Friday, June 6, 2008

Minimum Bar Subcommittee Update: Establishing Guidelines for the PC Gaming Industry

As promised this is an update on the PCGA minimum bar subcommittee. I am excited to report that we have been making great progress as we work towards completing an encompassing set of Guidelines for the PC Gaming Industry. We have enjoyed lots of enthusiasm and strong participation from the PCGA membership.

The Sub Committee has formed 5 Working groups, each with a distinct deliverable to the formation of the final guideline.

1. Minimum Hardware Bar Work Group: Mission is to help define a starting point for a “Bag of Parts” that could possibly define the makeup of a minimum Gaming System. The preliminary list has been completed. Plans are being developed to build a number of these systems for testing purposes.

2. Performance Work Group: Mission is to help define a way to actually measure gaming performance and gaming experience. We have finalized our starting point and we are now preparing to test our theories by using the Min Hardware group systems in a validation and experience set of testing.

3. Validation Work Group: This group is putting together a validation plan that will utilize the systems that are being built by the Min Hardware group and use the output of the Performance group as a criteria to validate against. This test plan will also include usability testing as it applies to Gaming. The testing will become part of a feedback loop to help finalize the Minimum Hardware “Bag of Parts” and the accuracy of the Performance benchmarking proposals. The plan has been finalized and is waiting to be executed, as soon as the systems arrive.

4. Software Guideline Group: Hardware is not the full story to creating a solid PC Gaming customer experience. It has to work hand and hand with the software (OS and Games). A set of guidelines will be proposed for developers to follow to enable games to run at the Minimum Bar. The group has an initial outline and we are about to begin the review process within the team.

5. Utility Group: This work group will evaluate the need for a tool for customers/developers/OEMs that will help determine a systems’ ability to meet the minimum bar. The team has agreed to continue to pursue this idea. A proposal is being drafted for review.

As you can see, we have been quite busy, but much work remains to be done. We are as anxious as hopefully you are to see the results of this hard work begin to pay off for gamers, developers and the PC gaming industry as a whole. Please stay tuned and stay engage. We need your support!

The PCGA is also actively seeking membership from developer, publisher, IHV and PC OEM companies. As a PCGA member, you and your company will have the ability to network with the leaders in the PC gaming industry, participate in shaping the development and evolution of our work, and influence our strategy and direction. If you are interested in joining, please contact John Ehrig

Regards,

Rick Carini
PCGA Chairman of the Board
PCGA Minimum Bar Subcommittee Chair

6 comments:

Mike0 said...

Hello!

My recommendations for the PCGA:

Make a "PCGA minimum bar aproved" PC program. So that those kinds of PCs would meet the crieteria. Also add one or two joypads to those PCs. Make the OS and other necessary software preinstalled and setup and ready to go from the go.

Also put a TV-out cable there. Or an HDMI cable.

Encourage game developers to make games for the PC simoltaneously as the console versions. No porting. A good PC gamer knows a port when he sees one.

For peripheral testing use products from Microsoft, Logitech, and those known brands.

The PC needs its own brand. Like PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo. The PC one could be the PC Gaming brand.

Phu5ion said...

As far as Software Guidelines go, I would like to see a great push to compatibility with Linux. Linux is a very viable and largely untapped resource in the PC gaming industry, and I would like to see that change.

Dimitris Antonoglou said...

Hi, congratulations for your efforts. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

In my humble opinion one of the problems of the PC gaming industry is the consolization and oversimplification of games. This has alienated hardcore PC gamers.

For example if you take an RPG and start simplifying combat by making it real time, add combos, button mashing, rythm attacks etc, you are moving the gauge from relaxed strategic thinking towards instinctive reflex and time stressing actions. I think players who prefere the latter will look in to consoles or other genres.

The demographics of PC gamers is different from that of console gamers.

So stop simpifying games in order to appeal to broader audiences. The PC market is segmented. I think that there are enough gamers for the industry to sell pure RPGs or turn based strategy games. Dont alienate them trying to appeal to the masses by turnig them to lame FPS or platform games.

I would like to see a company using the motto "Games for Brains"

And remove copy protection that makes legit users life difficult. See how succesfull stardock are.

Dimitrios Antonoglou

Billy the Kid said...

One solution would be to make unified PC specs that will run games at 60FPS for next five years like consoles do. Most gamers do not have will or money to buy new system every two years to get best out of new games.

Other solution would to ensure next MS console is PC based so that all MS console games would also run in windows PC. MS is has made huge losses with their hardware "experperiments" and they should focus on making software and leave HW to someone else.

PC gaming will have to go from technology/HW driven to assure cheaper gaming and 60fps gaming experiences even with older PCs.

Shawn said...

I'll tell ya what, MS can no longer be relied on for PC Gaming news at E3 or any type of conference, period. If last year didn't teach us this, this year makes it certain.

Will the PCGA be giving a press conference for the PC? Not sure why Intel and all the others that make up the PCGA don't put out a press conference for E3 like MS, Sony, and Nintendo do. There are so many great titles out there and NO press about them, zero hype, zero talk. It's no wonder the PC takes a back seat to gaming discussion on the net. MS mentioned nothing about their windows platform at E3 today, and what a great chance it would be to showcase what the PC has to offer.

Are there any plans to actually act as the PCGA in a great time like E3? E3 seems like the perfect time to have such a showing, sadly, it doesn't look like anyone is representing the platform. There are potential sales to be made from ALL the hardware manufactures in the PCGA just by showcasing games and technology. What a missed opportunity.

Also, is the PCGA taking off for the summer? Haven't seen anything new from this organization, nor has the website had any recent updates. Where's all the promised marketing of the platform?????

Mads said...

First of all I like the idea of PC gaming Alliance. :)

About the minimum bar, I don't like it, how many players wanna play a game that they saw looked gorgeous in the graphric, and when they have installed the game on theirs PC, it looked like crap.

The Hardware Part:

Make sure that all games from 2008(and further on) can be played at 1280*720 (720P HD), with 16*AF and 4*AA with a FPS minimum at 35, at maxed out detailes.
And as mike0 said "Encourage game developers to make games for the PC simoltaneously as the console versions."

Then make it's laptop with either a 15,4 inch and/or 17 inch monitor.

Allso make TV-out, so you can connect to your tv with either SCAR format and/or HDMI. (and of course a VGA and/or DVI out for PC monitors).

Design some special PC GAMING mouses and keyboards. Make some holders so you can sit in the couch, and play with mouse and keyboard, and make that you can play at least 2 players on the PC GAMING "Console"/ system.

| Then make sure that there comes NO minimum requirements on the new PC GAMING Games, that only confuse the consumer, and that's why consoles are selling better.

First of all- you don't have to install the game on the console, but then you can't patch them.

second - there is no minimum requirements to play the game, it's PLUG AND PLAY.

Third - if you saw a trailer for a game, wich had good graphic, when you buy the game, and try it, the graphics are still great, and no
disappointments.

Fourth - the OS in the consoles is VERY easy to use |

The online part:
Make a system that can Connect to the xbox-LIVE system, and to the Playstaion Network system, so all can play together across the platforms, and that will make PC GAMING PC's the most selling Gaming Platform, because you can get social with all players from each system, around the globe.

The Games against piracy part:

Make the os like the program STEAM, you need to have a internet connection, you have to registre your games, but what If you want to sell the game?. Make the system where you
first - make an account, then enter you credit card number,
Second - you sell your game to another account on the system. When the other account buys the game, the money will be transferred to the Selling Account by use of the credit card numbers.

This is some ideas I have to bring to you, I have a lot of more, but I don't wanna spam the blog.

I have my own idea of this Special PC Gaming system.

Contact me if you want some more ideas from me

from xxusexx aka. Cookiemann

True name is

Mads Nielsen