Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Posts posted by jeremywc

  1. I beat the game yesterday afternoon. They pushed out the invincibility patch just after I opened up access to the South portion of the map and I didn't feel like they were huge changes. I think the patch helped smooth out the difficulty curve at the beginning before you can afford upgrades, but it certainly didn't make the game a cakewalk. The last boss fight still felt very challenging to me.


    Overall, I enjoyed the game. I might go back and try to find all the modules and monoliths, but just running through the game as is felt satisfying.

  2. I've got a Nexus 6P and have been pretty happy with it feature and performance wise, but I don't know that I'll buy another phone this big again. If I had a do over, I'd probably get the Nexus 5X. I don't have the biggest hands, so the phone size is a little unwieldy for me.


    My recommendation for people jumping from iPhones is to get the latest Galaxy S or Nexus. LG, Motorola, and HTC can be hit or miss any given year, but you can depend on Samsung and Google to always put out a good product.

  3. Maybe I'm oversimplifying or misunderstanding something, but I always felt a lot of cyberpunk (sort of driven by the "punk" part) was the opposite of competence porn.  Broken or near broken people stumbling their way to maybe a temporary victory in a system that was way more powerful than them. 


    Gibson, in particular, is very stingy with true success and more often it seems like characters almost completely fail, and then the system tears itself apart from their disruptive influence more so than their competence. 


    The success is just the punk ideal that absolute corporate power will be broken down by sort of haphazard disruption more than protagonists actually accomplishing specific goals/tasks.  That comment about neon and noir sclpls made resonates with this reading for me.

    Maybe that's just the type of cyberpunk I like, and so those themes stand out a little more to me.


    I've been thinking the same thing, especially when you consider proto-cyberpunk stuff like Blade Runner. There's a feeling of oppression and powerlessness that permeates so much of that movie (" It's too bad she won't live! But then again, who does?"). The moody depression of it all... I love it.


    I still have a lot of fun with competency porn like Snow Crash. It's energetic. But my favorite cyberpunk is heavily blended with noir themes.

  4. In this episode it is said that "Myst clones" are what gave Myst a bad name. I'm racking my brain here. What is an example of a "Myst clone"? Are you referring to the sequels?


    I think Lighthouse is probably the most egregious example I can think of.


    Another problem Myst suffered from was that the story was really bad. That meant that the only really attractive quality to Myst for a lot of people was the environment itself. But as game development techniques improved that environment felt empty and comparatively shallow. I think this is the basis for the eventual backlash against Myst, fairly or unfairly.


    I agree that Myst itself didn't do a great job of presenting the world and the justification for weird setting. I stopped and started it a few times and couldn't completely figure out what was going on. Once I read some of the companion books they put out, the game made a lot more sense to me. I think the team had imagined up a lot more to their world than what made it into the game. Maybe they had resource limits at the time that made it harder for them to present that up front? Ideally, a player shouldn't need to read a companion novel to get the full effect, but I think the market was a lot more forgiving of those kind of omissions in those days. Probably a lot of factors that led into it, but it clearly didn't hamstring their initial success.

  5. I think part of why it had some backlash is probably because from a technical standpoint, it hasn't aged well. It was basically gussied up hypercard with no animated transitions when moving from screen to screen, something that even many free flash escape games will have today. And I think part of that kind of reaction is valid because a large part of its massive popularity at the time was because it looked really good relative to the standards of the day. That's not to say the puzzling was necessarily terrible or anything, but if a future audience is looking at it and no longer seeing this visual juggernaut, that's bound to take some of the shine off it.


    Agreed on the original version of Myst being problematic. I don't think I've ever gotten to run on anything other than Windows 95/98. That said, have you looked at the latest remastered version? It's actually pretty good.

  6. The talk of Doom and Myst brought up one of my earliest experiences with PC games. When I was in Jr. High, our school purchased a brand new PC with a modem and dial-up service and put it in the library. We had a period where you could sign up to go into the library and take turns using the PC and getting on the Internet. This usually led to about 5-10 boys huddled around the PC a few times a week.


    Poking around the web using Netscape and WebCrawler quickly lost it's luster, so mostly we just ended up taking turns playing shareware demos, especially Doom. I don't think any of us had a lot of exposure to PC gaming up to that point. I remember an argument one day where someone said they had gotten a new "3D" game like Doom but it was called Myst. He said the graphics and music were way better than Doom's. Everyone was skeptical. Then he was asked what kind of guns Myst had. The answer (none) led to a lot of blank stares. By the time he finished explaining the concept to us, everyone had written off Myst as the worst idea for a game. The next time we met up someone had loaded the shareware demo of Dark Forces and we moved on.

  7. Consortium was a let down for me as well. The roots of the story were started in the late 90's as "Amen: The Awakening" at Cavedog. They had loads of lore written and posted on Cavedog's site before it was cancelled. GT let Greg MacMartin keep the rights to the story and it's clear he spent a long time tweaking it. It started to re-emerge a few years ago as an AR game on iDGi's website. I like some of the concepts they are shooting for, but the execution hasn't been up to par so far. I really hate to say that because I remember being super excited for Amen when I was younger.


    I backed the second round (and the first) out of weird nostalgic obligation. I'd like to see them get the opportunity to finish the story and flesh out the mechanics, but I'd only recommend it to others who *really* geek out on immersive sims.

  8. I'm a Christian and have really been turned off by the perspective that there's always an answer to every question. Cliche religious sayings do more harm than good especially to those grieving.


    I'm an atheist, but I have a son that has a rare genetic disorder. A lot of parents in our family support group are, unsurprisingly, very religious. Raising a child with a severe disease or illness is incredibly stressful and taxing. I don't begrudge anyone doing whatever they need to cope with the day to day stress of it. Cliche religious sayings might seem trite, but they make a difference to a lot of people. In some ways, I envy those people. Some days, I wish a few cliche sentences were enough to comfort me when I'm at my low points.

  9. However, I had no problem with the clones and the clone wars, etc. in the films. It's established in-universe that these capabilities exist, but if Snoke turned out to be a dodgy Palpatine clone, I'd hate it. Weird.


    That will be hard for me to accept too, but I have to admit that was my initial thought. I'm giving them a partial pass with all the call backs in this first movie, but I really need to see them move past Episode 4-6 if I'm going to enjoy these new movies.

  10. Yooooooooooooooooooooooooo~~~~~~


    Yeah, the WiiU thing slipped out back when release platforms were still up in the air; when we brought the port work in-house earlier this year, we made the call to focus on XB1 & PS4. Dunno if more platforms are going to be a possibility in the future, but for now, just the two.


    FWIW, the XB1 & PS4 versions are lookin real good! Excited to have it out there in front of people again in the new year.


    Any chance you guys will be able to update the PC version to Unity 5 as well?  :eyebrow:

  11. Ah, I have a damn clans.txt file on my hard drive from years ago where I wrote out all the clans I was apart of when I was younger. There are many, but some of my favorites were...

    • TTLB - My first clan that bubbled up on the official Total Annihilation forums. Stood for Tore Troll's Little Box, which was an in-joke about the forum community wanting a chat box to talk to each other on. Eventually we managed to talk Cavedog into standing up an IRC server. I still keep in touch with some of the guys from this group to this day.
    • Dah Troll Patrol - A role-playing guild I was briefly apart of in EverQuest. Almost entirely composed of Trolls and Ogres.
    • Anger Management - My Call of Duty 2 clan I was in with some friends from work. It always seemed like a really good name for an FPS clan.

    Lots of others sprinkled in between that were obviously devised by teenagers. :P

  12. I have no idea if it would make sense, but personally I kind of wish the Q&A episode was available for all. I understand you want to do something special for all the folks chipping in, but I suspect more questions would result in better Q&A sessions, and exclusive content certainly isn't what I'm looking for.


    This perfectly mirrors my feelings as well, for what it's worth.

  13. Genuine ignorance here: is there some entity (man or company) with the name "Lucas" that still owns some of these properties? Or is it all Disney now?


    AFAIK, Disney has the rights to all of LucasArts' games. I recall Double Fine saying that they negotiated with Disney to get rights for the remastered versions of Grim Fandango and DOTT.

  14. No.


    I remember their previous crowdfunding campaign. "Double Fine is not a random fly-by-night indie dev and we are not going to silently pull the plug on Spacebase or any other in-development project. Doing so would be disastrous for our reputation" they said, one month before they announced they were pulling the plug on Spacebase.


    I'm still angry, and my love of Psychonauts 1 will not magically repair DF's reputation.


    Is holding a grudge over one unfortunate failure on a $20 early access game by a studio with an otherwise good reputation a little excessive? I think it might be.


    Anyway, I'm totally into it.

  15. Also the anti-robot news segment made me think about how all these companies in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area are described as tech companies just because they use software or whatever, but the current business strategy for the new breed of successful companies (Uber, Airbnb, etc.) involves a minimal amount of technical capacity or whatever, but does involve maximally exploiting weak labor conditions in the U.S. A big discrepancy between a company's marketing image and what it actually does is nothing new, but I always find the popularity of these services a bit depressing considering that the success of them is based entirely on taking advantage of how easy it is under U.S. law to classify someone as an "independent contractor" rather than an "employee", with all the loss of rights & benefits such a shift entails.


    They're totally exploiting people, but I don't know if I agree on that it "involves a minimal amount of technical capacity or whatever." There's a lot of impressive, if super creepy, infrastructure they've put together to manage all their resources in real-time. Especially Uber.


    Sorry for the Internet Forum Guy post.

  16. "Website blocked by Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Services"


    I don't think I've ever seen this message at work before! I work at a game dev so I could theoretically load a porn website and as long as no one saw it, I'd be in the clear. Ain't nothin' blocked unless it's a security risk.


    Weird. As someone who operates a big brother web proxy for a living, I can confirm is a legit site operated by Facebook. It's not any more of a security/data loss risk than Facebook itself.

    (trend sucks!)