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Diecast #131: Star Wars Battlefront, Far Cry Primal, Psychonauts 2

By Shamus
on Monday Dec 7, 2015
Filed under:


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Hosts: Josh, Shamus, Campster. Episode edited by Rachel.

This week there won’t be any Spoiler Warning. But! You get a longer-than-usual Diecast, and if we’re all really good maybe Josh will upload last week’s hangout to YouTube.

This month is likely to be spotty, in terms of podcasts and videos. It’s hard enough to get all five of us together at the same time on a normal week, and now it’s the silly season. Everyone has a party to go to. Or get ready for. Or recover from. So I don’t know what we’ll be getting, content-wise.

Show notes:
00:01:00 Star Wars Battlefront

00:20:40 Far Cry Primal

Link (YouTube)

Having watched the trailer, I gotta say this looks a lot more interesting to me than anything previously appearing under the Far Cry label. My only misgiving is that it’s an Ubisoft game, which means tedious repetition. And also Uplay. Ew.

00:32:31 Before

00:33:33 Psychonauts 2 and fig

Link (YouTube)

Huh. The re-release of Psychonauts sold double the copies of the original run? Where are the idiots who couldn’t be bothered to give permission to re-release No One Lives Forever? They need to see this. Jerks.

00::54:12 MAILTIME – Screen resolution.

Dear Diecasters

How important is screen resolution for games, in terms of how things look versus the performance costs? Are we going to hit a point where resolutions stop increasing, or it’s not worth designing games to work well with higher resolutions any time soon?


01:04:46 Spooky Games

Dear Diecast,

Today I was talking to Horror Games and her cousin Spooky Games at lunch ingestion period, and she mentioned that some of you people are good at dealing with being around them. Personally I can’t be around Horror or even Spooky for more than a short while before my nerves give out. I really like them, and want to freak out less when we spend time together. What’s the secret(s)?

With love,
Fellow Education System Inmate #Ira

Comments (131)

  1. Ranneko says:

    Double Fine did not go back to kickstarter a second time for Broken Age.
    What they did do is realise that the scope of BA was too high and would take too long, so they found other sources of funding (including ports of their older games) and sold Broken Age with Part 1 to fund the remaining part.

    If you watch the episodes of the Double Fine Adventure leading up to the decision you can see the entire process.

    It is also worth noting that The Double Fine Adventure kickstarter was not a more normal kickstarter for a game. It was explicitly about the entire game creation process, the initial budget was set by the kickstarter, split between the documentary and the game creation process. Backers were actually provided with that budget in one of the early updates. Double Fine were really open with backers during the development process, one of the problems is that of course this was private communication (and was explicitly so in the kickstarter)

    One of the lessons they learnt from that was to be even more open, which is why Massive Chalice had the public team streams and did not use a private backer forum to distribute news and information. I find it kind of odd that so many people refer to Broken Age as the last time DF used kickstarter, when there was Massive Chalice in between, which was in my opinion very well managed and produced a game that I enjoyed a heck of a lot.

    Finally the fig.co campaign states that there are 4 sources of funding for the game, the crowdfunding component (goal 3.3 million), the crowd investing component (no stated goal), the private investor and Double Fine itself.

    • Da Mage says:

      When you watch the documentary, you can clearly see at what point it all went wrong for them. When they got so much more money then they expected they started making EVERY part of the project big budget, and instead of a cheap and simple game, they went for hand painted graphics, full voice acting and heaps of other stuff they never budgeted for.

      Like many crowd funded project, the stretch goals were haphazard and not planned for, and is what ruined the success of the crowdfunding. As far as I’m concerned, if you are crowdfunding any extra should just be polish money. Your scope should not be drastically different just because you got 50% more then expected.

      • Ranneko says:

        As far as I recall The Double Fine Adventure being the first big video game kickstarter didn’t really do stretch goals in the same codified way you see now, the first update and the Q&A talk about using the money to expand the game and documentary, adding more voice acting, release platforms and languages.

        The relevant part of the Q&A reads:

        Q: What happens if you go over the goal?
        A: The extra money will be put back into the game and documentary. This has already resulted in increased VO and music budgets, and additional release platforms for the game (Mac, Linux, iOS, Android). The higher it goes the better the project gets!

        But the initial information about the budget that was released to backers can be found here, as the archived board is now visible to everyone.

    • Ranneko says:

      Actually regarding the last paragraph of my post, I was totally wrong. The crowdfunding and crowd investment components both count toward the 3.3 million goal. You can see how much each part is contributing my clicking on the little i button under the bar on the fig.co page.

      At this time they have of the 1.87 million raised:
      – 884K investment
      – 986K rewards

      Also worth knowing that the unaccredited investor option isn’t fully open yet, SEC approval is still pending expected to come early next year, all they can do so far is reserve their right to invest. Not sure if that counts toward the goal though…

      Looking at the previous campaigns on fig it (not that 2 games make a very good sample size) it seems that investments are a major part of fig campaigns in terms of contribution to the goal.

    • Nidokoenig says:

      My perspective on Double Fine is that I funded Broken Age, then in the time it took for it to come out I’d had two machines die and no longer had ready access to Windows, or any desktop OS. Either their scheduling is terrible or my situation isn’t one where I should be crowdfunding. Also, I may or may not have lost a bunch of interest when Tim shaved his sexy beard off.

      • Ranneko says:

        That is probably a reasonable viewpoint, especially since the current estimated release date for Psychonauts 2 is in 2018, so if you went through 2 computers in 3 and a bit years you would be looking at going through another 1-2 before Psychonauts 2 would arrive.

        And that is assuming that there are no delays, and frankly in software development delays are incredibly common, even when people take into account the fact that delays are incredibly common.

        • Nidokoenig says:

          Not so much computers as old and busted laptops people wanted rid of, but yeah. There’s also the factor of not having been able to play the result of my previous investment, and I haven’t exactly been hearing raves.

          • Ranneko says:

            Personally I enjoyed it, though they really catered to the old school crowd that wanted old school obtuse and fiddly puzzles in the second part which is a bit of a pain. Your mileage may vary of course.

            I enjoyed it enough that I intend to replay it on the Vita now I have Sony copy via PSPlus.

            My favourite part of the kickstarter was definitely the documentary however. It turns out I am really interested in seeing how games are made and gaming projects are managed.

    • Artur CalDazar says:

      It’s odd how many differing stories I hear given there is that documentary to straighten a lot of it out.

      I was talking to somebody and they seemed to be under the impression that Part 2 of Broken Age never got released, that or they conflated all of DF’s mistakes into a single project.

    • Eric says:

      Disclosure: my boss is on the advisory board of Fig (but neither I nor he work for Fig).

      Fig is a dual investment/crowdfunding platform which effectively aims to provide a different (some might say improved) platform for funding over Kickstarter. Some of these reasons are, understandably, not totally obvious to the average backer.

      The main one is increased project scope. Let’s face it, Shenmue changed everything by debuting on the Sony E3 stage, and broke an unwritten rule about corporate involvement and crowdfunding. Furthermore, it’s becoming more clear that budgets which all but the smaller indie games need these days are larger than what Kickstarter alone can sustain. Most Kickstarter projects are not exclusively paid for by crowdfunding alone, though it is still usually the majority of it.

      Fig’s biggest advantage is that it helps enable both crowdfunding and investment for titles on it, so that it can ultimately allow for bigger budgets than crowdfunding alone. It also does so by tapping into a new style of investment (and investor) which might not otherwise know how to get into funding games.

      We’ll see where it goes in the coming months/years. Psychonauts 2 is the first major “proof of concept” project and it seems to be doing very well so far. Right now, Fig still has the “it feels shady” barrier to get over; this isn’t something that seems predicated on fact to me, but is simply due to the newness of the platform. There were people saying the exact same thing about Kickstarter back in the day, too, until it had a number of successes to prove otherwise.

      Personally, I’m all for opportunities which give game developers more options for funding and financing their games – but then, I’m also kinda biased in that regard.

      (Also, clarification: Fig is not owned or operated by Double Fine. However, Double Fine’s former COO is the founder/CEO of Fig.)

      • Ranneko says:

        It was interesting reading through the documents from the investments page.

        My take from reading is that technically Fig acts as a publisher for the games funded on it, it also actually has clauses and restrictions on what the developer can do with the funds obtained, and requires for example that the developer maintain books and demonstrate that the funding is going specifically into game development.

        I guess that is one of the advantages of being specifically built around funding games, they place more protections and restrictions around how the money that is raised will be used.

  2. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Announcing the triumphant absence of Mumbles. As usual she has that special Mumbles way of not showing up in an episode and this week was classic Not-Mumbles.

  3. Jokerman says:

    You have strange ways of spelling Fallout 4.

  4. Squirly says:

    “Where are the idiots who couldn't be bothered to give permission to re-release No One Lives Forever?”

    That’s a good question Shamus. One that nobody can actually answer because No One Knows Who Owns The Copyright. Apparently Activision, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. are all claiming the rights but can’t be bothered to really hash it out.

    It’s a messed up situation.

    • Ranneko says:

      Each of the parties seems to not have enough stake to start on a remake/remaster but enough to sue anyone else who does. It is a pretty dumb situation.

      • Joe Informatico says:

        It’s even worse. Night Dive Studios was willing to do all the development work. All the rights-holder has to do is go into their own archives and pull out the old agreements, and just contract Night Dive to do the work they already want to do. They’re not even willing to get some intern to spend a few hours going through filing cabinets!

        • Ranneko says:

          Yeah exactly, they have don’t have enough of a stake that it would be worth initiating a search of unknown size and complexity (I really doubt it would be as simple as digging up the right file cabinet, the stuff they need to check is probably sitting in a warehouse somewhere), but enough of a stake that they would initiate legal action if someone else were to do so.

          Clearly the solution is for some very disposable organisation to make a widely publicised remake of No One Lives Forever to lure the stakeholders into working out what parts they have the rights to.

          • Torsten says:

            Or just somebody make a spiritual successor. Anybody could make a game about a female spy adventuring in 1960’s inspired setting but much as everybody seems to like the game now, and a lot of that like is earned, nobody seems to actually want to make that kind of game.

  5. Nick Pitino says:

    Oh they want to make Psychonauts 2?

    That’s cool, I’d feel better about it and be willing to give them money if they hadn’t decided to go ‘It’s good enough now, no more development for you!’ on Space Base DF 9.

    The downside of Steam Greenlight, crowdfunding, and all of this early access jazz is that sometime those of us who pay the $25 for a quarter finished game get burned and in return we the burn-ee become unwilling to give the burner more money.

    Still God Damn Bitter…

    • Ninety-Three says:

      I’m with you, I don’t know if we can trust the reputation of a random fly-by-night indie dev who would pull the plug on an in-development project. What stings the worst is how they handled the aftermath. They never appologized, and never even admitted that they’d messed up. Their official PR stance was to act like they were releasing a feature-complete game and everything was fine, attempting to quietly sweep it under the rug.

      It might be unreasonable to still be bitter about the game failing, but I feel perfectly justified in still being bitter that they were assholes about it. Screw Double Fine.

      • Christopher says:

        Except it’s not a fly by night indie studio, it’s Double Fine, independent from publlishers yes but headed by a major name in the industry.

        And he took my money and then squandered it and then said “Oh the games released it’s fine” with approximately 5% of the features put into the game. No apologies, and they CERTAINLY didn’t release the source code because they have to make profits on an unfinished game that has 0 support and received 0 support after its first patch to make it remotely playable.

        • Ranneko says:

          I am confused by your second paragraph, did they release the source code or not?

        • Humanoid says:

          Yeah, Spacebase was a farce that kind of puts a dampener on my enthusiasm for any of their future products. On the other hand, it wasn’t a Kickstartered project so I wonder if that had anything to do with how it was treated internally. Sure, Broken Age was late, and Massive Chalice not terribly deep, but they delivered as promised and I have no real complaint against either of those.

          I think Spacebase was just an experimental Amnesia Fortnight prototype that they put to Early Access. I got it from a Humble Bundle instead of specifically purchasing it so I guess I can be a bit less bitter about it …but not much less. (For what it’s worth, the only actual game I’ve bought as part of the Early Access program is Darkest Dungeon, and that was only a week or so ago)

          As for properly botched Kickstarter games, I’d say Hero-U (the “sequel” Quest for Glory) probably has run into the most trouble, and had to run a second crowdfunding campaign. The Space Quest follow-up also looks nowhere near delivery due to personal troubles. Project Phoenix is probably the biggest one to struggle, there was an update recently that basically went “welp, we’re ready to begin programming the game ….but we don’t have a programmer because the one guy we had lined up to do it dropped out. Know anyone we can hire?”

          • Ranneko says:

            There was also Yogventure which died with its developer.

            And The Doom That Came To Atlantic City! on the boardgame side that even had legal action taken against it.

          • Ninety-Three says:

            The reason Spacebase in particular failed is that they budgeted it such that it would have to rake in top Early Access dollar in order to fund itself, so when it failed to be one of the top ten Early Access games, it ran out of money and they pulled the plug. Theoretically Kickstarter should be less vulnerable to that problem, but there’s always feature creep.

            • Sleeping Dragon says:

              You know how Shamus mocked the “WoWkiller” thing in MMOs? Early Access is basically “the Minecraft model” and for every decent game that comes out of it there’s at least one dev who expects that as soon as they throw their alpha in there millions will start flowing in and they’ll be able to develop the thing for real. Then the millions don’t come but there’s just enough money to sustain the dev cycle for a few more months but the dev still believes that any moment now the people who bought the game will create enough word-of-mouth marketing, or the press will write about the diamond in the rough state of the game. after all, Minecraft was somewhat bare bones when it started raking in the cash, right? But the millions still refuse to come, the dev is stuck with a project they need to basically do in their spare time on their own savings, features get cut, delayed or are delivered in some kind of mangled frankensteinian state, the people the dev was counting on to create the buzz become increasingly irate and the publicity they start to spread becomes actually negative… Generally at this point the game either ends in Early Access limbo with the dev never updating and often breaking contact with the community altogether or gets pushed for some basic functionality and launched barebones, unpolished, featureless and buggy. Occasionally, if the game’s rep is not abysmal, the “launch” generates enough sales to restart the cycle and the game receives an update or two only to be abandoned again.

              Of course seeing as Double Fine are experienced devs one would hope they’d be more careful, on the other hand Early Access is a new thing and it’s not really possible to be “experienced” with handling it.

              I’d actually love to see figures of how games sell when they’re launched in EA and how the sales look when they go out EA into an actual release.

              • Ranneko says:

                There is this article from Steam Spy, which basically says that you only get one launch. If you start a game in early access, that is the launch of the game.

                Moving from early access to full release might get you a news article or youtube coverage and give you a boost to sales, but no more than a substantial update really.

                • Sleeping Dragon says:

                  A bit late but still. I’m pretty sure when the game goes out of Early Access it lands in the “new releases” queue again. Similarly if you sort games by release date it’ll be visible at the date it got a full release, before that it will be visible at the date it launched in EA. Also, there’s a number of people like me, who keep an eye on some EA titles but generally avoid buying them until the “real” release.

        • Ninety-Three says:

          I was referencing this quote from the Spacebase project lead (one month before they announced they were pulling the plug):
          “Double Fine is not a random fly-by-night indie dev and we are not going to silently pull the plug on Spacebase or any other in-development project. Doing so would be disastrous for our reputation”

          • Chris says:

            It bugs me when this gets cited because it was spoken by a developer who was as frustrated by the project stoppage as anyone else.

            It’s one of the dangers of having these close-to-community projects – devs who are working on the project actively advocating for it, working on it, and talking to fans about where to take it (read by gamers as making promises) are ultimately not in control of whether the project gets additional funding or how the project is marketed.

            But gamers don’t see the distinction between “So-and-so the creative lead who is working hard on this project and wants it to succeed and talks to fans about not abandoning it” and “Whats-his-name the Biz Guy that has to tell the team the project’s dead because there’s no money.” Instead they see “DoubleFine said X, but then did Y! They’re untrustworthy liars!”

            That doesn’t excuse what happened to the project (I agree that DoubleFine has yet to really be earnest about how badly it screwed up), but it makes me uncomfortable to attribute to malice what sincerely feels like incompetent management and abominable communication both internal and external.

            • Ranneko says:

              It also was hardly canned silently, given there was an announcement an associated furore and various other posts like this one by Tim Schafer.

              But this might be just my own expectations around what the phrase silently pull the plug means.

              • Ninety-Three says:

                A lot of people who read that statement tend to look at “we’re not going to” as the focus of the sentence, instead of “not silently”. Which I think is a fair interpretation, because if I promise not to silently take your lunch, and then do it loudly, you’re going to be quite upset with me, and if I point out that my promise was technically kept then I’m being a jerk and a pedant.

                • Merlin says:

                  I mean, I never purchased Spacebase and don’t really have a horse in the race, but they made the announcement, pushed out a 1.0 release that included a couple new features, a host of bugfixes, and mod tools. They also patched in additional bug fixes and QoL improvements after that (final version is 1.06), and provided a copy of Hack ‘n’ Slash for free to anyone who had purchased Space Base. That last bit is not by any stretch ideal, but bear in mind that Steam didn’t have any kind of refund functionality for another 9 months. (I’m presuming that the Hack ‘n’ Slash copy was tradeable/giftable if you were really determined to get some return on it, though I can’t confirm.)

                  The situation sucks, but really that’s about as gracefully as anybody could’ve killed a project. “We’re sorry, here’s what’s happening, we’ll clean up some of the mess before we go, and here’s free stuff.”

                  • Ninety-Three says:

                    As someone who bought Spacebase, yes they handed out free copies of Hack ‘n’ Slash, but that wasn’t very useful to me because I had also bought Hack ‘n’ Slash already. It’s giftable, but it’s not tradeable in the sense that I can’t put it up on the Steam market like a trading card or a TF2 hat. When I got it I offered it freely to all my friends, none of whom were interested. So not much value there.

                    They could’ve handled it with a hell of a lot more grace, for instance:
                    A: Actually saying “We screwed up” or something similar
                    B: Subsequently saying “We are sorry that we took your money in exchange for a completed game you’re not going to get”
                    Those are pretty much steps one and two of gracefully killing a project.

                    • Humanoid says:

                      Oh, so that’s what that Hack and Slash thing in my Steam inventory is. Always wondered where it came from.

            • Ninety-Three says:

              To be clear, I wasn’t attempting to attribute malice, I was trying to criticize their reputation after a project lead swore on their reputation. Although their handling of things post-failure moves from incompetence to, if not malice, an inexcusable degree of self-interest at the expense of the playerbase.

              You complain that people* get upset about “Double Fine said X but then did Y”, but I think the problem with that quote is that the project lead is assumed to be speaking with some kind of authority. He didn’t say “I really hope we won’t have to pull the plug”, he said they wouldn’t pull the plug, and when a project lead says that sort of thing people trust them just like when they say “We will add feature A and fix bug B in the next patch”. It’s reasonable to assume that the project lead knows enough about their project’s budget that it won’t come as a surprise to them that it runs out in two months.

              *Of course, this is the internet, so there will always be frothing madmen with unreasonable demands, I don’t mean to defend all complaints here.

              • Syal says:

                And really, it shouldn’t be the job of the consumer outside the company to determine who does or does not have the authority to speak for the company. If they don’t have the authority to make that claim it’s reckless for the company to let them make it.

              • Matt Downie says:

                “It's reasonable to assume that the project lead knows enough about their project's budget that it won't come as a surprise to them that it runs out in two months.”
                I’ve worked on a lot of game projects where there’s never more than a month’s budget left and you just have to hope that the people who control the money will like what you’re doing enough to throw some more in the pot on a regular basis.

                And if they are thinking of cancelling your project, they’re certainly going to do their best not to let the developers know – that’s bad for morale and leads to the most talented and energetic people looking for more secure jobs elsewhere.

      • SL128 says:

        They acknowledged it, apologized, and gave free games to everyone who bought Spacebase in alpha.

        • Ninety-Three says:

          They gave Hack ‘n’ Slash to everyone who bought Spacebase, and if you already owned it that’s not good for much. Inquiries about refunds were ignored (not so much as a “No, we’re not doing refunds”). Where is this apology you’re talking about? I’ve never seen it. There’s a link above to Tim answering some questions on the Steam forums, and there he apologizes for the poor communication that plagued the project since long before they pulled the plug, but he never apologizes for ending the project and not delivering what people expected.

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    You get a longer-than-usual Diecast

    So a regular diecast coupled with an hour of Josh talking about plumbing?

    • Humanoid says:

      I have a plumber coming in about 9 hours, the third plumber visit in about a month. I need to hear all about plumbing.

      My experience with them shows that even professionals can be completely stumped just as badly as Josh was. No one has been able to locate my mains water shutoff, one was unable to replace my tap handles because they use a discontinued proprietary spindle (and couldn’t replace the spindle because of the aforementioned lack of mains shutoff), and now I’ve found my shower is leaking and has stealthily destroyed some carpet underneath a cupboard on the other side of the wall.

      • If you’re near me, (USA, Atlanta) I love our plumbers. We connect to the town sewer via (formerly) a 40+ year old line at least 8 feet underground at all times going diagonally across our front yard. A yard full of trees, and guess what tree roots do to plumbing? DOOM. (tree roots seek out the water in the pipe and break into it and block it up or it leaks or both and then the system backs up and suddenly you have raw sewage in the basement. Did you know there were such things as sewer flies? I did not. Eew)

        Anyway, we found a plumber who could replace the old line without clear-cutting the front yard and digging an 8 foot trench for about 30 feet. It was an ordeal (though thankfully the basement wasn’t finished so all we lost there was furniture). Best of luck!

        • Humanoid says:

          9420 miles from Atlanta to Canberra, apparently. :) But yes, I’ve had a tree root destroy a sewage pipe several years ago too, but in the backyard, not the basement (which is not a common feature in Australian homes, I don’t know anyone who has a basement).

          EDIT: Oops, managed to forget which city I’m living in currently.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Actually, I’d love to go back to ’97 and ask the devs…
    “This part where Cloud fights little houses? What’s that all about? Is that a bug?”

    You think thats bad?In ultima 3 you get to fight THE FLOOR and THE GRASS.

  8. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:


    I love that question. You see questions like that on some podcasts where its like “C’mon, these people are just gamers who decided to start doing a podcast. They’re not going to have a clue about this one.” But this crew can field an educated guess.

    I haven’t heard their answer yet but I believe we’re going to see things stall a bit longer at this resolution as VR is still in screen door territory.

    • Geebs says:

      For games, 720p is the margin below which (in the absence of really good visual design) things will look unacceptably bad; 1080p is the margin above which diminishing returns kick in. I really don’t see that changing any time soon.

      On the other hand, I would really like a 4k monitor for text. Maybe in two years…

      • Nidokoenig says:

        I think acceptable resolution is tied to the monitor, and you want something that doesn’t stretch out or artefact horribly, which generally means something not far behind it. Maybe 720p or 1080p is enough to show human faces convincingly so there’s not much call for anything better, but display manufacturers are going to want to push their new hotness and that may lift the floor. I may just be weird and have a thing for dither shading, though.

        • Geebs says:

          I have one of those fancy Retina displays in my laptop. Its’ pixel density is good enough that it actually gets around the old LCD monitor scaling problem in that non-native resolutions don’t really look any worse than they did on a CRT.

          1440 x 900 looks fine for games on my laptop’s monitor, although desktop applications that don’t scale properly look like absolute garbage. If I ever get the cash together for a 4k monitor, I’d just game at 1080p.

      • Joe Informatico says:

        Even if no lone GPU can handle a game in 4K resolution yet, I’m wondering if we’re at a point where you could have four games in 1080p running on the same 4K display at the same time.

        I can’t think of an earthly reason why you’d want to do that, but I’m curious if it’s possible.

    • Humanoid says:

      There’s an unfortunate problem now where resolution has increased by such a degree that modern graphics cards can’t hope to handle it for a while yet. 1440p is already pretty borderline for mainstream cards, but it’s about the sweet spot for a new gaming-oriented machine.

      The problem arises because now monitor manufacturers are shifting their larger screens to 4k (i.e. 2160p), and that doesn’t play nicely either natively because computers today are too slow at that resolution, and double-scaled 1080p is not enough detail for a 30″+ screen. 1440p doesn’t scale nicely to 2160p, causing loss of detail.

      Dell have recently released their new 32″ Ultrasharp series monitor, which is a sort-of replacement for their previous 30″ model. It’s pretty much the size I want, but the new one is 2160p and the old one is 1600p. The difference in pixel count is huge, and even if I had a $1000 video card – hell, TWO $1000 video cards, some games will positively chug at that higher resolution. So for gaming, it’s a no-go for me. If the monitor manufacturers go to 5k (2880p) for panels of this size, it’d work out a lot better because I could then run games at the same 1440p that I do now.

      • utzel says:

        I upgraded to a 27″ 3840×2160 monitor two months ago and love it so far.

        I knew in advance what and how well I can run most of my games in 4k, because I used downsampling a lot. In fact I have been running Arma with 200% resolution for years, actually bought a Radeon 7970 mostly for that a few years ago.
        Now I have a completely different PC with a Geforce 780 and there are a lot of newer games where I have to lower the resolution to 2560×1440 and also lower some options, but the scaling works good and it still looks better than on the old 24″ 1920×1080 monitor. I haven’t yet tried comparing both at that resolution side by side, probably will have to do that if I continue playing AC Unity.

        So don’t let performance hold you back if you have a reasonably fast GPU. If you can live with some reduced settings or resolution, depending on what you play there will still be a lot of games that you can play in 4k and which will look awesome.
        I will be using this monitor for at least 5 years, so the hardware will come anyway. I am anxious for the next generation of GPUs now, though ;)

  9. Benjamin Hilton says:

    As far as being a mook in Battlefront, I highly recommend going back to the first battlefront in single player mode and playing iron man mode. It entirely makes it a whole new experience.

    • Daimbert says:

      How IS the single player mode in Battlefront? I don’t like to play with people, but I admit that the trailers and how it looked made me potentially want to play it, and I have played and somewhat enjoyed Battlefront 2 on the PS2 (except I couldn’t make it past Hoth in the single player campaign …).

      • Chris says:

        It’s mostly a horde mode of various flavors. Sometimes you’re a hero and sometimes as a mook. Sometimes waves are “kill all the dudes,” sometimes it’s a kill-confirmed style mode against a timer, sometimes it’s capturing points during waves of enemies. There are some hidden diamond pickups in the singleplayer maps that exist just to give you something to collect? But there’s not really a campaign as such. No story, no set structure ( you play any level you want ), nothing to unlock.

        Assuming you meant Battlefront 2015, anyways.

        • Daimbert says:

          Is there a good selection of maps and the like to play on?

          I’m not too worried about there being a campaign because, given a decent set of maps, I can build my own, likely better than they can. But it wouldn’t be worth the price if there aren’t a number of varied maps to play on to allow me to do that.

          Oh, and does it have a difficulty slider?

          • Chris says:

            I can’t remember anything re: difficulty (I just played on the default, I don’t know if there are even options).

            As far as a wide selection of maps… like I said in the Diecast, there’s only four planets and they don’t really do anything risky with the material, so they all sort of blur together a bit. But there’s a mix of different locales, and some if not all are standalone levels apart from the multiplayer ones.

            • Daimbert says:

              Ah, okay, thanks. I end up skipping the actual podcast because I tend to read these things at work. while compiling, and listening to things while working doesn’t work, but reading when I have a second to raise my eyes works perfectly.

      • Benjamin Hilton says:

        I can’t comment on the new one yet, as I haven’t played it, but I will tell you that I really disliked 2. The first one had large open maps that you could tackle from any number of ways.
        By comparison the maps in Battlefront 2 were much smaller and often had a degree of linearity about them. You had to move from objective A to objective B, and then to C, both because it said so, and because you were often pushing back and forth down a linear space, with no real option of flanking. Let alone taking objectives in the order you wish, making end runs on the enemy base and other such things available in the first game.

        Also in the first game, the flying vehicles were in with the regular maps and not relegated to their own levels. The only real step forward the second game brought was the introduction of playable heroes(some maps would have npc controlled big bads in them but you couldn’t play as them).

        • Daimbert says:

          I’m not really any kind of real FPS player, so I didn’t mind the lack of complexity, until I couldn’t figure out how to beat Hoth.

          • Benjamin Hilton says:

            I actually think the second one is more complex. It’s hard to describe unless you’ve played both. It’s not really a lack of complexity. It’s a lack of freedom, I guess is what I’m saying. You won’t realize Battlefront has so much freedom until you play the second, and you won’t realize the second is constricting until you play the first.

            Sort of like how you said you couldn’t figure out how to beat Hoth. In the first game if you set to difficulty at easy and do absolutely nothing, the two sides will have a fairly even chance of winning. This is what makes for a fun Iron man run. Fighting while not taking too many risks may mean you don’t contribute much per battle, but you don’t really have to for your team to win. It really gives the sense of just being a regular mook.

            On the other hand, even on the lowest difficulty setting, it is nearly impossible for your side to win on their own. In the first game you they put two armies on a giant map and let you go at it. In the second one you need to complete specific objectives in a specific oreder to win. While this may be fine in multiplayer, the AI is simply to dumb to do it. If you want to win, you still kinda have to do all the important stuff yourself., taking away from the feeling of just being a regular soldier.

            Edit: To concisely state why I prefer the first game:
            In Battlefront single player it is entirely viable to only attack with groups of allies, never touch a vehicle, leave the destruction of enemy vehicles to the AI, or just hole up in an elevate position with a sniper rifle and still win. In Battlefront 2 it is not. Need to help take objectives, and switch classes multiple times throughout a level. Battlefront one scratches a very specific itch that two does not.

            • Grimwear says:

              I agree with this wholeheartedly. I did manage to finish the Battlefront 2 campaign but honestly can’t remember any of it aside from Hoth and how annoying it was. Aside from the linearity, it became a situation where the game told you “go capture this objective and do all these things in X lives”. I encountered a lot of situations where the number of lives they gave you just weren’t enough. What’s worse is that you are awarded the use of a hero character essentially randomly (I think it was on a timer?) and even then you had a limited amount of time to accept to play as them AND the timer for using them went down extremely quickly. You needed the hero to beat Hoth but you also NEEDED to be in a good position when he popped up in order to kill people and progress and keep the timer bar full. That’s a lot of conditions to satisfy and made the experience just a pain. Personally I only ever play Galactic Conquest in Battlefront 2 as I find it a much more enjoyable experience even though when you finally are about to win you’re forced into ship battle, planet, ship battle, ship battle, etc since your opponent then only has one planet to spawn from and it’s the same one you’re trying to get to. I’m not so much upset over no campaign in the new Battlefront but no Galactic Conquest.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Heh,Christopher Campster.I can just imagine one day when his child asks him “Daddy,why is our surname Campster?” it will be a pretty awkward conversation.

  11. Hermocrates says:

    Yeah, it’s widely agreed that Proto-Indo-European is about the furthest back we can reconstruct any group of languages, and that only extends to about 3500 BC or so (i.e., not nearly as far back as the 10,000 BC setting). And proto-languages are, by their very nature, reconstructions, and would likely only share a passing resemblance to the actual hypothesized Indo-European source language (so don’t expect ancient progenitor aliens to understand you when you speak it).

    But that’s all moot, because apparently Far Cry Primal takes place in the fictional land of Oros, so they can really speak whatever made up words they want. And even if that is “ancient France,” historical linguists don’t really know what languages were spoken there in 10,000 BC, except that it probably wasn’t Indo-European and it might be related to Basque.

  12. Darren says:

    There’s no telling when a re-release will be worth the effort. The Psychonauts re-release might have sold really well (at least compared to the original; note that this isn’t an objective criteria that would apply for all companies), but Okami, which is at least as good a game, was released on three platforms and never saw much commercial success.

    • Humanoid says:

      Isn’t that mostly because Psychonauts has been in about half of the Humble Bundles that have ever been bundled? (The other half of them contain Bastion instead) I don’t recall Okami being in one, but then I know nothing of that game.

    • Benjamin Hilton says:

      The cast also has a great point about how little money re-sales can make. I got Psychonauts during the last summer sale, for something in the vicinity of two dollars. I haven’t even touched it yet, but for that price, why not?

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “Boring guy like anthropology,what a surprise”

    Fixed that for you,Josh.

    • Joe Informatico says:

      Anytime someone says history is boring, I usually assume they had bad teachers who made them read terribly-written books.

      • Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

        A pretty lengthy section of Shamus’ autoblography is specifically about that. The boring way school teaches history as dates nobody will remember anyway vs history as cause and effect or narrative or as forces and economic factors.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Resolutions will continue to grow because:


  15. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

    I’d just love to see EA try to stop Disney from releasing a Star Wars game. There’s something karmic about watching EA get ground under the heel of a bigger, more litigious company.

  16. James says:

    So i just thought what will the radio tower be this time around.

    Then it came to me, it will be Redwoods or some similarly huge tree.

  17. Angelo says:

    So here’s a breakdown of Double Fine’s projects:

    Broken Age
    Original Kickstarter, asked $ 300k for “an old school adventure game” plus $ 100k for the documentary.
    They got $ 3.3 M, however 10% of that belonged to Kickstarter/Amazon payments, a chunk went to the documentary (which I’m sure ended up costing more, seeing how the length of the development was longer) and another chunk was for the pledge rewards (shirts, boxed copies etc.).
    Eventually through sales on their other games, selling the first half beforehand and other means they allegedly reached $ 3M or so.

    Massive Chalice
    Kickstarter that ran alongside Broken Age, this one went relatively smoother. No overspending, no delays either I believe, the final product is decent although a bit shallow.

    Spacebase DF9
    This one wasn’t a Kickstarter, they simply got some funding and decided to try sustaining the game’s development through Early Access revenue. The rest is history.

    Psychonauts 2
    Asking for 3.3M (which does include both backers and investors as far as I know), however they have additional undisclosed “funding” and they are putting some money of their own on top of this. This is explained in the video they have on the campaign’s page.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      Actually, Massive Chalice was delayed substantially. It was supposed to come out in September 2014, the beta backers only got it in October 2014, and the full release was June 2015.

    • Nixitur says:

      There was another recent-ish Early Access title by Double Fine that people constantly forget and that was Hack ‘n’ Slash. It saw regular updates, fulfilled all promises, was released on time (4 months after the initial Early Access release) and was, all in all, pretty good. I liked it a lot, even though the critical reception was rather lukewarm.

  18. MichaelGC says:

    EA’s CFO has now said essentially exactly what you guys were saying about accessibility:

    It is more accessible. And for the hardcore, it may not have the depth that they wanted in the game.


    Sounds like they got what they asked for, then. So, well done EA I guess? (Assuming we accept the argument that the opposite of ‘hardcore’ is ‘eight-yr-old’…)

    • Chris says:

      What’s absurd about that is the phrase “Hardcore FPS fans.”

      I’ve got friends who play one or two games a year and picked up Battlefront because “OMG Star Wars.” They play it briefly in between sessions of Witcher 3 or Fallout 4 or whatever, but it simply can’t sustain an afternoon of dedicated play. It’s not like competitive CoD twitch players or top-tier Battlefield 4 pilots feel a little constrained. The skill ceiling is so low it’s like walking around in John Malkovich’s head.

      Edit: Good lord, 13 million copies shipped is their goal? That is… astoundingly ambitious for a game this mediocre.

      Also, I’m not keen on the “It plays like ass because it’s accessible! It’s rated T!” Do they not know that Splatoon is a 2015 shooter that’s rated E10 and plays better? It also has a low skill ceiling, but it’s not so low as to make the game boring – just low enough to make sure everyone can contribute a bit, TF2 style.

      • Daimbert says:

        That’s pretty much the case with me; I like the idea of playing in the Star Wars universe there, but am not really after any kind of FPS experience.

      • MichaelGC says:

        Indeed – and I’ve no real idea what ‘hardcore’ even means when it comes to computer games, so it’s almost superfluous to say I’ve absolutely no idea why only those so labelled would care about depth.

        As to the 13 million … they must be hoping & praying that JJ Abrams knocks it out the park!

      • Supahewok says:

        I think it’s just what happens when you combine EA, Disney, and possibly the biggest multimedia franchise of all time. EA wants exclusive rights to produce Star Wars games, Disney wants total market saturation by the time of the next film release. So now we’ve got a push for TOR, for the RPG/MMO market. We’ve got a casual phone game for those folks. We’ve got a Star Wars whatever for Disney Infinity. And now we’ve got a “competitive” shooter for the action folks. All of these releases have been coordinated to come out within a few weeks of each other, one at a time, starting in September.

        I have to take a moment here. This is the full power of the Disney Marketing Machine right here. Literature, comic books, trailers, multi-million dollar games which take years to develop, and probably more that I haven’t seen, all coordinated to hype up the world, all coming together over this past year. I’m honestly not sure if there’s ever been anything like it. I have to gape in awe at the magnitude of it. I’ll leave it to others to judge it.

        Anyways, back on track. Once you take the marketing machine into account, Battlefront is easily explainable. EA has only had about 2.5 years since they’ve acquired the license to fully develop the game. The Disney over-lords don’t care how great a game it is: they need it done by November 2015, and it has to be enchanting on the surface level. That translated into the amazing production values that the game has, but 2.5 years is not a lot of time to make all of these high quality assets from scratch – that is, if you intend to make a game of the same scope as it’s predecessors.

        Normally, a game would maybe delay, or have it’s production plan shifted, give it another year. That couldn’t happen here: the November 2015 deadline HAD to be hit. There’s only one thing you can do to make all of this work: decrease your game’s scope to fit your budget of time.

        So we’ve got a Battlefront that has an incredible “wow” factor to hype the market up, but which has been thoroughly reduced in feature count, and is riddled with design short-cuts. Tokens for vehicles? Cards for special abilities and weapons? These scream to me of cop-outs by the game designers, taken to make sure that the scope of the game was such that the game could be thoroughly tested for bugs by the deadline (the past couple of Battlefields had pretty terrible launches in that regard, didn’t they? The House of Mouse wouldn’t stand for that kind of negative publicity in their Machine.).

        That’s the way I see it, anyhow. I’m thinking that a year from now, there’ll have been enough maps and modes added to qualify Battlefront as a full game, and that’s what I’m waiting on before picking it up. It’s too late to go backsies on those design cuts though, which I think is going to severely hamper the long term potential of the game.

        As an aside, I really hate to think that I might start to be viewed as the “conspiracy nut” on this blog, but this all adds up to me. Which is what all conspiracy nuts say. Which doesn’t help me. Hmm.

        • MichaelGC says:

          None of that seemed especially nutty nor conspiratorial to my mind, for what it’s worth! (I mean, for all you know I reckon the Moon landings were obviously fakes because they didn’t visit Elvis in his airtight lunar gazebo, but what you say all sounds pretty plausible to me.)

        • wswordsmen says:

          I think you are safe as long as you realize this is just a plausible story for what happened. Without evidence for your version of events the EA exec ordering it dumbed down is still more likely though.

  19. Warclam says:

    Wait, they made Bubba stronger than Vader? That’s completely absurd.

    • Chris says:

      Fett has jetpacks and ranged weapons, which is a big plus in a shooter. He can flit around the sky (which makes him hard to hit in a game based on slow-ish moving lasers) and can attack from afar.

      Vader has a lightsaber he can throw once every 5 seconds or so, but it has a more limited range than the blasters. He can also reflect blaster fire, but only from the front. The result is that you need to get in close to a bunch of guys that can just stay out of range and take turns strafing you. Granted, if you do get in close it’s a single lightsaber swipe and they’re dead. But yeah, Fett is easier to score big as than Vader (and Palpatine is even more awkward).

      • Heh. Kinda ironic if one consider Vader’s appearance in Star Wars Rebels cartoons (the episode where he battles two of the main characters are just badass).

        But that pales compared to the “Vader Down” cross over story that stretches across a single issue and the Star Wars and the Star Wars Darth Vader comics.
        The Vader we see there is just insanely powerful (is that considered canon?)
        A shame we never got to see Vader in action on the big screen (Empire Strikes back showed the most so far).

        • SlothfulCobra says:

          It’s amazing how great Vader is in the comics with his totally unemotive mask. It makes the thing that Rebels did where they made his mask look really angry pretty dumb.

      • Zak McKracken says:

        That even makes sense to me because the emperor is the emperor because his largest power is making people do what he wants (jedi mind tricks and whatnot), and his soldiers are soldiers because they are good at the fighting bit.
        You wouldn’t expect a high-ranking politician to win a fistfight with a marine, either.

        …actually that sounds like an incredibly difficult thing to balance. On top of whatever “realistic” considerations you have, the game needs to be balanced, and every character should be roughly on the same level but still different. I bet that the perception about who’s OP and who isn’t will change a lot as players develop different strategies, and as patches try to adjust some of the balance issues. As with Starcraft, though, the argument will never die, ever, as long as the game has relevance.

  20. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Shame you didnt cover the game awards because…well,this thing is huge.A huge pile of bullshit:


    • Jim Sterling’s youtube video covers this pretty well and Jim probably echoes most peoples thoughts on this subject. A real asshole move by Konami, there is no way they can save face on this now. (I wonder how the Japanese people view Konami these days?)

  21. @Rachel
    The sound seems perfectly balanced *two thumbs up*.

  22. hemebond says:

    Monitors are not 4k, they are Ultra HD.

  23. Bitterpark says:

    Planetside 2 ruined me on Battlefield, I can’t take it seriously anymore.
    Two tanks per map? On big maps? Try 20, with light tank and close air support, available to anyone without having to wait for it to spawn. 40 players spread thinly across a map? Try 48 players dropping directly on your head from transport planes. And so on and so forth.

    It sounds like this new Battlefront is the polar opposite of Planetside 2.
    On the one hand, you can just log in and play. You don’t have to go through the planetside ordeal of “Do I go to the fight where the Terrans outnumber us 3-to-1, the fight that’s probably just one infiltrator ghostcapping, or a fight where the friendlies outnumber the enemy 3-to-1”. You just go and shoot, no strings attached.

    On the other, when you finally find a good fight in PS2, it turns into this emergent, tactical push of frontline against frontline, with vehicles supporting from the back, infantry flowing from cover to cover and trying to flank, where one well placed spawn point or pack of c4 can turn the tide of battle, all completely emergent from the systems. And Battlefront just sounds like a bunch of roaming players hunting eachother, trying to get the drop on someone before they get killed. It’s probably a better game to log in for an hour every day and get some mindless shooting done, but it probably won’t have those big, intense moments.

  24. John says:

    I’d like to once again thank the friendly folks in the Twenty Sided forums who talked me out of buying Psychonauts in the GOG Fall Sale. Thanks to their kind efforts, I can continue to have no emotional stake in any and all news regarding Double Fine. Kudos to you, gentlemen.

    For the record, the game’s price during the sale was between $2 and $4.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      I’ve heard lots of people say it’s an amazing game, and well worth playing. They then follow up by mentioning it’s a platformer, and all my interest dies right there (unless it’s comically easy, I’m terrible at platforming games). I think I own it though (through one of the many bundles it’s been on), but have not played it.

      • John says:

        All the praise I have ever heard for the game has been for things like the art, the vocal performances, or the setting. I have never once heard anyone praise anything about the gameplay.

        • Merlin says:

          The setting and characters are intimately connected to the level design, which is consistently inventive. Particularly noteworthy is that it did Mario Galaxy years prior to actual- Mario-Galaxy. It’s still a platformer, and the final level has a couple wonky spots that some people rage out over, but mechanically it’s very good, especially considering its age. That’s just not usually a main talking point because it does so much else so excellently.

      • IFS says:

        As a platformer Psychonauts is pretty easy up to the final level where the difficulty curve ramps up a bit. I don’t play many platformers but thoroughly enjoy Psychonauts, though your experience might differ. Outside of that final level there is really very little risk to the platforming.

        Everyone should experience, or at least witness, the Milkman level though. And Lungfishopolis. And… well it has a lot of great levels, some of my favorite in gaming.

      • Alexander The 1st says:

        It’s an action-adventure with occasional platformer elements where you can double jump, parachute, and where the platforming is significantly different for every level (As Campster mentioned, there’s a level where you enter a giant monster’s brain as a giant monster, and get to Godzilla your way through the platforming. There’s also another level where you enter a theatrical minded person’s mind and set the mood lighting for a play to modify certain scenes to get certain stage elements up so that you can platform around them…mainly to get new scripts that change what plays out during the mood scenes. There’s yet another one where you go into a person’s mind to help him beat his alter-ego in a board game by jumping into the board game and moving pieces around, occasionally going into standard platforming to complete objectives to get new pieces.) that even has platforming elements in it.

        For the most part though, it’s running around, using items, and advancing the plot on the main world – with the notable point that water is somewhat lethal to the player – except that if you fall in water, you get a chance to jump out of it before dying.

        Really, the final level of the game is only really annoying because it melds together a lot of platforming tricks under a pseudo time limit, and at least on PC, the camera and movement controls make it rather tricky (At least, I remember it being better on the original Xbox).

        Personally, what I’m looking forward to with Psychonauts 2 is for them to make the platforming a bit better (Well, ideally really better, but even a bit better would be an improvement worth it.), and advance the sequel hook they left it at.

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          I’ve replayed Psychonauts last year and the thing about it is that it’s smart. A lot of the humour is clever, it occasionally takes a dip into some dark places, the “inside their minds” premise gave DF and excuse to do different aesthetics, different mechanics and even different rules of physics for various levels. I’m adamant not to get hyped and I don’t do this type of crowdfunding for several reasons but I have to say I am looking forward to 2 being released and can’t help be a touch invested. My main worries are that they’ll either have to release it unfinished due to running out of cash or make it bland compared to the first game coughmassappealcough.

  25. Regarding resolutions, provided the pixels density is high enough for your screen size and distance it’s placed in front of you then you really do not need much more than 1080p.

    Except for tiny text. Any other rendering can be supersampled (rendered at a higher resolution than the display and scaled down), anti-alias is no longer needed and you should not notice a quality difference.

    Regarding tiny text though, you might want a higher resolution. I think I once stated that at around 5760×3240 if the display is around 21″ inches and an arms length away then there is no need for any anti-aliasing. I think that is around “magic” 300ppi.

  26. SlothfulCobra says:

    Shamus, if you want to try a successor to Tie Fighter, try out Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader. If you still have a Wii or a Gamecube lying around, you’ll be able to play it. I’ve been playing it a bunch lately and mourning the fact that the series is over and I still haven’t been able to find a new game that gives a comparable experience.

    I personally liked Psychonauts a lot, although the gameplay is kind of lame. While I was listening to this Diecast, I specifically thought I’d respect your not liking it specifically because I feel the same way about Undertale, even after muscling through two different endings. Just because other people really really like something doesn’t mean that you ever will. Keep being you, Shamus!

    • John says:

      Er, I’ve never played any of the Rogue Squadron games, but aren’t they third-person, behind-the-ship sorts of things? Because Tie Fighter is a sit-in-the-cockpit simulation. Other than the fact that they both involve space ships in the Star Wars Universe, they never struck me as particularly similar.

      • Slothfulcobra says:

        The default mode is behind the ship, but there’s also an in-cockpit view that you can switch to at any time. You have to do it in order to use the targeting computer. One of the unlockable ships even has a little monkey bobblehead off to the side in the cockpit.

  27. Mersadeon says:

    You know, just to balance out some of the negatives of Battlefront, let me point out some stuff that I like. Because I really only hear the bad sides, which is unfortunate – the game has extreme problems, but some neat ideas that I want in more games.

    First, getting rid of ammo. Let’s be honest here – most shooters don’t give a shit about ammo already, but they’re bound by a thread of authenticity they have to keep up, so Call of Duty has ammo even though you will never run out of it in your short life in multiplayer. So I like this. Just get rid of the pretense and have something a bit different to work with. The Gears of War-style active reload mechanic is alright.

    Secondly, I like the co-op survival levels. They aren’t super interesting (and if you’re playing them alone you really have to cheese them), but they have some nice balancing with how the supply capsules work and I think it’s neat that each of them has a proper intro and outro.

    • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      I also have been enjoying Battlefront. Most of the stuff Campster is griping about strike me as selling points. Yes, you play as a mook. That’s the point. You die easily and you come back rapidly. You can set up several hands of cards to custom create classes, or create new classes as the need of the situation calls for it. You can choose different weapons for different needs -the primary weapons have a lot in common, yes, but in the first 5 that I’ve unlocked, there’s clearly a suppression weapon (long range, lousy accuracy, high damage), a heavy weapon (short range, high damage), a balanced weapon, and a -well, not a sniper weapon, but at least a medium range autorifle. Also a short range, high speed pistol.

      I’m also inordinantly fond of dogfighting, and just wish they’d let you do more of it in the Supremacy and AT-AT Raid games. (Seriously, limiting it to something like 2 from each side at a time is ridiculously too few.) And straffing isn’t that hard -especially with a shortcut that will automatically do an Immelman turn for you, thus clearing the ground. The only times I’ve plowed into the ground during a straffing run were when another fighter on my tail caused me to dodge into the ground.

      Even the low skill ceiling is not bothering me -maybe because I’m part of the low skill set. I don’t know. I play the game to take part in massive battles with lots of laser blasts -ie, to relive the battle of Hoth or the Battle of Endor. My wishes are totally fulfilled.

  28. Retsam says:

    > You guys will have to tell me what Sullust was, since you guys are bigger Star Wars nerds than me.

    Missed opportunity for “It’s a type of cheese”.

  29. Shamus, you’d need at least a few hours under your belt before you can get to the parts of Pyschonauts worth appreciating. Hell, it could be argued you don’t reach the really good parts until damn near the end game!

    Psychonauts as a platformers is woefully competent. Its hit detection is messier than most and player feedback could stand to be more impactful, but in an age where this kinda game was pretty damned high on the keen-o-steh-ticks as default, its middling play was damned near inexcusable.

    What made the game special was almost entirely its level design…in the later levels. You first have to slog through the relatively mundane early levels and really repetitive collect-a-thons a’fore ya have what you need to get into the meatier sections of the game (lulz for those in the know) and even then, ya’d have to have been big on platformers to really appreciate just how out there they went with the designs of these places. So anyone telling ya it gets good after 45min aint playing the same game. This is a looooooong ride before you start to have a good time.

  30. Volfram says:

    Josh’s graphics and resolution rant made me realize that the way computers have advanced in the last 30 years is like that guy playing a 4X game whose race has a high research stat and he gets into a tech late-game and then caps it in like 4 turns.

    4 decades between text-based games that could almost keep up with the user and “utilizing the full power of this machine would take more time and money than we can afford to spend.” 3 decades between Mario wearing suspenders because there weren’t enough pixels to show his arms and “the only reason we’re adding more pixels is to justify selling a bigger graphics card.”

  31. Zak McKracken says:

    When looking at that Far Cry video, I imagine the same thing with real players, all bunny-hopping and trash-talking, and suddenly it’s not as special any more …

  32. Robyrt says:

    Far Cry Primal died for me 2 minutes into the trailer, when they mentioned that your owl could drop bombs. It showed 1/3 bombs remaining on the UI, and there goes my suspension of disbelief.

    On the other hand, Ubisoft deserves kudos for listening to the fans, identifying the best part of their previous two games (open world stealth with crazed super-animals), and doubling down to create a game that is just those bits over and over. The plot is terrible, you say? Well, we replaced it with nonsense words so you won’t notice! The radio towers are tired? We cut those too! The story missions put you on rails for no reason? Sorry, we forgot to fix that one.

  33. Zeta Kai says:

    The reason for setting Far Cry Primal in France is likely because that’s where the Lascaux Caves are.

  34. Akhetseh says:

    About Far Cry Primal, I haven’t played any of the series, but when I saw it was set during prehistoric times, I thought this could be the first time I would. And then I saw the humans half-naked and everything died. If you’re living in a climate in which mammoths thrive (as in Europe until 12000 BP), you don’t want to go around bare-chested! Ice age, Ubisoft? I’m sure you heard about that one! Oh, but there was a climate change around those dates, some may say. Yes, but a) it didn’t happen overnight and b) in present day France, in winter, I bet you don’t feel like going around without clothes over half your body.

    I know it’s silly, but that image stems from the prejudice “our ancestors were idiots for the only reason of having existed earlier in time”. And that tells me a lot of how this game is going to handle the period.

    As a side note: the control of fire can be traced safely to Homo erectus, at least around 300,000-500,000 years ago (maybe earlier, but that’s arguable). And language is even older: since Homo ergaster had a complex way to make tools that spread quickly and evenly, it’s safe to guess they had a way to transmit that technique, thus a complex language. How this language was or sounded, impossible to know though. And wheel was invented much much later, around Bronze Age, when there were farmers, shepherds, pottery, and some people were toying with alloys.

  35. dude shooter says:

    That was a good diecast. Campster nails the horror thing at the end. The question comes from the place where the questioner wants to be a “manly man” who isn’t afraid of anything (no offense to the questioner, I’ve felt exactly like this in the past). But you want to be playing a horror game because you want to feel scared/tense. I think games are in a weird place where horror can’t release the tension anywhere near as well as a horror movie/book. So a lot of people are pushed too hard, when a movie can cut away to another character in a more light-hearted moment, in a game you are still in the same place up until the end virtually. Amnesia being a good example, you may get the foot off the gas as far as the monster(s) is/are concerned, but you are still trapped in this alien environment where at any moment something terrible could happen.

    Horror is my favourite genre of movies, I especially like films like videodrome. But I’ve never really gotten into many horror games. Dead space was pretty cool, I liked the opening to call of cthulhu: dark corners of the earth with the shadow over innsmouth stuff (basically up until the fbi agent shootout thingy). I got stuck in amnesia and gave up with the intention to return but never did. That’s about the extent of my horror experience. I’d like to see more horror games until we get good at pacing them and playing with the available themes instead of just monsters trying to kill me all the time. Until we get a real Existenz, which I think would take my sanity and push it off a cliff.

  36. Daniel says:

    Considering I’ve seen reports that the Psychonoughts 2 campaign’s had its length artificially extended a bit, alongside all the reports about Broken Age’s delays/financial woes (Because let’s all just take a moment to acknowledge that Tim Schafer can’t manage money for his damn life) and and Spacebase debacle?

    Look, give them your money if you want to, but you need to acknowledge that that money’s going to the hands of a man with a known track record of screwing his crowdfunding games up.

  37. Adrian says:

    Dear Josh,
    Can you please recommend some books on ancient civilizations?
    Seeing how you are a history buff, I would very much like to hear some recommendations on this subject.

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