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Posts posted by DocG

  1. 9 hours ago, Scouser_In_Exile said:

    Brienne who slit a guy's throat as he was trapped under a horse? That Brienne?

    I am reminded of the most famous fight scene in the Chronicles of Amber books. Very minor spoiler for the Amber books, if you haven't read them (and you should, they're great):



    Corwin, the central character, is riding to war. He's tired and his side are losing and he has a bigger mission to do than this skirmish. He meets Borel, who he's never heard of, but who desperately wants to fight Corwin (who is a legendary warrior.) 

    Borel asks "are you armoured?" Corwin says no, and slaps his chest, proving there is no hidden chain mail. Borel nods and slowly takes off his plate mail armour so they can fight fairly. Corwin immediately jumps on his horse and runs off. Borel, dismayed, gives chase, shouting that Corwin is a coward. Corwin rides down into a narrow gully, then jumps off his horse and spreads his cloak over the gully behind him. Borel rides right into it, getting tangled up and falling off his horse. Then this happens:

    Drawing Grayswandir [Corwin's sword], I leaped after him. I caught him just as he had brushed my cloak aside and was struggling to rise. I skewered him where he sat and saw the startled expression on his face as the wound began to flame.


    "Oh, basely done!" he cried. "I had hoped for better of thee!"


    "This isn't exactly the Olympic Games," I said, brushing some sparks from my cloak.


  2. 17 hours ago, RubberJohnny said:

    I've noticed you doing this a lot DocG, throwing around enough shade to cast murk on something, even when you know what you're saying is wrong.

    That's a bit bloody rude. I didn't spend 20 minutes digging through the Windows Store T&Cs, attempting to find the find the root cause of the possibly-inaccurate "UWP doesn't allow modding" meme, so I could be accused of deliberately posting shite.

  3. 22 hours ago, TehStu said:

    I shouldn't have mentioned the PS4. I was just alluding to the fact that it's hardly surprising that the platform owner uses 1st party titles to peddle their store. Remember when Half Life 2 came with that apparent crapware Steam? And it'll help, or it'll bite them on the arse, depending on whether sufficient people vote with their wallet.

    OK, sure, Steam was lame. But it was lame when there was no alternative; it literally created the digital distribution market around itself. That was 2003. 2016 is very different; we have Steam, Origin, uPlay, and GOG, all of which are perfectly competent.


    Then along comes Microsoft with a two-pronged attack: UWP and Windows Store. It's confident enough to tie a couple of big exclusive games to this. But even you, Stu, surely admit it's bungled the launch: no multi-GPU support, enforced vsync, etc etc, all on a product aimed specifically at people that care very much about those things. And it comes on the heels of the last lukewarm attempt at Microsoft to own this space (Games for Windows Live), which arrived lame, only got worse, but no-one has forgotten. There was a strong stink about GfWL that it was an example of Microsoft setting high level strategic goals that it hadn't thought very hard about how to implement and hence were implemented poorly; right now, I'd say that (for games) UWP/Windows Store is in the same state.


    Now, I concede, MS has promised to fix these issues -- and it probably will, although talk is cheap. But here's a cliché for you: you never get another chance to make a first impression. And here's another: you come at the king, you best not miss. Microsoft tried to enter a mature market with an underbaked product, and it's being rightly laughed from the room for it.

    1 minute ago, TehStu said:

    What about for UWP distributed outside the windows store? And do those still need to be signed by MS? What about win32 converted by Centennial?

    Sure, but despite the thread title, I think most people in this thread are talking about UWP and Windows Store in combination, rather than either in isolation.

  4. 30 minutes ago, Plissken said:

    It is a bullshit argument.  UWP does not, in any way, prevent modding if developers provide the plugins/hooks for it to do so.  Why would UWP prevent modding when Steam does not?

    Not UWP per se, no. But the Windows Store policy states:



    Your app must not attempt to change or extend the described functionality through any form of dynamic inclusion of code that is in violation of Store Policies. Your app should not, for example, download a remote script and subsequently execute that script in a manner that is not consistent with the described functionality.

    That sounds relevant to me. 


    It is, of course, analogous to Apple's famous iOS developer agreement clause:


    2.7 Apps that download code in any way or form will be rejected

    ...and it seems like a non-controversial point to suggest that at least part of Microsoft's goal with UWP and the Windows Store is to bring an iOS-style ecosystem to Windows.

  5. On 06/04/2016 at 5:56 PM, neoELITE said:

    Mike is going to


      Hide contents

    stop the truck but how the hell is he going to impersonate this delivery driver when he looks like a sullen scrotal sack?


    When the truck disappears into the garage, you hear an air wrench start up. I wonder if they are smuggling drugs inside the tyres. 

  6. 4 hours ago, RubberJohnny said:


    Did you see that recent "average spend" chart? Work out how much those games cost to make compared to Destinys $500 million. Hearthstone for example, had four developers, Destiny had 500.



    This graph is wildly misleading. It isn't ARPU - average revenue per player. It's ARPPU - average revenue per paying player. The $550 figure for Game of War is basically meaningless because you have no idea how many players it's averaged over. There could be just one paying player and $550 could be total revenue, even. 


    I've seen the (confidential) revenue reports for games like Game of War or Candy Crush and I'm not giving anything away by saying it's a lot. But these games aren't appealing to anything like the same audiences as console games do. One market doesn't take away from the other. There's close to zero overlap. They just don't compete. I mean, just consider, you started talking about appealing to kids -- freemium games have zerk interest in kids who cannot purchase IAPs.


    Also, you assume these games are cheap to make. They aren't. Creating a freemium game that can convince whales to shell out thousands is very hard (which is why few have succeeded at it) and requires huge teams of analysts and devs. 


    This entire line of argument is fatuous.

  7. 1 hour ago, Revival said:

    I get the impression the main reason they are going ahead with this is because the current hardware isn't strong enough to offer what they want to achieve with the VR unit.

    That's the popular thinking, but I don't believe it is the primary goal. My hunch is the Sony businessfolk want two things from this:

    • 4K BluRay support, with all that high dynamic range stuff etc, to sell more 4K TVs (synergy!).
    • A 'premium' PS4 unit to sell at a higher price to those who want the best; that would then support lowering the price on the base PS4 without eroding overall costs. Tiered pricing strategies is straight out of Microeconomics 101.

    Games consoles have messed around with the second strategy (e.g. Xbox 360 Core vs the one with a hard drive; various limited edition bundles) but as long as 90% of the machine is a fixed spec there's very little room to introduce meaningful pricing tiers. If you can vary the base spec, then it looks more attractive as a strategy. Moving Xbox One and PS4 to nearly standard x86 architectures opens up that possibility.


    If I'm right, then the difference between PS4k and PS4 will only be large enough to justify a higher price on the hardware to 'core' gamers [1]. Splitting the software market would be a bad idea, for all the reasons discussed above, so full compatibility across the two devices would be critical; Sony would want future games to have two render targets. Buy a PS4k, get better looking games for free (because all your current games work.) Buy a PS4, get the same experiences but with somewhat reduced graphics. The PS4 would hang around at a lower price, I think, which is another reason that the two consoles have to be as similar as possible for games devs to target.


    One of Digital Foundary's scenarios was something like a 2x bump in GPU power with working backwards compatibility with PS4 titles. This has the intriguing notion that with twice the GPU grunt, you could (presumably?) render VR games at current-PS4-levels, as opposed to the somewhat degraded visuals we seem to be getting with PSVR as it has been shown so far. But, importantly, it's not night and day difference; all existing games (VR and normal) should still work on the older hardware. It's certainly not going to be putting out games at 4K [2]. I wonder if Sony actually see that as a goal; that the difference is a nice-but-not-essential upgrade. Make it too good, make that upgrade too essential, and the cheaper old PS4 becomes too hard a sell; existing customers are annoyed and the two-tier strategy is out of the window. So the gap between the two consoles has to be finely judged.


    [1] I don't much like this term but there's not a lot better.

    [2] That's going to be impossible for a games console for several years yet. It's just too many pixels. Citation: behemoth 4k gaming PCs.

  8. 25 minutes ago, fasteasyfree said:


    The obvious answer is you drop the detail down in the game to meet the frame rate. 

    So: start game, accept auto tuned settings, play ten minutes, find a janky bit, pause, take headset off, tweak settings, put headset on, play more, jank, take headset off, tweak, Google for tweak tips, tweak, headset on, play, find jank, ...


    25 minutes ago, fasteasyfree said:

    How do you think the ps4 is going to manage it?

    Put headset on, play game on auto settings knowing autosettings will be reasonably accurately tuned by the dev over hundreds of hours of play testing.

  9. If we're going to start discounting about stuff we already own this tedious conversation is going to get really bad. Like, I own a PS4 but not a PC, so for me PSVR vs Rift is £350 vs £1250. Is this a meaningful thing to say? Doesn't feel like it. 

    6 minutes ago, DogEyedBoy said:


    You can CTRL + Right Click on quotes to delete them.

    Not on my phone I can't. 

  10. 1 hour ago, footle said:

    £400 + £45 controller + Money On Games.

    Suddenly the difference isn't even £100, if you cared to put like for like.

    Are PC games free, then? You seem to have loaded them up on one side of this equation and left them off the other.


    1 hour ago, footle said:

    Not having to buy a £700-800 PC of course would help.

    Yes. No shit it would. Also: can you build a Rift-spec PC for £700? Recommended GPU, which is not going to be a blazingly great experience, is a 970 and that's £275 on its own. Looking at the PC Build Thread suggests it's north of £800 and that stacks up pretty spendy next to a PS4.


    Stupid rllmuk broken undeleatable quote:


    1 hour ago, footle said:



  11. I was part of an outreach thing at a primary school yesterday. My bit involved schlepping a beastly PC (Titan Black, aww yeah) with a Rift DK2 and giving the kids a go in RiftCoasterHD. They went absolutely mental, they loved it; we had moderate screaming, kids gripping the seat, kids nearly falling over, and one teacher with vertigo who tried it anyway and came away white and sweating. Three of them told me it was "well sick" which I believe is high praise indeed.

  12. 4 hours ago, Mr Ben said:

    VR was the topic of my dissertation in uni back around 10 or more years ago. Came to the conclusion VR was dead unless someone had the balls to make a portable unit that didn't cost the earth, and sadly companies weren't willing to take the risk at the time.

    Uhh, rather than "weren't willing to take the risk" isn't it more likely that an affordable portable unit simply wasn't possible with the technology ten years ago? Look at the fire breathing PC you need for a Rift to get the motion tracking lag down to imperceptible levels. Unless you were rendering a flat cube in featureless space you couldn't do that on tethered systems ten years ago, let alone portable ones.

  13. 23 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:

    Left stick to walk forward/back and to strafe, move your head in lieu of right stick (probably with swivel chair).

    Swivel chairs don't work when your headset is tethered to a PC or console. 

  14. 14 minutes ago, Boozy The Clown said:

    VR lol (nsfw) 

    I definitely believe Boozy would have posted this same content if it were Microsoft and not Sony releasing a VR headset!



  15. 4 minutes ago, Paulando said:

    Anything that has you sitting down as a 'pilot' of sorts will no doubt be amazing.

    Imagine a Mechwarrior game.


    Because to my mind the thing that's really absent from Mechwarrior (or other massive-stompy-robot-game of your choice) is the sense of scale; it's a bit abstract when you're looking at a TV screen that you're inside a fifty foot tall walking tank. But VR can do that, it can make things look and feel massive. The first time I loaded Elite: Dangerous, I flew through the asteroid field in the training mission, and the asteroids were the size of my house.

  16. 20 minutes ago, PhilG said:


    I imagine MS want to free themselves from Xbox being a distinct platform to focus on SaaS. UWPs could nicely side-step console exclusivity if an Xbox is capable of running the 'PC' version. It could also make Windows/Xbox the number one choice for multi-platform development. Build the PC version as a UWP and the Xbox version is done. It makes developing for PC plus Xbox less work than PC plus PS4.

    Although in practice, I think it would work like this:

    • As-Is (today): develop Xbox, PS4, PC versions separately.
    • To-Be (glorious UWP future): develop one version for Xbox/PC (with some tuning for either version), develop second version for PS4

    I don't think this is a particularly big win for developers. It's a step forward, but there's already some amount of code portability across Xbox and PC thanks to DirectX and a common developer environment. And unless you're willing to forgo the PS4's install base you're still juggling two versions.


    That's why I think this is a bigger play than merely Xbox One / Windows 10 cross-compatibility today. I think this is about laying foundations for a converged platform in the future.

  17. 13 minutes ago, Stanley said:

    What's that, something negative about Sony from Boozy? Well I never.

    Something negative, about Sony, that we already discussed on the last page. A hat-trick!


    I can only imagine that his loop between seeing something negative about Sony and finding a rllmuk thread to cram it into is so tightly timed that there's no chance to check if it's already been covered. After all, he has to find the next negative thing already! Quick! No time to waste!

  18. This is a leap of faith, same as buying any new platform. 


    I've pre-ordered via Amazon; I can cancel up to the very day before it ships without paying anything so I'm comfortable with that. If it shipped in the state it's in today, I'd cancel, but obviously Sony have seven months to sell it to me and I'm open to being convinced. Seven months is a long time.

  19. http://www.dualshockers.com/2016/03/16/microsoft-shares-its-vision-for-the-future-of-windows-and-xbox-one-development-directx-12-and-more/



    UWP app support will be implemented on Xbox One in summer 2016. Developers that are writing an UWP app on Windows 10 today can be confident that it will run on Xbox One. The vast majority of the code is directly portable across devices, leaving developers time to optimize the code for the unique capabilities and control schemes of each device.


    They also note they are fixing the most glaring holes in UWP for gaming "real soon now" (vsync, SLI, etc.)


    I think this means in the future Microsoft is thinking Xbox will be subsumed into Windows, and no longer the discrete platform and hardware it is today. Imagine GfWL combined with DirectX and branded as Xbox, with a couple of console-sized Surface PCs to cover off the first party hardware support -- and then also third party hardware at a range of price points a la Steam Boxes.


    This feels like a change of heart. I wonder if the Xbone's lacklustre sales against the PS4 has led to a shift in the balance of power within MS and now the Windows division has the upper hand over the Xbox division, so is getting to set the strategy to suit itself.

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