Category Archives: Comics

Ports and the lack thereof.

From: Ted Hahn
Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 18:23
To: ‘tycho@penny-arcade.com’
Subject: Last Remnant, Controller integration

Tycho,

You mention in yesterdayís post that Ďmy wish had been grantedí of playing The Last Remnant on the console. I see your point; Consoles offer several advantages over PC controls; Thereís no question that for, say, Super Mario, a good joypad feels better than the keyboard does. HoweverÖ When I get a PC port, I expect a /port/, which as youíve described, is no longer necessarily the case.

I just finished Mirrorís Edge for the PC, and while I was more forgiving than most of its combat (I generally found it fun, even in the bits where you were very forced into it), I was really disturbed by how little porting they had done. I expect that my PC game will have PC controls. I /expect/ it. Mirrorís Edge popped up for every informational with Xbox controller mappings; I bought the PC version because, while I liked the 360 demo, I thought it would play better with proper FPS controls. Iím going to grab a wired 360 controller from a friend and play it through again; Maybe it really is a platformer, but I expect that it will at least be less disconcerting if it tells me which buttons are which. I tried and quickly gave up with my Logitech gamepad because it was so off putting.

XNA is a wonderful thing. It makes it really easy to port games from 360 to Windows. However, it also makes it really easy for developers to take the lazy way out and not even bother porting; I canít honestly call Mirrorís edge for PC anything more than the 360 version recompiled.

Khoo

I always express my satisfaction with a simple phrase: “Coo”. At one point, it was, as most children once used, “Cool”, but in a horrible holiday accident, it was left with no ‘l’. I’ve used the word in almost every conversation I’ve had since. It rolls off the tongue.

Most anyone you meet wants to be great. They aspire to be the one on all the magazines. To be the life of the party. To lead people. I can’t say that thought isn’t appealing. It’s NICE to have power and prestige.

On the other hand, what I really am more satisfied with is being the “Right-Hand-Man”. I like having someone to defer to, if I feel I’m not qualified to make a decision. I also like feeling like I am part of a bigger picture. I’d rather not be a cog in the geartrain, as I like to be able to see that bigger picture, but one or two rungs down feels like the best place for me.

One of the people I most admire is Robert Khoo. He’s the PA right-hand-man. He’s more than that, actually: He makes things get done. He saved PA from Gabe and Tycho, who’re funnymen, and not businesspeople (Somebody needs to be Sluggy’s Khoo). He made PAX run. And he’s a cool guy.

That’s my inspiration. One of these days, when I’m the CTO or Vice President of a major corporation, someone will ask how my career has been. It’ll be a one word answer: “Khoo”.