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Full Steam ahead

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[cibyr] 8th August 2006, 12:34 Quote
Being stuck behind a proxy server, I can't use steam. Period. GG valve, I /was/ planning to buy the HL episodes series...
BioSniper 8th August 2006, 12:38 Quote
Quote:

crusty old AMD XP based PC will do the honours admirably.

Quite frankly I find that comment a little out of order. I still run on an Athlon XP because thats all I can afford right now and it still runs newer games pretty much just fine at decent detail levels.
It feels like the writer is taking the piss out of people who cant afford the latest and greatest and thats quite honestly insulting.
g3n3tiX 8th August 2006, 12:45 Quote
agreed !
not everybody has the money to afford Core 2 Extreme and ge force 7950 with 2gb of
RAM !!


Nice article, because Steam is quite a new way of distributing (and updating) software.
About The media section : it does not use Bink, it uses WMV video, at pretty hi definition. (look in your Steam\Steamapps\media folder for the .wmv files)

I love Steam, but it is for people with broadband, and (sometimes) credit card.
But the credit card part is not neccesarily true : download steam, buy episode one at retail with old fashioned cash, and register the cdkey in your steam account.
That's it, you just have to download, or copy the gcfs from the CD.

Worth mentioning is GCFscape
which allows you to open and extract gcf files. handy !

BTW, when I had proxy+dialup in another country, I could use Steam.
Maybe the ports for steam were open on that proxy.
specofdust 8th August 2006, 12:45 Quote
I know this is gonna sound harsh, whatever I say here, but I'm being honest, so here goes.

What was the point of this article? I can't really tell. It's not an article discussing the merits and drawbacks of steam and the idea of non-physical packages for games etc. - it's not a review of things. To be quite blunt the closest thing I could think of it as being was an extended advert. Of course I don't assume that's what it was intended as, but it really did feel like a product tour. "Here's what they use, and here's what they sell".

Sorry Josh, I've read other stuff by you and I generally speaking do think you're a great writer. I'm just left by this feeling I could have just gone to some Valve advertising page and got pretty much the same thing.
Lazlow 8th August 2006, 12:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BioSniper
Quite frankly I find that comment a little out of order. I still run on an Athlon XP because thats all I can afford right now and it still runs newer games pretty much just fine at decent detail levels.
It feels like the writer is taking the piss out of people who cant afford the latest and greatest and thats quite honestly insulting.

I partly agree - my old Athlon XP 2000 ran all Steam games fine, at around 30-40fps at medium settings and I found it fine. Recently I upgraded, but the old Athlons have probably lasted the longest compared to other CPUs.
g3n3tiX 8th August 2006, 12:48 Quote
I've got a P4 2ghz, runs HL2 fine, with my trusty geforce 4 Ti 4600 128mb !!
kempez 8th August 2006, 12:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BioSniper
Quite frankly I find that comment a little out of order. I still run on an Athlon XP because thats all I can afford right now and it still runs newer games pretty much just fine at decent detail levels.
It feels like the writer is taking the piss out of people who cant afford the latest and greatest and thats quite honestly insulting.

I think it's a joke tbh. Chill Winston ;)

XP's are old skool now anyway :)
Lazlow 8th August 2006, 12:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3n3tiX

About The media section : it does not use Bink, it uses WMV video, at pretty hi definition. (look in your Steam\Steamapps\media folder for the .wmv files)

I could be wrong (correct me if I am), but Bink is the codec and .wmv is the file format. There's no .bink or whatever.
D3s3rt_F0x 8th August 2006, 12:50 Quote
I just find it funny that its apparently crusty i can run every new game in 1024x768, medium details with a AMD xp 2500, Radeon 9800 pro and 1 gig of ram.

Although enough of the whine, Steams a great platform has been for a long time bar HL2 i've had pretty much no problems with it at least in its recent history, when it was first released having to download 1.6 through it was atrocisous but its slowly become better with pre-loading games and getting more bandwidth and new options on what people can do with it and now i couldnt imagine playing 1.6 without it, overall its a good system and i like it certainly something which i prefere over buying CDs for games then losing the case with the CD key or the CD itself and having to mess about getting a new one or buy the game again as ive had to do in the past. Instead its just download and it works, genious, and if you need backups simply make them put them on a storage hard drive or burn them to disc, its simplicity at its best.
g3n3tiX 8th August 2006, 12:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by desert fox
but Bink is the codec and .wmv is the file format. There's no .bink or whatever


No, because the Steam media player is in fact windows media player, (double clik while playing a vid). Bink files have the .bik extension, and WMP cannot open them. You need RAD Game tools to view .bik files.
[USRF]Obiwan 8th August 2006, 12:56 Quote
Can someone tell me where this screen is from?

http://www.bit-tech.net/content_images/full_steam_ahead/fp_img.jpg

never seen it before.
g3n3tiX 8th August 2006, 12:58 Quote
I was also wondering, but I don't know ! It's not in HL. Maybe HL source (doubt it, it is exactly HL1 with physics) or some mod ?
The_Pope 8th August 2006, 13:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BioSniper
Quite frankly I find that comment a little out of order. I still run on an Athlon XP because thats all I can afford right now and it still runs newer games pretty much just fine at decent detail levels.
It feels like the writer is taking the piss out of people who cant afford the latest and greatest and thats quite honestly insulting.

I sympathise with anyone who has enthusiasm for computers but is financially challenged. However, in Josh's defense, be aware that the Athon XP was launched in 2001 (5 years ago) and that the Athon 64 range has been with us nigh on 3 years now. That's a *long* time in gaming; I think the crusty comment is reasonable (if slightly insensitive to all who want, but can't)
King2500 8th August 2006, 13:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
Can someone tell me where this screen is from?

http://www.bit-tech.net/content_images/full_steam_ahead/fp_img.jpg

never seen it before.

It's from Half-Life: Blue Shift.
Sathy 8th August 2006, 14:06 Quote
Now, don't get me wrong, I do not wish, in anyway, to anger anyone by writing the following; I do not wish to engage in verbal bickery because of this:

It's a bit difficult to grasp why ppl get offended by that "crusty XP" line, if you're happy with the system you're using (or your situation is such that you haven't got the possibility of upgrading), what does it matter what someone else thinks, is it worth making an issue of? BT is - supposedly - a site about new Hardware so I think it's a bit unfair (if you will) to make it into an issue when something like that is said. I think we all - hopefully - know and appreciate XP's, but it doesn't mean we should consider them as anything else than what they are - old and well served.
There, said it now, read on =]

I think Specofdust has made a good point. I was sort of wondering it - that what is this "article" about - myself at an near unconsious level. It does have a slight add'ish feel to it. Although I think it's a good idea to "wake" people up to the new and improved world, the length of the waking enchant was a bit ... too much.

I hadn't tried steam too much; after the Gordon sidescroller came out, I tested that for a bit and uninstalled it quite soon, when HL2 demo was out, tested that too and uninstalled again. I remember thinking back then that the client could work alot better, and thought it would in time. A week or two ago I downloaded it again, just out of curiosity, and noticed that it did feel alot better to use - points to Valve for that.

The part about the original Half life withstanding the pass of time cracefully, I would have to disagree. Maybe back when it was originally released it was good, smooth and playable etc. I played HL:Source through about a year ago and I don't remember enjoying it much. I remember back when it was _the thing_ on gaming magazines all over, it was praised for having such a great story, but looking at it now I can't really agree. Sure there is a backstory, but there's no storytelling or much of anything that could be called a plot in the sense that it would advance in any direction. Maybe I'm just stupid for not understanding the delicate delivery of it or something.

Turned out to be a longish post of not-so-much-to-say, apologies for babbling =]
Rogan 8th August 2006, 14:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BioSniper
Quite frankly I find that comment a little out of order. I still run on an Athlon XP because thats all I can afford right now and it still runs newer games pretty much just fine at decent detail levels.
It feels like the writer is taking the piss out of people who cant afford the latest and greatest and thats quite honestly insulting.

I don't have anything against Athlon XP, but Source based games seem to. :( The point is that an XP will run any HL1 games a charm. Sorry if I insulted you, it wasn't meant as a slur.
Quote:
Originally Posted by specofdust
Sorry Josh, I've read other stuff by you and I generally speaking do think you're a great writer.

Win!
Quote:
Originally Posted by specofdust
I'm just left by this feeling I could have just gone to some Valve advertising page and got pretty much the same thing.

Yeah, I guess you're right. I did cuss friends and rag doll kung fu a bit, though. :D It's just supposed to be a reintroduction to Steam. The thing is, even with the grief I do actually like Steam. I've been using it since the early betas, and I know all the problems.

The stuff most people use, ie auto updates preload and the catalogue, are all pretty solid IMHO - especially if you compare it with EA's/UBI's equivalent offering. If I started to delve into the stuff that annoys me it would get irrelevant pretty fast.

It doesn't start to go wrong until you get to the server side parts of Steam, and even those seem to be getting better. For example it's been six months since they last crashed my server with an update. The preceding 18 months, however, are best forgotten...
DXR_13KE 8th August 2006, 17:00 Quote
i think steam is a rip off. 30$ for a game that has no manual, no phisical production costs, no transport and distribution cost is the biggest rip off of the century, you can buy the original for the same price with all the costs of production and distribution here.
Ringold 8th August 2006, 19:17 Quote
I thought the article was alright for what you just said, Rogan, a reintroduction to Steam. Bored a couple nights ago, and with a copy of Ep 1 I'd picked up on sale a month or so ago but not played, I installed it for the first time since HL2's introduction.. and have since been pretty impressed (with Steam and the episode approach). Had I not done that though your article would've been pretty enlightening.

And DXR, if it keeps going down its current path it could end up being the only place to reliably get some indie games. SE4 is extremely hit or miss as far as being on store shelves (some say they find it in stores, but I've never laid eyes on it), but anyone that likes 4X, like myself, considers it a must-have. I had to pirate that game for years until I picked it up off Steam. (Havent played it since oddly enough, it was the principal that mattered to me) SE5 will hit Steam too Sept 15 if I'm not mistaken, and again, I'll be picking it up there instead of driving 20 miles (and burning $6 in gas, plus the stress of I4) trying to find a store thats got a super-niche product on its shelves. X2 and X3 can be found in stores (usually) but nice to have them located there too.

On top of that, silent updates upon their release and DLing all the games you'd paid for from it, anywhere, from any computer you game on, is nice. Saves from worrying about silly old 'crusty' 'old-school' CDs and CD-Keys. Otherwise, lose your CD key and you're screwed, or at least have to go through a lot of trouble, and lose your original media without backing it up to your HD means having to get a pirated copy of the media.. Matter of preference.

Edit: Regarding the 'crusty' Athlon XP thing, reminds me of a debate I saw rage on 7-zip.org's forums about 'ultra' 'normal' etc compression settings. People with older computers wanted the defaults down-sized so that old AXP's w/ 512mb of RAM and such could do "Ultra" compression. If computers were important in their lives so much they couldn't stand not being able to run "Ultra" settings in an advanced compression app then they'd be better served sacrificing and getting a new rig. Otherwise, why slow down the pace of advancement to serve the lowest common computing denominator? And if its not that important in ones life, why get so bent out of shape?! I've got a X2 3800+ @ 2.5ghz, not the best OC, not the best CPU. X800XL gpu. Got a friend with a X2 4400 @ .. can't remember, ridiculous, custom water cooling (use a Reserator 1 myself), and a 7900GT. Jealous at all? Just a little. Care at all? Not in the least. Upset that mine is "old" or "behind the curve" compared to Core 2 Duo at half the price point of what I paid, that my vid card will soon be refered to as "crusty"? Not in the least. Neither should anyone else, especially at a hardware ENTHUSIAST website.

Another long post, my .02c though.. /babbleoff :)
Aankhen 8th August 2006, 19:33 Quote
I can't stand Steam. As I've said many times before, I'm in India, on a 256 Kbps DSL connection. Downloading and/or verifying every single byte in the game's files over Steam is just not feasible unless I leave it running for two days and don't use the Internet during that time period.

As an aside, I know of a gaming parlour where they were first running pirated CS 1.6, then decided to go legit and spent a fortune on purchasing all the Steam games, then switched back to only CS 1.6 after a while. Why? Because Steam itself introduced noticeable lag.
Veles 8th August 2006, 19:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
i think steam is a rip off. 30$ for a game that has no manual, no phisical production costs, no transport and distribution cost is the biggest rip off of the century, you can buy the original for the same price with all the costs of production and distribution here.

Errr, if you didn't know, the bandwidth for all these downloads is slightly expensive, paying people to keep the servers up and running, paying people to make the steam client. It would all come in at a rather large cost I imagine.

Steam games arn't that expensive, espacially for me, living in the UK, steam games are almost half price, so steam is a blessing. You also don't have the problem of having to goto the shops, or wait for a delivery, or find the shop is out of stock.

Usually I agree that it's better to have something in your hand, but I really like steam, one of the few digital distribution systems I actually like to use.
Vash-HT 8th August 2006, 19:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BioSniper
Quite frankly I find that comment a little out of order. I still run on an Athlon XP because thats all I can afford right now and it still runs newer games pretty much just fine at decent detail levels.
It feels like the writer is taking the piss out of people who cant afford the latest and greatest and thats quite honestly insulting.

I believe that you took his statement way too seriously, but at the same time, I think he is right. Athlon XP's are very old now, and considering athlon 64's are so cheap now, you could probably make a nice upgrade from your system for very cheap. You make it sound as if you would need the latest and greatest to best your XP, which just isnt true, you could get sub 100$ cpu's that would give you ebtter performance. I call my P4 1.8ghz old and crusty, you shouldnt be offended when someone calls your old technology old.
Firehed 8th August 2006, 20:11 Quote
Huh, I bought something from steam at least twice with a debit card, dunno what you guys are talking about. Maybe debits are different in Europe (we can almost always run them as credit as well, and afaik the only difference is signing versus PIN).

Anyways, interesting article... I'm tempted to give The Ship a try if I ever really get back into gaming,
Kipman725 8th August 2006, 21:26 Quote
I think you will find that a "crusty" athlon xp is enough to play CSS at 1280x2024 with good fps and full detail with 2af!

pah crusty indeed.
DXR_13KE 8th August 2006, 21:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
Errr, if you didn't know, the bandwidth for all these downloads is slightly expensive, paying people to keep the servers up and running, paying people to make the steam client. It would all come in at a rather large cost I imagine.

Steam games arn't that expensive, espacially for me, living in the UK, steam games are almost half price, so steam is a blessing. You also don't have the problem of having to goto the shops, or wait for a delivery, or find the shop is out of stock.

Usually I agree that it's better to have something in your hand, but I really like steam, one of the few digital distribution systems I actually like to use.

but not near as big as manufacturing and transporting it + the profit of the store. and if they have large bandwith i am snoopy the wonder dog, last time i downloaded something of steam i was downloading it at 10KB/s.

IIRC a game in steam that costs 30$ is converted directly to 30€ (correct me if i am wrong) + you have to pay the tax, the prices of the steam games dont come with taxes. and you have to consider the minimum and medium wage on the county you are trying to sell the game to.

the online distribution method steam uses is the future, but i think the games are over priced, expecialy if they want to increace their profits and selling numbers, and stop blaming piracy for the loss of sales.

edit: if they want to reduce bandwith costs why dont they use a torrent type system?
Ringold 8th August 2006, 22:24 Quote
For its key US market at least, and the UK it seems, its pricing doesnt seem to be raising too many calls here.

For bandwidth, have to keep in mind that its not just downloaded once. Once you buy it, you could be DLing the same games for years to come, again and again.

For DL speeds, I must be lucky or something. My cable service, which in theory is 10mbit but really if I can top my DLs at 800kb/sec I'm doing great, seems to get 100-200kb most of the time off steam, which is basically "walk away and make lunch" in terms of time involvement. On a couple good days lately though it's thrown files at me at over 500kb. Mileage may vary? Never had the hint of connection problems, at least not lately.

Btw, in the US, debit cards are backed by Visa or Mastercard, so when we use it places like Steam, they're none the wiser. I guess the debit thing must be handled differently elsewhere though
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