ctankep Comments

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  • I never want to play Shenmue 3, Half-Life 3 or The Last Guardian

  • ctankep 14/04/2014

    "Shenmue 3" in VR.
    How now, brown cow?
    Reply 0
  • There's a new indie game documentary

  • ctankep 18/03/2014

    So Dose1 worked on "Samurai Gun".?
    Tumblr says he helped to do th' soundtrack.
    Reply 0
  • The future of Rare

  • ctankep 18/03/2014



    Crash 51 : Ultimate, Rare Interview
    http://www.crashonline.org.uk/51/ultimate.htm
    Reply 0
  • Face-Off: Dark Souls 2

  • ctankep 14/03/2014

    Well after all th' huff & puff --
    So glad I didn't heed th' pedants on here. After much vexing an' vacillation finally made th' plunge on th' X360 version an' am loving th' extra 10 -14 frames over "Dark Souls" on PS3. Th' extra smoothness in animation [ 40 FPS ] conveys a significantly more responsive game feel an' this cannot be emphasised enough. Just gives that extra fluidity to combat ., nimbleness in movement an' controller response that th' game deserves.

    As for image quality some tearing is present but it wasn't really noticable playing on a 24" monitor. It's all pretty unobstrusive an' disappears in th' midst o' clanging steel. Truth be told th' alpha aliasing is more noticable than screen tearing [ see: Forest o' Fallen Giants ] which gets masked by background texture noise. That's not to say th' game looks bad: on th' contrary there's a consistency here in FROM's art direction an' scenes construction along with some new lighting effects that draw you in.

    All in all th' game is a pleasant surprise after lacklustre previews leading up to release. Being able to install to HD is also a bonus minimising load times to around 6 -seconds between bonfires. Still only 4 -hours in though glad to see th' return o' an old friend as well as some new approaches to level design. First time through playing th' "Explorer" class with high adaptability [ going to DEX scale ] though need to find some new weapons. So far so -good.!
    Reply +1
  • Frictional releases new trailer, details about Soma

  • ctankep 06/03/2014

    @Vixremento

    Stealth games ., horror movies an' theme park rides are all about this "moving along a linear path" through pre -determined beats. I think maybe it was Harvey Smith or somebody else who said stealth games were difficult to make precisely because most o' th' game is spent hiding ., standing still an' non -interaction.

    So what you have left are th' hackney _d means o' conveying mood or distress usually through music [ cue: ominous string section ] or wresting control ., viewpoint away from th' player. A lot o' this about tropes ., their recognition an' th' kinds o' response they evoke. Push dem buttons .!
    Reply 0
  • ctankep 06/03/2014

    Soma -loving had me a blast .,
    Soma -loving happen _d so fast .,

    I met an' AI crazy for -me .,
    Got th' gamma as dark as can -be .,

    Soma -days drifting away .,
    To uh -oh those soma -nights .,

    Well -a well -a well -a huh .,
    Tell me more -tell me more .,
    Like does it support VR?
    Reply +1
  • Asymmetrical competitive roguelike Crawl looks bloody, brilliant

  • ctankep 06/03/2014

    Awesome -sauce. Reply 0
  • Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes is the best, most expensive demo ever made

  • ctankep 06/03/2014

    Reply -1
  • Zeno Clash dev reveals intriguing new game Abyss Odyssey

  • ctankep 06/03/2014

    Single player "Nidhogg"? Reply 0
  • Uncharted creative director Amy Hennig leaves Naughty Dog

  • ctankep 06/03/2014

    @Sensuret

    This is good news. Neil and Bruce are at the top of their game. The reason why U2 and TLoU was great is because of them. They were even involved in U1.
    No .,

    Neil Druckmann was lead designer on "Enslaved" which was a turgid game beyond th' "Journey to th' West" allegories. His modus operandi seems to be horrible reductionist gameplay ., repeated ad nauseum with a great story told in cut scenes. Th' "Uncharted" gameplay was never really innovative but rather executed with aplomb an' confidence that won th' day. Et tu Brutus?


    -- Chuan
    Reply -2
  • Thief developer Eidos Montreal lays off 27 staff

  • ctankep 06/03/2014

    Th' broom o' th' system. Reply 0
  • Thief review

  • ctankep 25/02/2014

    @Darren

    I noticed a lot of immersion-breaking loading screens when I watched a walkthrough of the first hour of the PS4 game on YouTube, exactly the same as the 360 version which is disappointing when you consider than the PS4 has 16X more memory than the last-gen systems. At one point, there were two 15-20 second loading screens within 30 seconds of each other!

    It's because they're using UE3 an' have no means to stream in new geometry an' textures that comprise th' hub world. "Deus Ex : Invisible War" had this exact same flaw almost 10 -years ago which made it so annoying. It felt more like playing inside a series o' connect _d rooms rather than open space.

    Eidos Montreal slavishly follow _d th' template here ., being careful to never colour outside th' lines. When they could have made everybody's dream "Thief" game: a seamless open world that has it's own characters | routines | factions that you interact with through subterfuge. Instead o' playing virtual cleaning lady why not have missions where you need to place items an' frame other people? Where overheard information can actually be used for multiple outcomes.

    Insert rant about Looking Glass here. Did th' developers not realise how poor an' immersion -breaking 20 to 30 second load times would be when traversing th' city map? Th' original "Thief" an' it's game engine was develop _d to support such an experience an' draw players deeper into it's murky depths. Th' player's experience o' th' game needs to come first an' th' technology should support that instead o' burying it methinks.

    -

    Part o' th' problem with stealth games is th' inability for a camera on a stick with it's limited FOV to represent being in a place: with accurate positional sound ., peripheral vision an' strong sense o' spatial awareness. Even smell might be an important sense -making tool in such settings. So you get this clunky compromise o' gameplay where th' guards have really well defined vision cones an' detection volumes that don't do a good job o' representing th' inherent fuzziness o' hide & seek. Rather th' design o' these systems as binary [ seen & unseen ] states is too simplistic to render th' experience as anything but a game.

    When if you think about it most o' th' drama an' tension is exactly this conflict between knowing an' not knowing. It also might be asymmetric in that th' guards have spotted Garrett an' are a bit more deliberate in preparing a trap or ambush ., instead o' th' rote "oh is someone there" an' being player magnets. That there's a need to communicate this as a distinct game "state" underlines th' fact that you need a different way to model stealth beyond NES "Metal Gear" or "Beyond Castle Wolfenstein" back in th' day.





    Beneath th' simplistic 8 -bit graphics from 1984 is a stealth game which has yet to be bettered in terms o' sophistication an' game design. For example not only could you drag th' dead bodies around to hide them from other guards ., you could also steal their uniforms which then required knowing th' correct pass [ obtained from holding -up other guards ] or bribing them with marks. It was th' first game to introduce a lock picking system an' ingeniously this was done on th' numeric keypad based on sound alone [ listening to th' tumblers fall into place ].

    Silas Warner even invent _d a way to frequency modulate th' Apple 2 beep so that they could have german voices an' digitised gunshots in an age where computers didn't have audio playback. But th' most important design idea was th' concept o' simulating guards as a network rather than just discrete instances. Upon alerting one they'd try an' run towards a buzzer to sound th' alarm ., which you could then attempt to disable if you had found th' tools on that level.

    Kojima would go on to shamelessly rip -off every innovation from "Beyond Castle Wolfenstein" when "Metal Gear 1" released 3 -years later. So it's sad to see th' game design in these kinds o' games adding nothing new an' in ways regressing towards "Assassin's Creed" levels o' moronic interaction design. From what's been shown o' "Ground Zeros" it seems pretty much creatively bankrupt as well.

    To make an improvement might require something like th' Rift which allows a high degree o' environmental awareness an' scale. It's a shame they didn't wait for VR to reboot "Thief" with these considerations in mind. Imagine positional tracking an' being able to peer around corners or push your head up through an opening to get a glimpse o' what lies ahead. Also looking down into your body to curl -up an' hide behind some cover with only binaural audio cues as to guards passing by. Either way you need to create this tension rather than over simplifying it into gaming tropes.


    -- Chuan
    Reply +1
  • Shinji Mikami started developing a game about a gunslinging cockroach

  • ctankep 24/02/2014

    Godhand was boss. Reply 0
  • Wurm Online dev offering €10K reward for info on DDOS attack

  • ctankep 20/02/2014

    Reply 0
  • Xbox developing TV series based on rapper Nas

  • ctankep 13/02/2014

    Whether nadir or Nasir ., a stone cold classic --

    Reply +4
  • Flappy Bird clones flood App Store, now with in-app purchases

  • ctankep 11/02/2014

    Reply 0
  • Flappy Bird dev is removing popular app for some reason

  • ctankep 10/02/2014

    @Widge

    So why is it wrong that people like a game whose main mechanic is a screen tap? Quite unbelievable that so many find it and its creator so offensive in unison across this thread.

    Whether by accident or intent th' flapping mechanic is incredibly well finessed an' th' devil is in th' detail. Similar to "Tiny Wings" it uses a lot o' sinusoidal ., or arc -like paths [ 2D gravity ] which are satisfying for our brains to resolve spatially. See: "Super Mario Bros" or "Angry Birds" for correlation.

    Where it differs is introducing a sense o' rhythm that permeates th' game. Tapping quickly [ is easy ] an' causes th' bird to fly -up uncontrollably while a pause results in a quick dive. During play you switch between these three modes o' tapping to get to th' right height ., then being able to hit that median tempo to level out through gates. Recovering from a dive at th' last most precise moment is a pretty cool feeling as well.

    -

    Some o' th' criticism o' "Flappy Bird" especially from within th' games industry [ see: NeoGAF ] has been quite disappointing an' just shows how far off point mainstream game design is with regard to thinking about player interactions | cognition | motivation. We need to be more creative from th' bottom up rather than just picking an' filling templates. Due to th' interactive ., time -based nature o' games something as simple as flapping can be quite meaty in it's implementation.





    It's a return to th' intrinsic joy o' th' arcades ., skill testers ., high scores an' a focus on mental processing w/ hand -eye coordination. Perhaps akin to th' casual crowd buying into th' 80s / 90s experience o' arcade gaming most o' us had in our childhood.

    Whereas most commercial -oriented games are based around extrinsic rewards ., restrictions or arbitrary gating that has little to do with th' actual moment to moment interaction. Perfect case being "Assassin's Creed" where all activities are made trivial in service o' rewarding players with trinkets in return.


    -- Chuan
    Reply 0
  • ctankep 10/02/2014

    @Some_Goats

    He's been getting complaints from angry birds.
    Ha -ha ., pun o' th' thread.
    Shame about th' literal -bots.
    Reply 0
  • Gone Home has sold 250K copies

  • ctankep 10/02/2014

    Reply +1
  • Is this Dark Souls?

  • ctankep 10/02/2014

    @nickbonkersperry

    People need to STOP having GOD Complexes with some people. There are a LOT more people involved than just that one person.

    Props to From | Sony Japan teams --
    However there simply is no "Demon's Souls" without Miyazaki. Just as there is no "Ninja Gaiden" without Itagaki or "Katamari" sans Takahashi. Without flame there is no fire ., rather th' embers an' outlines burned in from th' past.

    All entertainment as th' creation o' novel experience ., th' rest being re -vision or sequel. I love what Miyazaki achieved in "Demon's Souls" because he design _d th' game out o' care & respect for players. In contrast to th' likes o' Ubisoft an' their pigeon peckings.

    It's th' ungodly amount o' detail an' courage to try new ideas combined with th' confidence to go deep in terms o' systems. All hand craft _d by one slightly overweight Japanese guy ., sat behind a cubicle in Tokyo. Maybe not god but a buddha no less. Anticipating word on From's PS4 project once this cash cow gets kick _d out th' door.
    Reply -1
  • ctankep 06/02/2014

    Bring me th' head o' Hidetaka Miyazaki. Reply 0
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts' Onslaught DLC dated for PlayStation, PC

  • ctankep 06/02/2014

    So wonder if they'll ever get around to fixing th' frame stutter on PS4? Otherwise, having to wait another whole month is annoying an' makes me hate Microsoft even more than usual. I'd been checking almost daily last week to see when th' new maps would pop up. Reply 0
  • Why John Carmack quit id Software

  • ctankep 06/02/2014

    @zzkj

    And what of the rabid fanboys who think this is Jesus On A Stick amplified through a rainbow? Goes both ways. I'm genuinely interested to see if they ever solve the motion sickness problem. 'Should' and 'will' are not 'have'.
    They already have by overdriving OLED refresh to get low persistence display updates [ 3ms ]. In doing so you eliminate much o' th' blurring & judder from head movements that are problematic. This in contrast to Rift DK1 which is now an almost 2 -year old spec an' best they could build given available technology an' price envelope for Kickstarter. Intend _d as a development tool it works well in that sense.

    Their business model has changed too from having to source cheap mass produced Nexus 7" screens to being able to create a custom display to their specification. What we are seeing now with [ Crystal Cove ] are th' fruits o' Valve | Oculus Rift jolly co -operation to integrate Abrash's experimental work an' requirements. Keep in mind also that [ Crystal Cove ] is just a snapshot o' internal development which has been improved upon since CES earlier this year.





    So as you can see, from using th' hardware latency tester th' base latency for [ Crystal Cove ] is 20ms -- half that o' th' current developer kit. An' since our head movements follow a continuous trajectory you can use motion prediction to further reduce viewport latency. Th' main thing for developers is to aggressively look at their render pipelines an' how that's coupled with head tracking, world simulation an' how you set up your frame buffer.

    It would not surprise me that th' Rift CK1 [ consumer model ] next year features a low persistent 1440P LG display with global full frame refresh capability. Then as long as your content can run at 90 -120Hz you basically have th' equivalent o' Valve VR at home. Th' difficult problems have been solved on th' hardware side, an' what's required now is an overhaul o' single threaded game engines to operate in highly parallelised multi -core platforms prioritising display.

    It's what Carmack is working on now an' you can expect some middleware to come out o' Rift as well since it will be a walk in th' park for a large manufacturer like Samsung to replicate th' consumer headset an' undercut them on' cost. Th' implications for portable, locative AR+VR are immense though a few years away, similar to th' concept o' mobile phones a few decades ago. What a great time to be harbinger o' these brave new worlds.


    -- Chuan
    Reply +1
  • Video: Let's Replay Tomb Raider 1

  • ctankep 03/02/2014

    Original design document --




    Unseen 64 : Ghostblade "Tomb Raider" piece
    http://www.unseen64.net/2008/05/08/tomb-raider-psxsaturn-beta/

    Enjoy ..!
    Reply +2
  • ctankep 03/02/2014

    @Zerobob

    Games now seem to have to be stuffed full of unnecessary combat and too many characters, with the winning formula of solo exploration and puzzle platforming feeling watered down. Even newer Tomb Raider games are guilty of this, such as Legend.

    Yes ., I loved that feeling too --
    "Tomb Raider" had extremely well thought -out level design with an almost perfect balance o' exploration an' action. Th' level design trusts that players can figure things out for themselves: even if it might take 20 -30 minutes. Game makers should be thinking about how to create these kinds o' feelings. Rather than simply expurgating th' usual shitbags o' content every 5 -minutes games like "Shadow o' th' Colossus" recognise this play o' time an' how it finds structure within other experiences.

    It's interesting to note that both Toby Gard | Fumito Ueda were both project leads with strong character animation backgrounds. You can sense th' connection here between how we empathise with a character on screen ., it's narrative context an' interaction with th' game world.
    An' despite so much o' th" Saturn | PSX GPU being spent on rendering environments both games were able to translate this lack o' brainfart NPC's or tendencies to "overload" th' environment into something more monumental ., still & resonant.

    I have th' fondest o' memories playing "Tomb Raider" on release
    [ Saturn PAL ] while coming down off acid at a friends house. We finished th'' game in 1 -sitting tag team style which was just fucking fantastic as we pushed further an' further an' had to overcome th' likes o' sleep ., daylight an' dinner. Th' level design in this first game was epic an' still stands up today [ in memory ] against all th' flow -based corridoors an' pigeon peckings that pass for environmental interaction these days. It's just a shame Toby Gard an' th' rest o' th' original "Tomb Raider" team never found footing with subsequent projects like "Galleon".





    In th' past game an' level design used to be constrain _d by RAM. However you get th' feeling after some time that th' limiting factor is not th' hardware but rather how we think about design ., th' idea o' goals an' what th' player experience should embody given th' expressive potential o' th' technology. Really want to dig out some developer interviews now to read more about th' level design | engine | an' how they went about such an ambitious project. Seems like there's some in production / E3 alpha "Tomb Raider" stuff online as well showing earlier versions o' caverns an' how they refined th' control mechanics.


    -- Chuan
    Reply -1
  • Octodad: Dadliest Catch PC, Mac and Linux release date announced

  • ctankep 17/01/2014

    Work o' genius. Reply 0
  • DICE continues to patch Battlefield 4

  • ctankep 17/01/2014

    Please fix th' sound --
    With half th' audio missing on PS4 you can't get a good bearing o' what's going on. Even worse without bullet impact sounds there's often no feedback to confirm shots on target. Hard to believe this is th' same DICE that gave us BF2.
    Reply 0
  • Broken Age: Act 1 review

  • ctankep 17/01/2014

    Broken -game. Reply -2
  • "You'll see more and more game developers" at Oculus

  • ctankep 08/01/2014

    @colicabd

    No ., release is February 2015.
    Reply 0
  • Sony announces game streaming service PlayStation Now

  • ctankep 08/01/2014

    This just seems to be a by product o' Sony compliance with th' new DLNA-RVU CVP-2 standard in th' US ., wrapped up into a marketable product. Th' end o' th' road map is VR / pure streaming applications on demand. Reply 0
  • Titanfall maximum player count is 6v6

  • ctankep 08/01/2014

    "6v6 is max player count," Respawn chief Vince Zampella tweeted last night. "Turned out to be the best balance with AI for us."
    Does not compute.
    Reply 0
  • Is 2014 the year of virtual reality?

  • ctankep 05/01/2014

    [ YES ] _ [ YES ] Reply +3
  • Bullets and Toothpicks: Inside Hong Kong's gaming scene

  • ctankep 24/12/2013

    @grayn

    Hey --

    If you have a day to spare I recommend checking out th' singular an' surreal "Window o' th' World" in Shenzhen. An experience somewhat akin to swallowing mushrooms an' finding yourself inside o' a "Super Mario 64" cart.

    See th' PRC in their pragmatic wisdom decided to cater for citizens' wanderlust by building 3/4 scale replicas o' all th' world's wonders. Housed inside a theme park o' a few square kilometres it's a uniquely post -modern experience.





    To get there take th' MTR north from th' bay until you get to th' border crossing at th' end o' th' line [ about 40 mins ] past th' university towns. Be nice to th' customs guards with their sub -machine guns too ., as patience is th' national currency here in th' zone.

    -

    When you make it past all that you'll catch another train west then surface through an escalator coming out o' IM Pei's "Louvre Pyramid" with th' "Eiffel Tower" looming in th' distance. After th' monolithic PRC architecture this is certainly a bizarro place where you can experience th' "Sphinx" alongside a miniature version o' "Angkor Watt".

    Worlds collide in a heady mash -up o' every cheesy holiday destination fold _d into each other like a pop -up book. An' it's also amazing how nonchalant th' locals are about posing for their epic family photos while kids run amok with laser pointers an' glow sticks. Th' place is just mad ., hilarious an' deeply interesting at th' same time.

    -

    My girlfriend an' I got there just as dusk was falling so there was nobody around an' they had turn _d off all th' lights. We carved our names into a pillar somewhere in Spain an' made out in th' shadows. Amongst th' silence an' silhouettes it felt like walking around inside o' someone else's dream. An' perhaps we were.


    -- Chuan
    Reply +1
  • ctankep 24/12/2013

    @GundamJehutyKai

    Yes it's a bit sad --
    With th' market going global an' with bigger budgets there just isn't th' same diversity o' weird offbeat import games to be found in Japan or HK.
    Sure you have your "Idolmaster" -type stuff but nothing comparable to "Mr Mosquito" or Osamu Sato's "LSD : Dream Emulator". Wonderfully fuck _d up pieces o' interactive brain melt.

    -

    As a teenager in th' 90s Hong Kong was my shady conduit into this world o' import exotica. Somehow ., somewhere in th' hazy midst o' Geocities I'd stumbled across a mysterious cipher named "Ms. PSX". Poring over her [ his? ] list o' games each month was thrilling especially since half th' games were list _d in chinese an' it was a meta game in itself buying "Saturn Fan" each month an' trying to figure out what everything was.

    Then came th' agonising 3 week wait for each waxen green HK post package to arrive with import stuff I'd never even heard people discuss on Usenet. It really was a kind o' special an' dare I say it magical experience at th' time. It embodied everything that was novel an' surprising about video games.





    Remember getting stuff like: AM3's "Funky Head Boxers" [ deformable cube heads ] ., "Game Tengoku" [ retro shmup love -in ] ., "Radiant Silvergun" ., "Silhouette Mirage" [ Treasure .! ] "Devil Summoner" ., "Giant Gram 2000" ., "Real Sound: Kaze No Regret" [ Kenji Eno's 3 x CD game with no graphics ] ., "Super Robot Wars F" ., "Fire Pro: Six Man Scramble" ., "Grandia" [ stunning when it came out ] an' a pre -release version o' "Panzer Dragoon Saga" RPG.

    They even had silvers o' th' much coveted "Psychic Warrior Taromaru" which remains rare but ultimately bland. So many memories.! Th' EMS sender address in triplicate would always read: "Level 3 / Cyber Golden Shopping Centre" which was also awesome an' add _d to th' fun. I'd imagined some kind o' Sprawl -like opium den criss -crossed with th' techno fetishism o' "Ghost in th' Shell" an' magnetic pull o' planes overhead en route to Kai Tak runway #13.

    -

    Now we just get a bunch o' PR -managed dickheads talking about incremental changes to their tired IPs an' we know about everything 2nd -hand before we even experience it. What happen _d to console games? Last time I went to Hong Kong in search o' Dreamcast Twinsticks most o' th' shops had th' same shit "Gears o' War" an' "Gran Turismo 4". Even deep within th' squirrel holes along Nathan Road it was pretty much evident that tide an' time had swept through th' marketplace an' made ghosts o' my memories.


    -- Chuan
    Reply +2
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts season pass innards confirmed

  • ctankep 22/12/2013



    Funny how most o' th' positive or redemptive comments are coming from those who have actually play _d th' game. Must be something to that eh? Can people please think for themselves instead o' just mindlessly echo'ing th' herp -derp o' th' day? Tell you what: go find a field ., moo like a cow then claim your prize.
    Reply 0
  • Eugene Peyton Jarvis - Pioneer

  • ctankep 22/12/2013



    Great piece an' much respect to th' originators ..!
    "Robotron" ., still holds up after all these years.
    Reply +1
  • Remembering Sega's classics the right way

  • ctankep 16/12/2013

    Props to Abel Gance an' "Napoleon" --
    Such visionary filmmaking from 1927 it was not only th' first film to do a triptych [ 1.33:1 x 3 projectors ] but also an early example o' handheld / pendulum swung / horseback camera shots. Got to love th' fact that he also blew th' budget for an intend _d six films chronicling Bonaparte's life to realise this monstrously ambitious masterpiece.





    Huge shame then that it only ever play _d on 3 -projectors in 8 cinemas at it's launch before MGM chopped it to bits for more mainsteam distribution. At nearly 9 -hours for th' full length version with a score to be acommpanied by a full orchestra it's a real audio -visual tour de force. Not that I'll ever get to see it though.!

    Brownlow's restoration actually loses money every time they hold screenings due to th' logistics o' th' soundtrack an' staging. An' even at USD $122 for a ticket at last year's Oakland Paramount screenings they lost thousands putting it on. People need to see this film to put th' fire -up their collective arses. Too future an' 20 -years before th' advent o' cinemascope.
    Reply 0
  • Is this the patch to fix Battlefield 4 on PS4?

  • ctankep 16/12/2013

    War has never been so much glum. Reply 0
  • Another look at SOMA, Frictional's new PC and PS4 horror game

  • ctankep 16/12/2013

    We're all going on a soma -holiday. Reply 0
  • Doom retrospective

  • ctankep 10/12/2013

    Reply +3
  • Titanfall dev shows off new Ogre and Stryder titan classes

  • ctankep 08/12/2013

    Gameplay looks fun though lighting is gash.
    C'mon Respawn: Source -engine for next gen?!
    Reply +12
  • Ubisoft polls interest in a non-Assassin's Creed pirate game

  • ctankep 07/12/2013

    O ye o' little memory --



    "Black Flag" is basically a single player version o' 2008 MMO "Pirates o' th' Burning Sea". But with any tactical stuff gutted an' replaced with dim sims an' battered crab sticks. You could also try "Sea Dogs 2" on PC as well or go back to th' re -release o' "Sid Meier's Pirates" to scratch that itch. Ubisoft seem quite clueless when it comes to designing actual gameplay systems worth a salt.
    Reply +1
  • It's Morrowind in the Skyrim engine

  • ctankep 07/12/2013

    God I loved "Morrowind" --
    Remember playing this on a computer that was barely capable. Th' game would run out o' memory an' CTD [ trying to reload all assets ] if you died so became a Rogue -like for me. That music brings back so many good memories. Really enjoy _d how th' world was put together an' scope for exploration.

    Not sure but perhaps it was also th' first RPG I play _d with an impactful day / night system as well. Shame we don't see more representation o' time passing ., days progressing an' events unfolding in a persistent role -playing experience. Would make things more interesting with say a town holding an election amongst various factions an' how players could intervene in different ways as th' dynamics change in th' scenario.





    "Morrowind" had th' sense o' being a grand journey for me similar to "Lord o' th' Rings". Right from th' start th' game allowed an' even encouraged a kind o' wanderlust but pushing quests further out. Then inevitably you'd stumble upon a bandit camp or abandon _d mineshaft that became it's own little pleasure. From th' Ascadian Isles past Balmora ., up th' Bitter Coast [ harvesting reagents ] to get a first glimpse o' th' soot -laden Ashlands heading north. Then 'round th' other side with it's smaller fishing villages along th' coast an' wildlife.

    Somehow with "Oblivion" an' later "Skyrim" they lost this sense o' having th' environment echo your progression an' understanding o' th' world. In those games because o' their smaller size players are made to hike across th' world for trivial reasons as a time sink. Whereas with "Morrowind" th' geography tells th' story an' contributes to th' mental model o' how it all hangs together. You know from th' start that Red Mountain looms ominously for a reason an' th' back story from various quests builds up to that.

    Similarly th' presence o' local cultures ., their architecture ., clothing ., artefacts an' demeanour made me want to explore th' whole o' Vvardenfell just to see what was around th' next corner. Really liked how how all th' ethnographic details made sense in context an' how inter -related their conflicts were as well. Much more interesting than just having th' black & white main quest as with other games.





    "Darklands" was another persistent RPG with geography o' an epic scale. Never got to play this though it was unique for being one o' th' first in th' open -world style where players were given autonomy to complete quests for both good / evil intentions instead o' being force fed a narrative.

    Hope somebody does a Kickstarter or attempts to make games o' this scale again. "Darklands" might have been th' most expensive PC game ever made at th' time costing Microprose USD$3 million as development went on for 3 -long years. Then again some o' th' Looking Glass stuff took up to 4 -years as well.
    Reply +1
  • Gran Turismo 6 microtransaction pricing revealed

  • ctankep 05/12/2013

    Reply -4
  • IMPORTANT: Gran Turismo creator Kaz Yamauchi becomes a street

  • ctankep 05/12/2013

    Reply 0
  • Battlefield 4: China Rising review

  • ctankep 04/12/2013

    Imposing mountains, golden-hued skies and lush greenery surround Dragon Pass. It looks like you're waging war on the fourth disc of Shenmue 2.
    ^

    Ha -ha ., sublime turn o' phrase.
    Reply 0
  • Video: A quick tour through Gran Turismo 6's features

  • ctankep 04/12/2013

    From early retail copies in th' wild --
    Seems like slight iterations on "GT5" so far. Major new additions being a revised suspension system [ playable in "GT Academy 2013" ] an' dynamic lighting system. This enables stuff like 24 -hour Lemans races though ironically th' PS3 can't keep up an' night races in "GT6" have less detail than in th' previous game. Here your car has dynamic lights but opponents race around in pitch darkness?

    While Polyphony set a high watermark for car detail th' reviled "standard models" are back too. New premiums for Bentley ., McLaren but most o' th' other 124 new cars are just livery variants on existing Nissan / Honda / Toyota racers. Lunar Lander race an' astronomically correct night sky -box are new. But also mostly pointless apart from being preview fodder. You'll appreciate th' novelty once then it's done.


    Masturbation:




    I loved th' handling o' th' 370Z in "GT Academy 2013" an' sold "GT5" in anticipation. However th' more footage I see o' th' new game th' more disappoint _d I am by th' lack o' improvement to th' car sounds. They really need to address this as belt -sanding a horse does not make a great impression o' tire grip around corners.

    After getting back into "Richard Burns Rally" th' disparity in th' "GT6" driving model between audio an' visuals is all too apparent. In RBR th' sounds are generated by th' engine simulation an' contact with th' environment so each bit o' feedback to th' player feels cohesive; telling you something about th' handling. With "GT6" it's more like you know th' car / grip simulation is working through turns but that th' audible representation is something else altogether.

    Kaz said they were going to fix this after criticisms o' "GT5" however poor sound is still present. Mind boggles at how Polyphony operates: they seem to ignore th' most pressing issues like AI / handling / sound an' instead go for these pointless additions such as night sky. I'd also hoped that given th' last 2 -years an' furore over missing in -car dashboards to have added more than 50 -60 premium cars.


    Simulation:




    Like somebody else has said ., those interest _d are probably going to pick it up regardless. However there are so many other good racing sims on PC now that it's worth looking into "Assetto Corsa" or "iRacing" if you're really into this stuff. Triple screen setups are also stupidly affordable now an' with a racing wheel like th' G27 plus shifter you have a much more immersive setup with access to far more content.

    Meanwhile "GT6" has become somewhat o' a white elephant: compared to th' state o' th' art it doesn't do driving well ., it doesn't even have th' best car models anymore nor th' most accurate tracks. Everything that was once glorious about "Gran Turismo" is now firmly in th' past overtaken by other small groups o' passionate developers.

    Right now am falling in love with "Richard Burns" on X360 all over again [ through emulation ] after acquiring a replacement copy due to disc rot. Sure it's quite an old game from 2004 but proves that you only need to do things right once. Eero Piitulainen's tarmac an' loose surface physics are still amazing to drive on an' some o' th' mountain courses like "Brisanne" are just fucking fantastic. Still better than anything on current consoles as far as quality o' driving simulation. Respect to Warthog SE.
    Reply -1
  • Kazunori's War: the world of Gran Turismo's creator

  • ctankep 30/11/2013

    Reply +2
  • ctankep 30/11/2013

    @StackMonkey




    No Porsche in GT6 due to licensing deal.
    In it's place th' "RUF Yellow Bird" [ standard model ].
    Reply +8
  • "It looks as if he's having electronic urination against that pillar"

  • ctankep 30/11/2013

    Jon Snow brings up some brilliant points --
    As interactive media games are constrain _d by th' actions ., expressions afforded th' player. We're good at doing basic evaluation: like drawing lines to a hitbox [ shooting ] or object collision [ driving ., traversal ] an' wrapping that in some kind o' mythos or narrative.

    However th' most interesting parts o' human experience are more complex than that. They can be internalised an' not translate so easily to a mechanistic representation. Even if you go down th' path o' computationally modelling things like emotions ., sentiment & relationships there's going to be a limit to th' complexity or fuzziness o' simulation in terms o' runtime.





    An' then there's th' problem o' how to expand th' range o' meaningful interactions in games. To do this you need a system that can give appropriate feedback for many different actions. It's th' total opposite o' how games are currently made with 1 -main gameplay system that tunnels through 10 -hours o' content. Perhaps need to think about how to leverage th' inherent "process complexity" o' computing in general.

    Th' procedurally generated landscapes in "Minecraft" are a good example. With th' right seed or parameters we still recognise th' mountains ., caverns & oceans o' our imagination but th' simulation provides enough detail an' uniqueness to make exploration genuinely rewarding. "Dwarf Fortress" too ., another interesting inversion o' how most games are made. I love th' fact too that it's made by 1 -2 people over a period o' 10 -years plus.

    -

    Th' current obsession with making games into films with their attendant plot -points an' dramatic structure seems a bit o' a distraction an' a creative dead end. At th' turn o' th' century D.W. Griffiths did ape theatrical conventions with "Birth o' a Nation" but his genius was also realising how framing -an' editing could be used to infer things across time & space.

    If games continue to be these one way chunnels o' content consumption then we have fail _d. We've pervert _d a medium that's so intrinsically suited for dynamic modelling an' emergent simulation to become 2nd rate film directors. Th' current cycle o' churn an' burn in th' industry doesn't help either to be fair.

    What is going to happen though is that as gamers get older [ like Brooker ] they'll develop a familiar literacy o' game structure an' tropes. An' if th' industry continues to sit on their hands design -wise there'll be wave after wave o' diminishing returns from th' same old shit. Th' "wrapping" consisting o' th' graphics an' presentation will be astounding no doubt but without engaging systems just a hollow husk.

    Reply -3