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  1. matt0

    Is crunch required?

    MASSIVE DISCLAIMER: I have no fucking idea how AAA game development works, this is just idle speculation. I have a feeling that to keep making "bigger" games ( in terms of the environment, the amount of hand crafted content, vocal and motion capture performances etc.) at higher fidelity we're starting to run up against human limits over hardware limits. There's the Ubisoft method of just throwing more and more people at each game, having multiple studios working internationally on the same game. This must raise huge organisational problems, and I think you can see the hiccup in them adopting this approach with the botched release of Assasin's Creed Unity. I don't hear about crunch when it comes to games like Assasin's Creed Origins and Odyssey, but that could just be good PR on Ubisofts part. The Rockstar approach seems to be more angled to make the people you've got work harder, therefore crunch. Although I've got to assume they're increasing the size of their teams too.
  2. I think so. Which could make an X enhanced version interesting.
  3. DF did an amazing video on the PC version of Crysis and how Cryteam intended it to be a showcase for future hardware but failed to anticipate the rise of multicore processors. The game is optimised for theoretical single core processors with massive clock speeds that never saw the light of day...
  4. matt0

    Nintendo 3DS

    The end of Nintendo TV adverts are incredible: "For Nintendo 3DS, play it now on Nintendo 2DS or New Nintendo 2DS! 3D only available on New Nintendo 3DS!" (They're not that actually that bad, but I've no idea how parents who aren't in to games are supposed to make any sense of them)
  5. matt0

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    They key for me with the combat is I could never get everything to go entirely my way - even when you have the tactics down, there was always a point where it felt like I might come off better by targeting some of the heavies or magic users and taking them out quickly at the risk of weakening myself too much. Also, the way your heroes specials all interact (like an attack that causes bleeding per square moved paired with another attack that pushes enemies away), balanced against the fact that I couldn't always manoeuvre myself to take full advantage of those abilities added a lot. The short game length probably helped too, what's there worked for me over 10 hours but wouldn't sustain a Tactics Ogre style 100+ hour epic. With the caravan your survivors are carried over from game to game and apparently it has an effect in the third game that I didn't want to spoil for myself so I'll have to wait and see. I've got to admit it didn't even occur to me to question it, I tried my best to keep the caravan together but by the end of the game... You occasionally get a chance to train clansmen in to fighters which gives you more options - I suspect if you lose your whole caravan it's game over. There's a feeling that if you pulled apart the game over multiple play-throughs you'd see just how predetermined things are, what matters and doesn't matter, and the magic might get lost.
  6. matt0

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    Banner Saga - (PC) A strong contender for the best graphics of all time and the soundtrack deserves a mention too, the two combined consistently giving me cold shivers down my spine. And the game underneath all that polish is incredible too. The writing, very basic strategy layer and the meat and potatoes tactical combat don't just sit together, they're consistently feeding back in to each other and telling a story of attrition, loss, despair, terrible decisions with terrible consequences and very occasionally moments of hope and happiness. I felt a bit wary of the combat system before I started playing based on what I'd heard about it. I thought the separate armour and strength bars, combined with your characters getting weaker as each battle goes on would lead to tedious, drawn out encounters - but it doesn't. Instead each battle is just the sweeping story of the Banner Saga told in miniature - desperate situations and tough calls, weariness, moment to moment victories that place you in increasingly precarious situations. There's a mechanic where you and the enemy always move a unit on alternating turns, which works out as the side with the fewest units is effectively getting extra turns for those fewer units. At first it's a headfuck, and hearing it described in reviews and podcasts when the game came out is what put me off trying it back then. In reality though it just amps up the tension and the drama, giving you a chance to stage incredible comebacks and making enemies their most dangerous when they're cornered. The basic RPG systems work fine, you get two points to boost stats when you level up but because the meaning of the stats and how they relate to combat is communicated so clearly the choices are always interesting. The basic strategy works fine too - do you spend your Renown (XP basically) on levelling up your heroes or rations for your tribe? Do you rest to heal injuries at the cost of rations? The story is told mostly through choose you own adventure style sections which are pitch perfect in tone and written with spareness and economy - consistently making you regret rash decisions and twisting the knife even when you've made "good" ones. It's just a superb game. Every part of it working in harmony to tell a gripping story. 2018 so far: 2017 list:
  7. matt0

    Edge #325 - Settle your scores here ;)

    In defence of Destiny 2's PvP, having played 100s of hours of Halo PvP across various versions, Destiny feels like the modern equivalent of a re-purposed arcade board (Commando into Gunsmoke, or 1943 into 1943 Kai) or a good ROM hack of a beloved SNES game. A slightly off, strange but incredibly interesting and compelling mangling of an older game that become second nature to me. I probably wouldn't care about the Cruicible if I wasn't such a big fan of Halo. But I am so I do.
  8. matt0

    Inktober 2018.

    (EDIT: For the sake of clarity, I was basically my school's Napolean Dynamite!)
  9. matt0

    Inktober 2018.

    I'm well behind now, probably not going to make the full 31 (I managed 30 last year, but they weren't colour). I'm still going to carry on at my own pace, might try and claw back some lost ground with some simple b/w studies, just going to see where my whims take me.
  10. matt0

    Inktober 2018.

    You're doing a sequential story from page to page in a sketchbook, which most people wouldn't dream of attempting in the first place and you're smashing it. If I tried something like that I'd probably end up erasing over the first page before the ink was dry and starting it off with a massive smudge or something equally daft!
  11. matt0

    Currently playing...

    SHIT. THE. BED! I never got that far on the Amiga version back in the day but I'm near certain this is what ended my attempted playthrough of the Megadrive version at some point in the mid 00s.
  12. On the subject of graphics cards, I've got a 750 ti, so an entry level card from two, soon to be three, generations ago. Every time I play a game on my PC it's like witchcraft. I know I could be playing at higher frame rates, higher resolution, better effects, better textures... But still, the games have the best graphics I've ever seen, run for the most part at close to 60 fps. I fire up something from the 360/PS3 era and it's 120fps, 1080p... Those games still look unbelievable. I don't know what counts as "good graphics" any more. Everything looks incredible.
  13. matt0

    Inktober 2018.

    Day 1: Day 2 - (look at these creepy bastards!): Day 3:
  14. matt0

    Inktober 2018.

    Good stuff! I'll scan mine so far and post them up tomorrow if I get the chance.
  15. matt0

    What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    Destiny 2, year one campaigns - (PC) I worked my way through all the year one campaign content, played a lot of Crucible, did a bit of post campaign dicking about. No raids. Only one strike! (two if you count the beta). It's a nice shooting gallery, nice environments, always feels satisfying at a basic mechanical level... I don't know, I have an odd relationship with the franchise where despite racking up 100+ hours across both games and D2 being my go to chill out game it feels like I've walked through the wrong door and I'm playing the wrong game. I'm enjoying Forsaken so far and I've still got those year 1 strikes and post campaign quests to chew through, so I'll probably be posting another slightly baffled, generally positive post about that in the 2019 games you've finished thread in a years time. 2018 so far: 2017 list:

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