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Everything posted by TychoCelchuuu

  1. Ugly pretty textures

    http://deadendthrills.com/ does something similar.
  2. Ugly pretty textures

    I haven't made it very far into the game yet but I've seen old screenshots of cobblestones at night that look pretty bumpy. It's possible that although they've gone for lots of flat in the game, it has all been done in a deliberate manner, such that in places where flatness is not called for, flatness is not found. But yes, I love how they've made Unreal Engine 3 look like something other than "let's make add noise to all our normal maps with Mudbox." The very first screenshots for this game, way back when, before the engine was announced, had me convinced they were using Source, partially because of the water and partially because of the lighting but also because it had the sharp corners and well defined geometric surfaces of the sort you often see in Source engine games (presumably for no other reason than coincidence, because of course Zeno Clash was molded out of clay and UE3 can look like basically anything). Some games make me want to take screenshots continually while I play them. The last one that bit me hard with the screenshot bug, I think, was Team Fortress 2, before they ruined that wonderful aesthetic with items from every conceivable source. I wonder if painterly styles just inherently grab me for some reason. On the other hand, Mirror's Edge makes me want to take screenshots too, and that's not exactly painted.
  3. Dishonored - or - GIFs By Breckon

    We have to find out what sort of area is marked out by the shadow of the Venn diagram and then find out what's hiding in there.
  4. XCOM Enemy Unknown

    Well, all sorts of things can force a player to be careful with unit placement. Maybe your guys can only move once every other turn! Maybe certain spots are full of evil fire and remove health slowly! Maybe if you don't move in diagonal lines, you take a penalty towards being hit for the next turn! All of these certainly add another layer of strategy to the game, but at the cost of being fairly silly and feeling artificial and limiting. I think "you cannot move after you shoot" falls into that category too. Why not? Why can I walk and then shoot, but not shoot and then walk?
  5. Ugly pretty textures

    Haha, I came to post this exactly. Dishonored is like playing a video game version of a painting, and the painting is of rats eating people. I also found myself wishing, like you do in your later post, that the textures were a higher resolution. If nothing's patched in later, then this is just another in the long line of unfortunate things that result from having a market dominated by consoles rather than PCs. Why force your artists to make everything at twice the detail when the target SKUs aren't ever going to see that detail? You could save time and money by making everything XBOX blurry!
  6. Hotline Miami

    Well, no, it's not like Scarface at all except for the 80s vibe. I realize I worded that sentence badly. I don't know what it is about Drive that sounds uninteresting but it's a great movie and as someone with an avatar from Thirty Flights of Loving, which draws inspiration from Wong Kar-Wai's films, you might appreciate a movie that itself draws a lot of inspiration from Wong Kar-Wai.
  7. Dishonored - or - GIFs By Breckon

    Aside from everyone loving the game (to which I can add my voice to join the chorus), two of the most common complains I've seen are "it doesn't make sense that a guard can see me when I'm in darkness" and "it doesn't make sense that a guard can't see me when I'm in darkness," the difference of course being that the first set of people are close to the guard and the second set are far away. I suspect using shadows for stealth in a video game is always going to be tough; if you make them magic shadows like in Thief, it's an easy binary for people to know if they're hidden or not, but it's kind of silly, and if you make them normal shadows like in Dishonored, if someone bumps up the gamma or decides that in real life the shadow wouldn't be effective at that range, then they'll get annoyed that they're hidden. I'm not far enough in to make any determinative judgments one way or the other except to say that everything I've played thus far has been stupendous.
  8. XCOM Enemy Unknown

    Can you move after you shoot?
  9. Hotline Miami

    Drive had an 80s vibe, yes. It's like Scarface but not over the top like Scarface.
  10. Hotline Miami

    It's available for preorder on Steam. I'm sort of hopeful that maybe the violence isn't just "let's do hyperviolence" but that it's integral to the style that the game has going on, like it was in Drive, for instance, and the reason I'm hopefuly is because the game is making great efforts at establishing a tone aside from the violence, what with the eerie animal masks and other touches of surreality.
  11. XCOM Enemy Unknown

    The TU system is not unfun Not being able to shoot before moving in the new XCOM strikes me as endlessly frustrating.
  12. Ugly pretty textures

    That's interesting, because Gears of War has always seemed to me to be one of the poster children for the whole "desaturated, everything gray, zero contrast" look that was fucking up video games before they decided instead to go with the "everything blue" and "everything brown" look that is currently fucking up video games. I suspect 80% of the contrast in that screenshot is coming from the lighting effects, not the textures, and if that guy on the right weren't literally on fire then there would be almost no contrast in the scene. Specifically, the only black in the scene is in the shadows and the only white in the scene is in the explosions. The textures themselves are shades of gray, and not overly contrasting shades of gray, if you ask me. If I had to say why that Gears of War shot looks bad, I would say because there's not enough contrast, not because there's too much contrast. Thrik mentions BioShock and Enslaved, which DO have tons of contrast, but I think those are two beautiful games that are all the more beautiful for the way they push their palettes to the breaking point. Spec Ops: The Line, which I haven't played yet except for the demo, seems to have the whole "high contrast" thing going on and I think it looks pretty good. A lot of games these days want to eliminate contrast by doing some post-processing color grading to get everything to look blue or brown or gray. I think this just makes things look awful. Check out this BF3 video for instance: They took all the contrast out of the game and made it uglier than it has any right to be. BF2 wasn't afraid of color: forests had color, cities had color, jungles had color, and I think it's crazy that the studio that made Mirror's Edge could somehow think that making its game less colorful would be a great idea.
  13. Ugly pretty textures

    Do you have example of overly contrasty games that end up looking too busy? I mean, I'm sure it happens, but I can't really think of any off the top of my head, at least not among the games that we would care about.
  14. Dishonored - or - GIFs By Breckon

    Um The reviews for this are really good Also Congrats Nick Breckon convinced me to buy it like, 2 hours before the reviews came out. You sly dog:
  15. Ugly pretty textures

    I'm having trouble figuring out what your criticism is. Is it that games have too much contrast and end up looking like baroque monstrosities? Because I think something can look like a baroque monstrosity without being very contrasty, and it can look very contrasty without looking like a baroque monstrosity. Or is your problem that games look unrealistic because textures are often built to a scale that allows you to see the detail even though that's unrealistic? That seems like a knock against games that want to look like real life, so to the extent that L4D avoids it, I think it's rightly praised, but Natural Selection 2 and a lot of other games aren't going for 100% realistic verisimilitude because photorealism in games is difficult at best and unachievable at worst. For a decade now, the Natural Selection franchise has been about hand-crafted textures that explicitly shy away from photorealism, so if your criticism is that they don't look realistic, then I don't think it's much of a criticism, because they aren't supposed to. I think the vast majority of video games are still not trying to achieve 100% photorealism, simply because things like lighting aren't there yet. I'm also not sure about the point about scale specifically - do you have examples of games that try to mimic real life that get the scale wrong? If I look at GTA IV or Sleeping Dogs or LA Noire or Saint's Row 3 or something, the scale on all those textures seems more or less accurate.
  16. Plug your shit

    All the hubbub about the new X-COM game (er, XCOM game) has stirred up interest in the original, and I've seen lots of people say stuff like "I have it in my Steam account but all the buttons are intimidating." The Idle Thumbs livestream cured a lot of Idle Thumbs fans, so that's cool, but I thought it would be good to have some videos available to walk everyone through the game since it's so awesome. So I made one. I'll be making at least two others too, but on the off chance that 1) you missed the livestream and 2) you want to get into X-COM but it's too intimidating, well, have I got a video for you!
  17. Dishonored - or - GIFs By Breckon

    In fact, I'd say it's a GOOD sign if the game can be completed in a fairly short length by being solely focused on smashing your way to the objective without any subtlety or time for exploration. It means that the game isn't going to spoon feed you every bit of content, strapping you down to a chair and forcing itself down your throat. The interesting stuff will be off to the side, hidden around a corner, waiting for you to discover it. It won't drop you into a cutscene every time it needs to deliver exposition or funnel you down a carefully tuned tunnel of experiences that the developer has crafted to ensure that everyone gets the same result out of their playthrough. Instead, the vast majority of the game is meant to be encountered organically. So, yeah, I'm pretty pumped for this game. The manual is out on Steam now if you want to read that.
  18. XCOM Enemy Unknown

    I imagine he was there for more than three minutes, so it's possible they cut out the 4 hours of bad comedic timing and kept the few instances of great comedic timing.
  19. I think the "old guy holding up his finger" thing is to point out that Groucho Marx didn't make The Great Dictator.
  20. Tweak my pooter

    Why are you upgrading? There's no one correct thing to buy when tweaking a pooter. The tweak must always flow from the objective. What programs are running slowly that you wish would run more quickly? And do you have a budget?
  21. Tom Hall and Brenda Brathwaite kicking old school rpg

    You can always watch Anachronox as a movie if slogging through the game isn't your idea of fun.
  22. Tom Hall and Brenda Brathwaite kicking old school rpg

    Steve Gaynor retweeted this sentiment, with which I find myself in agreement. I mean, sure, it's nice that there are two big names attached, but the hilarious lack of details is pretty crazy. The pitch is basically just "OLD SCHOOL RPG" and nothing else. Contrast that with Obsidian's pitch, which has had metaphysical musing about souls since day 1, and it's hard to get overly enthused. This one is just a bunch of quotes about how awesome Brenda and Tom are. I mean, at least give us some details about the game, like "will it be isometric" or what. If they make their goal then maybe the game will be fantastic, but first they have to hit the goal, and I wonder if coasting on name recognition and "OLD SCHOOL RPG" is going to be enough to get them a million bucks.
  23. That or powerful hallucinogens in whatever you were drinking.
  24. I can make a slight contribution to clearing up the XCOM "ghost level" confusion. Jake's mistaken impression that the demo was 3 levels rather than 2 levels (out of a 5 level tutorial sequence) is due to my post, where I said as much. I had read elsewhere that there was a 5 mission sequence and that the demo had 2 out of those 5, but went I made my post, I seemed to recall having played 3 levels, so I just typed 3. My bad. My false recollection does not rise to the level of Chris', because it was based on the downloaded demo rather than something I played at PAX and because it was just fuzzy confusion on my part rather than some way to account for the full on temporal dissonance that Chris experienced (so we still don't know why it took him so much longer than everyone else to beat that PAX thing) but at least things are slightly more clear. I don't listen to Giant Bomb although some day when I run out of podcasts to listen to when I exercise I may start going through their archive, but as of now I'm totally willing to throw down in defense of Idle Thumbs should the beef escalate to full on violence. I'm pretty handy with an instagib railgun and I've been known to play a mean game of Company of Heroes. Anything to defend the rightful Scoops. Or whatever.
  25. Propaganda

    The original picture reminds me of Old World Blues from Fallout New Vegas.