Diecast #260: Islanders, E3 2019, Kingdom: New Lands

By Shamus Posted Monday Jun 10, 2019

Filed under: Diecast 63 comments



Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Show notes:
00:00 Linux Gaming

Some good news for a change.

03:20 Observation

Heads up: I’m not really going to talk about Observation. I’m sort of using this as an excuse to throw away a game design that’s been rattling around in my head for a few years.


Link (YouTube)

11:18 Islanders

I wasn’t kidding about the spreadsheet. You can see it for yourself.

18:09 E3 2019

Here is a rapid-fire list of the games we discussed. Some of these previews will be out by the time this episode drops.

  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Final Fantasy 7
  • Marvel’s Avengers
  • Jedi Fallen Order
  • Watch_Dogs Legion
  • Vampire Bloodlines 2
  • Obsidian: Outer Worlds
  • Dying Light 2
  • Doom Eternal
  • Borderlands 3
  • Anthem? Really?

40:40 Satisfactory


Link (YouTube)

46:08 “Kingdom: New Lands”


Link (YouTube)

51:16 Quake 2 Raytracing for real this time.

I’ll probably write more about this later.

Take time to reflect on how different the graphics look.
Take time to reflect on how different the graphics look.

In the show I mused about what it would look like to play this game at the original 640×480. I tried it after the show. As it turns out, it looks terrible. Doing full raytrace bouncing on every pixel is still too dang expensive to do realtime, even on this cutting-edge hardware. The NVIDIA technology behind this effect involves cheating by taking a small numberIt’s actually a huge number, but it’s small compared to what it WOULD be if they were brute-forcing it. of samples over a large area and filling in the gaps. It might also do some carrying over between frames. The effect falls apart if it doesn’t have enough resolution to work with.

1:02:30 320×200

As the show was ending, Paul posted this image into the show notes to demonstrate how tiny 320×200 is:

Not sure why it was showing Diecast #258 as the episode number. Guess I forgot to update that. Two weeks in a row. In any case, that’s not a lot of pixels.

 

Footnotes:

[1] It’s actually a huge number, but it’s small compared to what it WOULD be if they were brute-forcing it.



From The Archives:
 

63 thoughts on “Diecast #260: Islanders, E3 2019, Kingdom: New Lands

  1. Milo Christiansen says:

    I hate to sink your theory about people following a niche to Epic, but I have an example for you: Dauntless.

    Dauntless ran on its own launcher for quite a while, and recently launched on Epic. They had a *huge* player explosion on PC. My theory is pretty simple: Epic has a small library of (sometimes very) good stuff. If you can get your indy game on Epic you will have great exposure and people will buy it under the assumption that, at a minimum, it isn’t a shitty asset flip and there will be a certain level of quality.

    Go look at the store front, scroll down a bit and tell me if you see anything that is junk. There may be things that don’t fit a given taste, but there is no real junk. Steam has features, Epic has quality. Steam threw away any chance of keeping quality, and Epic is gaining features… Like it or not, it is here to stay and people are using it.

    1. boz says:

      Dauntless is a monster hunteresque free to play game with a certain design aesthetic. Fortnite is a free to play battle royale game with similar (if not same) design aesthetic. It’s only natural for Dauntless to be a complementary experience to Fortnite players and thrive on their launcher.

      Steam delegates curating to curators. If you want a curated store front you can have it. https://store.steampowered.com/curators/

      1. Thomas says:

        Curation ends up being different experience though, in practice it just becomes a less effective version of reading someone’s reviews or following a youtuber.

        Whilst Epic is still small, games get a lot of time on the front page, which is something that never really happens on Steam.

    2. Paul Spooner says:

      Good point! I have definitely noticed the high quality of games on the Epic store.

  2. Geebs says:

    I’d love it if somebody made an updated version of Interphase, the original “I am in a computer and helping people in the real world” game. For something that came out in 1989 it was ridiculously ahead of its time.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Consider Facebook to be a game… mission accomplished.

    2. Mark says:

      I see you are a man of culture as well!

      I played Interphase on the Amiga back in the day and loved it. For the time it was really original… fit the mode of European games on the Amiga perfectly with its reckless experimentation. Someone had a vision and they made it happen.

  3. Asdasd says:

    I’ve heard Kingdom described as ‘The Settlers, but 2D’ and I had pretty much the same experience with both games: initial curiosity and joy as I mapped out the mechanics and built my first settlement. Then I arrived on the next map and within a few minutes it dawned on me that I had zero interest in doing it a second time. Almost all games are repetitive by nature, but for me the ‘reset factor’ is just a bit too strong in these kind of strategy builders.

    1. Retsam says:

      Yeah, I’ve had Kingdom since before “New Lands” (the original is technically listed as a separate game, but they gave a copy of New Lands to everyone who owned the original version), and it’s always been a game with fun mechanics but not as much depth as I’d like. And “New Lands”, which added the boat and the concept of multiple islands, was maybe a step in the wrong direction, in that regard. It made the game much longer, but without really adding any significant depth.

      It’s a shame, because I really do enjoy the basic mechanics, but just feel like the game is missing something.

  4. Joe says:

    Fun fact: the first edition of Cyberpunk was set in 2013. The second and better known edition was 2020. There were spinoffs set in 2027 and in the 2030s. The upcoming edition will be in the 2040s or 50s, I think. And wow, Keaunu Reeves. Not even Kotaku leaked that.

    So far I haven’t seen anything that makes me go wow. All the good announcements were ones I was expecting. However, Fallen Order doesn’t move me. Technically competent, but kind of soulless. Will the protagonist show some hint of a personality at any time? Will Wookiee fur be improved before release? I have no idea.

    Australia isn’t as deadly as reputation states. The first settlers were unprepared and in some cases actively stupid. That’ll kill anyone any place any time. My grandmother is 91 and still kicking. Here in suburbia, the biggest danger I usually face is slippery stairs in my apartment. The moral of the story is be prepared, and willing to learn! That said, yes. The winter is currently cold, dark, and very wet. It’s not just Paul this is aimed at. In the last few months I’ve put this rant in various places. I’ve gotten a little sick of Oz’s reputation and want to change it a little.

    I can’t source this, but apparently Bioware are very rigid in their thinking. They will make the game the way they want to make it, and not change based on player feedback. Normally I like to support creator’s intent, but you do need to allow for audience reception.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Aww. But the reputation was so fun!

      1. Joe says:

        Yeah, I’ve joked about it too. But sometime in the last few months I’ve gotten sick of it and decided to fix it. You know what really pisses me off? Many of the same mistakes were made in the Americas a couple of generations earlier. But did anyone learn from that? No.

        1. Boobah says:

          I always thought the Australian reputation was made on the back of ‘most venomous species lists.’ You take the top 10 spiders and the top 10 snakes and Australia has more than ten entries on those lists. Then you add in things like the platypus, which looks like a joke but the males have venomous spurs that won’t kill, but will make you wish they had. Or the koala which has a nasty microbe on its claws. Or tasmanian devils which invented contagious cancer; to be fair, it’s only contagious to other tasmanian devils and only because they’re horribly inbred.

    2. Philadelphus says:

      Can confirm about Australia. I’ve lived here for 20 months so far and haven’t died yet!

      1. Joe says:

        Keep up the good work!

  5. Chris says:

    shutting anthem down live on stage would be hilarious.

    A suit talks about how anthem is a disappointment and failure and how there is just no use in trying to put lipstick on a pig. Then walks you through graphs and money loss and people start to wonder just what he is trying to do. Then he announces, well it is shit so lets shut it down, and someone walks on stage with a big red button. The suit starts gloating how right now there are X people online at anthem, shown live on the screen. Then he shouts “allright everyone one now, lets count down from 10” and starts counting down aloud. Slowly people join in counting down and at 0 he hammers the red button and the servers are shut down. Then he walks off stage while everyone wonders if they really just killed it.

  6. Steve says:

    You could actually try running Linux risk-free, if you boot off of a USB stick. The programs that set up a USB to install Linux also put a little thing on there, so you can hot-boot the computer. Everything is loaded into RAM, so you don’t need to install it before trying it. I use Xubuntu, which is a variant of Ubuntu, that strips out the fancy-but-unoptimized swooshy graphics, which have slowed down* Ubuntu on every machine I’ve tried it on. I mean, you’d have to install Steam and a game to really try your use-case, but depending on how much RAM you have, or how small the game is, that might still be do-able.

    * Even after installing the drivers for the 3D card.

    1. John says:

      I’m pretty sure that Shamus has dabbled with Linux before. As you say, the trick is gaming on Linux. If he wanted to try it with the least possible risk to his Windows install, I’d recommend a two-drive dual-boot setup (one hard drive with Windows, one with Linux) rather than the more typical single-drive dual-boot setup (Windows in one partition, Linux in the other).

      1. tmtvl says:

        Either that or seperate UEFI entries, which “user-friendly” distros make not very user-friendly.

    2. Paul Spooner says:

      I’ll have to give boot-stick Xubuntu a try. I’ve got Win 10 on an older machine with 2 gigs of ram, and while it runs Steam, it would be nice to have a lighter-weight OS to build on.

      1. John says:

        Lubuntu is the most light-weight Ubuntu variant around. I used it for several years on older–and by older I mean ancient–hardware with great success. The neat thing about Ubuntu, however, is that you don’t need to commit to a particular variant or desktop environment. If you install regular Ubuntu and then download the packages for the desktop environments that interest you (KDE, XFCE, LXDE, etc.) you can pick your desktop environment at login. Ubuntu with LXDE won’t look quite the same as Lubuntu (mostly because Lubuntu comes packaged with different default art, backgrounds, window decorations, and icons) but it will work the same way and give you a pretty good idea whether or not Lubuntu is for you. If you don’t like LXDE, you can then try another desktop environment, XFCE for example, without having to reinstall your OS.

        1. Philadelphus says:

          For desktop environment I’d specifically recommend Cinnamon for people coming from Windows: it mimics the familiar taskbar-at-the-bottom, “Start” (Menu) button for launching programs, and other features from Windows. There are lots of different environments out there, and you may like another one better, but if you’re just trying Linux for the first time having a familiar desktop environment can help reduce the disorientation.

  7. Ninety-Three says:

    E3 season and it’s already been shown, so I want to talk about the gameplay demo for Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order (what a mouthful).

    For everyone I’ve talked to, the trailer landed with a resounding meh. No one seems to think it’s bad, but neither is anyone excited about it. My own reaction was “Yep, that sure is a AAA videogame.” I could complain about the cutesy robot sidekick or how sick I am of of XP systems and skill points in games that don’t need them, but instead I’ll focus on the gameplay. You’re a jedi, complete with lightsaber and Force powers, and you spend half of the demo fighting stormtroopers in groups of two or three. This is as much of a slaughter as it sounds like it should be, and it just doesn’t seem interesting. If you’re going to make me a Force god cutting through helpless mooks, you can at least give me a nice crowd of mooks to wreck. I think the trailer is weak because it doesn’t give the combat either spectacle or the impression of challenge.

    PS: Shamus, why not just keep your old schedule and watch E3 when you wake up? Everything is archived these days, it’s not like you’re stuck watching things live.

    1. Redrock says:

      I dunno, I think a big problem with the trailer was that whoever was supposed to be playing it did it in a very weird way, like they weren’t all that familiar with the game. But I definitely got some Jedi Outcast vibes, especially with how the regular stormtroopers go down in one hit. Also, I don’t think Outcast or Academy ever had too many enemies onscreen at any given moment, so I don’t see that as a big problem. I do think, however, that they could increase the damage enemies deal, make combat deadly for everyone, especially since the protagonist seems to have some robust defense options. Basically, I think I want them to take some cues from Sekiro. Or, rather, more than they do already, what with the block gauge for enemies and Estus-like healing.

      1. Ninety-Three says:

        The difficulty did seem weirdly easy. There was a moment where I thought to myself “Oh, they have flamethrower dudes who you can’t just walk up to and melee, that’s interesti-” and then as I was thinking it, the player walked up to a flamethrower dude through the fire, lost only 10% health, and cut him down.

        It’s not like it was a live demo where you want to make sure nothing goes wrong, that was prerecorded footage where there was no reason they couldn’t get someone good at the game to do a hundred takes until they made it look perfect. I know a lot of the market plays games on easy mode, but is that really how you’re supposed to sell your game?

        1. Redrock says:

          It’s not just difficulty. It’s the weird way the guy hesitates at times and keeps his distance instead of attacking. It just feels awkward, but it doesn’t feel like its necessarily the game’s fault. I dunno. Maybe that;s just me wanting it to be good.

          1. shoeboxjeddy says:

            The guy deliberately holds back from killing the second melee stormtrooper at points, and I wondered if that was to set up for a really brutal move (like when he drags a frozen stormtrooper into the shot he just fired). But… no? He takes a few extra hits and then awkwardly finishes him off. STRANGE footage. Compare that to the Doom Eternal story trailer where he’s completing the platonic ideal of a perfect run in time to the music. Why not edit it THAT way?

      2. Lino says:

        For me, Fallen Order doesn’t even come close to the visceral combat of Outcast and Academy. I mean, what is lightsaber combat without dismemberment?!
        I was quite impressed with the trailer, but after seeing the gameplay, I don’t know anymore – I might pick it up during a sale or something…

        1. Hector says:

          I happen to have just replayed the Dark Forces series, and the fights could get pretty crazy. The first throwdown after getting your Light saber in Outcast pits you against roughly a dozen thugs armed with blasters, grenades, and disruptors. There are some optional fights against swarms of stormtroopers armed with missile launchers and giant mech-killer shotguns. Plus droids and Dark Jedi in various flavors.

    2. Thomas says:

      It’s difficult to judge from E3 gameplay what it will be like. The people controlling it often aren’t very good / are too good and you don’t know if it’s essentially the tutorial level.

      The level design felt like a massive throwback to older generations (PS2 – early PS3). Not just because it’s linear, but because it wasn’t hiding that it was a videogame level. It was very obvious you were in a corridor with platforming obstacles, whereas in modern games the environments are meant to feel like a place.

      In Uncharted it’s not just a videogame level, you are ‘on a roof’ and you want to get to ‘that building’.

    3. Geebs says:

      They went with a protagonist who not only looks a bit like Hayden Christensen, but sounds rather like him too. That was probably the boldest thing about the entire trailer.

      1. Thomas says:

        I thought he was like Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon. Hayden is so much funnier!

    4. shoeboxjeddy says:

      I actually think based on the character, skill points fit this game perfectly. You are a Padawan coming into the full sense of your powers as these dangerous situations develop. That’s a good matchup between gameplay and story! The cute robot is in place of a personality it seems like from the trailer.

  8. Ninety-Three says:

    The game Shamus is describing sounds like The Last Express set on a space station. Last Express puts you as a detective on a train trying to solve a murder, characters move around and interact on their own in real time, if you do nothing eventually the game just ends, and you realistically have to make several playthroughs to figure it out.

    I’m not sure I have any interesting commentary to add, but Shamus sounds like he’d be interested in Last Express.

    1. Redrock says:

      Last Express was freaking amazing. One of the better detective games of all time, I’d say. I’d very much like a modern full-3D remake. Yeah, I know, the visual style is a big part of the charm, but when moving around the train it could also be a goddamn pain.

      1. Liessa says:

        The Last Express is one of my favourite games ever. The gameplay is unique and the writing and voice-acting (in 4 different languages!) are phenomenal. Such a shame it sold poorly at the time.

  9. Christopher says:

    Way to the Woods, also known as That Deer Game, was the indie game that made the best impression on me so far.

    Ghostwire Tokyo had a killer cinematic trailer, for what that’s worth, and an even better presenter.

    I don’t give a eff about actors, but Keanu was also fun on stage and Cyberpunk keeps seeming too good to be true.

    Pink and green, between psychonauts 2 and outer worlds, is making a valiant effort to be orange and blue for a new generation.

    Free DLC for The Messenger, sweeet

    1. Redrock says:

      Ghostwire Tokyo made me angry solely because it’s not Evil Within 3 and I just can’t condone that.

      1. shoeboxjeddy says:

        It is SO much better for a studio to make what they’re inspired to make than just pumping out more sequels. The alternative is when all the leadership that made the previous games good flees over the years of development for the sequels.

        Hello there:
        -Mass Effect Andromeda
        -Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3
        -Resident Evil 6
        etc.

        1. Decius says:

          -Half life: Episode 3

        2. Redrock says:

          Sure, I’m happy for the studio and I don’t really mean that someone should’ve forced them to make a sequel. It’s just that the way Evil Within 2 utilized a smaller open world in a horror setting was really cool and I would’ve liked to see more of that.

      2. Christopher says:

        Doesn’t Evil Within 2 end with the good guys win and all the bad guys are dead?

        1. Gautsu says:

          A new animus boots up by itself

  10. tmtvl says:

    The only problem I have with Linux (my love) is that the AMD GPU drivers are lagging a bit behind. Performance-wise they’re fine, but they lack some of the features needed to do some good gaming. And the proprietary drivers have compatibility issues with up-to-date software.

    So ironically my workstation with an integrated GPU runs more games then my gaming PC, though at worse framerate.

    1. John says:

      That’s funny. When I read Linux system requirements for games on Steam, one of the things I see most frequently is words to the effect that “the game hasn’t been tested with Intel graphics, use at your own risk”.

      I, alas, am a sinner and an impure user of (Nvidia) proprietary drivers. This has only occasionally come back to haunt me.

    2. Moridin says:

      Are you using up-to-date kernel? AMD’s graphics drivers are integrated into the kernel, so if you’re on Ubuntu, you’re going to want to use mainline kernel(https://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/). For comparison, Ubuntu LTS is stuck on 4.15 while the official kernel release is up to 5.1 – that’s 7 releases behind.

      1. tmtvl says:

        Arch is love, arch is life.

        EDIT: what I was talking about was the status of the mesa drivers which haven’t got everything for SI and CIK working yet.

  11. Distec says:

    I actually found Islanders to be moderately stressful and ended up getting a refund. By its description, it was exactly what I was looking for, but the actual experience kept rustling me the wrong way. The synergy between the buildings always left me agonizing over placement and trying to anticipate what “building set” the game would give me next, but you can’t plan ahead like that. I’d put something down and then a minute later I’d regret its placement since I don’t have enough digital centimeters to lay down something with a high score. There were periods where I was mousing over every square inch of an island to find some kind of perfect plot only to give up and settle for second-or-third best; which never feels particularly great. I never felt like I was playing optimally, and the fact that you end up leaving the islands and never returning to them also felt unfulfilling.

    Strange that a game marketed as Zen and ‘relaxing’ kinda prompted the complete opposite feelings in me. A daily grind routine in WoW (worked out for optimal efficiency) has a better effect on me.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      While the packs are somewhat random, the delivery order is fairly reliable. You’ll eventually get access to all of them.
      Yeah, the spreadsheet really helps with the long-term placement strategy, but it basically boils down to three districts: House, Mansion, and Resort. Leave a 5×5 in the mansion district for your temple, and put the masons next to the house district, and you’re basically set.

  12. Grimwear says:

    I don’t care about E3 I can’t recall a single time I’ve ever watched it or even read an article all the way through. That said this year I did go on youtube to watch Devolver’s presentation because it’s just fun. I did skip the game trailers though.

    As for Dying Light 2…I recently got Dying Light 1 and it wasn’t good. At least the very limited amount I played was horrid. The controls were plain garbage and the parkour felt terrible. I had huge problems with the tutorial and judging by the forums I wasn’t the only one. The argument seems to be “Of course the parkour feels like crap at first you need to level up and allocate points to make it better!” in which case that’s idiotic. Let’s make your primary form of movement terrible and annoying until you eventually make it serviceable and potentially fun. I gave up after I left the first building, saw a racing event directly in front of me, and proceeded to lose 7 times in a row because I guess I’m supposed to come back to it later. Wow good jobs devs, introduce an event immediately once I’m let loose in the world but make it so I can’t complete it until I come back at some later date when I’ve leveled up enough. I just closed the game and never had a desire to go back.

  13. Crokus Younghand says:

    I started working on a little game once where all people in a city are pacified using a air-dispersed drug under a Government expereriment. You will use old sewer systems, and by solving puzzles, close off the drug delivery and come back to see that everyone is fighting and murdering everyone else as a side-effect of the lack of the drug. (While you were sneaking around the city, you would have been cryptically warned of this. And throughout the game, you would have an option to leave anytime you want.)

    About two weeks after I finished the prototype, We Happy Few got announced and I threw my project in the trashcan. So yeah, it has happened to me too, Shamus.

  14. evilmrhenry says:

    With regards to Linux, from my (admittedly about a decade out of date at this point) experience, a proper Linux system is just as bad for random weirdness as Windows. Every time I ran an update, something would break, and something else would get fixed. Plus, there was always that one thing that never worked right, and I never did get a good driver for that one thing.

    A modern OS has a lot of moving parts, and when half those parts are being maintained by volunteers without a proper testing department, there’s always going to be at least one issue.

    1. Philadelphus says:

      My experience with Debian testing a year ago was somewhat similar (though I also, at the time, had an undiagnosed failing RAM module that I only found out about later and which was likely causing some of the random crashes I experienced), but Debian stable which I run now really is about as rock-stable as you can get an OS. (A consumer, desktop-oriented OS; I’m sure there are specialized military ones that are more stable.) I’ve gone through many, many updates, including between major versions, with no discernible disruptions.

      Your mileage may vary, of course, depending on distro. There’s a spectrum between “stability” and “novelty” which all distros must ultimately fall on somewhere…

  15. evilmrhenry says:

    With regards to the Avengers video game, there are technically games for most of the first phase of Marvel movies, and some of the second. (I’m not counting the mobile games.) These are basically Standard Movie Tie-In Games, though.

  16. Steve C says:

    @16:13 You mentioned wanting to get a bonus if you beat a level well in order to use it in the next level. Extra rewards for optimal play. This is fine if it is capped tiered rewards. IE Bronze, silver and gold medals = three distinct bonuses. However an open ended reward?.. No. That wrecks every game I’ve ever seen. The problem is that there is no way of balancing such a game. (Well unless it is a rogue-like and that’s the point.)

    Someone who is struggling will go into a death spiral. Someone who plays optimally will find it gets progressively easier until it isn’t worth playing. And someone like me will try to min/max and repeat levels to the point the game isn’t fun anymore. Which I do in such games because I’m afraid of a death spiral and have no way to gauge future levels. It’s the old balance problem of when is it ok to use consumables. Ending a game because you ran out of a resource feels terrible. Likewise ending with a few thousand spare that you could have used isn’t exactly good either.

    For example, Warhammer 40000 Mechanicus. Each map can be a net benefit to resources or a net loss. The first turn of the first map of a level is when you start with the fewest resources. Your state carries forward from map to map. At the end of the level it adds the resources you’ve gained to your pool for upgrades. In general it was too easy a game. Moreso than that I got into a ‘success spiral’. The first boss was an interesting fun fight. The second boss I simply walked up to and killed with a single full attack routine. I stopped playing after that as there was no point. It was only going to get easier. Likewise if someone was struggling, they would be doomed to slide backwards until they failed.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Yes. Exactly right. Rounds need to be distinct in order to preserve the magic circle. Pay to win offends the same sensibilities, of infecting this game with another unrelated game.

      Capped rewards sounds neat though. Maybe you can take one building, and everything it got points from. But the whole lot needs to be placed at once? Would punish greed.

      This also seems related to a reason to not have the ability to load old islands. You can always recreate what you lost. But the ability to recall it perfectly might dull that creative impulse to make it better this time. Hmm.

  17. Raynor says:

    Podcast RSS is not working again :( It shows only the two previous episodes (258 and 259).

  18. Moridin says:

    I feel like people are giving Proton and Valve a lot more credit than they deserve for things Wine actually did years ago. I’ve been using Linux with Wine for gaming for several years, and unless you’re trying to play the newest AAA games, most of the time games just work – and when they don’t, fixing them is often a relatively simple matter.

    1. John says:

      While I think that you are largely correct, I can think of at least one instance where Proton worked much better for me than Wine.

      I have, at various times, installed Street Fighter IV using Wine. That means that I first installed the Steam client for Windows using Wine–I couldn’t download the game in the first place otherwise–which is itself a whole sorry story. When I tried to play the game, instead of Just Working (TM), it suffered from terrible screen flicker and apparently random crashes on startup and whenever I tried to play arcade mode. To fix the screen flicker, I had to edit a .ini file. That was the easy part, and I found instructions on how to do so in under a minute. The random crashes I had to diagnose myself. Street Fighter IV, it turns out, stores its pre-rendered and animated cutscenes as 32-bit .wmv files. The plugin Wine uses to try to play these files–something along the lines of “winegstreamer”–can’t handle the 32-bit-ness. It either refuses to play them or crashes. Disabling the plugin reduces the frequency of crashes but does not eliminate them. Proton can’t handle the 32-bit .wmv files either, but, crucially, (a) it does not require me to deal with the mess that is the Windows client for Steam running under Wine and (b) it never crashes. In this case it is much, much closer to the proverbial Just Works (TM).

    2. tmtvl says:

      The combination of one-click install and proper DXVK set-up is worth a lot. Wine really needed a lot of CLI work to set everything up nicely (unless you used a decent frontend, like Q4Wine, but those were kinda underdeveloped).

      Valve worked to get a lot of stuff working out-of-the-box, and that’s invaluable.

  19. Dreadjaws says:

    Ah, I see you guys never heard of Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. One of the best open-world superhero games out there, for the PS2.

  20. Dreadjaws says:

    Wait, you can’t write on a Steam forum unless you own the game? Then how come I always see in the forums messages from people who don’t own the games, asking for information before making a purchase?

    What forums were you looking at?

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      The support forum. Specifically, the one for Kingdom: New Lands.

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