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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request
ICQ None given.
Description
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 3007 (Veteran)
User ID 13410
 
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News Comments > Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak Released
22. Re: Morning Mobilization Jan 22, 2016, 19:43 Scottish Martial Arts
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 22, 2016, 05:49:
NKD wrote on Jan 21, 2016, 10:10:

There's the problem with developing AI for RTS, and why RTS has always been primarily a player versus player affair.


The vast majority of RTS players never play online, according to a recent statement by Blizzard about Starcraft 2. And that backs up an old article by RPS how only 23% of Demigod players ever played online. Demigod, a game designed precisely for online play. Given that, it's in devs best interest to make fun, challenging AI.

Speaking anecdotally, I find playing RTSes online to be much more intimidating than playing a first person shooter or games of other genres. I think it has to do with the relative importance of each team member: unless you're playing competitive level Counter-Strike, no one particularly notices or cares if you're a mediocre player in a 32 player match. Where as if you're in a 2v2 or 3v3 SC2 game, and you play poorly, you feel a stronger sense of having let down your teammates, or at least I do. And of course, in 1v1, you either win or you lose, and if you lose it's entirely your fault, and you can only hope your opponent is a gracious winner.

Nearly all online gaming is competitive, but for me at least RTSes tap into a fear of failing the social group (teammates) that other genres do not. I do very much enjoy RTS single player however, where there is no fear of letting anyone down.
 
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News Comments > Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak Released
21. Re: Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak Released Jan 22, 2016, 14:26 Scottish Martial Arts
 
yuastnav wrote on Jan 21, 2016, 12:06:
There are so many scientists working on machine learning and what not and yet AI in video games is one of the things that barely changes.

And you're aware they work for Google for hundred of thousands if not millions of dollars per year, right? You're also aware that their machine learning research is being conducted on complex, networked server, computational architectures which give them multiple orders of magnitude more computing power than what will EVER exist on a desktop? And you expect them to jump ship for the gaming industry where maybe they'll make $75k/yr, experience shitty working conditions, rampant layoffs, and an end product which ultimately is just a toy for the inner-child of adult nerds? Give me a break.

I rarely agree with NKD but his analysis was spot on. There are certainly better game AIs and worse game AIs, but the people with the brainpower who might be able to move game AI algorithms forward, given the computing power of a desktop/console, sure as fuck aren't going to waste their genius on the gaming industry: they're making the big bucks at big organizations, doing work that they believe will advance the human race rather than entertain a man-child for an afternoon.

Given conventional game AI programming techniques, most of the calculations which would lead to realistic opponent/bot behavior are computationally expensive. They further most occur in real-time (no user perceived latency) in tandem with a real-time 3D graphics engine (hugely computationally expensive), on top of the core game logic, networking computations (in multiplayer), etc. Some developers strike a better balance with their finite computational resources than others, leading to more realistic and challenging AI behavior, but most don't. But this idea that game developers just need to focus on AI more and suddenly there will be a breakthrough on the order of the Quake 1 engine is pure fantasy, and reflective of abject ignorance of the technical hurdles involved.

Until you can beg a few high end research scientists to abandon MIT, or UC Berkeley, or Google to come work for a no-name game developer, we're stuck with computationally expensive AI algorithms which are competing for CPU time with a lot of other computationally expensive systems that make up the game as a whole.

Homeworld: DoK itself is excellent by the way: it really is Homeworld, but in the desert, and perfectly recaptures the spirit and much of the gameplay mechanics, of the originals. The AI is a little weak though.
 
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News Comments > Morning Mobilization
8. Re: Morning Mobilization Jan 15, 2016, 21:52 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Should you cut yourself off from the majority of recently released games, after already choosing to cut your performance to a third? Tough question. I'll have to think about that one for a while.

It's a question of what laptops are for. People buy laptops to do work on them. Gaming laptops have been and will always be retarded: to get comparable performance you have to spend about three times as much money, for a 6lbs monstrosity of a laptop with 2 hours of battery life.

So if you have and routinely use a laptop, it's presumably because you have work to do, which presumes you have a job, which further presumes that there are roughly 1000 times more worthwhile games to play than you have time to devote to them. That means what little time you do spend gaming is going to be selectively spent on a handful of titles, and most certainly NOT playing every major release simply because you derive your core identity from being a "gamer".

In that context, being able to play CS:GO, with significant but not huge performance gains over Windows, on the Ubuntu/Fedora/Gentoo laptop you use for work may in fact be all you need to satisfy your gaming needs, because if you take your career and family and social lives seriously, its doubtful you have time for anything more than that.
 
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News Comments > Morning Mobilization
4. Re: Morning Mobilization Jan 15, 2016, 15:29 Scottish Martial Arts
 
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 15, 2016, 14:53:
Only if you want to spend the rest of your life searching for driver workarounds while not being able to play games.
And the games you want to play won't be available, ever, on linux.

Note that the article is about "gaming laptops" not "gaming desktops". While I love my laptop and use it far, far more than my desktop gaming rig, the fact is that you are going to have to drop a lot cash ($2500+) to get something even comparable to the hardware in a $800-1000 gaming desktop. So, if your primary criterion for OS selection is "be able to play every game I could possibly want, but on my laptop" then you clearly haven't put a lot of thought into what form factor of PC you should buy. Anyone playing games on a laptop is doing so with the understanding that they WILL have to lower graphics settings from time to time, and that they aren't going to be able to run the 2016 equivalent of Crysis, i.e. you won't be able to play all the games you want.

With that all in mind is Linux a bad OS for a gaming laptop these days? Not unless you're willing to invest upwards of $3000 in an overpriced "gamer's laptop" that still won't be as good as your $800 gaming desktop.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
21. Re: Op Ed Dec 31, 2015, 03:24 Scottish Martial Arts
 
jdreyer wrote on Dec 31, 2015, 02:36:

It's worse than that even. I largely agree with this article which is where I must have read about the study.

That suggests people are willing to support a war, as long as it doesn't impact them. Which is kind of the opposite from how it should be. It also suggests a delta between the military and the rest of the population. SHould the lack of understanding and common ground grow, it could have severe consequences for our democracy.

I agree completely. The end of the citizen-soldier ethos, the professionalization of the US military, and the end of the draft have created a situation in which military service, or at least the willingness to go if necessary, has ceased to be a part of civic obligations. Instead, wars are fought by other people, namely a minuscule minority of our fellow citizens, most of whom we don't know or interact with, and the costs of the wars we ask for are born by everyone but ourselves. We can ask for war when we feel frightened, unburdened of the obligation to consider whether its really a good idea, never have to look at the consequences for a moment, and then, if our military adventures turn out to be less than thoroughly victorious, we can tune out the stalemate and the casualty reports and the destroyed lives and countries and pretend that it's not even happening. That was exactly what we did in the post 9/11 years, we should be ashamed for it, and it makes me sick to my stomach that we're all to ready to do it again. And we're ready to do it over again over a couple of losers with AKs who have no choice but to engage in international terrorism because the strategic position of their actual "Islamic State" is so fucked that they need to do something to inspire people to continue to join up, because being hemmed in by enemies on all sides and engaging in a long term attritional stalemate is hardly a rallying cry to jihad.

Furthermore, while we collectively lost our shit over Paris and San Bernadino, and not entirely without justification, why do we think that it is any different for the people in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Pakistan, or Yemen, or anywhere else where we conduct drone and air strikes that occasionally obliterate a wedding party or a hospital? Just because our bombs are dropped from 30,000 feet rather than be hand carried by a suicide attacker doesn't mean the dead civilians are any less dead, and the anger that that engenders is any less real.

I am not a pacifist by any stretch. But only an idiot -- and apparently we are a nation of idiots -- thinks the cost-benefit analysis of warfare works to your benefit by default. Sometimes war is worth the costs, but that's pretty rare. Far more often, the costs far outweigh the benefits, but because of poor leadership, concerns about national honor, short sighted greed, or simple fear, war is pursued when it wasn't worth it. Now that America has established a system in which we enjoy the luxury of never having to perceive the cost of war, we're only going to further waste our strength on ill-conceived ventures that may make us "feel" safe, but do nothing to actual further our interests or enhance our actual security.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
16. Re: Op Ed Dec 30, 2015, 23:39 Scottish Martial Arts
 
jdreyer wrote on Dec 30, 2015, 22:10:
There was an interesting survey the other day. 65% of the people thought we needed boots on the ground to battle ISIS. However 65% of people said they had no interest personally in joining the military to ensure that the job got done.

To get on my soapbox for a moment, it's further evidence that the American people don't take the military and military affairs seriously. We'll praise the military to high heaven, proclaim every last service member a hero -- ignoring that the military like every other human institution is made up of actual people and not superheroes, some of whom may indeed be heroic, but some of whom are truly terrible, and most are somewhere in between -- and thump our collective chests about having the most powerful military on the planet, while once again ignoring that you can have the most powerful military on the planet and be nowhere close to omnipotent. But the thing we won't do is give serious thought to military policy, military weapons acquisitions, and whether or not what we can reasonably hope to achieve in a military campaign has a cost-benefit analysis that comes out in our favor. Unless you genuinely believe that a given threat is great enough, and a military response likely enough to succeed, that you would be willing to sacrifice the life of your son or daughter to see that threat defeated, then it's time to stop posturing, and stop dick wagging, and start doing some serious thought about our foreign policy goals and what military intervention might do to further or set back those goals. But why think when we can just pretend that going to war is as simple "killing them all"?

Thus endeth the soapbox rant.

This comment was edited on Dec 31, 2015, 01:06.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
14. Re: Op Ed Dec 30, 2015, 21:52 Scottish Martial Arts
 
harlock wrote on Dec 30, 2015, 14:32:
if you watch someone dying in agony, choking on their own blood, right in front of your face... its hard to call it "boring"


The title of the blog is rather facetious. They generally do pretty in depth reporting on military affairs, weapons acquisitions, and foreign policy as it pertains to military intervention and war. This short post -- usually they do several thousand word articles -- is rather lite fare in comparison.

That said, when you do anything in the military, there is a whole hell of a lot of "hurry up and wait", e.g. getting off the bus to the airfield as fast as possible to the beat of "Hur-RY UP! Hur-RY UP! Hurry the FUCK up!" and then... you sit on the tarmac for two and a half hours while the first chalk gets ferried to the AO and your alphanumerically higher platoon/company sits on its ass and waits for the CH-47s to come back.

Long stretches of boredom punctuated by moments of extreme stress/excitement? Sounds about right. Pulling 4 hours of security in the middle of the freezing night definitely falls under the category of long stretches of boredom, but then seeing trip flares go off and hearing the crack of blank rounds as the OPFOR starts probing your strong point definitely qualifies as a moment of extreme excitement. Same deal with that half-second when an artillery simulator goes off at night, and you get the brief moment where the flash of light precedes the BOOM which you don't only hear but feel; that stuff is exciting as hell, but the hours spent pulling security waiting for it to happen, and the hours spent digging your fighting position beforehand certainly fall into the "boring as fuck" category. Given that the Army's training motto was always "Train as you will fight", and given what other combat veterans have described to me, I don't have any reason to doubt that that's basically how it goes in Afghanistan too.

This comment was edited on Dec 30, 2015, 22:07.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
5. Re: Op Ed Dec 30, 2015, 13:23 Scottish Martial Arts
 
harlock wrote on Dec 30, 2015, 10:31:
what a jackass... who clearly hasnt been to war himself

a true hero to armchair jackasses everywhere, im sure

Was there anything which he described that didn't sound authentic?

My dad was a career Army officer and combat veteran, and while I was briefly in the Army, a medical problem resulted in an early end to my career before I got anywhere close to a combat deployment. So without having seen war itself, I've been around a lot of men who have, both those who liked being in combat (at least aspects of it), like my father, and those whose spirit was utterly broken by it, like a TAC officer of mine, who, when I first met him, had just returned from deployment to New Orleans after Katrina, and had just returned from Iraq before that, and who, on describing the bodies floating in the flood waters of Katrina, said "I've seen enough of fucking death" with a tone that was as grave and as mournful and as spiritless as I have ever heard in my life.

What the author, who may or may not be a veteran -- there's no biographical information about him on the site -- describes of The Witcher 3 certainly lines up with everything I ever heard combat veterans describe to me.
 
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News Comments > Sunday Tech Bits
34. Re: Sunday Tech Bits Dec 28, 2015, 12:10 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Creston wrote on Dec 28, 2015, 09:03:
Scottish Martial Arts wrote on Dec 27, 2015, 22:26:
SNIP

but for the rest of the world that doesn't hang out on BluesNews, the desktop is rapidly becoming yesterday's terminal room.

I agree that laptops are just as good as desktops now for most standard office type work, but desktops are substantially cheaper than laptops (for corporations anyway), and thus get rolled out to all the non-important people.

And yesterday's terminal room? Half my company is on thin clients/terminal server/VDI connections, and those are the things you get asked about nowadays if you want to work in the field of client tech.

Very true on the first point.

On the second point, I wasn't referring so much to the idea of the terminal/mainframe or thin-client/server relationship, but on the notion of there being a "computer lab" with a specific room, where there were a couple dozen terminals, whose availability you had to wait on, and which perhaps had a time limit on your usage of. The idea of the terminal and multi-user mainframe (albeit in modified form) is totally making a come back; what's not making a come back is the terminal room that you have to walk across your corporate/university campus to wait for a turn to use.
 
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News Comments > Sunday Tech Bits
24. Re: Sunday Tech Bits Dec 27, 2015, 23:59 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Dec 27, 2015, 21:58:

Games have always been the driving factor behind the increase in PC sales. Whether it be videocards or CPU's, and their ability to do more. It'll swing back, and it's already starting too as you see more companies shift away from console only releases or starting to bring back PC only releases. And with Vulcan coming out soon, it'll be even easier.

You're right that if you're just browsing the internet, watching cat videos and doing word processing a laptop made in the last 5 years is more than sufficient. But smartphones won't replace PC's for crafting documents of any kind.

Then again, having read that article and read articles nearly identical to it for the last 20 years all claiming that PCs are failing, that the end is nigh, and they're all doomed...it hasn't happened yet. But hardware itself is pretty much at a standstill compared to the late 90's and early 00's, when we saw speeds jump from 300Mhz to 1.5Ghz in the span of a year and change. There's no pressing need for high-end devices because the software isn't there to demand it, don't forget either that we're at the edge of quantum computing as well. While I doubt they'll become the big thing at home, I expect optical CPUs to be the consumer grade level in the next 10-15 years. Not forgetting moores law either.

I completely agree that phones and tablets will never replace a laptop/desktop for document creation, except for video/photo capture, but obviously you're referring to the end, fully edited product, not the initial shot/clip itself. On this point I should have been more clear.

Certainly with stuff like VR on the horizon we MIGHT see an increased need for desktop level hardware, and the associated sales, IF that technology ends up becoming a thing. VR certainly looks cool, particularly as a flight simmer, but will it break through to the mainstream? I'm not sure.

In the meantime, and I don't think we're in disagreement here, for most people working in an office, for most people going to school, and for most people watching and making cat videos, their cell phone and their laptop they bought 5 years ago is all they need, and will need, for the foreseeable future.

I should clarify all my remarks here that while I'm down on the desktop's viability as a form factor for the long term (at least for the overwhelming majority of computer users), I do believe the laptop is here to stay for the long term. As you note, phones and tablets are great for content consumption, but just don't cut it for serious content creation. We need and will continue to need real computers with decently sized screens, keyboard and pointer input, and all the features of a full workstation operating system; it's just that we can fit all of that, and with sufficiently high performance, into a laptop these days, and don't need the tower case sitting under our desk, even if the components of that tower case are cheaper, modular, and faster. And in this respect, people ditching desktops for laptops, the future is kind of here already. How many non-gamers do you know that continue to own/use a desktop? Anecdotally, I sure don't know very many.
 
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News Comments > Sunday Tech Bits
22. Re: Sunday Tech Bits Dec 27, 2015, 22:26 Scottish Martial Arts
 
WaltC wrote on Dec 27, 2015, 21:45:
Of course, this article is pure Fudzilla click bait...;)

Aside from that, desktop PCs are far and away still the best computer technology buys going--for consumers, that is. (Companies, of course, prefer to sell tablets and laptops because the profits are much higher--customers pay through the nose.) They are fully upgradable from a hardware standpoint, from the motherboard up. As such they are fully serviceable by the end user if a component needs replacing--just pop out the old and pop in the new. Try that with a laptop or a tablet...uh-oh, pull out your wallet and get ready for some fierce billing. From the standpoint of the hardware itself you cannot beat a desktop PC--especially one you build yourself from hand-picked components--which is why the desktop PC format has got legs like nothing else in the industry. Their consumer friendliness can't be matched, let alone beaten by tablets or laptops.

Wired broadband Internet is incredibly inexpensive, more reliable and more powerful than any wireless Internet connect to date (which smartphones must use)--and the usual data caps for wired, if they exist at all, are close to 100x larger (~300GB) than they are for cell phones (~5GB). My current account has no data cap. Try that with a cell phone...;)


All true. Also nearly all irrelevant. Computers have gotten faster and smaller. In 1995, laptops were pieces of shit, cell phones barely functioned and were just phones at that, tablets didn't exist, and a desktop was the only way to get work done. By 2005, laptops, for most productivity use cases, were not shit, cell phones were great at making phone calls and sending texts but were pretty lame at taking pictures or browsing the web, tablets still did not exist except as failed, short-lived experiments, and desktops were great if you wanted to game or if you did specialized work like AutoCAD or video. In 2015, laptops are great for nearly all use cases, cell phones are good enough, or better for day to day computing needs like email, web browsing, taking and editing pictures and video, posting to social media, etc., tablets are mostly retarded except as video consumption devices but whatever, and desktops are a great way to cheaply get a lot of computing power into a modular, yet completely stationary device.

People do not compute on a stationary basis in 2015.

Hell, I'm a software developer, and the only colleagues I know who own a desktop outside work are gamers. What do you think Mary in Accounting uses for her computing needs? Or everyone else for that matter?

Terminal rooms were pretty cool things too in the 70s and 80s (too young to have used one myself but I've seen pictures!), but as hardware got better and smaller, the need to actually go to the terminal room in the computer lab disappeared. The early desktops which replaced those terminal rooms were nowhere near as powerful as the multi-user mainframes which the terminals connected to, but the convenience of being able to work from your office, as opposed to having to go to a room across the corporate/university campus, trumped the fact that early PCs were pretty slow in comparison.

In 2015, for most users, the convenience of mobile and laptop computing has displaced the power, modularity, and low cost of desktops. The hardware in our mobile devices is good enough, that for most of us, there's no reason to chain ourselves to a desk and its desktop. Heck, my MacBook Pro runs Alien: Isolation at max settings and framerates in the low 30s, i.e. totally playable. Yeah, for the same amount of money I could have built a god like PC, but then I wouldn't be able to take that PC to hackathons, or industry mixers, or even just to a coffee shop.

The desktop still has it's place (I'm writing this post on a desktop at the moment because I'm taking a break from playing a flight simulator, i.e. something that actually needs desktop level hardware) but for the rest of the world that doesn't hang out on BluesNews, the desktop is rapidly becoming yesterday's terminal room.
 
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News Comments > Sunday Tech Bits
19. Re: Sunday Tech Bits Dec 27, 2015, 21:35 Scottish Martial Arts
 
harlock wrote on Dec 27, 2015, 21:19:
the basic point i would make to the author is: the world doesnt revolve around YOU, or ME

and once you take a step outside your oh so limited little worldview exclusive to your own teeny tiny little slice of life, THEN you can start to see a little more clearly

but not until then. of course, you can go ahead and argue about it until the end of fucking time.. because YOU YOU YOU, and so forth... fuck it, i dont give a shit at all, go ahead, waste your breath

ive wasted enough here

Aren't you making the author's, and my, argument here? For the overwhelming majority of the world, their personal computing needs are sufficiently met by the average smart phone. For the overwhelming majority of office workers who use a computer in their work, a laptop built within the last 5-7 years will sufficiently meet the hardware requirements of their computing needs. The only people who have the desperate need for advanced hardware that you claim is so universal are in fact the edge cases: people like YOU or people like ME. For everyone else? Their phone and the MacBook or Dell laptop they got in college 6 or 7 years ago is "good enough".
 
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News Comments > Sunday Tech Bits
17. Re: Sunday Tech Bits Dec 27, 2015, 20:54 Scottish Martial Arts
 
harlock wrote on Dec 27, 2015, 19:56:
the argument is bullshit if you work in the entertainment industry, and to neglect to consider the ENTIRE SECTOR is totally out of context because it is an INDUSTRY designed to make money

just because YOU dont use productivity apps doesnt mean they arent in use widely

PCs have never ever had "killer apps" outside that anyways, its always been like this... so again, just a stupid argument

So I concede that video transcoding requires specialized hardware, while pointing out that most Photoshop use cases do not require anything more specialized than what's on a typical laptop made within the past 5-7 years... and you ignore the typical Photoshop use cases to hammer home on video transcoding which I've already conceded requires specialized hardware.

Sure, once we get into video and 3D modeling, we need cutting edge hardware, just like gaming. But here's the thing: video editing and 3D modeling are not huge fields within the industries of which they are a part. Try getting a job as a 3D animator: the competition is so fucking sharp for such a small number of jobs that you'll cut your finger just looking at job listings. This isn't to say that the hardware needs aren't there for certain fields, just that for most people who work on a computer, anything made within the past decade is "good enough".

And really that's the reality of where computing hardware is these days. For the overwhelming majority of use cases, the hardware that exists in your cell phone, let alone your laptop, and even further let alone your desktop, is "good enough". Meanwhile, Moore's Law is starting to hit it's upper limits. Let's face it, the PC Gaming Master Race isn't the typical computer user, nor is a 3D modeler/animator, nor is a feature film special effects artist.

And frankly, the article's argument isn't original; people who work in software have been murmuring about the fact that we're hitting hardware limits that MOST software hasn't even begun to catch up with. Here's an article on that very topic (with a pretty cool comparison to the rapid rise and sudden plateau of the aerospace industry in the 20th century as an analogy) that was making the rounds on Hacker News and similar sites last summer.
 
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News Comments > Sunday Tech Bits
14. Re: Sunday Tech Bits Dec 27, 2015, 18:57 Scottish Martial Arts
 
DangerDog wrote on Dec 27, 2015, 17:55:

Those are specialized applications, might as well throw Maya or Autocad into the mix.

The everyday programs that "businesses" use don't amount to more than a web browser, word processing and spread sheet program.

Not to mention that in the case of Photoshop, for most use cases a "computer made within the last 7 years" will probably do just fine. Yes, a dedicated GPU, more RAM, and an SSD will improve PS performance dramatically, but for most run of the mill image creation, design mockups, and photo touchups, a half-way decent laptop will do the job just fine. Video rendering is obviously a whole different ball game, but like you say, that's pretty specialized stuff that is not at all relevant to the typical office worker.
 
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News Comments > Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition for Linux & OS X
39. Re: Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition for Linux & OS X Dec 26, 2015, 13:26 Scottish Martial Arts
 
aar0n wrote on Dec 26, 2015, 11:42:
Absolutely can dual boot. But what ended up happening to me is that I just stopped playing the games on my Windows installation to the point where I haven't booted into Windows in like two years because of the hassle of rebooting and waiting on patches etc etc. I ended up just playing the games that are available on Linux instead of complaining about what I don't have.

Obviously if this isn't good enough then you should run Windows, or dual boot. But for me I'm quite happy to get Linux versions of games like divinity even if they're delayed a bit.

Ditto. Dual-booting works, but it's annoying to have to stop everything you're doing in your primary OS, and reboot into another, just to play a game, particularly if you're only looking at playing for 30 minutes or so. I don't need to play every major release anymore, and even if I did, I certainly don't have the time to do it. Gaming, at this stage of life, is a fun, occasional diversion, and the more gaming is centered around having a dedicated custom-built desktop, running an OS I wouldn't otherwise use, then gaming is only going to become more occasional, and less and less a part of my recreation time. Sadly, I'm not 16 anymore.

While porting isn't an easy task by any stretch, it's also not as hard as building the game from scratch, particularly if you, as the developer, make library and tool chain choices with an eye towards eventual ports. And frankly, for me personally, I'm probably more likely to buy a game at this point if it's available on OS X and Linux, then not, because only then do I have the flexibility to run it on the platforms where I'm most likely to actually play it. And clearly, that must apply to a lot more people than just me, otherwise large numbers of developers wouldn't be spending the money to port to OS X and Linux.

There are so many games available these days, and available so cheaply at that, that developers need to work a bit harder to get their game out there, and available on multiple platforms, than in the days in which Windows gaming was dominant, we all had a custom built desktop with bleeding edge hardware (because laptops were crap at the time), and buying a game meant actually driving to Best Buy or Fry's and spending $50 to get a set of disks and a printed manual in a cardboard box.
 
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News Comments > Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition for Linux & OS X
33. Re: Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition for Linux & OS X Dec 25, 2015, 20:14 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Santa Claus wrote on Dec 25, 2015, 14:17:
Many people don't buy traditional PCs at all anymore. My new girlfriend has a Macbook Pro and shes never going back to a desktop. That's a bunch of market share they can't chase unless they get into OSX and Linux ports.

This is basically where I'm at at this point. I got issued a MacBook Pro for my last job, and ended up really liking it, so when my personal laptop, a Lenovo ThinkPad, had reached the end of its useful life, I bought a 15" MBP of my own earlier this year. As life, career, and my computing needs have evolved, that MBP gets the overwhelming majority of my usage time, while the custom gaming desktop mostly just gathers dust. I still fire up the desktop from time to time, but that gets less frequent simply as a function of their being different demands, with different priority, on my time than when I was a high school or college student and thought of myself as a hardcore gamer and absolutely had to play every major new release. As a result of its infrequent use, I keep going back and forth on whether or not to just get rid of the desktop, particularly given the hassle of moving the thing when I change apartments and the associated desk, peripherals, and miscellaneous crap (all of which take up space and impose fixed requirements on how I choose to furnish at least one room of my home). I'd still like the option to play a game, but the days when I needed to play every major release and I needed to do so with bleeding edge hardware are long over and will never be coming back. With that in mind, I'm very happy to see that more and more developers release on OS X and Linux, and not just Windows.
 
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News Comments > Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition for Linux & OS X
9. Re: Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition for Linux & OS X Dec 24, 2015, 21:41 Scottish Martial Arts
 
As you get older and career and family become more important, gaming necessarily takes a back seat to the better uses for your time. For some professions/fields, Windows really isn't the ideal OS -- or at least Windows takes more setup for it to be ideal and meanwhile none of your colleagues are running Windows machines -- and to run a Windows machine for gaming, when your computer(s) are primarily used for other purposes, can end up being a real nuisance. Certainly from the perspective of performance per dollar -- when building your own desktop -- and from game availability, Windows can't be beat, but that assumes that those are the things that are most important to you in your computer. When you reach a point in life when gaming is a secondary interest at best, rather than your core hobby and a source of identity, then having that ridiculously powerful desktop that runs all the latest games at 4k resolution and 60+ frames per second stops making a whole lot of sense. And when that happens, when you still like to play the occasional game but are no longer concerned about doing so with maximum performance, then you really start to appreciate having the option of playing new(ish) games on OS X and Linux. And clearly for the companies doing the ports, the revenue from having their games on other platforms clearly must outweigh the cost of porting, otherwise they wouldn't bother.  
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News Comments > GOG.com Bethesda Softworks Sale
14. Re: GOG.com Bethesda Softworks Sale Dec 22, 2015, 23:51 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Daggerfall is definitely a game which you can't binge on. Well, you can, but if you do it will drive you insane as you get lost in a massive, labyrinthine dungeon where the quest item is no where to be found. But if, when you reach that point, you save and call it a day, and come back later with fresh eyes, typically you find that quest item, and gradually make your way back to the dungeon exit, feeling a pretty huge sense of accomplishment.

Daggerfall is broken in so many ways, but what it does well is that it challenges you, gives you a real sense of character progression, and constantly surprises you with little details that you never notice the first, or second, or third time, through. It is not a modern game however, and you have to be willing to put up with design and interface conventions that were just shy of the maturity that began to be achieved in the late 90s. Still, solving the main quest of Daggerfall, with it's twisting branches, dead ends, and truly intricate plot, is one of those gaming feats that ranks up there with slaying the Spider Mastermind (Doom) or retrieving the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom and becoming the Avatar of Virtue (Ultima 4).
 
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News Comments > GOG.com Bethesda Softworks Sale
2. Re: GOG.com Bethesda Softworks Sale Dec 21, 2015, 23:04 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Although in fairness those two free games have been freeware distributed by Bethesda itself for over a decade now. Still, Daggerfall is pretty darn cool if you can get past the bugs.  
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News Comments > Game Reviews
4. Re: Game Reviews Dec 21, 2015, 12:40 Scottish Martial Arts
 
JohnBirshire wrote on Dec 21, 2015, 11:16:
I tried to play Tie Fighter again recently, but I can't find any joysticks like the Kraft KC-3 for modern day systems. Everything is ultra complicated, this game just needed a simple stick.

Try this stick from Logitech. It's got more than two buttons but it's probably the simplest stick on the market, is inexpensive, relatively decent build quality for just a piece of plastic, and will satisfy all joystick needs but for the most serious flight simming, i.e. you'll need to upgrade if you want to play DCS A-10C but that doesn't sound like an interest for you. The one downside is that the self calibration mechanism tends to give out after 12-18 months, but for a $30 joystick it's kinda hard to complain.
 
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