The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for recovering from a week of GDC. Let’s be clear: I wasn’t there, but everyone else was, which is reason enough for me need time to catch my breath before another week begins. Let’s recharge a little by reading some of the best writing about videogames from the past week.

  • Gamasutra have an interview with the creative director of the new Hitman, where you will realise that people continue to mistake “recognisable” with “giving a shit about”:
  • It allowed us to re-assess the type of storytelling we had come to take for granted in a traditional boxed game. Our main character, Agent 47, is by now an icon, but part of what makes him iconic is, we thought, at odds with traditional video game storytelling. By that I mean the ‘hero’s journey’, familiar from cinema, where our protagonist faces challenges and pressures that, when overcome, leave the hero stronger and changed for the better by the story’s conclusion. There is a change and a resolution.

  • You know what I do with icons? I double-click on them. Anyway: here’s Rob Fearon’s take on VR. It’s not his future.
  • Portable screen tech is fantastic. When I can’t sit at my desk and need a lie down, I just pull out my phone or tablet and I can still be connected to the modern world. I can still game. When I’m on a bus (which is often these days), I can still pull out my phone and read the internet and type crap jokes into Twitter. They’re magic. They’re enabling. They don’t hurt me to use.

    And sure, there’ll be folks who VR tech enables too and that’ll be great. But for me? It’ll just fuck me up a bit. Absolutely no fucking use to me at all, that.

  • Eurogamer.net were at GDC this past week and recorded a podcast while there, with our own Pip as one of the guests.
  • We gathered around one of the picnic benches at Shut Up & Sit Down’s board gaming area in the West Hall of the Moscone Center to talk all thing GDC, by which I mean mostly about virtual reality – in an accurate reflection of conversations all around the show this week. We also take some time to discuss the unique vibe at GDC that makes it such a special date on the games industry calendar, what Tim Schafer has to say about Matt’s mum, and what Epic’s Tim Sweeney is said to keep in his socks.

  • I imagine I’ll have links to more GDC materials next week, when I’ve had some time to breathe and read things. In the meantime, Emily Short’s round-ups are always a good source. Here’s one for the first day of the show.
  • Aaron Reed talked about conceptualizing Ice-Bound’s narrative in terms of a sculptural interaction — the player working with clay to shape the story, rather than moving through it as a maze or customizing it as though it were a car with selectable colors. And he referred to Ice-Bound’s use of props as “Chekhov’s dollhouse,” in which the player gets to decide which items take on the role of the gun on the mantelpiece, guaranteed to have an effect later on in the story.

  • At Gamasutra, Ben Weber writes the challenges and implications of adapting Google’s DeepMind-powered AI Go player to play StarCraft instead.
  • StarCraft is a great testbed for AI, because it presents many of the challenges necessary for performing real-world tasks. As part of my dissertation, I classified StarCraft in terms of Russell and Norvig’s task environment properties. The results from this analysis are shown in the figure below, with real-world properties highlighted as bold. The only difference between StarCraft and real-world activities such as taxi driving is that StarCraft is a deterministic environment.

  • At the Guardian, Jane McConnell argues that Britain leaving the EU would be bad for the British games industry.
  • The ERDF also funds Creative England, whose GamesLab grants new developers up to £25,000 each where there is little private investment, as well as providing access to key relationships with the games platforms that really matter, PlayStation and Xbox – the duo that has a stranglehold on the European console market. Those who don’t excel in the boardroom, yet breeze through the Unreal Engine, are given a much-needed opportunity to compete and succeed with their original ideas.

  • At PCGamesN, Fraser Brown had a go at running Donald Trump’s proposed policies through Democracy 3. The simulation couldn’t really keep up.
  • Where to begin? I reckon that Trump isn’t a man who messes around. He confronts his fears. That’s why my first order of business is solving immigration. Trump is terrified of Mexico, and he dreams of a great wall blocking any entry from the south. Time to make that dystopian dream a reality.

  • At Eurogamer, Sarah Ditum writes about her experience playing Stardew Valley:
  • It’s like having one last short to get your head straight before you leave the bar, or necking an espresso to bring you down as you head up for bed. It makes no sense, and it makes you feel horrible. Stardew Valley is a PC game that repeatedly needles you about how detached you are from the natural world and how soul-voiding it is to live your life through a screen. “There will come a time when you feel crushed by modern life and your bright spirit will fade before a growing emptiness,” says your bed-ridden grandad, stretching his hand towards you with a serious-looking envelope. Cut to: your character, skivvying miserably at a computer for the oppressively cheerful Joja corporation. Cut to: my heart withering in ashy despair as I realise I too am hunched over a screen.

Music this week is …Is Doomed by Black Wing, which was kindly recommended to me by a reader. It has helped get What’s This out of my head, which is the other music of this week, and every week.

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76 Comments

  1. inertia says:

    Oblivion is 10 years old today, but the only piece of writing I’ve seen about it is this thread on NeoGAF. What is time.

    (Also: obligatory “ugh!” for Sarah Ditum.)

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      May I ask why “ugh!”?

      • inertia says:

        Every so often she writes an opinion piece in the New Statesmen or whatever in which she postures herself as some kind of trans ally while pooping out regressive views that are ultimately pretty harmful to trans folks. As a trans woman, ugh!

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          Ah! I did not know this. Thanks!

        • Heliocentric says:

          It is very easy to announce yourself as having an allegiance, especially if you don’t have a goddamn clue, that much is universal. It’s the handbag dog of politics.

    • kwyjibo says:

      Oblivion is the middle child that everyone forgets. I really enjoyed it, but the standard Tolkienesque fare that lacked the otherworldiness of Morrowind or Skyrim.

      Everyone has already been to Cyrodil, even if they haven’t played the game.

      • LionsPhil says:

        I don’t think you can say Oblivion is forgotten, given it still has huge mental presence as “the boring one with the potato-faced people”.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          It’s ironic that now Sean Bean actually does look like a potato.

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          DelrueOfDetroit says:

          I’ll always remember Oblivion as “the one with the broken leveling system.”

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            gritz says:

            Literally every Elder Scrolls game had a broken levelling system

        • malkav11 says:

          It’s true. Also a bit of a shame because I know that at the time I was enthralled for many dozens of hours and really enjoyed my time with it despite its myriad flaws. But it’s hard to argue that it’s worth going back to given that both Morrowind and Skyrim have way more of interest to offer and people that aren’t weirdly potato-faced.

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            gritz says:

            The main thing Oblivion offers is an open world with colors beyond brown and gray, which was a rare thing for a long time.

      • Heliocentric says:

        It was my first Elder Scrolls, for it and Battlefield 2 I built my first PC.

        Then I went back in tie to Morrowind, now I can’t go forward again to that conversation wheel.

        • anHorse says:

          Same for me really. Without Oblivion I wouldn’t be a pc gamer.

          The game has loads of flaws (despite skyrim somehow making magic and some stealth aspects even worse) but it’s dear to me because a vast goodlooking fantasy world with nice weather is still a suprisingly small niche (especially a firstperson view one).

          Never did play the main quest to completion but the guilds contained some excellent quests and the arena was a fantastic feature that unmodded skyrim is really hurt by not having.

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        phuzz says:

        Oblivion was the only game (or any other piece of media) to have got me a letter telling me to stop pirating it.
        Fortunately I’d already stopped by the time the letter came through.

        (I pay for games now, but I was skint then)

    • OpT1mUs says:

      Not only that, but Skyrim will be 5 years old in November? What, when , how?

    • Turkey says:

      I can’t believe the great Bethesda hate train has been rolling for a decade now. Even Bioshock got off easy in comparison.

      • Sandepande says:

        Not that great of a train given Bethesda’s sales figures.

  2. dangermouse76 says:

    Yup I couldn’t give 2 hoots about Agent 47 personally. I’m in it for the level design.

    • Metalfish says:

      Hear hear! 47 is iconic in the same was faith is iconic. When I see either of their highly impractical tattoos I’m recalling the city I learned to navigate (the best bits had no enemies at all), or a pair of silenced pistols with amusing physics-defying properties. The person wielding the fiberwire or wearing those red shoes could be anyone. I like seeing these characters again, but only ’cause it means I’ll be let loose in their respective worlds.

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      gritz says:

      Isn’t the whole point of 47 supposed to be that he’s an unrecognizable and replaceable barcoded murderdrone?

    • The Algerian says:

      I felt Blood Money was perfect in terms of story. In this game, 47 was not really the protagonist, he was the monster/ghost/killer in someone else’s horror story. This was perfect and encapsulated perfectly how I always felt about the series.

      Until Absolution came along.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Yeah. Contracts’ framing device worked well too, which was a very small narrative—47 is wounded and cornered—but having events in his environment halluci-flashback to past jobs meant it go merrily globetrotting for actual missions, and then you get a fairly satisfying climactic mission to try to assassinate the police detective who’s identified you and escape. Crucially, unlike many other final Hitman missions, this one sticks to the same gameplay, rather than suddenly becoming a bad third-person shooter. It just really ramps up the challenge and makes you use those skills you’ve been practicing. (And since it’s a normal mission, sure, you can go loud if you want to. But you’ll miss out on a SA rating…)

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    Grizzly says:

    Britian leaving the EU would be pretty disastrous for just about everything in that country simply by virtue of more then half the country’s trade being with the EU. The Brits need the EU more then the EU need the Brits.

    • Cederic says:

      Sigh. Lets keep EU politics out of this place?

      Or I’ll have to point out that Britain has a trade deficit with the EU, which means they need us more than we need them.

      I’d also have to point out that the British Government could double the funding received by games developers by merely giving them a proportional slice of the money saved by not giving it to the EU.

      But this isn’t really the place.

      • WhatAShamefulDisplay says:

        Hear, Hear

        On all counts

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        Grizzly says:

        Hmm, I don’t think that EU politics are off limits when the article itself brings them up. Interesting view on the trade deficit – would that not increase when Britian loses the EU membership? One of the things that the EU does is give tariffs to countries that are not it’s members whilst allowing free trade between it’s members. If the UK is in the position that they are importing more from the EU then the are exporting to the EU (or indeed are exporting in general, as the UK has a global trade deficit as well), putting themselves in a position that exporting becomes even more difficult could be very disadvantageous. The UK has a rather big car industry, for instance, but that car industry is in a large part owned by German firms (The huge Mini factory that was featured on a BBC live documentary a few months ago is owned by BMW, for instance). If the UK would lose a EU membership, it would lose a significant reason for why BMW invests there.

        • Horg says:

          That would be correct. You cannot infer dependence one way or the other just because a trade deficit exists.

      • Runty McTall says:

        This trade balance line always perplexed me – we may import more than we export to them but if all trade stopped tomorrow we’d lose ~50% of all our exports and no country in the EU would lose more than 10% of theirs. The damage to us would be on one country, to them it would be spread over nearly 30 countries.

        In any case, if you think the UK could leave and still get a good trade deal from them then you’re smoking something – we’ve been a major pain all through our time in Europe (so limited goodwill accrued) and if a country as big as the UK left and got a sweetheart deal then it would be the literal death of the EU project as more and more countries would just say “stuff it, we’ll have that too!”

        If we leave, we’ll have the weaker negotiating position and our interlocutors will be both annoyed and have their own wider motivations for toeing a hard line. Realistically, we’ll have to agree to their conditions, both at the time of exit and thereafter (as other associated countries do). This also makes a nonsense of the sovereignty argument by the way – at least now we have a say and some veto / opt outs on EU law.

        Pretending that you can just go it alone in the modern world is infantile – the world is integrated and the only alternative is impoverished isolation.

        • JFS says:

          This sounds a lot like resignation and Stockholm Syndrome, not like good reasons why the EU is a good thing.

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            Grizzly says:

            No. The “My country and the EU” discussion revolves entirely around the obligations and privileges that an EU-membership carries. Runty is simply making clear that one can not lose the obligations without losing the privileges that come with it. Simply because the privileges can only exist when every country full-fills it’s obligations, and the other countries in the EU would rather lose britian then see the system tumbling down, as they feel they benefit from their privileges far more then they are burdened by their obligations.

            It’s a package deal. Britian can not turn it’s mutually beneficial relationship with the rest of Europe into an exploitative one. The choice is all-in or all-out. This is not in any way a threat or an abduction or resignation. This is simply the binary choice that Britian faces: Do you feel that Britian’s obligations to the rest of the EU are more of a burden then the benefits it grants?

          • Runty McTall says:

            Not really, it was addressing a specific point about trade negotiations post-Brexit. You can argue back forth about whether, if we had our time again, we’d sign up to an EU as-is (as an internationalist, with no time for narionslism / xenophobia, I’m enthusiastic, although I am not blind to the flaws) but the fact is we *are* in the EU and the decision about whether to leave should be informed by the situation that we would face after we left, not some hypothetical counterfactual of what we might be facing now if we’d never gone it.

            We’re in: if we leave from here, we’ll be worse off. Every argument to the contrary doesn’t stand up. If you strip it all back ultimately the outs always come back to immigration and will pay almost any price to keep those damn foreigners out.

        • Blastaz says:

          Except trade won’t stop if we leave. WTO sets a universal tariff of 15% and without state aid rules we could use import tariffs to subsidise exports.

          What it would lead to is inflation but that has been so low recently a one off shot of it wouldn’t be too bad.

          But yes, the EU funds this special interest is a particularly poor argument given that we are paying them more than they subsidise us. Post Brexit the uk could carry on the subsidy and pocket the difference.

          • Runty McTall says:

            It won’t stop but it will diminish. Putting tariffs on imports and exports is always going to reduce trade. Also WTO rules don’t cover trade in services, which are a major strength of the UK.

            Every economic study (not aligned with the Leave campaign) shows us taking a big economic hit from leaving.

          • Horg says:

            We would also still be paying into the European budget even as a non member to gain access to the EEA, and in exchange for leaving we have to renegotiate trade treaties from a significantly weakened position and lose our vote / veto on future policy changes.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        Thanks for saying this. I’ve no interest in fighting an additional Brexit turf war on another comment system. The Guardian and Reddit keep me busy enough.

  4. JakeOfRavenclaw says:

    I thought Andrew Todd’s review of the The Division over at BirthMoviesDeath was interesting: link to birthmoviesdeath.com. Don’t know if I can think of another post-apocalyptic game where you play AS the repressive government. (In contrast of some of the stuff he highlights, it is also the military shooter I can think of in which giving food and water to civilians is an actual game mechanic. That’s a nice touch, but the mass slaughter still kind of outweighs the fantasy of rebuilding imo).

    • GWOP says:

      Yeah, I’m surprised there’s so little being talked about when it comes to the ugliness of The Division.

      You are killing prisoners (and lots of ’em, considering the incarceration rate in the US), ‘rioters’ (which is code word for black protesters in America) and blue collar workers (can’t trust unions!) to protect… property. You are killing poor people to protect American property.

      Killscreen has a great article as well:

      link to killscreen.com

      • Distec says:

        Given the ridiculous readings of that Killscreen piece, I’d say it’s being talked about just the right amount.

        And while I’d actually be willing to entertain a discussion of class warfare in The Division that doesn’t leap straight into accusations of insensitivity, acting like any part of it is code for “shooting black people” is nuts.

      • Caelinus says:

        I am with Distec on this. A discussion about how people view classes would be interesting, but attempting to read more into it than that is just looking for a fight.

        It is a game about shooting. Shooting that many living things is generally bad. All such games have tricks to try and make it more palatable to us, but any scenario where you had to shoot that much would be pretty horrific. In this case, unless they went with zombies again, I am not sure what else they could have thrown in that would tell the story they wanted to tell. We just have to suspend out disbelief as much as we do with anything else in the genre.

        • GWOP says:

          The game has white collar workers leaving their day jobs and picking up weapons to clean the streets of ex-convicts, “rioters” and “looters” (who all just happen to wear baggy jeans, hoodies, and bandanas over their faces), garbage men, janitors and custodians… and I’m reading too much into it.

          Maybe it’s because this is a UK website that the context is lost, but perhaps you should peek into the current conservative political climate of the US.

          • wengart says:

            I feel like you are reading too much into a very specific slice of the game and ignoring the rest of it. Which, is my issue with the KS article also.

            The most well equipped/dangerous faction in the game is the LMB. A private military company hired by the wallstreet elite to protect their assets. They went rogue and their goal per Ubi’s bio of them is “Fascist Rule”.

            There are also a number of vignettes in the game that dig into class issues more. I believe that in one of the “echoes” you discover that a company found the cure for the plague but didn’t release it in order to increase profits.

            Ubisoft is often clumsy but they do try and the KS article is essentially a partisan piece that doesn’t attempt to engage with the material on offer.

          • Cederic says:

            I discovered on Friday that they’re no longer called janitors. The one I met is now a Site Manager, one of just five men out of 60 staff in his workplace.

          • brgillespie says:

            Type “rioters” into Google and take a look at the image results.

            You’re imprinting “black people” onto a videogame faction that presents no ethnicity at all. Poor + baggy jeans + hoodies + bandanas = black people? Right.

      • The Algerian says:

        My gripes precisely with “The Division”, way too much of what I hate about Tom Clancy (right-wing hate/fear mongering), and way too little (or rather none) of what I liked about him (tactical/realism).

        Which is even more stupid, since it’s a videogame, and thus should’ve been supposed to be about the latter.

    • The_QC says:

      I want to quote a part of that article, because it made me laugh:

      “Also troubling: although you can help out NPCs the game deems “innocent,” animals (which do not attack you) can only be interacted with through violence. You can shoot the pups of New York, but you cannot pat them – an unforgivable demonstration of the game’s lack of humanity.”

      I’m sorry, but that’s just stupid.

      Having said that, even though I think both articles are a bit extreme, I can’t point at anything specific in the Killscreen article that’s outright wrong. The guy’s reaction is in my opinion over the top, but most points are actually correct… The use of the word “rioters” jumped at me from the start as being very weird. Can you be called a rioter when you’re not in a riot? And why is a riot automatically a bad thing?

  5. Unsheep says:

    ‘….PlayStation and Xbox – stranglehold on the European console market’. Well, what other modern stationary consoles are there apart from the Xbox One and Playstation 4 ?!

    How can it be a stranglehold when there are only two existing “next-gen” stationary consoles and they are in direct competition with each other. That is not what ‘stranglehold’ means.

    A handheld console is as much a competitor to Xbox One and Playstation 4 as it is to PC gaming, meaning negligible. You buy them for very different reasons. If you want to buy a handheld console it would be very odd to include a stationary console in your selection, just saying.

  6. RaunakS says:

    One of the most interesting articles I read this week was this analysis of cold war paranoia and pathos in Wargame: Airland Battle – link to knowthygameblog.wordpress.com

    I know it’s a month old but I couldn’t RPS talking about it anywhere else so there. The writeup is quite interesting, in-depth and shows a surprising amount of love for a game that I had literally never heard of.
    For eg:

    More than anything else, recon units are how Wargame captures the feeling of the cold war period. The game is one of limited and fragile information, a steady stream of which is fed to the player by the limited set of units a player posses that have the equipment to actually make out what is going on, all of which are very easily picked off by the enemy. Further, at the edges of their vision cones, the reports of recon units are indeterminate- they cannot always make out the kind of unit they are seeing. In a game where seconds matter, this can be terrifically important, as it can cause one to do silly things like turn the entire axis of one’s advance to meet, what turns out to be, a couple of unsupported Russian snipers hiding in a bush.

  7. Reapy says:

    Vr guy is super cranky about other people being excited about something.

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      Grizzly says:

      Rob always has a bit of a world-wearyness to him. It’s why I love him <3

    • bakaohki says:

      I have read the article, but what’s wrong with his face? Is he some kind of a celebrity in the far away American land? Why should I care about his face and how he can’t rest his palm on it? I really don’t get it :(

    • RobF says:

      Ah, I’m not cranky. Some of my best friends are VR developers.

      Mainly both wondering why no-one is talking about the massive access problems with VR kits when discussing adoption rates and, like I say, laughing at people squabbling over things that are ultimately insignificant in the race to get VR to the mainstream.

      But ehhh, internet where pointing out a thing or saying I’m effected by a thing is somehow tantamount to being a cranky old git. I’m cranky but that’s over Elite mainly, not VR.

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        Aerothorn says:

        I think we’re ALL cranky about Elite.

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          Grizzly says:

          I’m not cranky about Elite! Can you please tell me why everyone is cranky about Elite? I haven’t been keeping up.

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            Herring says:

            I’m not 100% sure but I think it comes down to;

            1) No off-line single-player. They chose fairly late in development to have an always-on component making it “MMO-Lite”.
            2) Lack of SP content in the main game. No real storyline; missions are fairly light-weight and the changes they make to the simulation are trivial, obscured or both.
            3) Little guidance about what to do; playing the game pretty much requires outside input (forums, reddit, galnet web articles).
            4) Getting the big ships requires a large time investment. When you have said big ship you’re not necessarily and uber-god and can get shot by little ships.
            5) Updates are slow and steady; the underlying galaxy simulation is sacrosanct so changes are constrained (though can be huge in their own way; see Horizons).

            It’s a massive, simulation simulation of the galaxy. There’s little explanation or guidance about what to do in it though.

            If that’s enough for you, as close as possible to being ‘in space’, then Elite is awesome. I’m in this camp :)

            You could easily divide people’s attitudes into two groups when Horizons came out. You can land on any non-atmospheric planet and they’re all accurately simulated according to stellar proximity, gravity, orbits etc. Some people went “Awesome! Time to explore!” and others went “Sounds great! What can we do there?”.

            That’s it in a nutshell.

            I play a little and often just pootling about; I get bored with one aspect and I’ll try another.

            But…

            Space!

      • Reapy says:

        I think it’s only because I’m a bit tired of always seeing the VR will stink articles, or maybe an article that is positive about has a comment section full of people waiting to go ‘see, look, it’s bad!!’. I don’t know how anybody could be anything but excited about the idea of it, even if they won’t be buying it or if there isn’t much to do with it to start.

        I don’t think anything you said is untrue about it, it certainly isn’t going to change the world like the smart phone did. It will never replace a good monitor.

        I imagine it’ll just be a cool, expensive peripheral like a track IR or good wheel/flight stick, with maybe a few more things to do. I really don’t think it’s a product for a lot of gamers either.

        I think the type of people (like myself) that use games to escape from time to time, to get your toe in the water and feel like you are somewhere different for a time, VR will be the thing to really be somewhere else, that next level of getting lost in a game and being IN it.

        I could be an oddball too, I only got a smart phone about two years ago, the only thing it added to my life is a GPS in my car, but I’m all over the idea of VR device.

        Anyway it is quite possible I woke up cranky this morning too when I wrote the comment, am honestly sorry if it bothered you.

        • RobF says:

          I am, genuinely, excited for what’s coming up. Promise.

          I mean, there’s a Minter game. In VR. If ever there was a piece of tech that’s totally, absolutely designed for Minter – this is it. If I could wear a headset, I would. Just for that.

      • Scandalon says:

        RobF:

        (Sidenote: Somehow I keep getting your username conflated with Rab Florence. Rab/Rob, close enough, right?)

        Sorry about your face issues (insert joke here), but surely you’re rather an outlier in that regard? Sure, share your personal story, but that seems pretty non-relevant to extrapolate to the larger issues VR (may/will/does) have. I’m pretty sure when people were breathlessly writing about the Vibram “Five Finger” foot glove-thingies, not too many of the “don’t have any feet” community wrote about why they would fail…

        Also, it’s “affected”, not “effected”. :P

        • RobF says:

          In that my face hurts? Not as much as an outlier as you’d expect, really. Fagpacket estimate that there’s 14 million out of 65 living with chronic pain issues in the UK, obviously there’s some overlap here but there’s 9 million -countable- as disabled in the country too.

          Obviously, there’s also undiagnosed/not on the figures stuff which will take the number so much higher (especially in the light of the past 6 years of government policy), there’s short term illnesses or afflictions that come into play too.

          Now, none of that automatically means that they *won’t* be able to use VR but such as the set up is between motion controls, room tracking and the headset, as a technology it puts anyone with even the mildest of disabilities at more of a disadvantage than our standard tech (and worth adding, our standard tech can be made more accessible, with the clunkiness of VR kit that’s not really viable in the short term although stuff like Fantastic Contraption’s seat mode opens up the floor a tiny bit, assuming people can get the kit on in the first place).

          We’re talking a significant chunk of people here who will be locked out of the tech from the off and that, alongside selling people on the idea of isolating themselves off inside a giant helmet, is going to be a far, far bigger barrier to adoption than whether someone launches at 3 or 4 hundred quid, any day.

  8. RyanCory says:

    hyfgdf

  9. RyanCory says:

    My uncle Angelia recently got a new blue Subaru BRZ Coupe just by some part time bt working online with a PC… learn this here now …

    ++++> Here Are The Details

  10. Mags says:

    That Hitman interview is a bit pants, isn’t it?
    I mean, as far as I’m aware, Telltale’s Walking Dead is a spin-off from the comics, not the TV series. Nor is the ‘hero’s journey’ really what I’d call ‘classic videogame storytelling’, and I especially wouldn’t consider anything but that to be novel or unusual.

    Apparently, Sherlock Holmes is an excellent example of “reinvention in TV”, in that he spends every episode solving a crime instead of growing as a character. Uh. Yeah.

    The person answering the questions also seems to spend most of it, um, not answering the questions. Asked “Why was it important to you to offer the option for players to buy the entire game at once, as well as just the individual episodes?”, they then go on to detail why it was such a good idea to let players just buy one episode at a time.

    The very intro even states that they’re hardly the first to do an episodic mode, then the interviewee goes: “There is always a risk when you are among the first to do something. Will people get it? But we already have seen a lot of interest from colleagues in the industry, who want to copy our example.”

    I mean, what the hell happened here?

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I wouldn’t necessarily say that the Hitman model has been done before, we’ve had games that release their content episodically but that has generally been in a form where you need to play the previous episodes to get anything out of the later. I doubt there was anybody who just bought Life is Strange episode 3 or Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 4 right out of the gate. Hitman on the other hand is a game where you can absolutely just buy one episode and be done with it. (That’s more or less my plan, wait for all the episodes and then just buy the level that interests me the most.) Yes, there have been games released episodically but, as far as I am aware, never in a form where you’re encouraged to just pick and choose which episodes you like.

      It’ll be interesting to see if by releasing their game this way the devs will be able to fix some of their mistakes as the game goes along.

  11. Rodman1_r2 says:

    In the article about why VR isn’t for him, what’s wrong with Rob Fearon’s face?

    • disconnect says:

      Prolonged exposure to flashing lights. Just say no, kids.

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      Gus the Crocodile says:

      The truth is lost to time, but legends say he put a fish in it.

  12. Orange_Jews says:

    “where you will realise that people continue to mistake “recognisable” with “giving a shit about”:”

    I cannot for the life of me understand what was the intended meaning of this passage. These two aren’t even the same parts of speech, nor would there ever be a sentence in which they could be swapped and still make sense. What does it mean?