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Topics I've Started
25.09.2013 @ 17:20Let's just use this thread to politely discuss all we want about SteamOS, its technical and ethical implications, the future of PC gaming and whatsoever.
Right now I want to post a couple of things from: http://store.steampo.../SteamMachines/
Will I be able to build my own box to run SteamOS?
Can I hack this box? Run another OS? Change the hardware? Install my own software? Use it to build a robot?
Can I download the OS to try it out?
You will be able to download it (including the source code, if you're into that) but not yet.
What games will be available during the beta?
The nearly 3,000 games on Steam. Hundreds already running natively on the SteamOS, with more to come. The rest will work seamlessly via in-home streaming.
I believe this answers many questions.
05.08.2013 @ 16:41Hello everybody.
I've been thinking about this recently, highly anticipating the new wave of computer role-playing games that is soon to start with the release of Wasteland 2.
In some thread it was mentioned that these games will probably run OK in most computers (like 6 years old and newer), since they are somewhat reminiscent of our beloved traditional cRPG's from the late 1990's, and most of these studios utilized crowdfunding because they don't have the funds to finance a big flashy production on their own. This also means they have to utilize these funds very carefully, and are probably restricted in their graphics budget.
On the other hand I have been playing the great kickstarted, turn-based strategy game "Expeditions: Conquistador". Not only am I fully satisfied with the gameplay and writing quality, but I am also relatively impressed by the detail and quality of its graphics. They show more of a painterly approach than the photorealism of most AAA games, but the textures are all very high quality and the lights, shadows and post processing effects are very satisfying. In fact, it drives my GTX 560 Ti to loads and temperatures similar to those of The Witcher 2. Allegedly, this could be attributed to lazy programming. We may simply have another Neverwinter Nights 2 in our hands, with unnecessarily intensive computing under the hood that doesn't reflect in particularly impressive visuals, from a technical standpoint. The game runs flawlessly on my computer, but I also did try the Linux client on my older lab workstation, which had a weak Geforce 9500 GT, and the results were very sad. It was a nightmare to run even in the lowest visual settings and windowed mode (this was version 1.1 and it might have improved by 1.4 --current). We recently got new workstations at the lab, sporting an also relatively weak but modern GTX 650 (non Ti -- I don't do the shopping). This card ran the newer version (1.4) of this game OK at 1920x1080 with full detail, but in areas with more objects AND more importantly, during battles, it had noticeable lag.
So this got me thinking:
* How far can and should the new cRPG's go in the graphics department?
* How much are they willing to sacrifice in order to increase their customer base, i.e. run on older systems?
* What non-graphical features can be implemented in these games to fully utilize modern and powerful commodity hardware, like multi-core CPU's and modern GPU's most gaming computers have?
I believe Obsidian and inXile are working hard at bringing the genre back from the dead, but they are also trying to incorporate some new elements to somehow bridge the 10-12 year gap. With modern hardware, like 4 or 6 core CPU's, powerful GPU's, lots of RAM, etc, cRPG's could benefit greatly in areas that are not necessarily graphics. For instance, we could:
* Get rid of loading screens.
* Have massive dialogue trees and world reactivity, the system could compute the outcome of events based on many elements.
* Have elaborate party AI and pathfinding (the bane of D&D cRPG"s).
* Have advanced enemy AI, tactical decision making and strategy selection.
* Have a dynamical world in which physical objects react to each other in a sort of open-ended system with a little bit of physics underneath. Imagine the possibilities for tactical battles, environment, weather, and MAGIC!.
All these things require potent hardware, and are irrelevant to the graphical engine used (Unity in most cases). Imagine this scenario: you are trying to get a hold of somebody who just gulped down a potion (or casted the spell) of invisibility. In all cRPG's so far, you either wait for that person to perform an action and disrupt the spell, or cast detect invisibility (or equivalent). Instead, in a tabletop RPG, you would be allowed to, say, throw a blanket at the corner where you think the person is hiding. But this requires a complex model of the game world.
I think we are under the assumption that old-school games will run on old-school computers, but that might not be true. And if these companies want this to be true, wouldn't that be a waste of resources? On the other hand, we're trying the bring back a dusty corpse and can't really be picky at the moment. People have to be able to try this genre and fall in love with it again.
Traditional cRPG's are plenty good and loads of fun... but they could be improved and expanded in so many ways that our minds could just be blown away. Should this happen now? Or in the next batch of new cRPG"s?
What are your thoughts?
Addendum: Games I consider to integrate and conform the new wave of computer role-playing games are Wasteland 2, Project Eternity and Torment: Tides of Numenera. That is, the true successors of computer RPG's like Fallout 1 & 2, the Baldur's Gate series, Planescape: Torment and so on, games that attempt to recreate the feeling, role-playing opportunities, decision-driven and strategy-driven gameplay (including combat) and reactivity of tabletop role-playing.
Edited for readability.
07.06.2013 @ 20:39This is a spin off of the XBox DRM thread that I regrettably () derailed when I mentioned the words Windows and DRM. Sorry Gregski.
So let's continue here. Without name calling, without fanboyism (although how anyone could be an MS fan is beyond me), just a good old adult conversation.
Some of you wonder how Windows can have DRM of any kind. Bet you weren't expecting that. The truth is, from the very license agreement to the daily operation of the OS, Windows carries DRM in its veins and marrow.
It is funny how so many people seem to oppose the blatant DRM in the newly announced XBox One, and adamantly defend DRM-free games. Some of them even reject the use of services like Steam because they demand online activation and other extensions of DRM. But they don't care about the heart of their computer, the operating system.
If we buy a DRM-free game, it doesn't make much sense adding it to our Steam library, does it? Well now imagine playing all sorts of DRM-free games on a system that imposes all sorts of restrictions on us, ultimately affecting how (and when) we play our game.
I invite Guy N'wah and Gilrond to elaborate on this subject, as they did in the other thread. And I invite everybody else to comment and ask about this topic, which I think is very important for the future of PC gaming, information handling, and PC operation in general.
You don't agree with the DRM in XBox One? Well you have been using something just as bad (or worse) for years and you don't seem to care. But maybe you should. And maybe, someday, we can achieve truly DRM-free gaming, in a DRM-free operating system. Or, perhaps also one day, we can play the games we like in our system of choice, without dealing with obtrusive MS systems and their DRM, whether it is a console or a PC operating system.
22.05.2013 @ 16:49Any MK fans in here? I bring good news! Woohoo!
The last MKs I played were MK Trilogy and MK4, on the PC of course. This is great. Hope it will also sell at a reasonable price. And without too much DRM, preferably none but we all know that's not going to happen.
18.05.2013 @ 03:51I remember some good comic book inspired games in the 90s, some of them on arcade machines (like that 4 or 6 player X-Men game!) and some on the Super NES. But then the 2000's brought as a LOT of garbage. Like that Spiderman action game based on the movie. Ugh, never finished it.
When Arkham Asylum came, it completely redefined the superhero and comic book based action games, proving once and for all these games CAN be good. The series are an example of good writing, good flow, excellent graphics, excellent combat, and ground breaking visual design and technique. No more simple movie tie-ins.
The highly successful Arkham series, however, might either come to an end with Origin or sprout a plethora of spin offs. So I wonder what will we see in the future in terms of good super hero games? Hopefully something in the vein of the Arkham series? What other franchises would you like to see?
As an X-Men fan, I'd like to see some of that. Maybe a mission driven third person action game where we can choose one out of 6 or so X-Men, depending on the mission at hand. Or a tactical approach to X-Men where we command a whole squad! Now that would be interesting. Something similar to X-Com with illustrated, comic-book style story transitions. As for the roster, I'd like a mix of the first (golden era -- Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, Jean-Grey, Archangel) and second generations (Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Banshee, Nightcrawler, minus Sunfire for lack of charisma and Thunderbird because, well, he's dead). Maybe add Havok and Lorna Dane. OR the New X-Men roster.
I read somewhere a suggestion about a Daredevil game that would essentially be an Arkham clone. So meh.
What do you think?