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Games

Balancing Choice With Irreversible Consequences In Games 352

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-takebacks dept.
The Moving Pixels blog has an article about the delicate balance within video games between giving players meaningful choices and consequences that cannot necessarily be changed if the player doesn't like her choice afterward. Quoting: "One of my more visceral experiences in gaming came recently while playing Mass Effect 2, in which a series of events led me to believe that I'd just indirectly murdered most of my crew. When the cutscenes ended, I was rocking in my chair, eyes wide, heart pounding, and as control was given over to me once more, I did the only thing that I thought was reasonable to do: I reset the game. This, of course, only led to the revelation that the event was preordained and the inference that (by BioWare's logic) a high degree of magical charisma and blue-colored decision making meant that I could get everything back to normal. ... Charitably, I could say BioWare at least did a good job of conditioning my expectations in such a way that the game could garner this response, but the fact remains: when confronted with a consequence that I couldn't handle, my immediate player's response was to stop and get a do-over. Inevitability was only something that I could accept once it was directly shown to me."

Comment: Re: Hardware is a key factor (Score 1) 765

by T0wner (#34843486) Attached to: Google To Drop Support For H.264 In Chrome

Yeah I agree with you it's how patent trolls do business, and from recent high profile cases, very successfully.

But you're assuming VP8 will be found to be infringing. I'm not saying it won't for that matter. There's about 100 comments on that topic between a lot of nerds, fan boys whoever. Frankly I am not sure any of them have any idea whatsoever, whether they are or aren't infringing. I certainly don't as I am not a U.S patent lawyer which specialises in algorithms. I doubt you are qualified either really :)

All I said was this move pushes us closer to fireworks. Place your bets gentlemen, place your bets.

Comment: Re: Hardware is a key factor (Score 1) 765

by T0wner (#34843248) Attached to: Google To Drop Support For H.264 In Chrome
The question you need to ask yourself, other than a widely read analysis made by a h.264 encoder developer and the MPEG-LA vaguely announcing they were compiling a patent pool for VP8. Is there any convincing review or proof that WebM is infringing existing patents? The fact is, it hasn't been tested in court by actual patent lawyers, as no case has been filed. Google are betting they are right, MPEG LA think they are. Everyone else is sitting on the fence and supporting both.

Comment: Re: Hardware is a key factor (Score 1) 765

by T0wner (#34843128) Attached to: Google To Drop Support For H.264 In Chrome

The growth is with mobile devices. The leaders among them is Apple with iOS, and Google with Android, both of which come with hardware support for H.264, and no WebM hardware support (future support in... theory, but I can say, count Apple out).

This is a good point but check out what those WebM guys are also heavily pushing http://blog.webmproject.org/2011/01/availability-of-webm-vp8-video-hardware.html. Yes VP8 is rapidly catching up h.264 when it comes to hardware support on mobile devices. Fullscreen 1080p VP8 decoding on several chips due to go into Android devices. This is just another shot across the bows however. What everyone is really waiting for are the major online video content providers to flip to WebM when it is supported by enough devices. With youtube being the biggest of them all making loud steps in that direction, it seems only a matter of time before they aim the guns at the main sail. Then we get fireworks :)

Comment: Re:Linux (Score 5, Insightful) 74

by T0wner (#27049371) Attached to: New <em>EVE</em> Expansion Nears, Possible Mobile Plans
There was no 'linux team', it was outsourced to Transgaming and just branded as official. But the reality was Transgaming did a crap job of it.

When the last expansion was released it introduced a brand new graphics engine. The Transgaming client (Cedega) didn't support it and neither did Wine at first. However within a few weeks Wine got it running whereas Transgaming dragged their heels.

For anyone who hasn't followed the Transgaming story, they forked Wine a long time ago and then went closed source. They developed quite a lot of good directx (shader 1.x/2.x/3.x) code but they have never submitted it back to the Wine project. Wine basically restrict them from using any of their code since Transgaming decided to screw them. The end result is Transgaming's Cedega code base is horrifically out of date in places compared to the Wine code base.

In my opinion they should try and fix those bridges and merge the code. Transgaming still has a decent corporate structure to approach companies like CCP, as well as their successful MacOS range. The Wine developers aren't interested in that, only further improving Wine. Transgaming simply haven't got the balance right.
The Internet

+ - Canadian DMCA Won't Include Consumer Rights 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "As protests mount over the Canadian DMCA, law professor Michael Geist is now reporting that the government plans to delay addressing fair use and consumer copyright concerns such as the blank media tax for years. While the U.S. copyright lobby get their DMCA, consumers will get a panel to eventually consider possible changes to the law. Many Canadians are responding today with a mass phone-in to Industry Minister Jim Prentice to protest the policy plans."
Announcements

+ - More Allegations of Developer Misconduct in EVE

Submitted by umilmi81
umilmi81 (666) writes "The EVE Online player based alliance GoonSwarm has published an open letter, including screen shots, accusing CCP employees of joining a member corporation, giving himself director level permissions, and then leaving the corporation.

In-game petitions sent to CCP about the incident were subsequently deleted. A forum moderator acknowledged the accusations, and has directed the matter to internal affairs.

CCP created an internal affairs department after admitting developer misconduct on previous occasions."

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