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User information for S Westberg

Real Name S Westberg   
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Nickname Flatline
Email Concealed by request
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Homepage http://
Signed On Feb 15, 2007, 19:09
Total Comments 1952 (Pro)
User ID 34131
 
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News Comments > Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support
35. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 14:40 Flatline
 
Beamer wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 14:28:
Flatline wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 14:21:
Verno wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 14:12:
rist3903 wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 13:59:
I think not making games in one of the most expensive places to live might be a good start.


The talent pool in the industry (in NA) tends to be concentrated in several areas and getting people to move or establishing a new location can be very costly. It's getting better but it takes time and people tend to hang around geographically to the big players as that's often where the jobs and projects are.

True be we are just now starting to limp out of 4 years of recession. It's an employer's market, and I know people would relocate all over NA for a steady job on their own time over the past few years.

Games industry however seems to have gotten bloated enough that they aren't fast-reacting like they used to be. Seems to me when dev studios can be planted just about anywhere and game sales are down, that getting some talent together in a place where cost of living is 1/3rd other parts of the country makes sense. Even if you don't cut pay correspondingly, your money goes a hell of a lot further.

Some people are willing to move. Some aren't. It's a lot to ask someone to sacrifice their family's home for a job, especially when others are available nearby. Plus, moving is expensive. It takes an enormous amount of money to move a company. Just to wind down or break your lease, find a new place, move all the equipment - enormous money. Then there are the employees. You lose some good ones. You have to replace them, which costs a lot. You have to pay to move others, because they almost definitely will not follow if you do not pay. They have to worry about selling their homes for more than the mortgage. They have to worry about finding new homes and putting down payments.
It's not a very easy thing.

Many companies went to Raleigh, NC or Austin, TX due to pricing, but ultimately LA and SF are the centers of North American game development.

SF is a clusterfuck (I've heard of 3 hour commutes one way just so that you can afford to work in SF), but I'm an LA native, and thankfully, usually within 60-90 minutes of wherever you work you can find fairly affordable housing. Cost of living is bullshit though.

I also wasn't talking about moving an established company, but rather someone like EA or UBI or whatever founding like EA: Misery... err... Missouri and pulling talent out to the middle of BFE. It was bad enough a few years ago that people would have done it.
 
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News Comments > Silent Hunter Online Trailer
9. Re: Silent Hunter Online Trailer Feb 5, 2013, 14:37 Flatline
 
Keith wrote on Feb 4, 2013, 22:33:
I really liked Silent Hunter III. SH IV had too many bugs, and I never picked up SH V because it is widely reported to have even more bugs than SH IV. Still, there is something to be said for cruising the Atlantic (or the Pacific) and trying to stealthily approach convoys so you can nail them broadside with a torpedo strike. Hopefully UBI has learned its lesson on releasing bug-ridden games with draconian DRM. The lack of trust in UBI at this point is evident in less than expected returns on the latest Ghost Recon release, as well as Anno 2070, etc., etc.

SH4 is worth the like 10 bucks you pay these days for it, though you have to mod the fuck out of it. The Trigger Maru mod with the difficulty cranked up kicks my ass like there's no tomorrow, and if you want a more historically accurate Pacific, someone did a campaign called Run Silent Run Deep that redoes most of the major battles and recreates 1000+ historical convoys from the entire war.

SH5 is supposedly decent if you mod the shit out of it and get some user patches to fix crashes/game stopping bugs, but the mods are tempermental and have to be installed from what I last saw once you progress to a certain point in the game.
 
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News Comments > Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support
29. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 14:21 Flatline
 
Verno wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 14:12:
rist3903 wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 13:59:
I think not making games in one of the most expensive places to live might be a good start.


The talent pool in the industry (in NA) tends to be concentrated in several areas and getting people to move or establishing a new location can be very costly. It's getting better but it takes time and people tend to hang around geographically to the big players as that's often where the jobs and projects are.

True be we are just now starting to limp out of 4 years of recession. It's an employer's market, and I know people would relocate all over NA for a steady job on their own time over the past few years.

Games industry however seems to have gotten bloated enough that they aren't fast-reacting like they used to be. Seems to me when dev studios can be planted just about anywhere and game sales are down, that getting some talent together in a place where cost of living is 1/3rd other parts of the country makes sense. Even if you don't cut pay correspondingly, your money goes a hell of a lot further.
 
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News Comments > Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support
28. Re: Notch Backtracks on Psychonauts 2 Support Feb 5, 2013, 14:17 Flatline
 
Beamer wrote on Feb 5, 2013, 14:01:
Also, any graphics intensive AAA game will cost you over 18 million.

Hell, a bog simple game licensing UE3 and making 0 engine modifications will likely have a baseline of 10 million. That's how much Epic has claimed Gears of War cost, and I'm guessing it was because their accounting put the engine build into the UE3 budget, not into the Gears budget.

Just think about it. Odds are you need:
- 2 engine guys. Figure $120k/year, round up to $150k to include benefits
- 1 lead developer. Same price
- 10 programmers. $85k
- 6 artists. $40k/year, round up to $50k
- 4 gameplay designers. $50k/year, round up to $65k
- 5 animators. $65k
- 10 map designers. $65k
- 2 sound guys. Same price as artists
- 1 music guy. $80k
- 1 writer. $120k
- 4 dedicated testing leads. $30k
- 10 additional testers. $20k

That's already $3.5 million. Figure $9 million for a 2.5 year development cycle. On top of that you need:
Cast. For Psychonauts you probably need at least 30-40 people, as it had a lot of characters. You need to pay them, pay their travel, pay for someone to record. $500,000
Occupancy. Rent for a place for 2.5 years, plus utilities? Given the juice they're running, figure $300k per year.
Equipment. You need a lot of good computers and expensive software. They already have a bunch, but we'll still take $500,000 on
Engine license. $1 million

We're already over $11 million, and we haven't taken a ton into account. There's the people not actually involved in the game development such as the IT team, the executives, the administrative staff, the HR people, the CFO, etc. It's ignoring taxes that need to be paid. It's ignoring the free food in the break room. And many of these numbers are lowballing.


I doubt that psychonauts 2 was ever intended to be a AAA title and more a labor of love though. Or at least, that's what Notch was probably figuring. DF apparently I guess figured on running the entire studio on it and not doing it as a side/indie project.
 
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News Comments > Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion
36. Re: Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion Feb 3, 2013, 16:08 Flatline
 
So the Kotaku link has pretty much most of Tiny Tina's dialog in the game in it. On reflection, and hearing it all at once, it sounds more like college "bro" slang than anything else.

No story here, just some white guilt. Move along.
 
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News Comments > Borderlands 2 Racism Discussion
33. Re: More Big Picture Details Feb 3, 2013, 15:45 Flatline
 
The Half Elf wrote on Feb 3, 2013, 13:49:
But if Tina was black it would be ok, just like it would be ok for me to call other gays faggots? (which I don't unless they are flaming faggots, in which case I just beat them with their own purses and stab them in the eyes with their overpriced shoes they bought after watching a episode of Sex in the City, but that's another story)...

*goes off to watch Louis CK describing a Cinnabon as a fat faggot treat and isn't offended in the least bit*

I still don't understand why you might call a gay guy a bundle of sticks. I guess I can see why you might call him a cigarette, I mean, you have to suck on a cigarette to make the tip turn red.
 
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News Comments > Brutal Legend Steam DB Entry Spotted
11. Re: More Big Picture Details Feb 3, 2013, 00:19 Flatline
 
HorrorScope wrote on Feb 2, 2013, 19:25:
Voted best soundtrack.

There's like 90-odd licensed tracks on the soundtrack. It's psychotic. Apparently they found a local record store that had this guy who was like the encyclopedia of metal, and was introducing the developers to metal sub-genres nobody had heard of before.
 
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News Comments > Brutal Legend Steam DB Entry Spotted
10. Re: Brutal Legend Steam DB Entry Spotted Feb 2, 2013, 23:41 Flatline
 
nin wrote on Feb 2, 2013, 17:46:
That was when I started to lose interest as well. Had it just stayed a 3rd person hack and slash, I prob would have stuck with it...

The humor was great, and Jack Black was a perfect fit.



I kept playing it as a hack & slash with backup. Take off, summon rally point, create murder ball of troops, land, go kick some ass. Wash, rinse, repeat.

And if you quit before Goth land, you missed out on one of the most awesome f*cking landscapes I've ever seen.
 
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News Comments > Diablo III PTR Updated
21. Re: Diablo III PTR Updated Feb 1, 2013, 21:08 Flatline
 
jacobvandy wrote on Feb 1, 2013, 19:39:
See, I look at it the completely opposite way... Loot in PoE, especially if you get a really lucky roll like you probably did and I have a few times, isn't completely worthless/disposable like it is in Diablo 3 or even Torchlight 2 to a somewhat lesser extent. Especially with all the various crafting items you can use to either enhance the base qualities of your equipment or upgrade to a higher tier or re-roll the mods and values of mods. Depending on what you want for your specific character build, lower level items can be very useful (particularly jewelry) for a long time.

Legendary items, of which I've only seen a few thus far, are also very unique. I have some mage shoes that give you +100% rarity of dropped items when you're on low health, which would encourage you to treasure hunt by gambling with your safety (having no life regen and relying on the energy shield for protection). That will never lose its utility, despite being only level 9.

Yeah that might be part of it. I haven't gotten into the "economy" as much I guess.

Mostly it's like "yawn... another short bow that does 3-10 damage, plus 1-3 ice damage. That makes this the 20th one I've found."
 
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News Comments > Diablo III PTR Updated
19. Re: Diablo III PTR Updated Feb 1, 2013, 18:05 Flatline
 
jacobvandy wrote on Feb 1, 2013, 15:02:
Path of Exile has retained the Accuracy Rating and Chance to Hit mechanics, which Diablo 3 did not... Basically there's a small to negligible (depending on your Dexterity, etc.) chance for an attack to miss completely, which is definitely jarring when you're used to that other style of "I'm standing right next to him, why shouldn't every swing connect?" I'm betting that's a large part of what you guys are calling "clunky" combat.

Granted, it still annoys me at times, especially since open beta happened and they've been struggling to keep the game from lagging, so it's sometimes hard to tell whether you're missing or just suffering latency issues... But I think it makes things a lot more interesting. Big dumb brute swinging a mace hits hard, but he misses up to 1/4 of the time. Deadeye ranger is rarely off the mark with her arrows, and the rest of the classes are somewhere in between.

FWIW, spells cannot miss unless you just screw up the targeting or the enemy moves out of the way.

I haven't felt the urge to go back to it since the first day I installed/played it. Got through the prison and went "meh" and wandered off to do real world stuff. I'll give it one more session to try to hook me, but I'm not expecting it to.

Edit: The loot drops feel funky as hell oddly enough. Maybe it's just some lucky loot, but I only change each piece of armor every 3-4 levels, and I haven't seen a chest piece that does better than what I have in over 10 levels. Which yeah, means that I swap a piece or two out every level, but the loot feels so... static... especially with the rather draconian economy system and your teeny tiny inventory space.
 
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News Comments > Dirty Bomb Alpha Access
17. Re: Dirty Bomb Alpha Access Feb 1, 2013, 18:00 Flatline
 
Tumbler wrote on Feb 1, 2013, 10:47:
The game play footage looked better than I expected but those prices are crazy. I assume f2p grind a thon?

It looked like TF2 without the personality. I saw zero innovative gameplay at all during that teaser. Why should that game get my gaming time and money compared to, say, Tribes?
 
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
24. Re: Morning Metaverse Jan 31, 2013, 20:34 Flatline
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jan 31, 2013, 20:15:
Sorry, missed the sarcasm in your paragraph of bragging about saving money.

You're right, because one guy with an Amazon prime account could totally tank Amazon's profit margin.

No hyperbole there.
 
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News Comments > Zowie Bowie Directing Warcraft
19. Re: Zowie Bowie Directing Warcraft Jan 31, 2013, 18:02 Flatline
 
InBlack wrote on Jan 31, 2013, 10:03:
While we are on the subject of movies and all the remakes (re)imaginings that are being done today, I think someone should have another crack at Dune.

Lynch's Dune was such a craptastic movie that no one is willing to touch that project with a ten foot pole.

Visually Lynch's Dune was fantastic aside from a few things here and there. The acting was anywhere from solid to tolerable, and I always felt the film captured the world of Dune and managed to butcher the story. I know that originally Lynch wanted a story far closer to the book but the studio over-rode him and wanted the happier ending (rain on Arrakis), and that he wanted the first book to be a full trilogy instead of a 2 hour film. When that didn't work, he asked for 3-4 hours and they told him to kiss off.

He did the best with what he could I think, and managed a lot of visually interesting moments.

Compare that to the more story-accurate high school play atrocity that was the Sci-Fi miniseries abortion... With felt clothing, absurd costume design, horrific acting, terrible casting (Eastern Bloc Fremen FTW!), and set design and lighting that was an abomination (seriously... wrinkled back drops with sand piled up on the bottom, with the back drop painted in blues but the set lit in green... that reflected off of the back drop...), the miniseries *almost* ruined my love of the story and it was years before I felt like revisiting it.

Any remake of Dune would have to tread very carefully and devote itself to some serious world-building while still being true to the story.
 
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News Comments > Aliens: Colonial Marines Trailer
22. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Trailer Jan 31, 2013, 14:46 Flatline
 
Someone needs to remind game makers that Hicks' shotgun wasn't regulation.  
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
22. Re: Morning Metaverse Jan 31, 2013, 14:36 Flatline
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jan 31, 2013, 08:20:
Anyone who has owned Amazon stock for any length of time is pretty happy. Up 39% over the last year, up over 250% over the last 5 years.

Dude it's called a *joke*.
 
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
18. Re: Morning Metaverse Jan 31, 2013, 03:11 Flatline
 
Anyone who owns stock in Amazon I'd like to personally apologize for probably significantly eating into your profit margins.

See, I have Prime, and especially before the sales tax thing kicked in for California, I used to buy pretty much everything through the mothership if I didn't need it that day.

Why? Free 2 day shipping and usually pretty competitive prices. Cheaper than paying tax and gas and wasting an hour running errands.

So if I needed something, I bought it on 2-day. Thing is, I wouldn't aggregate my purchases like if I was doing super saver shipping or paying shipping. I'd buy one or two cheap-ass items and 2-day it to my house. I have recycled so much amazon cardboard that I can't even begin to imagine how much it is and I don't even want to think about how much postage I've saved. I know Amazon gets discounts, but we're talking thousands of dollars at least. So much so that I've noticed that they're slowing down my purchase shipments now. I bought an RV switch for 8 bucks and shipping was at least 2 bucks, and instead of it taking 2 days, it took a week. Anything over 25 bucks I've noticed is still on 2-day... usually... but they don't jump on the shipping like they used to. I imagine because of asshats like me raping Prime for all it's worth. Best goddamn 80 bucks I ever spent online. Half of my teardrop trailer is Amazon purchased, pieces at a time, and I must have saved as I said a couple thousand dollars in shipping.
 
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News Comments > Aliens: Colonial Marines Trailer
5. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Trailer Jan 30, 2013, 23:42 Flatline
 
Lorcin wrote on Jan 30, 2013, 21:37:
Who invited 2005's graphics to the party?

Looks like someone took Left 4 Dead and made an Aliens mod.

You have the horde (normal aliens), the spitter, the smoker's smoke clouds, the tank, the boomer, they're just missing 3 or 4 different enemy types to be a complete ripoff of L4D2.
 
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News Comments > Crysis 3 Crisis Averted
32. Re: Crysis 3 Crisis Averted Jan 30, 2013, 15:02 Flatline
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 30, 2013, 14:49:
Creston wrote on Jan 30, 2013, 10:56:

That would be far more believable had EA in fact not already done this exact thing, and had they not taken months to fix the issue even after the "media" excoriated them for it.

Creston

But, but, but Creston, that was a BUG! HONEST! You can't have an email unsubscribe system that isn't tied into your forum banning system! It's just not possible! You have to write a specific exclusion to prevent email unsubscribers from getting banned from the forums. It's complicated stuff! We thought we'd excluded everyone, but some of them got through! The tech team is working on quashing that bug as we speak!

So if it was a bug, and the bug slipped through the cracks, who gets banned from the EA service then? EA themselves?
 
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News Comments > Dead Space 3 Microtransactions & Game Modes Detailed
2. Re: Dead Space 3 Microtransactions & Game Modes Detailed Jan 29, 2013, 23:43 Flatline
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 23:21:
Wow. Horrible.

Boycott is required for this game now. 10 dollars just to play coop online? Rofl.

Sad. I really, really liked the original Dead Space, and even found DS2 to be pretty enjoyable.
 
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News Comments > Ships Ahoy - Dungeonland
3. Re: Ships Ahoy - Dungeonland Jan 29, 2013, 23:39 Flatline
 
Frijoles wrote on Jan 29, 2013, 22:21:
After watching a couple Let's Play of this... I have no idea what it is. Neither did the reviewers. They seemed to be enjoying themselves though.

It's basically a co-op ARPG. There are 3 classes, and you can unlock a total of 4 jobs per class. There are weapons and armor suits and potions and skills and perks to unlock.

You run around and kill mobs, 3 players at a time. Everyone gets the loot equally, and everyone heals on picking up healing, and there's a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor.

Visually, it looks like a board game. Specifically, a happier, goofier version of Descent. The map is made up of cardboard tiles, and you'll run by giant polyhedral dice.

Think of it as a graphically updated Castle Crashers, without the apparent insanity of that game (granted, I only played for about 20 minutes on the copy a friend gifted me).

The humor is very dark and tongue-in-cheek. Think Dungeon Keeper 2, though questionably not of that quality.
 
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1952 Comments. 98 pages. Viewing page 26.
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