Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by blackboxme

  1. The RTS pause/break button

    I just finished reading Jonah Lehrer's "How We Decide" Had some interesting stuff that pertains to this: namely, how does Gary Kasparov make strategy decisions in chess? How does Tom Brady decide where to throw the ball to? Basically they practice a lot, focusing on correcting their strategic mistakes; then when they are actually playing, incorrect strategies just feel bad. You can train the negative side of your dopamine system by focusing on the times when you end up in an error state. Kind of an interesting idea: Tom Brady isn't a super-genius in his conscious mind, he just trained his feelings.
  2. Impressions from playing Portal

    If you pay attention, there are actually parallels between GlaDOS and ol' whitebeard from H-L 2.
  3. Impressions from playing Portal

    Now I like the way you are thinking ossk!
  4. Impressions from playing Portal

    pair 1: red tint to indicate damage or death (and, not quite captured in the images, the same white streak to indicate bullets) pair 2: exact same menu screen maybe these two aren't super strong, but both indicate how broken down the game world is, which makes sense because the two worlds are in the same universe pair 3: garbage littering the ground (there are better examples in portal I could have gotten like Aperture science branded cans of beans) pair 4: use of grafiti/posters to communicate with the player pair 5: the security cameras are a pair pair 6: the portal gun and the gravity gun are a pair pair 7: the same strange floaty style of picking things up And yeah, Portal uses source! It isn't insular because it is in the Source family and it reflects the most up to date systems that source games implement, like commentary and achievements.
  5. Impressions from playing Portal

    Zizek on The Birds A good analogy of this process from the world of film can be found toward the end of this clip on Hitchcock's "The Birds." The relevant portion starts at 6:47. It's a good example of the construction of a fairly complex sentence in the language of film. Here's another good one on Psycho starting at 7:09.
  6. Impressions from playing Portal

    Nice call, by the time I got to the game, I was so baffled by the cake meme from podcasts that I had no idea what was going on with the cake in the game.
  7. Impressions from playing Portal

    I was trying to show that Portal took a lot of cues from Half-Life 2 in the first pic post Then a few posts about how Portal was so central to PC gaming that it is guaranteed that it will have effects on other games going forward In other words that Portal is not insular I think I buried the lead on this one Edit: I added headings to the images
  8. Impressions from playing Portal

    Yes, I am an ass.
  9. Impressions from playing Portal

    Portal branching out beyond the game, showing the impact of the fact that it is a Video game short story that pretty much everyone could complete Jonathan Coulton playing Still Alive in Rock Band DLC GFW Radio (97.5 the brodeo) [02/22/2008-E093]
  10. Impressions from playing Portal

    Examples of Portal advocating new ideas and putting it's own take on classic ideas Portal Portal Portal as an advocate of the Gaming Short Story, beating out Mario Galaxy for GOTY Shacknews GOTY Portal as an advocate for Steam, and for new pricing models for video games Portal's central role in a defining game of 2007 Video game conversation WikiQuote
  11. Impressions from playing Portal

    Portal Taking Cues From Half-Life 2 HL2 Portal HL2 Portal HL2 Portal HL2 Portal HL2 Portal HL2 Portal HL2 Portal
  12. Impressions from playing Portal

    Unique, brilliant, I've got no argument with that, but I don't understand what you mean by insular.
  13. Did all of our irony detectors get turned off somehow?
  14. Movie/TV recommendations

    I guess in our innocent times, it seems impossible that it could have happened, but whatever, clearly it could have happened.
  15. Movie/TV recommendations

    Have you ever heard of the doomsday clock? It was a key visual element in the comic.
  16. Movie/TV recommendations

    Unrelated to Watchmen because I was too lazy to go to the theater last weekend, here's my review of the movie Mongol, a movie that should appeal to anyone who played a lot of Age of Empires back in the day. What is man like in his natural state? Maybe something like an 11th century Mongolian horseman. These men grow their hair out because it's bad-ass; they ride around the steppe all day hanging out with their buddies and cracking jokes; the Mongol's god is the lord of the blue sky. These dudes are super relaxed and super bad-ass at the same time and Mongol is a movie them. It's part Western, part samurai movie, part The Big Lebowski. Fuck yeah!
  17. Hi there Okami, Final Fantasy XII, nice to see you.
  18. The RTS pause/break button

    How do you fare in multi player? I know that internet play is probably insane.
  19. The RTS pause/break button

    Don't you ever run into the issue where RTS seem too out of control, and it's hard to figure out exactly what is effective? I'm just trying to explain why even though all of my friends have been playing Age of Empires 2 for the same number of years, these 2 guys are several orders of magnitude better than everyone else, and they are both pausers, while the weaker players like me aren't. I mean, these guys play in the idealized way that you think a strategy game should be played, where each decision is really well thought out: it's not just a frantic race of build orders and civilizations. They set traps, bluff, feint, their bases are based on 17th century fortification theory.
  21. Are Game Reviewers Too Kind to AAA Games?

    One thing: big budget games have the budget to develop 2 full games. Most judge based on value: hence why flower gets an A+, and so does Halo 3, COD4, Killzone 2, Gears of War, etc. They all have fully fleshed out multiplayer. It's important to go back and question what's meant by "polish" here.
  22. Are Game Reviewers Too Kind to AAA Games?

    I feel like you guys are setting straw-men ablaze. For instance, Killzone 2 had a little something extra to enjoy: a nice multiplayer setup. For a lot of people, that's the main game. Jesus, I played so much more Halo multi than single, and I beat the single player game like 10 times. gdf, I think you're going overboard. Believe it or not, different people have different tastes. It sounds like you're a captain in the good-taste police force. With respect to 10 scores, sites that give 10's explicitly say what a 10 means for their site. Why are you caring about 10's so much? I've always had the experience that games that score 7's and 8's are more likely to stick with me long term, while 9's and 10's tend to be more flash in the pan. So, I mean, I really do agree with Chris's point about an emphasis on polish.
  23. Lastfm Usernames

    How do these groups work? I've joined one before, but I'm not sure what they do exactly.
  24. Are Game Reviewers Too Kind to AAA Games?

    Jonah Lehrer on Fresh Air talking about his book "How We Decide". Judging things and talking about why you like them is a really tricky thing to do. Then there's the fact that a lot of game d00dz don't know, or think about that. So yeah, they're unreliable.
  25. - Bioshock really didn't respect my intelligence. - Gordon has no body, so when people look at Gordon, they're looking out through the computer monitor at me. - Oh my god, these nonplayer characters have convincing emotions and respond realistically to my presence. - The characters look like real people, actually, they look like yuppies who would live in Seattle. It's really compelling to look at real people in a game. - Bioshock's Telekinesis power was a really satisfying response to Gordon Freeman's fucked-up way of picking up an moving around objects. - Bioshock's libertarianism -> Half Life 2's Cold War Eastern Block style communist state. Wonder if Bioshock was a direct response to what Half-Life 2 did? After hearing about the East German intelligence service, H-L2's portrayal doesn't seems so cartoonish to me anymore. - Wow, Half-Life 2's story sequences are amazing. I'm so freaking engaged with what is going on. - Guns are pretty uncool in Half-Life. Maybe on purpose? - The music is so tangential. When you get the power suit, it plays the creepy Valve song. This reminds me of something Jonathan Blow said, about how the pieces of a game shouldn't all fit together. - Alex saving me after getting knocked out-I was actually really scared of getting thwacked, then I got taken down, then ah, someone comes in and saves me. Such a cool subversion of "game over." - Looking out at the Citadel as the sun sets, with a flock of birds flying away, then zooming in by right clicking. Amazing. - HDR lighting while playing in a pitch black computer room- very cool. Makes me enjoy looking at freaking light fixtures. I used to think Half-Life 2 was somewhat boring and wonky. Playing it now, it's blowing me away. After playing Bioshock, which was so heavy handed and broad, this is amazing. It's like removing a layer of schlock from the process, and instead just having a window into this fascinated world. Time to buy Orange Box, I can't believe this. There's something really interesting about how Gordon has no body. I don't think Gordon actually exists as a physical presence who looks like the goatee guy on the box. I think it's just the player, there is no Gordon. When they recognize you, they're looking through the screen at the player and recognizing you from when you beat Half-Life.