forum a little.
Until today, I didn't bother Telltale games about that since I saw that other people already notified them about the problem. However, I was getting irritated when I understood that the problem is not going to be fixed, especially since the first game worked perfectly on my machine.
Today I saw the thread I have mentioned before, and it really pissed me off. should I really be updated about fixes from another fellow customer instead of from Telltale Games? Why there is no patch for that? I think you will find the official response to these questions in the thread as unbearable as I had.

Finally, some words of advice from another experianced softwre engineer:
1. Put a "Support" link at the head of the web site (yes, up there, next to the "Store" link).
2. Fix your bugs. We are paying customers.
3. If a first episode of a game works on a specific platform, all episodes should. Think about the whole season release.
4. Create patches, not new releases. We should not endure the tedious process of downloading and installing the complete game for every bug we have.

Thanks,
AG Rocks

11 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @AG Rocks said: Finally, some words of advice from another experianced softwre engineer:

    4. Create patches, not new releases. We should not endure the tedious process of downloading and installing the complete game for every bug we have.

    Thanks,
    AG Rocks

    Am I wrong But did you just spell Experienced software engineer wrong?

    Good point on the patches think "steam or xbla"

  • sometimes a patch can cause more problems than it solves.

  • I wanted to link to my thread "petition to the Telltale programmers" here where I had listed all the known bugs from the first and second episode of W&G that have not been fixed yet, but it seems that the whole thread has been silently removed from the forum. - At least I cannot find it any longer, even when searching all my postings using "advanced search". - Why? :confused: :confused: :confused:

    Edit: The above mentioned thread has been undeleted by Will again:

  • As to your particular issue with the white screens, it's something that affects a relatively small percentage of video cards and in some cases is even fixed by using better drivers. More importantly, if anyone contacts us with a blocking issue like this and we CAN'T fix the problem, then we will always always give them a full refund.

    We are a small company, and there is a lot we logistically can't do. But we are definitely not evil and we do care about our customers. If you can't play your game then by god you shouldn't have to pay for it.

    As for non blocking issues, while I agree that our bug fixing policy is far from ideal, it is the unfortunate reality of a small company such as ours. With that said, I'm doing my best internally to see that more issues get fixed with a very quick turnaround. Due to the way our system works, it becomes increasingly hard to patch and rebuild a game with each passing week, and that is something that can't change without a complete overhaul of our system.

    As to why we updated the build rather than patching, I'm afraid it was a case of an updated build or nothing. While I'd certainly like to get more patches out in the future, it just wasn't possible last week. Sorry!

    Oh and finally to Nightsurfer: that thread was pretty belligerent, but you are right that it shouldn't have been deleted. It's back up now, but I believe this thread covers most of those issues.

  • @Will said: Oh and finally to Nightsurfer: that thread was pretty belligerent, but you are right that it shouldn't have been deleted. It's back up now, but I believe this thread covers most of those issues.


    I cannot review what could have been belligerent about that thread, as it is still not available yet. If it really is (was), that was certainly not my intention. Please consider that English is not everybody's first language here, so it is not always easy to find the right expressions. Besides, please understand that it is really frustrating to see that there is obviously sufficient time to even produce a dedicated promotional clip for the game, but not to fix an issue like the buggy screen resolution setting for the first episode, though this problem is not only confirmed, but also has been solved for the subsequent episodes already.
    One last comment about deleting my "petition" thread: I understand that this forum is managed by Telltale Games and you have every right to remove whatever you do not like. However, in a free country this kind of censorship should be the last means to use in case somebody really misbehaves, not just because there might be some cynical comment included. - There are other ways like sending a PM to the user first, editing or removing a single post from that thread.

    Having that said, I fully agree with "AG Rocks": I never encountered a major issue with any of the former Telltale games before, but the W&G episodes still contain some serious bugs which need to be fixed. Period. - Telltale had a very good reputation and I understand that you need to look forward. But I am pretty sure that letting your customers down by not offering support for the existing products will backfire sooner or later. - By the way, I think being a small company is no excuse for not informing your customers about a new bugfix version of a game: The reason why I am subscribed to the "Game Updates" newsletter for W&G is to get informed about events like this as soon as possible. - And I cannot imagine that you would need more than 5 minutes to write a quick message stating "we have released a new revision of 'Muzzled' last night that fixes some known issues, so if you have downloaded the game before , please consider to download the new version as soon as possible" or something similar. - There would no money and almost no effort involved for this action.

  • @corruptbiggins said: sometimes a patch can cause more problems than it solves.

    is that something you just say for fun or are you going to tell me "why all patches are bad"

  • @jared25 said: is that something you just say for fun or are you going to tell me "why all patches are bad"

    Did I say all patches are bad?

    That is obviously not the case but I have seen instances when a patch to fix one problem in a game has unexpected repercussions in seemingly unrelated areas of the game. This is usually due to either poor patch creation or general poor coding in the game it's self.

  • Hi,

    I would like to comment about some of the issues brought here:

    @jared25 said: Am I wrong But did you just spell Experienced software engineer wrong?

    Well, yes I did. I am afraid English is no my native language, and as you can see from the time of this post, I am also from another part of the globe. I will try to test my text in Word spelling tool but no promises... ;)

    @jared25 said: sometimes a patch can cause more problems than it solves.

    Very true (believe me, I know). However, this should not be a consideration at all. If you have a fix, it is your responsibility to post it as fast as you can. A patch is usually the fastest way.

    @jared25 said: We are a small company, and there is a lot we logistically can't do. But we are definitely not evil and we do care about our customers. If you can't play your game then by god you shouldn't have to pay for it.

    As for non blocking issues, while I agree that our bug fixing policy is far from ideal, it is the unfortunate reality of a small company such as ours. With that said, I'm doing my best internally to see that more issues get fixed with a very quick turnaround. Due to the way our system works, it becomes increasingly hard to patch and rebuild a game with each passing week, and that is something that can't change without a complete overhaul of our system.

    Hey, Will, no offence, and I am really trying not to be too blunt here, but give me a break! I know the meaning of small companies, and usually (because they are small and depends mostly on clients) the case is exactly opposite - small companies take better care of customers than large ones. Besides, I totally agree with Nightsurfer - if the work load is so big, how come you develope so many games is such a short time instead of sometimes back up and concnetrate on fixing problems you had on previous releases? Well, that was a rhetorical question. It is, of course, because of marketing demands, and that is exactly my initial point - something is managed wrong here. I can't spaek for everyone, but I think that most people would rather have a late release than a buggy one.
    By the way, I really see refund as a last resort, and this is why I am trying first to convince you to fix my bugs :D. Besides, I have played the first episode of W&G and I would really like to play the other episodes.
    By the way, What is the policy for people who purchased the entire season up front and can only play the first game?

    @jared25 said: Telltale had a very good reputation and I understand that you need to look forward. But I am pretty sure that letting your customers down by not offering support for the existing products will backfire sooner or later.

    Thanks Nightsurfer, I could not have come up with a better summary myself.

    Thanks,
    AG Rocks

  • Sorry, one more thing:

    The white screen problem happens to me on two different video cards, in both "The Last Resort" and "Muzzled!", and both cards played the first episode perfectly:

    1. Intel(R) 82945G Express Chipset Family
    2. NVIDIA GeForce 4 MX series

    Thanks,
    AG Rocks

  • @AG Rocks said: I know the meaning of small companies, and usually (because they are small and depends mostly on clients) the case is exactly opposite - small companies take better care of customers than large ones.


    Besides small companies have the advantage that they are usually more flexible and thereby have shorter response times: I have been a project manager (hardware development) for a small company before and I am a project manager for a quite big company now. - Believe me, the time I need just to get management approval for addressing a specific problem is often almost the same as it would have taken me to fix the problem and qualify the new product at the small company before. - So if it is already that difficult for Telltale to free some resources for just a couple of days and fix at least those problems for the previous episodes which have been solved for later episodes already, I really hope that Telltale Games will never become a "big" company; though of course I wish you all the best for growing and becoming more and more successful.

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