Diecast #61: Video Editing, Nintendo’s Cut, Watch_Dogs

By Shamus
on Jun 2, 2014
Filed under:
Diecast

178 comments

We’re proud to present this hour of podcast, which is completely free of anyone talking about Dark Souls. You’re welcome. However, I now own Dark Souls, so one of these days we’re going to have that conversation. You have not gained your freedom. Only a reprieve.


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

Show notes:
1:00 Shamus is Playing Wolfenstein: The New Order.

But I’m only a couple of hours in and don’t have anything to say about it yet.

1:30 Josh is looking into video editing software.

So is Chris. And Shamus.

14:30 Mumbles talks about how Nintendo has decided to take a cut of let’s plays and streamers.

I should have pointed out: Lots of streamers and LP-ers are moving to Flattr, PayPal, and Patreon. What happens when everyone is posting ad-free videos and there’s nothing for Nintendo to take? How is YouTube going to respond to this move that indirectly makes their service even more unprofitable by encouraging us peasants to not monetize?

This could get strange.

23:00 Mumbles is playing Transistor.


Link (YouTube)

25:30 Chris is playing Watch_Dogs.

30:00 LUDONARRATIVE DISSONANCE

Aw yeah. That’s the stuff.

37:00 Chris is now the proudBut not really. owner of an Xbox One.

44:00 MAILBAG!

You often complain about discuss contradictory themes in video games, such as in Wolfenstein where the player first witnesses a concentration camp portrayed fairly seriously and then escapes in a giant mecha suit to fight zombie robots. It seems that this can be attributed to game development teams having multiple developers with conflicting visions of what the game should be. Do you have any ideas as to how a game developed by multiple people can still retain thematic consistency?

Sincerely,
Mike

I haven’t really played them (except Mass Effect 2) but Zero Punctuation describes an entire generation of cover based shooting where guys trudge around really slowly and have to rely on cover.

Question, is all that slowness and being locked down to cover about working around last gen console limitations? I.E. player moves slowly so that rendering can keep up? Is that why we’re getting games now like Wolfenstein where current gen hardware is fast enough to let the player move around again?

groupthinker1984

I recently noticed that Deus Ex: Human revolution and its DLC has been removed from Steam. You can instead by the Director’s Cut. While I’m sure that the Director’s Cut has improved parts of the game that needed it, it still bothers me that the original is not available. While this is particularly clear with this game that has received a major overhaul, isn’t the same true for all games? What if I dislike a particular update? What if I want to go back to see the history and process of the game’s development?

Mincraft lets you choose what version of the game to play. Should all games offer this? Should Steam let you do this? Or should we just let the latest update be the one true version and pretend the previous ones never existed?

/Zukhramm

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Footnotes:

[1] But not really.


A Hundred!20202018Many comments. 178, if you're a stickler

From the Archives:

  1. poiumty says:

    What? No Dark Souls?

    Boooooo.

  2. Wide And Nerdy says:

    I really dug the Jurassic Park quote applied to Nintendo.

    Chris, you have been enjoyed.

  3. Annikai says:

    I was totally playing Angry Birds in my pajamas while listening to this. How did she know?

  4. Zukhramm says:

    I didn’t mention The Stanley Parable because I thought the question was already getting way to long, but I’ll admit that I have the game set not to update. Not out of any desire to defend the original version of the joke but out of some kind of discomfort at the game irreversibly changing.

    We get by with movies and books having multiple versions, though with them we have maybe three distinct versions. With games we modify them frequently and a large number of times. Maybe games are inherently more mutable, but in that case I was they were mutable in both directions.

    • Bubble181 says:

      I know I used to play Diablo II Vanila, and later 1.08, instead of downloading the newest and latest version. As I played only single player, I chose to stick with the version that “works” best for SP – the updates generally added end-game content at the cost of making many rare and unique drops even harder to get ,which, if you were playing solo, was completely the opposite of what you wanted. Different versions can do different things better.

      • Thomas says:

        I know I defended (at least partially) the DX:HR decision down below so I will now admit to hypocrisy. I still much prefer the non-extended cut of Mass Effect 3 to the extended-cut. If they didn’t allow you to choose which one you wanted, which would be entirely believable, I would be annoyed.

  5. I’ve been looking at free video editing software and one that is free (but also has a premium version) is Lightworks http://www.lwks.com/ which is supposedly used by various big movie studios.
    The free version is limited in some aspect (less formats supported and you can only export 720p)

    Anybody got any experience with this one?

    EDIT: Seems they are having a 30% off right now.

    Other video editors are Corel VideoStudio and Sony Vegas.
    There’s a article from 2013m reviewing these http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9238230/4_video_editors_Pro_results_for_ambitious_amateurs

    Here is a free one http://www.videosoftdev.com/free-video-editor

    • Alex says:

      Heard good things about Sony Vegas.

      • I did some testing here, Pinacle did not install properly, and Vegas had major issues with a video file (had to remux from mkv to mp4 first to make it accept it at all) and it just hung, unable to load the video.

        Corel VideoStudio Pro on the other hand while it does not support mkv directly, it did happily accept the remuxed mp4 file, and splicing a 3+GB big file and doing crossfades and so on worked fine. It also looks amd feels “right”. Vegas felt to Mac/Linux/Adobe’ish, by that I meant that grey bland “pro” look, Corel VideoStudio felt like it had an identity and that helps make it feel more comfortable to use.

        Interesting VideoStudio is also the cheapest of those mentioned, and it comes with screen grabber tool, no idea how that compares to FRAPS or if it works with DirectX/OpenGL games or not though.

      • Eruanno says:

        Sony Vegas is okay, but the interface is… not great. I’m not super fond of it and I would probably recommend Premiere over it, if given the choice.

      • Volatar says:

        I love Sony Vegas. I use it for all my video editing needs. It’s straightforward, without all the fanciness of Premiere, but still has all the same power.

        I still haven’t fully figured out the right encoding settings though.

      • Geebs says:

        Does it play nice with other applications though? I’ve been worried about the exporting options, ever since somebody told me that whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas

    • Piflik says:

      I recently used Lightworks (Free). It gets the job done, but to be efficient, you’d need to use it a lot to learn all the (for me) strange new design paradigms…it’s not Blender in its unwieldiness, but it’s close.

  6. If you go to http://www.techspot.com/news/51316-adobe-offering-creative-suite-2-for-free-but-they-didnt-mean-to.html you may still be able to get CS2 suite for free from Adobe (if the installer and serials are still available there that is).

    • Piflik says:

      I just downloaded it yesterday, since I needed a quick PS. It is still available, and it still says you need a valid license to be allowed to use these serials, but I don’t think they have anything against you downloading and using it.
      The theory that they don’t really object to piracy, is actually true. Same with Autodesk. As soon as artists earn money with these products, they buy them. And until then they use them. When it comes to decide which program to buy, there is really no other choice than the one you’re used to.

      • *nod* and Adobe Audition is pretty damn good, best multitrack audio editor I’ve used so far. I used to use v1.5 way back, I never liked v2 (it also kept changing system settings, turning GUI animations on etc when I had them off).
        v3.0 is pretty good, despite being 7 years old now. and works find with Windows 7 as well which is nice.

        If I recall correctly you can get these from that download URL:
        Adobe Creative Suite CS2 (Standard)
        Acrobat 3D 1.0 (Windows)
        Acrobat 7.0 Standard
        Acrobat Pro 8.0
        Audition 3.0
        GoLive CS2
        Illustrator CS2
        InCopy CS2
        InDesign CS2
        Photoshop CS2
        Photoshop Elements 4.0/5.0
        Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0

        A note on Audition 3.0 though. Make sure you patch it, the is a um v3.0.1 patch, and there is also a manual fix needed on top of that (it fixes a particular issue so may not be needed by all).

        As to why they still provide the download with serials.
        My guess is that this way they get some statistics, and the turnaround of people that end up buying a newer version or upgrading is high enough to justify it.
        I suspect poor folks and struggling artists or students or cheapskates are the most likely ones.
        And as you said, once they can afford it they probably upgrade to the latest of something they are familiar with.

        I wish more companies did this. It’s an awesome way to promote your stuff by letting a older version act as almost a full functioning demo of your later stuff.
        Another benefit is there is no risk of viruses (unless the Adobe site get hacked).

        I’m not sure of the exact reason but them providing this with serial is maybe part of a software sunset strategy as their DRM systems has been shutdown or changed. Just me speculating though. *shrug*

        • Cuthalion says:

          “I’m not sure of the exact reason but them providing this with serial is maybe part of a software sunset strategy as their DRM systems has been shutdown or changed. Just me speculating though. *shrug*”

          I’m pretty sure it was exactly that. I remember that being the reasoning at the time: the activation servers were taken down or something, so they put them on the site for legacy users. Apparently they have the ethics (or their business customers have the legal money) to actually realize they can’t just decide to let a thing you bought from them stop working because of them.

          I think my brother snagged this, or in a similar incident where they made CS3 or something super cheap by accident and decided not to try and retract everyone’s cheap licenses.

  7. Tizzy says:

    I feel a terrible sense of deja-vu (deja-entendu?) about the Nintendo story. Am I imagining things, or did they try to pull something similar about a year ago?

  8. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    Regarding the slower pace of games, I read recently that the old protagonists of Doom and Quake moved at something like automobile speeds, which became really hard to do believably once the games shifted to third person. You would notice that the lefts are not doing near enough movement to cover the distances involved.

    The slower pace of the stop-and-pop also came out of the switch to more realistic squad-based shooters like the original Ghost Recon. Back then, slowness was encouraged by lethality -one shot killed you, so you had to stick to cover, and only pop out when you had a legitimate shot (or more likely, could flank someone).

    The playstyle remained even when regenerating health and other similar things were added.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      The slower movement in fps is mostly because of consoles.You cant really aim as fast with a controller.

      • Jokerman says:

        PC players find it really hard, but people who have been on console long enough you get pretty good at it… the new Wolfenstein did not feel too fast, i was actually playing doom on console last year too (it came with the doom 3 hd version) and that felt fine for me.

        I think the console players can handle it honestly… It would look silly in 3rd person though, if they moved at doom speeds it would be a Benny Hill sketch.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Sure.But how long did it take you to hone that skill?In its infancy,fps with a controller was basically like m&k in its infancy.We didnt start with full sphere of targeting and leaping around like frogs either.Doom is pretty limited when compared to unreal tournament,for example.

          Also,you have to admit that amongst players with equal skill,you would fall behind a guy with k&m.Just how I would fall behind a controller guy in a brawler.So just like a brawler intended for keyboard would be more limited than one intended for a controller,an fps intended for a controller would be more limited when compared to one intended for mouse aiming.

          • Jokerman says:

            k&m is better, id never argue against that. I just don’t see the need to excessively slow the game down for controllers, since people on console play others on console anyway.

            In fact fps’s on console started out really fast, games like Goldeneye or perfect dark were not slow… then Halo was a huge success and set a trend, but im not so sure it was done due to limitations, then everyone else started doing it due to gaming’s “follow the leader” culture.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Thats how it started on pc.The first really successful one set the trend,and then others followed.It was a long time before half life and thief emerged to try new stuff.

              • Tizzy says:

                In general, I think it is hard to overstate the power of trends, in any kind of design.

                The slow cover-based shooter probably originated from a mix of considerations, from hardware to software to the expanding player base, but, ultimately, at soon as any trend takes off, it just becomes the done thing and the newcomers don’t necessarily think that hard about why things are done this way rather than some other way. They may not even be aware of what considerations led to that particular state of the art; especially since these considerations have to be a mix of low-level and big picture stuff.

                I guess what I am trying to say is that it takes a lot of careful consideration and fine-tuning to come up with a new paradigm, but, once it is established, it can be imitated without the need to understand why certain design choices were made.

                So, if people don’t know why they’re doing certain things, can we still say it’s part of the reason why they’re done? In particular, I imagine that a certain feature designed to solve a technical problem may end up sticking around after the problem has become non-existent.

            • sofawall says:

              I saw a talk from the then-Bungie devs about Halo development. Halo was actually specifically balanced around consoles in terms of weapons, movement etc. It’s one reason the sniper rifle and the pistol were so ridiculous in the first game (it wasn’t expected to get be able to get consistent headshots on a controller, so what headshots you got with marksman weapons had to count) and also drove how grenades work, specifically.

              Since Halo was so popular and (possibly because) it was balanced so well around console controls, a very large number of games followed the trend.

        • boz says:

          It’s not about if “you” can handle it. There are at least 4 different mechanisms helping you aim on console shooters (Snapping, Friction, Acceleration, and Magnetism). If you speed gameplay up those mechanisms become harder to code and easier to fail.

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          Thats easy, put the character on skates. It will redefine the third person shooter with rocket skates genre.

      • Joe Informatico says:

        I don’t buy the technical limitations of consoles argument for why third-person shooters are slower moving. There was Vanquish, a game released for PS3 and Xbox 360, that was basically a Japanese studio attempting to make a Western cover-based shooter. So they made it a bullet-hell game and gave the protagonist power armour that gave him a limited superspeed boost (basically the inverse of bullet-time: instead of slowing down all the enemies, it made you faster). And instead of hiding behind cover just to regenerate health, you also had to hide while your boosters cooled down–which didn’t take very long. Jetting around the battlefield dodging attacks and hiding behind cover for a few seconds to recharge was a preferred tactic. Check out some gameplay footage.

        The aiming issue might have legs, but a lot of console games get around that with autoaim, and I’ve seen my teenaged cousins with a lot more practice in console shooters than me do okay.

    • Nidokoenig says:

      Another issue with fast paced movement on a TV screen is that you’re further away, but the designer can’t really know how much further, so field of view and thus motion sickness become issues. Slowing everything down helps there.

      Hideki Kamiya mentions in his playthrough of Bayonetta that getting levels to load quickly enough to keep up with the Panther transformation’s movement was an issue, so it seems hardware capabilities is something of a concern, at least in games like that which have levels where you can backtrack quite a long way and they try to avoid loading screens outside of area transitions or hide them behind cut scenes.

      Besides which, faster games generally need to either have assets that they can repeat over and over, areas you go back and forth across, or a lot of assets, otherwise they’re just short. Since consoles have to be prepared to load from disk, and thus suffer long loading screens, they probably also have to account for gameplay to loading screen ratios. I remember back when Sonic Unleashed was getting a kicking for its Werehog stages that the point was made that they’re relatively cheap asset wise, and the traditional high-speed Daytime stages were ludicrously expensive per minute of entertainment. So having a modern AAA game that’s fast all the time is a great way to spend a lot of money on a three hour game.

  9. Brendan says:

    Is there anyway of getting the Diecast into a standard RSS feed for my podcast catcher? Am I doing it wrong? I am using BeyondPod on android.
    Any help or suggestions would be super awesome.

  10. McGurker says:

    You guys didn’t talk about SPIDER TANK!

    No, but I thought it was really remarkable how many different types of game play in this game, with the four audio logs and the weird racing and the chess and the ball and cup game. I felt the same way about the lack of integration of the hacking gimmick and the bizarness of the story line and the general rote narrative etc., but the game just has so much to DO and you guys didn’t seem to think that was the case!

    But I also noticed you all have much higher expectations than me and my friends, ha.

    • MichaelGC says:

      I found TotalBiscuit’s video amusing – he happened to be talking about how seriously the game takes itself whilst simultaneously rolling around stomping on things in his massive spider-tank.

  11. Arsen says:

    So last I checked, Nintendo has over a trillion in yen in total assets. Mumbles is completely wrong about Nintendo dying, they have more than enough capital to have a flop. And earning the ire of niche gamers doesn’t hurt their bottom line, as EA has shown us time and time again.

    Please do some research next time.

    • Shamus says:

      A trillion yen is ten billion. Yes, that’s a lot of money, but you can burn through it fast if you’ve got a console that nobody buys. Nintendo can lose money for a long time before they go broke, but it will happen eventually. Since they aren’t doing anything particularly drastic to change their fortunes, then it stands to reason they’re going to keep losing money for a while. Ergo, saying “they are dying” is an accurate if hyperbolic appraisal of their condition.

      As for your second argument: So you’re saying PR doesn’t matter? I wonder why companies spend so much money on it then? You’re using the case that EA had lousy PR for years and didn’t go out of business to make the assertion that no company ever needs to worry about PR. That’s absurd.

      Anyway, even if your points weren’t way off, your demand for “research” is unreasonable. We have unrehearsed conversations about games every week. Like the conversations you have every day, sometimes someone is misinformed. The solution is not to demand that nobody ever speak until they’ve done research. The solution is to politely correct people when their facts are wrong.

      • I wonder if Nintendo is planning to waste money on a new console, what would the name of that be I wonder.
        WiiToo or WiiTriol ? If they had half a brain they go for a Steambox based system. There is no way they’ll be able to keep up witb Xbone and PS4. But they’ll probably waste money trying anyway.

      • JackTheStripper says:

        To Shamus’ point, there’s been several reports of Nintendo losing money much faster than they had predicted. That their war chest was not gonna last as long as they initially thought. More importantly though, Nintendo significantly lowered their own sales forecasts a few months ago and they still did not reach them.

        That said, Nintendo’s saving grace have always been their first-party games (that doesn’t excuse them from shooting themselves in the foot with the youtube thing though), so with Mario Kart and Smash Bros on the horizon, they might recover from their dismal sales.

        • Humanoid says:

          Mario Kart did just release and in terms of numbers is doing what a killer app should be doing. Limited figures, but it was released in Japan on the 29th of May and ended up being the #1 selling video game in the country for the month, and it also put the console as the country’s top seller for the first time in a very long time. In the UK, console sales are up a devilish 666%.

          Of course, only time will tell how long the tail will be, and whether it’s just a dead cat bounce.

          • JackTheStripper says:

            Oh, no. Nintendo sold their soul for better sales.

            • Actually the number of the beast is 616, the 666 is wrong and has been so for ages, history is weird like that. :)

              I forget where but wasn’t there a town somewhere that changed the name of a busline from 666 to 616 just so the number wouldn’t be evil. Then researchers found that the actual number of the beast was 616. oops. *laughs*

              As per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_the_beast it seems 616 became 666 either due to translation mistakes, duplication mistake or because some “marketing guy” thought that 666 sounded cooler and matched better with 777 and 888 and such.

              So yeah, marketing folks messed things up thousands of years ago too :P

              • somePunk says:

                That depends on who is reading it. Some still believe in the triple and others believe in other. The problem here is the translation of the language to our language.

                That’s why you got many different translations of the Bible and each one saying that they are the definite version.

      • Arsen says:

        Sorry for being unreasonable, I was in a bad mood. Should have cooled off before making a hot headed post.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        “Ergo, saying “they are dying” is an accurate if hyperbolic appraisal of their condition.”

        Not really.SPS 3 was in such a situation,but sony is still a thing.Just as well,nintendo can coast on its other stuff until they release the next big thing to turn their fortune around.

        • Shamus says:

          OH MY GOSH SOMEONE USED HYPERBOLE THAT IS SLIGHTLY MORE NEGATIVE THAN I CAN ACCEPT.

          Really? Are we going to have this argument? Over whether Mumbles is TOO hyperbolic when she uses “dying” to mean “losing money really fast” in a rapid fire conversation? I could understand if this was an article, but come on.

          Also, the fact that SPS3 did poorly and Sony survived does not mean that it’s impossible to go out of business by releasing an under-performing console.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Im not arguing,Im just pointing out that failed console launches happened,but they werent as fatal as one might expect.

            Its definitely possible to go bankrupt over it,I agree.But I dont think its that likely.

            • JackTheStripper says:

              The WiiU did not have bad launch sales (they were better than the PS3’s and the Xbox 360’s), the problem is that 2 years in, the PS3 had already recovered from their rocky start (by 2008 they had already sold about 19 million units total, according to vgchartz, lagging behind Xbox 360 by just under 1 million units) and the WiiU is instead worse than before (save the very latest news that Mario Kart 8 is doing well though).

              The WiiU had a great start, not as good as the Wii’s, but still a very good one, and since then their sales have been heading straight down for two years now (as of now, they have only sold about 6 million units, again according to vgchartz). So no, the WiiU’s sales do not mirror the PS3’s at all.

      • RandomInternetCommenter says:

        “So you’re saying PR doesn’t matter?”

        What kind of strawman is that?

        PR matters, but the target audience for that PR (and video games) isn’t niche gamers.

        Those big Watch Dogs signs plastered all over the local brick and mortar store aren’t going to matter one bit to the PC guy who gets his information from TotalBiscuit and will skip the game due to performance issues; nor are they trying to.

        • Shamus says:

          Remember the context of what we’re talking about. Nintendo is specifically going after YouTube personalities. What happens if TotalBiscuit et al get pissed and decide not to make their video at all? (Which isn’t much of a stretch.)

          When your console is already performing poorly, the LAST thing you want is to impede what little exposure you might be getting.

          • Paul Spooner says:

            Okay, so, there’s an interesting cultural side to this whole deal. I’ve been living in Japan for two months now, and their culture really is different from American culture in a lot of ways.

            The most relevant one here is that Japanese don’t seem to mind failing, as long as they are seen to fail in an honorable way. If you tried your hardest, and acted with dignity, then it doesn’t matter if you loose money or can’t accomplish your goals. Society (in Japan) will forgive you, and life will go on.

            I suspect the Youtube thing is seen as a reasonable honorable action from a Japanese perspective. It isn’t “driving away publicity” as much as it is “asking politely for what is due”. The uproar isn’t seen as a public rebuke. It’s seen as foreigners acting impolitely and making a scene. And, like all rude behavior, it will be ignored as completely as possible.

            I’m not trying to say that either side is right or wrong here (though I do think both sides could learn something from this), but that it’s a misunderstanding that goes deeper than either party seems to recognize.

      • Peter H. Coffin says:

        $10bn is what IBM pulls in on a good month. For a tech company, that’s not much at all.

    • Thomas says:

      The $10 billion number seems to have arisen from this article in 2012 where they had 800 billion Yen in disposable assets
      http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2012/03/nintendo_reportedly_has_8128_billion_yen_in_the_bank

      To show you how little that is in real terms, in 2014, only 2 years later, they now have 340 billion Yen, or $3.3 billion
      http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/05/nintendo-lowers-the-bar-for-hardware-sales-misses-anyway/

  12. Target182 says:

    When I first heard about Watch_Dogs I felt like they were trying to cash in on a big neck-beard “hackers are really cool powerful people” circle jerk power fantasy, it sounds like I’m right :(

  13. krellen says:

    Thank you for no Dark Souls.

  14. Regarding Watch Dogs, whatever team did the spying/eavesdropping stuff should have been given the task of designing the whole game. I agree with Chris, that stuff is really good.

    Oh and Mumbles, people sitting on a couch playing video games is actually something you can spy on too, totally boring, the amusing part is that the view is from a robot vacuum passing by the couch.

    And what the hell is up with how hacking is portrayed in games? I’m sick and tired of seeing shitty old Pipedream. It was there in Bioshock, (it was even in the Mass Effect series ?) and a whole bunch of other games, and here it is again in Watch Dogs.

    Fallout: New Vegas (and I guess Fallout 3 too?) actually innovated, although you did not really do any hacking but rather played a small game of word elimination, it felt right at least.

    Also, Ubisoft, underscore is not hacker stuff, it’s a hold over of the old days when spaces in URLs was a issue and some filesystems and FTP transfers did not like spaces all that much, modern systems handles spaces very well and in fact the entire unicode range, ditto with URLs on most of the biggest web domains). I kinda doubt they ever consulted any experts when making the game.

    Hmm! What if Obsidian created a hacker RPG? Oh wow, that would be awesome…

  15. Shamus: “I’m playing Wolfenstein… NEW ORDER!”

    Because us Old Guys immediately think, “I’d better clarify, lest they think I’m playing Wolfenstein 3D or, god forbid, the original one on an old Apple IIe.” :)

    • Tizzy says:

      With Chris recently playing through ALL OF CIVILIZATION, there was indeed a real ambiguity that needed to be lifted.

      (At least for those who don’t read the twitter feed… 40 Gigs… Sheesh!)

  16. Alex says:

    I worked with Avid Media Composer for like 3 years at a job. It worked alright. I had it all set up with shortcuts and it felt like I could edit fast with more focus on what I was editing. It was more “prefabbed” fades and quick cuts though. I cant really comment about its performance now , but it was okay 3 years ago.
    I know we have covered HitFilms already because of their EULA, but I have been using it for the past 2 months(off and on), and it really feels nice.

    You are right though. Prosumer level software is really hard to come by.

    • I just tried out a few NLE (Non-linear Editors) and, well Blender was one of them holy shit that interface sucks.
      As creepy as it sounds, Microsofts Movie Maker is probably one of the easier ones out there, just a shame it’s not suitable for more accurate editing.

      Oh and mon-destructive editing is the key, by this it means only the parts you change/cut/cross fade are re-encoded or edited the rest is not.

      By the looks of it none of the free alternatives are any good (at least not on Windows). Besides Adobe I guess PowerDirectory, Sony Vegas, Corel VideoStudio, Pinnacle Studio (also Corel) are among the best ones, a shame really, I was hoping to find a workable free solution.

      • Alex says:

        Yeah there are really no good FOSS editors. Blender is okay…..IF you already know Blender. Even then, Ton Rosendal has admitted that the editor(VSE) is probably Blenders weakest feature( even compared to their game engine). Also asking me what a good editor is a bit of a double edged sword. I have never used movie maker and would probably want to kill my self if I ever did, because I have only ever used Premier Pro, Final Cut, After Effects, and Avid. Nothing really fancy but I just got spoiled.
        Although if any one is looking for a compositor https://buttleofx.wordpress.com/ looks promising.

        • I mentioned Corel VideoStudio in another comment, but so far in my testing here it looks like a nice middleroad between Windows Movie Maker and Adobe Premier. It has those advanced features that WMM lacks, and it costs a fraction compared to Premiere.
          It has a tracking feature that I haven’t tested yet, I assume that is to be able to do fancy logos like thos in the Fringe TV series where the logos seems to be in the movie world somehow. Or to make graphics “stick” to something or someone.

        • Asimech says:

          *Checking logo* “Butt le-FX”? Huh. That sounds like something M… *gasp* Mumbles is behind it!

      • I have a friend that keeps Windows Movie Maker around for fairly simple stuff (though I’ve found I can do a lot with it and Photoshop) as well as a larger reason which, if he’s right, seems completely alien to what most people think of Microsoft: It’s an incredibly stable program for large file-crunching. Mostly, he uses it when converting resolutions and file types on huge video files, and it just churns along without any hiccups. It’s kind of a tank, it would seem.

        • It does do the job it’s meat to do quite well, I have used WMM for a few projects myself. You don’t get the granular/timing control you’d want so you could end up with a bit rough cuts/scene changes.
          As to Photoshop, I’ve found Paint.net to be a adequate alternative for my use (combined with Inkscape for vector stuff).

    • Eruanno says:

      I’ve used AVID for school and it’s… well, let’s just say it’s pretty daunting using it as the first video editor you’ve ever used. It’s not exactly noob-friendly. It is however stupid fast at editing stuff, and it gets even faster when you learn the keyboard shortcuts. I just wish the interface didn’t look like it hasn’t been updated since the mid-90’s (which it probably hasn’t).

      • Yeah! It’s odd that, one would expect video software developers to kinda “get” UIs and looks and styling but… almost all of these look so dated.

        • Eruanno says:

          My favorite NLE in terms of interface/usability/advanced features is actually Final Cut, but it’s Mac only so… that might not be for everyone.

          • Lalaland says:

            The reason the interface doesn’t evolve is because everyone who relies on the interface as a part of their workflow does not want it to change. It’s a real challenge for AVID as their existing userbase wants changes to almost everything BUT the interface yet their need to reach out to ‘prosumers’ calls for a radical UI overhaul. As Eruanno pointed out when you know all those funky keyboard shortcuts you can cut really fast with AVID. It also has a stupidly exhaustive format support which is why it is almost an industry standard for high end production (Adobe has made inroads w/Premier but Apple bowed out of that space with FCX).

            NLE is a weird, weird, space only the other day I was discussing speccing out a 4K workflow with a client and wound up discussing storage in the PB range for rushes, etc. For another we built a box with a 1TB RAID 0 SSD array to allow them to cut 6K raw and scrub through rushes smoothly, that it did but even w/1TB there was only room for ~20 mins of 6K RED Cine footage (I think it was 4:2:2).

  17. Paul Spooner says:

    The idea of playing games in previous versions is a sound one. It would certainly require some foresight on the part of the engine designers, but I can’t think of any fundamental reason why this would be impossible. Especially in games where the visuals are altered, but the mechanics remain the same. As a medium, games have barely touched on unique individual user perception of the game-space, rejection of change, and conflicts of belief in terms of game mechanics. Maybe that’s a good thing, ultimately, but I don’t see these questions often asked.

    • The trouble comes when architectures change. Look how many games were abandonware for so long that required all kinds of patches and work-arounds (DOSbox, anyone?) to make them even barely function on today’s machines and operating systems. GoG, at least, seems to have proven the business model of nostalgiaware, so complete abandonment if video games to the digital dustbin might be coming to an end.

      Though if it wasn’t for emulators, I don’t think you’d be able to play many old console games without the original hardware, no?

      • Groboclown says:

        Related to this, there’s also the maintenance issues. If there were bugs fixed in one version, do they need to go back and fix those bugs? Should the bugs be preserved? Do the players want that bug fix?

        Edit:
        Additionally, that can lead to big costs from the developer, and that’s money going to people who paid a one-time fee for the game, which means the developer is essentially pulling money and time away from creating new games.

  18. skellie10 says:

    I think Watch Underscore Dogs is getting a bit of a raw deal here. It sounds like you guys wanted it to be more of a puzzle game and you’re projecting that desire onto the gaming public. But I don’t think it’s fair to criticize a game for being something that its target audience never wanted it to be in the first place. For fans of open world games, who see the open world formula of driving and shooting as a starting point to expand on, rather than something to break away from completely, Watch Dogs had a lot of promise. It still failed us, but for different reasons than I think it failed you guys.

    Watch Dogs wasn’t ultimately a disappointing game because its core premise was rotten, but because it didn’t use the premise to its potential. The mission design is really where it fell down. There are two ways that an open world game can get away with using the standard formula as a basis, and they both have to do with mission design.

    GTA V adheres rigidly to the standard open world formula, except for the rare points when its three-protagonist thing comes into play, but it makes up for this by having lots and lots of unique, memorable missions. Watch Dogs falls into the trap that recent Ubisoft games tend to, where the bulk of the missions fail to deviate from one of two or three predictable and boring structures. Ultimately these structures make the standard mechanics, which would be exciting if used less predictably, feel obligatory and token.

    The other way to make up for using the standard formula is to ensure that the missions are designed to take full advantage of the added mechanics, so that it never feels like the only way to complete them is by leaning excessively on the standard mechanics. This isn’t to say that the standard mechanics shouldn’t be present, because I want to stress that fans of open world games do appreciate them. Watch Dogs tries to do this, and it succeeds in some places. The car chases definitely rely on the hacking and stealthing mechanics more than the standard mechanics, since you can’t just get away from enemies by driving really fast and you can’t drive and shoot at the same time. The infiltration missions on the other hand never really succeed at making the hacking and stealth mechanics feel well-integrated. There aren’t many alternate routes or opportunities to hack all the way to the objective, so too often the hacking and stealthing just become accessories to the weapons-loud approach.

    And the story sucks too. There is some of that ludo-narrative dissonance there, although I don’t want to blame that too much because you can avoid it by just choosing not to the shoot cops, and it wouldn’t be a simple task to have the story change with the player’s approach. The real problem with the story, I feel, is that the only interesting characters are either villains (Iraq and Lucky Quinn) or barely in the game at all (Jordi). Now Iraq, there’d be an interesting protagonist. I feel like his plan to rise in power by exploiting a vast library of blackmail material would have made a much better story than Generic Gravelly Trench Coat Man’s Revenge Adventure.

    • “you’re projecting that desire onto the gaming public” well, we are all part of the gaming public, so now you are projecting onto that same public :)

    • Toasty Virus says:

      I was really pissed about how little Jordi was in the game, he was hilarious and really well voice acted.

      It also irked me how he just turns up at the end and wants to kill you, I know he was a fixer and was getting paid to do it but it just seemed like a really pointless and out of nowhere way to tie his character up

      • sofawall says:

        Jordi was easily my favourite part of the game. If we saw too much more of him he might have lost a bit of his charm, but he was well written, well acted and well animated. Apart from the spoilered part above, every single scene with Jordi was entertaining.

    • Tizzy says:

      I haven’t played it, or even seen it in action. When I first heard of the game, I really liked the concept and looked forward to hearing more. Then, I saw that reviewers were disappointed and I didn’t have the time to dig deeper.

      So the Diecast is where I learned that the game involves gunfights, and to me this is a huge letdown. I’m not even sure what was intended, or what was advertised, but this is not at all what I was expecting and goes against what I was hoping the game would showcase.

      Of course: If you’re going to make a game about a super-power hacking fantasy, having your protagonist use guns totally undermines the message. How am I supposed to be impressed by the hacker who has to punch holes through people with metal slugs to get things done?

      And I have to wonder: is this a betrayal of the original intent? Or did the guns come in later, either through influence external to the dev team, or internally, as an admission that, maybe, a hacking-only version of the game did not quite work?

      I guess I feel let down because, in most games that offer both, I find gunning/hacking a lot less empowering than sneaking. And hacking would have to be the electronic equivalent of sneaking around, waiting for the right time to slide a knife between someone’s shoulderblades.

    • Retsam says:

      I think there’s two things at play here:

      1) Maybe Watch__Dogs was always supposed to be a slightly tweaked GTA-style, brain-dead (like I already said: GTA-style) shooter, but it certainly doesn’t seem like it was marketed that way; it seems like it was marketed as a thoughtful game, both in gameplay and setting. The cast isn’t projecting arbitrary expectations on the public as much as they’re reacting to the expectations set by the marketing.

      2) Even supposing that they were just “projecting their opinions”, I don’t see how that makes their opinion on the game any less valid. The game wasn’t what they were hoping for, and they said so. They didn’t say “anyone who likes this game is wrong”; they simply gave their impression of it. There is no “target audience” in the sense that there is a group of people who have a more “valid” opinion on the game, as you seem to suggest.

      Granted, you’re still not really defending the game as being good, but then the complaint here seems to boil down to “you dislike this game for the wrong reasons”, which is equally suspect.

      • skellie10 says:

        First of all, addressing the expectations set by the marketing, I have to disagree. If you were keeping up with the game, you couldn’t have sustained such expectations any further than about halfway through the original E3 trailer. Literally the first thing they showed of this game has Aiden getting into a shootout.

        Now, I’m not saying that it’s wrong of them to dislike the game just because shooting is one of its central mechanics. What bothers me is that they say that a game without shooting is what “everyone” was hoping for with that first E3 trailer, and that it would have made Watch Dogs into a good game. But it wouldn’t have made Watch Dogs a better game, it just would have made it a different kind of game for a different group of people. Just as many people, if not more, would have been disappointed by that decision as pleased by it. That’s what I’m talking about when I refer to the “target audience”. I’m talking about the people that Ubisoft had in mind when they made the decision to make Watch Dogs a shooter instead of some sort of puzzle game.

    • sofawall says:

      I actually found the most reliable way to escape police was to grab a sports car and drive as fast as possible. If there was no sports car nearby, a motorcycle would do, but if neither was around I tended to suicide-by-cop and hope one respawned nearby. You could usually lose the police in about 20-30 seconds just with straight-line speed.

  19. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Watch dogs guy is basically batman,but instead of being a superhero,he is a l33t hacker.

  20. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Anyone else thing that Josh sounds like kermit when he says YEEEAAAAH?

  21. IFS says:

    Man I kinda want to see Josh stream some Watchdogs now, it doesn’t sound like there is enough interesting stuff (and/or bad stuff to complain about) for it to make a spoiler warning season but it sounds like there is enough that they could cover it in a stream or special ep.

    • With all these games out there there is surely no shortage of SW season material, but maybe a few of some games could be packed into a series of one offs (or just a few eps) of where the gang just tag along with josh and comment on whatever game he’s decided to torture them with. That way a few games cold be covered briefly without them getting lost in a growing backlog.

      • Chris says:

        there is surely no shortage of SW season material

        You’d be surprised.

        • RTBones says:

          I would imagine its not so much of a lack of games to do a SW season with, but rather the interest of everybody in a title, how many of you have played the title in question, how many of you own it and can replay it to refresh your memory as required, can Josh get the technical side of streaming (including cutscenes) and capturing video for credits to work, and do the lot of you have much to say one way or another about a title.

        • Huh!… Well, here’s hoping Murdered Soul Suspect is suitable for SW, it certainly looks different.

        • What if you did an SW season of smaller games? 2-5 episode “arcs” where you take on a bunch of indy games or shorter RPGs?

          Or just do a bunch of weird things like you did with Elevator: Source.

  22. When should ‘problematic’ content be preserved? Ah yes, The Derpy Paradox.

    Or Skyrim, whose last patch fucked up the lip synch permanently for literally every character in the game, cannot be mod-fixed and which Steam forces upon the players so that I have to back-patch all my mods and script extenders and it’snotlikethistakesafucktonoutofmydaytosortoutNOI’MNOTBITTERWHYDOYOUASK?!!?

  23. lethal_guitar says:

    Regarding the last question, there’s a really good article here. On page 2, it discusses exactly this situation.

    One particular quote which made me really think:
    “When paleoanthropologists wonder if a 13,000 year-old Clovis point can take down a Bison, they tie one to a spear and let it fly. If spear points had been automatically cloud updated over the course of their development, however, we would only know of the most recent iteration in the design process. Clovis points wouldn’t exist today, and we’d be wondering how ancient Native Americans managed to hunt game with uranium-tipped bullets.”

    • lethal_guitar says:

      PS: Well the article is mostly about preserving history and why this is hard with software, so it doesn’t discuss the exact situation from the question (Steam updates), but it’s very relevant I think.

    • ET says:

      One point that stuck out to me is right near the beginning: “The main difference between then and now is that [it] decays in a matter of years rather than a matter of centuries.” This becomes obvious when you watch something, like Game Grumps playing Mega Man 3 on the NES – the game is glitching out after about an hour of play, and that game is only 25 years old! Some older stuff (e.g. old floppies for DOS games) is already degraded beyond recovery never mind playability, and the NES is not far behind.

      So, how many years of software are going to be lost, before companies start embracing data backups, and museum-type archives?

  24. lethal_guitar says:

    Regarding the difference between game and movie production:

    I guess one important difference also lies in the cost of reviewing content during production. If a movie scene’s raw material consists of 30 minutes of film, a director can sit down and watch these 30 minutes and decide whether he needs to re-shoot the scene. What’s more, he/she can also skip forward/backward etc. And finally, the effort is roughly the same, no matter if it’s a complicated fight scene or a simple dialog: The director just needs to watch and imagine what will be done in editing.

    With game content, this is different. Let’s say a sub-studio has produced a single mission for a story-based game, which takes 30 minutes on average to play through. In order to properly review the mission, a producer would need to sit down and play it – multiple times. Whereas a movie director just needs to watch, games require playing. Which could be hard if you’re not an experienced gamer.

    So, bottom line: Whereas a movie director has the capability to constantly review content (besides watching and directing while the content is created, that is), most game producers don’t.

  25. Ysen says:

    If you think Adobe’s prices are atrocious, be glad you’re not in Australia. They literally charge two or three times as much for no reason.

  26. Thomas says:

    No console will ever be good enough to be worth having to say ‘Xbox Bing’ out loud

    • Hitch says:

      Jesse Cox claims his Xbox refuses to respond to “Xbox Bing.” I don’t know if he’s just joking, or if there’s something about the way he pronounces “Xbox Bing” that confuses the Xbox. But he does sound genuinely frustrated that the one feature he thinks would be neat on an Xbox refuses to work for him.

  27. Thomas says:

    I think one of the game making/move making production process issues is that films have less elements that can be noticeably mismatched. Most of those people making them are serving actors or tweaking lights or stitching coats. And then hundreds of people in render farms moving pixels.

    If anyone mismatches tone on any of those things I doubt we’d even notice. And the few things which can be mismatched (music, set design, special effects) are relatively easy to keep track of and match correctly. Games have more elements that can have different feels and it’s easy to match up

  28. Thomas says:

    I think the practical negative effects of having both Deus Ex’s on Steam outweighs the theoretical niceties. Sure it’s theoretically nice to be able to buy the inferior version, but compared to the people who will end up buying the inferior version without realising it’s the inferior version, it’s not worth it. Even if one person has to suffer through bad boss battles by accident, that’s one too many.

    On the other hand, it would be really awesome from a historical viewpoint if there were some (complicated and obtuse) way of playing the non-directors cut versions.

    • MichaelGC says:

      Aye – something along the lines of the EUIV thing Josh mentioned sounds about right. (I’ve played hundreds of hours of EUIV without having a clue that there was that option, but someone motivated to actually check for it would presumably find it pretty swiftly.)

    • Zukhramm says:

      Your solution has a couple of problems. First, it assumes that one version is inferior, which is not necessarily the case, and that which one that is can be objectively determined.

      I also like to think people are capable of understanding the distinctions between multiple versions themselves.

      And playing a game is complicated enough as it is, intentionally making it worse is absolutely horrible. Further, I don’t think access to old versions should be some privilege hidden away from all but the most interested.

      • MichaelGC says:

        Well, “older” will do for “inferior,” and then the point can still stand. (Although the boss-battle gag then wouldn’t work quite as well…)

        I guess with telling different versions apart, it’ll depend on the game, and how often it was updated, etc. etc. Watch_Dogs has only just been released and there’s what, 8-10 versions of that already? :D

        You’re definitely right that privileged access wouldn’t be good for anyone (I think “complicated and obtuse” may have been a prediction rather than a recommendation!), but the folks who’ll be looking for older versions of games are likely to be motivated enough to overcome a small barrier to entry – like right-clicking on Properties or however it was Josh works his EUIV magic.

    • ET says:

      There’s an easy way to make sure people understand easily which version is the newest – put the release date in an easy-to-see place. Even people who aren’t invested in the notion of different versions and just want to play the game, can see the difference between Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut (2013-10-22) and Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011). So when they search for the game on Steam or whatever, and it shows two versions, it’s dead simple to see which is the new version.

      • Thomas says:

        There’s plenty of ways to arrive on a Steam page saying Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011) without having seen the other edition. Maybe if you put a nice big prominent link on it to the newer version?

        • ET says:

          Sure! Point is, that the different versions are both valid, but the real issue is the UI/discovery problem, of presenting all versions to the customer in a non-confusing way. :)

    • Dragmire says:

      Not sure why there has to be separate pages, just the page to buy the newest version and a list box in the options menu under the updates tab to select which version you want to play. Steam will then download any necessary files missing from the newest version and there you go.

      Unless you are expecting a lower price point for the older version. It seems like an option rather than a separate product to me.

  29. TSi says:

    It’s funny that when Doom 3 came out, people criticized that it was slow paced and forced the player to switch from the flashlight to guns. This led to the making of mods that attached flashlights to guns and sped up movement/gameplay.
    Now it’s the other way around. X )
    Doom 3 feels like a survival horror game while BFG that feels more like a “real” Doom 2 successor.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      “Doom 3 feels like a survival horror game ”

      Bwahahahaha!Ok,Ill admit that doom 3 plays like a horror game,but it sure does not feel like one.

    • Tizzy says:

      I remember these “attach the flashlight” (actually, “duct tape” was the name) mods. I didn’t realize that Doom had “canonicized” them.

      That’s lame. Stand by your design decisions, and, if there is really a backlash from the user base, at least be sure to keep the changes optional.

      I don’t remember it mattering all that much after the first few levels anyway. But still, a lot of the game was built around the flashlight vs weapon duality, and removing it would take away a lot from the game.

      (Yes, I’m one of these people who actually enjoyed Doom 3.)

  30. Asgaran says:

    I guess many of you missed the little side note:

    Shamus now owns a copy of Dark Souls (2?)!

    \[T]// Praise the sun!

    • Kana says:

      I wonder which one. If it is 2, please Shamus, get some points in Adaptability early. From decided to make the dodge roll janky as hell with low ADP, it’s so irritating to play like that.

      If it’s 1… Can’t wait to hear about Lagtown. That’ll be amazing. All the Dark Souls I’m saying.

    • urs says:

      I did not. I very much did not! I’m always late to Games That People Talk About, so now I can catch a glimpse of not being left behind :)

  31. Thomas says:

    By the way, you mentioned before the thing about Youtube not making any money.

    Whilst it’s true that Youtube was losing 10’s of millions for years (which is partly* why none of the other video sites can afford to be good), it’s not true any more.


    Youtube is now thought to be profitable and taking in over $1 billion a year.

    *Another reason being that people are more likely to find new videos on the same site as the videos they currently watch. Blip isn’t big enough to provide discoverability to it’s creators

  32. Michelle Randall says:

    In response to patching though Steam, Trine 2 is an example that works, you can use the beta option in Steam to use the older versions: Example v1.14 due to speedrunners needing that version as it was before they patched out most of the glitches.

  33. Corpital says:

    Ahahahaha, butts are funny. That’s all I had to add.

  34. ET says:

    Josh:
    The one thing that stuck out to me, is that you’re placing such importance on the output formats of video editing software. (Or at least it seemed that way in the podcast.) I more or less agree with Shamus — you just need something which YouTube will accept, and then after that, YT converts it themselves. If you really need a good format (say, for keeping a backup on your computer) then I recommend Handbrake for converting video formats. It’s free (FOSS), multi-platform, and is compatible with pretty much every input/output format, and has a batch mode, for converting several videos while you sleep or are at work, etc. So, with Handbrake, hopefully you are more free to pick other video-editing software, without the burden of worrying what output formats it supports. :)

  35. Tizzy says:

    A couple of points that I thought were missing from the games v. movies discussion.

    1) Movies have had huge crews for most of the industry’s lifetime. Current game directors/producers probably spent their formative years at a time when twenty people was a huge team for a game. It’s going to take a while before the industry figures out the best way to deal with these scales.

    2) Games are intrinsically harder to deal with than movies for tonal consistency. Movies are already tricky, because the experience is not as uniform as you’d think given that each viewer is different. But player agency makes games that much more difficult to evaluate. And you don’t need a lot of agency for that: as soon as players can miss some story elements or experience them in different order, it will impact the overall feel.

    (Now, that being said, there are some basic things that devs can do, such as making sure that cutscenes strike a tone which is compatible with the gameplay. It’s always funny to see, for instance, cut scene deaths in worlds full of heath potions…)

  36. RTBones says:

    At one point I considered Watch_Dogs, then realized UPlay was required, and gave it a miss.

    I’m glad I did, if the Ubisoft forums are any indication.

    Paraphrased from the forums – Uplay hozes a 14gb download for legitimate paying customers to the point that they cant play the game. Some of those customers then turn to a torrent to download the game, and verify the pirated files VIA UPLAY, and the game works. Just. Say. No.

    • ET says:

      Heh. Steam occasionally had some games constantly verified as “corrupt”, but it was never on brand-new products. Or big flagship products. Or right at release, when first impressions matter the most. Oh, Ubisoft… ^^;

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      You know that torrents arent all pirated stuff,right?Only the ones that offer cracks/passes/other circumvention things are.But plenty of torrents are just the files you would download from steam/uplay/origin/etc just so you dont have to hassle with their arbitrary download limitations or such.You still cant play those without legitimate transfer of money to the publisher,so its still legit.Its like getting someone to run to the store and pick up a physical copy for you.You dont call that stealing,so dont call this piracy.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Oh my god,Ive never seen this before!Moderation filter picked up some actually potentially dangerous words(the P and T ones)!Amazing!

        • Shamus says:

          The thing is: I’d never filter based on words like piracy and torrents. The subject comes up far too often. I’d end up approving entire threads if those words were verboten.

          Which is to say, don’t give the filter too much credit. It’s still got a horrendous failure record. :)

          • evileeyore says:

            You have it set to randomly mark for modding based on the user name Daemian Lucifer don’t you?

            • MichaelGC says:

              testing … testing …

              ORIGIN!!

              Edit: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Boo-yah!

              Hold on, now I need to comment somewhere else – it might just be that the filter is having a bad day and doesn’t like the look of my avatar thingy this morning.

              Edit II: Nope, my test comment seems to have gone up OK.

        • Retsam says:

          “I believe you humans have a saying: even a broken clock is right twice a day.”

      • RTBones says:

        I do – I was simply using the language of the original posters. If you read through the thread I linked, multiple posters talk about having to pirate a game they legally purchased to get it to work. At one point, UPlay was getting most of the way through a huge (14GB) download and then hanging. After multiple attempts to download a game customers legitimately paid for, some of them pirated it – at least to get the files they were missing, and UPlay was happy.

  37. Leviathan902 says:

    Chris:
    (hopefully you see this)

    If your audio system (whatever it is) can receive an IR signal, the Xbox One should be able to control it.

    For example: I have a surround system and the volume is 100% handled by my receiver, controlled by the Xbox One.

    Try going to settings > TV & One Guide > Device Control

    Then go to receiver and try and setup your device as a receiver whether it is or not. That may work.

    Then again, I may not understand what your issue is, but as a home theater enthusiast, if you want to tell me what your setup is, I may be able to help.

  38. Tse says:

    Again, I want to recommend Power Director. It’s powerful and easy to use. In fact, when i downloaded Premiere, I opened it, tried to make a video and uninstalled.

  39. bloodsquirrel says:

    The good news for the Xbox One is that they did fire the guy who was responsible for it. Don Matrick “left” Microsoft after the One was announced, got tons of awful press, and had to 180 on its DRM scheme. MS is slowly improving the thing, doing things like taking Netflix from behind the paywall.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Wait,first he was at ea,then at microsoft,and now he is ceo of zynga?So thats how that company gets its employees.No wonder it is so awful.

    • Torsten says:

      Who is running the Xbox department at Microsoft at the moment? There were some news that Stephen Elop was going to be put in charge of that. He is the guy who basically killed Nokia’s mobile phone business after they joined the Windows phone camp.

    • Humanoid says:

      They also got rid of Sinofsky (the man behind TIFKAM*), so that they’re still apparently persisting with his legacy on the XBone is somewhat baffling. Especially as they’ve been gradually watering down his ‘innovations’ in Windows 8 over time.

      * The Interface Formerly Known As Metro

  40. Groboclown says:

    You brought up “Hey, I’d like to play the original version of TF2.” It turns out, you can. You need to play the XBox 360 Orange Box version of TF2. They’ve never patched the thing, from what I hear.

  41. Geoff says:

    In defense of the Adobe subscription service (though not being able to BUY your software is admittedly lame) for a lot of professional contractors as well as larger studios (obviously this excludes hobbiests), staying up to date on versions is an important part of working in the industry.

    If a client ships you footage, a scene or tools built in the latest version of After Effects (or insert any other tool), you need to be able to open it and work with it or risk losing the contract. Adobe’s master subscription runs about $50 a month, which works out to $600 a year for access to every program they offer. Buying even an individual program every year or every other year to keep up with the latest releases could easily double that.

    Besides just being easier to afford the up front cost, it can work out to be even cheaper than buying the programs if you need to stay relatively current. For that reason, I wish more tech companies (Autodesk, I’m looking at you!) would offer their products in this way.

    There’s a number of other benefits as well. It encourages tools developers to make more frequent updates and add new features since they don’t need to wait for the next big release a year later to include some snazzy new tool, they can just ship it when its ready. Since the subscription is login based, it means you can also share the tool between multiple workstations. In my case, the company I work recently switched to a CC subscription, which you can login to from home to do side work (personal or professional) without having to actually pay for the software yourself.

    • The danger though is closed formats. If file formats are open standards then you data won’t be useless if you ever decided to move to a different software supplier, or moved to Open Source.

      Heck, a few companies even provide subscription to OpenSource, in theory Adobe could do the same if they used the right model.

      • Geoff says:

        I don’t think closed file formats has anything to do with a subscription model versus a buy the software outright model though. ;) In either case, proprietary formats are proprietary formats, which I think would be a whole other conversation.

  42. Dragmire says:

    Too bad you guys aren’t as lucky as I was for software. Due to being in college at the time, I got a serious discount on Adobe products. The full version of CS6 for $500. Damn that was a steal.

    It’s not a “student version” with a limited lifespan either, which is wonderful.

    • MicroSoft also tends to have very sweet student deals. Some stuff is even free.
      It’s almost like with drug dealers, they give the first free or for cheap and when they got you that’s when they crank up the cost :P

      • Dragmire says:

        Yeah, I hear adobe’s reasoning is along the lines of getting all people in training started on their software. Apparently, even if people are competent enough to learn various programs that do similar things, most choose not to if given the choice of software.

  43. Smejki says:

    Correction: Nintendo is not a sinking ship. Yeah, they shipped a horribly uncuccessful product. But they have so huge cash reserves from all the previous years that they can survive for some 10 years without a successful product.
    Doesn’t change a thing on the fact they are acting like dicks, yet still.

  44. Jack Kucan says:

    Regarding the last mailbag question, I really wish Borderlands 2 had the ability to go back a version. I hate when I can’t play with my friend because I have the PC version and she has the Mac version and they couldn’t be bothered to roll out an update simultaneously. The first time it happened to me, it was a minor tweak to the localization assets, too, which artificially made the entire engine backwards incompatible with the previous version. And since she couldn’t upgrade and I couldn’t downgrade, we couldn’t play together and had to find another game to play. :(

    • Speaking as a programmer (not of Borderlands though) I can say that forward compatibility is moderately easy. At loading an old save you can easily convert that to a new savegame format, settings can easily be converted too.

      But goingback is almost impossible; unless the user backed up the old files, and in the case of savegames this would mean any progress would be restored back to the old backup too.

      A new version of a game or program may have had featured added or removed or changed so it may be impossible to retain that and make it work with a older version.

      Likewise if you did revert to a older version the older version of the softwaree would have no understanding of the savegame or settings from the new version (lack of time travel is the issue). If adequately forward/backwards compatible then it may be able to read or understand parts of it but various settings would reset at best. At worst any savegame progress would be lost or need to start from scratch at best items would vanish and that would piss people off, especially if it’s a RPG.

      In MMOs in particular this is known as a rollback, and it usually means everything you did and got since the last whatever backupdate and time before the update is just lost.

      The term rollback could probably be used for single player games too though I’ve rarely heard nor used it for that.

      In any case you revert to a older version and potentially loose a lot of progress.

  45. Steve C says:

    Adobe is one of the slimiest companies ever. I’m always looking for an alternative to flash just because I feel dirty for using it. Adobe put a guy in jail because he made software for the blind that Adobe didn’t like. (I still don’t understand how they managed that as he did not do anything illegal.)

    Adobe is irredeemably evil in my eyes and this subscription model is just another notch in their evil belt. I would really prefer the Spoiler Warning crew find some other software- anything not Adobe is better than Adobe at any price.

    • ET says:

      I too, would like to avoid Adobe (among others) software, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call them “evil”. Vendor lock-in is a huge reason I avoid a lot of software, even if it means I have to mess around with half-broken/half-abandoned software (i.e. lots of FOSS stuff). If all the other features in Josh’s current version still work well, and he just needs something to convert to/from different codecs, then he could just keep his current, old boxed version, and use Handbrake for the converting. Free as in beer and speech. :) Although that is a big “if”; Josh could well have other problems which are necessitating an upgrade.

  46. lucky7 says:

    For the mailbag, I recommend Blues Clues’ “Here’s the Mail”

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