Who hasn’t been there before? We sit patiently for those long months for that long awaited title. We make sure we preorder it with hard earned money. Finally, we get some free time and sit down to install that new game. After watching that progress meter roll away, we fire up the game for the first time and…

“3D mode cannot be generated”.

What? That’s it? After all this time and “3D mode cannot be generated”?

The preceding is actually half frustration from getting Wing Commander 1 to work on my Tandy years ago, and the other half is frustration from last week. I was preparing to review my latest title, which will go nameless for the sake of good relations (for now anyway). After a gloriously ornate install, it flopped.

That is only half the fight. Since most of us have been doing this for years, we know the ins-and-outs of game troubleshooting. But, there are times that even stump us and we are forced to contact Tech Support. Those kindly souls on their ivory towers who have chosen to work with frustrated people.

My first email to the company was courteous and polite. I clearly defined the error and my situation. Time passes. Nothing! Ok, I send another email, but this time include the fact that I am reviewing this for CV-Games. I get a response,

“We don’t know”

Then, the material was met with about ten pages worth of the standard “fix”. For those who don’t know, this is typically the “Canned Response” or the generally mailing that is given to everyone who happened to miss it on the FAQ page. I spent a few hours working my way through their solution and still “3D mode cannot be generated”.

So, I write Tech Support back, politely again, but explain that non of their suggestions help. Guess what! I got the ten pages of ‘Canned Responses” back again. It was at this point I expressed my frustration, this was a title I needed to get reviewed and it might be in their interest to actually help me and quit mailing me the FAQ.

I have the suspicion the tech guy was waiting for this, because he let me have years of aggression in the form that he didn’t know, one particular card wasn’t worth his time, and he didn’t care what my review of their product was. He expressed a firm opinion that maybe my 64 meg ATi 3d card was junk and I should consider upgrading.

Needless to say, the game is already on its way back. Tech Support is usually helpful, but it seems the gems like these can really taint ones impression of a company.

By Jay Waschak – 04/19/02

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