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hughj

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hughj

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Edited By hughj

Regarding Geforce Now:

It's not so much "David vs Goliath" as it is prospectively a million Davids and a dozen Goliaths vs Goliath. Cloud-based VM services simply aren't going to be viable if each application, utility, and game that can be run remotely results in an added tax levied on the service cost.

With Moore's Law beginning to plateau it's very likely that some flavor of remote VM service is going to be the way devices (especially portable and mobile ones) continue to expand their capability. Publishers, developers and IP owners are just going to have to deal with this reality because there's no way that everyone from Rarlabs and Hinterland Studio to Adobe and Activision are going to be able to take a cut, no matter how small that fraction is.

In the case of Itunes/music and Kindle/books, Apple and Amazon had the manageable task of negotiating with a handful of publishing companies in order to secure most of the back catalog of those mediums, but the landscape of Windows applications is obviously nothing like this.

In the short term perhaps digital storefronts like Steam, EGS, GOG, etc will end up having to change their licensing terms with third party developers in order to give the storefronts the right to be utilized via GFN or similar services. That still won't address the broader issue of utilizing IP via new mediums that increasingly bend or break conventional notions of what it means to be a hardware device. There's an unbroken continuum between running an application locally and running it 100% remotely via a video stream or some terminal client, and I don't see where a clear line can be drawn.

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hughj

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I'd always sooner have content with games that the hosts genuinely enjoy, even if I don't care for them, than to have them pretending to enjoy random stuff. That said, given that the East is only able to produce a few hours of streams a week, I don't see why the slow-burn genre PC games like The Sims, Satisfactory, Civ6, Xcom, etc couldn't be paired together to share a single stream.

If Guitar Hero and looking at old coins can be turned into a rather enjoyable stream, then there's all sorts of things that could be paired up with Abby playing The Sims. Take a trip down memory lane through the back catalog of Sim games. Build a city in Sim City 2000 or Sim City 4. Or pair it with Alex learning the roots of old 4X games with the Civ series and Alpha Centauri.

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hughj

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Seems like all the added systems surrounding the core split/steal choice kind of betrays the premise of the prisoner's dilemma and removes the interesting game theory aspect. The whole point is that the penalty for stealing is the risk of getting nothing at all. By adding a public reputation system you both remove the ambiguity of trust as well as directly penalize the act of stealing, resulting in 'split' being the de facto choice in almost all cases.

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hughj

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@bizarrohash said:

Anyone else intimidated by games like these? I thought Factorio looked rad, but I figured it'd be too much for me. I was curious about this one, too, but I'm still not sure.

I think Vinny overstates the learning curve of this game. I'm 200+ hours into this so far and never once had to resort to tutorials or online guides. In fact, I'd actually recommend against doing that, as it lets you come up with your own designs and solutions, and it allows the game to unfold in front you gradually.

It's probably one of those cases where going online and looking at everything all at once makes the game seem way more intimidating than it actually is to just play it. The progression system is very paint-by-numbers and tutorializes through how it reveals resources, items, buildings, and principles so you're never really overwhelmed with too many new things. In the beginning the resources you're harvesting are close by, easy to access, and simple to utilize, and as you progress, more stuff is layered on top.

The negative aspects of the game would be that it's not balanced in several key ways between the mid-game stuff and the current end-game stuff -- several components of the game are unlimited and/or overpowered, leading to later components being redundant. Examples: oil/fuel power vs nuclear power, conveyor belts vs vehicles/trains, etc. The survival element also feels pretty redundant, as you have the ability to build free-floating walkways that completely bypasses anything that's threatening. I don't think I've had to do more than a few corpse runs over the entire time I've played.

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hughj

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@dweep: how? Lots of people dont care for puppets. I have history with the dark crystal as a kid but the design is still unappealing. Sorry for having an opinion.

I recall the design for the characters definitely having a weird Muppet-equivalent of the uncanny valley for me, but I haven't watched that film since the 80s. Loved pretty much all other Henson stuff as a kid, but flesh-toned pseudo-human Muppets felt unnecessary. Dark Crystal holds a similar place in my memory as Return to Oz. Perhaps I'm old enough now to revisit them and not get nightmares. :P

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Could have Brad/Alex/Abby join your game and help you build your infrastructure on stream...? Building those remote oil sites involves a lot of ferrying resources to build the conveyor belts, power, etc, so even if they were just acting as mules for extra inventory space, it would speed things up a lot for you, and it'd give you someone to chat with.

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The city of Troy was noteworthy for being impenetrable (which is why the horse was used, rather than a regular attack.)

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I think it's telling that my ears only perk up when the game seems to betray what Alex is expecting to happen next based on a walk-through guide. I feel like this sort of semi-dynamic adventure game would be better served with the chat providing guidance now and then, that way when the game twists and turns in a way you weren't expecting you can sit back and enjoy those moments on their own terms instead of rushing to a script to make sure what's happening is, "what's supposed to happen".

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Is the issue actually skill-based matchmaking, or is it just the age-old unsolved problem of skill creep in games that rely on mechanical skill? The majority of players want a low-effort but satisfying experience, but everyone can't have that in a zero-sum game where one person's satisfaction comes from another's dissatisfaction.

Perhaps in the past this issue was mitigated somewhat with dedicated servers and a server browser, as that allowed players some semblance of agency over what style of gameplay they were likely to get. If you wanted to fuck around and relax, you would join a server that has a map rotation that caters to spammy nonsense. If you wanted more challenge you could choose a pub server where lots of clan players would hang out at, and if you wanted even more than that you'd find a pickup game on IRC.

Come to think of it, I'm honestly not sure if I've enjoyed any multiplayer FPS that utilizes a global hopper with automated matchmaking, as it completely robs games of the social aspect of having familiar players congregate on the same servers. It's also not nearly as annoying to get killed by passing acquaintances than it is to get killed by a revolving door of faceless people.

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Regarding Jeff's headphones:

I'd be down for headphone (or other peripheral) review streams. Not that there's any shortage of those videos on Youtube, but if Jeff or any of the other staff are facing questions around potential gear purchases, I'd just assume they kill two birds with one stone and turn it into a feature. For something like headphones you could probably get a variety of them as free review units and pass them around during a UPF, and it'd be a good topic of conversation to keep everyone awake and engaged.

Regarding the game director commentary:

This is already best served by post-mortem talks that often take place at GDC and other such conferences. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2e4mYbwSTbbiX2uwspn0xiYb8_P_cTAr The best part is that you're not constrained by the pace of the gameplay and tech of older games/engines/hardware.