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Real Name Tom   
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Signed On May 21, 2000, 15:34
Total Comments 1414 (Pro)
User ID 4838
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News Comments > Ultima IV Remake Speculation
13. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 30, 2011, 00:12 Tom
Yeah, that was another thing about Ultima VI and other Origin games of that era... they were among the first to really need a hard drive. Playing from floppies would have sucked. I have no idea how much the 21MB Fuji hard drive I had cost, but I know I was lucky to have it.  
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News Comments > Ultima IV Remake Speculation
11. Re: Ultima IV Remake Speculation Mar 29, 2011, 23:55 Tom
Ultima VI, VII, and VII part 2 (SI) were the ones I had the opportunity to play. These were very special games. I can imagine the difficulty in trying to understand and appreciate them if you didn't get a chance to play them back then. Ultima VI will seem quite primitive if you try it today, but at the time it was a revolution in technology. Super detailed, huge open world with no loading screens. Extremely non-linear game. A story that was interesting, unique, and made you think and learn. Tons of interaction with objects and people in the world. The NPCs were not cookie cutter - they were fun to talk to, they had unique hand-drawn portraits, they went about their lives according to actual schedules, they would react to what you did. They had meaningful existences. It puts modern games like Oblivion to absolute shame. And then Ultima VII came along and took it all to a whole new level, while also boldly striking out in new directions.

When Origin was at the top of their game, it was a wonderful and amazing thing to behold. Their motto was "We Create Worlds" and they meant it.

While a remake has the potential to be incredibly awesome, I would absolutely NOT expect any remake made nowadays to come close to approaching the greatness of these games. Not from fans, and especially not from publisher-backed developers. The level of optimism here is shocking. Probably the only way to experience these games properly now and in the foreseeable future is to use a faithful recreation of the original game engine such as Exult.
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News Comments > Deus Ex: Human Revolution Trailer
5. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Trailer Mar 25, 2011, 13:21 Tom
The animation looked ok to me. Maybe not best ever, but there are more important things to get right. As for the trailer being made with a controller, I noticed that too, but what conclusion are you trying to draw from that? It doesn't give any indication as to whether the PC version will have good mouse support or not...  
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News Comments > Evening Metaverse
2. Re: Evening Metaverse Mar 25, 2011, 02:06 Tom
We don't care; we don't have to. We're the phone company.
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News Comments > Op Ed
25. Re: Op Ed Mar 24, 2011, 13:51 Tom
Ok I can understand playing something like Assassin's Creed on the PC with a controller... it's third person.


Better with a controller??? Was that guy just stupid or is the game really that bad?
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News Comments > Steam Video Recording Nears, Mobile Steam Possible
16. Re: Steam Video Recording Nears, Mobile Steam Possible Mar 22, 2011, 14:17 Tom
^Drag0n^ wrote on Mar 22, 2011, 14:09:
License? Nah, they'd just buy them and hire the programmers. ;-)

Perhaps, and that was my first thought. They certainly have the cash. But it might be better for the world if they did a licensing deal instead of an outright purchase. I would hate to see standalone FRAPS go away with the requirement that Steam be used instead. FRAPS is useful in many situations where Steam cannot be used or would not be appropriate.

Of course, Valve could buy them and still keep standalone FRAPS alive.. but for how long? I think chances of its survival might be better with a licensing deal. Not sure though.

Btw in response to some other comments here.. broadband competition and availability sucks in the US as well. I live in a high income town not far from major cities yet I have exactly one broadband option, cable, with the company rated worst ISP in the US for customer service. But at least it still beats dialup (when it's not down).
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News Comments > Steam Video Recording Nears, Mobile Steam Possible
5. Re: Steam Video Recording Nears, Mobile Steam Possible Mar 22, 2011, 11:25 Tom
Valve should just license FRAPS for integration into Steam. But I guess they've already done a good chunk of the work by making the overlay work with a wide variety of games (despite the best efforts of those morons at Even Balance).

They did a great job with the new screenshot feature. I'm sure tons of people looked at that and said wow, wouldn't it be great if they took it to the next level and did the same thing for video.
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News Comments > AMD Knocks DirectX
20. Re: AMD Knocks DirectX Mar 18, 2011, 15:31 Tom
Richard Huddy has been around since the early days of DirectX. ~10 years ago he was working in dev relations for NVIDIA, then somewhere along the line he changed over to ATI. He knows what's what. IMO these statements were either not considered very carefully, or this is part of some agenda.

Developers have plenty of room to innovate within the framework of DirectX. Look at how much innovation happens in frameworks that build on top of DirectX like XNA and various game engines. Between shaders and GPGPU there's plenty of room for innovation.

What's holding back PC games compared to console games when it comes to taking advantage of the more powerful hardware? I really doubt it has much to do with DirectX. It seems much more likely to be simple economics. It's difficult and costly to make a game scale to take full advantage of a range of hardware. It's easier and cheaper to target consoles first and then throw in a few token improvements for the PC port, which we've seen more and more blatant examples of lately (like DA2).
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News Comments > Dragon Age II Launch Trailer
11. Re: Dragon Age 2 Launch Trailer Mar 10, 2011, 16:06 Tom
Hmm surprising, I didn't expect people here (of all places) to come to its defense. Maybe it's a good game after all.

And Kate Mulgrew... dang. I might just have to pick this up someday.
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News Comments > Dragon Age II Launch Trailer
2. Re: Dragon Age 2 Launch Trailer Mar 10, 2011, 12:39 Tom
I'm totally digging the Metacritic for this game. CHA-CHING!  
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News Comments > Crytek on Crysis 2 Cheating
18. Re: Crytek on Crysis 2 Cheating Mar 10, 2011, 11:38 Tom
So um, I tried the multi in Crysis 1 once and was like "what? why? no." Is there anything worthwhile about multi in Crysis 2? I kinda wish they'd just stick to single.  
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News Comments > Blizzard Playing Titan Already
7. Re: Blizzard Playing Titan Already Mar 9, 2011, 11:45 Tom
Yes, enough with the fantasy already.  
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News Comments > Deus Ex: Human Revolution in August?
2. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution in August? Mar 8, 2011, 11:04 Tom
5 months is not really that long. It will be here before you know it.  
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News Comments > Mass Effect Speculation
5. Re: Mass Effect Speculation Mar 4, 2011, 11:25 Tom
I might get it when it's $20 or less on Steam. Still haven't finished DA1..  
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
2. Re: Out of the Blue Mar 3, 2011, 09:48 Tom
Those Wikipedia editors are just a bunch of power-drunk fascists anyway.  
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News Comments > Civilization V Patch Notes
7. Re: Civilization V Patch Notes Feb 18, 2011, 19:01 Tom
Basically, Civ4 was fairly crappy and Civ5 is solid crap. I don't know what people see in these games. Every game of it takes forever and is so utterly boring, predictable, and anti-climactic. Mining planets in Mass Effect 2 was more interesting.

I see the potential, and I try to give these games the benefit of the doubt because I have a number of friends who put a lot of time into them. I got tired of Civ4 after 2 or 3 games, and the Civ5 demo was just awful. I think it's just poor execution. I missed out on Civ3 and earlier and I'm always wondering if praise of the older games is just nostalgic or if they really were much better than this modern mush.
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
3. Re: Evening Tech Bits Feb 14, 2011, 22:19 Tom
The GTX 560 Ti seems like the sweet spot right now. At $250 it should be around the same price point as your old card was.

You could also save $50 by going with a 460 if you want to trade off some cost for performance. The performance per dollar and performance per watt of those two seem very close.

Great review here:
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News Comments > DCS: A10C Warthog Interview
7. Re: DCS: A10C Warthog Interview Feb 10, 2011, 13:17 Tom
GAU-8 Avenger vs. zombies. YES! DCS: A10C / L4D mashup, please.  
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News Comments > On PC Crysis 2
16. Re: On PC Crysis 2 Feb 9, 2011, 15:32 Tom
Bhruic wrote on Feb 9, 2011, 15:07:
They assume that the game should run perfectly on the highest settings given a reasonably high performance machine at the time of release. And if not, it's unoptimized garbage.

As opposed to what? Releasing a game that you can't run on max settings with a high powered machine? What's the point in releasing a game that people can't run on max settings with the best machines of the day? Sure, maybe 5 years later, they can finally do it, but that's not going to help your game now. Including settings in the game that no one can actually use is pretty stupid, and if that leads to complaints about your game, the only one you should be blaming is yourself.

Ok see if you can wrap your head around this: On the PC, games have to support a huge variety of configurations. From low powered systems up to extremely powerful ones. This means the developer has to make their game scalable. If they fail at this task, the game will require too powerful of a machine to run at all, or it won't take advantage of the power of the more powerful machines, or both.

Scalability involves varying the burden the game places on the system. For example, varying the polygon count, shader complexity, fill rate burden, physics load, AI complexity, and so on. Modern systems are so complex that it's very difficult to automatically adapt the game's burden on the system to find the optimum point where the game offers the best balance of framerate and visual quality.

So, games tend to automate some of their choices, while leaving other choices to the user in the form of settings. Also, different users have different priorities - sometimes even the same user will want to prioritize framerate at one time, and visual quality at another time.

Now here is a very important point: The game developer has to tune the settings (which settings are available and what they do) to find a balance between fitting the scaling abilities of the game and being accessible to the user, who typically doesn't want to learn about all of the gory internal details of the game systems. (And if they do, they can tweak settings in config files and such.)

If the balance is too conservative, the game's scaling may support looking way better on a more powerful system, but the user won't have a way to use it... so the potential is wasted. This is needless waste.

If the balance is too aggressive, you get people whose feelings are hurt by running at lower than the highest settings when they think their system is totally awesome. You should focus more on what you get for a given level of settings, rather than just whether or not they are the highest settings available.

Today's high powered machine will always be blown away by tomorrow's mid-range. So if the game developer already has to do all this work to make the game scalable, why not future-proof the game a bit? Haven't you ever revisited a game after a few years and had the satisfaction of being able to crank everything to the max now that you have a generation or two newer components?

Offering high end scaling also provides some reward for those who really do go all out and build very high end systems. What's the point of building such a system if you can't get real-world benefits from it? So you can get some number that's higher than some other number in a benchmark?
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News Comments > On PC Crysis 2
15. Re: On PC Crysis 2 Feb 9, 2011, 15:14 Tom
Ok you're right, my comment on SLI was too harsh. It's not stupid if you're actually effectively addressing a bottleneck with it. The examples you gave are the only real cases where it makes sense. What I was thinking about is the typical gaming setup involving a single monitor costing under $1000 (just the cost of the monitor I'm talking about), where SLI seems to be more trouble and cost than it's worth.

And you're right, I've never had SLI. I'm basing my thinking on reviews, comments from people who do have SLI, release notes, specs, prices, and a modest understanding of the techniques and bottlenecks of realtime 3D graphics.
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1414 Comments. 71 pages. Viewing page 39.
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