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User information for Steve Wood

Real Name Steve Wood   
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Nickname Rockn-Roll
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Description Rock (Ibanez 7-string guitar into Marshall amp) and Roll (Corvette Stingray).

Computer Engineer for 28 years...mostly corporate applications, but some gaming. Have worked for/with Gamespy, Intel, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and People Soft.
Homepage None given.
Signed On Jun 25, 2004, 10:25
Total Comments 275 (Amateur)
User ID 21182
 
User comment history
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News Comments > Gabe Newell Interview
6. Re: Gabe Newell Interview May 15, 2011, 18:36 Rockn-Roll
 
Gabe's tongue is so far into his cheek that it's actually sticking out. "...charging customers based on how much fun they are to play with." LOL! I know exactly what he's saying though. There's very few servers that are consistently full of players that are fun...it really only takes one or two players to ruin a server. So, not only should they charge the customer, but also the server admins...those admins that have maintained fun servers (i.e. their already captured data of how long players stay) get a special server edition free!
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
3. Re: Out of the Blue May 10, 2011, 11:15 Rockn-Roll
 
Repeat after me, "There is no such thing as a squirrel-proof bird feeder." I've pencilled into my bird book sightings of the common bushy-tailed flightless bird. It's so common that the other birds just ignore them unless the squirrels start hopping around.

My mother has 3 of the thistle socks (filled with niger/thistle) hanging under a tree which get an average of 30 goldfinches hanging around it all day...it gets kinda noisy with that many. If you have them just outside your window then be prepared to be woken up every morning at the very instant that the sun shows itself.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
13. Re: Out of the Blue May 9, 2011, 16:47 Rockn-Roll
 
Don't leave the stump...you need to get the stump and roots out so Mrs. Blue can plant some flowers there or something. Stumps just aren't the asthetic icons that us men think they are...we can justify them as seats or small tables, but the Mrs. will most likely just look at it as a job 1/2 done.

I've removed a lot of stumps and roots...small trees can be removed with nothing more than a chainsaw and shovel, but you may need to get a large pry bar...there's some that are 6' long and almost 2" in diameter with a point on one end and an angled spade on the other so you can get some leverage underneath the stump to loosen it. The chainsaw can be used to cut the stump in half...vertical cut straight through the center of the stump...an axe is handy for some of the thicker roots, but most of the roots will just break off when using the pry bar.

There's also some kind of stump removal powder that is supposed to eat the stump and roots, but it's smelly and takes years to work.

Another reason to remove the stump and roots is that the dead roots hold lots of water and prevents the soil from draining...causing that area to flood easily.
 
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News Comments > JoWooD Closing
21. Re: JoWooD Closing Apr 22, 2011, 14:02 Rockn-Roll
 
Well that sucks. I bought PK Redemption hoping it would give them some working capital. Oh well.  
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
10. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 20, 2011, 15:57 Rockn-Roll
 
Didn't we all? I didn't notice the time until it was 4AM. And, I got unlocked at 9:45PM PDT. My single player experience was a good 6 hours long because I stopped to look around and read all the posters, etc. I finished playing through with the developer commentary last night.  
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News Comments > Portal 2 User Review Backlash
93. Re: Portal 2 User Review Backlash Apr 20, 2011, 15:54 Rockn-Roll
 
Press [controller button] to look up.

I absolutely hate it when hints pop up while I'm trying to look around and enjoy the environment. There's no way to stop it from the menu. I'm not 6 years old...I do know which button I need to press to look up...I did set it in the options menu you know.

It very very much is a console port...there's no question about that. Another very annoying thing which indicates console port is having to load data so often. I have 6GB of RAM for freaking sake...forcing me to load 256MB at a time is insulting my system.

However, it is very polished (once you turn off the default console required fullscreen setting)...and gave me some laughs. I don't begruge the purchase...it was more fun than many of the games that I've purchased before.

As for the presence of DLC at release...there's hardly anything good there...it looks like just left overs and/or reskins of existing models. For instance those hat models are from TF2. I doubt that they spent any more than 200 work hours on the existing content...and as a developer myself I know how important it is to have some content in order to develop and test an interface.

If those complaining want a "perfect" game then they should go to school...learn game design and develop their own game and make the millions that they obviously think they could make.
 
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News Comments > Aperture Labs Countdown
13. Re: Aperture Labs Countdown Apr 15, 2011, 02:07 Rockn-Roll
 
OK...I've been hanging out at the ARG. The Aperture Labs Countdown is not specifically "release"...that date has never changed on the Steam Store. What exactly is expected is a REBOOT...that is the wording we found in the ARG. It is possible that some portion of Portal 2 will unlock in 10 hours...perhaps the original Portal maps, but that has not been confirmed.

What we can tell though...is that nothing new has been discovered in the ARG...Potato Sack games have turned up no more information than what we already have. According to the Potato Sack game developers GLaDOS has taken over their games...at least one developer, Ichiro, is missing.

Most of what is happening now is a lot of trolls posting coded messages. There's still a few mysteries such as the dice image and the BostonIndie web site. TF2 just updated with a Hatless Update which included a Portal at the bottom of the blog post which leads to a Companion Cube pin for anyone that Pre-Orders Portal 2. But, it looks like the next 10 hours will build to something really cool.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
10. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 14, 2011, 15:27 Rockn-Roll
 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but The Wonder Dog is what...6 years old? He's young enough to have more of an adventure than sleeping in your backyard. I had a terrier when I was 8 who spent 3 days & 2 nights in the backyard, but in my case the backyard was not fenced in...we lived at the edge of a wetland which had a creek and completely undisturbed wilderness for like 5 miles. We were terribly worried but couldn't find him...the 3rd day he shows up very dirty and covered with stickers and had several ticks sucking his blood. We opened the door to let him in and he ran straight to the bathtub and jumped in and waited for us to give him a bath...needless to say he usually protested when we tried to give him a bath.

I think a pet really needs to experience the wild before they appreciate the family life that us humans provide to them in exchange for their company. One night in your backyard is by no means comparable to the backyard my dog lived in for several days. Did you have to spend all day cutting away matted hair and pulling stickers out of Hudson? Did you have to pull blood-filled ticks out of his flesh? Relax...he simply experienced a little nature.

Also, I read this:
Last night I nodded off on the couch
as meaning it was your fault that The Wonder Dog was left out...give yourself the silent treatment and perform family service as a punishment, but it doesn't look like you should hold any animosity toward Mrs. Blue.

 
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News Comments > A Fool and His News 2011, Part 3
4. Re: A Fool and His News 2011, Part 3 Apr 2, 2011, 06:21 Rockn-Roll
 
I just ordered the Razor Talon...with the optional on-board Venom delivery system of course...it would be dumb to try it without the venom pack. And, of course there is the warning, "Use of Razer Talon without proper application of Razer Snake Oil Hyperesponse Lubricant may result in product failure/catastrophic fire." What really confuses me is that the Snake oil doubles as a sunscreen...like when did the typical gaming geek suffer from sun exposure?  
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PC Gaming > Blues News Top 3 PC Games of All Time
21. No subject Apr 1, 2011, 08:11 Rockn-Roll
 
1. Thief: The Dark Project
2. Clive Barker's Undying
3. Quake 3 Rocket Arena

For Thief, the level designs alone puts it in an all-time first place. The only game that has come close to that quality of level design is Undying...which is why it's second. But, undying also have an awesome story and a huge variety of atmospheres...actually very similar to Thief in that way. But, what also puts Thief in first is that Looking Glass Studios also made System Shock and the famed sequel System Shock 2 (which was later used as a reference for BioShock). And, since Looking Glass Studios is no more...then there will never be another equal to it; thus, it has to be #1.

Quake 3 Rocket Arena is of course a mod, but some players would say it's what the game should have been at the start...instead of finding weapons in the maps...everyone starts out with all the weapons with the same amount of ammo; thus, on equal footing. And, when you are killed you can't just respawn to get back into the game...more realistic...more equal competition...loads of honest fun. Unfortunately, the skill requirement is very very high and only the elite actually continued playing it because if your skills are just average then you get killed in the first few seconds and spend the remaining 2 minutes watching everyone else have fun. But, it's still a favorite FPS at QuakeCon.
 
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PC Gaming > Emulators
2. Re: Emulators Apr 1, 2011, 07:48 Rockn-Roll
 
Well...there is the Amiga Emulator or Amiga Forever. These aren't console emulators, but the Amiga was first and foremost a gaming system. There is a rich variety of games made specifically for it. In fact, many of the most popular PC games were developed and introduced for the first time on the Amiga. The one game that comes to my mind every time I think of the Amiga system is Dungeon Master released in 1987 from FTL Games. You would be familiar with this game on the SNES system under the name "AD&D Eye of The Beholder" from Capcom released in 1994. The PC version was released in 1990.  
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News Comments > The Lord of the Rings: War in the North Trailer
2. Re: The Lord of the Rings: War in the North Trailer Mar 31, 2011, 18:14 Rockn-Roll
 
That has got to the be worst sound mix ever in a game trailer. I could not understand anything they were saying until I turned the volume way up. The voice track must have been recorded at "voice quality" then mixed with a "audiophile quality" electronic symphony orchestra. The streaming compression then used the higher quality music as a reference...the result...at least what I'm hearing...is nothing better than a 6-bit sounding voice track as an ambient background noise with a 128-bit symphony in the foreground.

If you intend to stream an audio mix then you must record all tracks at the same quality...otherwise some bits will sound horrible and dim and others bright and loud. Is this game being made in somebodies garage?
 
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News Comments > TF2 Raises 300K for Charity
3. Re: TF2 Raises 300K for Charity Mar 30, 2011, 12:02 Rockn-Roll
 
DLC FTW! This reminds me...I need to buy some more bell and gong Noise Makers. And, it does make me feel good that each time I use one it's like giving a child a bowl of rice and cup of water...as I stand over my victim's spleen, liver, kidney, and assorted body parts.  
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News Comments > Gaming Mouse Maker Knocks Gaming Mice
16. Re: Gaming Mouse Maker Knocks Gaming Mice Mar 30, 2011, 04:49 Rockn-Roll
 
bhcompy wrote on Mar 29, 2011, 14:59:
No mouse wheel? Best non-mousewheel mouse ever made was the Wingman Gaming Mouse. Hard to find, but one of the greatest mice ever.

That would be this one: Other Logitech Mouse

Which is really too small for my hand i.e. with my wrist on the mouse pad and hand laying on the mouse the tips of my fingers also touch the mouse pad...I have to hold the mouse like a dainty tea cup at the mad hatters tea party so I can press the buttons. With the 4-button ergonomic mouseman the tips of my fingers are right over the buttons. Oh...and I don't have that 4th button connected...it's really annoying when I'm in a furious battle and I accidentally press that button with my thumb and suddenly my rocket launcher goes away and my melee weapon is equiped or worse the chat window pops up depending on what game I was playing.

As far as I'm concerned the mouse's primary function is precise positioning of the weapon cross hair...which is best when there's a firm grip on the mouse. Wiggling fingers around to press buttons interferes with that positioning.

This comment was edited on Mar 30, 2011, 04:55.
 
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News Comments > Gaming Mouse Maker Knocks Gaming Mice
15. Re: Gaming Mouse Maker Knocks Gaming Mice Mar 30, 2011, 04:26 Rockn-Roll
 
PHJF wrote on Mar 29, 2011, 11:49:
How do you people browse the internet without mwheel?

Uhm...the defined browser function for the middle button is "Scroll Lock" i.e. when I press the middle button when a browser window is open an icon is displayed on the web page showing the possible scroll directions and moving the mouse will then scroll the page until I press the middle button again, so it provides the same function as the scroll wheel except instead of rotating a wheel I move the mouse up and down. Plus, for web pages that are wider than my browser window the middle button "scroll" feature also allows me to scroll to the right and left. Newer mice have switches on the right and left of the wheel so left and right scrolling is possible thus compensating for the wheel's inability to scroll left/right, but I've always been able to scroll left and right with the middle button. Plus, middle button "scroll" is more precise...I'm getting about 4 pixels resolution on this web page...I can align a web page so that I can see complete paragraphs while the scroll wheel moves the page a large amount at a time which means a lot of times paragraphs are sometimes split up between scrolled pages.

You can test this with any mouse that allows configuring the mouse button actions, for example all logitech mice, by selecting one of the extra mouse buttons (not the left or right click buttons) to be "middle button"...see how nice it is to scroll through web pages with some decent control on what is finally displayed.

This comment was edited on Mar 30, 2011, 04:33.
 
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News Comments > RPS on Crysis 2
17. Re: RPS on Crysis 2 Mar 30, 2011, 03:34 Rockn-Roll
 
I remember hanging out with a cousin back in 1999. My cousin had a game console...Either a Sony or Nintendo can't remember which...but what I do remember was that he had a huge number of games for it...like 100 or so. I played a lot of them with him and they were excellent games...I remember a batman game that was especially fun. They were so much fun, in fact, that I immediately went online to see if they were available for the PC...outcome? Nope...not a single one.

Why should Crysis 2 be any different? Or any console game for that matter. The game developers have to make a decision...should they spend the money to port it to the PC? For the vast number of console games made in the 20th century the answer was NO...mostly because the game source code had to be severely re-written to accomodate the different compilers. In the 21st century the game source code can be written to be exactly the same for all platforms if none of the platform specific code is used. And, the same compiler can be used with only a change in the library and target platform.

But, should they do this? I think the obvious answer is NO! The reason is that platform specific code is there to overcome deficiencies in the platform...typically in performance, but also in features. Huge across-the-board sacrifices have to be made in order to maintain non-platform specific source code i.e. no platform gets the advanced performance and features that a game designed for it will have. A game built this way will never be as good as a game designed specifically for a specific platform.

In my opinion...any game designed for a console should stay on the console and never be "ported" to the PC. That way the console gamers will have a better product and PC gamers won't get their hand-me-downs. That said...I don't see anything wrong with a developer wanting to make a PC game out of the same ideas and concepts that they used to make the console game. However, the code should NOT be directly linked...I don't see any reason that the programmer can't use the console game code as a reference, but the code should be newly designed for the PC.

A very good example of this is the mouse vs the game pad. These two controllers provide very different inputs into the game code which require very different code to implement.

The input that a mouse provides is the actual position of the mouse i.e. how far the mouse has moved since the last input. The player controls the position of the game object i.e. the aiming cross-hairs.

A game pad on the other hand provides the speed at which the game should move the game object. The player controls the speed at which the object is moving, but it's the game that controls the actual position. This is why auto-aim is absolutely necessary for consoles...because the player actually has no control over aiming.

Thus, if the game is written for a console then the mouse input routine must convert the player's selected position i.e. the player's aiming skills, into a simulated speed of movement. Not only does this result in PC player skill being ignored, but it means that when the player moves the mouse the game will continue to move the game object, for instance the aim, until the mouse data is sampled again and the simulated speed is calculated to be zero. This results in sluggish performance from the PC game and aiming being off. Our brains can compensate for this, but it's still there and in fact can lead to headaches as well as frustration when the player knows he is making the proper controller movement, but the game simply appears to be not fast enough to keep up.

Crysis 2 for the PC? Nope...won't be buying it...multiplayer is a joke with 4vs4 when the PC standard is at least 8vs8 or my favorite is 16vs16. The most fun I have ever had...so far...is playing 16vs16 Q3Arena CTF on Dueling Keeps...it's a small map and the only weapon you have to start off with is your fists...only one player on each team every 10 seconds can get a rocket launcher and I believe the lower level there's a plasma gun. This means the vast majority of time it's 14 players running at the other 14 players with nothing but fists...a total blast...a mosh pit battle at the center of the map. If this was 4vs4? At first it would be 2 players running around the map trying to hit the other 2 players who also have only fists while the 2 players that have weapons dominate the players on the other team who only get the weapons...then they will all have weapons after 10 seconds. There is no mosh pit battle. In fact, the strategy will most likely be for the players who get the weapons should return to the base and defend the base while the players without weapons chase each other around the map...stupid.

This comment was edited on Mar 30, 2011, 03:46.
 
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News Comments > Gaming Mouse Maker Knocks Gaming Mice
5. Re: Gaming Mouse Maker Knocks Gaming Mice Mar 29, 2011, 03:26 Rockn-Roll
 
Any company that compares "randomly generated commands" to "a conventional icon and pull-down menu interface" as a means of saying their product is faster has some seriously stupid people as their marketing team.

As far as a gaming mouse is concerned I can't stand any mouse with a wheel...it's uncomfortable and frequently pressing the wheel button will put a dent in my finger and make it sore. It's also imprecise and prone to overshoot the selection; plus, it robs that middle finger from the more useful comfortable button that the other two fingers have available.

In 1998 I bought the largest mouse available...the Logitch Mouseman 4-button mouse...here's an image except that it's got three buttons on top instead of two buttons and a wheel: Amazone.com image

Unfortunately, the electronics in my mouseman 4-button mouse died about 6 years ago and nobody makes 3 button mice. So, I ripped the guts out of it and bought a Logitech MX-620 and carved it up and stuck it inside my 4-button mouseman...it's what I call my Rat...it's bigger, meaner, and eats wheel mice as a snack. And, I don't bother with macros because selecting then executing the right macro still requires some skill...and it just exposes more things that can go wrong. The best controls are the ones that you don't have to think about...that way your focus can be on strategy and tactics. That WarMouse not only looks totally uncomfortable and too complicated...it's a wired device which gamers realized a decade ago was a problem that a wireless system solves...as long as that wireless system has the communication speed to match the sampling speed of the mouse positioning frequency.

This comment was edited on Mar 29, 2011, 04:01.
 
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News Comments > Avalanche on Piracy, DRM, and Ports
17. Re: Avalanche on Piracy, DRM, and Ports Mar 26, 2011, 22:33 Rockn-Roll
 
Slashman wrote on Mar 26, 2011, 17:31:
I actually felt kind of good that I found console players on the forums who were envious of the mods and stuff that came out for the PC and some of the other perks we got. That doesn't happen often.

Good point...it just adds another question mark for why game developers don't design the games for the PC and then port it to the consoles. The PC really is the best platform for gaming with it's (soon-after-a-console-is-released) better processing and graphics hardware as well as freedom of modding, dedicated servers, ability to host LAN parties, wider range of controller options, surround gaming, etc. Consoles are toys compared to the features available in a PC.
 
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News Comments > Avalanche on Piracy, DRM, and Ports
16. Re: Avalanche on Piracy, DRM, and Ports Mar 26, 2011, 22:18 Rockn-Roll
 
I've never before read something so self-serving...if "50% of his employees come from hacking background" then of course it would make it easier for them to pirate games if there was no DRM...they would not have to do any work at all to steal games.

I'd also like to point out that his statement of "I would like at some point to do a really good PC game designed specifically for PC players." is basically saying that he too is designing games for the consoles and porting to the PC, or that he is not designing really good games...but gee...does it make him right because he wants to do really good games designed for the PC?

I'm a computer engineer with 28 years of experience...and hacking is a very specialized talent. I had some experience with it myself...a friend gave me their copy of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but they had lost their key. I'm sure it was a legitimate copy because that friend worked for my father...he would have been risking his job and career if it was stolen. This was back in the DOS days...late 80's, so I used a debugger included with a shareware assembler called ASM86 to step through the machine code and locate where the key was checked...and then used Norton Utilities to change the conditional jump code to a non-operational code in the exe file so that processing wouldn't jump out to the exit routine.

That got me through the first few levels, but then the game would crash after that...I never found out why...whether it was another DRM check or whatever because I had already got my fill of the game and didn't bother to continue, because stepping through the machine code is tedious and time consuming work. I recall that it took me a good 4 hours or so to get the game working. And, hacking is not a stepping stone to application development because it doesn't require any code design...it's just tediously stepping through machine code until the normal process is interrupted and the code jumps to a segment of code where the exit message is displayed...replacing the conditional jumps with non-ops takes no brains at all. Hackers don't get my respect at all, but neither do most programmers...in reality there are very few programmers that would gain my respect...many of the jobs I've worked in my career has been fixing the problems that other programmers have caused and which dozens of other programmers could not find and fix.

The tools hackers use today are more sophisticated, but so are the DRM measures. And, some DRM measures are seamless and painless to use...for example Steam...after a game is installed and the key used to unlock it...the game is forever unlocked for that Steam account even if the unlock key is lost. In fact, I don't hear any of my friends complain about DRM unless it's GFWL which is a console port itself or SecureROM or the like where there's a limited number of activations.

All this did for Christofer Sundberg and Avalanche Studios...as far as I'm concerned...is put him and the studio on a list of game companies which I will never purchase from...because the last thing I want to do is help fund pirates or programmers who are causing the problems that I need to fix. Programmers that keep creating buggy code really should find another career...rocket science is actually easier than designing bug-free code...I know because I studied rocket science in college (basically it's fluid dynamics plus mechanical dynamics, and a little chemistry and physics).
 
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News Comments > Deus Ex: Human Revolution Trailer
1. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Trailer Mar 25, 2011, 13:03 Rockn-Roll
 
To be completely honest the way the AI characters move and the movement of the controls it looks like games made for consoles in the late 90's.

Specifically, the AI character movement is stiff and lacks fluidity. A problem with console games of that era was the AI character movement didn't coincide with the distance the characters travel across the ground...almost like their feet were always slipping. In other words the animation was designed to make the characters appear to move at a specific speed, but the characters are moving either slower or faster without any change in their animation.

Also, it is apparent that the trailer was made using a console control system because the gun will move at a set speed rather than a fluid motion such as when a human controls it or like a mouse where the motion speeds up at first then quickly slows down when the player reaches the position that they want the gun to be in.

This is definitely a game which I would not purchase for a PC without first trying a demo. No Demo = No Purchase.
 
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275 Comments. 14 pages. Viewing page 5.
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