I'm starting to wonder if revenue figures are hiding an eroding (unit sales) market. About a decade ago (also well into a console cycle), example release day deliveries (from major retailers): Fallout 3 Collector's (lunchbox tin) Edition: £35. Halo: Reach & 2100 "free" MSPs: £38.
Today, top sellers for digital downloads on the front page of PSN: Sekiro: £60 (~$80). BF V Deluxe: £80. The Division 2 (std ed): £60.
Cumulative UK inflation in that time: 25%. Wages have not matched inflation.
There is always a layer of "grass is always greener" going on too. It's natural to gripe about the tools you use rather than the ones you've not. But something about the breathless reveal of which engine a project is using or writing off an entire publisher as "using the wrong engine so their teams obviously can't perform" doesn't feel productive (or true to the complexity of tech decisions).
Something I've noticed happening:
Team releases a game & whispers reach games press about gripes with engine tech.
Press compare the missing features (in a codebase possibly forked several years earlier) with current (or even "coming soon") features in other engines. "Engine X is bad and devs wish they could drop it" starts circulating (which would possibly require rebuilding framework/tooling from scratch again).
If an action game is all about a specific vision of difficulty, I want to hear all about how it ensures that on a gaming monitor with 4ms of display lag vs a TV with 90ms. Otherwise it's multiple reaction time difficulty tiers, they're just not based on the wants or needs of each user.
What about adaptive difficulty? Recording detailed telemetry so the game knows how each user's reaction times clump vs different in-game demands for action. Feedback/reward improved times & timing consistency?
Either Nintendo are channelling actual magic or I'm going to be extremely surprised if Zelda BotW VR isn't extremely poor in several ways. https://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/1113969503459663873
(Is that mock-up footage implying you'll right-stick rotate your head around Link even in VR? Portable mode means it's a 300MHz small Maxwell GPU that has to hit 60fps locked, not the 20-30fps of the base game; 720p LCD was not picked for low persistence; etc)
UK market: 80% of console/PC software revenue is digital (and grew 20% YoY); also corresponds to a -30% YoY drop in pre-owned game revenue (now an absolutely tiny fraction of total economic activity). More details: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-04-02-record-year-for-uk-games-market-as-spending-nears-usd6bn
GameDev depression, anxiety; Kotaku
Reading over some of the off-the-record comments in Kotaku's BioWare piece*, I find myself looping back round to previous conversations and to Clint Hocking's 2015 blog about burnout wiping his autobiographical memory. https://www.clicknothing.com/click_nothing/2015/03/ten-years-down.html
Catching up on things I missed last year: Fugue in Void. Definitely some interesting moments in the hour or so; made me wonder how short you could go (for commercial "experience" titles). Currently on sale on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/883220/Fugue_in_Void/
Critical LP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GjK1s5V0NI
I assume someone is already writing documentation including "top 10 things you're focusing shader resources on that a user won't be able to see clearly the other side of lossy compression".
Visible but subtle optimisations like doing post-processing on low res chroma & full res luma become almost invisible (so definitely more heavily recommended) when feeding it through 4:2:0 chrome sub-sampling. Probably a lot of (more subtle) things to learn if you've not studied video encoding before.
me: *Thinking about all the interesting things we'll do with so much rendering power & the mess some detailed non-photorealistic techniques will make when encoded to YouTube for sharing clips*
Google: "And here's at least 10.7TF of GPU for every player... that we're locking the other side of a low latency video encoder!"
As with the ATVI layoffs, thoughts with the 4% of EA staff (350 people) who got the news today.
Seems like the big publishers are slashing non-art/code jobs despite continuing to make everything a "living game" that requires significant support / community engagement to thrive and return on development investment.
EU Copyright Directive, politics
So have MEPs just passed legislation that mean the sensible move (due to copyright liability) will be for this instance to cease to exist when it turns 3 years old?
Straight majorities seem like they're a bad idea for consensus politics - just 5 votes kept Article 13 so almost half of MEPs know that just because my blog is 3 years old, I shouldn't have to pre-filter comments to ensure copyright isn't violated. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/03/european-copyright-directive-what-it-and-why-has-it-drawn-more-controversy-any
I do a lot of builder pattern stuff and while I'm not planning to stop, this is certainly a post worth thinking over to make sure you're not doing so without considering alternatives. #RustLang #MethodCascading
So I'm just blocking users & redrafting to detach hate/spam replies. Let me know if anyone is seeing terrible stuff @ me (in their federated timeline?) and I'll start reporting it to hopefully get the accounts banned faster.
I guess I'm going to download the current DXR samples & have a play next month so goal achieved there?
When MS abandoned their fallback layer/made it clear it was never intended for end users, I had somewhat placed DXR on a "check again in 2021" shelf. https://www.anandtech.com/show/14100/nvidia-april-driver-to-support-ray-tracing-on-pascal-gpus-dxr-support-in-unity-and-unreal
I had been planning to write this blog post for a while but having read Angelo Pesce's post just yesterday, there was bound to be a bit of contextualisation/reaction to that which slipped in. https://c0de517e.blogspot.com/2019/03/rendering-doesnt-matter-anymore.html
I've been replaying a lot of games from about ten years ago recently. You can definitely see the reaching of "good enough" asset fidelity (even demanding they feed 4K not 720p screens).
Ultimately, I'm inspired by what it says about long lives for what we're making today. https://blog.shivoa.net/2019/03/good-enough-meets-extremely-fast.html
Researcher (program analysis); technical artist turned coder; reader of the Local timeline; very tall queer enby.
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