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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 24, 2015, 11:06 AM
 
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Kevin Bogues
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Jul 26, 2015, 08:54 AM
 
Testing ... 1...2
     
ajprice
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Jul 27, 2015, 11:48 AM
 
OUYA CEO Julie Uhrman leaves the company she co-founded

CEO Julie Uhrman has moved on, the company has been bought by Razer, who will support the Ouya OS and system for a year, then probably fold it into the Razer Forge TV Android console.

So, box it up and take it along to CEX or Game, or keep it as a Kodi or game emulator system? (Its currently £27 cash trade in on CEX). I'm thinking trade it in.

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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 27, 2015, 03:10 PM
 
Quality Assured: What It’s Really Like To Test Games For A Living
But when a big game ships broken, is QA really to blame? How could testers possibly not find some of the bugs that show up in the games we play? Why do so many servers break all the time? Just what do QA people do all day, anyway?
Sometimes, that tester said, they’d also have to devote tons of time to granular parts of the game, like when Rockstar’s designers asked a group of QA staff to test everything players could do with the game’s automated taxi service. They quickly found that taking a taxi to a new mission would trigger the mission without properly disposing of the cab, leading to some amusing moments as a taxi drove around and tried to back up during cut-scenes.

“I think working on a project like that is made a lot better by the small moments where something truly stupid happens,” the tester said. “Talking pigs randomly standing up like a person and walking away, randomly being shot out of the sky in a plane by an ambient pedestrian whose physics had fired him into space. Trevor pulling his trousers down then never animating to pull them back up and spending the rest of the entire game with his trousers around his ankles. Franklin’s dog used to instantly die if he touched water... he’d just fall into a pool and sink to the bottom like a rock as soon as his paws got wet.”

Finding bugs is just the first step—the second, significantly harder process is trying to reproduce glitches so the company’s engineers can zap them. A tester can’t just write down something like “Trevor’s pants won’t stay on” and send it to the programming team; what could engineers possibly do with that information? In order to track down, isolate, and fix a bug, coders need to know exactly how it happens, which can be a tricky riddle to solve given how many variables are in video games. Good QA testers quickly learn to keep track of every action they take—from big to small—so they can at least try to reproduce any bug they stumble upon. “I love that working QA is often like being paid to solve puzzles,” said veteran tester Rob Hodgson, who’s done the job for eight years now. “Figuring out how to reproduce that bizarre error you encountered, step by exacting step, is thrilling to the right kind of person.”
---

When a console game is almost done, it has to go through certification, a process in which the publisher (like, say, EA) will ask the console manufacturer (Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo) to check the game for game-crashing bugs. During this certification process, a second layer of QA staff called compliance testers must go through the game with their own fine combs, checking to see if everything lives up to expectations. Every console-maker has its own stringent checklist dictating everything from error messages to achievements, and if a game doesn’t make the cut, the publisher will have to fix things and try again, deadlines be damned. “Microsoft required all games to be able to access the Xbox 360 menu from literally everywhere in the game,” said one tester who worked in compliance for a major game publisher. “Sony required that you couldn’t skip the first time you see the publisher/development studio screens at the beginning of the game. Nintendo didn’t want any swearing in their games so every text input had an extensive filter we had to try and break.”
---

One night recently, the tester saw this video of a speedrunner breaking the game’s world record. When he got to the 11-minute mark, he started freaking out.

“I got so mad because they use a bug to get outside the level and automatically move forward,” the tester said in an e-mail. “I SHOULD HAVE CAUGHT IT!”
---

Testers also talk of feeling disrespected at the workplace. Many in QA, especially contractors, have told me they weren’t allowed to speak directly to the developers, and that their only communication came in the form of written bug reports. “It was also sort of an unspoken rule that temps shouldn’t directly contact the devs,” one tester told me. “Any communication was typically routed through the full-time QA Leads. As testers, all our interactions with dev were through comments in the bug database, which is far from an ideal form of communication. It was easy to interpret a developer’s comment/question on a bug as snarky/irritated when that wasn’t necessarily their intention.”

everal testers told me they’ve had to use side entrances to enter their offices and that they weren’t allowed to mingle with the rest of the staff. Others said it’s common for other developers to screw with them in all sorts of ways; one frequent story, for example, is of the engineer who fixes a bug yet continually sends QA messages like “could not reproduce.” In a typical studio, QA is seen as the bottom of the totem pole. This is in part because of the nature of their job—a tester’s role is to show other people where they screwed up. That’s always going to bruise some egos.
At some game companies, higher-ups give testers strict bug quotas and threaten to shorten their contracts if they don’t find enough glitches, which can result in a weird sort of tension as testers compete over who’s finding the biggest bugs first. Sometimes, QA employees will find creative ways to work more hours so they get paid more and make themselves seem more valuable to the company. “There were some testers who would hold onto bugs to make sure there’s overtime,” one tester told me. “If there was no OT scheduled for the weekend they would enter a [major] bug Friday afternoon. In some cases this would cause overtime.”
---

But lots of testers say they’re finding most if not all the bugs that ship in today’s games. The problem is that nobody’s fixing them.

Most testers operate using a process called triage, where bugs are prioritized based on importance. Top priority are issues that make the game crash—the “showstoppers,” as they’re called. Other glitches are categorized based on how important testers think they are. Usually, producers and programmers will take the time to fix showstoppers—it’d be hard for any game to make it past certification with any of those. But small and even moderate-sized bugs often stick to games like barnacles, the victims of tight deadlines and programmers who can only do so much in the time they’re given.

“We would often find that either the risk of fixing a bug or the time it would take weren’t worth it, especially when we were doing something really uncommon or deliberately breaking the game,” said one tester who worked on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, a game that’s known for being both extraordinarily massive and uncommonly buggy.

“Some of our bugs would get resolved as ‘won’t fix’ or ‘post-release.’ Post-release meant, ‘This would be nice, but it isn’t really needed right now. If it becomes a thing people are calling out on the forums or online, maybe we’ll reassess this.’ I think there’s a lot more leeway nowadays than there was maybe 20 years ago, [because] you can say, ‘OK we have this nasty bug but it can be fixed in the day-one patch.’ That’s acceptable behavior now.”
Development studios can’t just change a schedule because they’re overwhelmed by glitches. Unless the publisher agrees to what could be a costly delay, that holiday release date ain’t going anywhere, no matter how broken the game might be. So during testing, several QA staffers told me, they focus just on catching the bugs that would prevent them from getting through console certification. That might mean ignoring some of a game’s other, possibly more significant problems.
Bugs that caused inconvenience for the player were often considered invalid because they wouldn’t affect the ability to release the game, and could be addressed later if people got upset.”
“The Sky Drop bug in Pokémon Black and White was something that we caught, but the game had already been released in Japan at that point so instead of fixing the issue they purposefully left it in the game to keep parity.”
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 28, 2015, 09:25 AM
 
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 28, 2015, 10:49 AM
 
I think I've reached a place where I no longer want to play Rocket League against randoms. Unless we have 4 people. Maybe not even then.

Edit: Also they have a hide text chat option, which is prescient.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 29, 2015, 03:01 PM
 
     
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Jul 30, 2015, 07:54 AM
 
Sonys results are in, and the PS4 is basically what is keeping them in the black right now.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 30, 2015, 02:44 PM
 
Blast Mode: Team Deathmatch in a Galaxy Far, Far, Away... - Star Wars - Official EA Site

When you’re hungry for a classic, challenging game mode within the Star Wars™ universe, there is one obvious choice: Blast.

Star Wars™ Battlefront’s™ Team Deathmatch mode, Blast, pits the Rebel and Imperial factions against each other with intense 10 versus 10 battles. If your team reaches 100 kills, or are ahead when the 10-minute round is over, you’ve won. Immediate, addictive, and exciting until the very last kill; that is our ambition with Blast.

Blast offers a lot of variety both in terms of gameplay and the unpredictable nature of the opposing team. Actual levels within the mode also happen to hold great variation as well.

Our Lead Level Designer Dennis Brännvall tells us about breathtaking sights within the mode that Star Wars fans will come across:

“One battle you’ll be fighting within interior levels on Endor or Sullust. In the next battle, you might find yourselves among Tatooine’s dusty canyons, or inside the undeniably cool Ice Caves on Hoth. My favorite is the verticality of Tatooine, fighting by the Sandcrawler.”

To keep the action dense in this close-quarters mode, the Blast maps are not as vast as in other game modes. You should know that they are all specifically designed for the specific game mode in mind; in other words, these aren’t just smaller versions of maps used elsewhere. Brännvall notes that this variation is crucial and something that can be noticed in other ways too:

“Say you've just played Walker Assault mode on Hoth and then switched to Blast, still on Hoth. Thanks to variations in lighting and time of day, you'll definitely see a difference.
Hey everybody! We made this awesome new mode not called Team Deathmatch. It's specially designed from other game modes by modifying lighting.

****ing EA
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 31, 2015, 12:41 PM
 
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 31, 2015, 02:20 PM
 
Topper: “Cherry Top” now includes a working, rotating light
Topper: “Propellerhead” now includes a working, rotating blade
     
KCrosbie
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Aug 1, 2015, 11:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
In a typical studio, QA is seen as the bottom of the totem pole. This is in part because of the nature of their job—a tester’s role is to show other people where they screwed up. That’s always going to bruise some egos.
I work at a credit union and I find the similarities between quality assurance employees of video game companies surprisingly on par with our company's internal auditors. Nobody likes being told what you f'd up on.

BTW Dakar, that was a great read. Really interesting stuff there.

I want to ask you this. What's the real root of the problem with bugs in video games? Not enough time & resources to fix them all by deadlines or just really bad programmers putting out a s#it product to begin with? Or is gaming just gotten so complicated that there are just too many variables to begin with and are they just putting something together they hope that sticks to the wall?
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 3, 2015, 11:12 AM
 
Report: Konami Is Treating Its Staff Like Prisoners
Here’s a breakdown of the Nikkei piece’s allegations. Some of it we’ve heard before. Some of it is new:

Kojima Productions, the studio behind the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V (and long famous as a brand of its own), is now simply known as “Number 8 Production Department.” The computers in this section, Nikkei says (and as we reported earlier this year), are allegedly not connected to the internet and are only able to send internal messages.

Nikkei reports that employees leaving the company offices during their lunch break are having their absences monitored with time cards. Those who stay out too long are having their names announced throughout the company.
That there are cameras in the office corridors that aren’t there for security, but rather to monitor the movements of Konami’s own employees.

That most Konami employees do not have their own permanent company email addresses. Staff who must deal with people outside the company, such as sales and PR do; however, everyone else routinely has their address randomised and changed every few months. (Note: Konami employee emails are typically a few letters followed by a string of numbers, but this random email changing has been going on at Konami for years. A while back, one Konami employee told me this was done to prevent headhunting. Over the years, I have seen developers with company email addresses, but this might have changed recently.)

That Konami game developers who aren’t seen as useful are reassigned to jobs as security guards, cleaning staff at the company’s fitness clubs or roles at a pachi-slot machine factory. This includes not just junior staff, but producers who have worked on well-known game titles. In 2013, Asahi News, one of Japan’s largest newspapers, ran an interview with a former Konami staffer who allegedly went from game development to working in Konami’s pachi-slot factory, causing him to experience severe depression.

That one former employee, upon announcing on Facebook that they were leaving Konami and had got a new job elsewhere, had their post monitored. Nikkei says remaining Konami staff who “liked” the post were all reshuffled within the company.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 4, 2015, 02:35 PM
 
Goodbye Dinklebot: Destiny Recasts Its Most Important Character With Nolan North - News - www.GameInformer.com
One of the most surprising changes is coming to what is arguably Destiny’s most central-voiced character: the Ghost. The tiny floating robotic being is the de facto narrator throughout the base game, and he assumes an even more important role in The Taken King. Playing that role moving forward is Nolan North, replacing Peter Dinklage in the name of a unified character voice throughout the entire game.
He's redoing all the dialogue.

Destiny: The Taken King Redesigns Leveling From One To Forty - News - www.GameInformer.com
Our recent visit to Bungie provided us with hours of hands-on impressions detailed in this month’s magazine cover story, and one of the major changes we learned about is a new approach to leveling. Players earn XP by killing monsters, completing missions, and turning in bounties, as has always been the case, but that experience now feeds directly into your level progression all the way from 1 to the new level cap of 40.

Meanwhile, weapons and armor continue to provide increased power to your character, with new gear unlocking for use as you level up. “The conflation of gear and character level led to this place where your identity was determined by things outside of your control,” says creative director Luke Smith. “We don’t want to do that.”

Don't sell me this shit after nearly a year.
     
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Aug 5, 2015, 07:24 AM
 
Cuphead is stupidly hard, stupidly beautiful, and I love it | Ars Technica UK

Cuphead, a 2D run and shoot game that looks like an old cartoon
Demo is running at Gamescom, release next year for Xbox One and Windows 10



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Aug 5, 2015, 08:49 AM
 
Xbox Game Drive, $100/£96 2TB Seagate portable hard drive, but its green, and has an Xbox logo on it. Yesterday, I bought a Seagate 2TB portable drive from Amazon, I had a voucher code for £10, so the drive cost me £55.
Game Drive for Xbox could be the easiest gaming storage expansion yet - Pocket-lint

Green must be expensive stuff!



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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 5, 2015, 01:53 PM
 
Fatty, I was wrong. The only Rocket League vids worth watching are from Hat Films
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 6, 2015, 10:28 AM
 
     
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Aug 12, 2015, 11:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post
Cuphead is stupidly hard, stupidly beautiful, and I love it | Ars Technica UK

Cuphead, a 2D run and shoot game that looks like an old cartoon
Demo is running at Gamescom, release next year for Xbox One and Windows 10

The art style absolutely sells it for me. If reviews say it plays as well as it looks, it's a must-buy for me.
     
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Aug 19, 2015, 12:32 PM
 
I have a question for my fellow PS4 users in here. Are you still using the controller that came with the system? If not, how many controllers have you gone through?

I've had my PS4 for almost 2 years and I purchased my 3rd controller yesterday. My issues with the controller are with the analog sticks, specifically the left one.

Controller #1 - The rubber on the stick began to crack and peel off. This exposed the hard plastic underneath.

Controller #2 - Pressing down on the left stick no longer works. I can only walk/jog with my character in Destiny. No cracking rubber issues though.

Controller #3 - ??? We'll see how long this lasts.

Slick shoes?! Are you crazy?!
     
Jawbone54
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Aug 19, 2015, 12:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Stogieman View Post
I have a question for my fellow PS4 users in here. Are you still using the controller that came with the system? If not, how many controllers have you gone through?
When I bought my PS4, I bought an extra controller and a charging cable. I alternate between the two controllers each time I play.

So far, only one controller has started peeling on the left analog stick, but I haven't put in nearly as much time on the system as most of the others here.
     
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Aug 19, 2015, 02:38 PM
 
As you may know, there is this little company in Redmond called Microsoft who recently launched a new version of its niche operating system Windows. One of the features was a new version of the graphics API DirectX, called DirectX 12. It is basically what Metal is for Apple, what Mantle was for AMD - lower level access to the rendering hardware to decrease CPU requirements and improve performance through better threading. Early feedback is that DirectX 12 can as much as double frame rates on AMD hardware like the Radeon 390X (which is essentially a PS4 doubled).

And why am I posting this here? Because MS has made it clear that it will be bringing DirectX 12 to Xbone via a software update. I don't think we'll be doubling frame rates, since those will be coming from the Xbone low-level API rather than DirectX 11, but it will help - and it will make the Xbone much easier to develop for than fiddling with the low-level API.

This is quite clever. MS is relying on its strengths in software development to help correct the flaws in its hardware. It will be even easier to develop for Xbone and Windows together, which should guarantee a good stable of games, and make sure that the PS4 doesn't run away with it. I gave them enough crap when they launched the Xbone with a poorly thought out architecture, so it is no more than fair that I give them props when they fix it.

And in other Windows gaming news: Windows 10 blocks certain abuses that older PC DRM softwares used, so some older games like GTA III and the first Mass Effect apparently won't run unless the DRM is patched out. Most publishers have a way out of this hole (EA will let you re-download a no-CD version of Mass Effect from Origin, for instance), but Rockstar appears to have the DRM enabled even for copies from Steam.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Aug 19, 2015, 04:15 PM
 
Apparently I'm just catching up on some of the HALO 5 news that 343 dropped split-screen mode from HALO 5. No more HALO game nights at a friend's house.

HALO must be pretty much the only game with this feature nowadays. Oooops, I forgot COD does or did this, too.

Frankly I don't care to play the game that way, but it was a good feature for game parties.
Mac Pro Dual 3.0 Dual-Core
MacBook Pro
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 19, 2015, 05:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Stogieman View Post
I have a question for my fellow PS4 users in here. Are you still using the controller that came with the system? If not, how many controllers have you gone through?

I've had my PS4 for almost 2 years and I purchased my 3rd controller yesterday. My issues with the controller are with the analog sticks, specifically the left one.

Controller #1 - The rubber on the stick began to crack and peel off. This exposed the hard plastic underneath.
http://www.amazon.com/Grip-iT-Analog...NKH14K0W5M3QYK
     
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Aug 19, 2015, 07:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
As you may know, there is this little company in Redmond called Microsoft who recently launched a new version of its niche operating system Windows. One of the features was a new version of the graphics API DirectX, called DirectX 12. It is basically what Metal is for Apple, what Mantle was for AMD - lower level access to the rendering hardware to decrease CPU requirements and improve performance through better threading. Early feedback is that DirectX 12 can as much as double frame rates on AMD hardware like the Radeon 390X (which is essentially a PS4 doubled).

And why am I posting this here? Because MS has made it clear that it will be bringing DirectX 12 to Xbone via a software update. I don't think we'll be doubling frame rates, since those will be coming from the Xbone low-level API rather than DirectX 11, but it will help - and it will make the Xbone much easier to develop for than fiddling with the low-level API.
Noooooooo kidding...

Smart move.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 19, 2015, 08:45 PM
 
Yeah, thanks to NeoGAF I've known this was coming for months. It'll be interesting to see how much this does actually improve performance. Multiplatform comparisons should be intriguing.
     
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Aug 20, 2015, 12:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Thanks for the link. I'll check those out.

Slick shoes?! Are you crazy?!
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 20, 2015, 09:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by Stogieman View Post
Thanks for the link. I'll check those out.
I got so used to them that when I got a new controller, I had to put it over the joystick because it felt weird without it.

Oddly, I only use it on the right stick.

Fair warning, they're not a perfect fit for the PS4 stick, but it works well enough for me.
     
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Aug 20, 2015, 03:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Yeah, thanks to NeoGAF I've known this was coming for months. It'll be interesting to see how much this does actually improve performance. Multiplatform comparisons should be intriguing.
Oh, AMD (and MS) has SAID this for months, but if you could trust those guys, we'd all be running Windows Blackcomb on our Bulldozer-powered 42" Surfaces. They are both known for overpromising. Talk is cheap - benchmarks is something entirely different
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Aug 24, 2015, 07:33 AM
 
Kerbal Space Program is coming to Xbox One, at some point in the future. That's about as far as the announcement goes

Kerbal Space Program in the works for Xbox One | Games industry news | MCV

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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 24, 2015, 11:39 AM
 
So a potential gun massacre was averted at the pokémon championships and there's nothing funny about that. Jesus Christ.
     
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Aug 24, 2015, 11:56 AM
 
Wife was in Boston all weekend. Yikes.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 24, 2015, 12:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Wife was in Boston all weekend. Yikes.
...and is a big pokemon fan.

You know where it took place. Neeeeeeeerrrrrddddddd
     
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Aug 24, 2015, 12:10 PM
 
Good grief...

Police foil potential gun attack on Pokemon World Championships | The Verge

The AR-15 was no surprise, but weirdly enough, I had a bigger emotional response when I saw the knife and ammo. These guys were planning to do a tremendous amount of damage. Very thankful law enforcement was on the ball.
     
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Aug 25, 2015, 10:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
...and is a big pokemon fan.

You know where it took place. Neeeeeeeerrrrrddddddd
...and the shooters were from Iowa...
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 25, 2015, 11:07 AM
 
Time to check her texts
     
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Aug 25, 2015, 01:39 PM
 
Ash Ketchum hack?
Anyone?
Anyone?
Anyone.............
     
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Aug 27, 2015, 10:55 AM
 
     
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Aug 28, 2015, 03:52 AM
 
It isn't so much a game as it's a digital graphic novel, once you've seen it played there's really not much of a reason to play it yourself. (At least that's the reasoning...)
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Jawbone54
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Aug 28, 2015, 11:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
It isn't so much a game as it's a digital graphic novel, once you've seen it played there's really not much of a reason to play it yourself. (At least that's the reasoning...)
Honestly, I kind of agree with the reasoning.

I don't love the decision, but I understand it enough that it doesn't make me angry or roll my eyes at Sony.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 28, 2015, 11:34 AM
 
C'mon guys, it makes no sense. Youtube provides the same functionality. You're arguing it's ok to see a show as it live, but not to see it on demand.

Sony isn't intentionally keeping 'Until Dawn' off of Twitch
We are currently working on a fix that will enable archiving of Until Dawn Twitch streams as this feature was unintentionally disabled. We are humbled by the community reception of the game and are excited to see fans sharing experiences on Twitch and YouTube. We apologize for the inconvenience and will provide an update as soon as the issue has been resolved.
     
ajprice
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Aug 31, 2015, 04:23 PM
 
Xbox One Elite console coming in November, it has a 1TB hybrid drive, and the Elite controller. $499. New $499 Xbox One Elite bundle includes 1TB SSHD drive, Elite controller | Polygon

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
mattyb
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Sep 3, 2015, 11:42 AM
 
Anyone interested in the Mad Max game?
( Last edited by mattyb; Sep 3, 2015 at 11:58 AM. )
     
Stogieman
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Sep 3, 2015, 04:26 PM
 

Slick shoes?! Are you crazy?!
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Sep 3, 2015, 04:43 PM
 
I'm very happy with the current trend of every multiplayer game getting a beta release. Which is pretty much what we were calling for after Black Ops' problems.

Of course, it only took untold online catastrophes to get here.
     
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Sep 3, 2015, 06:02 PM
 
They're learning from strategy games, I think. Most multiplayer strategy games are in early access now, letting players give feedback on stability and balance issues.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
badidea
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Sep 4, 2015, 05:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Anyone interested in the Mad Max game?
Yes.

Just finished Batman Arkham Knight on the PS4 (which was great) and looking for a new one - either Mad Max or Metal Gear Solid!?
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Sep 4, 2015, 08:59 AM
 
Yeah, Metal Gear is dominating my friends list easily.
     
mattyb
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Sep 4, 2015, 09:22 AM
 
Been probs with online from what little I've read though.

Loads at work are playing Witcher 3, but it doesn't appeal. Might force myself to wait until Fallout 4 before buying something.
     
 
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