View Full Version : Microsoft's New PC Gaming Apostle - Ryan Miller

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10-28-08, 06:57 AM
A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of talking with Ryan Miller of Microsoft about PC gaming, after he stopped by my web site. Since then then we've had some ongoing emails between us. Just last night he informed me has opened the doors to his official site. See below the copy of the news I just posted on my site.

Some of you may remember Ryan Miller stopping by after I left a comment on his temporary blog (http://gamerscoreblog.com/team/archive/2008/10/06/561731.aspx?).


Ryan works for Microsoft as their PC Gaming Apostle under the Games for Windows/Games for Windows Live business unit. After he introduced himself into our forums, I had the pleasure of talking with him over the phone and came to the conclusion we finally have someone at Microsoft who is on our side and will be working for the PC Gaming customer. :salute:

Ryan let me know that his official site has gone live and his email box is open (you asked for it Ryan!).- Ryan's official site entitled: Socrossblog (http://www.socrossblog.com/)
- Ryan's official email address : ryan -(@)- socrossblog.com
I think we're all looking forward to finally getting some recognition from within Microsoft to help show developers and publishers that the PC gaming customer means business, not just piracy.

Thanks Ryan!

10-28-08, 07:47 AM
Well it looks like the guy really likes PC gaming

10-28-08, 07:53 AM
Interesting. It will be nice to have someone from MS here. Let's make sure he knows that windows live for PC SUCKS!

10-28-08, 07:57 AM
While here means my site (fpsadmin.com) I did pass along this thread on nVnews.net to Ryan.

10-28-08, 09:41 AM
we will see how this goes ;)

10-28-08, 10:41 AM
It definitely could be a bonus to have someone working in the industry to help express concerns of fellow gamers. Let's hope he does a good job. :)

10-28-08, 12:12 PM
Hey gang,

just thought I'd add my .02 - I know there's a lot of work to do, but I'm pretty excited about being the PC gamer's voice within microsoft.

I went through three rounds of interviews to get this job, and at each one I made it clear that to do this job right I can't be a shill for MS. I've got to be able to talk up other companies products, as well as own up to our own issues. I think it speaks to microsoft's intentions that they not only hired me, but completely agreed on each level with this philosophy.

So please don't hesitate to contact me with your thoughts/rants/whatever. I was a prison guard in the army, so I'm relatively thick-skinned :D

10-28-08, 12:34 PM
Welcome to NVN, I really hope that you will be able to change something.

Few things from MS side.

1) If MS really wants 360 controller to be default on PC, they need to provide proper driver for it. To see what I mean take a look here http://www.redcl0ud.com/xbcd.html

There has to be more customization with the controller settings, especially Dead Zones. In some older PC racing games, settings dead zones is essential for smooth control. 360 analog sticks are too sensitive and loose.

2) If MS won't stop with the LIVE service on PC, at least hire separate design team to make it look like a PC app, not something that belongs on console.

10-28-08, 12:46 PM
I am more than thrilled that you, socross, are here and in the position that you hold.

Let me echo nekro's points, especially point one. The MS controller REALLY needs some better drivers. It's been a pain to have to switch back in forth between hacked drivers and the official ones depending on which game I play. Some games recognize the 360 controller and its great... except there is NO DEADZONE. NFS:MW was famous for this issue with "drifting" to either side of the road because of the lack of deadzone.

Actually, I could go on and on about the controller issue all day....

Thanks again and welcome!

10-28-08, 01:07 PM
Welcome to the forums Socross :)

10-28-08, 01:09 PM
That's exactly the type of stuff I'm looking to hear. I never use the 360 controller, I'm strictly a mouse and keyboard guy - so I had no idea that the driver was an issue.

As for Live - my first experience with that service left me feeling like it was just cut-and-pasted from xbox, since it probably was. As a PC gamer, this did not make me too excited about it (i had no idea that "guide" was anything but a how to play section, so I never even clicked on it).

There's some updates coming that actually address this, a new UI that was made just for the PC, and some other stuff. I started this job with some axes to grind, only to find out that for the most part I was preaching to the choir. Hopefully we can get Live to be more worthwhile to the PC gamer, that certainly one of my goals here.

10-28-08, 01:12 PM
On the horizon, is there any good games coming forth from Microsoft any time soon?


10-28-08, 01:16 PM
The problem with the driver is that it works quite well in games that support it (GFW games mostly) but it loses most of its functionality in games that do not directly support it. Anyone who uses the controller is costantly switching between the XBCD driver that nekro posted and was created by a 3rd party, and Microsoft's driver which makes games show the real buttons in tutorials and things e.g. a game will say 'Press (A) to jump' rather than 'Press (JOY3) to jump'.

10-28-08, 01:22 PM
That's exactly the type of stuff I'm looking to hear. I never use the 360 controller, I'm strictly a mouse and keyboard guy - so I had no idea that the driver was an issue.

Me too, but I do use controller to play sports games (Fifa) and racing games. I have the wireless 360 controller, that I don't use anymore because of Deadzone issues.

Glad to hear that LIVE will be redesigned, seems like it is here to stay. Would preffer for it to be gone all together. One more thing about LIVE, If it will stay here, it has to have LAN play. Almost all LIVE games are missing LAN option. I know that 360 doesn't use LAN for MP, but PC games without LAN sometimes are useless.

It is fun getting friends together and making LAN parties.

10-28-08, 01:41 PM
Pretty cool to see someone like this posting here. Ryan Miller you should be on all these big sights getting input from PC games. Its shame you guys have made Steam and Direct2Drive do it better than you. That is the future of PC gaming and you guys should have put concept before profit when developing Live for Windows. Sorry if that was harsh.:o

10-28-08, 01:43 PM
Glad to see you here Ryan. I hope your stay here will be constructive and informative.

Very few industry guys show up on forums and make their presence known. The only other person that did it regularly, back in the day, was Vic Ireland in the newsgroups.

10-28-08, 02:03 PM
Glad you're here also socross, welcome.

10-28-08, 09:12 PM
Welcome SoCross, I hope you find what you're looking for on these forums. It's nice to see someone who has a voice from within and is actually willing to have dialogue with us here; doubly so since many of us are pretty hardcore about PC gaming. :)

What I would like to know is despite what the MS PR train tells PC gamers, you know, with the whole "we want to promote PC gaming" and applications like XBox Live For Windows, the whole Games for Windows, and the Games Explorer for Vista; but, what we seem to be getting from MS is nearly the oppisite.

What we want as a community for some of the big guys to step in and develop high quality games for the PC platform, and TBH most games nowadays have many problems and lack the polish of their console counterparts.

You can see the trend from popular console games that have been ported to PC like Halo, Halo 2 (DirectX 10/Vista only yet looks about as good as Jedi Outcast, and performs poorly), Gears of War, etc.

Then theres non-MS ports to look at as well... One look at Ubisoft's lineup in the last few years (with an exception of Far Cry 2) and its appalling to see the lack of quality and loads of bugs, etc, etc.

What I would like to see from MS is some QA requirements if devs/pubs want that GFW banner on their product.

Essentially, many of us don't like to be beta testers for games and we shouldn't have to be.

Some devs out there are getting the picture though. CDprojekt, id software, Bethesda, Valve.

On a final note, I think your team needs to pay a visit to Epic and slap Cliffy B around for a while :D

Cheers and Welcome

10-28-08, 09:19 PM
Welcome to nVnews, Ryan. :)

Only one question for you, what are your thoughts on the constant hatred that Epic/CliffyB keep spewing out for PCs? Always criticising the platform that propelled to what they are today.

10-28-08, 09:49 PM
Don't forget to stop by P&R and the testing forum while you're here, socross. (tribal)

10-28-08, 10:20 PM
Don't forget to stop by P&R and the testing forum while you're here, socross. (tribal)
Stay away from him, Methimp.

Shoo! :captnkill:

10-29-08, 01:23 AM
Props for registering at this forum and posting something, I think most companies would benefit from being in touch with the community like that.

Anyway I don't mind live, but I understand MS is working towards stand alone client, marketplace and PC centric interface. That to me is going to be pretty good. Especially if you start getting casual games and other downloads on the service to make some money off it.

Is there any reason why MS don't use the Vista performance index score for games? I still feel that for the average joe system requirements are way above their heads, so rather than chancing it they choose to not buy and/or buy console version instead.

If you had a simple vista number score, be over 3.0 and you can run it. The consumer could just remember this 1 number, and would know with 95% certainty that this game would work. I still hear other buyers in stores talking gibberish when they look at those system requirements, it's clear they know very little about how it works.

10-29-08, 06:26 AM
when I hear people talking in store, they often get memory and hard drive mixed up ;)

10-29-08, 09:43 AM
Awesome, welcome to the forums Ryan and thanks to Rudedog for steering him in our direction. I vote for sticky.

10-29-08, 09:56 AM
I wanted to make my own thread, but it fits better in here. Here's what I feel is necessary to "save" PC Gaming. During all the years of doom and gloom from console fanboys, PC Gaming was still relatively healthy. But even now, some of our best developers are jumping ship to consoles due to higher sales, partially due to less piracy. I believe that Microsoft, as the platform/OS provider, needs to jump in and provide a means to correct a lot of these issues. Here are my perceived problems, and solutions.

Problems perceived by developers:
-retail shelf space is near non-existent
-minimum/recommended specs on the box are confusing to the computer illiterate. The only spec required on a console game's box is the logo for the system it runs on.

Problems perceived by gamers:
-intrusive DRM that treats the gamer as the criminal, while doing nothing to stop piracy. In fact, it promotes piracy, as it's the only way to get a DRM-free working game these days.
-not being able to play the game off the HDD exclusively, again, another reason for piracy.

I think a solid solution, as a start, would be to make Windows Live integrated into Vista, Vienna, and maybe XP. Make it a games download service such as PSN or XBox Live Market Place. Don't try to compete with Valve's Steam, but rather, work with them. If I could browse one marketplace, find a game, click it, and have it install the game and all relevant updates, I'd be happy. With the PROPER use of DRM, it would kill most DRM related issues.

It would be harder to pirate, and reduce the need for retail shelf space, which would help developers. It would allow the PC noob to just browse this feature in Windows to see what games are out there. The WEI score could be posted with specs to help them determine whether or not it would run, or a demo could be available in the game's section. The game could also be grayed out if it cannot run on that OS, further promoting your newer OS.

As for the consumer, they could play the game off their HDD, without loading a CD/DVD. Also, you really can't argue that the PC consumer isn't ready for digital distribution. That would be very hypocritical when the same developers claim that PC games are pirated 100 times to each sale. Pirates aren't sending the games via carrier pigeon, they're downloading them!