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Comment Re:Can they really re-capture it? (Score 1) 39

8 bit? ain't nothing 8 bit about it.


(from the linked page) >> The original River City Ransom was an instant hit when it debuted on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990, and Underground promises to pick up directly where it left off, complete with a banging chiptune soundtrack, beautifully rendered 8-bit sprites and frantic button bashing action as you plugh through River Cityâ(TM)s different street gangs with little more than your fists.

You were saying?

Also, the "MMORPGs" you refer to are often rendered in Flash. Yes, I've played some of those dubiously labeled "RPGs" and "Games".

In those cases, what is clearest about those "games" is that the programmers are pushed to their limits in coding a side-scrolling platformer taken straight from a tutorial. And, also, so is Flash for that matter (pushed to its limit). Those games are the way they are purely because of two things: skill and deployment.

Comment Re:Help a poor, ignorant American out. "-san"? (Score 2) 39

"san" just shows familiarity and endearment. Sometimes it's used ironically, or sometimes just to be familiar without the endearment attached.

Kishimoto is the guy's personal name, and Yoshihisa is the guy's family name.

The Japanese animation style is up for opinion. In my opinion it's meant to be drawn quickly and with a high level of conformity. This way you get similar quality across numerous hours of animation, with not much effort. "Cel shading" is used to give the most effect of depth and light with the least amount of effort and the smallest possibly palette of inks.

Also, again on the style, often Japanese animators like to include elements of "manga" comic drawing into their animated forms. "Manga" was designed around imparting the greatest sense of action, space (depth) and emotion possible using the least number of drawings and frames. Animators will sometimes use manga techniques just for a "roots" appeal, or sometimes because it would be more quick and effective to use a cartoonish looking manga image even in the middle of a "realist" animated sequence. This isn't always done just to save time drawing or to save ink -- typically it's done to maintain a speedy pace of the narrative, or to lend a character a diminutive cast by suddenly drawing them as a comic throwback in the midst of characters who are maintaining themselves better (and drawn in a cel-shaded, realist setting).

The resulting aesthetic has come to be loved and enjoyed by people around the world.

What techniques would you prefer they use? Do you prefer all of your animations rotoscoped or something?

Comment Can they really re-capture it? (Score 5, Informative) 39

Part of the appeal of River City Ransom is just how much content -- quality content, much of it -- they packed into this little side-scrolling beat-em-up.

There are even weird hidden wonders like, if the enemy throws a baseball at your head but you deflect it with a stick, IT'S ON -- Stickball time, and you and the enemies get into formation and play a damn game of stickball.

And, it's a beat-em-up with role playing elements like items, skills, and stats. There are some other games like that for the same system (Little Ninja Brothers for example, with its Kung Fu Heroes style battle screens) but this game is modern and admittedly slick.

So, consider how powerful that was back in the 8-bit days, and consider how that still resonates as a "good game" today.

How in the hell do you capture that, again? You might say "well they are taking a good step in the right direction by retro-styling it as 8-bit", but is that all it is?

Think of it dynamically: there is potentially so much *more* that could be done with the game, today. This is the same problem all devs face when they're planning a franchise reboot from the 8-bit days to the modern, post-3d-playforming days. The devs have to ask "how much space of the new world of gaming should this game occupy".

I'm not saying that making RCR into a cartoonish Grand Theft Auto is going to somehow improve it, either. I'm saying that the envelope has changed.

The original game was explosive because it packed all of that game into that tiny 8-bit envelope, when there was nothing else to work with. Now, there's tons of other stuff to work with. You can still pack just as much game into just as small of a bit width, but the envelope is so much bigger, now, there's not going to be as much explosive force.

It's the big let down of retro-styled gaming. It seems like such an awesome idea to make more 8-bit games, as if the legacy didn't leave enough of them behind, but then you sit down and play it and your thumbs go "blah".

You're asking your thumbs to go back and enjoy tomato soup like they did back in the days when there was only tomato soup, only now they're more accustomed to gazpacho, borscht, and bloody marys.

Comment Re:Get out of jail free card (Score 1) 51

Well, the way I read it, the problem wasn't that he choked storage with copies of the virus but that he screwed up in thinking that the phone system could handle all of these copies of the virus trying to make calls at once. He didn't realize the phone system was mechanical, for some reason, and couldn't handle a number of calls from a geometrically huge number of sources, all at once. Which is how the virus first got noticed. If I read the articles on the worm correctly.

But his mistake, in my opinion, wasn't writing the virus. I have to say and admit publicly, that I don't think RTM was ethically wrong in creating that hookworm and letting it free. See, he had already gone to people -- people in positions of authority -- who should have been more interested in what he was saying. And they failed to take much interest, and he was marginalized because of his efforts to do the right thing.

In the long run, we can measure the economic loss to the RTM worm in scant thousands of dollars in immediate cost. Projected costs, if we take into consideration that perhaps not being able to connect over the phone system to somebody in Massachusetts caused some broker to fuck up a $10,000,000 deal, we could add $10mil to it, but realistically it wasn't a huge fucking deal. Even calling it a m|stake begs qualification of the term, for the sake of clarifying the direction of the vector his mistake was scalar to.

Comment The Shockwave Rider (Score 1) 51

I read a great article on RTM called "Shockwave Rider" or something like that. It was called that because RTM Sr. used the book "Shockwave Rider" to explain to his son how what he did was right in a certain way of looking at it, but wrong in every other way of looking at it. Can't remember what magazine the article was in. It was a good article to read back in the early 90's.

We still have a lot of mechanical devices hooked up to the internet, today. Some might say more every day. I say "mechanical devices" in reference to phones, because the exchange hubs used rotating disks (implementing their own optimized form of binary counting) to connect calls.

Considering we've had one major blackout in the United States due to a power station being online to the internet and left vulnerable, I'd say this is a very relevant topic today.

When I was taking a college course on transformers, the instructor used to come to class bragging about the work he did (his other job) for Siemens, designing and building transformers. He was a real egotist. He'd not only brag to students, but he wasn't very in touch with theory either, as I found out. Coming from electronics 101, you tend to want to ask some questions about electronics theory to your other instructors, stuff that they should by all means be well acquainted with. Well, this guy didn't know. So he'd get pissed, and when he got pissed, he would literally say, "oh yeah, well can you do this" and start writing out schematics for transformers according to code on the blackboard, and then take a calculator and figure out how many turns of what gauge wire was needed to fit the demand according to code. Yaba yaba yaba. A very insecure individual. So I not only wasn't surprised when I read in the newspaper that semester that Siemens transformers that had some kind of internet-capable component were found 100% irreversibly vulnerable to attack over the internet through a backdoor that presumably some disgruntled, insecure "mage" installed before leaving the company -- I also wasn't very surprised at all when that jackass had jack shit to say when I mentioned the story to him except stare at his shoes awhile and get on with the next lesson in rotating transformers (to use the Tesla coined phrase, which that instructor hated so damn much whenever I said it.)

Anyways, it's always going to be relevant. That hookworm was elegant and though not thoroughly thought through, it did show the potential for electronic disaster in the form of less than a handful of barely discernible on's and off's.

Comment Re:We're not all farmers. And even if we were, wtf (Score 1) 545

>> I've never met one person, my whole entire life, who felt that Daylight Savings Time should be maintained. Especially while I've lived in Michigan...

I should have corrected that to, "and the sentiment against DST is Especially strong in Michigan", because I was already speaking in an absolute term. I have never met anybody who supported DST and thought it was a meritable exercise, but I have met people who "never really thought about it". In Michigan, I've met very, very few people who don't have some strong opinions about Daylight Savings Time and how it needs to be put where the sun doesn't shine.

Comment We're not all farmers. And even if we were, wtf? (Score 1) 545

I always hear about how DST was about "giving farmers more daylight to get their farming done to keep America's breadbasket full".

That's so stupid. I've lived and worked on a farm. You tend to get up early enough that it's dark out any way. You tend to go to bed when the work is done whether it's still light out or not. We have electricity and light, these days. For the most part, work gets done early and you tend to go to bed while it's still partially light out, either out of exhaustion or because there's nothing to do and you'd like to be well rested for the morning. The clock often doesn't get switched to daylight saving's time until a day or two later when somebody gets back from town and remembers to mention the clocks are all different. Everybody's too busy to sit down and fiddle with their clocks. Daylight savings, whether forward or back, is immediately met with ridicule and complaint.

I've read about some really rustic farmers who still get up at "the crack of dawn", sandwiching wake-up somewhere between the rooster's call (which can be at 3am, you never know) and the beginning of sunrise, as long as a look out the window shows some light. I don't think they give a rat's ass about daylight savings time, either.

And if you aren't a farmer, how much does one hour of daylight savings save you? Save you in terms of what? Save you from a boring life where time is reliable and routine is, well, routine? I've never met one person, my whole entire life, who felt that Daylight Savings Time should be maintained. Especially while I've lived in Michigan, where the concept of daylight is sort of a joke. Nobody here in Michigan would care if the beginning and end of the day shifted back and forth, and in my opinion most people would be slightly more intelligent because they would benefit from a direct relationship with the real nature of astronomical time, of light and the effect it has on the seasons due to axial precession. Shifting the frame of reference back and forth robs people of this natural adjustment to their latitude, and attempts to stuff them into a weird and artificial day.

Granted, most people would just get up when they felt well rested and felt like doing things, and would just go out and hunt and gather, if left entirely to themselves. But, we work according to a clock. But shifting the clock back and forth under command does, as I pointed out, rob a person of the ability to experience the regular, back and forth shifting of natural light. I think people would find it very worthwhile to get to experience how driving to work at 8am means driving under a different ambient light at different times of year, and that the degree of change is different depending on what latitude they live in. It would be a decent trade-off for living on a clock.

Comment Re:Pearson (Score 1) 663

Why? What's wrong with trick questions?

It's public education we're talking about, so in all likelihood these children will also attend public (community) colleges as well.

This sort of testing will prepare them for the overpaid egotists who didn't make "professor" grade, and who take it out on students by giving them trick questions for simplistic subjects like intro cultural anthropology or intro electronics, or transformers and rotating machines, etc.

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