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Comment: Re:Easy answers (Score 1) 277

by Dutch Gun (#46830813) Attached to: 'The Door Problem' of Game Design

In real life, there are plenty of doors for which you will never find the key lying around. More importantly there, are millions (billions?) of doors that are of no interest to you, ever. In a video game, it would be very difficult to set up a series of long term societal detriments for going around trying to open every door, or to easily express to the player why the character they're playing has no interest in one door vs. another, or why what's behind most doors is not of interest to the gameplay or the plot of the game. But it'd also be extremely strange to walk down a city street environment and have there be no doors into any of the surrounding buildings. So we put up false doors as window dressing so the environment looks familiar, but then we build a visual metaphor that lets players see at a glance which doors are unimportant so they don't bother to try them. This can be by leaving them as a flat texture instead of modeled, making openable doors a different color or have specific lighting or highlights, making openable doors have handles and unopenable ones not have handles, or as the article suggests, putting rubble or something (depending on the context of the game) in front of unopenable doors. You can even make unopenable doors make a specific sound effect when approached, such as the sound of a handle jiggling on a locked door, or the sound of the character specifically saying "It won't open," etc. (although only communicating it once the door is approached can be tedious for the player).

You're exactly right. Game developers can either spend a nightmarish amount of time trying to solve the locked door "problem", or they could make it a static prop that plays a "jiggle the doorknob, but it's locked" sound effect and then put that saved time and effort into the actual gameplay and mechanics. People sometimes forget that game developers have to pick and choose their battles, and any time spent on non-gameplay fluff should never detract from rock-solid core game mechanics.

Comment: Re:Article is empty (Score 1) 277

by Dutch Gun (#46830761) Attached to: 'The Door Problem' of Game Design

Bring an axe to work.

You may not keep your day job for long, but you can wreck the hell out of some doors and go out in a blaze of glory.

Someone actually did that next door to where I work a few years ago. It was quite a sight to arrive at work in the morning only to see the office park swarming with police. I had accidentally allowed my car tabs to expire and hadn't renewed them yet, and all I could think of was "please don't look at my license plate... please don't look at my license plate..." as officers with their guns unholstered shoo'ed us away from the area. It was an interesting morning.

Comment: Re:Eye candy (Score 1) 78

by Dutch Gun (#46830729) Attached to: BioWare Announces <em>Dragon Age Inquisition</em> For October 7th

as carefully balanced ... as Skyrim

That's not really a very high bar right there. Invest a little bit in stealth, archery, alchemy, or blacksmithing, and you can easily break the game.

Is it close enough to bug free that immersion isn't lost?

Actually, are you sure you played the same Skyrim as everybody else?

I tend to give Skyrim a pass on some of those balance issues because there's about a million ways to play the game, so it's likely that someone will find a golden path or two. I don't recall the game being quite as easy to break as you make it out to be, but then, I didn't actively seek out those methods, and just had myself a few hundred hours of fun. In a sandbox type game, if you really want to ruin your own fun by breaking the game with obscure tricks and mechanics, it's on your head. I was much more disappointed in Oblivion, where you could literally break the game mechanics simply by not leveling up, and with it's retarded scaling mechanics which sort of slapped you in the face. I'm a tad less forgiving about the sheer number of bugs in the game, but again, the game is so damn ambitious, it's hard not to be a bit lenient there as well. They certainly deserved to be called out for releasing a flat-out broken PS3 port, though.

Regarding Bioware... After the lame ME3 ending, the disappointments of the Dragon Age franchise, and the simple fact that they're beholden to EA... Honestly, I just don't have a lot of hope that they'll be able to bounce back. It's too bad, but the probably outcome is a slow spiral into mediocrity, and then eventual dissolution of the company itself after the cream of the company has already fled to more promising jobs (the founders have already fled). That's been such a continual pattern by companies EA has acquired over the years, it's a wonder to me that people still believe it won't happen to the next company they swallow up.

Comment: Boycotting this on principal. (Score 4, Informative) 115

by VortexCortex (#46830625) Attached to: Band Releases Album As Linux Kernel Module

The last time someone's music got into my kernel it was Sony with a rootkit. At least these folks are open about nabbing root.

They really screwed the pooch on this deal. Since their name is 'netcat', I'm waiting for the song to be released via telnet server as ANSI music. That way I can netcat the netcat album with my cross platform old school Codepage 437 + PC speaker enabled terminal emulator from GNU, Linux, BSD, OSX, iOS, Android, Windows, MSDOS or even DR-DOS. Maybe I'd buy in if the cover art was a sick scroller.

In all seriousness: Any FLOSS publicity is good publicity. Windows or Mac folks can run Linux in a VM to try out the audio; It's not my cup of tea, but sort of neat.

Comment: Re:Apple...Free (Score 1) 188

by Guy Harris (#46830571) Attached to: You Can Now Run Beta Versions of OS X&mdash;For Free

Unless there's a surfing spot at Yosmite that I'm not aware of, I doubt it.

Who at Apple said that the new naming convention is "California surfing sites" rather than "California locations"? We only have one data point so far, and that's insufficient to conclude that the locations will all be surfing sites (or named after dogs or located in San Mateo or Santa Clara county or...).

Comment: Re:Apples and oranges (Score 1) 100

by Guy Harris (#46830287) Attached to: OpenSSL: the New Face of Technology Monoculture

With open-source software, a monoculture isn't that bad a thing, as the Heartbleed exploit has shown. When something bad is discovered, people jump on it immediately and come up with a fix, which is deployed very very quickly (and free of charge, I might add). How fast was a fix available for Heartbleed? Further, people will go to greater lengths to make sure it doesn't happen again. Look at the recent efforts to rewrite OpenSSL, and the fork that was created from it.

"It" in "it doesn't happen again" being "a monoculture"? If you have a monoculture, a fork destroys it unless a new monoculture forms from the fork (i.e., if the forked-from project loses most of its market share).

Comment: Re:Not really true (Score 4, Insightful) 93

by SuperKendall (#46829447) Attached to: WhatsApp Is Well On Its Way To A Billion Users

I simply don't trust a company that farms out their userbase's private information for monetary gain,

But the point is they have not done that with either of those two companies (at least not any more than those companies were already doing).

Your mistake is in treating all subsets of a company equally based on what one part is doing. If you want to see change, reward what a company does that you like, do not instead curse them forever for the mistake of one part. Otherwise you will never see change because there is no motivation nor visibility to what people want more.

Comment: Not really true (Score 3, Interesting) 93

by SuperKendall (#46829301) Attached to: WhatsApp Is Well On Its Way To A Billion Users

This is going against what almost everyone here predicted would happen with both services: That no one wanted Facebook in their lives...

I think that statement is accurate.

What did not happen was those apps becoming Facebook. If you didn't know Facebook owned them, you might not guess it otherwise... Facebook has only been used to steer users to those apps, not to change what they do.

The same will happen for Oculus.

Comment: Other devices used to do that (Score 1) 132

I'm completely spit-balling here, but what if each component needing drivers brought their own?

Yes, just like each computer peripheral you bought used to come with a CD - that you had to toss and download an updated version of because your OS had changed since the CD was made... which would remain true of the OS vis-a-vis whatever driver shipped on the physical node.

So it would be no different, you'd be constantly managing drivers.

Comment: Re:Gorilla Glass is pretty strong (Score 1) 190

by SuperKendall (#46825013) Attached to: How Apple's Billion Dollar Sapphire Bet Will Pay Off

Like I said, I've not had a phone scratched in any way for the last few iPhone models - I keep it in an pocket with keys and sometimes other things, and never use a screen protector. I'm sure sapphire is even more durable, but Gorilla Glass is already quite impressive as far as scratch resistance.

You're right that screens cracking is a real issue, but possibly they have figured out how to treat the sapphire so it's even better in that regard. It may also feel better though that's totally speculation.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson