Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by pkirkner

  1. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    I see it more as Beale having appointed himself the figurehead over their half-hearted objections, but either way you're exactly right that it backfired spectacularly on Torgersen and Correia.
  2. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    If you assume they're not just blatantly lying, I don't think that was the goal of the Sad Puppy organizers. They have fairly consistently expressed two objections to who has won the Hugo awards: Best-selling "pulp" Sci-fi books are routinely ignored by voters in favor of more literary fare with less commercial success. Works with progressive themes or written by members of marginalized groups routinely receive praise from voters disproportionate to their literary and commercial merit. I think both objections are almost entirely BS, but I don't see much wrong with pulp authors organizing their readers to vote in what is, after all, a process intentionally open to anyone willing to register a supporting membership. It's perhaps gauche, but hardly destructive and seemed to me genuinely motivated by a desire to see the type of books they write win Hugos, not burn the Hugos down. Burning everything down seems the domain of Beale, his Rabid Puppies, and their reactionary nutjob allies. edit: I should note, they brought this on themselves by including Beale on their slate last year, standing up for him then, and placing a work he published on their slate this year. It gave him room to co-opt their movement for his own purposes, and while it amplified their reach it amplified the backlash far more.
  3. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    They had an impact, but I suspect that a deeper analysis of the data will find that absent Vox Day mobilizing his nutjob followers, Sad Puppies 3 would have been roughly as successful as Sad Puppies 1 & 2, which I think it would be fair to call largely irrelevant.
  4. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    Since Worldcon released the Hugo voting data last night (as they always do after the ceremony), I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how many Sad / Rabbid puppies actually voted. Using this article's selection of the short story category as a useful guide, it looks like: Nominating Phase (1174 ballots cast, each is allowed to vote for 5 different works): Exclusively part of Rapid Puppy slate: 497 votes Part of both Puppy slates: 456 votes Exclusively part of Sad Puppy slate: 372 votes Total votes cast, assuming everyone voted for 5 works: 5870 votes Final Ballot (5267 ballots cast): No award: 3053 votes Exclusively part of Rabid Puppy slate: 944 votes Part of both Puppy slates: 874 votes Exclusively part of Sad Puppy slate: 396 votes The Sad Puppies seem largely irrelevant. Yesterday's awards were much more about the Science Fiction / Fantasy community repudiating the Rabid Puppies.
  5. It was also initially released on iPad, so I'd imagine part of the control jankiness arises from translating touch controls to mouse and keyboard.
  6. Contradiction is a lot of fun. I hope it sells well, because there's no way the £4000 kickstarter covered their production costs and I'd love to see what they can do with a decent-sized budget. Leigh Alexander perfectly expressed what I liked about the acting:
  7. In the bigger US sports, players are unionized employees that have collectively bargained with their respective league / team owners to establish rules for that sort of thing. Dota has none of that organizational framework. In this particular instance, Evil Geniuses is a subsidiary of twitch / Amazon and Team Secret's ownership is unclear (maybe owned by the players, maybe owned by the son of a Turkish construction magnate, maybe both) but neither is a franchise of a league like the NBA or NFL that is able to establish guidelines for how players move between teams.
  8. Yes, Dota 2's spectator mode allows for zooming out much further than is allowed for players, and the better commentary streams are good at taking advantage of that.
  9. Sure they do. The play-by-play announcer tells you what's happening and the color commentator explains the subtleties of the game to the audience. Much of my understanding of basketball comes from Mike Fratello, Doug Collins, Dr Jack Ramsey, Hubie Brown, and Bill Raftery breaking down the nuances of the game during broadcasts in the 90's.
  10. Denzel Washington's one-time football star son (John David Washington) is actually playing a football player (Ricky Jerret) on HBO's Ballers series right now.
  11. The International 5 (TI5) - Dota 2

    Their consistent inability to time their pre-match graphics so that they didn't cover up the start of every draft was also frustrating. Seems like an easy thing to fix, that they kept screwing up.
  12. The International 5 (TI5) - Dota 2

    You also have the echos from the Echo Slam, which when amplified by Ice Vortex hit even harder than normal.
  13. The International 5 (TI5) - Dota 2

    Game three of the finals was as good as it gets.
  14. Star Citizen

    They released a pretty slick demonstration of a boarding mission at Gamescom today: The presentation on stage had 10 players at once, across five ships. edit: They also showed where they're at on their MMO stuff, which looks nice enough graphically, but is pretty generic otherwise:
  15. Star Citizen

    They're doing another free public trial week, this time for QuakeCon. Just be aware it's a 25GB download to try out a fairly buggy alpha build. If you already have alpha access, the code should add a Hornet F7C to your account for a week. code: QCFREEFLIGHT2K15
  16. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    I guess my thinking is that nuanced communication was never possible with him. There may be more roadblocks to it happening now, but it doesn't seem like he was ever venturing down that road regardless.
  17. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    I don't know, PewDiePie seems to navigate that minefield fairly well. I think this is just who TB is, with or without the platform. Is he any different now than he was in his WoW Radio days?
  18. My freshman year I took a typing / stenography course using typewriters. Sophomore year, we moved up to word processing on a DOS version of word perfect. All of this stuff was long obsolete when I was learning about it in the mid-to-late 90's, but it was good preparation for later having to wrap my head around cold war era hardware in the US military over the last decade.
  19. Star Citizen

    My fondness for the genre was more based on narrative-heavy space operas like X-Wing, TIE Fighter, Freespace 1/2, and the Wing Commander series. More open world (open universe?) games like Elite, Privateer, or Freelancer never really got their hooks in me, and while I backed Elite Dangerous on kickstarter and have played it a bit, I'm not very well-versed in that particular sub-genre. As near as I can tell, Cloud Imperium is trying to adapt CryEngine to a new genre and use the resulting engine to build two new games simultaneously with many shared assets. The single-player game (Squadron 42) just wrapped a 66-day performance capture shoot at Andy Serkis' in the UK. While I've never cared for the narrative in Wing Commander games nearly as much as in their Lucas Arts or Volition counterparts, Squadron 42 is what I backed the project for. At this point, Cloud Imperium is the only game in town and I'm fairly confident they'll deliver a finished product. While it's been 15 years since the last significant game of this type (either Freespace 2 or Starlancer), they're just trying to update a traditional genre at today's AAA level of fidelity, with a bit of FPS stuff thrown in because they're using CryEngine. That's hard, but achievable, and I have confidence in the team Erin Roberts put together in the UK to do it. The multiplayer game is an entirely different story. It's essentially trying to combine the scope of EVE Online with space combat mechanics that I've only ever seen work in heavily-scripted single player games, and FPS-style ship-boarding mechanics on top of that. Beyond the challenge of simply building the assets for the 100 bespoke star systems, dozens of ships ranging from massive Carriers and Battleships to tiny snub fighters, and planetary landing sites and space stations, they have to figure out a way to balance all of them from a gameplay perspective in an EVE Online style economy and make the netcode work to support interactions at a level of latency suitable for twitch dog-fighting and FPS combat. I'm not a gamedev, but that seems like an absolutely Herculean task. It reminds me both of Robert's promises for Freelancer and Smart's promises for BC3000AD except that it's even more ambitious and we're now in an era when game assets are far more costly to produce. That said, I never would have imagined them raising this kind of money. I've been expecting their fundraising to stall out for over two years now and it hasn't happened yet. Their capital burn rate has to be awfully high given all the folks working on this game, but they've raised almost $40 million in the last calendar year alone. If they're able to sustain that kind of fundraising, they might eventually be able to deliver a game close to the one they've promised. They've been remarkably open with the community throughout the development process, and I wish them the best of luck. I just find it hard to conceptualize how they pull this off.
  20. Star Citizen

    Can't say I'm too surprised Smart posted a hyperbolic screed threatening legal action against another games industry figure. The fact that he's accusing someone else of over-promising and under-delivering on an ambitious space combat game may be humanity's peak when it comes to lacking self awareness. As someone that used to lurk in back in the 90's, I can attest that it's been his modus operandi for roughly 20 years now from BC3000AD, to Universal Combat, to Line of Defense. Of course, the fact that Chris Roberts bankrupted Digital Anvil by failing to reign in Freelancer's scope means there's plenty of room for reasonable skepticism of Robert's promises. You'd be hard pressed to find a person more poorly-suited to deliver that message than Derek Smart, though. Cloud Imperium posted a video interview with Roberts yesterday, partially in response to the recent criticism, and I was struck by the awkward CEO when their community manager Ben Lesnick (who's been part of the Wing Commander fan community forever) noted that Robert's brother Erin has the reputation of being the guy that reigns him in. For those of you who weren't space game obsessives back then, Digital Anvil was one of the companies created by ex-Origin Systems folks and Erin's project Starlancer was the only game they ever shipped as an independent company. Chris Robert's failure to ship Freelancer after three years of development forced the company's sale to Microsoft, his ouster as CEO, and the cancellation of a bunch of interesting games like Loose Cannon, a near-future GTA3-like open world game (in development years before GTA3's release) by the Crusader No Remorse / No Regret team lead, Tony Zurovec (now Star Citizen's MMO team lead). After three additional years of development Microsoft released a much less ambitious version of Freelancer, the commercial failure of which ended Space Sims as a viable AAA genre. While I'm not hugely optimistic about Star Citizen's prospects, I remain very intrigued. The potential for Roberts to redeem himself among genre fans is there, as it the potential for the whole thing to fall apart in a grand, hubristic fashion. Checking in on its development every few months has never ceased to be interesting, especially since it involves so many prominent game devs from my childhood coming back after more than a decade away.
  21. Marathon Infinity was our high school LAN game of choice since we had Mac OS System 7 computer labs.
  22. Actually, It's about Relocation in Games Journalism

    Yesterday, Maddy Myers announced that she's moving to The Mary Sue from Paste Games, presumably as Senior Editor. Jenn Frank will be coming back to games writing to take Maddy's place at Paste. Good news all around, in my book.
  23. Other podcasts

    They just started a new campaign this week, based up on the Mechnoir variant of the Technoir ruleset. A fan also made an anime music video of their audio trailer:
  24. Lyft vs Uber: which is less scummy?

    Before last October, Uber only operated its licensed limo service Uber Black in the city, which remains more expensive than a cab. They (illegally, though with the support of the mayor and city council) introduced their UberX ridesharing service last year, and were quickly followed by Lyft in January.
  25. Lyft vs Uber: which is less scummy?

    I agree that its impact will be localized in the transportation industry, but that's a big industry. 3.74 million Americans are employed as motor vehicle operators in the US. That's 2.77% of all US employees, and more than all the country's engineers and software developers combined. The vast majority of them are long-haul truckers, which are likely to be the first to go since most of their job takes place on highways, where the self-driving problem is easier to solve. On a macro scale, that's a good thing in many ways, but finding a way to transition those folks into gainful employment in other industries is going to be a huge undertaking.