Diecast #5: SimCity, Saint’s Row 4, Tress FX

 By Shamus Mar 21, 2013 87 comments

splash_diecast.jpg

And it’s another one of these things that we seem to be doing.


Direct download (MP3)
Direct download (ogg Vorbis)
Podcast RSS feed.

01:30 What’s everyone doing?

Josh is watching movies. When I said “Liam Neesons” it was a reference to this Key & Peele sketch.

Chris is playing Kingdoms of Amalur, and various flavors of Tomb Raider and Uncharted.

Rutskarn has once again run aground on Knights of the Old Republic II. He’s also playing Fallout: New Vegas with ALL THE MODS.

Shamus is playing Antichamber and Tomb Raider. We talked about Adventure for the Atari 2600. You can actually play that in a browser window these days. He’s also playing Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. No really. (And this is the Football Manager game we referenced.)

26:30 SIM CITY IS STILL A STORY WHEN WILL THE NIGHTMARE END?

Here is a partial list of stupid, broken problems in SimCity from Rock, Paper, Shotgun. And another at The Escapist.

Here is a video demonstrating how you can build a massive city with only residential zoning. No jobs. No places to buy things. No public services. Nothing. And it grows to a massive size.

Here is the initial glowing review of SimCity on Polygon that was later altered.

45:00 Saint’s Row 4 Trailer

The trailer we’re talking about is this one:


Link (YouTube)

And here’s the Deadpool Trailer that gets dragged into the discussion.

54:15 Tress FX in Tomb Raider

Here is a video of Tress FX in action.

202020207There are now 87 comments. Almost a hundred!


  1. anaphysik says:

    Shamus, I like how you cleverly avoided the “Hi, I’m Sham-” phenomenom by saying “Hi, I’m Shamus and with me are Jo-” “and also Chri-” “and last-but-not-least-but-definitely-youngest, Rutskar-”

  2. Eric says:

    Apparently the Football Manager series sells really well in Europe. Who could have guessed?
    Important note about Saint’s Row: the new publisher, Deep Silver, is probably most famous in the U.S. for putting out Dead Island.
    I agree that the issue with SR3 was that the setting was a little too ridiculous.

    • Lalaland says:

      Excel for Football Nerds(tm) is a far worse affliction than Evercrack or any other modern variation of addiction. Just yesterday I had a friend text me with pride to tell me his team had renamed their stadium after him and although he’s so far into the future all the players are randomly generated he can’t let go of playing in ‘his’ stadium and beating all the records set by his real life rival team. This is on 2012 edition, he’s had the 2013 for months but his success in 2012 has left it languishing unloved on Steam.

      Never saw the attraction but when it comes to sports management sims I can safely declare it to be the Daddy of the genre. Sports Interactive also made a hockey management sim that was supposedly pretty good too.

      PS Football Manage used to be called Championship Manager (aka ‘Champo’) until Sports Interactive had a falling out with Codemasters (IIRC) and moved to Sega leaving the IP behind.

  3. McNutcase says:

    I’ve finally figured out why Rutskarn is grumpy in that cover/logo art.

    Josh is a cipher. Chris has a healthy beard. Shamus has a beard. Rutskarn has no beard, and is grumpy. Beards equal happiness!

  4. krellen says:

    I’m not able to find the Saint’s Row 4 “Power” Trailer. Anyone else have more luck?

  5. impassiveimperfect says:

    You adopted my naming convention!
    Swell.

    (And if it’s just a coincidence that it resembles it, I shall claim a victory anyway. One must always take the moral high ground in life, after all.)

    • Humanoid says:

      Yeah but now all the Diecasts for the foreseeable future will be labelled SimCity, thus somewhat defeating the point…

      P.S. From a selfish perspective, it’s a shame these are published on Friday afternoons where I am, leaving it too late to listen to during the working week. Sure, I could save it for next week, but I invariably will end up listening to it more or less the same evening.

  6. Trithne says:

    About the PhysX Cards that never were: I would’ve liked if they did happen. Because what ended up happening is that ATi cards can’t do PhysX properly because it’s all proprietary. At least ATi didn’t lock TressFX away behind a hardware wall.

    At the time, I didn’t think that PhysX Cards were going to be a problem: Dedicated soundcards had fallen out of general use, as had dedicated network cards, so we weren’t hurting for space, and I likened it to the dedicated 3d accelerators of about a decade prior (Oh the heady days of having three cards installed just to render your graphics). Then PhysX got bundled into general GPU workload. I won’t say that it was a calculated move to vendor-lock it, but in hindsight I wouldn’t call that theory farfetched.

    • Klay F. says:

      Its just so mind-boggling that something like TressFX would ever become a feature, let alone a selling point for a video game. My first thought was “Wow, the gameplay better be objectively perfect if they are bothering with hair physics.”

      My second thought, “Of course it won’t, this is the video game industry we’re talking about.”

      Side Note: I really fucking hate the name also. It even SOUNDS like a shampoo commercial. Yes, I can be petty.

  7. Relevant to Rutskarn’s desire for a Ghost Rider racing game:

    Ghost Rider on a Segway, and Ghost Rider on a unicycle.

  8. That was a nice discussion of what is wrong with the current saints row franchise, although I would contend that the problem is that everything that is happening is suppose to be considered a joke, and that when the joke is what you do, it makes you question your actions of why you’re doing them.

    I really think saints row 3 is a great game until you kill the guy who killed gat.

  9. anaphysik says:

    I like how Josh’s “as someone who has had hair of similar length” comments imply that he’s /also/ had experience running around on an island getting covered in blood and mud and shit for three or four days XD

    What’s funnier, of course, is that that seems perfectly plausible for Josh… although the island-bit is a tad suspect – now if he’d said ‘running around in THE MOJAVE DESERT getting…’ it /would/ be perfectly plausible.

    • McNutcase says:

      I have hair that long or longer, and experience with it getting wet, muddy, and bloody.

      Ain’t no way it moves like that. Hell, any time you’re doing something even vaguely demanding, a sane person is gonna want to either bust out several more elastic bands, or just braid it. Definitely if you’re climbing around.

      • If I were Laura, the first time I found a blade of any description, I would cut that mess off. No way it’s worth putting up with long hair in environments like that. The whole “hair” thing is audience pandering from start to finish.

        The authors could even have used the “cutting my own hair off” scene as a narrative transition, on the way from “shy girl” to “badass woman”. Alas.

        • McNutcase says:

          Yes and no. Long hair can be a pain in the behind. However, realisticly, with a knife, you’re not going to be able to get a short haircut. The most you can do is chop the ponytail off – and that’s actually counterproductive, because now you have long hair that can get in your face and annoy you and you can’t tie it back. You really need decent-sized scissors or a set of clippers to go from long to short without leaving yourself worse off. And trust me when I say that producing a remotely decent haircut with scissors, no assistant, and no mirror, is not something humans are capable of. I very much doubt the artists would accept a Lara Croft who looks like she’s suffering some kind of weird alopecia, strong character or not.

          If you already have long hair, and you’re in a survival situation without other people and the tools to make a decent cut, you’re far better off tying it up and leaving it. If you have time, you could turn it into dreadlocks, and those would let you get a close cut with a knife – but then we’re looking at a timeframe of months and a significant effort.

    • StashAugustine says:

      Wishing for a nuclear winter the whole time.

    • BeardedDork says:

      I remember there being a lot of mud and blood and shit when I lived in Vegas, but Las Vegas is constantly changing so who knows now?

  10. I love the idea of TressFX! Spending 50+ hours styling hair on a character seems like a great idea.

    Sorry Chris but if you look at any of the offline rendering solutions for hair, it is and always will be terrible. Styling hair, while fun, can take the better part of a work week. Animating a geometric pony tail takes about 10 minutes per action. They actually have Physics on the bones of that ponytail anyways so it actually doesn’t even need to be animated.

    • Chris says:

      I was working under the assumption that because the hair is dynamically animated it would save substantial amount of time, but I can totally see how setting up the style itself could be a tremendous time investment. It’s effectively a particle/physics effect made more complicated by being attached to a character that needs to look believable, not look weird or interrupt gameplay, and stick closely to your character’s concept art. None of which is easy when you’re not dealing with an actual controlled mesh but a giant tangle of hair.

      Curse you, procedural art, with your alluring mutability after someone’s poured hundreds of hours into your configuration up front!

      • Even worse: Imagine graphics cards rated by hair style categories and game ratings manipulated by payola from Vidal Sassoon and Supercuts.

      • Hair is surprisingly not all that procedural. To create a proper hair style you create Guide Hairs that you style accordingly. You run all of your simulation on those hairs. The procedural part is the child hairs that would follow your guide hairs with varying effects attached to them(kink, frizz, clump, etc.). Right now it doesn’t look like they have any of those systems in place. That means no clumps or guide hairs, which is why the hair looks so smooth and light. It also meant that they probably had to hand sculpt the hair style with tools that would make YOUR hair turn white. :)

    • Zukhramm says:

      The point is to not have to spend time on it. What time some methods take to animate hair doesn’t matter, as we’ve seen, it can be done in realtime, and I see no reason a computer couldn’t be used in setting up the style as well.

      • If you start working with a strand renderer though it starts to fall apart. Geometric hair is super easy to control. It is simple in it’s construction(triangles placed by hand). Strand based hair or a hair system of any kind requires much more wrangling. It makes it harder to control the animation and it also makes it harder to create the haircuts you need. Maybe there are easier to use tools but I haven’t seen them yet.

        On a side note I would imagine that the reason the hair looks as much crap as it does is because they don’t have proper clumping controls yet. In other words it is an incomplete system for controlling hair that eats way too much power. In other, other words, it is not a production ready system yet.

  11. anaphysik says:

    True story: watched the TressFX vid you linked before getting to that part of the podcast. …And had misread “tress” as “trees,” so… yeah. Watched that and thought ‘yeah, I guess that vegetation does look kind of nice (though of course I’ve never understood the obsession with graphics anyway – and due to my lack of a graphics card, means very little to me), though it’s funny that they’d do that weird rendering thing with her hair if they’re going for something that doesn’t look butts.’

    So yeah, my perspective is atypical, I take it.

    • Trithne says:

      I just watched the first 3 minutes of the video, and what I took away from it was that for her hair to be whipping around like that it’d need to be blowing a gale, but the trees are barely moving, if at all. No point making wonderful hair physics if the world isn’t supporting them. Which, I guess, is what Shamus was saying when he mentioned over-simulation.

      • enc says:

        You’d be surprised at the range of hair physics people have in real life.

        My hair barely moves in real life, yet I’ve seen boys with shorter hair that flutters if they so much as move their head slightly.

        I’ve seen girls with neck length hair that barely moves at all, and those with hair that swishes so much that there’s about a 1 second delay to it (which also means the slightest breeze will knock it all over the place).

        Although… at least it’s not an nvidia exclusive *COUGH PHYSX THAT ANY CPU CAN BARELY RUN COUGH COUGH*.

      • Eruanno says:

        It looks really damn cool when she’s standing on a high cliff and you can hear the wind wooshing. But when you’re down on the ground and she just barely turns her head and the hair starts spazzing out it is… less cool. Hmm.

  12. silver Harloe says:

    *) Adventure on Atari 2600? You people are so young. When I think of Adventure I think of the text game which I first played on the DEC 2060, though it was already old by then. xyzzy ftw.

    *) Tomb Raider … it’s been 15 years since I played other versions of it, so I guess I didn’t really care about the lore changes. But the game itself was awesome, minus a couple QTE issues I had.

    *) Reviews: I’m reminded of that episode The Critic, “your job is to rate movies from good to great.” “what if I don’t like it?” “that’s what good is for.”

    • Bryan says:

      plugh!

      It is now pitch dark. If you proceed you are likely to fall into a pit.

      (Note, after you get the oyster open, where you are. That’s the only way to get the pearl back…)

    • Trix2000 says:

      Makes me feel both young and old – I played a bit of adventure, but it was in DOS on our old family computer (on which windows 3.1 was like WHOA then).

      I never did get very far though – too young to really understand it well.

  13. StashAugustine says:

    Haven’t watched the video yet, and while TressFX looks a little odd, it’s nothing to ME1 with a ponytail. Thing is immune to physics. Just sits there like a little handle on the back of your head.

  14. Bryan says:

    Well, I don’t think I’m “young”, so this may not help you much Shamus, but I remember Adventu…

    Wait, this isn’t the Colossal Cave Adventure game, with its maze that made no sense because the tunnels bend around but the game doesn’t describe that? Crap. OK, I have no idea what you’re talking about. A dragon that looks like a duck? What I’m remembering didn’t have pictures at all. :-/

    Edit: Well, never mind. See two comments up.

  15. groboclown says:

    A friend of mine was talking to me about how Lora doesn’t have her two pistols in the new game, how the game kind of tells you how she gets them. I kept saying, “She’s rich. She went to the store and bought them.”

    I told this to my wife, a die-hard old-school Tomb Raider fan, and she sad, “You’re absolutely wrong. She was born with them in her hands.”

    That being said, the Tomb Raider games always played with making her hair animated. The Tres FX (or whatever) seems like the next stage in this development.

  16. Jokerman says:

    Yahtzee’s video on SR3 made this connection but the Saints row series is really following the Evil Dead’s road. Only with the main character’s role being switched

    The first was a straight horror flick, few cheesy funny bits in there but on the whole it was pretty straight, Bruce Campbell as “Ash” was played straight…just like all of the characters in the film.

    The second film was a wacky nutty version of the first one, you had Ash being the straight guy thrown into this mental world of kooky monsters and stereotypical side characters.

    Then you have the 3rd, all out wackyville with Ash turned into a swaggering action hero spouting great lines like “Give me some sugar baby”

    Then you get the first Saints row being just a gta knock off with a boring (all but) silent protagonist. The 2nd same GTA knockoff world but also being parodied with a wacky protagonist. Then the 3rd is all wacky….and when everything is wacky nothing is wacky….its all just normal.

    • Thomas says:

      I sort of appreciated some of that in 3 though because it allowed me to do whatever I like without getting bogged down. I always end up feeling a little fed up with myself going on an Assassins Creed playthrough but Saints Row was unreal enough for it not to matter

  17. X2-Eliah says:

    That TressFX thing seems a lot like one of those technologies fawned over by cgi-artists all over, and not much cared about by anyone else.
    Which is, in a way, telling: we are at a point, in gpu-related technologies – when massive improvements are internally focused, created by cgi artists for cgi artists, and not for normal people/gamers anymore. (AKA stop the goddamn graphics race already)

  18. Kevin Wagner says:

    I have not played adventure but I have heard about it :).

  19. Sean says:

    So I’ve only listened to two of the Diecasts so far… and so far, pretty pleased – nice work!

    My question is – is there a dedicated feed for this, specifically one that I can push into my podcatcher? It really (really, really) makes it a lot more convenient to grab a specific podcast feed in a dedicated app, than to have to manually download the file for each podcast and listen in my music player.

    So – did I miss a link somewhere? Can someone tell me how I might grab the feed for Diecasts?

  20. Simon Buchan says:

    HA! I totally watched Shindler’s List back-to-back with Taken the first time I saw them, too!

    Oddly, I found Shindler’s List to be less believable…

  21. rgove says:

    In the linked TressFX video, look at the way the entire Lara model shifts across the ground at 2:55-3:00 with only a loose correlation to how her feet are being animated. There’s no excuse for messing with individual hair strand animations if you still haven’t fixed basic realism failures like that.

  22. Jokerman says:

    Pretty much anyone who has ever played Kingdom of Amalur comes a way saying “It was alright” Which…at least to me means good, fun little game that does not really do anything new or interesting…fun to play. I don’t think anyone dislikes the game…its not a bad game. Just….meh

    Its almost as if they went out to make just a “decent” game, whole thing lack ambition.

  23. Wulfgar says:

    #1 game reviews
    i completely stopped reading them. the are useless (worse: an form of advertisement that publishers buy through “free stuff”/access/adds for game sites). you cannot review games like “total war” after paying it for 4 days. the bugs and issues of empire total war and medieval 2 total war become obvious after 2 week for me. without mods those games were unplayable for people that spend months on this type of RTS. i visit “mainstream” game sites just for news.
    This problem of game journalism helped me discovered errantsignal, TUN, Spoiler warning, escapist, (…)

    #2 TressFX
    it drive me little mad when people now are fed up with this kind of tactic but they didn’t saw a problem with PhysX. at least you can run TressFX on Nvidia cards.
    but like Chris said. it’s good idea (or i hope someday it will be). like SpeedTree made making trees in games easier i hope that this will evolve in making hair for characters little simpler.

  24. lurkey says:

    I remember reading that Chris Avellone slogged through the majority of SW material, extended stuff and all, in preparation to write for KOTOR2, so you are wrong to blame him for not researching, Rutzkarn. Now, disrespecting the said material is whole another thing – MCA publicly admitted he pretty much hated everything about the setting, it shows in the writing and that’s what probably rubbing you the wrong way. :-)

    • karthik says:

      I remember reading as much, probably in one of his reddit AMAs. Frankly, I thought KOTOR 2 took down Star Wars a notch or two, in a good way.

      Speaking of MCA, he’s a stretch goal now on the Torment Kickstarter. With Patrick Rothfuss joining them shortly, they’re building a cRPG dream team, looks like.

      • Thomas says:

        I still maintain KotoR 2 only has to take SW material down a notch if you want it to. None of the people talking down the Light side/dark side ideology are reliable narrators, in fact no-one in that game is. Given the ending you could easily read that as ultimately supporting SW canon

    • Rutskarn says:

      Actually–although I can’t go back through the cast right now to check–I believe this is exactly what I said.

      My complaint was that they didn’t seem to be really *into* the material they were using. Which is fair, because by request I ran a Star Wars campaign once and while it didn’t turn out bad, I often felt the same way–like this was a setting designed for someone else’s ministrations.

      • Mademies says:

        Considering KOTOR 2, are you using The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod? This mod helps with many problems & bugs the original release had and improves the coherence of its story a lot.

      • lurkey says:

        Ah, I misinterpreted “not into” as “showed no effort”, sorry. My understanding of English is especially limp when these small conjunctive word thingies are involved. :-)

        And to answer Thomas above — unreliable narrator’s one thing, but the message “Jedi are stubborn, sanctimonious tools not so different from the Sith who also are not as cool as they think they are” is pretty clear and outside narration, if you ask me.

        • Thomas says:

          I disagree, I read that as a sign of her darksidedness and part of what undermined her point.

          Maybe its because I’ve heard people make her points about strength in real life and they’ve never been willing to help in situations where it isn’t true, so its natural for me to read it as BS.

          If you want to read it as BS I can absolutely confirm the game will do nothing to stop that

          • lurkey says:

            I didn’t refer to Kreia’s teachings. Atris’ fall, Council’s cowardice and inability to admit they can make mistakes, Nihilus’ yin to Exile’s yang – it all happened in the game.

        • sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

          Well, this was true of the Jedi in the Prequels, too, though.

      • Jace911 says:

        I have to echo this as well; as a huge Star Wars nerd I find that I put a lot more effort into DMing my Saga campaign than any of my other games, and as a consequence my players said they found themselves more immersed in the Star Wars galaxy than they had been in, say, the Sword Coast or the Nentir Vale when I ran D&D. Because I had that knowledge to draw on and because my players (With one exception) weren’t nearly as ‘into’ the lore as I was they felt like they were being presented with a living breathing world instead of me reading them the details paragraph from the DM’s guide to (Insert continent).

        By contrast Obsidian went into KOTOR 2 not seeking to explore Star Wars, but to deconstruct it. And while I think it’s a fantastic deconstruction it is still ultimately less immersive than a straight-forward RPG would have been, since part of the player’s attention is being drawn towards the constant subversions of the series’ tropes.

      • Slothful says:

        That’s a fair point to make. Much of KOTOR 2 seems to intended a deconstruction of the entire Star Wars setting, and there are a couple elements that directly contradict firmly established things in Star Wars. There’s also the fact that the entire story is mostly designed to criticize the simplistic Light Side/Dark Side dichotomy, and as such, it’s written entirely with the assumption that the player will blindly pursue one side or the other, so if you try to treat it as an open-ended story, you’ll be greatly disappointed. There’s also loads of pacing issues and busy work for the player.

        That being said, the story is interesting as hell, and if you go into it understanding that the game takes its prequel and setting as only a suggestion rather than a guidline, you will be satisfied.

        Of course, there’s also the massive hook for a sequel that never really happened lying around, so it definitely won’t be a fully satisfying experience when all is said and done, but you’ll be richer for it.

  25. Phantom Hoover says:

    I haven’t had time to listen to the whole thing yet, but I’d be very interested in Shamus’ opinions on GlassBox given his interest in simulation and procedural generation. My impression of the coverage is that Maxis were simulating the wrong thing from the beginning, which has caused or exacerbated many of the game’s problems.

  26. Cuthalion says:

    Hooray for Diecast! The janitor demands content!

    But bother, the cutof- problem seems to have returned. Guess we got lucky last time. (Was it last time? One of them had far fewer cutoffs.)

  27. Deadpool says:

    My cousin and I used to play Sierra’s Ultimate Soccer Manager:

    http://www.amazon.com/Sierra-Sports-Ultimate-Soccer-Manager-Pc/dp/B00001NFGG

    But we’re Brazilian, so that’s essentially expected (we also played Fallout and Leisure Suit Larry together, so we got all sorts of nerd).

    As for Deadpool… *sighs* Okay, here’s why people are upset.

    Here’s the context: Deadpool was created as a villain by a low skill hack named Rob Liefeld, as a one note reference to Deathstroke, but funny.

    His co writer (and thus Deadpool’s co creator) Fabian Nicieza wrote a mini series implying that he may not be irredeemable.

    From this point on, better writers, namely Mark Waid, followed by Joe Kelly took this idea to the next level. Joe Kelly is really the one that gave the character its soul: Deadpool’s story is a tragedy with a funny main character. Deadpool is a tortured, broken soul who uses his comedy as a way to protect himself.

    THIS is the Deadpool that grew in popularity. Joe Kelly’s pacing was amazing, see sawing from fun times at the aquarium with his roomate, to reminding his blind, octogenarian “roomate” is a prisoner and next time someone tried to help her escape, he boarded him into a wall and left him to die and rot there while she heard and smelled him.

    It was less about subverting the badass nineties and more of a look at a truly dark, hopeless man trying to make something of his life. I cannot recommend Joe Kelly’s run (Most of it collected in Deadpool Classic books 2-5, although its first issue is the last story in Deadpool Classic book 1) enough for a look and real drama and comedy merging.

    Kelly left Marvel, and thus Deadpool. The comic struggled with bad editing and bad writers until… Gail Simone and UDON took over. They did a descent job, but the book was quickly canceled and replaced with Agent X (which was QUITE good) as a publicity stunt.

    UDON was known for the Street Fighter comics, with a sleek art style reminiscent of anime, had connections to gaiaonline.com and were extremely popular with the tweens.

    Part of Agent X’s storyline involved Deadpool being, literally, an idiot (someone with psychic powers scrambled his brain). Scans of these “funniest moments” of Deadpool spread across the internet and it was a LOT of people’s first impressions of the character.

    After Agent X was cancelled, Fabian Nicieza was once again tapped to write the character, this time under the Cable & Deadpool comic. Now drawn by Mark Brooks doing his very best UDON impression, FabNic did his best to capitalize in this newfound audience. Sticking with the zany, crazy, potty humor, silly for the point of silliness style, he reinvented the character.

    Deadpool became more popular than ever. Between his popularity in games (X-Men Legends and Marvel Ultimate Alliance both used him as playable characters) and the new comic, FabNic’s new take on the character became the norm, and at this point better known and Kelly’s. The character has gone through several writers since, but all building on NICIEZA’S take on the character.

    Daniel Way is the one who made up the two extra voices in his head, and the one writing the game (or helping write, who knows). As you may be able to tell, I stopped giving a shit after FabNic destroyed everything Kelly built…

    • Zoe M. says:

      I don’t really think Deadpool is made for us. It looks like the kind of thing drunk frat-boys would pop in for a laugh. And in that context, who knows? It might work…

    • Shamus says:

      Thanks for the history. I knew the character was loved, but I didn’t understand why.

      The 90′s pretty much killed my interest in comics.

      • Deadpool says:

        To be fair, there are a lot of crappy comics nowadays too, but there ARE some gems. 90s wasn’t much different. Just had to know where to look. But yeah, a lot of people thought it was too much trouble.

        I do like sharing my nerd with other people though… If you would trust me with a mailing address, I can provide some Deadpool… Even if it’d take some time…

  28. Sneeky says:

    I wonder if TR would have been accepted better or worse if it was just a new IP without all the baggage of Lara Croft attached to it.

  29. Dev Null says:

    Loved Antichamber. I hope you’ll be inspired to write a review of it – like to hear what you thought.

  30. Jace911 says:

    Alright, that’s it. Josh needs to begin every future episode of Spoiler Warning and Diecast in that Scottish accent.

    All in favor?

  31. Sean Hagen says:

    Just out of curiosity, would it be possible to get an RSS feed for just the Diecast posts? Preferably one that can be used in a podcast application. I’m not sure if you can enable media enclosures for particular posts in WordPress, but there’s probably a WP plugin out there that will let you do that.

    • Ranneko says:

      I would like to second this. The Diecast does not work in podcast clients. It is frustrating because this makes it a lot less convenient to try to listen to, way more fiddly to do so on my phone.

  32. So Rutskarn, how much grinding can you do in the Deep Roads?

    And Shamus, I’ve played Adventure, though being born in ’88 feels less young than it should…

  33. Tektotherriggen says:

    I can think of at least one non-game example of when changing a review is valid. Suppose you’re a book reviewer, and you give a pre-publication novel a glowing review based especially on the final chapter, that reveals incredible twists and paints the entire story in a fascinating new light. Then, when the book is released, you find that the publisher cut out that final chapter, leaving just a dull, clichéd, obvious plot. I think it would be reasonable to retract or amend your review in that case, just as it is valid to re-score a game when the released version is significantly different from the one you reviewed (i.e., that worked).

    I’m less sure whether a review should be changed because you learn of a flaw you didn’t find at first. Perhaps preface the review with a description of the flaw, and apologise for being a rushed reviewer?

  34. sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    While I have heard enough bad things to put me off buying SimCity for a while, this particular complaint about the simulation had not seemed so damning to me. Then again, I was a fan of the Impressions city-builders, which worked on the same principle.

    Getting residents to move in isn’t the problem, its getting the city to work smoothly and well. Without balancing industry and commerce with residences you might get big cities, but you won’t get good ones. You want the really nice, impressive cities, you have to put more work into it than just get lots of residents. In Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom, getting a set number of residents was trivial -just zone the whole place. But that was a boring city which would burn down pretty quickly.

  35. [...] One major problem with the graphics of Tomb Raider that I heard about concerned the game’s Tress FX, the technology used to make Lara’s hair significantly more “realistic”.  It sounds like it takes a really high end-machine to run (as in, you can uber max out every single visual setting, but turn on Tress and the computer screams “UNCLE!” type of high-end machine), and pulls resources from places it shouldn’t need to.  It sounds like a technical problem.  I don’t know.  Shamus & Co. talk more about it towards the end of their recent podcast. [...]

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  1. By Errant Signal - Tomb Raider | Mythgamer on March 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    [...] One major problem with the graphics of Tomb Raider that I heard about concerned the game’s Tress FX, the technology used to make Lara’s hair significantly more “realistic”.  It sounds like it takes a really high end-machine to run (as in, you can uber max out every single visual setting, but turn on Tress and the computer screams “UNCLE!” type of high-end machine), and pulls resources from places it shouldn’t need to.  It sounds like a technical problem.  I don’t know.  Shamus & Co. talk more about it towards the end of their recent podcast. [...]

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