January 5, 2010

Games for Windows Live fail

Posted in Commentary, Games at 9:20 am by gloriouscomputing

After downloading a game from Steam and running it, I was told Live had an additional update for the game. OK, no problem, except the update installer simply popped up an error message saying something like “Check a log.txt in your temporary AppData folder for the error message”, and then failed, with no GUI way to fix it.

This is unacceptable. By default, Windows 7 users can’t even see the AppData folder. Gamers shouldn’t be required to debug the game’s update installer. Well, I ventured to the log, and here’s what it said:

Launching Title Update: /p 450 /r “rfg_launcher.exe”
Could not get ARPINSTALLLOCATION property from MSI with product code {A357EF4C-2B6F-4980-ACA9-B1E42A74D7F3}.  This property must have been set using a custom action. HR:0x00000000
Could not find game install folder
To manually set folder, run: “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\XLive\Updates\54510837\Content\rfg_updater.exe” /f “<path to game folder>”

Little Johnny isn’t going to know how to do this, but if you actually run this from the commandline, surely enough the update installer relaunched and worked. I can only hope Windows Live took note of the path of the game for next time.

I don’t care who installed the game, if your game EXE is running, it knows its own path. If the game launches an updater, there is no excuse for the updater to ever not know where the game is located. I don’t care if I just copy and pasted the whole game install directory, you better be self aware enough to know your own file path without having to resort to registry nonsense.

Updaters made using Dispatcher don’t have this bug. 😛


1 Comment »

  1. Spamwich said,

    Had the same problem. Sometimes I wonder why I bother paying for games. For all this hassle we might as well be pirating them.

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