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User information for Matt F

Real Name Matt F   
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Nickname SquirrelZero
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Description Pandora Studios programmer
http://www.pandora-studios.com
Homepage http://www.frag-ops.com
Signed On Jul 30, 2004, 10:37
Total Comments 593 (Apprentice)
User ID 21448
 
User comment history
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News Comments > BioShock 2 Widescreen Patch Tomorrow
2. Re: BioShock 2 Widescreen Patch Tomorrow Feb 22, 2010, 17:51 SquirrelZero
 
Not only that, they patched Bioshock 1 for the same issue only a week after release. Whoops!  
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News Comments > Op Ed
2. Re: Op Ed Feb 22, 2010, 13:59 SquirrelZero
 
Or if you want to go even farther back, my UT2003/4 mod Frag.Ops did it in 2003. It was a modern-warfare FPS with rank progression, medals, and weapon unlocks. There may be something else out there that predates it, but as far as I know we did it first.  
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News Comments > Ubisoft DRM Interview
28. Re: looking for a gold star? Feb 21, 2010, 19:06 SquirrelZero
 
We know people pirate PC games. A lot. It's not a secret, and really the only thing DRM or any sort of anti-piracy protection does is delay the pirated release of the game by say, a day or two (and that still usually lands before the game ever ends up available online or in stores). MMOs are the only real exception here, and even then older MMOs like RO and Lineage II have private servers running everywhere that you don't need to pay to play on.

Take Stardock's stance: no DRM, no copy-protection. They still manage to sell tons of copies of their games online through digital distribution, and you know what I think contributes a lot to that? People don't like jumping through hoops to play a video game. DRM is a hassle, and when people don't feel like trying to figure out some obscure installation or startup error when going to play a game, sure, they might go download a cracked version. DRM will not stop piracy; it never has, and it never will.

Stick to making good games and they will sell themselves.
 
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News Comments > More Rockstar Spouse Follow-up
7. Re: More Rockstar Spouse Follow-up Jan 23, 2010, 16:17 SquirrelZero
 
I have no fucking idea what that means, Shane.  
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News Comments > More Rockstar Spouse Follow-up
5. Re: More Rockstar Spouse Follow-up Jan 23, 2010, 08:45 SquirrelZero
 
Those points can be valid, and certainly seem relevant to your experience. But what happens when you don't get that additional time off? What happens when the crunch is over, the game goes gold and the company lays off half its staff? Where, at all, does that inspire loyalty, to either the industry or the company? Have you ever been through a 3 month crunch only to have your pink slip handed to you at the end of it all, with no additional compensation for the 90 days, 70+ hour weeks you worked? Has your entire livelihood ever hung by a thread when sub-contracting to work on a vertical slice, had it greenlit by the pub, only to have the game yanked away from you just days later? Mine has, at multiple jobs. And still is.

I moved to LA only 4 months ago, hired on full-time as senior AI engineer for a relatively well-known company and an extremely lucrative franchise. I was promised job security, bonuses, coverage for moving expenses, etc. Last Friday the game we were working on was pulled by the publisher. I didn't even have enough time to qualify for unemployment. Tell me, what am I expected to do now? There were no bonuses given, no job security, and there will be no severance package. I'll be lucky to even hang on to my health care for a couple of months. This is the reality of the industry, in so many developers' lives. And it's why I'm getting the fuck out. That is, if I'm not sleeping in my car before I find other work.

I'm only a single example. And no, I did not work for Rockstar. But ask the 1500 people let go by EA just a short time ago, or the other dozens of layoffs and closings and cancellations in recent months. The industry needs to figure out a better way of doing things, as I've said before in previous posts, because the average career of a game developer is only 5 years. That's not a career. That's what you did working at a retail store during college to pay your rent. Careers are what you do until you retire. Hell, I'm a 7-year veteran, and I can't believe I made it this far.

Unfortunately, the games industry is as immature as the media portrays the people who play the games we make are. We all know the latter isn't true, but the former is. And nothing changes. It's been this way for a long, long time. I'm tired of this shit. Time to move on.
 
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News Comments > BioShock: The Phantom Menace?
20. Re: BioShock: The Phantom Menace? Jan 7, 2009, 16:05 SquirrelZero
 
Empire
New Hope
Return
Attack of the Clones
Phantom Menace
Revenge of the Sith

IMO.
 
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News Comments > LOTRO Issue & Workaround
7. Re: LOTRO Issue & Workaround Jan 3, 2009, 14:34 SquirrelZero
 
Not as bad as MS accidentally letting hotmail.com expire.

Or leaving an infinite loop in Zune's date code that bricked every single 30GB Zune in existence for a day.
 
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News Comments > New ATI Drivers
5. Re: Nice work! Dec 21, 2007, 10:31 SquirrelZero
 
I picked up a 3870 a couple weeks ago and it's excellent. By far ATI's best offering since the 9800 Pro. Solid, quiet, fast, and cheap. And runs fine in my HTPC with only a 450w power supply. Unfortunately, ATI is still playing catchup since the 8800 series has been available for a long time already, and the 3870 is essentially its equal. But at least the price is right.

 
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News Comments > Auran Developments Closes
7. Re: No subject Dec 13, 2007, 12:49 SquirrelZero
 
My entry into the industry was pretty shitty (started at EA, making 40k) but really, that's not bad considering I never graduated college. I'm now 27, make vastly more than that and am at a smaller company, although the crunch hours can wreak havoc on your mind/body. Other than that I don't work more than 45 hours a week. Not everything in the industry sucks ass, you know.

 
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News Comments > Operation Flashpoint 2 Details
2. Re: I predict... Aug 22, 2007, 11:52 SquirrelZero
 
Sigh, can we please get a moratorium on using the word "rising" in game titles?

 
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News Comments > BioShock Widescreen Woes
37. Re: Great. Aug 22, 2007, 01:00 SquirrelZero
 
First, the Australia studio is the one that primarily worked on the PC version. Second, it's a very normal thing to take a vacation right before launch or right after. Typically even after the game goes gold, you continue working on it to see if there are any issues that need to be resolved immediately following launch that you may have missed. Being around on launch day isn't going to change anything. A few days later isn't going to change anything. These guys deserve a break, let them have it.

 
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News Comments > BioShock Demo
132. Re: Uh. Aug 22, 2007, 00:28 SquirrelZero
 
No, that's a pretty slimy thing to do to modders.

 
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News Comments > BioShock Demo
127. Re: Mouse Smoothing Aug 21, 2007, 11:23 SquirrelZero
 
That wouldn't make any sense, because (from what I can tell) it doesn't read config settings from the Default.ini, it reads them from the ConfigINI.IBF file. And setting CaptureMouse to false would probably prevent the mouse from working entirely. The only purpose that the Default.ini would serve is to restore config settings to their defaults, I believe, which might actually be useful. If you could force it to reset your graphics settings ingame, it may apply all the D3D settings (including ReduceMouseLag, which is what turns on mouse smoothing).

This comment was edited on Aug 21, 11:25.
 
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News Comments > BioShock Demo
122. Re: Cutscene? Aug 21, 2007, 10:18 SquirrelZero
 
I think I may have a found a way to change config settings without corrupting your INI. I'll experiment and return with my findings and hopefully a fix for the mouse smoothing issue.

 
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News Comments > BioShock Demo
108. Re: No subject Aug 21, 2007, 04:38 SquirrelZero
 
There isn't actually mouselag in this game. The issue is really due to Unreal Engine, and is something that has been around in the engine about as far as I can remember. There is code in the base engine for something called "Mouse Smoothing" which attempts to interpolate the last location of the mouse pointer to the current location, based on a float variable passed to the algorithm. For some people with low or average mouse resolution, a small to medium value for this option is desireable because it feels a lot smoother. For those with high mouse resolution and a medium to low interpolation rate, this is actually very undesireable.

Instead of tracking the mouse location as it moves, it attempts to interpolate it, which results in "snapping" to the nearest point and thus the feel of jerky movement. If you look at the config file, which is encoded with a binary header, you can see mouse smoothing turned on. In most UE games, the option is given ingame to turn mouse smoothing on or off, but the controls menu in BioShock is surprisingly sparse. Also, because the ini is encoded with binary headers, it's impossible to edit it without decoding and re-encoding the file, which nobody has done yet. In fact, it may even be impossible if the game enforces certain settings upon startup if they differ from the defaults. Overall, I am extremely disappointed that you can't manually edit the config in this game. Presumably, they originally did this to prevent hacking of certain settings in the Xbox 360 version (something I helped do on the last UE3 360 game I worked on) but the reasoning for doing this on the PC absolutely escapes me.

I guarantee it won't take long for someone to release a small program to decompile and recompile the config file after the final release of the game. There are a lot of familiar UE3 options in there that I would like to enable/disable. Sigh.

edit: To those who think this is not UE3, having worked on UE3 I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is indeed UE3. I can't see anyone, under any circumstances, implementing as many UE3 settings as I see in the BioShock config file, over to UE2. It would be far easier, time monetarily-speaking, just to port the game over to UE3. Also, the logo you see when booting up the demo is the UE3 logo. I'm not sure if you can even use that if you're not using a UE3 base.

edit: "Rand" almost certainly refers to Ayn Rand, the author of "Atlas Shrugged," the very basis of the premise behind BioShock. If not, I would guess that it referred to the rand() function, commonly used in many programming languages to generate a random output based on a factor of time. But based on the game's setting, I would take the former guess over the latter.

This comment was edited on Aug 21, 04:46.
 
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News Comments > BioShock Demo
46. Re: No subject Aug 20, 2007, 22:27 SquirrelZero
 
You can install the ATI beta drivers without the CCC. Just go to "custom" when installing and uncheck the CCC from the list.

 
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News Comments > Guild Wars: Eye of the North Preview Event Details
11. Re: No subject Aug 8, 2007, 12:49 SquirrelZero
 
Just so you know, you can go to Gamestop and put down $5 to preorder and still get the special little preorder box with all the goodies in it, as well as access to the sneak preview event.

 
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News Comments > Eye of the North Trailer
1. No subject Jul 20, 2007, 12:12 SquirrelZero
 
Awesome, so the GWEN acronym really did mean something. Grown up Gwen actually seems pretty cool.

 
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News Comments > Black Powder Red Earth Announced
2. Re: No subject Jun 26, 2007, 19:28 SquirrelZero
 
To be fair, the first paragraph says "Black Power." I was about to comment on how it would be hard to come up with a worse name, but then I saw "Black Powder" at the bottom.

 
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News Comments > Wasteland Sequel?
23. Re: No subject Jun 22, 2007, 20:04 SquirrelZero
 
"Fallout Fantasy" sounds like Anachronox.

 
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593 Comments. 30 pages. Viewing page 1.
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