L0cky Comments

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  • In search of the perfect bug

  • L0cky 11/04/2014

    My perfect bug was in Unreal Tournament. The hammer weapon was supposed to be a melee weapon that also had the ability to deflect shots fired at you. An unintentional bug with it was that you could charge it up and 'deflect' your team mates - sending them flying. As the deflection was based on the direction that you last fired you could also prime it to send your team mates in specific directions. The community gave this bug the name 'hammer launching'. You could also charge it up and shoot the ground to jump high ('hammer jumping').

    Assault was one of the game modes that involved one team attacking objectives while the other team defended them. Before the bug was discovered it was a boring corridor shooter where the defense just hold the fire button while aiming at a choke point, and the attackers crossed their fingers while trying to run through it.

    Once the bug was discovered it completely transformed the game; attackers could now cooperate to leap over obstacles and complete objectives out of order. Both attack and defense had to strategise, choosing where to defend and how many players to defend which objectives. The game was completely opened up with diverse tactics, and instead of dying on it's arse a community built up around it with scores of teams playing competitively over the 5 or 6 years after it's release (it's actually still going but to a much smaller degree).

    It's my perfect bug because it added so much that it essentially created an entire game, and a great one at that.

    Incidentally Epic didn't see it that way. Before UT2003 was released they invited some of us to beta test Assault and unfortunately they had "fixed" the bug and made all of the maps extremely linear. We implored them to rethink it but they couldn't see the bigger picture - how we played the game wasn't how they had designed it. They released UT2003 and it's Assault mode was tedious. Needless to say it was unpopular and servers lay empty before finally being removed. A sad footnote to a great game.
    Reply +1
  • $499 Virtuix Omni VR treadmill shipping September

  • L0cky 08/04/2014

    Have to say it's too early for this tech for consumers. VR needs to prove itself on its own first before there can be appeal to large and expensive peripherals.

    Might get by on R&D, but certainly not the consumer market at the moment.
    Reply +17
  • What if someone remade Half-Life 2 in the Unreal Engine?

  • L0cky 03/04/2014

    Sounds strange to say but...

    The floor shader in the second screenshot looks really nice :P
    Reply +15
  • Telltale's bringing TWD, TWAU and Game of Thrones to Fire TV

  • L0cky 03/04/2014

    So what measures are Amazon going to take to ensure good games are not drowned in a sea of crap? Reply +5
  • Amazon reveals Fire TV set-top box and controller

  • L0cky 02/04/2014

    @SawnoffSpudgun Just like the thousands on iOS, and the thousands on Google Play. Thousands of games and only a handful you'd actually want to play.

    Once casual gamers realise they are wasting their time and money, that market is going to crash, just like Facebook games.

    Hopefully decent games platforms will rise from the ashes.
    Reply +9
  • Narrative vs narration

  • L0cky 29/03/2014

    The best stories are the ones the players make themselves. I think if the parts of the game that allow the player to play do not lead to interesting tales in their own right then that is only illustrating a problem with the game design. The Stanley Parable was great at illustrating this, I really saw it as a parody of games whose designers try to force the narrative of a game.

    It's the game design - the game mechanics; the rules of the world; the reactions to the players actions - that determine if the experience is interesting and satisfying. If you treat your game design only as a means to connect the chapters of your narrative, or you ever feel afraid that giving the player too much freedom may result in a less than satisfying story, then that points to a problem in your core game mechanics - the game itself must not be interesting enough to stand on its own.

    It is possible to do a game with a strong narrative that also gives the player freedom. I can't think of a better example than Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The game has a narrative, but the player is always free to walk away and play; and the world and the game play mechanics are so interesting and satisfying that the game stands on its own. The player is left to discover the narrative by the actions they take - every cut scene and story progression is inevitable based on what is available for the player to do. They are simply waiting to be discovered, rather than being forced upon the player. This leaves the player to feel as if they are creating the story, even those parts that have been written and are predestined.

    Like Zelda, most games take the pretense that you are the protagonist, and a lot of those games then seem to forget that during the narrative. Ever played a game where you are given a dilemma during a cut-scene, and just while you're thinking about the best course of action to take, your character goes right ahead and makes the decision for you? It's especially disconcerting when you disagree with their actions.

    It's also disconcerting when the character knows or remembers something that you don't. There's a section in one of the Uncharted games where you are playing as Nathan as a child. You're walking around looking at things in a museum, trying to find a specific object to steal. You look at things, and he keeps saying 'nope, that's not the right thing'. The character knows what they're looking for, but you don't. That leads to a logical conclusion: Nathan knows something, you don't know what Nathan knows, therefore you are not Nathan.

    I think the most enabling narrative is when the player character starts with a clean slate. Either their past is quickly summarised, or chosen (as in Mass Effect, and other RPGs); the character has no past (Zelda, Fez, Limbo, Half-Life, Portal), or the narrative is situational so that the characters past becomes irrelevant (Another World, Skyrim, Chrono Trigger).

    From there, as long as the rules of the world are consistent, and the game mechanics are interesting; you are free to choose narration that is reactive to the player, no matter how linear or open you wish to make the narrative.
    Reply +3
  • Nintendo and Sega team up for Sonic: Lost World Zelda DLC

  • L0cky 26/03/2014

    @TeaFiend Then its going to come as a surprise to you that he isn't Zelda, he is Link. Zelda is the princess (usually) that he is trying to save. Reply +13
  • L0cky 26/03/2014

    @TeaFiend Zelda is a girl? Reply +8
  • CCP to stick with Oculus Rift for Eve: Valkyrie

  • L0cky 26/03/2014

    @symmetry because Facebook were there only ones to offer them $2 billion. Reply +25
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order release date brought forward

  • L0cky 26/03/2014

    I have a bad feeling about this. Reply -3
  • Talking Project Morpheus with Anton Mikhailov

  • L0cky 22/03/2014

    @ATARI I got slight motion sickness with Turok on the N64 for the first 2 days playing it. Never had it again until the 3ds, again only for the first couple of days. Never had travel sickness.

    I guess it will be the same with VR, just a couple of days to get used to it.
    Reply +1
  • L0cky 22/03/2014

    "Do a barrel roll!"

    Oh god Peppy, please not again...

    "Do a barrel roll!"

    Reply +21
  • Phil Spencer on bringing VR, paid alphas to Xbox One

  • L0cky 21/03/2014

    Looking at things like Oculus, Morpheus - they haven't sent me one yet, but maybe they will...

    ...and I better get some free speakers from my friend Mr. Whitten.

    Someone put a tenner in his birthday card, he'll wonder wtf it is; and when someone tells him, he'll think it's some kind of voodoo magic.
    Reply +4
  • Watch Dogs PlayStation-exclusive content detailed

  • L0cky 20/03/2014

    @rudedudejude You don't win. Along with that 'exclusive content' you get with this game, you lose lots of 'exclusive content' in many of the other games you play.

    Then there's the ones that affect game play. Is it a better game with the hacker boost, or a better game without it? Unless it's neutral, either answer is bad news for somebody; and it's yet another example of business affecting game design.
    Reply +8
  • Sony announces Project Morpheus virtual reality headset for PlayStation 4

  • L0cky 19/03/2014

    @alexm Going by the size of it, it will be in place of his face. Reply -16
  • GDC live report: Sony's "Future of Innovation" is VR

  • L0cky 19/03/2014

    @djwaves I doubt there would be a price announcement at GDC Reply 0
  • L0cky 19/03/2014

    It's just Shu's parrot. It's passed its bed time. Reply 0
  • L0cky 19/03/2014

    /me slaps Razz Reply 0
  • Amazon's set-top box could be a USB dongle - report

  • L0cky 18/03/2014

    @goggyturk The maximum power draw from USB 2.0 (2.25W) is greater than the power draw of a phone battery, so it's kind of a moot point if they are using mobile tech.

    On top of that, it doesn't have to power a screen, which takes most of the power on a phone in use.
    Reply 0
  • L0cky 18/03/2014

    @goggyturk Not sure. Chromecast isn't that capable on its own as far as I can tell, it can stream stuff but probably not that powerful for running stuff by itself like games.

    This might be more capable than that.
    Reply 0
  • 10 Second Ninja review

  • L0cky 17/03/2014

    @dcangel There's a big difference between a game being challenging and a game being unfair.

    I find nothing feels more like wasting my time than a game that has no challenge; it can often make them seem like little more than a mediocre interactive movie.

    Games can be challenging and fair, like Super Meat Boy, Spelunky, Trials, Super Hexagon; and countless others.

    A game that is unfair is poorly designed, as is a game that provides no challenge at all.
    Reply +1
  • EA exploring virtual reality gaming

  • L0cky 10/03/2014

    Get in! Reply +3
  • Tomb Raider's reboot "exceeded profit expectations" after all

  • L0cky 06/03/2014

    That's what numbers look like when you're not a slave to launch week sales and quarterly reports.

    Silly corporations.
    Reply +67
  • Guacamelee is coming to Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U

  • L0cky 05/03/2014

    Coincidentally just finished this on vita 2 minutes ago. Great game! Reply +2
  • Asymmetrical competitive roguelike Crawl looks bloody, brilliant

  • L0cky 05/03/2014

    @sarcasticjones So you didn't. @man.the.king then :p

    Personally I don't mind the style.
    Reply +1
  • L0cky 04/03/2014

    @sarcasticjones Many indie devs need cheap and easy.

    The visuals of Rayman etc take much longer to create, and time is money (obviously people don't work for free).

    A perfectly working game with characterful pixel art is better than a high res shoddy mess resulting from blowing all the budget on artists, leaving little time for code and test.

    I think it's a good compromise.
    Reply +4
  • Microsoft aims to bring Xbox Live to iOS, Android - rumour

  • L0cky 05/03/2014

    As bad as it sounds, mobile is crying out for a games platform with some compliance. Play and App Store are useless for finding good games. Reply +1
  • Fez finally comes to PS4, PS3 and Vita in March

  • L0cky 03/03/2014

    @Syrette Not all of us like sitting in front of a PC to play a platformer. Reply +7
  • March's free Xbox 360 Games with Gold titles announced

  • L0cky 03/03/2014

    @dancingrob Not yet, nobody said "Meanwhile on PS+" yet.

    Meanwhile on PS+

    K, lock it!
    Reply +11
  • Developers can now discount their own games on Steam

  • L0cky 27/02/2014

    @AgentDaleCooper Thrms the benefits of being a private company. Reply +4
  • Gearbox sues 3D Realms over Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction

  • L0cky 24/02/2014

    I'd say 3D Realms need to hire better lawyers but I'm quite convinced they're choosing to represent themselves in all legal matters. Reply +3
  • Oculus Rift production on hold after component issue

  • L0cky 24/02/2014

    @Jimjamyaha I'd say a lack of foresight rather than a lack of vision, but you get points. Reply +2
  • Mad Catz Mojo review

  • L0cky 23/02/2014

    @ThePissartist Or are a quarter of the price. Reply +1
  • Ubisoft launches massive Steam sale

  • L0cky 21/02/2014

    Well, it lets you invert the Y axis, but unfortunately it inverts the X axis at the same time. It doesn't let you invert them independently (I want to invert Y but not X).

    If xpadder, or some other program can do that then maybe I can give it another go.

    I did read on some support forum somewhere that possibly the reason they've never patched this in any version is that it affects one of the boss battles, and makes it ridiculously easy. I can't imagine why this would be so though, so take it with a pinch of salt.

    Edit: What Der_Tolle_Emil said faster than me :P
    Reply +1
  • L0cky 21/02/2014

    @Der_tolle_Emil Every time I see BG&E mentioned this is always the first thing I think of.

    I have it, and still never played more than 30 minutes of it because of this.
    Reply +7
  • Earth Defense Force 2025 review

  • L0cky 18/02/2014

    How can you review a game about a marine fighting giant insects and mention the N64 and reference two N64 games without mentioning... Body Harvest?

    Reply +26
  • Hands-on with the Steam in-home streaming beta

  • L0cky 15/02/2014

    @Malek86 Good to know, I was a bit surprised it wasn't working at least semi reasonably. You're probably right, the older version probably wasn't using the GPU to decode.

    If you can you borrow some power line adapters from someone you could test that as a network, see if it's yay or nay. Depends how far you want to go for a beta really.
    Reply 0
  • L0cky 15/02/2014

    @Malek86 It's possible the ION 2 outperforms an integrated HD7290 at video decoding. You could have a look at processor usage while it's decoding to see what's what.

    Both are pretty old though :/
    Reply 0
  • L0cky 15/02/2014

    @Innocent_Bystander The stats will show you where the bottleneck is. Press F6 to show them.

    Roughly speaking Game = Host, Display = Client.

    If you have a good enough GPU to run the game then it's very likely that the GPU is being used for the encoding, not the CPU.
    Reply +1
  • L0cky 15/02/2014

    @Malek86 It contained an integrated HD7290, which while by no means powerful, normally allows me to watch HD movies with little CPU load thanks to h264 acceleration.

    Bear in mind that when you play video, it doesn't matter if the output is 3 seconds behind, you don't see it. With a game it's obviously different. So being able to decode 1080p movies is not necessarily a good indicator that it will be able to do real time decoding very well.

    I wonder if Digital Foundry could try a few tests with very low-end machines? They would be useful

    Agreed. Streaming to a low end machine is pretty much the whole point; as someone mentioned before if the client is a powerful machine then you would just be playing games directly on that.

    Also more importantly, DF can let us know which cheap machines people should be buying for this :)
    Reply +2
  • L0cky 15/02/2014

    Beware, the decoding capabilities of the client are as important as the encoding of the server and the quality of the network. It's also the only part of the chain that wasn't properly tested in this article.

    "Hey, it works with a Macbook Air, it should work with pretty much anything" is an assumption and isn't really true.

    I tested with an Acer Revo R3700 and a Vaio laptop (2011). The Revo worked mostly ok at 720p (thanks to the hardware decoder in the Nvidia ION gpu), but was on and off at 1080p. The laptop (Core i3 and Intel HD) was abysmal.

    In both cases, the stats showed that everything was great, except the decoding, which was the bottleneck.

    However, the article is correct in suggesting that modern (and even cheap) computers should have decent hardware decoding built in, just be sure to check.

    Also a side note about powerline: Network quality varies drastically from home to home; you might find powerline works great for you. It gives me 13ms with a rock solid connection (not a single dropped frame in a few hours of testing); so don't be afraid to try it out if you have it.
    Reply +4
  • Titanfall preview: You say you want a revolution?

  • L0cky 12/02/2014

    @kassmageant It is nice to see an engine last that long. UE3 is also still being used. Reply -1
  • L0cky 12/02/2014

    Never understood the hype for this, it looks like UT 2004 with wall running instead of dodging. Reply +15
  • Eve: Valkyrie is an exclusive Oculus Rift launch title

  • L0cky 05/02/2014

    By "exclusively available" it will only be bundled with Oculus; or it will only display on Oculus? Or what? Reply +11
  • Why John Carmack quit id Software

  • L0cky 05/02/2014

    Carmack has offered to speak at Quakecon, he's waiting for a reply. Reply +20
  • Just Cause 2 multiplayer gets a world building mod

  • L0cky 04/02/2014

    @Pulsar_t Isn't that the point of the lua scripting in this? Reply +2
  • Savour the Wii U and Vita - they're our new Dreamcasts

  • L0cky 01/02/2014

    The Vita is confounding. It seems like it should be a lot more popular than it actually is. Reply +122
  • Yoshi's New Island gets 3DS release date

  • L0cky 23/01/2014

    @tankboi By 'smoother line' I guess you mean antialiasing. The 3DS looks better because it has a far greater colour range. The SNES was limited to 15bit colour, so there wasn't enough colours to blend.

    I'm not disagreeing with your personal tastes for the art style, it just doesn't have anything to do with screen resolution.
    Reply +3
  • L0cky 23/01/2014

    @tankboi Considering the 3ds screen is about 35% lower res than the standard def TV's that the original games were played on, I'm not sure what good "super high res 2D" would do. Reply +1
  • Watch Oculus Rift let people virtually swap bodies, genders

  • L0cky 23/01/2014

    @fizzyfish yeh, essentially a robotic avatar with a moving head.

    One on Mars would be great, though a tad expensive :p
    Reply +1