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Saturday, Feb 04, 2023

John Carmack on Keeping Games Alive

Upload VR has a statement from John Carmack after asking the former Oculus and id Software CTO about news that Oculus is shutting down Echo VR on Oculus Quest. This offers a gamer-centric outlook on the value companies derive from keeping older games running, and the irreplaceable goodwill lost when they are closed. Here's a bit on how games can be designed to better account for changes down the road:
Every game should make sure they still work at some level without central server support. Even when not looking at end of life concerns, being able to work when the internet is down is valuable. If you can support some level of LAN play for a multiplayer game, the door is at least open for people to write proxies in the future. Supporting user-run servers as an option can actually save on hosting costs, and also opens up various community creative avenues.

Be disciplined about your build processes and what you put in your source tree, so there is at least the possibility of making the project open source. Think twice before adding dependencies that you can’t redistribute, and consider testing with stubbed out versions of the things you do use. Don’t do things in your code that wouldn’t be acceptable for the whole world to see. Most of game development is a panicky rush to make things stop falling apart long enough to ship, so it can be hard to dedicated time to fundamental software engineering, but there is a satisfaction to it, and it can pay off with less problematic late stage development.

Evil Dead: The Game Launches Splatter Royale

A new update is now live for Evil Dead: The Game, adding a new battle royale mode called Splatter Royale to the Evil Dead survival/horror game. This is available for Windows on Epic Games Store as well as for consoles. The PC release demonstrates one of the weaknesses of Epic's storefront after all these years, as there's no function to report on such news. Update: That was a reference to a lack of news updates in store listings, but it's been correctly pointed out there is a seldom-used news feed that did indeed cover this. There are details on the Evil Dead Website, along with a trailer showing off the new mode. The description is quite straightforward:
Evil Dead: The Game’s new battle royale-style game mode is now live, free for all players!

Choose a Deadite version of your favorite Survivor and Demon from the game. Use your wits and weapons to duke it out to the Last Deadite Standing in fast-paced, cutthroat action for up to 40 players.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Well, speaking (twice) of the winter weather, holy crap is it cold here. The season has been manageable in these parts so far, but damn! Last night it dropped to -7°F. So basically zero Fs given. And the main advance warning was of the potentially deadly wind chill, so who knows how cold it was with that taken into account. This flash froze the pond, and basically flash froze us too. I hope all the critters are safe, and of course the people as well. But seeing this report makes it sound like we should have been outside enjoying the balmy weather. That's because it notes that last night the peak of Mount Washington in New Hampshire it was -46°F with gusts up to 127 mph, setting a likely new national record for lowest wind chill temperature of minus 108 degrees Fahrenheit. The good news is we seem to past the worst of it, and the forecast calls for normal deadly winter weather going forward, rather than this extra deadly variety.

Obituary: "Police Academy" Star Robertson Has Died.

Frozen Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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