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Real Name Sho   
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Nickname Sho
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
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Homepage http://
Signed On May 26, 2002, 23:49
Total Comments 710 (Apprentice)
User ID 13167
 
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News Comments > Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans
7. Re: Double Fine Taking Heat for Spacebase DF-9 Release Plans Sep 20, 2014, 14:39 Sho
 
Not sure what to make of this. I bought this and played it for a couple of hours here and there. There's a decent amount of game in there now, but it's still a good chunk of work away from feeling complete enough to last. Sucks that it didn't work out financially to the point where they could finish it. Though the addition of a goals system, which they want to do for 1.0, could change the equation still.

It would be really cool if they would open-source this, including the assets (they made all the art in Blender) and allow the community to expand it. It's the right type of game (systems-based) for that, and could easily live on for a decade that way.

I can't say I feel betrayed; I knew the risks going in. They said they'd develop it for as long as they could fund it, and I guess this is as long as they could.

Edit: Oh wow, just now clicked through to the actual post. They do plan to open up all the Lua source. We'll have to see what exactly this allows in terms of enhancing the game, and of course a working open source community/project needs to figure out repository and issue tracker hosting and other things. There's no guarantee it will shake out this way yet, at least their announcement reads like they just plan to throw the source over the fence, so the community needs to self-organize.

This comment was edited on Sep 20, 2014, 14:46.
 
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month
46. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month Sep 20, 2014, 10:02 Sho
 
harlock wrote on Sep 19, 2014, 21:06:
Sho wrote on Sep 19, 2014, 19:21:
But I tried to get into Skyrim 2-3 times and never got far. I think it's because of the procedurally generated cookie-cutter missions.

what? are you thinking of daggerfall? yeh that was 20 years ago

nothing in skyrim is procedurally generated

http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Radiant
 
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month
39. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month Sep 19, 2014, 19:21 Sho
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Sep 19, 2014, 18:29:
Yes. Think of it like Skyrim. You can probably finish Skyrim's linear story in a couple dozen hours or so but then you have people who have 500+ hours on their in-game clock just because they enjoy exploring and doing their own thing in that huge world. Some of them might not have even touched the main story.

Skyrim is an interesting case.

First of, I tend to prefer story-driven linear games, but I'm totally OK without in some genres, e.g. 4x.

The story part in Bethesda games almost universally sucks. They can't do memorable characters to save their lives. But the Elder Scrolls games somehow trigger the completionist impulse in me. I spent 200-300 hours on both Morrowind + expansions and on Oblivion + expansions doing every quest in them, and I usually did the main quest last.

But I tried to get into Skyrim 2-3 times and never got far. I think it's because of the procedurally generated cookie-cutter missions. It doesn't feel like you actually can complete Skyrim, or at least not without too much tedium (the endless samey dungeon missions in MW and OB were tedious enough).

So I guess it's about open ended vs. not for me, or how far the end is away ... and how hand-made and variegated the content before that end is.

This comment was edited on Sep 19, 2014, 19:27.
 
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month
29. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month Sep 19, 2014, 16:22 Sho
 
SpectralMeat wrote on Sep 19, 2014, 16:12:
No there is no story. You can play single player only but that just means everyone around you is npc not human players.
The game is a sandbox game take missions from agent type of deal or just go and explore, become a pirate or do whatever you want type of deal.
That other space game is going to be a little more story driven SP experience, Elite isn't like that, never was never will be.

Thanks (you too, DangerDog). I was aware of the sandbox and persistence plans when I backed it (fairly low/basic pledge, iirc), so that's alright, and everything I've seen so far looks really yummy ... but right now I'm not really sure I'll actually have time to play anything like that anytime soon, so I guess I was hoping they'd tack on a basic campaign to get a taste.
 
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month
25. Re: Elite: Dangerous Beta 2 This Month Sep 19, 2014, 16:10 Sho
 
Hey, can I ask something stupid and basic?

Does this game offer anything for folks who like story-driven singleplayer, or is it purely sandbox when played alone? Is there any sort of story campaign?
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video
45. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video Sep 19, 2014, 15:24 Sho
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 19, 2014, 13:42:
@Sho. Let's have this conversation again when the game is done.

Yah, let's wait and see :).

About to fire up Wasteland 2 btw!
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video
43. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video Sep 19, 2014, 00:51 Sho
 
Acleacius wrote on Sep 19, 2014, 00:33:
I really don't see the comparison, of course PST looks aesthetically better it's hand painted background, not a free 3D world environment. Hopefully you will be able to enjoy the game for want it is, not what you imagine it should be based on some impossible criteria.

I know I'll enjoy it, not only for the amazing achievement of it's development but also as an incredible game. Mwahaha

The only time I referenced PST directly was in a paragraph about TTON, and both use pre-rendered backgrounds (though TTON has a lot of dynamic lighting and shading going on PST didn't). Wasteland 2 only entered the discussion because it forms inXile's track record and the TTON vid has some similar aesthetics and quality control problems on display. I also felt Wasteland 2 is interesting with regard to how the visuals in an inXile production evolved throughout development, because it's the only example of their project management style we have to draw from.

Not ruling out enjoying W2, nope. Didn't have much time with the beta so I have no final opinion on the game yet.
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video
41. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video Sep 19, 2014, 00:06 Sho
 
Acleacius wrote on Sep 18, 2014, 23:43:
Cool, can you name a single 3D game made for $4 million, which has better graphics?

Make sure to watch that graphics vs. aesthetics video I linked earlier. I haven't helped the issue much by lazily writing graphics a lot, sorry. After watching it I'm sure you can think of many examples of cheaper 3D games with higher quality aesthetics yourself; plenty of indies of recent years have a more cohesive look and visual polish than Wasteland 2. Say, Dear Esther.

The diff between the to games is of course that Wasteland 2 has a much bigger scope and needs many more assets than Dear Esther. So you can't expect the same level of fidelity, no. But that's not tightly coupled to craftsmanship. What's wrong with Wasteland 2 isn't lack of fidelity, it's that it's (imho ...) badly put together at the level of fidelity it's at.

The connection to budget there is maybe lack of pre-production time to iterate and nail down a look and an asset pipeline that consistently achieves implementing it. The only way to save some time there is a staff and especially an art director with experience, and good people are of course again expensive.

Maybe you're right and it can't easily be done for the money, dunno. You just hope you get lucky and the right people are in the right place at the right time to make the right decisions. inXile just doesn't seem that lucky, at least on visuals.
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video
39. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video Sep 18, 2014, 23:39 Sho
 
Acleacius wrote on Sep 18, 2014, 22:37:
Sho you do realize your comparing PST a setview range graphics, which enable the drawing of maps, with much greater detail. Verses W2 which is completely different in that it's 3D with variable camera view ranges and angles..right?

I'm a software engineer with a decent computer graphics background. I haven't done any game dev (beyond an attempt at reimplementing Tomb Raider once, which got as far as loading and rendering the environments - thanks to others reverse engineering and documenting the map format), but I'm pretty clear on the different approaches to putting things on screen, aye.

Acleacius wrote on Sep 18, 2014, 22:37:
If you realize this, I'm not sure why your going into such detail comparing two completely different graphic renderings.

Because I feel the problems I'm pointing out are systemic and examples of a general weakness in inXile's output. It's correct the different approaches pose different challenges, but they're not hitting attainable quality targets in either for me, aesthetically and craft-wise.

As for why I'm invested in talking about it ... well I am invested, with money, in both games ;P.
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video
37. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video Sep 18, 2014, 20:54 Sho
 
jdreyer wrote on Sep 18, 2014, 20:21:
@ Sho.

1. I think it looks about as good as NWN2. Definitely better than 90s level BG or PS:T.

2. Although I'm not seeing everything that you are, I'm wondering what you're expecting for $4M?

3. What's a game that does this better? Diablo 3?

1. I actually think it looks worse than PS:T. This is a graphics vs. aesthetics thing. Of course TTON has more modern graphics, and because of the greater computational resources available now and the general advance in rendering tech, it gets a lot of nice things "for free" that PS:T couldn't do. There are some other improvements that are the result of a combination of advances in craft, tech and tooling - e.g. PS:T had to resort to tiled materials a lot more (especially on the floor layers). But the overall aesthetics are noticably worse right now, I think. Check out random PS:T screenshots, and notice how those scenes tend to feel richer and deeper because there's more contrast/layering between floors and walls, furniture and characters. There's also some really bad environment modelling in the TTON vid; the divding wall in the video still is a good example, doesn't feel organic or fit the concept of the location at all, that very polygonal opening looks awkward, and so on. I feel like PS:T did better on this stuff within the fidelity envelope possible at the time ...

I normally wouldn't be this concerned, but Wasteland 2 never came together visually so I'm not-so-sure anymore about "they'll work it out".

2. For $4M I'm expecting a lack of issues that can be addressed by hiring well and planning ahead, I guess. No, it's not easy, and it's the nature of the game that many projects never get so lucky. FWIW, note that they imported technology from Pillars of Eternity ... I'm sure Obsidian got some money for that, but I'm also sure that was effectively a cost-saving opportunity for inXile which makes their budget looks a little better.

3. Harebrained managed to pull off excellent graphics at a similar budget with Shadowrun Returns. I think there's a few reasons for that. The SSR level design system enforces much tighter constraints on the shape assets can take and how they can be put together - it's a fairly rigid tiles-and-decals system. That means there's less flexibility in putting environments together, but it also creates a clear set of parameters within which their artists could let loose and churn out high-quality stuff. They also did really, really well on visual consistency across all the assets - density, rendition style, coloration and so on. They figured out what they could afford and executed extremely well.

You can make an argument that having more ambitious locations like The Bloom is still a good thing even if you "fail" at them and require the gamer to make it look better in their heads, of course. And again: If the writing is at the level of PS:T, and they manage to pull off their gameplay ideas (which sound absolutely fantastic on paper), I'll love playing this even if nothing improves over this video. A story-driven RPG with infrequent but meaningful combat in an conceptually interesting setting? Hells yes. I'd still back this today.

This comment was edited on Sep 18, 2014, 21:13.
 
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News Comments > Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut Released
1. Re: Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut Released Sep 18, 2014, 19:25 Sho
 
Continuing on from the Torment thread - Harebrained did manage to pull off excellent graphics on a small budget, for example.  
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video
34. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video Sep 18, 2014, 19:02 Sho
 
Acleacius wrote on Sep 18, 2014, 17:08:
Several of you seem to be disappointed with Wasteland 2.

I think the Wasteland 2 graphics are terrible, and they actually got worse since the first video was shown. This has concerned me greatly vis-a-vis Torment (which I care a lot more about) for some time.

Note I don't mean "looks cheap" (re Creston), I mean "badly crafted". I think Wasteland 2 has a lot of problems with bad materials and bad ambience effects. It's a quality control thing, e.g. the density/resolution/noise level of the materials seems to vary a lot and gives the game a pieced-together appearance. The scene compositions also don't tend to do much in the way of foreground/background layering to create depth.

The Torment video has similar craftsmanship issues. There's lots of badly mapped and stretchy textures, a plasticky sheen on everything, next to no ambient occlusion (e.g. look at the well and the tree in the outdoor location), some noisy bump/normal maps, the resolution of the geometry is uneven (smooth in some places, polygon-y in others), ... one thing both games have in common is really, really and washed-out location lighting.

I'm just concerned at this point that inXile doesn't have a competent art staff. Or maybe they just lack a good art director who has a handle on the game's overall look and nails down some parameters for the asset pipeline.

This doesn't need to be a death blow to either game (for one, it might just get fixed in time). Quality writing and gameplay trumps all. I can get over bad graphics if my suspension of disbelief is guaranteed by those things. I can even find bad graphics charming. But it'd be nicer with good graphics ...

This comment was edited on Sep 18, 2014, 19:14.
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video
25. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video Sep 18, 2014, 11:00 Sho
 
Creston wrote on Sep 18, 2014, 10:59:
How much money did you put in the Kickstarter?

$125. The "All Digital" pick, not much for trinkets to stack around the place.
 
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News Comments > Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video
23. Re: Torment: Tides of Numenera Gameplay Video Sep 18, 2014, 09:28 Sho
 
I'll be a bit more critical: I think the graphics look bad, it looks like 90s cutscene CG with bad materials and a plastic sheen everywhere. Of course this is pre-production footage, they likely have a lot more to do on getting things to blend in well and adding post-processing or just plain having artists paint over stuff. So I'm not too concerned yet. Heck, I'd probably play it looking like this anyway. But I do want better.  
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News Comments > Linux Another World Released
2. Re: Linux Another World Released Sep 17, 2014, 17:28 Sho
 
BobBob wrote on Sep 17, 2014, 16:30:
Ryan Gordon is definitely one of my favorite gaming developer / programmer / advocates. He's a pillar of the gaming scene and a very nice person.

Fully agreed. Make no mistake, a programmer like Ryan has his pick of jobs. He can work where he wants. That he's been doing this for 15 years now shows the sort of care and commitment to what he's doing that few people have.
 
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News Comments > MS/Mojang $2.5B Deal Confirmed
108. Re: MS/Mojang $2.5B Deal Confirmed Sep 16, 2014, 08:23 Sho
 
Kevin Lowe wrote on Sep 16, 2014, 00:04:
NeXT wouldn't have been worth a whole lot without getting Steve Jobs in the process, for example.

That's nonsense. Mac OS X and iOS are today built on NeXT's technology. Of course personnel transfer was key, but Steve Jobs was hardly the only important person to transfer from NeXT. Plenty of engineers came along who have shaped Apple's software since.
 
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News Comments > MS/Mojang $2.5B Deal Confirmed
92. Re: MS/Mojang $2.5B Deal Confirmed Sep 15, 2014, 17:52 Sho
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 15, 2014, 17:48:
So, again, if Wall Street was willing to say something was worth $7.5 billion, and Microsoft bought it for $2.5 billion, I'd say it's nowhere near as easy to immediately write off as so many here are doing.

You forget that everyone here is steeped in experience at running a Fortune 500 company.

How many people are unable to go "you know, this seems like a complex topic I don't know much about, maybe I'm not actually qualified to have an opinion on this just yet" never ceases to amaze me. I can understand going "so I've been mulling this, and here's something interesting I dug up" or "this makes no sense to me, what do you guys think?" but having a 100% certain opinion two minutes in just closes yourself to actually thinking.
 
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News Comments > MS to Reveal $2.5B Mojang Deal Tomorrow?
45. Re: MS to Reveal $2.5B Mojang Deal Tomorrow? Sep 14, 2014, 16:34 Sho
 
Fletch wrote on Sep 14, 2014, 16:32:
Sho wrote on Sep 14, 2014, 12:02:
This exchange is starting to reflect the average age of the Minecraft player base, me thinks.

49

[citation needed]
 
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News Comments > MS to Reveal $2.5B Mojang Deal Tomorrow?
42. Re: Out of the Blue Sep 14, 2014, 16:15 Sho
 
Rigs wrote on Sep 14, 2014, 16:08:
LEGOs may be children's toys

Heck, few things are nobler pursuits than making a good children's toy. Like many engineers I have super-fond memories of playing with LEGO blocks. I remember when I came up with four-wheel drive on my own and how happy my dad was when I showed him and other moments just seared into my memory.

I haven't played Minecraft much myself, but it seems like a superb LEGO for today's gen, especially with all the circuitry blocks you can play around with to explore basic computing ideas.

If MS does screw this up, it'll be a sad loss. What I'd like to see happen for Minecraft is a gradual open sourcing and turning over governance to a non-profit, to make sure Minecraft stays available to all. Unfortunately even in the most benign scenarios I can come up with I can't see MS doing that anytime soon. I'd love to be proven wrong, though.
 
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News Comments > MS to Reveal $2.5B Mojang Deal Tomorrow?
39. Re: Out of the Blue Sep 14, 2014, 16:00 Sho
 
Rigs wrote on Sep 14, 2014, 15:54:
I know it's not 'console exclusivity' yet everyone here seems to think that's exactly what it is.

No, there were other voices in the thread. For discussion to progress it's usually a good idea to latch onto that and see if you can expand the thinking or contribute something, rather than endlessly continue the same one-note conflict. It's best to ignore the simple knee-jerk stuff. It's usually grandstanding or letting off steam, and if you respond to it you just deliver a wordier version of the same.
 
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710 Comments. 36 pages. Viewing page 7.
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