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User information for John Ludlow

Real Name John Ludlow   
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Nickname Ranger Fish
Email Concealed by request
Homepage http://
Signed On Oct 21, 2004, 16:26
Total Comments 24 (Suspect)
User ID 22118
User comment history
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News Comments > A Game of Thrones RPG Screenshots
2. Re: A Game of Thrones RPG Screenshots Sep 21, 2011, 05:29 Ranger Fish
Well, just having two games with (almost) the same name can be confusing (just ask Bethesda, who go to town if you so much as think of using the word "scrolls").

They'd do well to publicise the fact that there are two distinct games here, but I'm sure they'll do that before release. When I saw the title of this thread, I thought maybe Genesis was going the King Arthur / Kingdom Under Fire root of mixing RPG and RTS.

Personally, if Genesis is going to be a standard Warcraft 3-style RTS then I'm not particularly interested (just not my type of game - to each his own and all that). I'm curious about this RPG though, and it'll be interesting to see what kind of RPG they're going for.
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News Comments > Ubisoft Financials: "Certain Projects" Terminated
11. Re: Ubisoft Financials: May 13, 2011, 04:50 Ranger Fish
Ruffiana wrote on May 12, 2011, 18:53:
I had zero issues with AC2 on the 360.

And I had zero issues with it on the PS3 - but their PC games are crippled with a much worse DRM, so I think he may have been referring to the PC port.

For example, when the Settlers 7 demo came out, I was unable to play it for long periods of time because it couldn't contact the DRM server (this was a demo, remember). Unsurprisingly, I've not bought any Ubisoft PC games for a while.

Note that I'm not boycotting Ubisoft really, I just have no confidence that I'll actually be able to play one of their PC games once I've bought it, so why buy it?
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News Comments > NPD Asks Analysts to Stop Sharing Sales Data
12. Re: NPD Asks Analysts to Stop Sharing Sales Data Mar 29, 2011, 14:02 Ranger Fish
DG wrote on Mar 29, 2011, 13:33:
People were whining on and on and bitching about what was their own error, NPD's was perfectly valid for their intended and advertised use. That use simply was not what it was portrayed as in gaming media.

Not quite, since NPD do make market predictions based on their data. They famously stated that PC gaming was dead, when actually a chunk of it simply moved into digitally purchased games (as opposed to purchasing a physical copy). It's useless for that purpose, and its useless as a general sales chart.

The only purpose it's useful for (the purpose you describe, I think) is for brick and mortar stores to track what's selling in brick and mortar stores, though they have their own sales figures as well which are probably more relevant to them. The best argument for NPD data is a supermarket that has a small games section, which stocks games some time behind the specialist stores, and they want to decide which 10 games per platform they want to carry for the next month. If it also includes pre-orders, then maybe stores could use that to determine the hype for a game and whether they want stuff like cut-outs and stands.

I guess I missed the bit on their site that states it's only intended for this specific purpose, so maybe you could point it out?
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News Comments > NPD Asks Analysts to Stop Sharing Sales Data
8. Re: NPD Asks Analysts to Stop Sharing Sales Data Mar 29, 2011, 05:57 Ranger Fish
Have they started including digital (e.g. Steam et al) sales yet? If not, their numbers are increasingly irrelevant, right? So this means the media will be forced to go find data that actually means something...

Hmmm... Thinking

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News Comments > BAFTA Winners
7. Re: BAFTA Winners Mar 17, 2011, 06:16 Ranger Fish
Further to what Luther said, check out Dara talking about video games here:

Dara is generally recognised as one of the few celebs who'll come out and say "hey, games are actually pretty cool".
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News Comments > The Blame Game
12. Re: The Blame Game Nov 10, 2008, 07:57 Ranger Fish
I had arguments with my parents over how much I was alowed to watch TV, play computer games, and whatever else I wanted to do. I even got told off when I was doing a computer studies diploma assignment because Mum didn't recognise the IDE for what it was and thought I must be playing a game.

I haven't read the full set of articles, but from Blue's stub report it seems that the kid had an argument with his parents, ran off to sulk about it (hey we've all done it), and then had a tragic accident. I don't feel the need to blame someone for any of that.
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News Comments > UK Anti-Piracy Campaign
37. Industry is missing the point... Aug 20, 2008, 12:57 Ranger Fish
I guess it all depends on the burden of proof that has to be met. Not only should they have to prove that someone has downloaded a game (or music track, or movie, or whatever), they should also prove that it has been distributed illegally, outside the fair use laws.

I suspect, however, that this will be as reliable as other crackdowns on piracy - the ones which flag up 70-year-old grannies with no internet connection as being the worlds worst copyright theives.

The distinction between downloading something and copyright theft is important. If you download a movie when you already own the DVD, and you haven't redistributed that illegally, then in theory you haven't broken any laws, at least in the UK. You could be downloading it because you want a backup copy, or you want to store it electronically so you don't have to use the disc, or you want to play it on your portable media player (all technically legal and perfectly fine, and all frequently prevented by copy protection software). I've even had copy protection systems prevent me from even running a legitimately purchased game, or playing a similarly purchased DVD.

Personally (though the legal reality may be different) I think that another situation where no crime has been committed is when someone downloads something that's not available to them by other means. An example would be when TV shows come out in Europe a long time after they're out in the US. IIRC The Shield saw a gap of two years between the US DVD release and the UK release. Which is, of course, just ridiculous.

The big thing that the industries (and this goes to the game, film and TV (whether broadcasted, cinema-based or sold on disc), and music industries) is that the industry itself is a big cause of so-called "pirate" downloads. From people trying prevented from performing legitimate by anti-copyright measures, to people who can't find the items any other way, a lot of people turn to BitTorrent and similar systems because of things that the industry itself has done.

In other words, the industry should get its own house in order before trying to slam the law on people, and the law should require that to happen by automatically throwing out any case where the complainants have not met their own burden to the paying customers.

This comment was edited on Aug 20, 13:06.
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News Comments > Gold - Spore
46. Re: DRM Aug 18, 2008, 16:16 Ranger Fish
Personally, I'm looking forward to Spore. Will it have depth? I think it will, but I could be wrong. I also think it could have really good replay value because everything is procedural - it will probably boil down to whether a different creature will give you a different experience.

We'll just have to wait and see. Of course, nobody wants to do that - what we all really want to do is judge it based entirely on an optional creature editor and a handful of videos, rather than the actual game.

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News Comments > PC Mass Effect Specs
28. Re: Yay Vista Apr 16, 2008, 12:37 Ranger Fish
Then why is it on the box smartass?
It has the ability to run in XP under 1GB. heh

That could mean anything. "Minimum spec" could just mean it will run without exploding. It might mean turning everything down to the minimum specs till you end up with something that looks like Doom. And it might mean you'll be counting performance in frames-per-week, rather than frames-per-second. Or the game might actually be playable at that level - who knows but the devs and QAs

PCGamer UK recently did an article centred around this issue.

Perhaps CrushBug can elaborate on exactly what you can expect on the minimum spec PC.

This comment was edited on Apr 16, 12:40.
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News Comments > PC Mass Effect Specs
23. Re: No subject Apr 16, 2008, 12:12 Ranger Fish
Ok, my bad, missed that bit in your post. I've only seen this with Medieval.

Since Vista is stricter on enforcing limited profile rights, the installer can't assume the user has permission to put files in "C:\Program Files" or whatever, and decides to install in the user's profile path

I think that's what Medieval did, but it's wrong. It should display the UAC prompt - that's what it's there for, after all.

Of course, UAC doesn't act *entirely* right, since it impersonates the specified admin user, rather than the current user with elevated priveleges. That means that any per-user data ends up in the administrator's profile, not the selected user's.

The only ways around this are to manually grant the user administrator rights before running the install (which defeats the whole point of UAC), or to perform the setup using UAC as normal, and select to install for all users .

There have been a few installs where I have had to hack things about to get an app working properly - one example was the management software for my NAS.

Far from ideal...

This comment was edited on Apr 16, 12:19.
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News Comments > PC Mass Effect Specs
19. Re: No subject Apr 16, 2008, 11:51 Ranger Fish
Secondly, devs aren't "lazy" for using user profiles - they're finally listening to Microsoft and supporting multiple user profiles

Hmmm, not quite. "Supporting multiple user profiles" does not mean "put all your maps and graphical data in my profile". Saved games, I can understand, but not data that's not going to be different per user.

Secondly, moving your user profile is all well and good, but this doesn't allow you to split the data. Having your documents on c: is fine, game data might not be, since it's in a totally different class.

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News Comments > PC Mass Effect Specs
15. Re: No subject Apr 16, 2008, 10:58 Ranger Fish
I *)&%## HATE developers that do this.
All valid complaints... For some apps the majority of the size is some component that simply *must* be installed into the windows folder or the SXS folder (new versions of MDAC and the MFC components spring to mind) so it's not really the developers' fault. But most games are mainly artwork (several GBs of models and maps and textures and so on) so they really don't get to use that excuse.

Personally it doesn't affect me that much, since I just have a 500GB C: drive anyway - was cheaper that way when I bought my PC. Later on, I might get a second drive and see what it takes to shift stuff around, but not right now.

But it's just bad form to do stuff like that. Partly for the reasons you mention - a user wants control over where stuff is kept, if only for reasons of space management. And partly because these files are expected to appear in a certain place, "c:\program files" by default. If I need to find the actual EXE, I should be able to do that fairly quickly.

My theory in the case of ME2:GE is that this is to get around Vista UAC (I have Vista with UAC switched on), but this is *really* not the way to fix it. In this case, the developer should have used the functionality available in most recent installation technologies to cause Windows to display the UAC prompt.

This comment was edited on Apr 16, 10:59.
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News Comments > PC Mass Effect Specs
3. Re: No subject Apr 16, 2008, 09:36 Ranger Fish
Seems reasonable. 12GB for an installed game isn't actually that bad - Medieval 2 Gold Edition decided to install 10GB into my user profile. Game rocks, but whoever wrote the install should be lined up, and not just because of the size (speaking as an installation developer myself).

Graphics card requirements are possibly a little high, but it's so damn hard to tell with these things because the model numbers don't go up in order, and besides some models are available with various amounts of memory, which can effect performance (especially on the ATi HD cards, from what I've heard).

Either way, my system should be able to deal with it, so I'm happy

This comment was edited on Apr 16, 09:37.
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News Comments > Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms Patches - Updated
4. Re: Hmm Apr 10, 2008, 09:48 Ranger Fish
I think the issue is the sheer scale of the damn thing. I found the same thing with Medieval 1, and even with Rome a little. Managing the empire got tedious (largely because I seemed to reach a saturation point where I couldn't expand without overstretching) before I got to the "win" situation. But I still enjoy the early game.

I think Shogun was the best in terms of scale, and the Mongols were way cooler than the Vikings (naptha throwers!).

It'll be interesting to see what Empire is like. And from there they can possibly go to a WW1 scenario (really the last war where massed cavalry/infantry was used). They could probably do WW2 as well, but not without a serious reworking of the battle engine. After that they will need to think of something else, as there's only so many times they can go back and re-do the earlier games.

Fantasy is one way to go, and I'd like to see that. I'd also like to see their take on the space 4X genre.

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News Comments > More id on PC Gaming
125. Re: Begging the question Mar 25, 2008, 05:15 Ranger Fish
Certainly a lot less than that. Jesus, did you buy a golden case or something??

Hehe... I wanted a bit of future proofing, so I got decent components across the board and had it custom built, and had a few extras thrown in (new speakers, wireless card, etc).

And no the case isn't golden

Also remember that I'm in the UK, where we have to pay higher tax for stuff like that.

I have a clueless friend when it comes to PC's but hes also a hardcore gamer.

There's also people like me who do know about computers but don't want to spend all their time keeping up to date with what the latest components are. I bought an AMD dual core, ATi Crossfire, and Vista, and trusted the people I paid to get it working to, well, get it working.

Call me lazy...

This comment was edited on Mar 25, 05:28.
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News Comments > More id on PC Gaming
103. Re: Noobs Mar 21, 2008, 05:29 Ranger Fish
Ahem, if you think money is secondary for indies, check this out:

And I quote:
So when I make a game, I focus on making games that I think will be the most profitable.

That's from Brad Wardell. (Someone did post this link earlier in the thread, that's how I know about it...)

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News Comments > More id on PC Gaming
100. Re: Begging the question Mar 21, 2008, 04:37 Ranger Fish
@Ronin: I'm pretty much the same (swap Home Depot for B&Q since I'm in the UK).

Of course if I built it, it'd look like it was hacked together by some idiot who hardly knows one end of a saw from the other (partly because it was hacked together by some idiot who hardly knows one end of a saw from the other ) but it certainly wouldn't cost me $80 (40). And mine, like yours would sit above my lap, rather than on it.

I'm thinking like one of those trays you get food on when you're in hospital. There's a market for this - ask anybody with a media PC.

Anyhoooo.... Consoles and PCs both have their place. Console games are sometimes simplified (I don't want to say "dumbed down") for the controls, and some of the more complex games (Medieval 2, for example) simply aren't available for any console. But it sure is nice to be able to simply plug in and go, and not have to squint at the minimum specs or worry about crappy copy protection that doesn't work anyway and just causes hassle for legitimate customers. I'd consider making a switch to a console to get that easier setup.

As for sales, I'm 100% sure that more PC games are being sold today than five years ago. But I'm also 100% sure that PC games aren't keeping up with consoles.

And before somebody claims I'm not hardcore:

1. I recently spent $3000 (1500 in real money ) on a new PC for games. How much do I need to spend to be hardcore?

2. Who gives a rat's butt whether I'm hardcore or not? I certainly don't.

This comment was edited on Mar 21, 04:40.
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News Comments > More id on PC Gaming
60. Re: Begging the question Mar 20, 2008, 15:27 Ranger Fish
Re K/M on consoles...

With the hardware it could be done. Something like this, maybe

This is rather expensive for what essentially is a wooden tray, but could it be a step in the right direction?

I was actually wondering whether the Wii controller could be used for pointing at on-screen objects, and pressing a button would "click". Point at a unit, click, point at a location, click again, unit moves. Just like a normal RTS/RPG...

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News Comments > More id on PC Gaming
39. Re: Begging the question Mar 20, 2008, 12:16 Ranger Fish
I suspect it's because people tend to sit on their sofa across the room from the console. Not the best environment for a keyboard and mouse.

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News Comments > More id on PC Gaming
29. Re: No subject Mar 20, 2008, 11:47 Ranger Fish
??? Console + accessories + other + LIVE + TV +??? > $1,000 in 3 years my friend.

Akk - just realised we're talking dollars here, not pounds sterling (my bad), so if you really wanted to keep up then it could get to 500 ($1000).

I was gonna say that you don't upgrade most of that every time. I wouldn't upgrade my TV just for a new console, for example, and the only accessory I would buy would be a second pad. And I'd stay the heck away from Live. Now, I spent 1500 (I guess about $3000 - jeepers!) on my last PC, which included a monitor (so I guess that's the same as the TV). It was a big splash out which has had me switching from having lots of fun to questioning my sanity and back again.

Of course, that says nothing of the hassle of doing the research and fitting the components (if you build it yourself).

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that consoles generally have longer life at a specific spec than PCs. My PC will gradually go out of date as new components are released that surpass it for the same price. However a console (say the 360) will stay in date until a new one is released, and then developers will switch to the new one. Not all at once, of course, but in a fairly short time.

What this means is that, if I buy a 360 now, I know that any games released for the 360 will work on it. I also know that the average spec of the 360 won't have moved on when I come to buy that game I want in a year's time.

This is a concern for the PC. Now, I'm not saying that everyone should switch to a console right now - note that I haven't switched myself. What I'm saying is that the hassle (and potentially the cost, depending on a number of factors) of putting a PC together is greater than with a console.

So what can PC developers do about this? A number of things, but it all boils down to making it as cheap and as easy to run PC games as console games. Getting rid of the copy protection is a start. Not targeting the uber-PC is also good. Working together to produce consistent reusable libraries and platforms would also be nice.

This comment was edited on Mar 20, 11:49.
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24 Comments. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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