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Everything posted by Jayel

  1. Half-Life 3

    I don't even want HL3 to be a video game anymore. I'd settle for a good 2 hr movie.
  2. Missions that made you quit

    Been playing Mafia III recently and the Grecco mission made me damn nearly quit out of rage. It's maybe about 6 hours into the game, and it's supposed to be the "tutorial" mission for learning to drive and shoot - I didn't even know you could fire a gun while driving in this game until this mission, and I'd bet majority of players didn't either. It's a car chase mission, where you're chasing the bad guy, but you have to use right bumper to fire, while holding the right trigger to accelerate. As an added twist, there are bad guys chasing you at the same time, so you have to aim backward using the right analog stick while driving at full speed, but it's humanly impossible to do both at the same time, so you have to hit the Y button at just the right moment to slow down time. This is supposed to be the first mission where you're doing an entirely new form of action, but it asks you to juggle many things at once, all the while holding the controller like a weirdo!
  3. Oh wow. I was watching Giant Bomb's archived stream, and the bizarre faces everyone makes... I can stand bad/no animations, but it's downright distracting whenever faces try to emote in Andromeda because they make weird expressions that are either impossible to read or have nothing to do with what's happening.
  4. Best games to play on a Windows tablet?

    That neogaf thread touched on it a bit, but I made an altered version of SDL that lets you play dosbox and scummvm games on windows tablets (with scummvm you don't have to use trackpad mode - it has direct cursor mapping support). I made this few years ago though, and it's not the most user-friendliest. I haven't tried the latest dosbox or scummvm, so I don't know where they are at in terms of windows touch interface. If they switched to SDL 2.0, then it's possible that they come with native touch support now.
  5. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    ew. the fact that portable experience may be compromised when undocked is not encouraging. Unless it's only to render to TV at higher resolution.
  6. Full Throttle Remastered

    Whaaaat! This is the first time I heard about Full Throttle remastered! I'm clearly following the wrong news outlets!
  7. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    I'm pretty stoked. They didn't show in the video, but hopefully there's a way to charge the thing without using the dock.
  8. I guess it was too much to expect for widescreen conversion, seeing as how they probably don't have the original assets anymore... But 4:3 does have that noir-ish feel (or films of that era) so I don't think I mind it too much. I'm pretty psyched. This, and DOTT, and Thimbleweed Park, it's like christmas.
  9. I dig the style. It plucks my nostalgia strings just right.
  10. These two are easily my favourite concepts. What's more interesting is his rationale for coming up with these. Being able to move code around easily is very suited to his/my/a lot of other programmers' coding style where things are often designed bottom-up (lots of copy & paste and refactoring). Getting rid of function prototypes (functions declared in any order!) and headers is very helpful in this too. Although he hasn't discussed yet how the lack of headers and prototypes would affect creation of external libraries or interfaces. Using strict captures so that you don't forget an argument when you refactor is also a neat idea, although I'd probably never use it because I'm lazy. And the ability to run code at compile time is effectively eliminating the need for macro preprocessors or build scripts - and it's all in the SAME language! It's crazy that we have to put up with preprocessors and build systems where each has its own completely unique syntax.
  11. Return of the Steam Box!

    At first I was surprised that Valve was able to procure so many hardware partners, but then realized that they are PC makers anyway. What are they gonna do, NOT make a Steam Machine? Linux ports are nice, but I want to see Linux exclusives. That would make me switch.
  12. Plug your shit

    I recently got a Windows 8 tablet and noticed that none of the DOS games I got on GOG worked (missing mouse->failure to launch. windib mode->mouse still erratic). I decided the solve the problem myself and added touch support to SDL. Might be helpful to all 2 of you who actually have a Windows 8 tablet! Edit: Now with much more robust ScummVM support! (Notice the 1-to-1 cursor mapping) The zip file binaries & instructions here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7hdpqzi9qhs15aa/3E7wqVRJ5i
  13. The Nintendo Wii U is Great Thread

    I never gave Wind Waker a fair shake back in the day, so I decided to dust off the ol' GameCube and pick up where I left off. Unfortunately my only controller had been sitting in the cabinet next to a window, and now all the buttons have melted or something and turned into sticky goo. The Sun! Enemy of gamers in more ways than one.
  14. Yay Jeff Green. One of my favourite peoples
  15. Have you considered fixing or replacing parts that are actually causing noises? Vibration dampening mounts, aftermarket CPU cooler, larger lower-rpm case fans etc? If it's coil whine from GPU or power supply or something that might cost more to replace than getting a brand new case, then I guess you're probably better off with a silent case (although silent cases can only do so much when the components are excessively loud). I haven't used Fractal's Define R4 myself, but I know it has a very very good reputation.
  16. Return of the Steam Box!

    Argh I want this thing so bad Clickable middle touchscreen is awesome - no accidentally brushing your fingers across the surface in the heat of action and triggering something you didn't want. They thought of everything.
  17. Oculus rift

    My favourite demo so far is Titans of Space. It's a neat little guided tour through our solar system (and beyond). Even though everything is rendered at 1 millionth of actual size, the sense of scale is amazing. It's truly something else when you're up against a star and have to physically turn your head all the way to see its horizons. I get sick very quickly playing first person shooters with it, but driving/flight sim demos feel very natural and I don't get nauseous at all even with hours of playing.
  18. I can't help but see Gearbox in positive light, because Opposing Force was so amazing (and to lesser extent Brothers In Arms trilogy). My faith in them is running on fumes though due to recent fuck ups. And I'm not a fan of Borderlands series. Paradox or Stardock could probably do a better job with gameplay, but it's not like either of the Homeworld games had particularly good gameplay (edit: oops, forgot that there are actually 3 games - Cataclysm was a better game than 1 and 2 in almost every way except art/music/story sucked, so it almost doesn't exist in my mind).
  19. SimCity: The City Simulator

    I'm sorry to bring up more boring traffic algorithm talk. I was curious to see if the second congestion avoidance algorithm described in my previous post was actually viable, so I tried it out. My original goal was to compute distance field once and use congestion data only for choosing intersections (to make it scale nicely with massive number of roads + cars), but that only works when each choice presented to the car leads to overall lower cost - which is the case sometimes, but most of the times, you want the car to take the detour even if it means choosing a road that leads to higher cost than where the car is right now. I tried a few cheap workarounds, but they only target certain road arrangements and fail in more complex layout. So my final solution was simply: The distance field is recomputed periodically with congestion levels, AND cars choose which road to take at intersections based on cost difference scaled by congestion level. (it may seem like it's doing unnecessary work because it's using the congestion data twice, but it's actually necessary to avoid problems outlined in Maxis's blog post where you need to introduce a phantom road segment to "encourage" cars to take the detour). You can try out my test app here: http://www.artificiallyflavoured.com/RoadTest.html It's hastly implemented in Javascript and it's not well optimized (probably buggy too), but as proof of concept it does its job. Tested with Chrome and Firefox. I don't think it works in IE. (no instructions - sorry. hopefully you can figure out how to use it ) (oh but a helpful tip: drawing a road across another road doesn't create an intersection. they won't affect each other (almost like a bridge). you can still split existing roads by start drawing(or end drawing) from the middle of the road segment)
  20. Why right?

    That's true. But old-school platformers didn't have scrolling backgrounds. Maybe when that became feasible, the convention had been already set. (just guessing of course. I don't have answers )
  21. Why right?

    I think it's a very real possibility - i imagine a lot of game designers/programmers in the old days had to be well versed in math, and they tend to teach math with cartesian coordinate system going positive-right and positive-up (2d). So they could've been more comfortable seeing stuff moving from left to right (because that's how most math and physics problem present themselves in school).
  22. SimCity: The City Simulator

    putting my programmer hat on They could already be factoring in traffic density in their distance fields. From all the youtube videos I've seen, it seems like agents remember traversal order at the time of leaving their house/work/whatever, and don't bother to update unless the player modifies a street that's part of their path, making them appear dumb even if the underlying algorithm is smart. Forcing each agent to periodically update might work - as long as they're not done simultaneously (otherwise you may end up with weird behaviours such as cars in a jammed street making u-turns in unison). Alternatively they could take the traffic density out of distance cost entirely, don't bother with remembering traversal order per agent, and let them make decision in real time as they come across intersections. Of course you'd still be using distance fields but, at decision time, traffic density of each neighbouring node would be scaled by the cost difference between itself and the current node (with some random jitter to make it look natural), and added to the neighbour's cost for the purpose of traversal. This guarantees that it's still doing descending walk, avoiding whatever traffic jam it can, and eventually reaching the destination even if it wasn't using the most optimal path. Distance field doesn't need to be updated as often since it no longer depends on traffic condition, and it prevents potential issue of an agent pacing back and forth between two roads as traffic condition changes. This solution would be super cheap and take no additional memory. You'd only need make sure that traffic density data is updated fairly regularly, and it needs to be a bit fuzzy as well since an agent won't be able to see a traffic jam 2 road segments ahead. But anyway. who knows - maybe they already considered all these solutions (and smarter solutions) found them unsuitable for perfectly good reasons. After all, they had a lot more time to think about this problem than I have.
  23. SimCity: The City Simulator

    http://www.andrewwillmott.com/talks/inside-glassbox Looks like GDC talk from 2012 already described its pathfinding algorithm in detail, and also explains why the agents are so dumb - every agent of same type are sharing the same distance field. Makes sense from cost perspective: It's easy to make an intelligent pathfinding algorithm using simple A*, but doing pathfinding for tens of thousands of agents would bring the cpu to its knees. D*-lite algorithm they're using has the benefit of fast re-computation when the world changes, and it makes it possible for many agents (no matter where they are) to leverage the pre-computed field (simple matter of descending walk along the connected roads). Essentially, you are only doing pathfinding once so it's super cheap. However, its strength is also its weakness, as no two agents can have different set of goals or different set of priorities (as long as they're sharing one distance field) and it's impractical to have many set of distance fields because the distance fields must permanently reside in memory ( or at the very least until all agents reach their destinations).
  24. SimCity: The City Simulator

    I'm just having hell of a time reading issues with this game. Some highlights (I think the first one is already mentioned in this thread): The sims don't have any destinations or even an identity. They go straight to whatever nearest open house/job/store/whatever, which is an unacceptable flaw in an agent-based sim if you ask me (not to mention creepy). Industry demand is fake. The goods your industry produces may not contribute anything to your city and you may be better off without it. Population is also fake. The number of citizens each sim represent inflates significantly as city grows, which may explain a lot problems. Maxis strung together very broken low-level behaviours and hoped that somehow it will produce a high-level simulation of a real city. They probably realized that it didn't/couldn't work, so they introduced even more broken bumps and tweaks to make the city function barely. Of course now the numbers don't make sense and players are taking notice. I think they should've gone for simple statistical+area of effect models like the previous SimCity games instead of an agent based one. It would've been more accurate simulation (at larger scale) and more satisfying too, when you see your actions produce more measurable outcome. Or do it right - I've been playing Tropico series lately and it seems like they do everything SimCity set out to do but better (the population is a lot smaller but still).