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Videogames: "No E3 for you!" edition.

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Iron Man VR pushed back to July 3rd release date.  I don't understand why they couldn't have released in digitally this week as planned, unless this was just an excuse to give them more time to deal with bugs.

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I think I've gone crazy in No Man's Sky. I grew so annoyed of trying to build stuff and realizing I've run out of resources that I went and started to construct mining bases for every single resource. So far I have Radon, Paraffinium, Uranium, Ammonia, Copper, Dioxite and Oxygen. The planet I'm orbiting right now also has silver, so hopefully I'm going to find a deposit of that soon.

I must say... building these bases has been more difficult than I imagined. I had massive shortages of chromatic metal until I found that copper deposit. Ironically ferrite and all its refined forms have become the most frustrating part because the storage silos eat metal plates like candy. I ended up buying out every market I came across of metal plates, ferrite dust and junk metal and I still keep running out of it. And really, my bases aren't all that fancy. A base building module, a small cylindric dome with a door and a galactic market, a portal, a couple of solar cells and batteries, two extractors and 6 storage silos. That's the layout of every base I've been building.

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I replayed God of War and forgot how brutal the last Valkyrie is. I was playing on hard and can’t imagine how difficult she has to be on Give Me God of War mode. It took me more times than I like to admit but I finally took her down. Was gonna try and platinum it but fuck finding all of Odin’s ravens.

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The graphics part is what gets me. Is there really a demand for it? What percentage of people can even run games at the highest settings? How many people have or aspire to a 4k monitor? Has anyone even released a game without going for it? Fortnite isn't an RPG but seems to be beating out COD and BF without the shiny ultra realistic graphics. Doesn't seem impossible although not sure how relevant it is as its a different genre.

In the case of the tech demo, it's apparently running as-is on a PS5. A top-tier PC running one of nVidia's in-development latest cards (the rumoured 3080) could do better, of course, but the demo is meant to show the real-time capabilities of the console (and bear in mind that the XBX is capable of even more).

The problem is the time it takes to make games look like that. With games regularly taking five to seven years to make already, I can't see anyone being willing to pour in the resources needed to take maximum advantage of what the new consoles and the latest graphic cards can actually do: they'd get one game out in the life cycle of the next console and that that would be it. So I wouldn't be surprised if we see more people taking the view that maximum graphical prowess is no longer desirable, achievable or practical for anything but the most on-rails game (the guys at Quantic Dream are probably rubbing their hands with glee though), so a more stylised look going forwards for more titles is likely. Or the Bethesda approach of not actually upgrading much and just chucking a bit more bloom on the screen and calling it done.

The next big thing in graphics will be AI learning or automated help in creating objects, textures etc. Without that greater degree of automation, hand-crafting games as people have done for decades is going to become impossible.

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Eh. The converse to that is that it has never been a better time to be an indie developer. You don't have to worry about major publishing deals, you can send things out for cheap, get beta and alpha testers in early, and get a lot of word of mouth. One of the biggest games on the planet was Rocket League, and it ain't like that had a crazy budget. Untitled Goose Game got huge amounts of success too, with a similar vibe. 

In theory, yes, but in practice not so much. We're a few years past massive indie successes like Shovel Knight, Stardew Valley etc. Untitled Goose Game was a fun, novelty five-minute wonder (like Goat Simulator) and it was done. The problem now is that everyone has jumped on the indie game express and the market is now absolutely glutted. We're now being machine gunned by indie titles promising to be the next big thing on a daily basis, and only a few (like The Outer Wilds, or last week's Cloudpunk) have really made much of a recent impression.

The best time to be an indie developer was probably around five years ago. In theory you can still do something amazing in that space, but even if you can now, it seems less likely to really break through. Even Subnautica, my favourite indie game of the last couple of years, seemed to sink from view quite quickly and the sequel seems to have a much lower profile.

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Posted (edited)

The problem with indie games is that 99% of developers (or at least it feels that way) choose the same design route - "retro" 2D pixel-art games which are either platformers, "roguelites" or "Metroidvanias", and which heavily rely on procedural generation. None of that holds any appeal for me.

Gems like Papers Please or Disco Elysium, which have actual original ideas, are few and far between.

Edited by Gorn

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Posted (edited)

I guess I will get my SO a new console once the new generation is out. 

The PS5 looks like the better option right now from a hardware point of view. 

PS controllers suck for us though as my SOs hands hurt after a short time playing with one. The Xbox One Elite controller is pure perfection as far as my SO is concerned . My own hands fall asleep when I use a PS3 or PS4 controller. 

Personally I don't enjoy gaming with controllers much unless it is a short game of stuff like Mario Kart. I mostly gave up on the Switch because of that despite the fact that it had some awesome games. My hands don't fall asleep with Switch or Xbox controllers though.

Edited by Luzifer's right hand

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2 hours ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

I guess I will get my SO a new console once the new generation is out. 

The PS5 looks like the better option right now from a hardware point of view. 

PS controllers suck for us though as my SOs hands hurt after a short time playing with one. The Xbox One Elite controller is pure perfection as far as my SO is concerned . My own hands fall asleep when I use a PS3 or PS4 controller. 

Personally I don't enjoy gaming with controllers much unless it is a short game of stuff like Mario Kart. I mostly gave up on the Switch because of that despite the fact that it had some awesome games. My hands don't fall asleep with Switch or Xbox controllers though.

That surprises me.  It’s been a long time since I held an XBox controller but I’ve always found them to be large and cumbersome.  The DualShock seems to be the perfect balance of comfort for me. :dunno: 

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Posted (edited)

I tend to think that graphics aren't really all they're made out to be. At this point I just don't care and I don't really understand why certain portions of the game-sphere tie themselves up in orgasmic knots at the prospect of all the ULTRAREALISTIC HDR 4K+ RAYTRACING wankery thrown around. I feel like the base problem here is the console market being hardware driven and graphics hardware seeming to be the easiest thing to scale up and market for your "next generation" so you can convince people it's justified that they buy your new console.

4 hours ago, Werthead said:

In theory, yes, but in practice not so much. We're a few years past massive indie successes like Shovel Knight, Stardew Valley etc. Untitled Goose Game was a fun, novelty five-minute wonder (like Goat Simulator) and it was done. The problem now is that everyone has jumped on the indie game express and the market is now absolutely glutted. We're now being machine gunned by indie titles promising to be the next big thing on a daily basis, and only a few (like The Outer Wilds, or last week's Cloudpunk) have really made much of a recent impression.

I'm not sure indie is over, but looking up the release dates of the games I was gonna cite as my favourite recent indie games (and frankly favourite games period) to counter your assertion was somewhat eye opening - Dead Cells (2017, though fuck has this game grown and evolved in a good way over the past couple of years), Celeste (2018), Hollow Knight (2017), Darkest Dungeon (2016), Into The Breach (2018) - the most recent I could find was Slay The Spire which officially released in 2019 though it'd been available in early access for a long ol' time before that. I will note that a few of these games had recent free or paid expansions / updates that kept them more relevant or in my awareness at least, and that I'm still playing all of these games on and off to this day.

Edit: With regards to the controller debate the XBone controller is definitely my favourite of the current crop.

Edited by Poobah

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Wahaha! I wondered why the Epic Gamestore has been down the whole time and it's because they made GTA 5 free! XD

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2 hours ago, Rhom said:

That surprises me.  It’s been a long time since I held an XBox controller but I’ve always found them to be large and cumbersome.  The DualShock seems to be the perfect balance of comfort for me. :dunno: 

I guess we have Microsoft hands.

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1 hour ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

I guess we have Microsoft hands.

You're in luck w/ the PS5 then, they've reworked the dual shock 5 controller completely.  Looks very similar to the old 360 controllers now

https://stealthoptional.com/next-gen/dualsense-explained-ps5-controller-specs-changes-design-price-release-date-news-dualshock-5/

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30 minutes ago, aceluby said:

You're in luck w/ the PS5 then, they've reworked the dual shock 5 controller completely.  Looks very similar to the old 360 controllers now

https://stealthoptional.com/next-gen/dualsense-explained-ps5-controller-specs-changes-design-price-release-date-news-dualshock-5/

That looks promising.

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31 minutes ago, aceluby said:

You're in luck w/ the PS5 then, they've reworked the dual shock 5 controller completely.  Looks very similar to the old 360 controllers now

https://stealthoptional.com/next-gen/dualsense-explained-ps5-controller-specs-changes-design-price-release-date-news-dualshock-5/

Ugh!  What the hell is that thing?!!!?  

It does look like an Xbox controller.  I do have one very similar that I use for the Switch when I bring it to my office.  (I remodeled last year and have a slick set up where I have the docking cradle on my desk with no wires visible and an HDMI runs through the ceiling to the TV on my wall.  Its subtle and people that come in would never notice it if not looking for it. :lol: )  That is definitely going to take some getting used to.

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Disclaimer: I work for Microsoft.

The Xbox Series X, as @Werthead said above, looks like it will be the more powerful system in this generation. There are obviously other considerations.

I'm still super jazzed about backwards compatibility for the xbox series X on not only all xbox one games but all xbox one accessories. Being not forced to buy more controllers and have it all just work is really sweet. 

The demo that I got to see of seeing the same game side by side with an xbox one x and watch it absolutely blow the other one away as far as loading times and performance was pretty cool too. 

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8 hours ago, Werthead said:

In theory, yes, but in practice not so much. We're a few years past massive indie successes like Shovel Knight, Stardew Valley etc. Untitled Goose Game was a fun, novelty five-minute wonder (like Goat Simulator) and it was done. The problem now is that everyone has jumped on the indie game express and the market is now absolutely glutted. We're now being machine gunned by indie titles promising to be the next big thing on a daily basis, and only a few (like The Outer Wilds, or last week's Cloudpunk) have really made much of a recent impression.

What about Mordhau, M&B Bannerlord (maybe too big for indie), Temtem, Astroneeer (in early access for a while, but only released in 2019), Bloodstained, My Time at Portia, RimWorld, Risk of Rain 2, Streets of Rage 4, Hades, Kenshi, and Oxygen Not Included?

And that's just off the top of my head. They've all released in 2019 or 2020 and all hits just as big as any of the 2014-2017 indie hits (except for Rocket League).

 

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21 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Being not forced to buy more controllers and have it all just work is really sweet. 

That is nice. Was there an actual reason they couldn't do this with 360 controllers for the one? 

I haven't really put much thought into the next console generation but it would take a lot for me to switch to playstation and give up my library of digital xbox games. I'll probably just buy a PS4 and play catch up on exclusives until there's a must have game that's only on the new systems. 

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14 minutes ago, RumHam said:

That is nice. Was there an actual reason they couldn't do this with 360 controllers for the one? 

Yeah, the architecture was really not there for supporting what the xbox 1 controller was, plus at the time people didn't consider this much of a feature. Nowadays, a lot of people really want to go and play their old games too, and having the gamepass feature has been a massive win for everyone. The wireless system for the 360 wasn't very special. 

An aside - Xbox One controllers are designed well enough that they work on android and iOS now. I've played Gears of War on my phone, for instance, using xCloud, with the controller, and it's neat. My son can play Roblox with a controller on the iPad. Might be also true with PS4 controllers, but I know it works for the xbox ones.

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm trying out Andromeda again. As much as I hated it as a Mass Effect game, it certainly does help my OCD tendencies with the endless collection of things.

But man, this game (which came out to much criticism) has not aged well. The characters are awful. I hate when Ryder is confronted in a situation and the only options are "yes I understand" or "that makes sense." We get variety in the one scripted way we're allowed to agree.

Still, what really locks this game in a box of 2016 (is that the right year?) is the ridiculous frat boy mentality of the writers. Liam bringing a couch into the ship (can't remember it's name, everything sounds the same in this game)? Come on. I just feel like these writers were very young with very few life experiences to draw from. Characters also use slang that is very specific to the year it came out and seems outdated even a few years later. Things like, "The Kett? Jeez. Xenophobic much?" I can't say that's an exact quote from the game, but it's shit like that. It'd be like if in ME2, Samara ran around yelling, "That's hella good!" 

Also, characterization is so paper thin. I mean, is Drack old? Is that his only defining feature? When someone talks to him in the vehicle, is it always about how old he is? Yes. That's all we know about Drack. He's old. And Pee Bee is silly. And Cora is dryly sarcastic. And every joke makes me cringe. I'm afraid someone will come into my room as I'm hunched over in darkness in front of a computer screen, and Pee Bee says "this N7 armor blueprint is fucking lit!" 

A real quote from Pee Bee in the game, "The Milky Way was so meh! Been there, done that!"

Anyway, I better get back. I have nodes to harvest.

Edit: Oh yeah, the fucking empty platitudes this game throws out like they're some complex philosophical statement. Things like (from the opening cinematic) when Ryder Senior says (basically), "Every great moment in our history began with a dream. each bold leap forward was achieved by those willing to do anything to attain. it. we are all of us leaving behind families homes the very birthplace of our species." Really Ryder Sr? Every great moment in our history began with a dream? Every single one? And each "bold leap forward" was attained by only those willing to do anything for it? What? 

Edited by Simon Steele

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