It's obvious there has been a mood change in this forum lately, particularly after patch 2.0. People had placed great hope on this patch and, seeing their expectations frustrated, are getting more and more vocal, sometimes abusive. On the other hand, the mods and Mr. Bell himself have lost all patience and are closing threads all over the place. This is getting out of hand. I suggest we all take a deep breath and try to go back to the matter at hand – namely, making PCars better and fixing what is broken. After all, it's just a game.
I am one of these disgruntled customers. I bought Project Cars a few weeks ago and so far most of my time with the game has been spent trying to make FFB work for me. I made a few posts here trying to be constructive, but had no success. I even started a thread describing my attempt to reverse-engineer the FFB system in order to make sense of it and make PCars drivable for myself, but I gave it up because I expected patch 2.0 to either fix the problem or change it beyond recognition. Unfortunately, the latter happened.
I think one of the root problems here is the way the forum itself is organized and managed. While at times quite entertaining, it's pure chaos – heck, there seems to be a discussion going on about patch 2.0 inside a thread about patch 1.4!. I believe somewhere in the thousands of posts about FFB there could be a solution to my specific problem, but I don't have the time or the inclination to spend hours every day looking for it. Most posts, even when helpful, are just guesswork – "hey, try that, it worked for me". Nobody seems to have a clear objective view of how the FFB system works and what its parameters mean. The mods seem as bewildered as we are.
I suggested a while ago, again without success, to at least create a FFB section including threads about specific brands/makes in order to focus and direct our efforts. That seemed sensible to me, but it would require SMS to at least admit there is something not quite right with the system as it stands now, however sophisticated and powerful it seems to be. Apparently this is not going to happen. So I will try to keep being positive and offer a few suggestions here:
1. Please organize the forum. In ancient times there was something called "Customer Support" which one could resort to in order to solve particular problems, but since this has been replaced by an open forum, it should be minimally structured, professionally managed and have some people with technical knowledge at hand to guide customers in order to avoid all this pointless friction. Some issues are localized and can be solved with a localized approach. Others are widespread and must be tackled accordingly.
2. Please prepare and publish a detailed and itemized FFB manual (or Q&A thread) listing each parameter, what it does in practice and what one should expect while tweaking it. Run it through a reviewer so that is becomes readable by normal people, not only by FFB experts. Include images. Allow questions and reply objectively. This would at least put an end to the endless speculation.
3. Please refrain from the knee-jerk reaction of assigning any problem with the game to incorrect software, insufficient hardware or mass stupidity. That could be the case if you had one or two persons facing specific problems while all the others were sailing along, if such hardware/software also didn't work with similar products, or if the complaining user were using some alien contraption instead of hardware that is supposedly recognized by the game. That obviously is not the case. I used to run a software company and I always told my support people that if a customer didn't understand something, it was our fault, not theirs. Bear in mind also the "restaurant law": most people don't complain. If your food is not good, they may give you a second chance, but never a third. They simply walk away. Therefore, complaining users are not an annoyance: they are your beacon and should be followed in order to solve problems for all the others. What's really worrisome is when people stop complaining, because it means they have given up on you.
4. Be creative instead of just reactive. I suggested a while ago, as a temporary solution, developing an external Wizard app to send some basic impulses to the user's wheel, ask if the response is satisfactory and assign some basic values to the game's configuration to be tweaked subsequently. I now wish to add another suggestion: hire Jack Spade! No, I'm not being sarcastic. Pay the guy some money and ask him to handle the FFB issue. He is widely respected and seems to be one of the few people, SMS personnel included, who are keeping their cool and actually doing something positive instead of assigning blame around. And he is doing it for free!
5. Finally: please understand that some people are angry not because they hate the game, but because they expected too much of it. No, it's not normal to buy an expensive game and not have it working out of the box, even if others have done it before. It's not normal to have a multitude of users scrambling to help other users enjoy your product when they should be playing it, not trying to fix it (to have a better perspective, have a look at the Assetto Corsa forum, which by comparison feels like an airport lounge). And certainly it is not normal to have people afraid to speak their minds and be insulted or banned. We all want to love Project Cars – I at least do. So the best approach now is not to raise your barricades, but bring everybody to your side.
I also wish to point out to some overenthusiastic users that if somebody reports a problem, that doesn't mean they are to be derided or dismissed just because the product is working well in your own setup. If you can't help, it's better to just let it go. Let's try to be civil here, people.
This is my last post; I've already invested too much time and energy in this. I hope it does some good (and I do hope I don't get banned as well). I will keep trying to fix FFB in my spare time, because I really want to play Project Cars. It actually is a wonderful game, flaws and all (I saw its depiction of Monaco at night the other day and was amazed). In the meantime, I will keep an eye here, wait for the next patch – a popular sport nowadays, apparently – and hope the issues get sorted out. So long and thank you for all the fish!
Original Writen by aleph99 in PC - Technical Help & Support Category, the date of 02-07-2015 03:31.