Batfink Comments

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  • Fallout 4 patch 1.02: the good, the bad and the ugly

  • Batfink 14/12/2015

    @KanevilPS_ Looks great on my 660Ti so you should be fine :) Reply 0
  • System Shock: Enhanced Edition adds mouselook, higher resolutions

  • Batfink 22/09/2015

    Now please backport these upgrades to Underworld please thanks :) Reply +7
  • Google Play temporarily pulls Threes! for listing copycat game 2048 as search keyword

  • Batfink 06/05/2015

    Threes is great and I bought it because the creators deserve to be rewarded, but I'd rather play a clone that loads quickly and manages to stay running when I check a text message. Reply +6
  • BEEFER: Saving old games from the attic

  • Batfink 15/04/2015

    I still play Trism :) Reply -1
  • The Podcast: Undercover Bertie

  • Batfink 03/12/2013

    Guys, please, could you resist the urge to tell jokes at the end of every single sentence? You talk a good videogames, but the one-upmanship of silly giggles is just distracting. Maybe sit in separate rooms? Cheers :) Reply -14
  • John Carmack has officially left id Software

  • Batfink 22/11/2013

    Excellent. Best thing for him, and great news for Oculus. You could tell he was bored at id - there were no more interesting problems to tackle. Now he's back down in the nuts and bolts doing what he does best.

    It'll be a shame if he doesn't do his marathon lectures at Quakecon any more though. Those are always a fascinating listen. On there.
    Reply +1
  • There's a James Pond: Codename Robocod remake

  • Batfink 20/09/2013

    All I can remember about James Pond is that the demo disk on the cover of PC Format could be unlocked into the full game by inputting a cheat code. Reply +6
  • Pavilion is a "fourth-person exploratory experience" for PS4 and Vita

  • Batfink 10/09/2013

    Aw man, I was looking forward to this on PC :( Reply +1
  • Ultima Forever review

  • Batfink 05/09/2013

    SCUM Reply 0
  • Sony set to go big with virtual reality on PlayStation 4

  • Batfink 03/09/2013

    The lenses in the Rift focus at infinity. The screen may be right by your eyeballs, but your eyes think it's far away. It does not cause eye strain.

    Stereoscopic 3D content is gimmicky. It's presented just like other movies/games but it pops in/out of the screen a little bit. The movie/game is still "over there" on that screen.

    Wearing the Rift is very very different. It's immersive in the truest sense of the word. The game isn't "over there", you're "in" the game. I tried it at Rezzed earlier this year and despite it still being a prototype, the experience was intoxicating. Close-up objects have a startlingly real appearance that you feel you could reach out and touch. I would now happily pay for the thing just to experience virtual worlds, let alone play games in them.

    This has the potential to be massive. A game changer in entertainment.
    Reply +42
  • "In a few years we'll be able to get Matrix level virtual reality"

  • Batfink 22/08/2013

    @Baban_Iesu They've been pretty consistent in saying that they want to match the dev kit's price of $300. Reply +4
  • Rezzed 2013: Eurogamer's Game of the Show

  • Batfink 24/06/2013

    @schnide If I had been able to battle the crowds to get a go, I'd tell you! It looked like fun. Lots of panicked retreats and nail biting creping around. Reply +1
  • Batfink 24/06/2013

    Had a great time, from opening to closing on both days. Could have done twice that and not get bored. A fantastic array of games, and some interesting talks from smart people. My highlights were the Xwing dogfighting boardgame, Luminesca and this clever and devious avoid-em-up called Helix that wasn't around on the second day :(

    Tip: Do not try the Oculus Rift with a hangover.
    Reply +5
  • Rezzed 2013 Leftfield Collection line-up unveiled

  • Batfink 28/05/2013

    @null That's Reus Reply 0
  • Total War: Rome 2 and Company of Heroes 2 playable at Rezzed next month

  • Batfink 20/05/2013

    @Venatio sorted :) Reply +1
  • Batfink 20/05/2013

    Are there any evening activities/events planned? Wondering whether to stay the night on Saturday or not... Reply 0
  • Hawken art prank changes CEO's mind about scantily clad women

  • Batfink 15/05/2013

    @tidy-spidey - and which of the two phenomenon (sexualised images of women in games, majority male audience) do you think is the "primary" cause? (this is a rhetorical question) Reply +2
  • Fez dated for Steam in early May

  • Batfink 18/03/2013

    A wonderful game, and I like Mr. Fish - he's passionate and outspoken.
    Tempted to double dip just so I can play in 1080p and smooth loading times :D
    Reply +3
  • Trends of 2013: Rise of the indies

  • Batfink 10/01/2013

    A Pedant Writes:

    King Canute sat on the beach and got his feet wet to demonstrate the limits of his power, not because he thought he could hold back the tide. The message of the story is the opposite of what most people think it is.

    "...continuing to rise as usual [the tide] dashed over his feet and legs without respect to his royal person. Then the king leapt backwards, saying: 'Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.' He then hung his gold crown on a crucifix, and never wore it again "to the honour of God the almighty King"
    Reply +11
  • Archos GamePad review

  • Batfink 06/01/2013

    Archos have had this reputation for terrible quality for over a decade now. How on earth are they still in business? Reply +21
  • Games of 2012: Far Cry 3

  • Batfink 24/12/2012

    This is one of those games that I'm frantically praying for Occulus Rift to support Reply +3
  • Games of 2012: Journey

  • Batfink 23/12/2012

    No game has ever affected me emotionally like Journey did. A remarkable game. It's nonsense to have such a thing, but when people ask me what my favorite ever game is, I say "Journey" without thinking. I played it in two settings at a friend's house and @Badassbab - I clapped at the end too. After I'd wiped the tears off my face. Reply +2
  • Halo 4 campaign screenshots dazzle, offer gameplay clues

  • Batfink 21/09/2012

    If you're complaining about the covenant, then you haven't been paying attention. The Prometheans are the new big baddies and they're looking very cool :) Reply +3
  • Warren Spector: Hey Carmack, Sweeney, stop rendering and start making believable AI

  • Batfink 15/08/2012

    "Smarter" AI is already possible. It's relatively trivial to program a much smarter guard that hunts in the shadows, hears gunfights in the next room, notices his mate's head coming off, hides in cover, makes sensible tactical decisions, moves from cover when you're not watching, flanks you and kills you without you even noticing where the shot came from. It's just not much "fun" to play against.

    The other kind of AI; believable emotional response, ability to react to novel situations etc. is a HARD problem. It's a problem way out of the scope of anybody currently working in the games industry. It's in the domain of very advanced and speculative scientists (although I bet Valve has one or two of them on its payroll).

    With greater CPU and RAM resources, I think the greatest benefit will be from better simulations. The actors will remain relatively dumb, but there will be more of them, and they will have more behaviours that interact with each other. Balancing and guiding such complex networks of systems is the goal for today's coding masterminds IMO.
    Reply +8
  • Stunning Grand Theft Auto 4 graphics mod iCEnhancer releases final build

  • Batfink 18/07/2012

    The actual mod is called ENB. This is just a preset for ENB, of which there are many. Reply +9
  • Watch Dean "Rocket" Hall's huge Rezzed Q&A for DayZ

  • Batfink 09/07/2012

    Don't have time to comment on the content, but that guy is obviously totally on the ball and I trust him completely to follow through with his idea. It's interesting that he brings up Minecraft as a development model. Unlike Minecraft, which never really had a real design goal (which has led to a sprawling, mishmash of unconnected features), this project has very clear goals and rules in mind. Can't wait to see where it goes. Reply +5
  • Error 37: The future of always-online

  • Batfink 28/06/2012

    It's why I won't be buying SimCity, which kills me because that game looks great. Reply +10
  • Chasing the Dragon

  • Batfink 22/06/2012

    I totally understand where he's coming from, and I too daydream about the possibilities of such simulated worlds and characters that tell stories in partnership with the player. The (big, big) problem is that the channels of communication between the game world and the player are too narrow and too simple. If you can't tell what the simulation is doing, then you can't predict its effects and it might as well be random. If your input has 4 axes and 8 buttons, your options for nuanced response are limited.

    The screenshot in the article of the "mugging" scenario is a perfect illustration of why such a complex simulation isn't satisfying to interact with. In a real-life mugging scenario, the available sensory data is enormous. You read the mugger's body language, your eyes scan rapidly to asses your surroundings, you pick up on the tiniest of clues. Your response options are almost infinitely varied - just a turn of phrase in your reply might tip the situation one way or another. Feedback on your actions is immediate and innately understood. On the computer screen, it's a series of either-or choices, and a barely communicative graphical representation. How do I know if I should submit to the mugger's demands or attempt to fight him off? What if my ideal solution isn't offered by the game mechanics?

    There's a presentation by a Bungie AI developer, which annoyingly I can't find right now, that explains how the enemy AI for Halo (2, I think) was designed. They started by taking the Halo 1 AI and expanding it, giving characters more senses, behaviours and abilities. They created very smart enemies indeed. But they were unsatisfying to fight. They would beat you, but you wouldn't know *why* they beat you. Likewise, if you beat them it just felt like luck. They ended up re-simplifying the AI, so that it would reliably react in certain ways to player actions. "IF player throws grenade into squad of grunts, THEN make grunts PANIC." It made the fighting fun again. - In this example, the complexity of the game system is balanced with the complexity of the actions available to the player.

    This is why the new SimCity excites me so much, because the mechanics of the simulation are right there for the player to see and understand.
    Reply +18
  • Digital Foundry vs. Unreal Engine 4

  • Batfink 08/06/2012

    @RelaxedMikki - All-realtime lighting is *required* if your game has a day/night cycle. But, as Epic have made very clear, one of the biggest benefits is to the developer. No more setting lights, baking (for hours), testing, tweaking, baking, testing etc. Now a scene can be lit as quickly as the designer can edit it. Reply +17
  • CryEngine 3 shown off in new soft-body physics demo

  • Batfink 29/05/2012

    This is not an official part of CryEngine 3. It's an existing physics system (Rigs of Rods: that's been implemented in CE3. Reply +8
  • Arma 3 in-engine footage shows off lighting tech

  • Batfink 25/05/2012

    When you consider the size of the playing area in Arma, being able to watch the shadows of a searchlight play over the docks 5 *kilometers* away is pretty damn impressive. Reply +17
  • Indie Game: The Movie Review

  • Batfink 07/03/2012

    Reply -2
  • Proteus Preview: A Musical Odyssey

  • Batfink 02/03/2012

    @pinchofsalt - I've never seen one before, no one has, but I'm guessing it's a white hole. Reply +2
  • Sim City 5 concept art leaks - report

  • Batfink 29/02/2012

    That's what she said. Reply +21
  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier trailer

  • Batfink 02/02/2012

    OMG! TCGRFS! ICW! Reply +2
  • Gunpoint Preview: Rewiring the Action Puzzle Game

  • Batfink 31/01/2012

    Sounds like what Subversion was trying to do, but fun! Reply +2
  • Who framed Roger Ebert?

  • Batfink 18/01/2012

    Excellent article, thanks :) Reply 0
  • Fallout: New Vegas dev: some RPG advances "undermine" thrill of exploration

  • Batfink 12/12/2011

    Going all-voiced is massively restricting. It means that NPCs have much less to say, and crucially don't change what they say depending on player actions. Plain text can be altered programatically. For example, "Oh it's you, so called %rank of the %guild. Well that %guild killed my %relation %name just recently, so I don't need *your* help. Now get out of my %building." or "Sorry, but after the raid on %location, my stocks of %product are running low. My prices reflect that."

    The characters in Skyrim have a handful of things to say, and that's all they ever say. For example, I stopped the town of Dawnstar's nightmares and felt very pleased with myself. Went to see the Jarl and she treated me just the same as she always had, with no new dialogue or reactions.

    I'd rather have the older Morrowind style of voicing. Have some "flavour" voice recordings so that towns aren't full of mutes, but keep the meat of the conversations in text form. Not goingn to happen though is it :(
    Reply +19
  • I Am Alive Preview

  • Batfink 23/11/2011

    Sounds promising indeed. Is this headed for retail or XBL/PSN?

    I've always thought a rock climbing simulator would make a good game mechanic. Four trigger buttons for your four limbs. Release a trigger button to release a limb and move it with the stick on that side of the pad to try and reach the next hold. This game is a step in that direction so I like it :)
    Reply +2
  • New Dizzy game is an iOS port - report

  • Batfink 23/11/2011

    Here you go!
    Just kidding.
    Reply 0
  • Accessible Morrowind, Cyrodiil part of Skyrim DLC?

  • Batfink 22/11/2011

    The Map screen is not a separate representation of the game world, btw. It's exactly the same model that you can see from the top of any mountain, just zoomed right out. There's a mod for PC that lets you zoom the map right back down to eye level, where it loads the full geometric detail (though not NPCs).

    The extent of the low-detail model was almost certainly made to make sure that no matter where you stand on any mountain in Skyrim, the landscape doesn't abruptly end before the horizon.

    The gate on the path out of Skyrim, however - has to be future DLC access. Can't see any other reason.
    Reply +4
  • Skyrim Timelapse: World in Motion

  • Batfink 21/11/2011

    I would dearly love TES 6 to be made in an all-new engine, but I just don't think Bethesda have got the chops for it. And their entire design team has been working with the Gamebryo tools for over ten years now. Re-training those people on a completely new system and expecting good results in a standard development cycle - not likely. I suspect TES 6 to brute-force contiguous interior-exterior spaces by loading everything at once; no fancy streaming or clever LOD tricks, just a jazillion polygons all in the scene at one time. Reply +1
  • Will Wright announces HiveMind

  • Batfink 16/11/2011

    This sounds creepy as hell. Mr Wright: Just cos you can, doesn't mean you should. Reply +14
  • Dress as Link, get The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword free

  • Batfink 16/11/2011

    London, Glasgow and. Hull? Reply +4
  • The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Review

  • Batfink 11/11/2011

    @Qixotl - It's still the same underlying technology. The data files are packed in the same format, in the same folders. The "quest" data is still in a big .esm file. It may be updated with a better animation system etc. but it's still good ol' gamebryo. That 'creation engine' stuff is just marketing. Reply +2
  • Bethesda: developing for PC is "a headache"

  • Batfink 10/11/2011

    This quote worries me.

    We have a team of people who are singularly focused on doing a certain type of game really well," he said. "They came up with a tool system that allows them to do those kinds of games, they have a great game director in Todd Howard who knows when and where to make the big bets, and they have an enormous amount of talent. I think the reason that, perhaps, others fail is that they simply haven't been doing it for as long as we have, the way we have. You learn a lot from experience.
    Skyrim is built on the same fundamental engine as Morrowind. People have already rummaged around in the game data and it's packed in the same format as the last two games. It has some rather fundamental limitations that Bethesda are going to bump up against when it comes to developing TES 6 for the next generation of machines. In 2015, are we really still going to accept buildings with no windows, that require a loading screen to go in and out of? Characters with no physics/reaction based animation?

    I'm worried that "doing it as long as we have" means that they can't do it any other way. Prove me wrong, Bethesda - start doing the R&D now.
    Reply +1
  • EA: multiplayer now an "expectation"

  • Batfink 04/11/2011

    I only plug the network cable into my xbox when there's a system update or patch I need. Multiplayer holds zero interest for me. Reply +7
  • iPad 3 and iPhone 5 to be released 2012 - report

  • Batfink 03/11/2011

    I would never have guessed. Reply +5
  • First Grand Theft Auto 5 footage

  • Batfink 03/11/2011

    Modern GTA is a game of three parts.

    1. Staggeringly complex and hyper-real cities, filled with incidental details, cutting satire, gorgeous lighting. The most convincing sense of place of almost any other game.

    2. Clunky but serviceable shooting and driving and running around. Missions built around those activities, often involving many many deaths of faceless goons.

    3. A cliche-ridden but well acted and framed series of plotettes surrounding each exagerated quest-giving character.

    And it seems to me that they just don't mesh. The open world is amazing, but exists entirely apart from the actions of the player. The missions could take place in carefully funeled environments and be no less enjoyable. The cutscene people just need to go and make the movie they so desperately want to make.

    Personally, I only come for the environment.
    Reply 0
  • Naughty Dog lead designer discusses Uncharted 3 review

  • Batfink 28/10/2011

    Damn right. I read that review and thought "sounds fair enough. I don't like this sort of tightly scripted game either, but this is obviously the peak of that particular genre"

    Turns out that expressing that opinion is write-crime. Sad state of affairs.
    Reply +11