Fripplebubby's forum posts

#1 Posted by Fripplebubby (1027 posts) -

@Dezztroy said:

@weegieanawrench said:

@murisan: Direct X 11 is exclusive to Windows 8 =/.

No it's not.

Unless you mean in this game specifically. But Treyarch putting an arbitrary limit like that would be really stupid.

He's actually talking about DirectX 11.1.

#2 Posted by Fripplebubby (1027 posts) -

@The_Laughing_Man: Some people do love Horde mode, but I feel like most of the things that are good about MvM (the different classes, the weapons, the cooperation) are also present in classic TF2 (it's weird to call it classic TF2 with there being a TF Classic, I guess) but even better, because they are used on an equal playing field. The Steam clock does seem a bit liberal, but I have played for many, many hours either way.

And I like horde mode well enough, as I stated. Please don't oversimplify my statements.

@Undeadpool: Sure, normal TF2 isn't going anywhere with MvM around, but I feel like new players could be confused and see the choices as: a) You play MvM and have fun or b) you play normal TF2 and get whooped on. I'm just trying to point out that MvM is by no means the "TF2 Fun Mode", in my opinion.

@49th: Myself and 5 other competent TF2 players beat our heads against Iron Will mode for several hours. The difficulty is there, but it seems like a very different kind of difficulty than traditional multiplayer. MvM updates will no doubt add more complexity, and I'll play it a bunch more then.

#3 Posted by Fripplebubby (1027 posts) -

The Case For Mann Vs. Mann

Why Mann Versus Machine delivers, but is only a distraction

Team Fortress 2 is, by a half-decade after launch, a resilient and very popular multiplayer shooter that has shocked conventional wisdom by refreshing itself again and again. The newest update was larger than most before it, but instead of offering a new way for players strategize against each other, it offers an entirely new gamemode that pits players against bots.

As a seasoned TF2 player (I have clocked 749 hours according to Steam at the time of writing), the update didn’t provide an alternate gameplay mode that I’ll feel like coming back to again and again. I've played all the maps, even enjoyed them well enough, and I was beaten handily in the “Iron Will” mode despite my best efforts. I’ve tried all the classes, I’ve seen all the content there is to see (until the community whips something crazy up. Here’s hoping).

MvM was hailed as a new dawn for TF2, a mode that would bring new players to the game and old players back for many more hours. In a sense, it has definitely attracted players, but mainly by sheer weight of hype. The new mode isn’t bad in any way, and it isn’t seriously broken (at least as of now-- opening day/week was another story). The update delivered on every promise.

But for me, it lacks what keeps me coming back to TF2. While there could hypothetically be more teamwork in MvM, in my experience there is much less than in actual competitive CP/Payload/etc. because instead of facing off against a dynamic, equally matched team of human rivals, you only have to strategize against predictable, limited, path-following robots. It’s not like this is any surprise, of course, but when most people hear that there are both co-op and competitive modes in a multiplayer game, they assume the co-op mode has more cooperating. Not so.

MvM certainly doesn’t break the Mann versus Mann scene, however. Normal-ass TF2 is, in my opinion, better than ever. Breaking into the game now is still viable and fun. MvM doesn’t add a new dimension to the game, but the old dimension is still my favorite multiplayer game of all time.

#4 Posted by Fripplebubby (1027 posts) -

I should have taken more screenshots earlier, but here's the ship I crashed into the Mun with:

Or at least what was left of it after the launch stage(s).

#5 Edited by Fripplebubby (1027 posts) -

@Ubersmake: What you're saying is in many ways the way I view the industry currently, in that the games that utilize random generation are effectively designed around that component. The way I view it is this:

At its core, all level design in games is based on decisions, which are the product of some (perhaps not clearly defined) parameters. I didn't actually play Journey, but from what I know of it I would guess the (oversimplified) parameters of the level design would be: rolling desert with sparse, aesthetically pleasing structures here and there wherein the player solves proto-puzzles to advance to the next area (if I'm offbase with my guesswork, just pretend that Journey is the game that I described for the sake of argument, as it's all very arbitrary).

The level designers for Journey would have chosen throughout their design process where to put the models and structures, the exact design of the puzzles, and the path the player takes throughout the game entirely based upon the parameters listed above. If some sort of program could be made that could perfectly adhere to those parameters, I suppose that it would be technically possible to have an infinite Journey. Don't get me wrong, it would be ridiculously, mind-numbingly, soul crushingly difficult to make a program intricate enough to handle that, but the idea fascinates me.

@thabigred: Sure, if a program could be made that would just pump out textures and models nonstop that would go a long way towards leveling the playing field between large studios and small, but I don't know if such a tool is some sort of middle ground between what we have now and what I detailed above or another challenge entirely. Probably the latter.

To address the craft point: I'm sure a similar idea to the one I'm talking about has been brought up a million times since the invention of the computer in regards to other mediums, namely books and music, and so far it hasn't worked out so much there (well, the music front is sort of interesting but not prevalent on any scale). I really can't say how much of a game is artistic choice and how much is calculated rationality, or if there is even a difference between the two. It makes me think.

#6 Posted by Fripplebubby (1027 posts) -

Games today rely on a lot more than the quality of the design ideas alone. There are many smart, enthusiastic and savvy indie game developers out there that have ideas worth making into games, but in many cases the games that end up being made have a hard time competing with those from big studios that are built on more established game design structures. The thing setting the two archetypes of games apart, besides sales numbers, is simply the manhours and high-priced design tools that large studios can afford while smaller ones cannot.

Most of the time, it seems that indie developers simply have to cut down on development time/cost in the simplest way they can: making less content. Fewer assets, fewer gameplay mechanics, less animation, and a generally shorter game are a result of developers with small teams making the tough choices that give their game better odds of actually getting to release intact.

A couple of the indie games that have made it big over the past few years have bucked this trend somewhat, and with teams that were (when the games first started getting popular) as small as technically possible (i.e. solo developers), but somehow ending up with more content in the game than any one person could ever rationally consume. Could this signal a new front in indie game development (or even in triple-A development)? I can’t say.

If you haven’t guessed by this point, the games I’m referring to are mainly Minecraft and Dwarf Fortress, though I’m sure many other indie games that fit this mold are in development currently.

Is it easier for an indie developer to design a game around randomly-generated content rather than building it entirely by hand? Probably not. To begin with, it’s not like Minecraft (for example) doesn’t require a lot of handcrafting. For now, “random” content-generation in games is decidedly limited. Textures aren’t randomly generated, 3D models aren’t randomly generated, AI isn’t randomly generated (though some AI systems in games are majorly impressive in that they can adapt and act organically, they are still very handbuilt), gameplay mechanics aren’t randomly generated, and so on.

Not to mention, the actual work of making code that can build a game world dynamically/randomly is difficult and non-intuitive. It’s time consuming to give a level designer whatever software program they use and say, “make me a world”, but at least you can be assured that they know how to do it and given enough time and money can make a big, interesting game world. World generation, on the other hand, is still mainly uncharted territory, and games like Minecraft use algorithms (which are better than any I’ve ever made) that aren’t remotely as capable as human level designers.

Perhaps the irony in hoping that random asset generation could be the saviour of small-team development (I’m not trying to insinuate that the indie development scene needs a saviour, either) is that the work required to make a game that is truly built from algorithms alone would in fact require a large team of programmers.

Really though, all this is just what I’ve gathered and come to conclusions about. Am I missing something? Do any indie developers (or just enthusiasts like me) want to weigh in on the whether random world/asset generation can ever or will ever replace human design?

#7 Posted by Fripplebubby (1027 posts) -

I can see this isn't the PC port news I was hoping for. Sound the retreat!

#8 Posted by Fripplebubby (1027 posts) -

I actually spent a couple hours playing this game today, as I picked it up during the sale.

I think it's a pretty good game, but maybe a bit obtuse compared to the later civilization games. The ship customization is pretty neat, but the maps seem kind of limited (flat squares of space, and even the immense map didn't seem that big) and my first two games ended with the "ascension" victory, which just consists of one player building starbases on several specific points of space.

I have to say, if you're new or semi-new to 4X (I've played a ton of Civ, but other than that no 4X that I can recall) maybe pick up Endless Space instead of GalCiv2. It is a good game, though.

#9 Posted by Fripplebubby (1027 posts) -

Buy two shovels, bury one. Wait 24 hours and dig it up. Now you have a golden shovel, which you can use to hit rocks with (sometimes cash pops out). Also, it looks cool. The other golden tools are hard to get, but the shovel is easy.

On a Sunday morning, spend a bunch of bells buying turnips from one of the animals (she shows up every Sunday and talks about turnips). Check the turnip prices at Nook's until they're a lot higher than what you paid, and you can make tons of bells.

#10 Posted by Fripplebubby (1027 posts) -