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  1. The controller connecting directly to the data centre via wifi - not via bluetooth or radio to the device - is really interesting. Might have an impact on perceived latency too..
  2. That's if sticking with the current publisher model, though. This netflix-y model is probably not good for publishers at they currently stand: but the attraction to Google (and everyone else trying to get in on it) may well be to start acting like a publisher in the longer term, providing funding to developers to produce games exclusive to their service.
  3. jonny_rat

    Game streaming - the future, or a red herring?

    A while back, I watched my nephews playing Fortnite on a TV setup with massive latency. I found it absolutely, completely unplayable; they didn't give a shit. And they were doing totally fine in the game too. I've played streaming services - even years back - that delivered smaller latency than that bloody TV setup. Which makes me think that streaming services have a good shot at working out for a lot of players, though there will always be people for who it's a total no-go. (I also fully expect to see stream-players viewed as casuals by local hardware players in the future, who call themselves the master race, etc)
  4. jonny_rat

    Gaming tropes that need to go away

    While I agree that these could often be implemented in a smarter way (e.g. the game knows you're playing regularly at the moment in long sessions, so ideally it would tailor the tooltips to match), tooltips can be really useful in helping lapsed players get back into the basics of the game. Again, there's batter ways to do it, but they're something at least!
  5. jonny_rat

    Nintendo Switch

    T3 do borderline amusing clickbaity bollocks. One day I had two stories from them pop up in my news feed: one along the lines of 'Microsoft revels next gen Xbox to CRUSH PS5?' while the other was 'Incredible PS5 leaks show Sony's plan to DESTROY Microsoft.'
  6. jonny_rat

    Switching Off During the Finale

    The irony is that T:R isn't resolved by the fight at all. On some levels it counts as a subversion of the Big Fight trope (which would be more effective if it wasn't preceded by a Big Fight). Spiderman Homecoming is an interesting one. Technically it's two lads having a scrap, but the narrative thrust is spidey trying to stop a heist. And then trying to save the baddie.
  7. jonny_rat

    Switching Off During the Finale

    Rangnarok is definitely one that didn't need a big old horde battle, and I bloody loved Ragnarok. I guess it gave the wider cast something to do in the finale, but surely the Hulk fighting a giant wolf and everyone else battling Hera (who was a solid, credible threat) would have been fine. Still, at least it was short and involved that Led Zep moment.
  8. jonny_rat

    Switching Off During the Finale

    I think the Shining (film) does an amazing job of distilling the book's message by adapting it. The problem with WM is that it doesn't even try to do this: it replicates the source material. Watchmen - the movie - is the equivalent of the 1997 miniseries version of the shining.. To go back to @kerraig UK's post, I'm not sure the adaptation issue being argued in the article is just add, add, add; surely it's the choices that were made in adapting the comic? WM (the film) is quite flabby anyway, and stuffed with action sequences, and contains a pretty slavish nod to almost every scene in the comic book. That's quite the decision to make - there would certainly be an argument for a much less blockbuster style approach to the source material (especially post-Logan). I completely get why Snyder did what he did in mashing together the narration with Rorsach's investigation, for example; but that doesn't make it any better as a sequence. I feel like he did everything he could to get everything from the comic on screen in some shape or form, and in the process made it all a lot less interesting. I also get that this is total armchair booking - but I find the idea of an on-screen version of watchmen that chose to open with Rorshach's quiet, grunty investigation (in lieu of maybe some of those slo-mo CGI scraps) really interesting.
  9. jonny_rat

    Switching Off During the Finale

    I guess I'm the target audience for CGI superhero smash up stuff, because I will watch all those films and probably have a lovely time with them. As Dudley suggests above though, these final act bits all sort of all meld together into white noise. But not all final-act CGI schmoz's are created equal: the worst I can recall was Justice League, probably because I forgot who everyone was and what was going on and I didn't care (same with Age of Ultron. And Iron Man 2, christ.). They can be done (relatively) effectively if some character drama has been threaded in: I don't mind the end of Black Panther because they're trading words at the same time as their silly claw suit train scrap. IW has this great structure where all the tension is about Thanos turning up and interacting with the lads; the big silly battle before that is all noise/window dressing. Maybe it's a false finish issue. These big battles are always built up to be the climax, but they never are, and they rarely resolve anything. Usually the scale/focus needs to close in on characters; couldn't we just cut out the battle bit altogether?
  10. jonny_rat

    Switching Off During the Finale

    Any bloody excuse to post this when watchmen comes up: https://acephalous.typepad.com/acephalous/2013/06/the-dark-knight-returns-and-the-zak-snyder-school-of-literal-filmmaking.html Watchmen the movie is sort of.. like Trump's personal fortune for me. No matter how much it fucks up, and fuck up it does, it's still going to be in credit at the end of the day because of how much it started with. Turning incredible source material into a perfectly cromulent popcorn-muncher can hardly be considered a glorious success though. Ender's Game: now that's an example of how to turn great source material into.. nothing. What a waste that was.
  11. jonny_rat

    Music that was too good for the game it was in.

    Absolutely ridiculous that the rubbish version of Golden Axe on the C64 had this incredible Jeroen Tel version of the theme:
  12. jonny_rat

    Spending a year developing a game that sucks

    I need to watch that video you posted, but I was really impressed by this recent talk about Ghost Recon Wildlands: Ubisoft seem to have one of the most comprehensive approaches to UX. They do standard stuff - and I think have a full playtesting lab in the UK - but also do more innovative work like this, where they're bringing metrics together with other types of research. I love the bit about seeing players playing in a way that was unexpected from the data, then exploring who they were and why they were doing it, then creating content especially for those players.
  13. jonny_rat

    Spending a year developing a game that sucks

    Absolutely. I look at some of these crowd-funded projects that claim to be entirely led by community decision-making and feature requests, and think.. nah. You're either very smartly corralling that feedback and the questions you're asking, or you're going to end up with a right old mess. Hopefully, having one person (with knowledge of the end-to-end research process) managing the whole research programme should solve this, because they know the right types of methods to use at the right time. ..he says, knowing full well that sometimes they just get someone with a full time QA or marketing programme to manage to also do this on the side.
  14. jonny_rat

    Spending a year developing a game that sucks

    Holy cow. I was going to say say that there are rationales they could have used to come up with that number - some more robust than others - but that's just bonkers. And not even testing out the impact of that decision on players (could easily do some limited comparison studies with the new/old versions)!
  15. jonny_rat

    Spending a year developing a game that sucks

    Some really interesting inside experiences in this thread - thanks for posting them. From working as a user researcher in games, there are some familiar-sounding stories: reluctance to put the game in front of players early, difficulties with synthesising feedback from various sources, using internal dev staff as a substitute for actual player voices, and mixing up QA, market research and user research. I absolutely understand why all these things happen (usually budgetary reasons, or sometimes actual hostility to user research) but still, I wish they didn't. A few studios in the UK are catching on and recruiting user research teams, or - at the very least - someone to try and collate and interpret data and feedback. Slow going though.

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