Friday, November 6, 2009

Steam Offline Experience: It may not be news, but it certainly is a kick in the teeth

Just pulled out the old laptop to try the Torchlight demo while on layover in SLC. 


Double cick the icon. Get "cannot connect to Steam network" error. Huh.

Try again. Same result. Notice that I'm posting this via the internet using SLC's free wifi.

Double whoops.

Having worked on multiplayer PC games (and, of course, played them) I'm aware that firewall settings sometimes prevent the connections you need to run (or in this case, apparently, update) your games. Fair enough. This is exactly the reason why I'm mostly a console gamer and only play web-based games on my laptop. I just don't have time for that kind of frustration.

But, the best part is this: Apparently it is possible to play Steam demos and games in single player mode while offline, provided you follow this confusing set of instructions. It's a multistep process that involves testing things out along the way with your computer unhooked from the internet to ensure the process has worked correctly. Perhaps my favorite step is step #4:

  • Go to Settings to ensure the Do not store account information on this computer option is not selected.

Love the double negative. Love the fact that to the layperson like myself, this makes no sense whatsoever.

Mostly, I love the fact that because I'm currently unable to connect to Steam I cannot tell my game to allow me to play it offline. It's a single player demo for goodness' sake.

Bonus points: Nothing about the original "can't connect to Steam" error message let me know that (a) the game required an online connection to play; except that (b) there are options you can set to make (a) go away.

Sigh. Guess it's back to coin harvesting in Plants vs. Zombies.

No comments: