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Submission + - Fixing Steam's User Rating Charts (

lars_doucet writes: Steam's new search page lets you sort by "user rating," but the algorithm they're using is broken.

For instance, a DLC pack with a single positive review appears above a major game with a 74% score and 15,000+ ratings.

The current "user rating" ranking system seems to divide everything into big semantic buckets ("Overwhelmingly Positive","Positive","Mixed",etc), stack those in order, then sort each bucket's contents by the total number of reviews per game. Given that Steam reviews skew massively positive, ( half are "very positive" or higher), this is virtually indistinguishable from a standard "most popular" chart.

Luckily, there's a known solution to this problem — use statistical sampling to account for disparate numbers of user reviews, which gives "hidden gems" with statistically significant high positive ratings, but less popularity, a fighting chance against games that are already dominating the charts.

More details: Fixing Steam's User Rating Charts

Comment Re:Bullet, meet foot (Score 1) 575

I'll see your anecdote and raise it by my anecdote that Windows 8 runs fucking great on my machine. It's exactly like Windows 7, only better _because_ of improvements like removing the useless start button & replacing the start menu with a superior alternative. Of course they've fucked that up with 8.1, by back pedaling instead of doing the education that they should have in the first place, but it's my anecdote so I'll cherry pick whichever parts I want.

Submission + - Latest Humble Bundle Supports Open Source GameDev Tools (

lars_doucet writes: The latest Humble Weekly Bundle is titled "Celebrating Open Source" features eight indie games, with charity going to the open source tools used to develop them.

The open-source programming language Haxe is strongly represented: three of the charities include the Haxe Foundation itself, OpenFL (recently featured on Slashdot), and FlashDevelop, the most popular open-source Haxe/ActionScript IDE. The fourth is Ren'Py, the Python-based visual novel engine used in award-winning games like Long Live the Queen and Analogue: A Hate Story.

The games themselves are Magical Diary, NEO Scavenger, Offspring Fling!, Planet Stronghold, and for those who pay $6 or more, Anodyne, Defender's Quest, Evoland, and Incredipede, as well as 6 soundtracks.

7 of the 8 games are cross-platform across Mac/Win/Linux, and all are DRM-Free.

Comment Re:Native Targets? (Score 3, Interesting) 166

Since you're a big HaxeFlixel guy, can you point me in the right direction to actually getting a working dev environment going on Windows? I tried a couple of times, but gave up because even the example projects would throw incomprehensible error messages when I test compiled. Only information I've been able to find on the errors was other people having the same problem, but no actual solutions.

Submission + - Flash is Dead, Long Live OpenFL! (

lars_doucet writes: I am a 15-year Flash veteran and nobody hates to say this more than me: Flash is dying, and the killer is Adobe. Where to now? HTML5 doesn't help me with native targets, and Unity is proprietary just like Flash was — "don't worry, we'll be around forever! And so sorry about that neglected bug report — we're busy."

I'm putting my bets on OpenFL, a Haxe-based, fully open-source implementation of the Flash API that might just please both Flash refugees and longtime Flash haters alike.

My article discusses my experiences with it and gives a brief overview for newcomers. In short — I can keep making flash games if I want, but with the same codebase I can also *natively* target Win/Mac/Linux desktops, mobile, and more, without having to mess with Adobe AIR or other virtual machines.

Comment Re:Laughable (Score 1) 260

It's an anomaly that everyone uses email. In the past they'd go to all these different markets to find their communities, but now they just email each other.

Where's my check for writing a stupid article, the Verge?

Comment Re:There can be only one. (Score 1) 260

Being exclusive to schools clearly had two strong effects on its early dominance: ability to build up critical mass within a smaller user pool and increase desirability because of that exclusivity.

However, and this might not so much explain "why Facebook" as it does "why not MySpace," I think the biggest reason Facebook became dominant instead of MySpace is that its user interface wasn't a hideous nightmare and its user pages didn't all look like some wrist-slitting kid's Geocities site gotten eaten by a dog and barfed up.

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.