Posts posted by wavey
New humble bundle up:
If anyone wants my key for Rust, PM me.1
1 hour ago, Dudley said:
TIS is excellent but when he says "For programmers" he means it.
Yep - Human Resource Machine is a very nice UI on a series of assembly language problems, which will be great if you haven't any experience with them before. But if you have coded in assembly, there won't be anything in there to surprise you at all. TIS-100 though has such a peculiar (but fascinating) setup in the way the machine works that most of the tricks and methods you've picked up programming real-life computers won't be that much help, and you have to invent new ways of doing things yourself, especially when optimizing. For me, it captured the feeling of teaching yourself how to program a C64 with a reference manual and no internet in the 80's, and how appealing that sounds will likely tell you how much you'll get on with the game. I thought it was fantastic.
Her Story as well is obviously great, it's worth clearing 2-3 hours and finishing it in a single sitting. Really cleverly done, the way that you're technically free to stumble onto certain story elements too early, but somehow don't.0
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Steam keys available to regulars, PM me for one:
EDIT: all gone now
Programming game for programmers TIS-100 Programming game for normal people Human Resource Machine Double Fine old-school point & click adventure Broken Age Database simulator Her Story Cyberpunk visual novel I guess? Read Only Memories 90s arcade throwback Strider Indie darling literary adventure Kentucky Route Zero11
I had a quick look at Party Hard on Steam, saw the GIF under "Recent Updates" showing a lorry ploughing through a party, and ugh... I don't think I could stomach playing this any time soon.
EDIT: looks like they have now removed the GIF0
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3 hours ago, Uzi said:
now apparently they offered the serious sam devs a bag of money just to lock out the vive and make their game oculus exclusive when oculus previously said they would only support game exclusivity because they funded the dev of the game itself.
Yep - here are the exact words Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe used less than a year ago talking to Gamasutra:
"The games we're actually going to fund, they're going to be made for Touch...or gamepad," he says, noting that Oculus is funding both Rift-exclusive games pitched to it by external studios, and games it actually took and pitched to external studios. "Oculus Studios is not out to buy exclusivity; they're out to fund full games for the Rift."
I have a Vive, and really want VR - of all stripes - to succeed. VR on whatever platform is pretty fucking amazing, and it's one of the most exciting developments in gaming I've ever seen. There's so much potential here. It worries me that the kind of shenanigans Facebook/Oculus are pulling will fracture and kill the market before it's even had a chance to get going.0
5 minutes ago, Capwn said:
I got the eve valkerie code emailed to me but not Luckys Tale, is that normal?
Lucky's Tale is free on the store, no code needed.1
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To celebrate me apparently forgetting to cancel Humble Monthly, here are some spare Steam keys, PM me if you want one and I'll send them later tonight:
Rocket League DmC: Devil May Cry Bionic Commando: Rearmed Remember Me
Human Resource Machine
One thing I want to really recommend if you have a Vive and either can code, or fancy learning: have a go at making a simple game or prototype.
I had an idea last week for a game that needed VR - it involves kind of drawing out structures in 3D space to solve puzzles. (I wouldn't be able to implement a mechanic like this as a non-VR game - I can't even imagine what the UI / control system would look like. But in VR you can just click and drag out components in 3D without really thinking about it.) So I wondered what the VR support was like at the moment in game engines - I chose Unity purely because I gave it a try for a few days some years ago and quite liked how it worked. (I haven't tried it, but I think the Unreal engine has good VR integration too.)
Valve have a Unity plugin to wrap up all the lower-level VR APIs and present them as standard Unity objects, which skips a lot of the setup work I was dreading. There are plenty of tutorials available - I followed this one which takes you from a complete standing start of not even having Unity installed, to a playable VR scene with objects you can pick up and throw with your controllers. Even if you've never coded before, you should be able to follow this tutorial to completion without any problems, it shouldn't take more than about 2 hours to go through it all.
But then comes the almost magical part. I started trying out some simple tests - e.g. one controller would generate a 10x10x10cm cube at its tip, and I turned off gravity for them so they would just hang in midair. The other controller could still grab and throw objects. It was the absolutely simplest thing you could do, but creating a a bunch of cubes, then plucking one out of the air and throwing it into the rest of them, as they crash into each other in zero gravity and spin off into infinity... it was a lot more fun than it had any right to be. And it was 100x more fascinating because, hey, I just created that!
There also seems to be good support from other developers especially - there are VR-specific packages to help you out with some of the basics. For example I imported this toolkit, dragged some scripts around and it gave me a teleport mechanic with very little work on my part. I'd imagine you would eventually replace these with something more bespoke to your game, but they are very useful for getting started with.
Anyway - download Unity or Unreal (both are free) and have a go!1
Spent about an hour today fiddling with the settings for Project Cars (Nvidia 980, i5). (Seriously, an hour- every graphics setting change needs the game to be quit and restarted like it was 2004 again ) Trying out settings with the go karts, I could put most of them on high and keep at 90fps - except any kind of antialiasing, which would introduce jitters. But then I tried a normal car race, and the framerate was awful, particularly when there are many other cars on screen (like at the start of the race, say). Reducing every setting I could find didn't let me get a consistent 90fps - the only thing that would help was enabling "reprojection" in the SteamVR settings to smooth over the jittering, but you could tell that the game was running at 45fps at times.0
1 hour ago, Jbone said:
On a more positive topic! A Steam ID exchange of Vivers for high score purposes sounds like a great idea! I'm Jim 80 (in the Rllmuk group), so add me up.
Good idea - I'm wavey in the Rllmuk group, if anyone wants a steady supply of easily beatable scores.
One thing I'll add about Vanishing Realms, as I was playing it the feeling of presence was so strong I actually yelled out at one point! At the start of the game, you potter about a dungeon completely alone while you learn the mechanics of the game. I managed to unknowingly let loose a skeleton warrior before I had any weapons, and these are slightly bigger than human size and attack you with swords. But just having this enemy suddenly appear so close felt genuinely physically threatening for a second. I wonder if you get desensitized to that kind of feeling eventually?0
23 minutes ago, rubberducker said:
has anyone played "The Gallery: Call Of Starseed"? It has pretty great reviews on Steam, but looks pretty expense for a very short game...
Yes, and you've summed it up well there. It's one of the most polished Vive games I've seen so far. It's an exploration / adventure type of thing, quite slow paced, and has some really well done aspects - inventory management is done by pulling a backpack off your back, for instance, and the end sequence is good. But once you've seen everything and solved the couple of puzzles in there, that's pretty much it - there's little value in replaying.
So it's basically a good demo of a kind of game that suits VR really well - whether that's worth the 20-odd quid they're asking, I don't know. If Vanishing Realms (RPG) also appeals, I'd prioritize that over this I think, there's more to get your teeth into, and it does the exploration part quite well.0
3 minutes ago, alistarr said:
I'd probably play TWIM if you have a spare code. Full disclosure: I haven't played the pinball tables you gave me yet!
Sorry, it was just taken by someone else on PM0
Some spare Steam keys, PM me if you would like one of them:
South Park: The Stick of Truth This War of Mine
Human Resource Machine
Mushroom 11 Towerfall Ascension8
4 minutes ago, simms said:
Gulp. I have a DHL shipping notice for delivery on Tuesday. Goodbye world
Good news! Here's a collection of links that should be useful during set up:
which includes how to change the eye-to-lens distance - I didn't know this was even an option (!) until I read it today at lunchtime:
Tried a couple more of the "seated" games, and developers are going to have to be really careful about movement and cameras in these.
There's an Adventure Time game (very short - like demo-length, bog-standard 3D platformer, the licence helps though and there are some cute moments) where you gently float after the characters you're controlling, from quite high up. My wife tried it and the first thing she said was "oh my god this is making me feel sick". There's a definite unsettling lurching feeling when you are first moved - if type of thing this was your first experience with VR I can imagine it being very off-putting. The lurching feeling subsides to manageable levels quickly, but I found it was always present to some degree.
But it was a lot better than Mind: Path to Thalamus, which I guess I must have picked up in a bundle at some point. I tried this standing up, and it's a straight-up first person perspective game where you control the movement with a controller touchpad. It feels awful. For a start, you're the wrong height and have to duck through doors. But the movement feels slippery, and I could really feel motion sickness kicking in for the first time in VR. It didn't seem to get any better over the 10 minutes I could stand of it. Let's just say I'm more likely to finally try the Brookhaven Experiment demo (video last page) than I am to boot this up again.
Has anyone here tried Revive, which lets you play Oculus games? I saw it was updated to let you use the Vive controllers as the Oculus equivalents, haven't had the time to try it myself yet.0
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I got a Vive earlier in the week, and I was prompted in the Oculus thread to post some impressions. Sorry about the wall of text incoming!
Basically SuperNashwan's post above nails it. First, a disclaimer: my day job involves fairly low level 3D graphics programming, so I can easily spend a month or two optimising a system to reach 60fps, and any visual glitches are pounced on by the boss. So I may be overly sensitive to frame skips and glitches etc.
First experience is that it's blurrier than I expected. I've tried google cardboard before, and you can see individual pixels there; here, it's like looking at one of the cheap LCDs you used to get, blurred rather than crisp pixels. It's odd that the default arena you're in when there's no game playing is so high contrast (mainly white, vs the dark grey of the controllers) as that seems to exacerbate the issue. And the blurriness does noticeably increase the further from the centre of the display an object gets, definite blue / orange fringing around the controllers that gets worse with distance.
I initially thought the tracking was slightly glitchy, but I think now what I was seeing was an occasional frame skip. There's a green/red graph you can bring up in the settings that will show missed frames that is worth keeping an eye on when other people are playing, and for me it happens fairly often (I have a GTX980).
VR will also expose some of the tricks and workarounds 3D modellers use - e.g. in the startup arena, the controllers have additional LEDs shown to represent battery level. I thought this was a very clever way to keep down hardware costs, btw. Because you can move the controller models with such accuracy, you can see the battery LEDs are on a texture floating a couple of mm above the controller, and they have forgotten to make the back of the texture transparent. This is completely unexceptional in games, and the player would never be able to tell that objects aren't "whole" due to camera limitations, but when the player's head is the camera, good luck limiting that movement.
Lower your expectations about how good it's going to look is all I'm saying. Nitpicking the performance and technical aspects is easy, it's my bread and butter. But what's more difficult is having to admit, heretically, that none of what I have written above matters, not one single bit. I'm finding it hard to put into words just how... magical it feels when it works.
The tracking of the controllers is precise and instantly becomes second nature. The feeling of presence in the games is uncanny. The depth effect is fantastic, and this is coming from someone who hates 3D movies due to (among other things) the eye strain it causes. I haven't noticed anything like that yet.
The impact of the scale of things took me by surprise. I tried out some 360 videos from YouTube, the first one was from the new Jungle Book film. I was watching some animals enter a temple, then heard Christopher Walken talk behind me. I turned round and nearly screamed at the size of the character he was voicing, it was very unsettling! I had a similar fear reflex at the end of the Secret Shop in The Lab, for the same reason. Large creatures towering above you is just frightening at a very basic, visceral level.
The software side of things is at the enthusiast-only stage - a lot of fiddling, occasional crashes to desktop, all the usual early adopter issues I guess. One game (The Gallery ep 1) looks gorgeous and properly fleshed out, but I had to stop playing when it caused the screens to flicker black when looking in certain directions. I'm confident these things will improve over time.
But when it works, oh my word. Furiously batting away the spheres in AudioShield to Born Slippy is one of my favourite game experiences this year. Firing arrows in The Lab feels fantastic, and it feels like a skill you're developing, a million miles away from e.g. firing an arrow in Tomb Raider by clicking a mouse. Judging the distance, deciding the angle and how far to pull back feels amazing when you get it right.
I have three daughters, 5, 7 and 10, they all love Tilt Brush in particular. It's a testament to both the hardware and Google's design of the UI in the app - which is one of the more complex ones I've seen so far - that they all took to it with little to no guidance from me. It feels so natural in use. I can't wait to get to use proper full 3D modelling apps, they will be so much easier to use than the 2D desktop equivalents (to me at least!)
One app I tried that I thought did something really interesting was The Foo Show (terrible name). It's set up like a TV talk show, the presenter and guests modelled and sat in a 3D TV studio you can walk around as they talk. But in terms of content and polish, it feels a lot more like a rambly unscripted podcast, so approach it with that in mind. The host talks to the Firewatch devs, and they show a trailer for it on a screen in the set. So far, so standard. But then they transport everything to one of the locations in the actual game, a fire tower. You can walk around this, and pick up and examine pretty much every model, while they keep talking and pointing out various details in the room. I thought this was quite a neat and immersive way to show off a non-VR game within VR. Looking forward to see what else they can do with the format.
I've mainly been trying the room scale stuff, but seated games work well too. Time Machine VR might not be great as a game, but piloting the underwater ship thing feels a lot more real than it would on a monitor. Just being able to look around and judge depth adds a huge amount to the experience.
I'm not usually an early adopter, but I couldn't resist this. It's what I've been dreaming about since I saw the early primitive VR what, 25, 30 years ago? It's the most exciting step forward in video gaming I've been witness to. I hope and pray it gets the software support it deserves, and the tech is given time to grow and refine.
TL;DR: any technical problems there are become immediately insignificant when you're in a game. Revolutionary, 10/10.13
I have a Vive and I've bought Virtual Desktop on Steam. I think it comes with a code for the Oculus store - it's 25 characters, I assume you can redeem it in a similar way to Steam codes? Anyway if it's of any use and anyone wants it, PM me.1
31 minutes ago, SuperNashwan said:
Meanwhile, apparently no UK orders are shipping at all until later in April, even for people who've had payment taken. Lots of disappointment to share around.
Not sure this is true - scanning Reddit there are people in the UK that have estimated delivery of tomorrow, but so far these are only people who paid via Paypal (which is a bit annoying as I tried to pay by Paypal to start with, but HTC's system kept rejecting it so I went with credit card in the end.)0
Comprehensive hands-on preview of the Vive hardware at RPS:
One interesting thing is the enthusiasm for watching films and TV in VR, and playing non-VR games in the VR theatre mode - I assumed it would be just a gimmick, but I'll be happy to be proved otherwise.0
I was reading a (long) article about the underlying causes of the rise of Donald Trump, viewed specifically through the lens of authoritarianism:
The authoritarianism here is not of party leaders, but "a psychological profile of individual voters that is characterized by a desire for order and a fear of outsiders".
The question discussed is what (sorry Jez) "triggers" this large section of voters into supporting the kind of extreme policies of Trump (building walls, banning Muslims, etc) and strong-man leaders.
Some quotes from the article:Quote
Authoritarians prioritize social order and hierarchies, which bring a sense of control to a chaotic world. Challenges to that order — diversity, influx of outsiders, breakdown of the old order — are experienced as personally threatening because they risk upending the status quo order they equate with basic security. ... When they face physical threats or threats to the status quo, authoritarians support policies that seem to offer protection against those fears. They favor forceful, decisive action against things they perceive as threats.
For liberals, it may be easy to conclude that opposition to things like same-sex marriage, immigration, and diversity is rooted in bigotry against those groups — that it's the manifestation of specific homophobia, xenophobia, and Islamophobia.
But ... there might be something else going on.
When told to fear a particular outgroup, Hetherington said, "On average people who score low in authoritarianism will be like, 'I’m not that worried about that,' while people who score high in authoritarianism will be like, 'Oh, my god! I’m worried about that, because the world is a dangerous place.'"
In other words, what might look on the surface like bigotry was really much closer to Stenner's theory of "activation": that authoritarians are unusually susceptible to messages about the ways outsiders and social changes threaten America, and so lash out at groups that are identified as objects of concern at that given moment.
That's not to say that such an attitude is in some way better than simple racism or xenophobia — it is still dangerous and damaging, especially if it empowers frightening demagogues like Donald Trump.
And, perhaps most importantly, his willingness to flout all the conventions of civilized discourse when it comes to the minority groups that authoritarians find so threatening. That's why it's a benefit rather than a liability for Trump when he says Mexicans are rapists or speaks gleefully of massacring Muslims with pig-blood-tainted bullets: He is sending a signal to his authoritarian supporters that he won't let "political correctness" hold him back from attacking the outgroups they fear.
Anyway, what struck me were the parallels with gamergate - seeking out what they see as "strong, masculine leaders" (who might look like ridiculous blowhards to outsiders), with simplistic, black-and-white, anti-PC rhetoric. And lashing out at the groups they've been told to fear, and the willingness to excuse the awful harassment as being proportionate to the perceived threat, etc etc.
I wonder whether gamergaters are more likely to support Trump than the general population?6
In this latest censorship scandal, I think the latte-sipping left-liberal elite have gone too far.5
New Humble Bundle, decent BTA tier:
Oceanhorn (apparently not bad Zelda clone?)
Shadowrun Chronicles - Boston Lockdown
(+ voucher 10% off next Humble Monthly bundle)
(+ more added next week)
4 minutes ago, Mentazm said:
Where are folk getting the wasteland 2 keys from?1
No Man's Sky - Interceptor
Just a reminder (because I had forgotten, and nowhere seems to be doing any discounts at all) if you're a Humble Monthly subscriber and want this on Steam you get 10% off on the Humble store, plus another 10% goes to your charity of choice. Which makes it basically £32 if you look at it a certain way and need the excuse to take the plunge and oh god I'm so weak.