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User information for Roger Norris

Real Name Roger Norris   
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Nickname The Pyro
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Description Software developer, long-time Blue's reader
Homepage None given.
Signed On Jul 10, 2000, 20:19
Total Comments 258 (Amateur)
User ID 6134
User comment history
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
6. Re: Out of the Blue Feb 9, 2012, 12:51 The Pyro
How does freezing enhance the flavor?

I'm wondering because generally, freezing messes up food by the expanding water particles punching holes in cells (for meat/plants) then when it thaws, proteins and fluids etc escape from those holes

I have no idea why it works. Most foods do not taste as good to me after being frozen, but a few things actually taste better. In particular there's a spaghetti meat sauce recipe my family eats which definitely tastes better after freezing it.
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News Comments > A Game of Dwarves Details; Trailer
1. Re: A Game of Dwarves Details; Trailer Jan 21, 2012, 16:43 The Pyro
Toady One (developer of Dwarf Fortress) has mentioned that he's been approached a few times with proposals for making a more commercial Dwarf Fortress. I wonder if this game is from one of the companies that approached him.  
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News Comments > Half-Life 3 ARG?
25. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 14:35 The Pyro
Jerykk wrote on Dec 12, 2011, 12:33:
You guys are acting like Portal 1 was demanding or something. Portal 1 was a joke.

You may laugh, but my wife needed help to get past some of the later puzzles. She knew what she needed to do but didn't have enough mouse skill to pull it off. It was very frustrating for her. Fortunately she was able to navigate all the way through Portal 2 without assistance, and the game was very enjoyable for her.
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News Comments > Half-Life 3 ARG?
16. Re: Half-Life 3 ARG? Dec 12, 2011, 12:25 The Pyro
Matshock wrote on Dec 12, 2011, 11:56:
Tiny map slices and no demands made on mouse/keyboard users took much of the excitement out of the gameplay.

On the other hand, there's a very large audience (my wife included) who love solving puzzles but have zero mouse/keyboard skills. I think Valve made the right decision by making Portal 2 more accessible to that market, as it's not primarily an action game.

Also, note that Portal games do not have a difficulty setting. Newbies would have no recourse for enjoying the game if their mouse/keyboard skills aren't up to snuff.

I'm sure if HL3 or Episode 3 comes out then there will be plenty of demand placed on mouse/keyboarder skills. How about lobbing Magnusson devices at Striders from 100 yards away? And you can always crank up the difficulty in an FPS.
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News Comments > Sale; Empire Earth for Free
3. Re: Sale; Empire Earth for Free Dec 12, 2011, 11:55 The Pyro
The sale must have been succesful... I can't buy anything off their site due to servers being too busy.  
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News Comments > BioWare Developing C&C Generals 2 for 2013
17. Re: BioWare Developing C&C Generals 2 for 2013 Dec 11, 2011, 19:32 The Pyro
Rossafur wrote on Dec 11, 2011, 16:57:
There's nothing in the term "Real-Time Strategy" that mandates base-building.

The term doesn't necessarily imply base-building, but the decision tree which follows from base-building is what typically distinguishes strategy games from tactical simulators. In both turn-based and real-time strategy games the players must "fight against the clock" to implement their strategies quickly, and base-building is one of the ways that real-time strategy games ensure that the clock keeps ticking.

For example, in chess the players fight to develop their strong pieces and also protect their King in as few moves as possible; if either player is too slow to implement their strategy then the opposing player can take advantage of vulnerabilities to create a tactical advantage.

Similarly, in Starcraft players must optimize their build order to quickly establish the technology and economy needed for their end-game strategy. If you build your base inefficiently then you will be outgunned, outnumbered, or both. The strategy of the game is not just how you move your units or which units you build, but also how you plan to efficiently obtain that technology without dying.

So basically the base-building component acts as a sort of timer in RTS games. If you play too slowly or if your strategy is inefficient then your opponent's macro will overwhelm you. Without the base-building aspect then it becomes a simple war of attrition which offers less depth of strategy.
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News Comments > EA's Command & Conquer Domain Spree
29. Re: EA's Command & Conquer Domain Spree Dec 5, 2011, 14:48 The Pyro
I never tried the C&C franchise, despite being a pretty big Total Annihilation fan. I like Starcraft, too, but the multiplayer isn't as appealing to me because of the heavy focus on mechanics (lol, and yet I watch SC2 all the time). How does C&C gameplay compare to those titles?

With TA I could play a multiplayer game at at a more relaxed pace and the mechanics left me enough time to actually think. With SC2 it feels like I'm playing speed chess... strategy is secondary to memorized timings and execution speed.
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
30. Re: Steam Top 10 Nov 21, 2011, 07:37 The Pyro
Skyrim does have insane amounts of content. I'm level 27, don't know how many dozens of hours played, a zillion quests pending on my log, and I've barely started the main quest. And I haven't seen a single dragon yet.

I think you need to do the first quest for the Jarl of Whiterun before random dragon encounters start happening (this quest is kindof your introduction to dragon-slaying). That's just a guess, though.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
12. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 11, 2011, 16:20 The Pyro
Something I noticed is some monitors are now forgoing DVI-inputs for HDMI. A problem for me since my video card only has DVI and S-Video. Apparently they come with adapters that let you convert DVI into HDMI. I'm a little wary of that method, is it a non-issue or are there problems associated with doing that?

A converter will not cause degradation. No signal conversion is required when going from DVI to HDMI (i.e. HDMI is backwards-compatible with DVI even though the connectors are shaped differently).
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News Comments > New BioWare Franchise Reveal Next Month
33. Re: New BioWare Franchise Reveal Next Month Nov 8, 2011, 13:40 The Pyro
The term 'RPG' has been used so loosely for so long that it has almost lost its meaning completely. Nowdays it usually just means a game with interactive dialog.

With pen and paper RPGs the definition is pretty clear. An RPG is basically a game in which players are given a character with specific motivations, and the player's job is to make choices that fit those motivations. The DM will provide a setting, and ensure the player's choices have appropriate consequences. A story progression is nice and improves enjoyment of the game, but is not actually mandatory.

Should a game like Final Fantasy be called an RPG? IIRC Final Fantasy games don't even have dialog options! The story progresses as you talk to the right people at the right times, but there are very few choices to be made. The player controls several characters, but you can't make any choices for them other than skill/equipment selection. That's hardly more RPG-ish than Doom Guy choosing to use a shotgun or a BFG.

I would say that Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 have RPG dialog. The dialog system allows you to guide your character's motivations (although you're usually restricted to two choices), and there are decisions which have permanent consequences in the universe. Outside of the dialog, though, there is very little role-playing.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
23. Re: Out of the Blue Oct 20, 2011, 22:01 The Pyro
Maybe I'm just being nostalgic, but it felt so good to instagib with a railgun despite a 200 ping. It took me a long time to get accustomed to "unlagged" type games where you don't have to lead your targets with hitscan weapons.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
35. Re: Out of the Blue Oct 13, 2011, 15:59 The Pyro
Now my nerd radar is got me interested. Would it be easy for you to repeat the same experiment with Chrome and see how many formats it supports?

Chrome support 10 formats when dragging hyperlinks. Both Chrome and Firefox support the text/x-moz-url format, which provides simple text data consisting of the URL on the 1st line and the page title on the 2nd line.

I saw only one data format shared by all 3 browsers (Chrome, IE9, Firefox) which includes the page title, and that was a standard FileGroupDescriptor/FileContents format(s). It basically just puts a shortcut file on the clipboard. I have no idea why Blue's HTML editor doesn't like the shortcut file provided by Firefox.

There's another possibility that I didn't think of earlier. Since it's the recipient's job to choose an available format, some programs might go with Format A over Format B just because it comes first in the list. In other words you could have Firefox and Chrome providing the exact same formats, but depending on the order in which they're added you might see different results. The recipient has to be the one to prioritize that stuff.

This comment was edited on Oct 13, 2011, 16:14.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
29. Re: Out of the Blue Oct 13, 2011, 14:54 The Pyro
I'm a developer. Please allow me to clear up any confusion regarding hyperlinks

Drag/drop operations in Windows cause data to be provided by the host application (e.g. Firefox) in a variety of formats (e.g. plain text, HTML, whatever else is applicable). It's up to the receiver to pick one those formats and handle it appropriately.

Using the latest version of Firefox (v7.0.1, downloaded today) I performed a simple test by dragging-and-dropping a hyperlink onto a custom application. I manually inspected the data associated with the drag/drop operation and saw 14 different data formats available, including HTML Format. The title of the linked page was included as part of the data.

I was able to drag hyperlinks into Windows Explorer without issues, and the title of the linked page showed up correctly.

Therefore Blue's problem must be caused by one of the following:
1) He's not running Windows, which invalidates my entire test
2) He's using an older version of Firefox which doesn't provide the same data formats when initiating a drag/drop operation.
3) His HTML editor doesn't support the data format(s) which Firefox uses to include the web page title in a dropped hyperlink.
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News Comments > id On RAGE "Cluster!@#$" and Lead Platforms
54. Re: id On RAGE Oct 8, 2011, 00:18 The Pyro
Had they contacted NVIDIA and ATI 6 months ago, I wonder if these problems would be here now.

Knowing how closely Carmack has worked with GPU vendors in years past, I would be extremely surprised if either nVidia or ATI had not been informed several months prior about driver issues affecting Rage. My guess is that nVidia and ATI had plenty of advance but were slow to deliver fixes, and id was forced to decide whether Rage should be released on schedule - hoping that driver updates would be available by launch date.

All of the above is pure speculation, but I know Carmack has mentioned working closely with both vendors in the past to address driver issues.
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News Comments > Unlock RAGE Hi-Rez Textures
75. Re: Unlock RAGE Hi-Rez Textures Oct 7, 2011, 10:28 The Pyro
I'm guessing that the 60 fps target framerate is not just for aesthetics; the physics engine may perform poorly, particularly in the racing portions of the game, if the framerate drops significantly below 60 fps.

It appears that the greatest strength of the megatexture technology is also its greatest weakness. The artists feel liberated, of course, since they can paint unique textures over every square inch without worrying about memory constraints. But the technology doesn't magically increase available VRAM, so when the volume of texture data grows large they must rely on the technology falling back on low-res textures as needed.

When artists are forced to deal with memory constraints up front then they can make artistic decisions about how to reduce memory usage. They could intelligently decide, "Yeah, we probably need to reuse or repeat some textures here," or perhaps, "This element of scenery looks nice but we don't have the memory budget for it, so let's cut it out." But when these decisions are given to the cold, unfeeling algorithms of the megatexture engine then the results aren't always up to modern standards of visual quality.

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News Comments > RAGE Reviews - PC Users Raging - ATI RAGE Drivers
126. Re: RAGE Reviews - PC Users Raging - ATI RAGE Drivers Oct 4, 2011, 18:17 The Pyro
I think most are surprised at how these 5+ year old console's seem to run the game fine and people with PC's with way higher specs seem to have all sorts of issues, but, I havent played it so I'm blowing a bunch of smoke for all I know.

You're not blowing smoke; Carmack said as much during his keynote at this year's QuakeCon. The consoles give developers direct access to the hardware and therefore support more optimizations than PCs.
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News Comments > MechWarrior Reboot News Nears
10. Re: MechWarrior Reboot News Nears Sep 29, 2011, 12:40 The Pyro
deadearth wrote on Sep 29, 2011, 11:11:
I'm sure it'll end up being a first person shooter with a cover system and regenerating health.

I kid, i kid.

I'm not crazy about EZ-mode cover, but I probably wouldn't mind having mechs that can crouch. They are humanoid after all I can't remember - did MW4 allow mechs to intentionally go prone and shoot from the ground?
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News Comments > Jupiter's Folly Beta Launches
2. Re: Jupiter's Folly Beta Launches Sep 8, 2011, 13:56 The Pyro
The unfortunate issue I have with this game is that for obsessively competitive people (e.g. myself) it rapidly gets in the way of real life. Although it's possible to play only once per day, there's a definite competitive advantage to logging in more frequently. Your units are constantly on the move and gathering new intelligence - therefore it's often better to delay important spending decisions by 4, or 8, or however many hours needed to get the intel to make the best decision. So I find myself being compelled to check the game status at 3am.

That said, I do like the gameplay mechanics - seems like it would make a fun social/party game if you had sufficient workstations (so you didn't need to hotseat) and a way to speed up the turns.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
10. Re: Out of the Blue Aug 22, 2011, 13:56 The Pyro
Make sure to wear gloves when handling it

No kidding! I don't know if I've just got weak skin or what, but the last time I sliced jalapenos (less than a dozen) without gloves, my hands burned for two days. It took me hours to fall asleep the first night because it was so painful. Ironically the peppers themselves were eaten without incident

The peppers try to trick you, too. The juice doesn't burn your skin immediately. It takes several minutes for it to soak in before you start to feel it. Once you feel the heat it's too late to to wash it off (trust me, I tried everything in the kitchen: milk, lemon juice, vinegar, etc...)

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
7. Re: Out of the Blue Jul 28, 2011, 13:50 The Pyro
Scariest moment of my life was when the driver of a large pickup (towing a trailer full of pointy yard tools no less) realized that he was about to miss his exit and decided to cut across three lanes of traffic. I barely saw him coming in time. I swerved right and missed being hit by less than 6 inches.

To make matters worse I was in a middle lane, and had no time to check my mirrors when swerving. I just got lucky that nobody was there.
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258 Comments. 13 pages. Viewing page 5.
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