FLIGHT CLUB Personal Log: 3D Visionary KNOBS!!

Control Tower, this is UH-1H Huey ...

... in my ongoing love quest for the video game chocolate future of humanity, I recently excelled to playing "old" games with "new" hardware. While I am still waiting for my Occulus Rift DevKit, I am going through the catalog of video games in my bottomless library and figuring out why/how/which of them work with different hardware (HOTAS with DOOM3, Europa Universalis IV with XBOX 360 Controller, SPACEBASE DF-9 on 3 monitors, TOTAL WAR ROME II in 3D (on 3 Monitors, of course!), etc...

My latest excitement - while also watching C-Span the whole evening - was starting the "Early Access" Steam version of DIGITAL COMBAT SIMULATOR's UH-1H Huey - a legendary helicopter, if you did not know already (of course, you do!).

What strikes me like a short circuit is how the KNOBS suddenly don't look anymore like a hand-painted megatexture from idSoftware's RAGE, but the third dimension makes them look ... well, like knobs. Knobs on instrument boards. It really helps to have this extra dimension fleshed out in front of you, while in tricky flights and busy moments, when you have to act quickly and preferably find the ONE knob you really need to use the countermeasure flares before it is too late?

Ok. This is a picture from Battlefield 3 Single Player. Nobody (except me) liked it. But THIS mission was worth it? Even if it was almost "non-interactive"?

Of course, old (virtual) pilots can find those instruments with their eyes blindfolded!

Not me.

If you have a 3D capable driver (ATI or NVIDIA), try it out?

I find 3D in Flight Sims very appealing. Otherwise, you can also use it in games like EURO TRUCK SIMULATOR 2 (or rather "3"-D)

Yes - EURO TRUCK SIMULATOR ... TWO Pictures in 3 Dimensions. x, y, z. NVIDIA 3D Vision.

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RAMDisk up Rome II - Enhances Graphics & Framerate

All these new screenshots are made with the game settings on ULTRA (one below "Extreme" which is the highest setting. Framerate is around 50-60)
The synthetic benchmark "Teutoburg Forest" gives me an average of 50 FPS on a AMD A8 3850 (4x3.6 GHz OC) - not a gaming CPU at all
one feature I turned off, because it is a frame eater, is "alpha vegetation" ...
... which to my knowledge is "alpha-to-coverage" multisampling, used for foliage and grass.
A rather lower end/mid level DX 11 GFX card: NVIDIA EVGA GTX 650 Ti BOOST OC (BOOST = Kepler 32nm chip architecture, unlike the regular 30% slower 650s. Also 2 GB of Video RAM helps.)

I use a RAMDisk setup and have the Total War: Rome II "data" folder running from system memory. As some of you may know, RAMDisk is STILL faster (around 10x faster) than the fastest SSD drive.

If you have a fast, modern DX11 card and ideally 2GB VRAM (or more), while enabling "unlimited video memory" in the game menu option, you may be in for a surprise, like I was minutes ago.

As I see it - smarter people may correct me - the game uses texture streaming to the fullest. Think of idSoftware and "Megatextures"? Depending on the throughput speed, the things you see on your monitors can either look "bad", "good", "amazing" or even "more amazing". Of course, the weakest link, can prevent that from happening and the bottleneck to all of this is ... your harddrive?

While looking "fabulous", it also helps keeping the framerate around the 50-60ish. All depends on your PC setup and hardware though. This does not account for frame rate issues due to your hardware, drivers, netcode, existing bugs, Game AI/Lua script threading issues, etc, etc.

Minor side note: I feel sad for the people on the Steam forums complaining about the "length" a turn takes in this Turn Based Strategy game. They never have seen Gary Kasparov vs Deep Blue (IBM), nor played against a chess software, and most certainly never tried to write Game AI code themselves. But lets not open here this ugly bag of worms.

I am making some new screenshots and will record some youtube videos later (you have to take my word for it).

If you have at least 8 GB of System RAM, better 16, much better 32, you may want to googlebing "how to create RAM Disk" and "how to symlink files" or use "junctions". Those are the keywords.

I keep singing the praise for RAMDisk usage for quite some time now. If you have games with large assets and want to optimize your gaming experience or tweak some additional framerates out of your game (not to mention the loading times!), this is a great and cheap way to go. I use RAMDisk for I/O heavy titles like Train Simulator 2013, or ARMA 2/DayZ, etc, etc ... think of everything, that takes a long time to load or needs to read/write a gazillion number of files during gameplay.

End Turn.

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ARMA 3 - Magnum P.I. "TC" Style

"Mayday Monday Maybe ..."

While I was waiting for the Arma 3 Developer Live Stream (they had bandwidth problems, had to record their "live" stream and upload it afterwards), I joined the chat and through the discussions, fired up my own Arma 3 copy. And then, I had a moment of enlightment, you might say ... you're welcome, Vinny & the Internet ...

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Installing 50 Steam Games on Linux Finale (28-50)

This will be a disappointing post. Apologies, dear three readers.

The list of the remaining games, I installed over the past weeks:

27. Kentucky Route Zero

28. The Cave

29. Unity of Command

30. Dwarfs F2P

31. Tiny & Big: Grandpa's Leftovers

32. Splice

33. Stacking

34. Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery EP

35. Dungeon Defenders

36. Amnesia

37. Penumbra Overture

38. X3: Terran Conflict

39. X3: Albion Prelude

40. X3: Reunion

41. Multiwinia

42. Darwinia

43. Defcon

44. Uplink

45. Costume Quest

46. Legend of Grimrock

47. Team Fortress 2

48. Left for Dead

49. Day of Defeat Source

50. Counterstrike: Condition Zero

________________________

what also works/worked using WINE & Winetricks:

Black Isle Games (Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Planescape Torment)

Morrowind (OpenMW)

Company of Heroes Gold/Tales of Valor

Doom/Quake

most recent:

Europa Universalis IV Demo

________________________

Europa Universalis IV Demo currently not available for Linux ... runs on Linux.
... the full game will be available for Win, Mac AND Linux ... because the Paradox guys are crazy - just look at their games!

This all started as a proof-of-concept, after reading a troll post on the less and less interesting Steam forums. Somebody complained that Linux games on Steam "are not there yet."

I revisited the Linux Steam client and went through my library, trying to find out for myself. Installation is no longer the problem, since the Steam scripts take over the process and provide the necessary library dependencies.

The thing that is left, is mostly related to "first runs" (autodetection/configuration) and input and graphics/audio drivers. Many of these "2nd tier" issues can easily be resolved, by minor adjustments and manual tweaking (fullscreen resolution). But this takes some knowledge of Unix/Linux systems and the X-Window Manager - a skillset that is mostly not available to new Linux users and furthermore, not easily to find on the Internet, which is clustered with non-descriptive user forum posts, often referring to 'magic' tricks, without any deeper understanding of what is going on "under the hood", or offering "the full monty", as in manpages, starting with 5000 words on the history of the document itself. You cannot blame users for not knowing or not having the time to dig through this. We all started somewhere. Some of us, "just want to play the game".

What still remains is the bigger issue.

The biggest issue ...

... - there is no user base.

Not big enough to justify ports or native development from scratch for a game. The user base on Steam did not explode, nor is it rising only because Valve was offering Linux versions of some games. The Steam Linux user base hit the ceiling and is declining, month by month, to a new all time low.

The only hope - and there IS hope - is the support of cross-platform development by 3rd party engines and middleware companies. It is Apple and the rise of smart phone and tablet gaming that had the biggest impact on non-console and non-Windows game platforms. Developers took a deeper look at OpenGL and that was the key, for (more open) cross-platform development. Those new business opportunities made the 'final extra step' look less far, for certain companies. The question is "how much manpower and money do we have to invest?" and "how much more (additional) money can we expect to make". And then Android came along.

What is missing, are millions and millions of Linux Desktop users, who do exist, but who are not visible to the video game industry. A move like Valve's is the biggest "turn-around" Linux users could have ever hoped for (despite the GNU/FOSS/DRM related issues) and Valve must be disappointed by the result so far.

Making a game for PC means making a game for Windows first. That is where the money is. That is where the market is. That is, where at least 99,999% of all PC gamers are. Debating about the exact number of crumbs is a waste of energy. Can game developers, studios and publishers make a living, a profit by making Linux-only games? One day? I doubt that. Why would they want to?

Game devs are not on a crusade for the superior Operating System, unlike some users seem to pretend to be. If you are a PC Gamer, you HAVE to have a Windows OS. But the (pure) Linux gamers are NOT always "gamers". Those people are the additional "target market" - new customers. Most of them are on Android (hardware) - not Linux PCs.

In the end, the Linux platform is here to stay. The tools will be there and easy to use eventually. People will make games ON Linux and FOR Linux, just because they can?

[edited version]

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Installing 50 Steam Games on Linux Part Deux (Games 12-27)

Hello, all three readers. The Saga continues...

Game 12 of 50

Aquaria (v.1.1.3)

Game starts in 800x600. Go Fullscreen. Change the resolution to your actual desktop size, if you prefer. The game also supports gamepads. Graphics and visual effects look smooth. Controls (mouse/keyboard or gamepad) feel responsive. Overall a good version of the game.

Game 13 of 50

Brütal Legend

UP THE IRONS, IRON MAIDENS! \m/

Full disclosure: I am too old to be a “fanboy” of anything or anyone. I drink Pepsi AND Coke, Jack Daniels AND 40 Year old Dalmore. Double Fine and Tim Schafer is the closest, I will ever get to be called that fanboy thingy. I just like the company. My view may not be unbiased. Also, Brutal Legend is the greatest game ever made. No. EVAR. Only including Ronnie James DIO (RIP) and Iron Maiden would have made the game ‘better’. I digress.

If you have not played Brutal Legend on PC (Windows, Linux or Mac*) you missed out on smooth improvements, the game devs made to their game, since the XBox release. They tweaked the engine and one day somebody will hopefully write a book and kids will learn at school about DF’s Buddha engine, the cow, that keeps on giving. I digressed again.

Lars Gotrich, you never looked better!

The game - on my Linux machine does run into framerate issues now and then (no time to test it on different PCs, at the moment). I don’t want to blame the game, I cannot blame the audio/video drivers without really knowing, neither. It’s just a fact - now and then, the game will “halt” for a 10th of a second (just like with TF2), even offline.

You can setup the visual and graphic options to the most metalest settings, it will impact you on Linux just as it would do on Windows, depending on your system and graphic card. 4xSSAA is demanding, if you run it in 1080p.

The question you have to ask yourself is, “do I really need it?”. Your choice. Again - on Windows or Linux (or Mac?)

Otherwise, the game plays great. Gamepad support. Sound/Graphics … all fine. The Metal Gods approve this game!

[Edit:] Btw, I will take you up on this Tim; you said something like "I [will] play with every Linux gamer" on your Brütal Legend Mac stream, the other week? I guess, Linux gamers and readers of this blog are in the same 2 digit numbers. We all should know each other by our first names, by now?

*) Yes, Macs are “personal computers” too. Especially since they switched to the Intel chip.

"You did what? Sorry bro, FreeBSD or bust!"

Game 14-18 of 50

Half Life 2

Half Life 2: Deathmatch

Half Life 2: Episode One

Half Life 2: Episode Two

Half Life 2: Lost Coast

(yes, it's like cheating - but this is not a review)

Of course, this is a question of ‘pride’. Valve, Steam … Half Life 2 must run on Linux, if Valve decides to make the Linux move. Framerate is great. You can drive the buggy at full speed. The ‘physics’ related gameplay elements also have no framerate impact. Gunplay is precise as it is on Windows.

There is nothing much more to say, really. Your Half Life 2 Linux experience will be excellent. Future generations of Linux based PC gamers, will not have to think about which version they need to have. One thing, I will say. Too bad, Valve did not get rid of their “Loading” screens. It would have been too much work, it seems, to ‘switch’ this old game, to a more modern, ‘streaming data’ engine version, instead having to load levels every couple minutes, making me (and everyone else, playing) wait.

Random frame hickups occur**

**) when I refer to framerate hickups, I mean occasional frame stuttering for a 10th of a second. This may be related to the current graphic driver version or the audio driver. Or it can really be related to the actual frame rendering (which I would doubt. But I am no expert). These things can also be related to the data streaming (I/O), the access of the harddrive and the ACPI (power management) settings of your Laptop/PC. Several possibilities. You will not hear nothing conclusive from me. I am not qualified for that.

I did play through the games on Linux from the beginning to the end. This is not a review, neither. It installs, it runs fine, as I can tell, is all I can say for now. That was what I was trying to figure out in the first place.

Game 19 of 50

Portal (only Portal 1 not 2!)

"Always be testing. Not only on Linux!"

Portal 2 would have been an interesting test case to see how good (or how different?) Linux would handle the very CPU demanding fluid simulation? Meanwhile Portal “The First” runs just fine. You might want to enable VSync to get rid of the massive tearing. I have not played the later levels, where the gameplay can get a little bit frantic, but I doubt very much, there are any performance issues with this particular game.

Game 20 of 50

Crusader Kings 2*

You thought the loading times on Windows were kinda long? Wait until you fire up your Linux version. God and/or Odin work in mysterious ways?

One of the best games of 2012, a strategic gem, by the crazy Swedes from Paradox Interactive, also made it to the Linux Platform. I am happy to report, it runs smoothly, even the (shader based) cloud effects made it to the Linux side, as did the animated rivers and ocean water.

Certainly nobody plays this game for its bombastic graphics, or rather the lack of it, but ‘graphics’ do matter in this game! The typo rendering, the pop-up messages, the UI in general and mouse controls are responsive and smooth as butter.

"The Old Gods" DLC allows you to have a pagan party every 9 years. The ultimate Nordic rave. Sacrificing humans and animals alike. How would you NOT buy that DLC, right?

Unlike with the Windows version, this (or my?) Linux version does not start the Game Launcher Window (where you see, what kind of DLC and mods you have), but it runs ad hoc in fullscreen mode. Inside the game, you see the active DLC in the lower left corner. As far as I can tell, there is no way to ‘activate’ or ‘deactivate’ single DLC content. The Aztecs stay outside. If you know more than me, please feel free to comment.

I also purchased “The Old Gods” DLC via the Steam client. Restarted the Steam client. Restarted the game … and it was automatically loaded and available to choose within the game menu.

*) Idle Thumbs' Introduction to this Baby Marriage Simulator

Game 21 of 50

English Country Tune

Indie dev Stephen Lavelle’s first commercial title. A Unity based 3D puzzle game, also available for Mac, iPad, iPhone, which you can run in fullscreen with your OpenGL 3D accelerated graphic cards. Runs well. Nothing more to say. Play it?

Game 22 of 50

Kerbal Space Program (Demo)

"Ground Control, to Major Tom ..." - David Bowie

Runs. No problems. You can safely crank up the graphics to the max.

I still don’t know why so many people (and game developers) are crazy about this ‘game’ (simulation). Dean “Rocket” Hall could not stop talking about it (this one, and Prison Architect). I refuse to buy both of those “Alpha Access” titles. I installed Kerbal Space Program now for the fourth time, trying to figure out, what I am missing. I have no clue. Maybe you do?

Btw, if you like ambient electronic (“spacey” music), I can recommend an Australian Radio Station called Ultima Thule (ultimathule.info). They are airing ambient and electronic music for like 30 years now. And they offer their previous episodes as free podcasts (each 90 minutes long). You can relax, fall asleep or play some ambient games, while listening to them, in the background). You’re welcome.

Game 23 of 50

Stealth Bastard Deluxe (Tactical Espionage Arsehole)

Starts in fullscreen. This game runs as groovy, as the intro music suggests. Keyboard or Gamepad - your choice. Gamepad runs from the get go. No adjustments necessary (but available). Internet connectivity and functionality. Controls feel responsive. Another great Linux version of a good game.

Game 24 of 50

Proteus

Pro Tip: If you really want to space out, despite using substances of your choice, reduce the FOV (Field of View) as far as you can handle?

Now that the heated debates of “... but is it a GAME?” died down, you can enjoy this “experience” on Linux via Steam. It is a cross platform game for Win/Linux/Mac and runs perfectly fine. First run, it detects your desktop resolution and gamepad (if you have one attached). You can adjust everything as in the Mac & Win versions. Game looks gorgeous, for a “Yellow Submarine” child of the Sixties. At some point I will have spent as much time on Proteus’ Islands, as I have spent in Skyrim.

"Sleepy time!" - Sure, nothing bad will happen, right?

Game 25 of 50

Little Inferno

Using Fire propagation? A class of algorithms to simulate the spread of fire

The game for your lovely neighbourhood pyromaniacs? Starts in fullscreen (desktop resolution). No visible “option” menu. On a Linux PC, you need your mouse (or similar input) to start the game. Some framedrops during the awfully authentic burning of virtual papers and letters. Your perfect fire simulator. Who’s that knocking on my door? And why does it suddenly smell so funny in here?

Game 26 of 50

Intrusion 2 (v. 1.024)

Yep. XFCE Screenshot plugin couldn't handle Intrusion 2. (But the game was "there"), in that box. I swear!

Trying to run Intrusion 2 with a gamepad (supported in the Windows version of the game). This is now a good time to introduce to you xboxdrv - a homebrew xbox 360 controller driver for Linux, made by Grumbel.

What happens with Intrusion 2 can be found on this Steam Linux Forum Thread, if you are into reading a lot (something Linux people have become very familiar with, although RTFM came even before the Unix/UNIVAC days?

This Russian (Aleksey Abramenko) Flash based game runs poorly on Linux? Lag? Slow. Setup options could be as well in native Russian, they are so cryptic, like cyrillic fonts to the non-slavic gamers. Display “Fullscreen” while in Windowed Mode means: “Dou you wanta fulla-screen mode klicka here”. “Resolution” knows two states: “Default” and “0x0” - clicking apply does nothing, which suggests, in Linux, there is no choice. Either play in state 1: window mode (800x600) or go fullscreen (desktop resolution). At least, both work & switching does not result in lockups or crashes.

Finally a game, I won’t recommend on Linux. Not that it’s bad, the Linux port is just bad (in my opinion). This series is not about my taste or opinion about games! Please ignore earlier comments on this subject. I played only a bit on the Windows side, which ran far better. The lesson to be learned? Don’t base your Linux port on Adobe Flash. Flash games are so 1990s. Since this game is also available as Freeware on many websites, I am wondering why it made it’s way to the Steam Store in the first place? And why the hell did I BUY IT??

(comments, corrections, opposing opinions all welcome ... unless your name is Marcus Beer)

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Installing 50 Steam Games on Linux (Live Blog)

This will be a "live-blog" sort of thing, with continuous status updates. (also cross-post via Gamespot Blog page)

July 24th 2013 - UTC +1 (Europe, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin local timezone)

What is the goal:

... check, test, play Steam (PC) games on a Linux Operating System.

How to start:

... from Windows:

1. USB Linux Live USB Creator: http://www.linuxliveusb.com/en/home

This small app, allows you choose form many different Linux "Live" OS versions and install any on a USB thumbdrive. Your mainboard must supports booting from a USB drive, you can first test and then install a Linux Operating System from it. This is one well established tool, easy to use and works very well. I used it today to install the Steam supported Ubuntu 12.04 LTS version. Otherwise ...

2. Download your Linux Distro manually and burn it on a DVD/CD

http://releases.ubuntu.com/precise/

3. Installing Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

What I did was starting the Ubuntu CD (700 MB, x86 - which is the 32bit version) in "Live Mode" first, instead installing it from the get go. Ubuntu starts and first thing I did was, to configure a connection to the Internet. I checked quickly the hardware settings, just to make sure, no critical error messages are already popping up. Everything was good.

I already prepared my harddrive (partitions for Linux root and home and other things). I was good to go.

Next step. Click the "Install Ubuntu" icon ...

You have to trust the expertise of decades of Unix/BSD and Linux Kernel developers, Debian Developers, and the Ubuntu people, that these install scripts and Kernel modules are all detecting your hardware and make everything "work" (from your obscure no-name webcam, to your 3 different soundcards, to the unknown chinese chipset on your US 'branded' mainboard. In most cases, the drivers are there and will detect your hardware ... even the Monitor and graphic card (latter, in most cases - still, not always. It's a long story, for another day).

Ubuntu is installing and - due to the Internet connection, I established - updating the packets it needs to install itself. After ca. 30 minutes, it is all done and there comes the ...

... reboot. NOW, is the time, when it starts to get tricky for a while.

Descriptive Error Messages. Sometimes, I DO get, why people say: "Linux - it's not ready for desktop". I hear this for 20 years now.

In my case, I got some ugly artifacts during the startup. Ubuntu is not using ATI or NVIDIA drivers for your ATI and NVIDIA cards automatically. (This too has a long history and you can read books about that history some place else). In my case, I have the default Gallium free open source driver, which did its job eventually.

Next step:

1. Establish an Internet connection.

2. Wait (or start the "Update Manager" manually)

3. Update your Ubuntu Installation.

This is crucial, since the initial installation, despite being already connected to the Internet, did not really "update" the system from the vanilla CD/DVD version. It only downloaded additional files for the installation process. THIS now is the true update. Also, beware of the differences of an "update" and an "upgrade".

Reboot.

Now comes the 'fun' part. Not really.

This is when things are supposed to work, but usually don't.

That is exactly the kind of stuff Canonical/Ubuntu Linux newbies should never EVAR have to see? 12.04 LTS(!) should be a smoother ride. That's what endless testing is for.

In my case, the application, which allows for a NVIDIA upgrade, did not detect any available (propriatery) NVIDIA drivers. This would be the moment, I guess, every new non-Linux Linux user would stop or start searching the Googlebing webs for help, ending up under a virtual pile of mostly desperate and useless forum posts, filled with mostly clueless and useless comments by Linux-wannabees, and - after hours of searching - maybe find some thoughtful solutions and help, or even articles or bug reports, describing the exact same problem and figuring out, that this bug is unsolved for months if not years - btw, "you are welcome to join". "Don't report a bug, FIX a bug" is a common saying in those cricles. I digress.

"Yo, bro. Your option is, you can haz no option, bro"

Maybe 1-2 hours in, and this is the moment, every Linux newbie is leaving the green grass and unicorn rainbow realms, to join the FIGHT CLUB, that is the X (now curated by XOrg formerly XFree86, but that is ANOTHER really, really, really long story) This is the moment 90% give up with their Linux adventure and 1% of the remaining 10% end up being programmers of the stinky, brilliant kind.

You just have to do this:

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa 
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get install <package name> 

This means, you joined the "update-my-drivers-everytime-I-am-online-to-the-latest-version-even-if-its-beta-and-can-break-everything" club. Congratulations!

Reboot.

The NVIDIA driver should be now doing the job of rendering that beautiful METRO UI ... ehm, UNITY UI, without you having to open and edit the xorg.conf file (I have heard, there are 'new' generations out there, you never saw the X11 directory. Is it true?)

Now download and install the STEAM CLIENT FOR LINUX from the "Ubuntu Software Center" (create an Canonical account, login, "pay" zero dollars - that's how they get your name & address & credit card) or directly - without hassle - from Valve's page (it's a direct .deb link!).

After downloading the Steam client, the installation is the same as on the Windows platform. Login. Client update ... and voil`a:

Buy once - own it on all platforms. Valve loves you?

Usually, my "goto" benchmarking game for testing my video card drivers on GNU/Linux or BSD is Quake 3 Arena - a native linux installer from the id software ftp server (gone, but never forgotten? wait!), let you install the game easily and quickly and it ran. On many Linux versions, it ran even faster than on Windows, because Linux OS scales better (if everything is set up right & the driver version was 'good'), or you could just recompile the game and it would be an optimized version, specifically suited for your personal ... uh, computer.

Game 1 of 50

Today, instead, I downloaded Unigine's Oil Rush, while waiting for Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 (#BIGPLAYS) to download too. Oil Rush may not be the greatest game of all time (certainly isn't; doesn't really need to be), but it is a great showcase of fairly modern demanding graphics for a Linux OS game.

Gettin' wet & shit blowing up on a x-window screen, 60 FPS: yay video games!

It runs in 1920x1080 with Anti Aliasing on and all visual settings on maximum at 50-60 FPS (vsync on) on my rig (AMD 4x3.6GHz, GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB VRAM). It's a good start.

Game 2 of 50:

Next stop was HOTLINE MIAMI

H O T A - L I N E mee-am-mee ... somewhat Russian

In the true spirit of Linux OS jinx, the Hotline Miami game shows up in the Steam Folder, you can click "Install" ... but nothing happens! To make the game actually install on a Linux platform, you have to right click "Properties", choose the BETAS menu tab and opt in to the Beta. Now it says "Enter beta access code to unlock private betas" - hmm. Let's try the hacking game, 1990's Hackers style. How about: hlm - this does the trick. Now it installs. I had it running, but no music playing in-game (music ran during menu screen). Not a problem. The Linux version seems to come without the soundtrack? But if it isn't already playing in your head, you can copy paste it from your Windows version?

Music runs just fine. I forgot, the very first moment in the tutorial, there is no music! (Great Trivia Question?!). Also: Gamepad works! And the game switches the mouse/keyboard control icons in the tutorial to gamepad icons (as in "LT take weapon. RT shot his head off!")

[UPDATE 1]

Game 3 of 50:

Next stop - DOTA 2

Dota 2 ... runs in fullscreen mode, runs in 1920x1080 with THIS graphics settings ... and no visual glitches or framedrops because of intense graphicking (rendering). For an old Unix/Linux veteran, it felt like Christmas ...

"How about THIS video settings?!" (I even turned on Ambient Occlusion - no frame drops)

... but, nothing in life is ever perfect, right? On my rig, with my settings (not using HDMI, no extra soundcard) the SOUND ... sounded ... poor. Pulseaudio is doing its best, I guess. And even the Microphone Test you know from the Steam Settings tab works as is.

♪♫♪♫ Sound y'all! ♪♫♪♫

And because of this sound (driver problems ... - audio on Linux, just like graphics ... has a loooong, long bloody history - don't ask.) maybe, is my personal guess (not tested it properly), I DO GET some hickups and frame stuttering. It could also be a bandwidth issue, but I tested it playing 4 bot matches, so the up-/downstream load wasn't that high - except for the simultaneous TF2 download ... in short: I cannot say either way. No conclusions here, as of now.

What, Kessler? NOT playing DOTA?? Linux version must be broken?!
"Abaddon & the Dota 2 Bots Band" playing on an ext4 near you!

But all in all, YES! Dota 2 runs just fine!

(to be continued ...)

19 Comments

Voice commanding ARMA 2 Bot AI, while making a sandwich in the kitchen!!

... so, earlier today, I was voice commanding ARMA 2 Bot AI, while making a sandwich in the kitchen!!

Surprisingly enough, they all survived! Even the trigger happy medic(?!) made it. My cheap headset headphone has apparently a pretty good microphone.

That's kinda worth writing a 'blog'-post about, I guess?! (My Twitter is a DMZ = 'gaming-free').

You can use GlovePIE (Freeware) and this script*, to start with. Of course, you can modify the motherf***ing shit out of this motherf***ing script, to your motherf***ing liking, so it can sound like Jeff & Ryan in a motherf***ing glorious Quick Look from the past:

Arma 2: Army of the Czech Republic DLC - they all speak Czech and no captions, while I am their commander - that's why Arma 2 is a hardcore game, right?

*) script: just copy-paste this into a blank txt-file, save it and change the txt-file extension into .pie. Example arma2voice.txt -> arma2voice.PIE

Start GlovePIE. Choose the PIE-script you just made. Click "Run". Start Arma 2. In the game level, start the voice command software by saying "enable voice commands" or "listen" ... done. No additional voice recognition software needed. GlovePIE runs on every Windows version since NT.

/*

* Arma2 voice commands script by Suchy

*

* Say "enable voice commands" to begin.

*/

if said("enable voice commands") or said("listen",5) or said("begin listening") then

var.listen=true

say("voice commands enabled")

end if

if said("disable voice commands") or said("don't listen",5) or said("stop listening") then

var.listen=false

say("voice commands disabled")

end if

if var.listen ==true then

//Unit selection

key.Console =(said("all",1) or said("squad",1) or said("everyone",1) or said("everybody",1))

key.F2 = said("2",1) or said("number 2")

key.F3 = said("3",1) or said("number 3")

key.F4 = said("4",1) or said("number 4")

key.F5 = said("5",1) or said("number 5")

key.F6 = said("6",1) or said("number 6")

key.F7 = said("7",1) or said("number 7")

key.F8 = said("8",1) or said("number 8")

key.F9 = said("9",1) or said("number 9")

key.F10 = said("10",1) or said("number 10")

key.F12,key.F1,key.F11 = said("11",1) or said("number 11")

key.F12,key.F2,key.F11 = said("12",1) or said("number 12")

key.F12,key.F3,key.F11 = said("13",1) or said("number 13")

//Engage

key.enter=said("target that",1) or said("attack that",1)

alt+enter=said("watch there") or said("watch that",1)

key.3,key.1=said("open fire")

key.3,key.1=said("clear to engage")

key.3,key.1=said("clear to fire")

key.3,key.1=said("weapons hot")

key.3,key.1=said("weapons free")

key.3,key.1=said("fire at will")

key.3,key.2=said("hold fire")

key.3,key.2=said("hold your fire")

key.3,key.2=said("ceasefire")

key.3,key.2=said("cease fire")

key.3,key.2=said("don't shoot")

key.3,key.2=said("stop shooting")

key.3,key.3=said("fire",6) or said("shoot")

key.3,key.4=said("engage",5)

key.3,key.5=said("engage at will")

key.3,key.6=said("disengage")

key.3,key.7=said("scan horizon") or said("look around")

key.3,key.8,key.1=said("watch North")

key.3,key.8,key.2=said("watch Northeast")

key.3,key.8,key.3=said("watch East")

key.3,key.8,key.4=said("watch Southeast")

key.3,key.8,key.5=said("watch South")

key.3,key.8,key.6=said("watch Southwest")

key.3,key.8,key.7=said("watch West")

key.3,key.8,key.8=said("watch Northwest")

key.3,key.9=said("Suppressive fire") or said("I need suppressive fire")

//Combat mode

key.7,key.1=said("stealth",5)

key.7,key.1=said("be quiet",5)

key.7,key.1=said("keep quiet",5)

key.7,key.2=said("danger")

key.7,key.2=said("get ready to fight")

key.7,key.2=said("get ready for combat")

key.7,key.3=said("stay aware") or said("be aware")

key.7,key.3=said("stay frosty")

key.7,key.3=said("stay alert") or said("be alert")

key.7,key.4=said("at ease") or said("it's safe") or said("safe",5)

key.7,key.6=said("get up",5) or said("stand up") or said("on your feet")

key.7,key.7=said("crouch",5) or said("stay crouched") or said("heads low")

key.7,key.8=said("get down",5) or said("go prone") or said("hit the dirt") or said("on the ground")

key.7,key.9=said("keep low") or said("copy my stance") or said("follow my lead")

//Reply

key.0,key.1=said("done",6)

key.0,key.1=said("i'm done",5)

key.0,key.1=said("waiting for orders")

key.0,key.1=said("waiting")

key.0,key.1=said("i'm waiting")

key.0,key.1=said("ready",5)

key.0,key.1=said("I'm ready",5)

key.0,key.2=said("Negative") or said("Can't do that") or said("I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.") or said("No can do")

key.0,key.3=said("ready to fire") or said("eyes on target") or said("target in sight")

key.0,key.4=said("cannot fire") or said("no line of fire") or said("I can't see the target") or said("I don't see the target")

key.0,key.6=said("Repeat",5) or said("Repeat last",1) or said("didn't copy")

//Mount

key.enter=said("get inside that",1)

key.enter=said("get in that",1)

key.enter=said("board that",1)

key.enter=said("mount that",1)

key.4,key.2,key.1=said("get inside",5)

key.4,key.2,key.1=said("get in",5)

key.4,key.2,key.2=said("you're driver")

key.4,key.2,key.2=said("you drive")

key.4,key.2,key.2=said("you're driving")

key.4,key.2,key.2=said("take driver position")

key.4,key.2,key.2=said("take driver seat")

key.4,key.2,key.2=said("grab the wheel")

key.4,key.2,key.2=said("driver get in")

key.4,key.2,key.2=said("driver",5)

key.4,key.2,key.2=said("you're pilot")

key.4,key.2,key.2=said("take pilot position")

key.4,key.2,key.2=said("take pilot seat")

key.4,key.2,key.2=said("grab the stick")

key.4,key.2,key.2=said("pilot get in")

key.4,key.2,key.2=said("pilot",5)

key.4,key.2,key.4=said("you're gunner")

key.4,key.2,key.4=said("take gunner position")

key.4,key.2,key.4=said("get on the gun")

key.4,key.2,key.4=said("take the gun")

key.4,key.2,key.4=said("mount the gun")

key.4,key.2,key.4=said("gunner get in")

key.4,key.2,key.4=said("gunner",5)

key.4,key.1=said("disembark")

key.4,key.1=said("dismount")

key.4,key.1=said("get out")

key.4,key.1=said("out of the vehicle")

key.4,key.1=said("get out of the vehicle")

//Status

key.5,key.1,key.1=said("Requesting medic support")

key.5,key.1,key.1=said("Request medic support")

key.5,key.1,key.1=said("Requesting medical support")

key.5,key.1,key.1=said("Request medical support")

key.5,key.1,key.2=said("Requesting ambulance")

key.5,key.1,key.2=said("Requesting ambulance support")

key.5,key.1,key.2=said("Request ambulance")

key.5,key.1,key.3=said("Requesting repair truck")

key.5,key.1,key.3=said("Requesting repair")

key.5,key.1,key.4=said("Requesting ammo support")

key.5,key.1,key.4=said("Requesting ammunition support")

key.5,key.1,key.4=said("Requesting ammo")

key.5,key.1,key.5=said("Requesting ammunition")

key.5,key.1,key.5=said("Requesting fuel support")

key.5,key.1,key.5=said("Requesting fuel truck")

key.5,key.2=said("Fuel low") or said("I'm out of fuel") or said ("Out of fuel")

key.5,key.3=said("Ammo low") or said("I need ammo") or said ("I need ammunition")

key.5,key.4=said("Injuried") or said("I need medic") or said ("Medic")

key.5,key.4=said("I'm wounded") or said("I'm hit") or said ("I've been hit")

key.5,key.5=said("Report status")

key.5,key.5=said("Status")

key.5,key.5=said("location")

key.5,key.5=said("what's your location")

key.5,key.5=said("position")

key.5,key.5=said("what's your position")

key.5,key.5=said("coordinates")

key.5,key.5=said("send coordinates")

key.5,key.5=said("send sitrep")

key.5,key.5=said("what's your status")

key.5,key.5=said("where are you")

key.5,key.5=said("status report")

key.5,key.5=said("Do you read")

key.5,key.6=said("Under fire")

key.5,key.6=said("Help me out")

key.5,key.6=said("Taking fire")

key.5,key.6=said("Give me a hand")

key.5,key.6=said("I'm under fire")

key.5,key.7=said("Enemy down")

key.5,key.7=said("I got him")

key.5,key.7=said("Soldier is history")

key.5,key.7=said("He's history")

key.5,key.7=said("Scratch one")

key.5,key.7=said("Tango down")

key.5,key.7=said("Hostile down")

key.5,key.7=said("Target destroyed")

key.5,key.7=said("Target neutralized")

key.5,key.7=said("Target eliminated")

key.5,key.7=said("Hostile eliminated")

key.5,key.8=said("Is down") or said("Are down")

key.5,key.9=said("Report targets") or said("Report enemies")

//Action (unfortunately it's mostly context)

key.6,key.1=said("heal",3) or said("heal me") or said("heal him") or said("heal that",1)

key.6=said("action")

key.1=said("option 1")

key.2=said("option 2")

key.3=said("option 3")

key.4=said("option 4")

key.5=said("option 5")

key.6=said("option 6")

key.7=said("option 7")

key.8=said("option 8")

key.9=said("option 9")

key.0=said("option 0")

//Formation

key.8,key.1=said("give me a column") or said("form column") or said("formation column")

key.8,key.2=said("give me a staggered column") or said("form staggered column") or said("formation staggered column")

key.8,key.2=said("give me a double column") or said("form double column") or said("formation double column")

key.8,key.3=said("give me a wedge") or said("form wedge") or said("formation wedge")

key.8,key.4=said("give me an echelon left") or said("form echelon left") or said("formation echelon left")

key.8,key.5=said("give me an echelon right") or said("form echelon right") or said("formation echelon right")

key.8,key.6=said("give me a V") or said("form V") or said("formation V")

key.8,key.7=said("give me a line") or said("form line") or said("formation line")

key.8,key.8=said("give me a compact column") or said("form compact column") or said("formation compact column")

key.8,key.8=said("give me a compact") or said("form compact") or said("formation compact") or said("form file") or said ("formation file")

key.8,key.9=said("give me a delta") or said("form delta") or said("formation delta")

key.8,key.9=said("give me a diamond") or said("form diamond") or said("formation diamond")

//movement

key.Enter = said("Go there")

key.Enter = said("Move there")

key.Enter = said("Take that position")

key.Enter = said("Go over there")

key.Enter = said("Move over there")

key.Enter = said("Move to that",1)

key.Enter = said("Go to that",1)

key.1,key.1 = said("stay in formation")

key.1,key.1 = said("stay close")

key.1,key.1 = said("keep formation")

key.1,key.1 = said("return to formation")

key.1,key.1 = said("back to formation")

key.1,key.1 = said("regroup",4)

key.1,key.1 = said("follow me")

key.1,key.1 = said("get back",4)

key.1,key.1 = said("fall back",5)

key.1,key.1 = said("fall back to formation")

key.1,key.1 = said("fall back into formation")

key.1,key.1 = said("form up")

key.1,key.1 = said("return",5)

key.1,key.1 = said("form on me")

key.1,key.2 = said("Advance",5) or said("Take point") or said ("Push up")

key.1,key.3 = said("Stay back",5) or said("Go back",5) or said ("Stay behind") or said ("keep the distance")

key.1,key.4 = said("Flank left") or said("Take the left flank")

key.1,key.5 = said("Flank right") or said("Take the right flank")

key.1,key.6 = said("Stop",5) or said("Halt",5) or said("Stay here",5)

key.1,key.6 = said("Don't move") or said("Stay where you are") or said("Stay there",5)

key.1,key.7 = said("Wait") or said("Wait for me",5) or said("Hold on",5)

key.1,key.7 = said("Let me catch up")

key.1,key.8 = said("Find cover") or said("Get to cover") or said("Take cover")

key.1,key.9 = said("Next waypoint")

key.1,key.9 = said("Move to next waypoint")

key.1,key.9 = said("Go to next waypoint")

key.1,key.9 = said("Proceed to next waypoint")

//Team assignment

key.9,key.1=said("Assign red") or said("You are red") or said("you're team red")

key.9,key.2=said("Assign green") or said("You are green") or said("you're team green")

key.9,key.3=said("Assign blue") or said("You are blue") or said("you're team blue")

key.9,key.4=said("Assign yellow") or said("You are yellow") or said("you're team yellow")

key.9,key.5=said("Assign white") or said("You are white") or said("you're team white")

//Team selection

key.9,key.9,key.1=said("Team red") or said("Red",5)

key.9,key.9,key.2=said("Team green") or said("Green",5)

key.9,key.9,key.3=said("Team blue") or said("Blue",5)

key.9,key.9,key.4=said("Team yellow") or said("Yellow",5)

key.9,key.9,key.5=said("Team white") or said("White",5)

end if

Start the Conversation

My Secret Life with Jeff & Ryan (12 Inch Extended Version)

(Parts previously posted on the "In Memoriam" thread - rewrote it today. It turns out longer (=worse) and also English is not my 1st language, nor my 2nd, nor 3rd ... It is so heavily edited, that I lost track if it is readable at all now - or worth your time. Apologies.) Also - full disclosure: I never met Ryan Davis. (Yes, I am one of those sad bastards).

"Lights, Camera, Action!"

I remember watching the first times, when Ryan went in front of a live camera at Gamespot. The glorious "On The Spot" days. Very early on, it was clear, HE was not the kind, to be intimidated by lights and cameras and 'live streams" - he had panache. He was cocky. He showed an attitude, while others, like Brad Shoemaker, got nervous, or poor Brian Ekberg almost froze in fear of "live action".

Live TV is hard.

yes. empty.

But Ryan not only was a smooth operator, a natural talent, in front of a camera, he was the first - despite Jeff's blonde hair and singing Brittney "Baby, Baby" while being recorded - to crack the clean, corporate "let's have a good time" polish, Rich Gallup was so great putting on. While Ryan MacDonald was as enthusiastic, as he was nervous, with Rich, the East Coast "intellectual", the "college kid", wearing a "Celtics" shirt in studio on a video game show from the West Coast Internets, you could see, he was 'acting'. He had his "We're LIVE, folks..." Persona, when the lights went on?

Ryan Davis was the first to break the rules in front of the camera? At least, visible to "us", from outside looking in? From early on, you could see him not hiding his "grumpy" side ... and it was funny to watch. His personality poured through harder and harder, while trying to do the "corporate thing" - presenting video games, to this supposedly kid-friendly, clean audience. "Video games - it's for kids" was still the mantra of that dot com era period. Just like comics are always "funny" and nobody heard of "graphic novels". At some point during "On The Spot" live shows, it became "Oh great, Ryan Davis is going to play a game, in this (standing) segment and hopefully shit about it and lose it!"

That's when I started to favor him over many others.

Presenting games they received in the mail only hours ago, without having time to play them, before the Thursday live show - the origin of what we all now know as "Quick Looks".

Was it E3 2006, when Carrie Gouskos did her quick "video updates" on the side, while they were all working in the Gamespot war room? (I like Mondays always reminds me of that) That E3 was the thing, people would think of, when they think of "The Golden Years". Those "video blogs" (vblogs ... vlogs ... podcasts? .. the confusion of these earlier days) had a raw and intimate quality to them. Sure, it was fun to watch 'video game' things on the big live stage, when the microphones stopped working and shiny games were presented. But being able to watch your favorite TV Show characters "behind the scene", was even more thrilling. And to me, Ryan, Jeff and the rest of them were just like a TV Show for "my" generation. No Network TV, no Cable TV ... the "Internet TV".

Is it not an irony, that it really worked, although not in the intended (corporate) way, in the 1990s?

And then, one day, Gerstmanngate blew up in all our faces.

Jeff & Ryan - "Rolling, Rolling, Rolling ..."

My fondest memories of Ryan Davis are all recorded, since those are the only memories I myself (and most of us) now will ever have of him. As much as I was on board, when they tried to shake up the world, with Shelby and the Whiskey Media Rebel Club, my interest was all about their 'private lives' - the hours AFTER their job. The selfmade (non-profit) "Reality TV" they started to broadcast for themselves. They did not do it out of vanity or to seek attention, like many do these days. They did not do it, to "sell" you something, nor convince you of something ("Let me tell you about ..."), they did it because they COULD? And they wanted to share those moments with others?

I loved their Audioboos. Those where amazing.

I loved their commutes from and to work. Most often Ryan driving the car. Jeff holding his phone up the road ahead (I always wanted for Jeff to point the camera at Ryan(!) and not the road ahead). Real people - friends - having a conversation. No matter how ridiculous or random.

You cannot beat the magic of Jeff & Ryan rolling down the Route 101 from SF to Petaluma. This was more then "Reality TV". Them, streaming their commutes, I was reminded of early Italian and French cinema. (Neorealismo/Nouvelle vague - Ryan would probably equally enjoy and hate the film analogy). But it is true. On my Desktop screen, watching them drive, listening to them having a conversation, even the eclectic Quentin Tarantino could not imagine, nor write better dialog then what they came up with while talking to each other. It had a quality, I only rarely find in novels. William Gaddis "JR" comes to mind. A book Ryan would have never read, probably, but which captures the hilarity of life in pure sounds and voices. And neither Jean-Luc Godard, Truffaut, Rosselini nor Visconti, could have filmed it better, then they themselves, holding their "hot" iPhones. Life itself, happening, right now ...

You could hear the life long friendship in their voices? It reminded me of my own oldest, closest friends and friendships I had over the last decades. You cannot fake reality. What was it? "Video games"? That "theme" only was a conversation starter, the surface topic. Michael Mann's HEAT is in it's core a movie about lonely men. Ryan and Jeff's ustream drives, are in their core about never ending friendship? The comfort of the company of each other. Thousands of miles away, at 4 am in the morning, some cold electronic signals reached me, reminding me of that warm, fuzzy feeling, how it is like, having "one" real good friend, by your side.

I didn't care if it was "funny" or serious. If they talked or enjoyed the silence.

I didn't care about 'video games' on Giant Bomb - I cared about Jeff and Ryan - my extended (online) brothers, who don't know me. I was perfectly aware, that this appreciation was a one-way street. I did not exist in their eyes. I was just one dot on a canvas, next to thousands. And they, in return, were fictional characters to me. The most, realest fictional friends you could have. Like Ernie and Bert. Like Tubbs and Crockett. Like Mason & Dixon. Or, yes, like Jake & Elroy!

You could point a microphone or a camera at those two and they would just "go". Media pros, before this was something millions of people are still failing to do, while having their own "YouTube" channels and trying desperately to seek attentions or make money of it, or both.

Jeff and Ryan did that shit, for personal fun.

You cannot beat fun. You cannot compete with fun. Ryan Davis was the perfect entertainer! He was the real Master of Ceremonies. I myself saw his career going to network television eventually. He would have been the best, freshest late night show host a modern, Internet savvy America (and the world!) could have ever hoped to get to know? Our loss.

Over the years - 10+ years now - these guys stuck with me. Again, they never knew, nor will ever know. It doesn't really matter. Who the fuck cares? It's never about the audience. Never about you and me. 10.000s of us. It's about them, sharing their lives in public ... and being admired by thousands and thousands of complete strangers, making their lives better, feeling just entertained or distracting them from the bullshit in their meat world life, or letting them feel less lonely.

Admired by those fans, almost just as intimately, as with their peers and friends?

In the "Age of the Internet" privacy becomes a delicate flower. It can sound creepy and weird and scary, to those, living their professional life on the web, while the borders between public and private become less and less clear?

This is such an amazing picture! Thanks Rorie, for capturing this moment.

As far, as I was able to see from outside, Ryan Davis lived his life on the fast lane? He burned the candle from both sides? Sometimes, you could see him on a live stream and would start wondering about his health? One time - during the "swine flu" summer, I was scared about him, but it turned out to be not "it". This particular motherfucker lived a full life?

We are not supposed to be sad for him. We are selfishly sad and angry for ourselves! Angry and sad, to have lost him. We all have lost a wonderful human being, who was raw and real and kind ... and yes, funny on record.

Relationships in times of the Internet and Twitter can be strange. I never understood the mass hysteria when Elvis died, or "Lady Di" - but now, I am starting to get it. You can feel the loss of someone you never actually met or knew. It is pathetic. "But it is real, if you feel it", my doctor would say.

But this is not a time to cry or feel sad? This is a time to celebrate a "Life well wasted". As far, as I can see, Ryan did everything right in his life! If you are young, you can only hope to aspire to be like him. If you are old, like me, he beat you. He has the perfect score. We can only get drunk - which I am intending to do, despite my own health troubles - and celebrate him! Everyone, the way you can. The ones, who really knew and loved him, the ones, he loved back ... and us, strangers on the Internet.

Someone on Twitter wrote earlier tonight: "somewhere else just got a lot funnier."

GLHB

Start the Conversation

Skills Needed to Become a Game Artist

Unfortunately, I wrote a rather lengthy comment on Gamasutra, earlier today. I usually write these things, investing 30 minutes or more, re-read them and finally do the right thing: delete my comment, instead posting it. (Should always be the 1st choice! I recommend it!)

But this time, I decided to cross-post it here. What the heck. Maybe someone will read it?

"Soft skills" are nice to have, I guess.

To me - who tried and failed early in life, to become a "real" artist - "game art" is hard work, not necessarily in combination with "talent" or "genius".

Knowing to use the digital tools, playing nice with others - nothing particularly attached to 'game artist'?

It is nice to start by being "talented", as in "better than everyone else you know". Then comes the hard part: improve, learn additional skills. Learn techniques. Learn as many trades and crafts as you can in the 'real' world. Learn about pigments, materials, colors and theory, incl. physics and chemistry.

Learn to paint with oil! Learn how to make your own colors! Understand how to mix colors to match what you wanted it to look like. Paint with watercolors, etc, learn to sculpt, carve real, physical things. Learn to draw technical drawings, learn to draw cartography (maps) and learn calligraphy. Learn industrial design.

Learn Anatomy! The first year in med-school is very much what an artist needs to know about physiology and anatomy. On top, YOU need to know the anatomy of animals and the physiology of plants!

Copy a Van Gogh or a Vermeer - first with oil, than with Adobe or any other digital tool.

Learn about history. World history. Art history. Learn about sociology, fashion, political systems (how clothes are a sign of ones social standing in public, how old cities, have a way of evolving, how physical things are build not to "look" a certain way, but have a practical root to their form and shape, etc).

Copy every painting, drawing, doodle you can find by Frank Frazetta.

(Freehand! Don't trace!) His original work is the root, the source, the never-ending fountain, from which all 'Game Artists' sip. I see it in everyone's work, every day. Even, if they don't know him, they copy him.

And ... if you mastered ALL THAT - to a certain degree and depth - you can start diving into the world of "digital art" and "game art"?

Of course, my recommendation, is only for the serious kind. I failed myself, twenty plus years ago.

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