Jake

Idle Thumbs 300: Our Weird Monstrosity

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Idle Thumbs 300:

Idle Thumbs 300


Our Weird Monstrosity
You look around the table and see faces that comfort you. Maybe they don't look exactly how you expect, but in their presence you feel safe and at home. More faces appear on a big screen in the corner you didn't notice before—faces you haven't seen in ages, not in this room at least. This isn't what you expected. As face after face fills the screen, you feel something growing in your throat, and realize it's an overpowering sense of nostalgia as you get to spend time hanging out with a bunch of friends you miss. Eventually, a montage goes on way too long and you delete the episode before it's over.

(We'll be back in two weeks with another episode. See you then!)

Discussed: Nontraditional use cases for 3D televisions, invert-X vs invert-Y, resisting scratching an itch, Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid, nostalgia in virtual spaces, brotherhood and growing up, what we look like, Cribbage with Grandpas, Resident Evil VII, Dark Souls, living in haunted houses from the 1970s, Idle Thumbs

 

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No far cry 2 discussed?! I'm outraged.

Also - thanks for putting this together - looking forward to it

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I keep editing this post as I listen to the pod:

I was only able to kick my World of Warcraft habit because I went to study abroad in South Africa. I probably would have tried to keep playing if I wasn't going to a country with hilariously bad internet.

This happened a year after I was there:

 

SA pigeon 'faster than broadband'
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8248056.stm

Software exists to do things like get a PS3 controller to work as an Xbox controller on PC, I wonder if you could use it to force invert the X axis.

 

I used to frequently lose hours of progress in X-3 Reunion. That game came out before quick saves on fast travel were really a thing. Eventually I got a mod that would remind me every hour to save.

Some forms of haunting seem a lot like just having annoying upstairs neighbors.
 



Grand Strategy games are a great answer to the no internet problem. Crusader Kings 2 Europa Universalis 4, Hearts of Iron 4, Stellaris are all very small installs for modern games (CK2 is 1.8 gigs) and can consume hours/days of your time. In my case: CK2 - 941 hours, HOI4 - 343 hours, Stellaris - 69 hours.

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I started the Spelunky dailies not too long after Chris.  I started making it a personal challenge to do it before him so that when he streamed I would show up on his leaderboard (hopefully above him :P).  I kept going for a good while after he stopped but I forget what finally broke my habit.  I think it was my annual one month or more of night shift.

 

The Steam controller lets you configure pretty much every setting and remap anything to anything.  I haven't actually looked but I imagine that it's possible to invert both X and Y axes.  Of course getting used to using the Steam controller is a challenge in itself, one that I haven't quite completed yet.

Edit: Jake mentioned this in the episode and I hadn't quite gotten there yet.

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My friend and I were playing through Batman: Arkham City at his place and we were forty-odd hours in. It was time to call it a night, so he went to make a manual save... but Arkham City doesn't have manual saves, so he just scrolled down to "delete." My jaw dropped and I said, "What are you doing," too quietly for him to hear or do anything about it. Apparently his brain was on autopilot from a different game and he didn't even realize it until I asked him again, louder this time, and he checked the load menu to confirm that, yes, he'd deleted all of his progress. He said, "Fuck this game anyway, I'd seen what I wanted to see," deleted it from the PS3, and bid me goodnight.

 

Two weeks later, when I asked what he'd been playing, he said that he immediately reinstalled it and spent the entire weekend getting back to where we were... and then ended up hundred percent-ing the game. Apparently, losing all of his progress was exactly what he needed to let the game take over his life. Arkham City remains one of his favorite games, and he'll often ask me to double-check that he's saving his game and not deleting it when it comes time to save now.

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I am the confirmation of Nick Breckon's hypothesis about Dark Souls. I was offered a choice of a few things as a birthday gift, and chose Dark Souls as that gift after deciding to give it a try when the entire gaming world wouldn't shut up about it 4 or 5 years ago. I made it past the gargoyles (?) and quit forever. I am literally repulsed by those games. I'm physically capable. I could beat them. But I won't because I find the entire dark souls industrial complex repellent.

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300 episodes (approximately)! Woo!

Also, I'm glad Idle Thumbs isn't totally completely cancelled. I hadn't listened for a few months, and then I jumped back in with episode 299 and felt kind of sad. Understanding, of course, but I've spent so much time hearing you guys talk about video games over the years. Idle Thumbs introduced me to tons of games I might not have tried otherwise (like Dishonoured, Spelunky, or Far Cry 2). This podcast also helped change the way I look at video games.

Definitely looking forward to the new podcast, though!

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The mail from the reader who thought resisting scratching an itch would send you into Mortal Kombat is just the best. Reminded me of the crushing disappointment I faced as a kid when I learned that eating Gushers would not turn your head into a fruit. Kids are the best.

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Whoa, this montage is very "wavy time portal" like some of the games you guys talked about. The laughter, it is... complicated.

 

Edit: Oh my god. This is amazing. So much good stuff was in the pre-roll. Tutti Consomme, Anecdote One, No love for Dad, the silence after Chris says "Cast of Us". I'm laughing so hard at this. Thanks, Jake.

 

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4 hours ago, Badfinger said:

I am the confirmation of Nick Breckon's hypothesis about Dark Souls. I was offered a choice of a few things as a birthday gift, and chose Dark Souls as that gift after deciding to give it a try when the entire gaming world wouldn't shut up about it 4 or 5 years ago. I made it past the gargoyles (?) and quit forever. I am literally repulsed by those games. I'm physically capable. I could beat them. But I won't because I find the entire dark souls industrial complex repellent.

 

I think the spirit of the reader's question is "can anyone who wants to beat a Dark Souls do so?", because otherwise it's just a stupid thought exercise that ends with silly hypothetical scenarios, like the one explored on the cast. If anything, you're proof of the opposite. You could do it, but you don't want to, and that's fine.

 

Here's a nice writeup about the LP Chris mentioned: http://kotaku.com/how-a-total-novice-built-a-solid-youtube-following-beat-1769744851

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Is there a full version of the 300 theme somewhere or is it just what we hear on the episode? It sounds awesome!

 

Edit: Ahahaha, I forgot about the preroll with "It'd be even quieter if you'd shut the fu--" *THEME STARTS*

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I don't understand what Chris, Nick, and Jake were saying: should I unsubscribe from the Idle Thumbs podcast feed and also not subscribe to Important, If True?

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In regards to the X-Axis remapping and remapping controls in general, it's actually quite easy in most cases to remap it in the code on a modern engine. If a game doesn't have it is a sign of oversight on the developers end or lazy programming...

 

If you want a visual demonstration of how controller input is read plug in a controller you normally game with on your PC and go to http://html5gamepad.com/ notice the values change as you play around with the controller. Those are the values that your computer sends to the game. Buttons are either an on (1) or an off (0) and joysticks are from -1 to 1 (-1 = left, 0 = center, 1 = right).

 

The problem developers will run into is if early on they do not plan for remapping and start hard coding things like this (please have pity on my ugly looking pseudo code):

 

OnB1()
{
	//The player has pressed button 1 so make them jump
	jump();
}

Now B1 is hard coded to jump. Instead they should do something like:

getKeybinds()
{
	//code goes here that loops through and asks user for bindings or
	//checks menu fill in after they press accept
	//e.g.
	print("Please press the key you want for jump\n");
	jumpKey = getUserKeyPress();
}

OnJumpKey()
{
	//The player has pressed the key bound to jump so make them jump
	jump();
}

In this way your binds can be dynamic.

 

In the case of X-Axis inversion you could do:

//X axis works on a range of -1 to 1 with -1 being left, 0 being center, 1 being right

//xAxisIsInverted is a boolean variable(true or false) that is toggled by the user 
//in the menu switching between on and off

GetXAxisValue()
{
  int value = xAxisPos();
  if(xAxisIsInverted)
  {
	//invert the value
      value = value * -1;
  }
  return value;
}

 

Hope this helped to clear some of it up :)

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14 hours ago, mondryle said:

Whoa, this montage is very "wavy time portal" like some of the games you guys talked about.

 

Yeah, that montage made me a little... sad? Sentimental? Still can't believe it has been nine years but I'm glad IT is continuing in some way. Will listen to IIT now!

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I'm still making my way through the montage, I'm somewhere in 2013 at this point. I'm looking forward to that one really long post-episode conversation about someone's car or something? I have only vague memories of it, I think it was from just before Danielle was on the show.

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2 hours ago, Mike Danger said:

I'm still making my way through the montage, I'm somewhere in 2013 at this point. I'm looking forward to that one really long post-episode conversation about someone's car or something? I have only vague memories of it, I think it was from just before Danielle was on the show.

 

I don't think this made it on. Jake had to be more selective with the outros than the intros, because including all of them would have made the montage of untenable length.

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