The Gamers of Origin PC

Team Origin

The Gamers of Origin PC

One of the questions I was often asked during my time at Alienware was, are you guys really gamers and do you play games at work. I can tell you originally pretty much everyone at Alienware were gamers, just check out our interview with co-founder Alex Aguila and our gamer profile for Nelson Gonzalez., you can also check out our interview with Arthur Lewis. When I started back in 2001 most of us were avid gamers and would often have Lan parties at HQ or meet up to play games.

In our editorial where we asked, do you have to be a gamer to be in the industry? My opinion was that you do not need everyone in the company to be a gamer, but it does matter to have key people who at least understand the culture. When we talked with Origin PC not long after their launch it was clear the management understood games and gaming culture. It is also clear they are all gamers check out the gamer profile for CEO, Kevin Wasielewski and COO, Hector Penton. If you need more proof perhaps we can show a picture of their arcade games cabinets and Mr. Penton’s wall of PC game boxes.

In the meantime, here are some gamer profiles from Origin PC team members and if you want to game with Origin PC you can find them on Raptr and on Steam.

final fantasy 7

Name: Erika Mckinster

Gaming background: Final Fantasy series, Goldeneye, DOOM, Quake, Halo, Mass effect Trilogy, World of Warcraft, Diablo trilogy; too many to name!

Favorite classic game: Final Fantasy 7

Favorite modern game: Mass Effect

What are you playing now? Torchlight 2 & Borderlands 2

quake 1

Name: Fabian Santiesteban

Gaming background: As a child I was an avid gamer from the Atari 2600 while working my way up to the Sega Genesis to the PC’s of today.

Favorite classic game: Quake – Quake may be the most influential game of all time. Not the best game, not the most innovative, but the most influential. Nothing beats a god old fashion First Person Shooter.

Favorite modern game: MMORPG – My gaming preference roles have changed. Today I am a big fan of EVE Online – Age of Conan and The Secret World.

What are you playing now? I am currently playing Diablo 3 and looking to level up my toon to 60 so I can start my paragon levels. I am looking forward to the incoming patch that will give you the opportunity to group up to 8 players which will make it much more interesting.

mists-of-pandaria-world-of-warcraft

Name: Daniel Ovalle

Gaming background: I’ve built my own computers since I was 18 and was immersed into hardcore gaming while working at Alienware.

Favorite classic game: Quake

Favorite modern game: Too many to name.

What are you playing now? World of Warcraft, Mass Effect, SWTOR, Civ5, Guild Wars 2, Diablo3

counter-strike

Name: Jorge Percival

Gaming background: First ever encounter with gaming was an Atari 2600 that my parents had, though I was very young they tell me I wouldn’t let go of it. After that I can happily say I owned most consoles to date mostly for exclusive tittles. The fall of 1993 was when I really began paying attention to PC games when my uncle purchased DOOM for his PC, I was completely hooked on that game. Consoles introduced me to gaming the PC has kept me here.

Favorite classic game: My favorite classic game will always be Counter strike (pre source days) this was my real introduction to competitive gaming and the first game I truly took serious. I followed all the pro’s and tournaments I would fully engulf myself in the scene and what was going on during those days. Quake comes a close second.

Favorite modern game: My favorite modern game……….. would definitely have to be League of Legends, this game shows how great gameplay is still at the heart of a good game. We all love graphics but the game needs to have good mechanics and gameplay to continue to grow past its release. I am also a huge fan of RIOT as a developer they do great job of interacting with their community and are supporting the e-sports push here in the states.

What are you playing now? Right now I have lowered the amount of games that I play at a time (mostly due to League of Legends lol). League of Legends, Torchlight II, Borderlands 2. Those would be my top 3 in that order.

Quake 2 - Rocket Arena 2

Name: Tony Berry AKA Miztic1

Gaming background: Started gaming on C64/Atari 800XL then moved to the NES and all other consoles where I got hooked on gaming and once I got my first PC I discovered Wolfenstein 3D then eventually Doom and Quake 1 and those sent me over the edge of the gaming abyss.

Favorite classic game: Tossup between Quake 2: Rocket Arena 2 and Ultima Online. Consoles would be Legend of Zelda on NES.

Favorite modern game: This is a tough one, I would have to say WoW

What are you playing now? WoW, Diablo 3, torchlight and league of legends.

destruction derby

Name: Alvaro Masis in game (Propane)

Gaming background: Have been playing games since Lode Runner and have played on multiple platforms favorite PC by far

Favorite classic game: Favorite classic game would be destruction derby for the Commodore 64

Favorite modern game: Eve Online

What are you playing now? Guild Wars 2, Eve Online, Torch Light 2

Razer DeathAdder – Transformers 3 Collector’s Edition Review

razer-deathadder

Razer has released their Transformers Collector’s edition of the DeathAdder mouse and I had a chance this weekend to try out the purple Decepticon model. The mouse has a shiny metallic purple color to it and both the scroll wheel and Decepticon logo lights up. The design looks great but in the dark with the neon-like colors, it looks awesome.

Let’s talk highlights, first off the DeathAdder features at Ergonomic Right-Handed Design. What this means is the DeathAdder is made for right-handed users and is designed for maximum comfort. When you grip the mouse, your hand rests comfortably on the base so when you are gaming for long periods of time you don’t get pains or feel fatigue that can happen with other mice designs.

Larger or small hands the DeathAdder feels as if its molds to you which is important in games with fast movements like Battlefield. The scroll wheel is a bit larger then on some other mice, but not to big that it feels cumbersome and it has 24 individual clicking positions. The rubble and groves on the wheel work perfectly with your finger when scrolling or pressing down on it.

razer-deathadder-

The two side buttons are easy to reach with your thumb and feel sturdy when you press down hard on them. I like that these side buttons are a decent size and of course, they are programmable so you can customize it to your favorite games. The two top mouse buttons are also large and wide enough for various finger positioning.

As for performance, I tried out the DeathAdder in various games from Call of Duty to World of Warcraft, Portal 2 and World of Tanks. One main selling point of the DeathAdder is the 3500DPI 3.5G Infrared sensor, this deals with precision when moving the mouse and with sensitivity in games and within windows.

In games like World of Tanks depending on what tank you are playing you may want more or less sensitivity. I noticed right away the sensitivity of the DeathAdder was much higher by default from my other mice so you may need to adjust your in game setting if you are not used to it.

razer-deathadder-

However, even with increased sensitivity I quickly adjusted because of how the mouse flows and reacts to my movements even when I get a little twitchy. So when you are trying to shoot a tank from far away or locking in a headshot the DeathAdder shows no sign of negative acceleration meaning you can move with speed and ease and quickly get the shot off.

This is also due to the 1000HZ ultrapolling, which deals with response time. For you old school FPS people, remember spinning your mouse for a railgun shot in Quake 2? The response time of your mouse can be the difference between a kill and a wild shot so with a response time of 1ms on the DeathAdder, you do have faster feedback, which can give you an advantage in competitive FPS games.

Now you can control and tweak all the DeathAdders setting in the control panel provided by Razer. Here you can control acceleration, horizontal and vertical sensitivity. You can also change button assignments and control the glow effects of the mouse. Best of all the on-the-fly sensitivity control means you can alter the sensitivity within a game without having to exit the program and adjust your settings in Windows.

razer-deathadder-

The DeathAdder mouse glides across multiple surfaces, which is good for those who hate using mouse pads. I used the mouse on various surfaces including my wooden desk and even though I still prefer my ultra-thin mouse pad, the DeathAdder worked well on each surface.

A few things to note that also gives the DeathAdder a nice touch is the gold plated USB connection and the 7-foot braided fiber cable. Nothing sucks more than not having enough cable if you keep your PC further away than normal and the strong cable design is great if you are a little rougher on mice than normal gamers.

Overall, we give the DeathAdder the Obsolete Gamer stamp of approval for overall comfort, performance and design. If there is one negative point it would be the price tag. At $60 the price is a bit high for a mouse, but for advanced gamers and gaming professions it is worth the cost.

You can purchase the DeathAdder Transformers 3 Collector’s edition at Razer,

The 30 Plus Gamer

Team Red-Eye

There are a lot of us gamers that either have just past the thirty mark or will be soon enough. I thought back on my earlier days of gaming and the difference between then and now on a variety of subjects, but for this one let us explore what we use to do or tolerate that we no longer can in our advancing age.

24 Hour + Gaming Sessions

In my twenties, I could go to a LAN party and game all night. The truth was I was just as tired then, but somehow I got a gamers second wind allowing me to plow through those nights of Action Half-Life and Quake 2 Rail Arena. When the Everquest days came, the crack head mentality took over and though I was dead in my seat, I could perform the necessary tasks to play the game.

Now, I find myself laughing at the idea of losing good sleep over a game. It does not mean that a good gaming session won’t kept me up, but I would prefer going to bed at a reasonable hour and starting again the next morning than burning the midnight oil. I have also become immune to coffee and sugar free Red Bull.

Stupid Gamers

I never tolerated stupidity, but I would deal with it because I wanted to keep playing. In games like Counter Strike and Rainbow Six we would come across a ton of ass hats, but unless they were really detrimental to the team we would let them stay.

Today I can’t stand them. Everyone acts as if at any moment they will become the next internet sensation and so you have the people trying to be funny in Ventrilo constantly. You have the internet pimp who hits on anything with a female sounding voice. My favorite is the fake drunk or high gamer who pretends their lack of game is due to intoxication. This is where having the ability to kick someone comes into play. I have banned so many people I have a mastery skill in it. Gaming may not be serious business, but if you act like a five year old in my group you get a time out.

Bad Food

Sadly, I was a big guy long before video games, but at least I use to split my time between the NES and baseball, football and basketball. Once I hit my twenties all the activity outside went out the window except trips to fast food restaurants and the door for the delivery guy.

It was so easy back then. Even though we could see each other getting larger, it did not matter. I mean what beats Smothered Cheese Fries and an all nighter of Shogo? FPS and RTS games were made for pizza and finger food and if you could get your hand on some Jolt Cola you were ahead of the game like a low ping bastard.

Today your doctor shows you your stats and you’re encumbered with a D.O.T. that could kill you in ten years. Most of us will not give up games, but if we want to continue to play, we have to replace that Hot Pocket with a grilled chicken breast and a sweet potato. The Mountain Dew has to be replaced with water and say goodbye to smoke breaks of the wacky and non-wacky variety. In addition, you might need to use that treadmill for something besides a clothes rack, but you can play Angry Birds while working out the doctor says.

Aging Gracefully

There are a ton of more things we’ve had to change or give up and we will cover this and more in the next edition. For now, what have you changed or given up from your early days of gaming to now?

 

Which genre had a bigger impact to PC gaming RTS or FPS games?

Panel Discussion microphones
Panel Discussion microphones

What pulled you into PC gaming was it the fact that a new type of gameplay was created that just couldn’t be found on console systems? For many PC gaming took time to get into not only because of the cost of the systems, but that some of them took work to get running. However, the rewards were great for those who ventured into the world of PC gaming and through today some feel consoles are killing the PC gaming market (besides MMO’s) there are still millions of PC gamers out there.

If you look past the MMO’s and Flash games what would you find on these systems. Which would you find more of FPS, First Person Shooter Games or RTS, Real Time Strategy Games? Obviously with the recent release of Star Craft II I am sure you will see a Battlenet icon on many gamer’s task bars, but overall, who had the bigger impact on the PC gaming world?

In my opinion it is FPS games and this is coming from someone who loved to play RTS games and even turn based games. For me it was games like Wolfenstein, Rise of the Triad and of course Doom that had me going to Egghead software to slam three hundred dollars on the table for a Western Digital 750mb hard drive to build my first custom rig.

When I went to my first LAN party here in Florida it was the guys from Red-Eye that showed me how to use mouse look in order to properly use the hook in Lithium Quake 2. Now don’t get me wrong, StarCraft, Warcraft, Total Annihilation were also a big part of our LAN gaming, but it was games like Tribes, Duke Nukem, Shogo and Doom 2 that ruled our playtime.

We asked our panel of industry insiders their opinion on the question.

Aaron Hunter from Playtechtonics Inc wrote:

I would have to go with FPS. Granted in the PC platform, RTS is bigger than it is on other platforms like the consoles. But even so I’d go with FPS having a bigger impact.

Juan Gril from JoJu Games wrote:

In my opinion, Starcraft on RTS, and Quake on FPS.

Chris Skaggs from Soma Games wrote:

I’d say RTS. Where FPS had a huge impact on hardware and game design. I think RTS brought a ton of previous non-gamers to the table for the first time and kept them there.

Danny Greig from XGEN Studios wrote:

I would say the FPS has had a larger impact on PC gaming but not by much. Doom/Doom 2 and Quake had just too much impact on PC gaming to ignore; I don’t think any RTS has had the impact of those games.  Blizzard has basically owned and dominated the RTS genre which has had a very large impact on the PC gaming industry but falls just short of what the FPS has done in my opinion.

Jason Shankel from Stupid Fun Club wrote:

In terms of technology and broadening the appeal of the PC as a platform for gamers, I’d have to go with FPS.  In the early days, FPS highlighted the power of the PC as a gaming platform with superior performance to consoles.  There simply was no other way to play DOOM or Quake except on a PC.  The RTS on the other hand highlighted the power of the keyboard and mouse as an input control, but was not fundamentally limited to the PC.  It would have been possible to play Dune II on a console.

In terms of creating a genre that is uniquely PC, I’d have to go with RTS.  Today, consoles perform roughly as well as PCs and there are many shooters available on console.  And even though FPS controls are still superior on a PC, FPS is certainly no longer a PC-only genre.  Yet no one has really cracked the RTS nut on consoles.  With no technological barriers to clear,  RTS is a genre that’s simply best played sitting up with a keyboard and mouse, not reclining with a console controller.

If I have to pick one answer, I’m going with RTS.  The FPS made a bigger initial splash, but the RTS has endured as a uniquely PC genre and thus had a longer lasting impact on that platform.

David Warhol from Realtime Associates wrote:

I’d say first person shooters.  They survived longer as a genre, and people talk about Quake and Doom a lot more than they do Starcraft (I).   Me, I’m not a fan of the FPS genre.  I think there are more first person shooters as there are Phil Collins ballads… and they are largely just as indistinguishable from one another 🙂 .

Gary Manica from Smashing Ideas wrote:

Easy answer for me.  I want to say RTS games because I prefer them, but realistically they don’t come close to FPS games to me.

FPS games in general have been one of the (if not the biggest) pushers of hardware development on a PC for many years running.  Dev houses constantly refine massive engine libraries to push more and more polygons and maintain the minimum framerate that crazy FPS players demand.   Engines like CryEngine, Unreal, Source, idTech, etc provide a platform for, and push developers (hardware and software) to really go above and beyond while being able to use a mostly pre-built framework.  The tech they build in these engines has been filtering down to other gaming genres for decades now.  And there is a reason that other genres are adopting FPS aspects to them.

There are many instances of amazing RTS games out there, with a lot of really good ideas.  But I don’t think they affect the industry as a whole to the scale FPS games do.

So what is your take? Let us know your answer by posting in our forums below. See you next week.