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User information for S Westberg

Real Name S Westberg   
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Email Concealed by request
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Signed On Feb 15, 2007, 19:09
Total Comments 2750 (Senior)
User ID 34131
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News Comments > Starfighter Inc. Kickstarter
23. Re: Starfighter Inc. Kickstarter May 6, 2015, 12:01 Flatline
jdreyer wrote on May 5, 2015, 19:42:
Yup, MP only. SP isn't even a stretch goal. At the very least they could do offline MP with bots. "Multiplayer space warfare from the minds behind X-Wing, Crysis and Desert Combat." All games/mods that had substantial single player options.

These people never learn.

When was the last time we had a narrative single player starfighter campaign like in X-Wing or Wing Commander? I know we're getting one in Squadron 42, but I can't remember the last time we had one. Anyone?

Freespace 2 jumps out but I believe Tachyon came out afterwards. And shame for not remembering that one, it not only had Bruce Campbell as the VO of the main character but it had one of the coolest team based multiplayer modes I ever saw. Each team had a base that started out invulnerable and you had to build your base up using limited resources to destroy the other base's invulnerability so you could fly in and destroy the f*ck out of the enemy's base.

Edit: I'm on the fence on this one. I'm intrigued and there's still a 16 dollar early bird deal which isn't bad.

I might pass on kickstarter but I'll watch this regardless.

This comment was edited on May 6, 2015, 12:07.
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News Comments > Oculus Rift in Q1 2016
23. Re: Oculus Rift in Q1 2016 May 6, 2015, 11:32 Flatline
InBlack wrote on May 6, 2015, 09:38:
Yeah great news....except there is nothing really newsworthy about an estimated date that basically covers a whole quarter of a year and will inevitabely be delayed. If they had at least hinted at specs or something, anything other than pure fucking HYPE. *sigh*

Considering all the rumors put this at Q4 of this year... there's some news in it not hitting for the holidays.
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News Comments > Sunday Crowdfunding Roundup
1. Re: Sunday Crowdfunding Roundup May 4, 2015, 15:24 Flatline
- Shoot
*Next turn*
- Reload
*Next Turn*
- Reload
* Next turn*
- Reload
*Next Turn*
- Shoot
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News Comments > Morning Crowdfunding Roundup
2. Re: Morning Crowdfunding Roundup May 4, 2015, 13:17 Flatline
Cutter wrote on May 4, 2015, 12:41:
Great concept but requires real money and a real team of devs to do it justice.


My thought process went

"hey that's a great idea!" *click*

"No art other than the video? 10k GBP funding goal? 'Hyper-realistic' anything? Those are warning signs. Fine let's watch the video..."


"Wow... it looks like a quake 1 mod. Good luck with that."
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News Comments > DirectX 12 Video Crosses the Uncanny Valley
40. Re: DirectX 12 Video Crosses the Uncanny Valley May 1, 2015, 15:25 Flatline
PHJF wrote on May 1, 2015, 13:06:
The problem with tech demos is they have no scope. It's all fine and good making a perfect-looking five minute animation, but good luck developing a forty-hour RPG that looks like that.

If you want to jump the uncanny valley and make some truly empathetic digital actors, what you need to do is to first study, and I mean really study- high res mocap probably isn't enough- all the extremely subtle body language associated with different emotional states and different levels of repression of those emotional states creating animation packages of humanoid figures that exhibit emotion-based non-vocal cues. Then you create a program that you use emotions and repression states for those emotions as a palate to create a "pigment" of emotional state. So you take a daub of sadness that's being repressed and throw in a lot of physically visual fear and maybe in each scene throw in anger visual cues that build and aren't repressed at all. This gets overlaid on your macro animations resulting in "subconsious" non-verbal communication that is constantly being relayed to the viewer regardless of the animations that the main animators rig. The question at this point is if you rig the emotion palate before the macro animations so that the animators can customize the animations to the non-verbal cues or if you apply it afterwards so that the non-verbal cues conform to the animations.

It'd take a lot of work to build the package but it's entirely doable with the state of AI today. It'd also be really resource intensive and end up probably being pre-baked animations, but in the future there's no reason the emotion palate couldn't be generated in real time as computing power grows.

Edit: The idea behind this is that as the fidelity and graphical quality of digital actors increase (and we are reaching photorealism), animation will need to incorporate more and more subtlety. Right now we're still at the point where we can frequently get away with Theatre level body movements to express body language (in theater everyone sits away from the action and gestures are amplified to let the people in the cheap seats realize motion) but as we pull in on digital actors and bring them closer to the uncanny valley we'll need them to have more and more detail just standing there breathing to maintain suspension of disbelief and empathy. This quickly scales out of control for even dedicated animators and while there are tricks that can be used, sooner or later we'll have to start mimicking the biological and physical reactions of people at a system level. We can't puppet master every twitch or finger fidget.

This comment was edited on May 1, 2015, 15:31.
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News Comments > DirectX 12 Video Crosses the Uncanny Valley
31. Re: DirectX 12 Video Crosses the Uncanny Valley May 1, 2015, 12:31 Flatline
Slick wrote on May 1, 2015, 10:13:
wow, those skin shaders, those lips, the eyes, fucking breathtaking.

how can you all watch the same video I just did, and only walk away with: "well, this is dumb, i'm not gonna buy 4x titans to run this? This is stupid, who cares?"

It's impressive, but we've been seeing graphics like that come out of Hollywood for a while now so it's not like life-altering.

Also these people have twisted what "uncanny valley" means. It's the point where you get realistic enough to humans that your brain kicks in and starts applying your expectations of body language and all the non-verbal ques we normally pick up on. When those are absent, the discord, creepiness, and lack of empathy that we experience is called the "uncanny valley" because otherwise our identification to the subject increases as the realism increases.

In fact, this is the *perfect* example of the Uncanny Valley at work because the animation subject freaked me the f*ck out. All the shaders and textures in the world can't replace really excellent animation, and that's what the Uncanny Valley is concerned with.

Oddly enough, the first game to ever jump the Uncanny Valley for me repeatedly was Mass Effect 2. There were moments that seemed photo-realistic to me. Granted most of those moments involved non-human creatures so that my brain was able to forgive the dissonance, but even in Dragon Age Inquisition they have some superb subtle animations that when you pick up on them you feel the characters "pop" and take on depth and empathy.

The Uncanny Valley will be solved with animation, not with graphical tech.
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News Comments > Steam Ending Paid Mods; Providing Refunds
90. Re: Steam Ending Paid Mods; Providing Refunds Apr 28, 2015, 14:53 Flatline
Quboid wrote on Apr 27, 2015, 21:16:
nin wrote on Apr 27, 2015, 21:07:
We've done this because it's clear we didn't understand exactly what we were doing.

That's putting it mildly.

Glad they reversed. I have no issue with folks making quality work getting paid, but as it was implemented, it just seemed ripe for abuse. And yeah, it didn't seem very well thought out.

Maybe next time (shudder) how about just an optional donation button.

Well put.

If they do try paid mods again (and I've little doubt that they will) they should launch it with a new title. I can see that they wouldn't want the flak to affect the game's sales, and there would still be plenty of unhappiness, but pulling the rug from under existing players' feet was a dreadful idea.

I wouldn't have even been particularly opposed to them starting up with Skyrim as long as they made it start from scratch and didn't pull over existing free mods.

If mod authors wanted to put their previously free mods behind a paywall Valve could stipulate that you had to release a final free version of the mod before you could move on and any new development would be pay to play.
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News Comments > Op Ed
35. Re: Op Ed Apr 27, 2015, 19:15 Flatline
jacobvandy wrote on Apr 27, 2015, 12:53:
Flatline wrote on Apr 27, 2015, 12:38:
I think part of the big problem here is that Valve, in an effort to jumpstart the marketplace, decided to go back and move pre-existing mods behind the paywall quietly approach some modders with the idea of selling their work beforehand so they could volunteer to help have things available day one.

Fixed that for you. Rolleyes

No, Valve convinced modders to move existing, free mods behind a paywall. Sure they didn't do it against anyone's will, but they hand-picked mods to move behind the paywall to begin with. They didn't encourage any modders to create new content to be ready on day one.

So... no... you didn't fix anything.
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News Comments > Op Ed
27. Re: Op Ed Apr 27, 2015, 12:38 Flatline
I think part of the big problem here is that Valve, in an effort to jumpstart the marketplace, decided to go back and move pre-existing mods behind the paywall.

Due to the interconnected nature of these mods, this is a terrible idea because of the clusterfuck that it creates with who has rights to what, ethics, and all the other issues we're seeing. Not to mention being incredibly dickish suddenly going from "free or donate if you'd like" to "pay up motherf*cker".

I honestly suspect that if they had done this with a new game or had started from scratch and said that only new mods could actually go behind the paywall this would have reduced problems significantly. They also need to have given mod devs time to contemplate if they want their mods used in paywall mods or not. Springing this on the public at large was a dick move to the devs not invited to the party.

Valve pretty much fucked this launch up as hard as they could and I think a large amount of pushback comes from that. If they had announced this in concurrence with Skyrim, or with the next fallout or elder scrolls game, I suspect people wouldn't have freaked.

I still don't know though how you'd make it so that outright code theft could be detected without charging though. It's one hell of a clusterfuck.
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Powerplay Update Next Month
26. Re: Elite: Dangerous Powerplay Update Next Month Apr 24, 2015, 16:02 Flatline
Orogogus wrote on Apr 24, 2015, 15:58:
Flatline wrote on Apr 24, 2015, 15:51:
ED was absolutely released too early for what is probably contractual obligations.

I don't agree. From what I can tell, the game as it stands compares very well against the previous Elite games. You very, very often hear fans of old games say that all they want is the old game with modern graphics, and this largely meets that goalpost -- the main missing features being that you can't land on planets, and there are fewer ships.

To me, at least, it makes sense to start from that basis as 1.0 and build upwards.

By that metric you're pretty spot on. But if you look at the design docs there was a lot of stuff that hasn't made it in yet that wasn't officially cut.

I'd argue it needed the Wings update at launch and a lot of complaining would have been culled.

Don't get me wrong I expect a lot of that to get implemented as long as the funding is there. But even the beta testers who had been in since alpha were considering the game a little anemic.
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Powerplay Update Next Month
24. Re: Elite: Dangerous Powerplay Update Next Month Apr 24, 2015, 15:59 Flatline
DangerDog wrote on Apr 24, 2015, 15:52:
Without having a scripted single player campaign I don't see this as being marketable to people on consoles. I think there are plenty of parallels that you can draw between ED and say GTA Online where you can free roam the map and either take on missions or do activities like steal cars and deliver them to a warehouse for money - the equivalent to "space trucking" in ED.

But that's only one component to the game and without a more formal scripted campaign that's the way it's going to seem to Xbox players - if it doesn't already to many PC players as well.

Powerplay is going to address that some supposedly by building a more complicated mission engine to handle better missions. That and the factions system will help create player generated stories.

They should probably do an in-universe tutorial of like 6-12 "missions" that constitute a "campaign" that teaches you the ins and outs of equipping a ship, trade, exploration, combat, etc... and then the end-game of the "campaign" is just Elite.

That being said, Elite requires you to get out and interact with the community to really get anything out of it. What it really needs is more tools to encourage that inside the game. They need the equivalent of guilds and the ability to like visit the guild home page in-game and stuff. Even for the x-box. I should be able to participate in the meta without having to open up a browser window.
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Powerplay Update Next Month
21. Re: Elite: Dangerous Powerplay Update Next Month Apr 24, 2015, 15:51 Flatline
Tipsy McStagger wrote on Apr 24, 2015, 14:50:
The content bitching is the reason I've never actually picked up this game. It's top of Steams best sellers list for a long time now. I've seen lots of video of people playing it but I feel like this is a released too early kind of game and the developers realize this and are working very hard to increase content (which is good). I can see this being a very good game in a year if they keep the pace up. Until then, I'll continue with the other video games that have content.

I feel like this is the time to bring up the steam stats page that Evolve is no longer anywhere on that list.

I feel bad for and angry at anyone who purchased that game. They fed a shitty developer too much money and that developer will do the same again.

ED was absolutely released too early for what is probably contractual obligations. That being said, most of the "I burned out" complainers all said like "I put over 80 hours into ED and I feel like there's nothing to do any more!" One I remember complained that after like 200 hours he didn't feel like there was anything worth doing.

So really even at launch there was probably "content enough for the cost".

Elite strikes me as playing the long game though if it can remain popular enough. We're 4 months into the official launch and they are adding major aspects of the plan into the game, in addition to things that weren't in the design docs. So that's really good.
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News Comments > Elite: Dangerous Powerplay Update Next Month
14. Re: Elite: Dangerous Powerplay Update Next Month Apr 24, 2015, 13:00 Flatline
SpectralMeat wrote on Apr 24, 2015, 10:32:
Yeah I've stopped playing it a while back too. I'll be back to it eventually but right now I am way too addicted to World of Warships.

Looks interesting. Any invite codes floating around?
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News Comments > Telltale Marvel Game Plans
5. Re: Telltale Marvel Game Plans Apr 24, 2015, 12:55 Flatline
Fion wrote on Apr 24, 2015, 12:12:
This is awesome news. Two years isn't that long and a lot of these Marvel IP's have big enough brand recognition that I don't think it really matters who hero(es) it features.

Either way, I'm sure it'll be awesome fun.

I agree. Telltale's format seems like it actually would work really well for the supers genre.
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News Comments > Mad Max Trailer
27. Re: Mad Max Trailer Apr 23, 2015, 17:40 Flatline
Task wrote on Apr 23, 2015, 14:20:
This is made by the people that developed Just Cause. I've never played those, but people found them fun so I imagine this Mad Max game will have some of that kinda/sorta over the top carnage.

If it's like Just Cause it'll control more or less like shit but be stupid over the top fun.
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News Comments > etc.
15. Re: etc. Apr 20, 2015, 15:42 Flatline
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Apr 20, 2015, 14:07:
Quboid wrote on Apr 20, 2015, 10:12:
To be clear, I personally don't think that this proves that she's not in it for the money if she ignores it because such an aggressive editorial (it's barely an invitation) doesn't warrant a response. The only people who would benefit from her acknowledging this offer's existence is Breitbart.

This is a good point as well. Brietbart is a hyper right-wing tabloid rag and this is just a stunt by them. I don't consider myself part of GamerGate (though a lot of its concerns regarding twisting of facts to suit political narratives and lack of journalistic ethics in gaming are ones I've shared for the better part of 5 years now) but one of its biggest faults if looked at purely as a consumer revolt is its reliance on Milo Yianoppoulous as any kind of ally or source of reliable coverage. He used to frequently write articles shitting on gamers and gamer culture but suddenly had a "change of heart" when he had something he could bash what he perceived as left-wing extremists with. He's involved in this purely for his own gain, he doesn't care about any cause. Granted, the same can be said about a lot of press outlets on the other side too but two wrong don't make a right.

Oh god yeah I hate that Milo douchenozzle. He's so hyper-partisan that even when he's right and I agree with him I want to disagree with him because he talks shit about my political leanings. It's like... dude, when you're right you don't have to make it partisan. I know this must be a new experience for you but when reality is on your side just go with it.
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News Comments > etc.
14. Re: etc. Apr 20, 2015, 15:39 Flatline
HoSpanky wrote on Apr 20, 2015, 11:00:
So tired of all this bullshit. Literally anything anyone does, down to "walking outside to get my mail" is apparently going to offend someone, and then someone ELSE will be offended that the first person was offended.

I initially thought this whole "women need to be represented better in games" thing made sense. And to a degree, it still does. But I don't see any of them praising the games that are getting it right. The new Tomb Raider has a fantastic lead character, who isn't sexualized whatsoever, and I don't see it being paraded as "how to do it right".

They will never, ever be happy with the way women are portrayed in games. Never. Because as soon as they are, they've got nothing to complain about, and therefore no purpose. I'm tired of it, and I've stopped caring.

In theory that's what Sarkasian's new series is about. Which is a step in the right direction since it's positive instead of negative. People like catharsis and the story of imrpovement.

However, from what little I've seen, all her examples thus far have one thing in common. The reviews I've seen of them all seem to focus on the idea that the games were written particularly well. Not "here's a great female character" but moreso "here's good story" or "here's good dialog" or whatever. The games she trashes mostly seem to have the opposing themes: They're pretty poorly written. So really her argument comes down to "better writing in video games!"

I've also noticed, but haven't looked closely enough to see if it's an established pattern, that a lot of her critique comes from games developed outside the USA, where different cultural values are the norm, vs games in... well let's call it North America that get the thumbs up.

The game development industry is a highly multi-cultural... I won't say melting pot, but it's one of the few industries where different cultures headbutt into each other directly so freely. We play French, Japanese, Nordic, Russian, Slovakian games as readily as we play games made in the US and Canada. With indie development booming we see sub-cultures able to express their influence directly on a more mainstream crowd too, thus making an already complex environment even harder to follow. I don't see Sarkeesian making any acknowledgement of that or analyzing that at all, instead treating gaming as this monolithic ivory tower. It's unfortunate because it's an interesting approach to gaming.

But maybe that's a bit too high-brow for one of the 100 most influential people in the world?
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News Comments > Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend Begins
7. Re: Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend Begins Apr 17, 2015, 19:20 Flatline
I keep getting emails from Bethesda telling me that I can reactivate my account if I want.

No seriously consider reactivating it.

Here we're thanking you for activating your account (which we did on your behalf).

You haven't logged into your account why not? You only need the 80 gig installation file.

It's like a creepy stalker. Plus, I wouldn't be coming "back" to ESO. I got into one of the betas and found out that their router wouldn't accept traffic from my region. I could use TOR or a VPN out of my county and it'd work just fine but any traffic off of Time Warner in my county was filtered and I couldn't access the web page to sign in the pricks. Traceroute would always get out of Time Warner's network and die on Zenimax's end. So I'd email their help support and they'd wait 2 weeks and tell me "Try it now" when the beta was only 72 hours and I'd explain this to them and ask to escalate and get the supervisor who was inevitably a drooling idiot who told me to clear the cookies on my computer and I'd ask if that was the issue why a VPN tunnel worked just fine and he'd "escalate" to find out what the problem was and I'd never hear back. Then the next beta would come out and the cycle would start all over again. After 2 or 3 debacles like that I completely gave up. To this day I still don't know if I can access their game or not.
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News Comments > Morning Mobilization
4. Re: Morning Mobilization Apr 17, 2015, 14:13 Flatline
Pigeon wrote on Apr 17, 2015, 14:00:
This was nothing more than a hastily put together cash grab by Apple and Pearson. Still the district deserves a lot of the blame, putting hundreds of millions into a curriculum program that hadn't been developed beyond a few demos, and then allowing them a year after deployment where they didn't have to offer the full curriculum Pearson promised.

I agree entirely. I suspect that they'll get some of the money back. Almost certainly the pearson licensing fees and maybe a token on the ipads.
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News Comments > Morning Mobilization
3. Re: Morning Mobilization Apr 17, 2015, 14:12 Flatline
They may have some luck because Pearson barely slouched through the contract and may be in breach. I mean, seriously, I work for an education centered company and 4 people over the course of nine months (edited up from six, I just asked) created a multi-year english course that could accommodate multiple original languages and developed adaptive testing techniques that works just fine on an iPad. It's our goal to test this on lab machines for about a year and then roll out iPads and/or android tablets as standard equipment in a year or two.

And since Pearson is a subcontractor for Apple in this event, it actually is an actionable issue for Apple.
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