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Submission + - Gamers Are Fans of Games, Not Genres

_xeno_ writes: A recent article on Steam Spy talks about how your target audience doesn't exist — or, more specifically, how there is no such thing as an "FPS gamer" or an "MMO gamer" or a "MOBA gamer." The majority of players tend to be fans of specific games, rather than genres. For example, the wildly popular MMO World of Warcraft managed to reach over 10 million players at its peak. However, these players never became "MMO gamers" — they were simply World of Warcraft gamers. As World of Warcraft's subscriber numbers fall, there's been no corresponding uptick in subscribers of other, competing MMOs. In fact, pretty much ever MMO released since World of Warcraft has been forced to move to a "free-to-play" model simply to survive. The article explains how the majority of gamers concentrate on a very small number of games, rarely trying new games: they're fans of a specific game, not any game that plays like it.

Comment Re:It's all about the routes, dummy (Score 2) 654

I just want to kind of chime in and agree. I do take public transportation into and out of the city near where I live, but when I do, it's because parking would be ridiculous and I hate driving in the city. But even then, I frequently end up driving anyway, and it's because getting from where I live to just about anywhere is generally timed in hours when taking public transportation and minutes when driving. A trip that might take 20 minutes by car can easily take two hours by public transportation.

It helps that the public transportation schedules here are complete jokes. That 10:30 bus might arrive at 10:35. Or 10:40. Or maybe 10:45. Or possibly 10:28. But the one time you can guarantee it won't be arriving is 10:30.

All this adds up to it generally being easier (but almost never cheaper) to just drive and say "screw it" to public transportation. Even if you end up paying more in parking and gas than you would have in bus/subway fare, it's generally worth it for avoiding the hassle and saving at least a couple of hours in time.

Comment Re:DirectX for Macs? Replacing OpenGL? (Score 1) 94

But that's the thing - the game in question uses a custom in-house graphics engine written to support the PC, PS3, and PS4. They're already maintaining three separate rendering back-ends, including one that's intended to target a console that's nearly a decade old.

I find it really, really hard to believe that they can't get a game that's designed to be playable on the PS3 to run on modern Mac hardware.

Comment Re:DirectX 11 for Mac (Score 1) 94

No, he meant Metal when he said "and the replacement of OpenGL with a new graphics API in Appleâ(TM)s next OS." When he refers to "DirectX11 for Mac" the best guess would be he's talking about Transgaming Cider supporting DirectX 11, but that's not what he said, so who knows how that sentence is supposed to be parsed. (Plus, Cider already supports DirectX 11.)

It doesn't help that it's presumably been translated from Japanese.

Comment Re:I wouldn't blame the coders (Score 2) 94

If that's not management rotten to the core, what is ?

Final Fantasy XIV is kind of the poster child for bad management at Square Enix, to the point where they actually fired the original management team. This new fiasco is from the team hired to replace the original team.

Any company relying on Microsoft technology to achieve cross-platform deserves a spectacular failure anyway.

Which makes no sense, because they've already ported the graphics engine twice! The game also supports the PS3 and the PS4. If they can deal with three different graphics engines, you'd think adding a fourth would be no big deal.

Submission + - Square Enix Pulls, Apologizes For Mac Version of FFXIV

_xeno_ writes: Just over a week after Warner Bros. pulled the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight due to bugs, Square Enix is now being forced to do the same thing with the Mac OS X version of Final Fantasy XIV (which was released at the same time as Batman: Arkham Knight). The rather long note explaining the decision apologizes for releasing the port before it was ready and blames OS X and OpenGL for the performance discrepancy between the game's performance on identical Mac hardware running Windows. It's unclear when (or even if) Square Enix will resume selling an OS X version — the note indicates that the development team is hopeful that "[w]ith the adoption of DirectX11 for Mac, and the replacement of OpenGL with a new graphics API in Apple’s next OS, the fundamental gap in current performance issues may soon be eliminated." (I'm not sure what "the adoption of DirectX11 for Mac" refers to. OS X gaining DirectX 11 support is news to me — and, I suspect, Microsoft.) Given that the game supports the aging PS3 console, you'd think the developers would be able to find a way to get the same graphics as the PS3 version on more powerful Mac OS X hardware.

Submission + - Recycling is Dying 1

HughPickens.com writes: Aaron C. Davis writes in the Washington Post that recycling, once a profitable business for cities and private employers alike, has become a money-sucking enterprise. Almost every recycling facility in the country is running in the red and recyclers say that more than 2,000 municipalities are paying to dispose of their recyclables instead of the other way around. “If people feel that recycling is important — and I think they do, increasingly — then we are talking about a nationwide crisis,” says David Steiner, chief executive of Waste Management, the nation’s largest recycler.

The problem with recylcing is that a storm of falling oil prices, a strong dollar and a weakened economy in China have sent prices for American recyclables plummeting worldwide. Trying to encourage conservation, progressive lawmakers and environmentalists have made matters worse. By pushing to increase recycling rates with bigger and bigger bins — while demanding almost no sorting by consumers — the recycling stream has become increasingly polluted and less valuable, imperiling the economics of the whole system. “We kind of got everyone thinking that recycling was free,” says Bill Moore. “It’s never really been free, and in fact, it’s getting more expensive.”

One big problem is that China doesn't want to buy our garbage anymore. In the past China had sent so many consumer goods to the United States that all the shipping containers were coming back empty. So US companies began stuffing the return-trip containers with recycled cardboard boxes, waste paper and other scrap. China could, in turn, harvest the raw materials. Everyone won. But China has launched "Operation Green Fence" — a policy to prohibit the import of unwashed post-consumer plastics and other "contaminated" waste shipments. In China, containerboard, a common packaging product from recycled American paper, is trading at just over $400 a metric ton, down from nearly $1,000 in 2010. China also needs less recycled newsprint; the last paper mill in Shanghai closed this year. "If the materials we are exporting are so contaminated that they are being rejected by those we sell to," says Valerie Androutsopoulos, "maybe it’s time to take another look at dual stream recycling."

Submission + - E3 2015: A Lot of Nostalgia for Old Games

_xeno_ writes: E3 2015 saw a lot of game companies banking on nostalgia, but much less hype for new games. While the biggest thing coming out of Microsoft's press conference was undoubtedly the Hololens, the biggest buzz from E3 was probably Sony's announcement of Square Enix's announcement of a remake of a two decade old game (Final Fantasy VII), seconded by the announcement of a sequel to a fifteen year old game (Shenmue). Nintendo announced mostly new sequels as well. Ultimately, though, it isn't surprising that the biggest buzz is around old games. Old games are a known quantity, while truly new games are — well, new. Who knows if they're going to be the next classic or not?

Comment Re:Minesweeper (Score 2) 76

Seriously, no joke. The Win10 version of games are horribly resource hungry for fuck knows what reason.

They are in Windows 8.1 as well. I tried playing Microsoft Sudoku on my Surface Pro 3, but - no joke - it forced the fan on and reduced the battery life to the point where I just gave up playing it.

I'm not sure how Microsoft fucked up their Metro - er, "universal" - versions of their games, but they did.

Comment Blame Maven (Score 4, Insightful) 130

This is a problem that Maven has created, mostly.

What the summary doesn't mention is that "large repository of open source software" is a Maven repository. Maven allows you to specify dependencies for your Java project.

The problem is that you have to specify a specific version of whatever you use. So let's say you use OpenFoo 1.1 and that at the time you write your code, the latest version of OpenFoo is 1.1.3.

Now assume a horrible vulnerability is discovered in OpenFoo 1.1.3, so they release OpenFoo 1.1.4 to fix it. Well, your Maven POM says you require OpenFoo 1.1.3, so until you go in and manually change that, you will only ever use 1.1.3. There is - by design - no way to say "I want the latest 1.1 version." You can only describe a single, specific version.

So it's no surprise that Sonatype will see a ton of old Maven projects continuing to download outdated Maven artifacts. There's no way to say "I want the latest version of a specific branch" you can only specify a single version. Which means that a project that hasn't changed in years will still pull in the old versions of the libraries, even if it would work with the later versions.

Comment Re: Fallout, Dishonored yes/DOOM meh (Score 2) 113

Define "mod-friendly." My guess is "not very" but there's this:

The most interesting wrinkle? âoeDoom Snapmap,â an in-game level editor designed, says Bethesda, to let any player craft complex maps or fiddle with the game rules on the fly. When youâ(TM)re ready, you just push a button to play, or share your creation with anyone in the world.

The reason I say "not very" is that presumably that's intended to satisfy modders due to an otherwise complete lack of modability.

Of course, that may be designed to bring something like mods to consoles in a way that Microsoft and Sony will allow, so who knows.

Comment Re:Apple Developer Program now all inclusive (Score 1) 415

Then that's new since they originally moved it to the App Store, because I remember having to enter a credit card number to be allowed to download the "free" download. I don't remember whether or not the Apple Account I created was for that or not (pretty sure I needed it earlier solely to get access to Apple's Developer Program through my employer), but I do remember being forced to enter a credit card number despite Xcode being free.

Comment Re:Can I even stream? (Score 1) 181

Odd, that's what the Comcast rep told me that last time I looked into getting faster Internet. Are you telling me that Comcast lied directly to me? Because as far as I can tell through their website, it's true, the only way I can get the faster tier is to upgrade to "Triple Play," it's just not offered any other way. And in order to use "Triple Play" you have to use their Xfinity box. I specifically asked if I could keep my cable modem and they flat-out told me "no."

Comment Re:Can I even stream? (Score 1) 181

That's all I can get without doing the "Triple Play" bullshit where I'd have to get TV and home phone service too, as well as install their own router and in-home wifi Xfinity thing.

So, yes, it's effectively all they'd offer me. Getting a faster speed would require me to rent a cable modem from them despite the fact I already own a DOCSIS 3 capable modem and have a working wifi router.

Comment Can I even stream? (Score 2) 181

No, of course I can't watch it, I don't own an 8K TV or let alone a 4K TV.

But what I'm more curious is: can I even stream it? Because I'm stuck with Comcast, so I'm limited to something like 20Mbps download speed. ("Something like" because that's the maximum, not the guaranteed, which is 0Mbps. Yay monopolies!) 4K video on YouTube apparently requires more than that!

So forget watching it, I can't even stream it in real time.

And I live in an area where there "is" competition. I could also get the same 20Mbps speed from RCN, plus Verizon offers FiOS in the area! But not to me, despite it literally running down the street I live on.

What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expect generally happens. -- Bengamin Disraeli

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