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jonny_rat

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Posts posted by jonny_rat


  1. 2 minutes ago, Isaac said:

    Yeah playtesting is a huge one - these dev kits can't be taken home and so you have to do some form of remote access, introducing input lag (which can be pretty severe on some home connections).

    I'm guessing 343 will have access to the xcloud infrastructure for this, but even then, it's risky. Studios often aren't keen on letting games out of their onsite test labs for fear of leaks: even though NDAs generally aren't worth much whether they apply in the lab or at home, I think there's an assumption that they can impress the downsides of leaking more effectively when onsite.

     

    Of course, it's much easier for players to leak get images or footage from remote testing, too. There are watermarking methods (they used interesting ones for Flight Sim recently) but users can presumably just blur or crop the image a bit.


  2. My main point of contact with game development is playtesting, and in cases where it's possible to do safely and with confidentiality, it's much slower than it was pre-covid (with some exceptions: remote unmoderated testing is an easier option, and there are solutions for mobile platforms).


  3. On 29/07/2020 at 19:03, minstrels said:

    Soapy flavours are usually associated with yeast dying, there's no way that's happened after 12 days. 

     

    I'd get it in the bottle and give it some time to mellow. It sounds like it's just monstrously hoppy right now. :D

     

    I think you were right! I've put 9L or so into a mini pressure keg and the rest in bottles about a week ago, and tried a bit from the keg last night. It's already pretty great!

    • Upvote 2

  4. I've attempted my first all grain brew: just about to bottle an IPA made to a Tiny Rebel recipe. And holy cow I think I've fucked it up royally. I know bottle conditioning  can fix a lot of ills, but giving it a taste after 12 days in the fermenter, it's overly bitter and a bit soapy. I have a horrid feeling I didn't get the temperature down quick enough! Ah well, into the bottles it'll go, and let's see.

    • Empathy 1

  5. 5 minutes ago, cowfields said:

     

    I was curious about this. I don't have kids but maybe I might one day, and funnily enough this issue of protecting them from the internet or too much screen time is the biggest fear of parenting right now! But my take, for what it's worth (nothing) is that surely 'screen time' is an all encapsulating phrase.  But there's a difference between them watching, I don't know, PewDiePie on their own vs playing a nice point and click adventure with the rest of the family. 

     

    I say that last one because one of my most cherished video gaming memories is playing Monkey Island with my mum, dad and sister. That was me spending 'hours' playing video games but it's not the same as fortnight. I remember playing hours of Speedball 2 and my parents rightly telling me off, because I was getting so frustrated I ended up punching a monitor. That was an extreme case I think.  But I think the game in question is significant, and I'd imagine possibly also that there's a bit of a variety. If they're playing one game endlessly and exclusively, I don't know if that's bad but it feels like a shame. 

     

     

    Yep, exactly this. The research - and conversation around games in general - needs to have a better understanding of the types of benefit: the shared-experience type socialising you've described here, the online socialising that's going to become more prevalent as the world changes, direct learning (eg maths skills, learning facts), indirect learning (creative skills from Minecraft, problem solving, etc), relaxation and mood benefits, etc.

     

    The Speedball 2 case is probably crucial as well! Frustration and anger as a negative outcome. Should we shield younger players from those? Obviously they're a core part of the Fortnite experience and I think that's where a lot of parents' worry about it comes from.


  6. On 17/06/2020 at 11:36, WizRider said:

    Now that I've got mine all working fine, despite the battle I had with the screen in the first instance, the Odroid Advance is a great bit of kit.

    I highly recommend it.

     

    I also bought my brother a RG350 for Xmas and that's probably on par overall with the Odroid Advance.  You won't go too far wrong with either.

    Thanks! I went for the path of least resistance with an RG350. Looking forward to getting it!

    • Upvote 1

  7. I'm taking myself in circles here: I'd like a small, comfy little handheld to play pre-ps1 era games. But whenever I find one that seems about right I spot some drawback - tiny battery, terrible d-pad, etc. (And then end up looking at more expensive ones that pack more power then I might need) Is there any any one device that's well regarded for 16-bit and earlier and not too expensive?


  8. 16 hours ago, Harsin said:


    Did I mention that he was The Emperor's son.

     

    As was this guy.

    What happened to him you ask? Why he got ganked by a Terminator style droid that looked like Princess Leia of course.

     

    spacer.png

     

    This is even better considering it appears to be happening at Terminator Leia and Tricolour's Space Wedding, replete with stormtrooper ushers and a floating Space Vicar with no legs

    • Upvote 7

  9. 3 minutes ago, Nick R said:

     

    I enjoyed Star Trek Into Darkness while watching it in the cinema, but it fell apart in about the time it took for me to walk back to the bus stop afterwards.

     

    Likewise, I really liked The Rise of Skywalker while I was watching it (yes, I caught a number of things that bugged me, but mostly I was able to just let them wash over me). I gave it four stars on Letterboxd! So it wasn't until after I got home (and started reading other opinions online) that I realised how much more bothersome those problems were in retrospect, compared to how minor they'd seemed in the cinema.

     

    So it held together slightly longer than STID, at least.

     

    Yep, same on both. Great fun in the cinema, feeling less sure the second I stepped out of there. We should give JJ credit here, because there's definitively an art to making film that can maintain breakneck exposition and action in the way that he can. That's not a small thing, and it's one reason that there's no question that the sequels are better overall than the prequels, which just draaaaag. 

     

    But I'm feeling less and less satisfied with it as time goes on.


  10. At least we got confirmation on one important thing: 

    Spoiler

    Palatine fucks

     

    Apart from lots of the other issues, something that raised an eyebrow:

    Spoiler

    Bringing in a new character of colour for Finn to have chemistry with is a weird, awkward trope that films tend to avoid nowadays. I'd have probably given it a pass, but sidelining Rose and the snog she had with him in the last film just highlights this.

     

    I had a great time watching it, but I had a great time watching Star Trek Into Darkness as well. 


  11. 6 hours ago, Mr Combo Breaker said:

     

    I know everyone in TV/Hollywood does it but I'm kinda tired of the generic ITS THE FUTURE SO ELECTRIC CARZ sound effect they add to every vehicle.

     

     

    I think they get a bit of a pass for this one given that electric cars were introduced much earlier in the Watchmen world - I think even by the time the original comic is set - due to Dr. M's speeding up of tech. I'm almost certain it's covered in the original run.


  12. Finished Reach on the One S yesterday - some scattered thoughts..

     

    • First time round on the 360 I thought that the invincible allies broke the Halo formula - this time, no issues with it at all. Most of the time, I hardly noticed.
    • Elites having armour lock negates one of my favourite tools - the needler burst. Bit odd, when..
    • The needle rifle is Brute poison. Wipes the floor with them!
    • I can't handle Legendary any more. That's gone. Even heroic had me stumped a few times.
    • Speaking of which, there were a few too many choke-points where I felt I was funnelled into a very small through-area against a lot of enemies. Found myself banging my head off these for a while.
    • The space bits are visually impressive, but not fun. Ditto for the Falcon level, but the on foot bits of the level are AMAZING.
    • Heroic is a lovely sweet spot in this because of the increased focus on having a marine fire team.
    • Mercifully few tank bits.
    • It's nice to have the shoot-them-in-the-orange-bits up close dance with the Hunters back. Did they work like this in 3 and ODST?
    • The story is still a mixed bag, but the military bombast works better with the general sense of melancholy. A really effective feeling of everything going downhill very fast.
    • I cannot use the grenade launcher to save my life.
    • Lone Wolf is still probably the best story moment in the whole series (I haven't played 4 or 5 but from word of mouth I don't think they'll trouble it).

    I saw a post on Reddit saying it has 'aged like a fine wine.' Yep!

    • Upvote 7

  13. I went a bit mad and did the buy-2-years-of-live-and-convert-into-GP thing yesterday, despite not owning an XB1. Ended up with a subscription that runs out in April 2022 for £65 - so thanks to everyone on here who posted the method! Any good console-only deals likely to pop up for Black Friday? I don't have a 4k TV, so am guessing that the S is the best option given that the all digital seems to be weirdly overpriced..


  14. 8 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

     

    Sure. But then you're citing games like Bloodborne (not, I would argue, a story-based game) and Far Cry 5 (definitely not a story-baaed game.)

     

    Like I said, I do think more people would play, finish (and then buy more) of the Soulsborne games if they could finish one. And some kind of difficulty mode would have made a huge difference to me. Not that I know what it would be. I'd just like a boss skip after a certain number of fails, because I think the core of the game is fine. That's not going to be universal.

     

    But I do think it would be odd to take the game out of a lot of these big games. Playing a just-the-story parts of Far Cry would be an incredibly empty experience. Watching the Spider-Man game as an interactive movie would expose all the weaknesses in its writing and pacing.

     

    I just don't think it's imagined you're playing them all. Here's a game you can play for months at a time, do it how you want.

     

    If you want a story, watch a film. Or play like a Firewatch or something built around story. I'm not sure the stories in AAA land would satisfy on their own at all.

     

    Maybe you just want AAA values in a game that's just simply smaller?

     

    To focus on just one thing here, I think something like a dynamic boss-skip in a SB game would be a problematic half-way house solution. They're all about teaching patience and how to approach bosses and situations, etc - enable a boss skip and you just end up ferrying them to the next challenge which they'll find even more difficult because they didn't build up the experience from the last one. So presumably you'd end up in a situation where players were dying continually to bosses until they enabled the skip.

     

    We're coming back to some of the issues that were covered in the Sekiro thread, but I'd prefer to see a well-thought-through assist mode (preferably modes) in that type of game, with a load of accessibility options that let the player set their own terms and stick to them.


  15. 16 minutes ago, peeveen said:

    If there's no challenge, it's not a game.

    Just watch a playthrough on Twitch or YouTube, or read the story description on Wikipedia if that's all you want from a game.

     

    Plenty of games without challenge or minimal challenge: Dear Esther, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Journey, etc. Arguably Life is Strange too: anything I've every heard from the developers suggests that they don't ever want players to be stuck or challenged by the game.

     

    The number of people who do watch a playthrough on Twitch is an argument for including zero-challenge modes, not against. Devs get to sell more copies to the people who just want to appreciate the story or atmosphere.

    • Upvote 2

  16. I wonder how they'll handle the overworld when it gets to the later sequels/episodes/whatever-they'll-probably-never-come-out. The sensible thing to do would be to stick to the original implementation but god, I bet they'll end up trying to make it a 1-1 representation of the world, give you a vehicle from the off, lift it wholesale from FF15.


  17. I like the look of it, including the combat, but man, the sounds are a letdown. Some stilted voice acting, and disappointing that the music we've heard so far is mostly generic orchestras. None of the distinctive synthy-rock weirdness of the original; and whether that quirkiness was the result of working with the limitations of the PS1, it's just a bit depressing to have all those tunes sounding like they've had the melodies edged out in favour of Marvel-movie-ish orchestral bombast.

    • Upvote 1

  18. Thanks all; this is useful stuff. From looking around, the CV1s and older Vives aren't cheap enough to justify the drawbacks; I was wondering if I might even be able to go for one of those and a Quest. For, you know, research purposes (in fairness a lot of the folk I want to work with are going to be targeting the Quest anyway, so I'll have to pick one up at some point).

     

    And ta @footle, excellent point about having the updated controllers.

     

    My one outstanding issue with the Rift S - is it really impossible to replace the foam or remove it to clean? If running playtests that thing is going to be a smelly boy. Use some kind of cover perhaps?

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