JamesM

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JamesM

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Seems almost like more british history is taught to us than to you. We are taught about the roman conquest, the Angles, the Saxons, the Normans, the high middle ages and the Magna Carta (god, they bash our skulls in with it to make us understand the importance of it), the one hundred years war and the war of the roses, all the religious conflicts, the war with Spain and the defeat of the Invincible Armada, colonization and the english East India Company, the first industrial revolution and, well, most of everything from the last 250 years.

See, I'm pretty sure my curriculum covered all of that, but like I said in a previous post, for my cohort it was all taught chronologically, so a lot of it was in primary school only, or very early in secondary school, and afforded an according amount of depth. I confess to not being the most engaged student, and my memory of stuff I learnt in school is pretty bad in general, but I do feel I was left very ill-equipped by my history education.

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JamesM

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Edited By JamesM

A couple of others have already posted some good comments about the First World War, but I thought I'd provide my own perspective, such that it is. I'm definitely no student of history, so this is very much a layman's point of view, and may be factually inaccurate.

I don't know about other times or places, but here in England when I went to secondary school they taught history more-or-less chronologically: we started with the Dark Ages and moved forward from there. By the time we were 16 and taking our GCSEs – which is the last year that History was compulsory – we were studying the First World War. So for a lot of people of my age (31) it's our most recent formal history education. Also, there was some emphasis on the war poets in English Literature; specifically Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon.

The tragedy of the Second World War has the narrative of an ordeal that had to be endured to repel the advance of fascism and end the Holocaust (though I believe the true nature and scale of the Holocaust wasn't fully apprehended until the late stages of the War, so perhaps it wasn't actually as much of a motivation as one might otherwise think). Precisely how heroic or tragic you find this story, and how much it justifies things like the bombing of Dresden or the use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki will depend on your personal morality, but there is at least an extremely strong reason for being at war in the first place. The tragedy of the First World War, on the other hand, has much more of a feeling of senselessness and futility. People were dying in their millions, and it isn't even clear why.

The "this is the birth of modern warfare" angle EA want to push is also kind of relevant, though as stated in the podcast, not really in the sense that they mean it. Modern warfare was still emerging during the Great War, and it was by no means fully formed. Tactics and attitudes had not adjusted to the industrialization of war; the world was unprepared for what technology had turned war into. Horses were still being ridden into battle, and early in the war soldiers would march through no-man's land directly into enemy fire. Back in Britain, women would give young men who hadn't gone to war white feathers to shame them for their cowardice.

In some ways it seems like a kind of loss of innocence. Of course we were by no means innocent before – we have always and will always do terrible things to each other, I fear – but it was suddenly possible to enact those atrocities on such a colossally larger scale. People really didn't know what they were signing up for.

I'm not much of a reader of poetry, but I think Wilfred Owen's poem Dulce et Decorum Est conveys how bitterly betrayed many soldiers felt by the jingoism they'd been fed: "dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" is a Latin phrase – popular at the time – that means "it is sweet and honourable to die for your country".

To be clear, I don't think a dubstep remix of Seven Nation Army (or any version thereof) would be a good fit for a trailer for a World War II game, either. And I'm certainly not opposed to the idea of a game about the Great War – I'm actually quite excited that a big developer is giving it a go. But, for a lot of people, the senseless tragedy of it doesn't allow for much in the way of bombast, whereas the heroism of a WWII tale permits a certain amount.

I don't know whether that's at all logical or consistent, but that's how it is with emotional responses.

For another (for my money worse) example of crass co-opting of the Great War, check out the time supermarket chain Sainsbury's evoked the memory of the Christmas truce in order to promote their brand.

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JamesM

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Who's going to post a whole load of sausage rolls to GBeast?

It's funny that they turn to the credits for explanation, as Bennett Foddy (of QWOP fame) is actually credited for the title ("such as it is").

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Edited By JamesM

"Brutalist architecture at its most brutal" should clearly instead have been worded "Brutalist architecture at its brutalest".

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Fascinating stuff. The Barbican Centre has a travelling games exhibition that I've visited a couple of times, though that's from the Western/Japanese perspective that most of us would be more familiar with. Seeing that, and even more so with what you've shown of the Soviet Arcade Museum, I find that for me what's most fascinating about classic games is mostly the very early days, before things like control method and display technology had settled into some well-established standards. Modern controllers and pixel-based graphics are very flexible - they allow for an extremely wide range of experiences - but there's enduring charm and appeal in abandoned avenues like the vector displays of games like Asteroids, or even the presumably entirely electromechanical physical dioramas in some of the above machines. The submarine attack in the Travel Man clip (Торпедная Атака - "Torpedo Attack"?) has a really cool and for my money quite cinematic look. Of there's a lot gained in being able to make games for ubiquitous, powerful, general purpose devices in this day and age, but there's definitely also something lost in terms of imagination and ingenuity when it comes to the actual mechanics of how you interface with the game. Bespoke systems have a hard time competing in the modern big business of video games, but they're always worth a try if you manage to find one.

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JamesM

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@tigerdx said:

Only other snoo- words I can think of right now are snoop and snooze, and I think they vindicate Danny's pronunciation.

There's "snooty", too. More generally, you get the same "oo" sound in "loop", "boot", "moot", "loot", etc. It's a silly-sounding word, for sure, but it's not inconsistent with how other words are pronounced. Apparently it originated in 19th century military slang. That sort of context is ripe for producing unusual sounding words, as they don't follow the usual etymological path (i.e. they're deliberately constructed, often with the intention of being conspicuously particular, rather than deriving from familiar roots).

Speaking of which, "root" is another word that shares the "oo" sound.

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JamesM

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"It's not significant"

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JamesM

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When I was at school there was a nearby bowling alley that had a Virtual-On machine. The dual joystick thing was very cool, so I played it a few times, though I didn't really understand much of what was going on. After trying a few characters I decided Temjin was probably my best bet because he operated at a speed I could manage and he had a cool sword. There was another kid, Abraham, who was really into it (he was kind of the anime guy). He favoured Fei-Yen, with whom he seemed pretty much unbeatable. At some point a few of us arranged a tournament. Somehow Abraham lost his first game, putting him in the losers' bracket. I went on to win the tournament in this game that I barely understood, which is definitely because I didn't have to face off against Abraham, who was the only one who did understand it. After that, a couple of slightly older kids not from our school who always seemed to be on the arcade machines came over and one of them played me and I beat him to by being incredibly boring and just dash-strafing around him in a big circle, because I was too nervous to try anything else. I felt pretty pleased with myself, regardless. It was an all-around surprising turn of events.

@hassun:Oh man that was the weirdest thing ever. I remember sitting there and wondering what the F is going on, and when will it be over?

Maximum Tekken. Candy made by white men. Giant Robot.

Who hired this guy?!

That guy was Doseone. What he actually said was "Maximum Temkin", which I guess is a sort of pun on Max Temkin's name. Max Temkin hired him to do the music for Samurai Gunn, a game he published. The song he performed is from that soundtrack. He's done a whole bunch of stuff and is pretty cool. I listened to a bunch of his old group Clouddead at university.

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JamesM

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Edited By JamesM

I should clarify: when I said "bitterly disappointed" I was exaggerating for dramatic effect. I don't really mind. I've just been telling my friends what an important INTERNET INFLUENCER I am, is all.

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I was bitterly disappointed to see what I always believed to be the result of my suggestion ("A bit where you have to go left") attributed to someone else (@jeremyspittle). As it turns out, no fewer than ten people suggested some variation on the same idea (see spoiler block), and I was the last. I guess it wasn't a particularly original thought after all.

@CairnsyTheBeard9m1slets have some verticality in the level design. Make the level double back on itself instead of just left to right.
@slpls13m56smake an upper level that forces you to go left
@Capshot14m4sHave an extended sequence moving to the left.
@CByrne14m22sgo left
@alexthebehemoth14m26sTake it left with some rising and lowering platforms towards the first pipe
@gravytrain14m47srequire the player to go back to the left after they go up here, then back down and around (if you can create a small airship up in the air)
@GooseMunch15m1sMake it so that you have to head back left
@JeremySpittle16m45sMIX IT UP, make the player go left
@endoworks16m47sSplit the level and go left in the air
@JamesM21m3sA bit where you have to go left.