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Old 10-17-2009, 12:55 PM   #1
Maledictus010
 
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feature req: change the first time run game options

The problem:
Many games on Steam install additional stuff during the first time run (the first time the "launch" option is selected from the Steam games list after downloading). Examples of stuff being installed are Directx runtimes, Visual C++ runtimes, AGEIA/Nvidia physx software etc. The annoying thing is that many older games also have older versions of this software included. So if i run an older game for the first time that has an older version of the Visual C++ 2008 runtime included, this is installed next to my newer version of that particular runtime. This clogs up the system and can potentially cause problems for windows auto update, not to mention newer Windows version (Vista, 7) that have this stuff alread on board.

What i do:
After having downloaded a game i check the game's install folder and delete all the runtime and additional install stuff (unless it's not yet on my system, in which case i still delete it but make sure to manually download and install the latest version first). I can then safely run the game; no junk will be installed. Obviously, you need to know what you're doing here: you need to know what the installs are and whether you need them or already have them.
(sidenote: a problem seems to be that Steam then thinks that the first time run didn't complete correctly and will keep trying to run the additional setups for every subsequent game start. This has no negative effect, it's just annoying to see the screen pop up every time you start the game)

What i want:
Since i'm an experienced user and know what i'm doing i'm very annoyed by these forced installs. I have to take additional action to make sure that old installs don't mess up my finely tuned system. As such here's what i propose:
after a user selects "launch" for the first time, a screen is displayed that shows me which additional things will be installed (this is good for many reasons, not the least of which is that i will know what's going to be installed; currently it's always a big surprise). The screen should allow me to de-select specific installs (for instance by using checkmarks). For less experienced users it's obviously best to simply leave the checkmarks on, so the default should be "on" for all additonal installs. After having made the proper selections the user can click "continue" and the game will start; the additional installs screen will not be shown again. This also makes it possible to add this menu as a right-click option to the game's menu; this will allow users to re-install the additional installs if needed (an easy way for less experienced users).

Finally, it should be noted that all the additional installs should be up-to-date (which they currently are not). That would alleviate much of the frustrations, obviously.

Thanks for reading this, looking forward to reactions.

Last edited by Maledictus010: 10-17-2009 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 10-17-2009, 02:47 PM   #2
filmguy123
 
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+1

and +1 to the little tag on at the end about all install being up-to-date
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:36 AM   #3
Maledictus010
 
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Is it really enough to post these things here? I mean, i'm not expecting Valve to immediately implement this, but it would be nice if someone at least would say "we've read it"...
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:40 AM   #4
Koraboros
 
 
 
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Big +1 to this idea.

All of my 2k Sports games have to install C++ 2005 each time I launch and when I say install, it says it's part of the OS already, yet it asks again each time.

And for Painkiller: Black Edition, it keeps asking me to install Gamespy Arcade each time...
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:46 AM   #5
L.o.D.
 
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You do realize that you don't HAVE to install that old software for the game right?
Just click cancel when say the DX installer starts. It won't cancel the game's install.
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Old 10-19-2009, 06:38 AM   #6
Verminus
 
 
 
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I thought most installers/updaters for things like DirectX and stuff check for newer version before installing their package, to avoid exactly the system in the opening post, the only time problems might occor is with badly written installers or when versions waiting to be installed are so out of date that they cannot recognise the newer(installed) version,in which case you might have more problems anyway with compatibility as support for outdated directX/drivers gets dropped over time. I have a whole boxfull of older games that no longer work because backwards compatibility was dropped from newer driver/packages and the olderones don't work on modern hardware. (thankgod for emulation)
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:45 AM   #7
L.o.D.
 
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Some might but not all.
I think both the ones with Crysis & COD4 don't check them.
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:40 PM   #8
Koraboros
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.o.D. View Post
You do realize that you don't HAVE to install that old software for the game right?
Just click cancel when say the DX installer starts. It won't cancel the game's install.
yeah but it's annoying because it pops up each time, no matter if I press accept and install (which doesn't actually install anything) or if I press cancel.
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:40 PM   #9
L.o.D.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koraboros View Post
yeah but it's annoying because it pops up each time, no matter if I press accept and install (which doesn't actually install anything) or if I press cancel.
If it's like Crysis, delete the folders that have that.
For example, Crysis tries to install gamespy arcade each time. I deleted that folder & it no longer hounds me.

Try that. Look for the DX installer folder & delete it etc.
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:30 AM   #10
Maledictus010
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.o.D. View Post
For example, Crysis tries to install gamespy arcade each time. I deleted that folder & it no longer hounds me.
Try that. Look for the DX installer folder & delete it etc.
Yes, that's what i mentioned/do in the first place, but that's not the point. The point is that i shouldn't have to do this, and many experienced users never get to do that kind of thing, which sometimes leads to horrible results. It's also true that (modern) installers check for previous versions (like directx) but that doesn't always work. A nice example is the AGEIA physx misery. Somewhere along the line they were taken over by Nvidia, who renamed the installer. But loads of older games still have the old AGEIA physx installer running before game launch, while i already have that newer Nvida version installed. Most of the times this works out fine, but not always. I don't want to have to deal with this, and it's easy to find a good solution for it (as i suggested earlier), and with Steam presenting itself as the end-all be-all auto updating game service, this should be addressed.
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Old 11-14-2009, 02:30 PM   #11
Maledictus010
 
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Bumping this one, seems there's more threads about this and i think it deserves attention.
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:01 AM   #12
Maledictus010
 
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Sry for spamming this, but I've just downloaded another demo that wanted to install no less than 4 additional drivers etc. Very annoying. So I'm revisiting this. Valve, please, think about this and try to create a better solution. It shouldn't be that hard. Suggestion:
Place all additional installers in one location (centralize them, don't make them part of the game's install footprint) and reference to them through game installs. That way the installs should be up2date (if looked after).

I suppose that none of this will ever be realized because developers seem to think people need to be treated as if they are ignorant. So just run the stuff and make sure, instead of offering choices that may confuse people. I like to think that Steam users are better equipped than most (other) gamers, more tech savvy if you will. So take a chance Valve, think about this for a bit.

Last edited by Maledictus010: 11-17-2010 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:16 AM   #13
ester25
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maledictus010 View Post

I suppose that none of this will ever be realized because developers seem to think people need to be treated as if they are ignorant.
That's because they are. Just look at the amount of threads from people asking for help, majority haven't got a clue and even state that games shouldn't require you to be a tech genious (which to some might even mean being able to install DirectX)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maledictus010 View Post
So just run the stuff and make sure, instead of offering choices that may confuse people. I like to think that Steam users are better equipped than most (other) gamers, more tech savvy if you will.
Unfortunately that's not the case, the only generalisation that i can make is Linux users are more savvy that others; considering lots of latest Steam games are mainstream blockbusters (e.g. CoD series), the trend is quite the opposite to what you thought.
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