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Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising Official System Requirements

Thu 3/17/2011 at 7:55 pm - Danicia

Greetings, Romans!

We are very excited to share this news with you. We asked our Director of Development Services, Mike Jones, to answer a few questions regarding system requirements for Gods & Heroes. Below, Mike also answers some questions regarding our Customer Support department.

Q: What are the minimum systems specs for G&H and how did you decide them?

A: The minimum system requirements decision is based on several factors. We want to make sure the game plays well and looks good on the widest possible range of computers. We’ve tried to improve the graphics in many areas of the game but this tends to raise the system requirements. We’ve done considerable research on the trends in computer stats in the field today. I feel we’ve come up with a good balance between improved quality in game play and performance and we’re still able to support the largest percentage of computers out there.

 
Minimum System Requirements

 

  • Windows XP
  • Pentium 4 or AMD 3.0 GHz
  • 2 GB RAM
  • DirectX 9 compatible video card. Pixel shader and
  • Vertex shader compatible hardware with 512MB of texture memory
  • Broadband Internet Connection
  • DVD-ROM
  • 20 GB Hard drive space
  • Internet Explorer version 7

 
Recommended System Requirements

 

  • Windows 7
  • Dual or Quad core Intel or AMD
  • 4 GB RAM
  • DirectX 9 compatible video card. Pixel shader and Vertex shader compatible hardware with 1024MB of texture memory
  • Broadband Internet Connection
  • DVD-ROM
  • 20 GB Hard drive space
  • Internet Explorer Version 7

 
Q: What are some of the technical challenges your team has faced with supporting G&H?

A: We basically started with little more than our experience on other games so as the first issues started coming in, we had to quickly learn the difference between basic bugs, and actual support related issues. We had to develop a new knowledge base and started tracking support related issues via email and forum posts only until we got the in-game petitioning system working.

In the first weeks of closed beta testing we had some slow response times while we researched the answers to problems with the dev team. We also had a number of frustrating problems with our email system which caused some users to receive beta invites without keys but we were able to respond to those issues fairly quickly.
We had a bit of a challenge learning the in game support tools for Gods & Heroes. The team has made great progress in this area and I believe we’re now able to provide reasonable response times to most issues which was not easy in the early days of our closed beta.

Q: How has the change to the new Installer been for your team and for the players?

A: The feedback on the new installer has been extremely positive. Mainly because it’s faster but many have already noticed that our new installer also has an uninstaller which we didn’t have in the early phases of closed beta. From a support standpoint, the transition to the new installer has been quite smooth. Communication was about as good as we could get it and the large majority of people had no issue with the transition.

This was a very big deal for us because not only did we change to a completely new installer but we also transitioned to a new data file format.

We did have a few users who missed some of the instructions and didn’t realize they needed to completely remove their old game client before running the new installer and some who didn’t realize they needed to download a new installer which is understandable. These were simple issues to handle through support and we’ll continue to look for ways to improve our messaging to make it as clear as possible for all users in all countries. We’re not done improving the installer so we will have more opportunity to fine tune our process.

Q: What are the biggest issues facing the Support Team right now?

A: Quests are a big issue for us right now because we’re revisiting most of the quests in the game. Most of these come in as player feedback through the in game petitioning system and we read every one of them. We know this is a big issue to players because we see these problems in QA as well. Sometimes, with the obvious ones, we get dozens and dozens of reports on the same thing because beta testers wouldn’t have any way to know if an issue has already been reported. We still read and track all these issues when possible in order to determine the level of exposure which helps us prioritize fixes.

Client crashing is another big issue. This one is very difficult for us to support because we would like to solve every one but we know that many of these issues are due to memory leaks which are being fixed in priority order. In most cases, we do try to duplicate the reported problem in case we can find reliable steps to reproduce those issues in hopes of helping development zero in on the issues in order to fix these bugs. The beta testers have been very helpful for us in this area. Some beta testers go the extra mile and provide more detail and include their dxdiag report which is also extremely helpful.

As we make significant progress on the bugs, our support issues reduce. In my experience, this has actually been one of the easier projects to support.

Q: Will your support plans for Gods & Heroes be different for the North America & European launches?

A: Our goal is to provide much better than average support across the board, regardless of region. I’m sure that’s been said before but I have confidence we can provide high quality, responsive support, because of our experience and because we’re a smaller company. We don’t have to have several layers of management and policies piled on top of endless status report meetings like we see at the bigger companies. We are a small, but tight knit team.

At Heatwave, we don’t send an email about a customer issue or bug and wait a day for a response, we get up out of our chair and walk right over to the developer responsible for the particular issue and get it resolved. In some cases where that’s not possible we use IM or VOIP to accomplish the same thing because we’re all gamers here as well and we know what it feels like to be on the other end. We have a pride in what we do and we want to do the best job possible.

In Beta, we’ve encouraged feedback on our support in our forums. I plan to continue that after launch. Feedback is a great way to let us know how we’re doing and offer suggestions for improvement.





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