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Real Name Tom   
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Signed On May 21, 2000, 15:34
Total Comments 1462 (Pro)
User ID 4838
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
3. Re: Morning Metaverse Apr 23, 2013, 17:33 Tom
Because the streaming selection is still not there. Unless I know ahead of time that something is on Netflix, most of the searches I do result in either "not available" or "this only comes on old fashioned discs sent through the mail".

I guess if you don't mind Netflix dictating your viewing habits, it's an amazing value. Otherwise, $8/month sounds about right to me.
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News Comments > Morning Safety Dance
16. Re: Morning Safety Dance Apr 22, 2013, 20:10 Tom
Tumbler wrote on Apr 22, 2013, 17:05:
Amazing universe he manages to build and a believable future. It's equal to Dune (the first book) but delivers more. Dune is tragically short. There are 6 books but the first one is unique. The remaining books don't have the same intensity. I made it to the end of book 4 (dune) and quit. Bored as hell.

Great assessment of the Dune series. It's hard for me to believe anything could equal or surpass that first book...
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News Comments > etc.
4. Re: etc. Apr 17, 2013, 18:59 Tom
Long video but worth watching for those curious about the Rift. It starts to shed some light on the practical difficulties of combining head tracking with mouse input. Valve put some work into trying to solve it. It's nice that they gave the player these different modes to try, but none of them seemed like a real good solution. It was interesting to see that guy's reaction to the last mode which effectively disabled head tracking. Completely intolerable. As I suspected, once you've tasted the head tracking it could be difficult to go without it.

I need to try this thing myself. But at the moment, I still think it's going to be fantastic for vehicle sims and only so-so at best for FPS games.
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News Comments > Saturday Tech Bits
1. Re: Saturday Tech Bits Apr 13, 2013, 14:42 Tom
Maybe once HDMI 2.0 is finalized and graphics cards + TVs support that, then 4K could be useful. Otherwise it appears to be limited to just 30fps.  
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News Comments > AMD Says No More DirectX?
22. Re: AMD Says No More DirectX? Apr 13, 2013, 10:48 Tom
TheEmissary wrote on Apr 12, 2013, 23:04:
I doubt Microsoft is going to abandoned DirectX after how man years of trying to develop it as a viable alternative to OpenGL. They aren't going to just dump it unless something arguably better is coming out of this.

Except this is EXACTLY what Microsoft always does. They take their most popular, best loved APIs and technologies and just leave them on the vine to rot for years or decades. They'll do this while offering either no replacement, or a ridiculously inadequate replacement.

Things don't happen for technical or logical reasons at Microsoft. They happen for internal political reasons. As a result, anything (stupid) is possible. Their massive slide in competitiveness in recent years is entirely self-inflicted.
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
3. Re: Evening Tech Bits Apr 12, 2013, 00:29 Tom
I think NVIDIA would do well to have important new stuff around the time the consumer version of the Oculus Rift comes out...  
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News Comments > Morning Interviews
23. removed Apr 8, 2013, 20:49 Tom
This comment was deleted on Apr 9, 2013, 06:55.
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News Comments > Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarted
24. Re: Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarted Apr 8, 2013, 17:49 Tom
Ultima VI and VII/SI were absolutely outstanding games. Unfortunately it's rare for such success to be repeated and I just had a bad feeling about this whole venture. It also didn't seem right to give a donation to someone rich enough to be one of the first space tourists. But hey, prove me wrong LB. Show the world you still got it. Then I'll gladly give you my hard earned buckazoids and we can all be happy! (This sentiment goes ten-fold for Chris Roberts...)

Btw I wouldn't worry too much about them using Unity. It seems to have a growing rep for quality and it works great for Kerbal Space Program at least. And it's a very wise decision to use a third-party engine if you need to deliver a cross-platform game, which is par for the course for most KS games. In the FTL mini-post-mortem in this month's Game Developer magazine, they cited cross-platform as one of the biggest things that went wrong for them. I expect a large part of that had to do with writing their own game engine.
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News Comments > etc.
10. Re: etc. Mar 26, 2013, 18:59 Tom
I think it's good for games to be hard, as long as they're not hard in a stupid, unfair way. STALKER, DCS, and Kerbal Space Program are probably good examples of games that are fairly hard for good reasons. It's satisfying to overcome challenges. It adds to the experience and helps define what the game is.

If it's too easy to get through the game and you're never in danger of failing, it doesn't seem like you'd get as much out of it. But I can understand doing it that way if you really just want the story and the gameplay mechanics aren't that appealing. Certainly gameplay mechanics aren't what they used to be, in most cases. But at that point you're basically admitting the game is crap, and then playing through it anyway. Which I'm sure we've all done many times by now...
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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
2. Re: Morning Tech Bits Mar 22, 2013, 17:38 Tom
Indeed. Come on, Intel. Stop screwing around. Where's your fight gone?  
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News Comments > Star Trek: The Video Game Gorn Trailer
10. Re: Star Trek: The Video Game Gorn Trailer Mar 21, 2013, 00:11 Tom
jdreyer wrote on Mar 20, 2013, 21:44:
When are we going to get a REAL Star Trek game, with all the nuance and options that the series portrays?

Incredibly, it has happened before:

But it will never happen again.
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News Comments > TF2 Oculus Rift Details
25. Re: TF2 Oculus Rift Details Mar 19, 2013, 21:38 Tom
turning your head while constantly having to keep your eyes locked on the same point in front is a completely different experience than being able to turn your head as much as you like and look anywhere

Yes it is. But my point is that Oculus Rift doesn't deliver that second experience you mention. It can't because you can only turn your head so far before you have to stop. This is a grave limitation when it comes to trying to create an experience that doesn't feel like piloting a vehicle. Since you can only turn your head so far, that means you MUST be able to turn your view using something other than just head tracking. So then you have two things that control the direction of your view: the head tracking, and that other thing. That works for vehicles but it feels totally messed up for just being a person trying to naturally look and move in the environment.

It seems to me that it would be too difficult and awkward to try to adapt to two control schemes that both affect your view direction for an FPS. People will end up preferring to disable the head tracking and go with keyboard+mouse to be practical. A hybrid scheme will be a novel thing but not practical for everyday gaming, just like the Razer Hydra - unless you have some special reason like a disability or something... Again, I'm only talking about FPS type games. Oculus Rift with the head tracking should be absolutely fantastic for vehicular scenarios.
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News Comments > TF2 Oculus Rift Details
23. Re: TF2 Oculus Rift Details Mar 19, 2013, 20:58 Tom
Having to look away from the image is an issue with TrackIR, but I don't think it's the main issue. You can only turn your head so far anyway before you run into the limits of the range of motion of your head. This leaves Oculus Rift's head tracking maybe only 1.5x as good as TrackIR's in terms of range of motion, which is nowhere near enough for an FPS where you need to be able to turn infinitely, and very quickly at that - at least to have a chance of working anywhere near as well as a traditional mouse+keyboard scheme.

The main issue of TrackIR applied to an FPS or any other non-vehicular scenario is the same problem faced by Oculus Rift, with no solution. Head tracking only gives you one directional vector: the direction the person's head is pointing in. There's no good feeling way to use this vector for both view direction and movement direction. Even if you combine this with keyboard, mouse, controller, or some combination, I doubt the head tracking will be able to contribute in a useful and good feeling way.

The experience of piloting a mech or any other vehicle is really a different experience than being a person walking around. Head tracking works great for the former, not so great for the latter. If Oculus Rift can somehow break out of the vehicular box that head tracking is stuck in, that would truly be revolutionary. But given that nobody was ever able to do it with TrackIR, I doubt it's going to happen.
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News Comments > TF2 Oculus Rift Details
20. Re: TF2 Oculus Rift Details Mar 19, 2013, 18:07 Tom
Based on extensive experience with TrackIR as both a user and a developer, and some similar but more limited experience with the Razer Hydra, I'm very doubtful that a good solution is going to emerge in this case. Sure, there's more incentive now, with the Oculus Rift being way cooler tech than either of those, but it's still just a fundamental problem with possibly no good solution.

I see the Oculus Rift as sharing the same constraints as TrackIR: works great in a fixed cockpit, not so much in a free roaming environment. It's a very old VR problem too. I've never heard of a solution that is even remotely competitive with mouse+keyboard for movement/view control.

For free-roaming FPS type scenarios, maybe people will end up disabling the motion tracking of the Oculus Rift and just using it as a spiffy 3D monitor, using the mouse+keyboard as usual..? I suspect that could be a tough pill to swallow after experiencing the immersion that the motion tracking adds.

Note that Valve also enhanced Portal 2 and TF2 to work with the Razer Hydra. The solution in this case (and all other FPS scenarios) is to learn a special skill they (Hydra/Sixense community) call ratcheting. It's the motion controller equivalent of lifting your mouse up, moving it over, and dropping it back down when you run out of space. Well, something that is very quick and natural with the mouse doesn't translate well to different devices, at least not the Hydra. It's a PITA and sucks all of the coolness right out of the experience. Maybe it's not so bad once you get used to it, and maybe I would think the same thing about the mouse if I was just starting to use it now, but I kinda doubt it.

Anyway. Things are going to get real interesting once the consumer version of the Oculus Rift is actually released. If it works well with DCS and a non-sucking Star Citizen, I might just be in heaven.
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News Comments > Victory Kickstarter Cancelled
8. Re: Victory Kickstarter Cancelled Mar 17, 2013, 17:47 Tom
Cutter wrote on Mar 17, 2013, 15:42:
Not at all. I'd say people that are more likely to crowdsource are a more distinct group that fall into a community. Casual gamers won't, nor will mainstream console players. Even for non-gaming related funding I'd say most of it comes from people who walk to the beat of a different drum. That's why I get so pissed when I see rich people trying to use KS when that's not what it was intended for.

I don't buy that. Who is participating in KS/crowdsourcing and why? It's people who hear about something and think "that sounds awesome, I want it" and are willing to contribute a little bit up front to help make sure it happens. It's not investors or bored rich people who think "I have x dollars burning a hole in my pocket, what should I spend it on today?" It's not some special group of elite crowdsourcing devotees. Yeah, the people who contribute may be a little more hopeful, a little bigger fans, a little more passionate, maybe. But they're just regular people. Not some special community IMO.

If there was a real "Kickstarter community" it would be those fans of KS itself who browse around the site looking for projects and posting on their forums, promoting KS itself, etc. But that's got to be such a small % of KS contributors, and I doubt it's who Petroglyph was talking about - unless they made zero effort to promote their project outside of creating a KS for it, which would be really dumb.
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News Comments > Victory Kickstarter Cancelled
4. Re: Victory Kickstarter Cancelled Mar 17, 2013, 14:41 Tom
We’ve learned that Victory is definitely not the type of game that the Kickstarter community craves.

By "the Kickstarter community" they mean "people" right? Seems like a very poor choice of words to me.
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News Comments > Saturday Mobilization
2. Re: Saturday Mobilization Mar 16, 2013, 09:41 Tom
It seems like there's a lot of confusion about what to do with these different form factors. It doesn't help that the lines between form factors are constantly being blurred in various ways.

It's good to hear some positive things about the Surface Pro here and there. It got a lot of so-so reviews which, combined with the price, are probably hurting it. Personally I'm looking forward to the next-gen lower power CPUs from Intel that should make a device in this form factor much more appealing. Less heat generation, less bulk, more battery life... mmn.
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News Comments > Evening Safety Dance
2. Re: Evening Safety Dance Mar 13, 2013, 22:36 Tom
That's pretty good, almost as good as this one.  
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
38. Re: Morning Metaverse Mar 13, 2013, 19:02 Tom
Cutter wrote on Mar 13, 2013, 17:07:
WTH? Why was my comment removed? It's a valid point that most people in society agree with today, plenty of academics too. Guys like Dawkins have called Islam barbaric and it is. There's plenty of proof on that count.

Read the ground rules for this forum and reflect upon the myriad ways in which your comment was not in the spirit of the framework for civility that Blue has tried to encourage here.
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News Comments > Saturday Tech Bits
5. Re: Tomb Raider Mar 10, 2013, 16:17 Tom
Tigger wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 01:28:
So at around $650, I don't think its worth the cost of admission unless you are doing something like flight sims (which I am doing on this rig) where three screens are actually awesome, needed AND cool! :)

Awesome and cool, yes. But needed? Nah. Flight sims work great on one large screen with TrackIR.
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1462 Comments. 74 pages. Viewing page 30.
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