ShiftyGeezer Comments

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  • There are official Thomas Was Alone action figures now

  • ShiftyGeezer 01/07/2015

    @benfresh76 : For some people, these will be worth 20. The subtle, wry humour and self-effacing mockery of merchandising will add value well beyond the pennies-worth of cheap plastic geometry of their material make up.

    For most though, I reckon 20 will be seen as one or more good games with many hours play time, or a trip out, or a reasonable meal, or 20 of carefully created art, or a decent, functional doo-dad like an LED torch and with money to spare.
    Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 01/07/2015

    @MrTomFTW : Looking at the price of other merchandise on the site, I'm not sure it is a joke. Typical figure costs are upwards of 80. A 4" plastic, single colour mole is on sale for 20.

    And given 3/4 of the blocks have sold already, it looks like this piece of 'art' was a nice little money earner for Ms. Dyer.
    Reply 0
  • The problem of farming, and the rise of video game gardens

  • ShiftyGeezer 28/06/2015

    @Kasjer : Why should developing the skills to hit a ball be any more rewarding or valuable than doing the work needed to acquire a powerful virtual item? To the person farming, the effort put in has the reward of the payout, just as for the interested tennis player, the reward of the exercise is in the improvement.

    It's wrong to think people should only enjoy games when their skills are being challenged. Heck, the very suggestion of this article is to play a game were you don't do anything at all - some people will still find that entertaining/rewarding (the author). There is room for challenging skill games, and room for laid-back 'grind' games, and room for artsy 'experiences' with little game to them at all.
    Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 28/06/2015

    @MattEvansC3 : I agree regards MMORPGS. For that reason, I don't play them! Same with FFX's higher level gear. I didn't bother with what I considered ludicrous demands on my time. I wouldn't argue that everyone who does play them is wrong to though.

    As for 'technological progress', there's a lot that can be done regards game design, but you add complexity and cost and bugs. That's of value in an epic RPG, but hardly worth it in a casual time killer like Farmville.

    Or perhaps, the original premise should be less generalised. Not every game needs to have a sophisticated living economy and there's nothing wrong with games that have a 'farming' element for those who like it. The tone should rather be, "we'd like some more options for more interesting game progression mechanics," than, "farming sucks in every guise; end it!"
    Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 28/06/2015

    If all of my save-the-planet waffle strikes you as dubious, I hope you'll concede at least that games which are too beholden to earning and progression tend to be immensely boring.
    I think your argument and view is incorrect - at best, a very personal, subjective take (perhaps from a long-time, jaded gamer?).

    Games with 'farming' aren't really any different from sports. In tennis, you hit the ball repeatedly to try to beat your opponent, game after game, and incrementally improve. You suggest that this is a dead-end and tennis players should instead go for walks in the woods to admire the scenery, or lounge in the garden doing nothing. For some people, passive experiences are rewarding, but for others, I dare say the majority, they want to be active (physically or intellectually). How many people would choose to sit watching a static painting rather than watching TV?

    I'll also argue that people don't need a break from 'the grind', but that 'the grind' provides a valuable break from the real world daily grind. It's low pressure, often fairly high reward, stimulating yet relaxing at the same time. After a hectic day and with a need to unwind, sitting at a glorified screensaver, even if interactive, can be just plain boring. Whereas a simple task-driven change of scenery with a little thought exercise involved can be an active relaxation.

    It's no lie that companies have cynically exploited human psychology to extract money, but I say there's good reason why human psychology was that way inclined in the first place. Farmville didn't program people with completely new behaviours, but exploited things people wanted to do (at least away from the gifting and social pressure aspect). And that same interest in progressing characters and gaining loot is something people clearly enjoy, unless one believes every Destiny player and Diablo 3 grinder is a victim of an enforced psychological addiction in need of help and rehabilitation.
    Reply +7
  • Apple is removing games with the Confederate flag from the App Store

  • ShiftyGeezer 26/06/2015

    @riceNpea : I'm not specifically belittling you. The Roll-eyes was at whoever negged. The reason it should, I'd have thought, been apparent it was a joke is because the assertion I made is clearly nonsense! Of course removing a symbol isn't going to change the minds of those who followed it. I was sarcastically agreeing with you, illustrating, by explicitly voicing it, the absurdity of the notion of symbolic censorship having any positive affect on the challenge to a way of thinking. Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 26/06/2015

    @riceNpea : You took my comment as serious?! Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 26/06/2015

    @Chris_N : If MS were to refuse access to other online stores other than their own tomorrow, all the various competition and trade bodies would move against them. Heck, MS weren't even allowed to include their own browser in their own OS! Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 26/06/2015

    @riceNpea :
    As far as I'm concerned all this focus on the flag is because it's an easy target
    But surely if you take a movement's symbol away, it'll collapse instantaneously and its followers will suddenly believe in something else?

    Edit: Sarcasm, people. :rolleyes:
    Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 25/06/2015

    Context counts for squat? Swatiska's existed long before Nazi Germany, yet now that's all anyone associates them with, to the degree that authentic Indian art can conceptually cause a non-family rating in an Android app.

    What's needed is education, not censorship.

    Update: Context does count! Woot!
    Reply +87
  • AMD Radeon R9 Fury X review

  • ShiftyGeezer 25/06/2015

    @TOOTR : No. Reply +2
  • Destiny: The Taken King promotional Red Bull quest and bonus XP detailed

  • ShiftyGeezer 24/06/2015

    @Vorlan :
    Really hope thats only a fake or I would lose the last respect I had in them.
    Due to the lousy grammar? I'm right there with you!
    Reply -1
  • Planet Coaster launches pre-order campaign

  • ShiftyGeezer 23/06/2015

    @melnificent : You may be legally entitled to try to secure those IPs in those sectors, but it's still scalping (or whatever the word is). You saw they'd want to make money selling merchandise for their IP and decided to try and secure it, without a legitimate reason. It's like the internet boom where individuals bought up domain names and sold them for exorbitant amounts to big corporations. That's world's apart from Apple where two business with a running concern clashed. It's also damned underhanded and you'd be frickin' furious if someone did to that you and your IP. Imagine you create a game, it's popular, you want to sell merchandise, only someone secured the rights to use your IP on that merchandise solely to make money from your work.

    The IPO would be completely right to refuse you, and I can see why Frontier Developments would seek more aggressive action against you to stop you trying to secure future IPs from them. As such, your personal story can't be taken as indicative of how FD are treating everyone.
    Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 23/06/2015

    @SwissTony1994 :
    No .. That screams preorder incentive .. Otherwise why didn't they just use Kickstarter?
    Kickstarter takes a cut.
    Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 23/06/2015

    @melnificent : Am I right in thinking you've trademarked "Elite: Dangerous" for books and tops, with a view to securing rights to the game's merchandise? What other reason is there to trademark Elite: Dangerous for books and clothing? You don't happen to have your own, completely unrelated Elite: Dangerous IP, do you? Reply +4
  • ShiftyGeezer 23/06/2015

    @melnificent : You know, I've heard that elsewhere, that Frontier Developments are actually in a bad way. Something about legal issues no-one's talking about openly. If true, isn't there a risk that these crowd-funding investments will be swallowed in a corporate collapse? If true, wouldn't Braben have a legal obligation to make investors aware of corporate position?

    Crowd funding has all the risk of proper investments but apparently none of the protections.
    Reply -3
  • Destiny: The Taken King director defends 40 expansion price tag

  • ShiftyGeezer 22/06/2015

    Three emotes are worth 40 to this guy? He really thinks if we saw them in a video, we'd pony up 40 then and there to get them? Sorry, 80! For the collectors edition with the emotes. Reply +112
  • AMD's Radeon Fury X: the new leader in graphics tech?

  • ShiftyGeezer 18/06/2015

    How long before nVidia has a stacked memory product? Pascal is scheduled for 2016. They seem to have the better core architecture. Will HBM be enough for AMD for another year or so, or will nVidia close that gap sooner than this? Reply +2
  • Microsoft introduces new modular Xbox Elite wireless controller

  • ShiftyGeezer 15/06/2015

    Microsoft has announced a new, high end controller for Xbox One and Windows 10 that introduces a modular approach to its existing pad.
    I imagined significant parts being swapped out/repositioned (place sticks/pads where you want them), not just sticking different stick covers on top. :(
    Reply +2
  • Animal Crossing and Mario Maker Amiibo spotted

  • ShiftyGeezer 14/06/2015

    @MatMan562 :
    I really, really want that pixelated Mario one!
    Technically it's 'voxelated'(or voxelised).
    Reply +1
  • Mariah Carey signs seven-figure deal to promote free-to-play Game of War app

  • ShiftyGeezer 12/06/2015

    @bad09 : although I understand and agree with the sentiments, advertising firms have decades of experience and research that proves celebrity endorsements work for certain demographics at least. I believe it's to do with subconscious associations. For the same reason, they only have beautiful models demonstrating their products rather than a median representative of the human populace, and the environment is happy and colourful and interior-designed as needed (unless targeting a specific audience that doesn't respond to that).

    You can't judge a book by its cover, but something has to get you to choose one book over the many thousands of others you could choose instead, and the cover is all you have to work with then.
    Reply +4
  • Video: Games that do mental health right

  • ShiftyGeezer 10/06/2015

    There's no one specific cause and no one specific solution. Some people's depression is causal from situation. For others it's a problem with their brain chemistry. The important thing is finally humanity recognising it's A Thing like any other natural affliction, treating those affected as victims rather than contagious wierdos to be avoided/locked up, giving them whatever support is necessary for that individual, and finally treating everyone with respect and positivity to help keep causal depression out of the picture (prevention is better than cure). Reply +12
  • 20 years on, Worms remains a comedy classic

  • ShiftyGeezer 07/06/2015

    Level editing was one of the things that made the original Worms brilliant. We created tunnelling levels and all sorts, far more varied than the random terrain generator. Really mixed up the gameplay. Reply +2
  • Looks like Disney is actually trying with the new Star Wars: Uprising mobile game

  • ShiftyGeezer 05/06/2015

    @Binba442 : Mobile F2P done right. What if it doesn't make any money for the devs?

    I've no idea where the F2P model is right, but what's described here is being able to play the game fully without paying a dime, and I'm not sure that's right. I suppose if people optionally pay enough, it'll be a fair system.
    Reply +3
  • Gears of War developer rebrands itself The Coalition

  • ShiftyGeezer 03/06/2015

    Good. I'm sure Gears will be a lot better now than if you made the game under some other company name. I've always found it's the corporate branding that makes or breaks a game for me. :| Reply +8
  • Windows 10 launches in July

  • ShiftyGeezer 01/06/2015

    @bad09 : It doesn't bother me. Just some friendly advice that one can benefit from giving people second chances. Actually, giving people second chances is a Good Thing, otherwise you're saying everyone should be perfect and never make mistakes and you'll hold their mistakes against them forever. Pretty harsh.

    The fact that I got burned with Sony Connect going down and losing some music didn't see my swear off ever buying from a Sony run store again, and I've enjoyed games and films as a result. If I followed your view, I'd have no consoles at all. I wouldn't buy anything MS because of the misery of their old Windows and the pain it caused me, and I wouldn't buy Sony because they messed me about before too. In fact who do you game with? Not MS as you don't buy from them (or do you only buy discs?) and seeing as Sony messed everyone about with their security fiasco, shouldn't they be snubbed as well?
    Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 01/06/2015

    @JohnnyReb76 : step 1 - wait for people like you to evaluate Win 10
    step 2 - upgrade if I get the all clear ;)
    Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 01/06/2015

    @bad09 : What if in a year's time, it's apparent that the Windows 10 store is solid, has great value and operates seamlessly across devices? What if everyone else is raving about how awesome the Win 10 Store is and how well MS turned it around (similar to Sony's turning around attitudes from PS3 to PS4)?

    Is the choice to avoid a retailer who used to be bad but is now good not silly? That'd be no different to sticking with a bad company on account of a good experience in previous years.

    I don't see any sense in not operating in the present. Things can change for better or worse, and it's silly (IMO) to treat things for what they were rather than what they are.
    Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 01/06/2015

    @bad09 :
    Mind you I'm not someone who will ever buy from a MS store (never again after buying Gears of War from GFWL marketplace) and will never own a windows tablet or phone so not really looking at it that way
    That's kinda silly. Pretty much every store/company has had a bout of crap consumer service and issues. If we boycotted all of them, we'd have nowhere to shop and they'd never learn and improve and get things right later.

    You should instead watch what happens when others use the Windows Store. If it turns out a decent service, copying Google Play for example, then there'd be nothing wrong with using it. But it'd be folly to avoid one service because a different service years earlier under a different management was no good.
    Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 01/06/2015

    @Renato84 : No. Look at the video closely. 'Frozen Free Fall' features under the 'Recently Added' category. It's an app, not an advert. Reply +6
  • ShiftyGeezer 01/06/2015

    @bad09 : They're doing it for free to compete with the other two big OSes. At the moment my mobile devices are Android. If I didn't get Win10 for free, I'd stick with Win7. But getting Win10 for free, I know that my Windows content will run on a Windows tablet, and now I'm very interested in replacing my Galaxy Note with a pen enabled Windows tablet instead.

    Giving Win 10 for free is MS catapulting Windows to significance on other devices, addressing the key problems with Windows RT and Windows Mobile being basically pointless for consumers. It's a very smart business move. The cost to consumers will be nothing more than usual - it's just MS will be directing more consumer spending towards them instead of Google and Apple. That's the idea anyway - nothing underhanded about it. There won't be a yearly maintenance fee charged or anything, just as there isn't with Apple or Google.
    Reply +9
  • ShiftyGeezer 01/06/2015

    @tiagoalmeida1 : It doesn't play XB1 games. It's intended that XB1 can play Win 10 content, so buy a Win 10 minigame and play it on phone and desktop and console. PC will not be getting XB1 specific software capability. Reply +3
  • ShiftyGeezer 01/06/2015

    @jamyskis1981 :
    Indeed. Question is: to what end?
    To sell content on the Windows store, same as Apple does with their App store and making a killing in the process. And then to encourage people to buy a Windows 10 phone to use all that content, and a Windows 10 tablet, to run all their apps, and then to continue to sell content on these devices too.

    MS will be a lot better off giving their OS away for free and getting 30% of every piece of PC software ever sold (or whatever portion of the market they command) then selling a 100 once every five years to new OS upgraders.
    Reply +25
  • We need to talk about emulation

  • ShiftyGeezer 31/05/2015

    @Murton :
    Again EG only looks at the aide of the argument it wants to.
    That's generally true of any editorial article. How many journals/newspapers have you seen where a full, unbiased consideration is given to all the info instead of a significantly weighted-in-favour-of-the-author's-views script trying to sway people's opinions?

    The article is a launch point for discussion, and not a thesis on the rights and wrongs of free emulation and a list of recommended solutions.
    Reply +4
  • ShiftyGeezer 31/05/2015

    @Dizzy : Indeed. Copyright extends to 70+ years. Patents, which you have to pay significant money to secure each year only extend to 25 years or somesuch.

    I'm not against securing the rights and payments for artists. What if an artist makes a film/music/game and it's unpopular at launch and they struggle to make a living, but then 40 years later it becomes popular? Shouldn't the artist get their fair remuneration?

    The problem is that standards are arbitrary, and different endeavours get different protection despite all being an investment by the creator.

    I have no idea what the solution is though, and doubt there ever will be one.
    Reply +3
  • Sophie Sampson on: Tutorial theatrics

  • ShiftyGeezer 30/05/2015

    @bad09 : Yep, but the tutorial has to apply to people who have never played a game before either. I've played online shooters that made significant assumptions about their audience and what they knew, and as an online shooter noob, the learning curve was painful. The solution is then multiple tutorials to choose your level, which is just work for the devs!

    If one tutorial can cover everyone, it's not worth the investment to tailor it to different levels of gamer. Especially when it ties in story content as per this article. BL2's tutorial level is tedious for experienced gamers, but sets the scene.

    I think an on/off switch is the best we can hope for.
    Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 30/05/2015

    @bad09 : By and large people don't read. And if left to experiment they expect the game to work the way they think it should rather than enter looking to learn how to work with the game.

    I wrote a simple snakes game on Android, and three different people had three different expectations on how to play it and could not adapt. In that case I implemented a system that intuitively adapted to their expectations and allowed them to play either tapping a direction to move or swiping or drawing a path to follow.

    Interactive tutorials are the only way to break the majority into your game. Having them optional makes sense, especially on repeat play throughs (eg. Borderlands 2's slow intro), but putting the instructions in a manual would mean alienating most of your post-MTV generation audience. Experienced gamers and especially those who grew up with hefty manuals playing computer games are very much in the minority. Accepting the pandering to the masses is perhaps something necessary of old-school gamers as it keeps the money coming in and the hobby alive.
    Reply +9
  • PlayStation digital refund policy in spotlight on BBC's Watchdog tonight

  • ShiftyGeezer 29/05/2015

    I've noticed an unpleasant change in Android that's similar. You get a 2 hour window for a refund to allow try before you buy, but no refunds on IAPs. And now companies are locking the software behind an IAP. Had this with Autodesk Sketchbook. Bought the app and used it, fine. They introduce a new version which hides the major features behind a paywall. I pay to unlock and get very little different to the old version. No option for a refund.

    Point being, everyone's scummy when it comes to trying to take customers money!
    Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 28/05/2015

    We would like to thank BBC Watchdog for bringing these cases to our attention.
    Because the emails and phone calls from those affected didn't?!
    Reply +20
  • FIFA 16 features female national teams for first time

  • ShiftyGeezer 28/05/2015

    @Cobalt_Jackal :
    You don't tell that to your daughters do you?. Or have you?...if so how did they react?.
    If they're not in goal, they might well agree! ;)
    Reply 0
  • ShiftyGeezer 28/05/2015

    The feature needed was in the PS1 FIFA, where you could create a school team playing jumpers-for-goalposts and take them to win the Premiereship. Every FIFA playing kid I've mentioned this to thinks its the best idea ever in a football game (and they're right!).

    As for female players, I'm very curious how the stats will compare to the men.
    Reply +1
  • Project Cars Wii U stalled, may be delayed until NX

  • ShiftyGeezer 27/05/2015

    @L_A_G : The article says funding closed before the Wii U idea was floated, when pCARS was just a PC game. Ergo no-one invested in SMS for a Wii U version. Subsequent voting lead to other platforms receiving ports which the devs tried to support. Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 26/05/2015

    @Wonkers : You can't check the platform out before hand. All the details are behind NDAs and unknown to you until you sign up and buy a devkit. Then you learn all the idiosyncrasies of the hardware and unexpected bottlenecks and peculiarities of the system and APIs. Reading that there's three cores would lead one to believe the system is capable of multithreading. Actually using the machine shows this isn't really so, and then you're faced with reworking your engine for however long until you either have a breakthrough with some other solution or find it's not really possible as you first believed.

    Experience of development makes one aware of this. You can't really get that without experience, unlike views on football or politics which are very straight-forward. Listening to developers describe their challenges over the years would help, but it's easier to just bitch and call them idiots.
    Reply +6
  • ShiftyGeezer 26/05/2015

    @Needs_More_Tang : Physics is lots of maths when you try to do deep simulation. It's easy to exceed the mathematical powers of any processor with simulations. Heck, all computing is maths including graphics. The only reason we don't have photorealism is because the computers aren't fast enough. They aren't fast enough for smart AI either. Extracting maths performance can also require things like multithreading which, if your CPU is pants at, limits how much of its maths potential it can reach. Reply +5
  • ShiftyGeezer 26/05/2015

    @Wonkers : Confident doesn't mean 'promise'. They were confident but mistaken.

    As for criticism, yes one can complain at the disappointment. However, don't make accusations of culpability without the facts. A politician may not keep their election promises, but the reasons why may have been outside of their control and no-one else could have done it any differently. SMS have been working on pCARS for 3 years. They've been working on the Wii U version for two at least. That they can't do it means they've tried harder than any other devs who wouldn't give Wii U any consideration in the first place. The hardware has let them down. That's mostly Nintendo's fault for failing to provide a well-designed piece of hardware that enables developers.
    Reply +3
  • ShiftyGeezer 26/05/2015

    @Needs_More_Tang : "Dozens and dozens of these little bits of math." You really are clueless. Reply +4
  • ShiftyGeezer 26/05/2015

    @smelly : Even then you can't blame the industry for the economics of game development. The days of custom engines for everything written by one or two genius coders are well and truly over because the systems are too complex. Some devs can afford to build their engines from the ground up (naughty Dog), but the business sense for many defers those costs to a 3rd party that every other developer is also investing in. Epic gets many millions from devs to invest in their engine, which is way more than any of the individual devs using their engine could invest in creating their own. Of course it won't be optimal for some uses, but that's just the way things have gone. Reply +5
  • ShiftyGeezer 26/05/2015

    @smelly : You're negged because you are ill informed. It's a proprietary in-house engine.

    http://www.slightlymadstudios.com/tech.html

    A poignant quote:
    The Madness Engine has been written from day one with the multi-core/processor architecture in mind, the low level support layers are designed for multi-threaded use for performance and stability. Sub-modules are designed to execute asynchronously across multiple cores with bridges to keep everything in sync.
    Then we learn that Wii U isn't good at multithreading (http://nintendoenthusiast.com/news/project-cars-wii-u-technical-information-revealed/). Then people blame the devs for targeting every other modern architecture that implements multithreading and not Nintendo for releasing gimp'd, outdated hardware.
    Reply +9
  • ShiftyGeezer 26/05/2015

    @Wonkers : I don't think it was promised. Nothing is truly promised with a product announcement because forces beyond ones control may limit it. T&Cs often include caveats that products are subject to change etc. for that very reason. If someone doesn't say, "I promise," it's not a promise.

    The reason to announce intentions is to get feedback and morale support. When you have a fanbase wanting what you're working on, that's a great motivator. The alternative is to never announce anything and live in a world with no expectations and nothing to look forwards to - only what's here and now. And devs working away in demoralising isolation, cut off from the audience they are trying to appeal to.

    The only thing that needs to change is some people's expectations. Don't read announcements as promises but as intentions. Look forwards to anything in life with the same tempered optimism - "it'll be great when, but it might not happen and then never mind, it's not the end of the the world."

    Other than that, disappointment is part of life.
    Reply +1
  • ShiftyGeezer 26/05/2015

    @Wonkers : Have you ever done any development of any sort? It's bloody difficult and full of unpredictable aspects. On paper, specs can often be quite different from reality and until they got their hands on Wii U dev kits and learnt the ins and outs, they weren't in any position to really know what was possible.

    A lot of armchair software engineers without any experience making claims the dev who's actually tried to make this game happen is no good at their job. You'd think after all the games that get downgrades etc. (Kami's Unicorns), gamers would have realised that software development is hard and getting harder with increased system complexity and a financial need for cross-platform engines, and those sorts of hopes/expectations announced early on can't be relied on at all.
    Reply +1