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Everything posted by itsamoose

  1. Total Warhammer

    I'm only about 3 hours into the campaign so far, and while I'm liking it generally I'm running into a lot of frustration with some of the mechanics. I think the new focus on hero units is interesting, but practically it's creating a lot of really frustrating situations. I've noticed in particular that a single high level lord or hero unit can tip the balance of power so severely in the favor of that army such that they are really the only target worth attacking. Also, and I'm not sure if this is a bug, but I've got one army tied down in the middle of the map completely unable to move due to one hero unit doing something to it, and am unable to attack it. This has lead to a really goofy situation where I've basically got a train of assassins heading to that hero trying to assassinate it while other enemy armies just kind of roam around my terrain sacking towns as they like. I feel like every time I'm getting into the game like I have with past Total Wars, I butt up against some oddity like not being able to attack while in the marching stance or not being able to take out the enemy on my flank because my faction isn't allowed to take their settlement.
  2. Game prototyping tools

    I'm interested if anyone has any suggestions for good game development prototyping tools. I find myself often creating prototypes, but in the space of that end up doing a lot of basic systems work that ultimately isn't necessary for a proof of concept type design. I'm ideally looking for something that would quickly allow for the creation of basic mechanics (graphics not necessary), or even something as simple as a a comic strip creator to setup some basic scenes. I assume something along these lines would be of use to a lot of us, so I figured we could compile a list here.
  3. General Technology thread

    I was looking through the posts and couldn't manage to find a general tech thread so I figured I would create one. What spurred this is that I got back into XNA this week via Monogame. I learned on XNA some years ago, and after about 3 days of working with it I'm quite impressed with how well Monogame has been supported, and how widely distributed and battle tested the framework is. There have been a number of games released on it (All Supergiant's titles, Axiom Verge, Towerfall to name a few) and the framework is now available on all modern consoles, android, iOS and Linux. Recently Microsoft even Purchased Xamarin, which is a runtime that can be used to develop iOS games in Windows and has a few other nice features, and to some extent Monogame has gone on to fulfill the promise of .Net in the game development world. I think certainly if you're working in 3D, or are not really concerned with how things work under the hood, Unity or Unreal is a far better option, if for nothing else due to the breadth of tools available. However even after having far more capable and expansive engines, I have never enjoyed coding more than when I was working with XNA, and Monogame is a fantastic extension of that framework. It is such a wonderfully written and accessible API, especially if you are just learning game programming since you can really get a sense of how things work under all those abstraction layers more robust engines have.
  4. Game Dev Talks/Lectures

    I came across game maker's toolkit today. It's not as academic or technical as other things here, but I've enjoyed what I've seen so far of it
  5. subtlety in dialogue?

    I'm actually playing through Binary domain now as it happens, and there is a lot of camp in it as you might expect. I classify it as the kind of "I'd watch that movie if it were on TV" quality of a game--it's not going to light your world on fire but it's good for what it is. The one thing I'm actually enjoying quite a bit are the responses to various exposition bits in the game. Between cover shooting sections one of your squad members will mention something to you and you can select a response. What is interesting to me about these is that in each case there is usually a positive response, a negative response, and then a third response where you can just be completely dismissive of the person talking to you. The end result I believe is effectively the same as choosing the negative response in terms of what data the game tracks, but it does create a weird dynamic that I've had a bit of fun with.
  6. It seems like Blizzard wants the game to be a bit slower, which to me is a welcome change. So many games I've played ultimately boil down to a single turn panning out for one player or another, or one player getting the momentum and keeping it, and while I guess that is somewhat the norm in CCGs it's nice to see Blizzard make an attempt. I get the sense from these changes in aggregate they want player choices to not just boil down to a math problem, hopefully with the end result being more regularly developed boards.
  7. The article linked above outlines pretty well the general problem with the division, in both it's narrative and gameplay. It seems like I'm not playing a single game so much as a weird amalgamation of game ideas. There is a lot of what I would consider old design here, from monster closets like you would see in an old FPS to respawning camps like you would see in an MMO and so forth. The ideas work alright on their own, but when accompanied by the others in this particular narrative it creates a jumbled, often chaotic mess that is seemingly at odds with it's purpose. The division bills itself as a game about the collapse of society, but has the same core loop as something like Diablo. You never spend any time rebuilding society, or even attempting to arrest criminals and instead just kind of shoot at things. In many cases you'll see two NPCs doing the same exact thing (such as looting a box) and the only thing that distinguishes them is the color of their health bar. It is a game about the fragility of life where enemies can take entire magazines to the face, and generally has a lot of high minded ideas that are either subverted or directly contrasted by the gameplay. I've already lost interest in the division, partially due to it's politics, but also because the experience is so damn uneven.
  8. Feminism

    Well in those cases the injury would have occurred under the supervision of the employer, or at least within their purview. This is more akin to say a nurse at an abortion clinic being threatened while shopping for groceries, which is something that would be handled by law enforcement, though in this case the law enforcement apparatus isn't really equipped to handle this kind of situaiton. If the harassment was aimed at a Nintendo run twitter account, or something directly under the purview of Nintendo I could see their interest in covering that liability. I'm not suggesting it's her responsibility to deal with the harassment alone, it was more in reading a lot of the responses to this situation people have been casting the blame on Nintendo for doing something shitty, but from my understanding they were caught between a hate mob and the potential of exposing themselves to potentially serious consequences by taking a more active role in the situation.
  9. Feminism

    These all seem like reasonable steps to take as an employee, but I just don't see a game company, or really any company doing most of them. The public statement against harrassment is easy sure, and probably should have been done, but the others seem dangerous for the company to mandate. It would have been nice if one of her managers stepped in and tried to take the heat off her (which is basically half a lead's job anyways), but I just don't see a company mandating that be done by one of her superiors. That seems like a recipe for legal trouble for Nintendo, but also the mark of a fantastic lead would it have happened. As far as the other three go, I don't see how Nintendo could just give these perks to Rapp, and instead would have to offer them to all of their employees. Sure there was a greater need in Rapp's case, but I just don't see a company willing to take on that kind of liability. The cost for that kind of thing is huge, not to mention if the package included some kind of counselling, that affects Nintendo's insurance rates. While all the solutions sound reasonable to me, they do represent a massive cost to the company, both financially and otherwise. I'm certain these concerns won't find friendly ears here, but I just can't see a publicly traded company willing to undertake these kinds of endeavors. This is probably a bigger discussion, but a lot of what should have been done here seems like something law enforcement should be handling, but is at present not really equipped to. Alternatively, I wonder if this kind of thing should be handled by workman's comp or a similar insurance that could be purchased by companies like Nintendo.
  10. Feminism

    I've seen a number of responses to Rapp's situation suggest that Nintendo should have done something sooner to address the harassment Rapp was experiencing, but I'm curious as to what this would be. Brandon's article pointed to Intel's initiative, which is great but something only a company worth a significant amount of money could do, and aside from this I'm having a hard time finding anything that would be more than just a moral or symbolic victory in the tech world. In particular the question of addressing harassment, Nintendo could have put out some stern statements condemning the harassment, but beyond that I personally don't have any idea what could have been done that wouldn't involve pursuing legal action against the harassers on behalf of Rapp. I very much doubt Nintendo, or any company for that matter, would willingly entangle itself in these kinds of lawsuits unless it's hand was forced, and beyond that anything I can come up with would at best be symbolic.
  11. Feminism

    I don't think it needs to be argued that the harassment she faced was shitty, and it seems to have at the very least had a hand in her firing. Her decision to moonlight under a fake name without telling her bosses is a pretty stupid thing to do (something I would certainly be in hot water for), and while it is technically a firable offense, here seems a bit much. Usually what happens is the studio tells you to stop, and then if you continue to do so a firing can occur, however I have heard stories of first party studios and IP owners being far less lenient on that count. In addition to the harassment issue, this is a pretty stark example of just how much control publishers have over the development process.
  12. Movie/TV recommendations

    I caught up on the 100 over the last month or so, and I'm really enjoying it as of the latest season. At first the show tended to oscillate between fantastic science fiction and overwrought teen drama, but somewhere around the middle of season 2 the relationship stuff seemed to take a more serious and meaningful tone. I also caught the latest season of daredevil, which I recommend if you haven't caught it yet. They manage to weave in quite a few story lines without it becoming too cumbersome, and ...
  13. The Next President

    On the other side of the aisle, it appears like the republican establishment is gearing up for Ted Cruz to be their nominee, and while he isn't as loud and boisterous as trump, he is certainly just as bad. He's basically a poster child for every conservative talking point you've ever heard, and generally encapsulates all the worst elements of all the other candidates. Also, for those unfamiliar with the candidates, this site is pretty handy for a quick run down of each of them. I saw recently that Bernie Sanders won a primary of US voters living outside the states, and am interested in getting the opinion of anyone outside, or not a citizen of the US with respect to this election. I've always heard the US presidential election is a big deal internationally, but I'm never exactly sure what that means beyond the winner being a news story for a few days.
  14. I've been playing this since it came out with some friends, and we've all made it to about level 24. I've enjoyed the game in broad strokes, the shooting is satisfying and I'm enjoying the structure of the game much more than I thought I would. I highly recommend playing this game with friends, or at least using the matchmaking features as running the content alone can get a little tedious. The game is at it's best when it feels like you're playing a single unit RTS and constantly having to adapt to the absurdly tanky enemies with constant position changes. I do have some reservations and complaints about the game, and for the most part these seem to be the function of some very old design ideas in place, and my getting the sense that sections of the game where designed in a vacuum. If you don't mind dealing with some older design ideas, and some rather confusing/counterproductive elements the game is quite enjoyable.
  15. The Next President

    I'd be interested to see this study done more recently, not because I think the answers will change necessarily but because a lot has happened since 2013 when the study was performed. I see studies like this, or possibly just this one, referenced often in pieces critical of US foreign policy, but I feel like I've never seen a real discussion of alternatives/what should change. I personally would hope that whoever becomes our next president starts to draw down our now 70+ year tradition of being the world's police, though I doubt the motivation exists for that kind of thing to happen. As it stands now we have something like 65,000 troops stationed around Europe, and we continue to contribute the largest portion of NATO's budget, not counting the annual military costs as a result of the personnel and equipment we provide. I don't think it's really in doubt that we have provided some measure of peace and stability to the world, but it's long past the time where this is a viable way forward. I feel like if more US voters really understood where and why our military budget is spent, popular support for it's funding would fall off a cliff.
  16. The Next President

    yeah the filibuster was starting to be used more often prior to obama, but it wasn't until the rule changed where you don't have to keep talking to maintain a filibuster (or remain germane to the topic) that things went to whole other level. Something like half of the filibusters ever used in the history of the country have happened under Obama, which lead to the 2013 rule change where filibusters were disallowed for appointments. It's gotten to the point where any bill going through the house that is even remotely contested gets filibustered, so a simple majority in the houses doesn't really matter anymore.
  17. The Next President

    I think it's actually quite an important issue regarding the presidential race. It's no secret that the unprecedented obstruction started with Obama, mostly due to a procedural rule change regarding filibusters, but I personally am curious whether or not it will proceed once he leaves office. Given that obstruction, the Supreme court in recent years has become an even more important part of the government, creating precedents for everything from handgun bans to same sex marriage and reproductive rights. Assuming the obstructionism persists, that trend will continue onto the next presidency, especially if we end up with a democratic president.
  18. The Next President

    I don't know that Clinton is predictably anything, she seems just as liable to reverse her positions as support them. Her superpac accepted 130k from the private prison lobby, and if you go to her website right now on the issue of criminal justice reform she says she will end the era of mass incarceration and end private prisons, which is contrary to those lobbies' agendas. That is just one example but her entire platform is rife with this kind of thing-- she accepts money from a lobby and then declares her platform to be something opposed to what that lobby wants. Granted most of those promises are vague, saying things like "strengthen the law" and other catchphrases, but at some point I wonder what will she actually do? Will she really overturn Citizens United? The thing that allows her to gather as much money as she has? As a senator, and the secretary of state she has proven herself to be subject to the whims of these monied interests, and while she says things that conflict with their wishes she continues to act in a way that conflicts with those promises. I don't think Sanders necessarily made Clinton move to the left, he has undoubtedly made her campaign to the left, but beyond that I've seen no indication there will be any follow through.
  19. The Next President

    Democrats might be able to take a majority in the senate, but the house is another matter entirely. House districts have been so thoroughly designed to win republican seats in many states that even low voter turnout for republican candidates can result in a victory, not to mention the number of seats they need to win over is much higher there. However the real test of control in any house now isn't so much about the majority as it is the super majority, which might be technically possible but certainly isn't practical. After all, even within the republican party there is enough of a obstructionist faction that republican agendas can hardly get through. Personally I worry more about the Bernie crowd going their own way if he doesn't get the nomination. I'm not sure how widespread it is, but I've heard a lot of talk in that direction, or people suggesting that it's either Bernie or the Green party, which might be enough for Trump to win.
  20. The Next President

    Not necessarily, but I would think that is going to be the case. I don't think anything less than a specific and overwhelming tragedy will cause congress to take any action, after all just look at how all the recent mass shootings haven't impacted gun laws nationwide. The supreme court already struck down a major provision of Obama's executive order that resulted from the recent climate talks in Europe, and James Inhoff (the guy who brought a fucking snowball into congress to make his argument against climate change) is the chairman of the committee on the environment and public works. Even republicans like Chris Christie, who's home state was devastated by Sandy won't bring himself to admit Climate change is a crisis. Maybe it won't be too late, but excepting a major sea change in Washington where all parties agree to give up their perks, personal wealth, party wealth and systems of control I don't see the issue being brought to bear by anything less.
  21. The Next President

    Growing up I remember one particular street in my town that crossed a highway, and was a major ingress and egress into the surrounding residential areas. There was low visibility on the turn, and you were turning from a residential area to the one highway on the island, and given it was the only highway people were prone to drive way over the speed limit. Everyone in the town, and in the larger area knew how dangerous this particular turn was, and local radio personalities would even refer to it as a place to avoid during bad conditions explicitly. Throughout my entire childhood the turn didn't have a stop light, and only got a stop sign in my sophomore year in High School. I went back home last year and the noticed that particular section finally got a stop light. I asked my parents about when that went it, and they told me it happened a month or so after some people died in what was surely the most predictable accident imaginable. I think it's the same with Climate Change in the US, in that no significant measures will be taken until there is a clear example where a lack of regulation lead directly to the deaths of American citizens in a way that can't be rationalized as an act of god.
  22. The Next President

    This stage of the campaign has been interesting to watch seeing how Clinton addresses sanders. For a while it was as though he didn't exist, then it was friendly between them, and now the Clinton camp is on the attack. I would guess this is somewhat a product of redistricting, but there have been a number of what I guess could be called ideological purity attacks in this and the last election cycle with republican candidates saying their opponents are not conservative enough, and on the other side saying they aren't liberal/progressive enough. I'm interested to see how the rest of the campaign turns out for the Dems now that even Clinton can't ignore Sanders' success. Then on the other side of the aisle Trump is literally calling for violence against protesters, and given that he is the favorite candidate of white supremacists, and many of the protesters are black, that'll probably end well. I was wondering if at some point Trump will be held legally accountable for the shit he's pulling, and the answer is probably not.
  23. The Next President

    Well it's hard to respond to that with examples without them seeming like outliers, but if you take a look at the positions outlined on her site and look at her positions on those issues 10-20 years ago they line up with what was popular at the time. I've heard all manner of justifications for why this might be the case, but I just can't ignore how focus grouped her entire political platform is. She's clearly a talented politician, but beyond that I don't think anyone can say concretely what exactly she stands for.
  24. The Next President

    Hillary has always supported whatever positions are convenient or popular at the time. Sometimes that means she ends up on the right side and sometimes the wrong side, but I can't seem to get a handle on at what point her agenda dictates her actions. She's basically the Mitt Romney of the Democratic party, mainly in that her positions are a watered down version of the more extreme candidates and has survived on this idea that somehow she is more electable.
  25. The Next President

    This is my main concern with a Trump presidency, where Obama and Bush were given incredible leeway to act with the military as they saw fit. Technically he doesn't even need congressional approval to deploy some marine and special operations units, but if he were given the same liberty as his predecessors I can only imagine how disastrous it would be. I'm also no Hillary fan myself, but honestly my biggest problem with her are her supporters. For example today I saw a bunch of friends posting this image that said "I'm for Universal health care, and I'm with Her". Then I thought to myself, well she isn't for universal health care, it is expressly not a part of per platform, so why is this the reason you support her? I think it's hard to see anything but the vitriol Trump has been producing in his campaign, or maybe this is just me being a bit older and more aware of these things, but I just can't get over how much of people's opinions are informed by meaningless marketing slogans like that.