Given that Xbox Live launched over 18 years ago, I almost certainly have new friend requests on new services [from usernames I still kinda recognise] but have not played a game with for over 15 years (any earlier connections I had on PC services I don't believe ever offered a modern migration/"find friends" feature that would end up on any current services). Ghosts in my friend leaderboards.
This Tweet reminded me of this slightly old blog post about why our model of thinking about shared code repos as sharing a sequence of text characters should really be consigned to the history books.
Over 3 years later & I feel the inertia behind everyone auto-formatting is stronger but few have made the crucial leap to "so every client view can format to their own preferences & repos could even move to storing as parsed ASTs".

The Mass Effect remastering kinda reminded me of the significant lighting & (iconic) colour grading changes made to Deus Ex Human Revolution (fan-fixed in 2020 on PC!) which got me thinking about the subtitle used there. "Director's Cut" for a port/integrating of DLC done, from what I can tell, entirely by an external studio. Maybe the original game's director emailed them a note "people hated the boss battles - plz fix!" ?? Weird name.

The way many UWP games (inherited directly from GfWL?) pop up a "this you?" at every launch rather than tying an Xbox profile to my Windows account (I use an online MS account for Windows so it already knows about the link as it's the same SSO/Live ID) feels so outdated (or a wild global over-reaction to the EU bundling fine). I assume the games that only pop this up once are caching the first returned user then have to add new UI elements for "change Xbox account".

IP addresses were the original Nintendo friend codes. (Put a direct-connect option into your online game because your matchmaking/central servers will fall over during the popularity peak & that doesn't need to be the end of online for a P2P multiplayer game.)

It's interesting to note small differences in the digital game rental process (which services are set up like consoles, where disc checks meant knowing who currently owned a game was impossible & which went a different way).
Xbox, PSN, EA Origin, Ubisoft Connect: After a game rental expires, you can't play it but your profile is otherwise unchanged.
Steam: Hours played & screenshot uploads stay but you no longer have any achievements you unlocked! "There was a failure loading user game stats."

Imagine thinking this is genuinely patentable rather than just another example of how the USPTO cannot competently process applications (due to a lack of funding & in-house expertise to judge claims).
Also this just sounds like a pretty bad way of quantifying the process (based on time spent - not a metric where players all want the same experience because this is not a movie where everyone has to sit for exactly the same time to see it unfold). AI vs speedrun strats!

These persistent rumours [& some confirmed products] of brand new production of TSMC ~16nm GPUs, because they'll take whatever production they can get to overcome the shortages, amazes me. Didn't expect things would get bad enough to make 16nm (12nm FFN refinement of that process - a line you'd think had been totally dismantled by a fab company not expecting to ever get more orders; unless Nintendo Switch is currently on it) a viable high power chip when cutting edge is 5nm (7nm at GPU size).

In previous VR kits I had to wear my rectangular-lensed glasses (because they're closer to fitting into my eye socket - my lashes sweep the glass) but I've just realised that the Valve Index can somehow be set to the same closeness with my round-lensed glasses, which cover (and so sharpen) more of the vertical FoV of the VR lens.
I now use rectangular glasses for 16:9 "rectangular gaming" & round glasses for wide-FoV VR "round gaming"! 😊

Unreal Engine's license (5% gross revenue over $1m) continues to seem like it gets even better value (I wonder how existing Oodle licensees feel about this & PS5 exclusives also having a blanket license for the tech).

Just caught the latest Digital Foundry video on Doom 3 PSVR & it's exactly the same as they note there. Every character, due to a scale issue, feels like you could reach out & squish their heads with your hand.
The cockpits have the same problem. Even when centred correctly, moving your head slightly can clip through the canopy because you're sat in a virtual space that's significantly smaller than it probably should be. No wonder there's no hand controller support, it would look ridiculous!

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Sat down, playing SW: Squadrons, and finding it very hard to get over the 3D briefings (vs big screen 2D cinematic cut scenes) having the floor about the right level but my avatar is standing up. Everybody is about 3'6" tall, including my avatar. The doorways feel about residential door scale yet characters walk through them with masses of headroom. But briefing room itself would be a huge empty void of a space if the "correct" size. None of this feels right.

Well... that has apparently not gone how you would hope. Two new ports to PC that don't fix the issues of the Steam releases, can't be fixed by fan mods due to UWP access restrictions, & even possibly introduce new performance issues for zero visual benefit (that also breaks your existing Steam install if you have both versions)? Hopefully MS are paying for further patches (especially for the game by what is now an internal studio).

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A TAA sharpening slider that goes from 0 = "actual TAA working as intended" to anything beyond about 4/10 = "you paid the rendering cost for TAA but you absolutely don't get to enjoy edges free of major aliasing". Who is using the upper 2/3rds of this scale? Shouldn't those options be hidden behind manually editing an ini file to unlock? The default setting (about 2/10) is quite telling.
[download PNGs to see through the jpeg mess of the online previewer]

Watching major streamers being constantly pestered by a big "disconnected" message interrupting their completely solo game experience (total pause of play waiting to reconnect) really makes me wonder how much anti-advertising some games manage to do. If you have online connectivity (many streamers will run default so this applies even if you also have an opt-in offline mode) then you absolutely must make it async & gracefully handle connection interruptions.

Now Ghost Games are a support studio again & NfS is demoted to 2nd tier at EA, time to replay:
Rivals: 2013 was long ago; my least favourite era of 3D (AA often broke & PBR not up to potential). 30fps cap really hurts it now.
NfS 2015: Wet city at night looks ok. FMV was intentionally cringe - way too much. Always-online DRM? 🤮
Payback: Many cars fun to drift with arcade handling dialled in. Offline mode! Shame about car upgrade mechanics.
Heat: More events! Better progression! Barely a story ☹!

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Jess Birch boosted

2nd Semifinal of the 3rd Programming Language World Championships! #plwc2021

C convincingly defeated Elixir, Perl and Bash to make it to this round, whereas Rust beat Typescript, Ruby and C++.

Who will make it to the big final?

After taking a 3 month total break from coding (which is normally my career, side-job, & hobby), I'm not sure if this has had the pronounced recharging effect I was looking for. But several workflow annoyances now feel far more trivial & I realise that even when I'm going nowhere near code, I still constantly think of coding experiments I'd like to test (so there is no true escape).

Life is Strange (5 episodes) - $20
Before the Storm (3 eps) - $17
Life is Strange 2 (5 eps) - $40
Life is Strange: True Colors - $60
Square Enix sure seem interested in moving this from an interesting series that more than competes with other narrative games from smaller teams (in a market no longer saturated by Telltale Games releases) into something fighting directly against AAA releases. Not sure that'll work out for them.

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