In the show I claimed we answered ALL mailbag questions. Technically we cut one because neither one of us had anything to say on the topic. Still, the ratio of useful / cut questions usually goes in the other direction so this was a pretty good week for the mailbag. As always, the address is in the header image.
Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.
01:03 Graphics card naming
With Nvidia’s announcement of their new RTX 2000 cards and all their talk of Giga Rays it reminded me of a problem I used to have back when I worked in gaming retail.
Due to the fact that most PC games had/have limited use one time codes we had a no returns policy on PC games which is obviously a problem for people who do not know if a particular game will run on their hardware. Customers would often ask me if a particular game will run on their PC and I would try and answer to the best of my ability but sometimes it is not always easy to help. Sometimes their hardware would be older or newer and I would have to try guesstimate how it compared to the listed requirements or they would ask why 2 graphics cards were so different in price or performance when they had the same amount of VRAM, etc.
My question at the end of all of this is could there be a better way to classify and quantify hardware performance so that people who are not experts can more easily figure out what they have and what they need?
10:51 Linux vs. Windows
Dear casters of die,
recently Steam released Proton, their custom Wine implementation allowing
Linux users to run Windows games. Do you guys think this could cause a shift
in the market?
As always, thanks for the great show!
Looking into this after the show, I can see why I didn’t hear about this sooner. Proton isn’t really ready for casual adoption yet. You can tell because you don’t get it from Valve. Instead, you get it from GitHub.
On one hand, getting Windows games running on Linux is a HARD problem to solve. On the other hand, Valve has deep pockets and it is solvable. It’s too soon to tell right now, but it will be very interesting to see how this works out in the long term. Maybe this will be another SteamBox style failure, or maybe this will be another paradigm shift like Steam itself. Either way, it’s a good thing for PC Gamers. Anything that keeps Microsoft from getting too complacent is good for us.
Given you’re Minecraft and Factorio fans, thoughts / impressions / hopes for Satisfactory?
Dear rollers of analogue pseudo random number generators,
I am back and I have an inquiry upon your opinions in regards to DLC. You might want to cut out the next bit for brevity.
The history of DLC since it inception is quite intriguing and turbulent. First there were cosmetic stuff and useless bits (Horse Armor). Followed by the wave of cut out content (Battle for Forli in AC2). Then there was the phase of some additional missions without anything really of interest in regards to gameplay and/or story. And lastly we had an increase of either mini expansions or experimental story/mission pieces. Things like the Fallout DLC comes to mind or the DLC packs for Mafia 3 and the newer Far Cry games (4 and beyond). The last thing i find especially interesting given that these are sometimes used to prototype mechanics and ideas for future games. Question: Do you think about this practice of using DLC as prototype testbed?
You stated San Andreas is the best Rockstar game because it had heart. I personally think Bully is the best one for similar reasons even if most characters are asshats. Have you ever played Bully or would you consider trying it out?
Furthermore I was wondering which kind of speedrun you prefer? The ones where one glitch is repeated over and over again and is abused ad absurdum or more of the technical kind where a lot of skills are being used?
There is a lot of bashing going on in the direction of Ubisoft due to their open world games all being the same. Or at least sameish. I personally have the feeling that this open world sameyness already existed long before the Ubisoft formula was established. Sure Open World games are samey within their genre but if you compare entries from a specific developer you will always have quite a bit of sameness. Just Cause and Mad Max are somewhat self similar. But given your recent experiences with some Rockstar games would you say that they are similar to each other. I personally would extend them being similar to all Rockstar games be it GTA, Bully or Read Dead. Please discuss.
Cheers and a nice weekend from Austria,
PS: Would you be willing to share the distribution of your readers over the globe if you have access to such data?
I should add to what I said on the show: I loved Bully, but the classroom minigames were pretty bad.
26:20 Distribution of readers
Like I said on the show: We’re coming up on the anniversary of the site. I’ll do a post with a bunch of random factoids about the site. I suspect that post will happen next Tuesday, the 4th. If you have any questions about the readership of this site, the database that holds it, or the technology that holds it all together, now is the time to ask.
26:59 Net Neutrality
To the last die caster.
What are your thoughts on Net Neutrality now that it was officially repealed as law in the US?
I know that when you first wrote about it Net Neutrality was an unspoken rule no-one broke because it would ruin it for everyone, but since then companies started to break it and ruined it for everyone, which in turn forced the US government to sign it into law.
Now that companies are free to break it, and since they’ve clearly paid handsomely for this “benefit” they will, how would it affect American costumers? And how it would affect other countries that have their connection go through US cables, like South American costumers trying to access servers in Europe and the like?
RCN, your Brazilian fan
Whenever I caution people against talking politics, I always get a little pushback in the form of, “But Shamus, EVERYTHING is politics!” Note here that when I say “politics” I’m talking specifically about partisan politics of the classic Red vs. Blue variety. These arguments will always spiral into ugly tribalism. There will always be one or two people who feel the need to unleash their pent-up frustration and irritation on anyone from the Other Party. They mean well, but these arguments are a dead-end and I don’t care to watch my readers tear each other apart over things we can’t change.
To put it more specifically: I really enjoy abstract thought experiments talking about how you balance the desire for freedom against the need for regulation and the drawbacks of going too far in either direction. That’s an interesting discussion. For contrast, I don’t care what you think of Donald Trump or Ajit Pai and I don’t care to moderate the argument that will result if you decide to start an argument centered American partisan politics.
There are a lot of interesting topics this week. Please don’t make me close the comments because you can’t participate in this discussion without picking a fight.
Have you had any experience making mods? Of so, what’s the most/least fun you’ve had doing so?
Thanks, Echo Tango!
Here is the Doom2 mod I made back in 1995. That’s the last major mod I made. It’s also just before I got married. (The release date is actually just a couple of weeks after the wedding.) I imagine these two facts are at least somewhat related.
A look back at Star Trek, from the Original Series to the Abrams Reboot.
Starcraft 2: Rush Analysis
I write a program to simulate different strategies in Starcraft 2, to see how they compare.
Grand Theft Railroad
Grand Theft Auto is a lousy, cheating jerk of a game.
Project Button Masher
I teach myself music composition by imitating the style of various videogame soundtracks. How did it turn out? Listen for yourself.
Bad and Wrong Music Lessons
A music lesson for people who know nothing about music, from someone who barely knows anything about music.