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7921  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Need help Pronto.....Please on: April 11, 2007, 08:47:21 PM
I know that in general they're a good brand for memory related products like USB drives and even MP3 players.  They're reliable and they tend to use good parts.  Albiet they come at a cost because of that.

And yeah, there's a different between a much more expenseive sandisk flash drive and a cheaper flash drive.  Namely one of the things I've noticed with cheaper flash drives is that they have troubles transferring larger files, even if the flash drive can fit the file, it's often the hardware the manages the transfers on the drive are faulty and give errors partway through, not so on sandisk drives.
7922  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii] Super Paper Mario Impressions on: April 11, 2007, 09:35:02 AM
Paper Zelda?
7923  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: halo 3 beta dates announced on: April 11, 2007, 09:34:18 AM
I'm wondering what those new functions in the controls are, they keep referring to something new that one of the buttons does.

I know one of them uses the shield grenade and trip mine, or any other deployables they have in game.

I suspect you may have a purely optional ability to control other ground troops in this game.
7924  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: WTB: PSP on: April 11, 2007, 06:12:20 AM
Ouch man, a bunch of us who got caught up in PSP talk snatched up the available PSPs here about a week back.
7925  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: AMD Price Drops on: April 11, 2007, 04:49:10 AM
Yep, no need for brand loyalty.

One of the main reasons why I get ATI cards is they have consistantly better color quality on their cards.  NVidia has really closed the gap, but ATI is still better, and I'm not overly concerned with performance.

Word is AMD is introducing their new chipset soon, Barcelona, starting as a quad core chip.  Not sure if they'll take the tech and move it to dual cores.
7926  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Uncharted : Drake's Fortune on: April 11, 2007, 04:46:02 AM
Bah, don't you know a Vulcan death grip when you see one?  Tongue
7927  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Bill Harris' post today is terrific. on: April 11, 2007, 04:43:40 AM
Something like that is actually already high up on my things to do if I ever strike it rich list.
7928  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: A great POTBS overview on: April 10, 2007, 10:52:51 PM
Yeah, but one broadside on the sloop and it'll be just splinters and miscellaneous chunky bits floating on the water.
7929  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (4/9) on: April 10, 2007, 08:00:53 AM
Buying a PSP and looking forward to mobile ops and some rpgs.
7930  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Gears gametype for ATB's Friday nights... on: April 10, 2007, 05:52:35 AM
Word is that they increased the power on the Lancer and Locust rifle.  About damn time.
7931  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mass Effect inches closer to launch on: April 10, 2007, 05:08:32 AM
Um, they did, they took it to cutscenes when that happened and you got high resolution CG cutscenes for those.  Those are hand animated setups.

Sometimes, it's just easier, cheaper, or saves more time to make it a CG, either in house or farmed out somewhere.  If they had gone in and made all those high detail in-game setups, not only would they have to make the models, rig them, and then hand animate them, it's also a great deal of time adding more tech into the engine that has to be prototyped, tested, made useable, then fully implemented.

I think you're asking too much of game developers from the KoTOR era.  Right now it looks like Mass Effect is on the ball, but only because of the system power, and the technical knowledge was available to do such things.
7932  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: A great POTBS overview on: April 10, 2007, 04:54:24 AM
I dunno, a man-o-war can certainly blow apart any smaller ships in its way.  slywink

There wasn't much mention of teaming up in that preview however.  But it did sound like you could, so that's a good thing.  I wouldn't mind sailing the seas with a GT group sometime.

It'd be very cool to sign up with one of the nation's militaries as part of a large forum group, then sail around in large warship packs going to each contested port.  Or going the pirate route, since they get into PVP first when a port is contested.

The most interesting thing here is that all these features described don't sound all that difficult to implement tech-wise.
7933  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: A great POTBS overview on: April 10, 2007, 03:43:46 AM
Um, wow.  This sounds like like my wishlight for MMOs.

I'd actually sworn off paying for MMOs because all they were to me was grind fest, time sink, slot machines that didn't give you any money back.

If this really works, I'll gladly pay a monthly fee for such a game.

EDIT:  OMG!  I just read the crafting system, it's yet again exactly what I was looking for.  No hassle crafting, still limited by time, and forces you to interact and trade with other players.  But instead of sitting and staring at a menu and clicking, you just say what you want and wait for it to come out while you adventure.

And another edit:  The gear system, or lack thereof, is one of my most desired features.  It's all about the ports, land, ships, and fighting.

June can't come soon enough.
7934  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mass Effect inches closer to launch on: April 10, 2007, 03:33:18 AM

Quote from: Calvin on April 09, 2007, 11:43:20 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on April 09, 2007, 11:02:46 PM

Eh, I don't know about that.  Many people may hate the content itself, but Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, and others have been doing much more impressively realized cutscenes in-engine than what Bioware and Obsidian have been able to do in their games.  Even keeping the same character models, the story sequences of those games would have benefitted enormously from a bit of of dynamic use of the camera and some additional character animation. 
I agree with Kevin. RPGs have been doing more with less than Bioware/Obisidian has had at their disposal (Xbox and cutting edge PCs) for several years. I <3 Bioware but they have been sorely negligent in keeping their in-engine cutscenes and story presentation with the times.

Actually, you're not quite correct about your comparison of FF and MGS cutscenes with the in game characters for Bioware games like KoTOR and Mass Effect.

While both games process (animate, blend, shaders) and render the digital actors in-engine and in real-time, the difference is whether the animation is also done in real time using systems, or hand animated beforehand.

The FF and MGS cutscenes were just that, cutscenes.  They were rendered in engine, but they were hand animated instead of relying on dynamic systems.  Everything from a walk, to the character's mouth movements were hand animated.  Also in these games you had little in the way of player choice.  Tidus and Yuna spoke set lines of dialogue, maybe there were one or two more lines added, but usually not.  Same for MGS, which had very set dialogue.

KoTOR and Mass Effect, on the other hand, have many more situations, emotions, dialogue and thus for efficiency's sake, has to rely on dynamic animation systems.  These systems take small segments of animation, full body poses, facial expressions, and mouth shapes; and find ways to blend between these.  There's still animators involved, but it's these systems that are opened up to the game/level designers that allow them to add in complex looking actions and facial expressions, even lip synch, without the slow process of hand animation.  Usually it's via script files, with other programs that parse the dialogue text, or even the audio file itself and automatically lip synchs.  Because these systems need to handle so many situations, they often lead to generic looking actions.  But, it looks like with the latest tech they've improved this a lot for ME.  Now, that's not to say there's no hand animated sequences in ME, it's just that it's inefficient to force a studio's animators to go through every scene in a 60+ hour game hand animating each character in each scene, and accounting for changes in the plot due to player choice.

One example of something not possible in KoTOR, FF10, or MGS without dynamic animation systems is the new ME conversation system.  You can actually interrupt another character's dialogue, and change the entire flow of a conversation.  In other games this is certainly possible with a lot of scripting, but not feasable financially since you have to go through every scene's dialogue to handle the animation changes.

In fact, these games often switch out gameplay models with cutscene specific models with higher detail when needed.  For example, any time you saw a character's face close up in FF10, that's actually a seperate head model for that character.  Likewise, many models you see in MGS cutscenes aren't the same ones used while actually playing, of if they are it has a much more advanced rig (underlying bone and muscle structure simulation) than the gameplay model.  Although, it's likely that they did the same thing for KoTOR and Mass Effect since it's such an efficient way to work, only using the extra character detail when needed, otherwise keeping that CPU power for gameplay.
7935  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Reason #69 why the XBOX Live Vision Camera might have been a bad idea *NSFW* on: April 09, 2007, 10:34:03 PM
Watched part of that, what the hell was he thinking?

Say goodbye to his Live account, and he could be arrested if there were minors in that game.  In fact, I kind of want him to get arrested and be charged with sex crimes.  It'll ruin him for the rest of his life, but such is natural selection.
7936  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mass Effect inches closer to launch on: April 09, 2007, 08:40:46 PM
Keep in mind that at the time there was no hardware or engine technology available for the kind of detail Mass Effect and Half-Life 2 have for their digital actors.

I study 3D also, and making 3D actors (modeled, textured, rigged, and moving realistically) of that quality is hard enough on for one model.  They've got to be using some sort of procedural pipeline or scripting for the less important NPCs because individually making all those side characters is madness.
7937  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mass Effect inches closer to launch on: April 09, 2007, 02:22:38 PM
Yep, it's not exactly a shooter.  If you notice, the player isn't actually shooting at his crosshair.  Instead the crosshair it used more to select targets and your stats determine hits and damage.
7938  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: WTT/S: C&C3, LF: Medieval Total War 2, PSP games on: April 09, 2007, 08:04:42 AM
Regular.

Unfortunately, a deal has been made.  Thanks for the interest everyone.
7939  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Looking for.... on: April 09, 2007, 08:03:19 AM
Dai Senraiku is a long running hex based turn based strategy game (not sim) for various systems.  It's more game than sim, but has a lot of realistic elements and better presentation than the usual hex game.
7940  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mass Effect inches closer to launch on: April 08, 2007, 09:26:40 PM
Yep, I was expecting him to grow wings and start kicking machine ass all by himself.

Of course, I'm happy to take orders from Goliath, he'd rip my throat out if I disobeyed.

Oh and I just have to repeat this, Mass Effect has so many similarities to Star Wars.  That's not a bad thing though.

Spectres = Jedi
Mass Effect = The Force
Plenty of Humanoids.
Hot Twileks-like aliens.

But what Mass Effect does over Star Wars so well is that it strips out a lot of the baggage and immaturity of the subject matter.  There's no light and dark side, just people trying to get things done.  More intersting politics, more places to visit instead of relying on the same 10 planets.  Mass Effect becomes less spiritual and more just a physics phenomena.  The focus goes back to the grunts on the ground, rather than people fighting with light swords in space.
7941  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: STALKER GOLD! on: April 08, 2007, 12:33:32 PM
Finally got to the army base area.

Spoiler for Hiden:
So I just played both sides off each other so hilariously.  I'm sure others did this too.

Basically, I first talked to the duty guys at the farm and they gave me the mission to kill the sniper.  I did that with a stealthy knife kill, no one saw it.  Then I went to talk to the leader of Freedom and told him about the Duty guys.  Well then they organized a group to go kill the Duty squad.  Unbeknownst to them, the Duty guys had already moved up to Freedom base wall and blew a hole in it.  I had run ahead of the Freedom guys charging out of their base just in time to see the Duty guys do this.  The Duty guys stormed in, with me behind to see who would win.  Well  The duty guys did well to start, but they split up and were overwhelmed when the Freedom guys who ran out returned.  After a bunch of cool firefights, the last Duty guy got killed, and I got the quest reward from the Freedom guys.  And yet, I never harmed a Duty soldier, so didn't get the penalty for it.

So, I just walked around looting corpses and taking my pick of the dropped weapon.  I'll never know what the duty guys would have given me as a reward, but I doubt it'll be as good as this windfall.
7942  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / WTT/S: C&C3, LF: Medieval Total War 2, PSP games [DONE] on: April 08, 2007, 12:25:23 PM
As per the titles, I'm looking to trade or sell my copy of Command and Conquer 3.  Fun game while it lasted, but I'm done with it as I've found it really doesn't have legs for me.

I'm looking for:
Cash
Medieval Total War 2
Any PSP games
7943  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: Playstation 3 bundles have arrived at Costco. on: April 08, 2007, 04:47:41 AM
So wait, you want the PSP to cost less than the DS, a system that's not as powerful?

That's not to say there isn't an incentive to lower the system cost, but $130 to $160 seems the lowest they could go.  But actually the DS seems overpriced by $30-50 to me.

Still, system worth is always subjective in relation to the games it has available.  The DS games, while I certainly want them, aren't as appealing as some of the more recent and upcoming PSP games.  Not that there aren't a lot of DS games that don't interest me.

Ditto on the whole snobbish and ignorant company thing.  Thankfully, they quietly got rid of more of those execs from Japan, I think they're using a european or American CEO right now and he's at odds with that wacky Ken Kutaragi (sp?) over Ken's stupid handling of the PS3.
7944  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [Wii] Which controlelrs can be used to play Gamecube games? on: April 08, 2007, 04:38:37 AM
I finally realized that my Wii can play gamecube games and that there's quite a few that I'd like to try.

I was wondering if the classic controller will allow me to play gamecube games, or do I have to get a gamecube controller to play them?
7945  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mass Effect inches closer to launch on: April 08, 2007, 04:30:52 AM
Anyone have any links where they detail the conversation system?

From what I've heard, the game doesn't pause for you to decide a conversation choice, nor do you always have to be in conversation mode to interject something.  Basically you'll see conversation options appear on a wheel that you use either one of the analog sticks or dpad to activate whenever you want to, or you can just let that person keep speaking.

One thing the devs said was that in the intro sequence as you walked in and around the Normandy if you walked by two people just talking, conversation options would pop up for you to instantly jump into the conversation, either berating the crew members to get to work, or being a kinder commander.

Once again, seems to me that this system would be perfect for a co-op game.  You could have one player controlling the main plot character, but when you have teammates walking around with you.  That second player can actualy control the conversation options of an NPC using the same system.
7946  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS3] 20GB model truly 'discontinued'? on: April 08, 2007, 04:24:20 AM
That's weird, there was some sort of announcement along the lines of the core being discontinued at the same time the Elite 360 was announced.

What were the things that the 20gb version was missing?  I know the wifi was gone, but you can simply get a wireless network bridge, if I recall they patched the PS3 to allow the same functionality when using a bridge as using the built in adapter.
7947  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS3] Price cut in October? on: April 08, 2007, 04:20:54 AM
Even though it's a $700 bundle at costco, that return policy is the key right there.  Have any problems with the system and you don't have to worry about hassling sony for a replacement, just take it to costco and get a new one.
7948  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS3] 20GB model truly 'discontinued'? on: April 08, 2007, 01:15:40 AM
Well don't be too hard on Sony, MS recently announced they were discontinuing the basic version of their 360 too.

Of course, this thread will now devolve, yet again, into a big argument over the comparative "value" of the 360's features to PS3's features.
7949  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: OO/GT CC3 Clan? on: April 07, 2007, 04:28:37 AM
I just activated my website account, looks like all clan related stuff is handled through the website, not in game.  So resend and invite to Vertrucio if you would.
7950  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: STALKER GOLD! on: April 07, 2007, 02:49:54 AM
What's even worse was that they opened the game up for modding.  If anyone with a brain knew that there were stolen art assets in game, they should have realized that the same modders who work on HL2 and Doom 3 will be trying out Stalker modding.

However, it may not be something systemic to the company.  Right now all that's been copied are textures used in other games, and specifically, these textures are for lighting and effects.  This may point to one of their texture/lighting artists stealing from other games rather than doing his job.
7951  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Tom Clancy Teaser Site on: April 07, 2007, 02:46:33 AM
I don't see anything about a "firehawk" or even aircraft for that matter.  Plus the Clancy name hasn't lended itself to air sims or action air games for some time.  I think whoever posted that is just wishful thinking.

If you listen, or read the transcripts to the stuff on the teaser sites, you hear mention of almost every clancy game save for Rainbow 6.

Also, they've said in other statements online that this will be a completely new clancy game.

My thought?  From the way it sounds like a big battle is being commanded, and that there's a lot of, this may be some weird real time strategy game that includes elements of almost all military clancy games.  There you'll send in normal grunts, but also have access to ghosts, splinter cell intelligence operatives, etc...  And since there is mention of spider drones, it'll likely be in the future somewhat.
7952  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: Best Deal on a DS Lite? on: April 07, 2007, 12:22:12 AM
My local Fry's Electronics had about 7 of various colors behind the counter.  Not to much use to people unless they're in the socal area.  But otherwise, DSs are out there.
7953  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts expansion on: April 07, 2007, 12:20:18 AM
Did they describe what this new multiplayer mode is?
7954  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Tom Clancy Teaser Site on: April 06, 2007, 11:37:39 PM
Why are you thinking it's Firehawk?

One thing is for certain, the game does link Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon together at least in some way.
7955  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Mass Effect inches closer to launch on: April 06, 2007, 07:50:45 AM
Yeah, seriously, this may overtake Half-Life 2 for most lifelike characters in a video game.  Especially so since they have a lot more screen time, dialogue, and character interaction than in HL2.

I love the Twilek-like characters in this game, and all the aliens so far, some will complain about having all humanoid aliens, but it helps with empathizing with them.  It looks like they've taken all the good stuff about Star Wars, but ditched the baggage that is the license along with the D20 rules and have really turned out an amazing rpg.
7956  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: STALKER GOLD! on: April 06, 2007, 07:47:40 AM
Is there a way to get to the freedom base without going through duty territory?
7957  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: A pretty face in the crowd. NSFW on: April 06, 2007, 05:53:40 AM
Man, that girl in the first pix reminds me of this one waitress from Denny's I met way back when I had to eat there for a week straight (family and personal issues).

She looked similar to her, but with red hair and a pinball smile that made her face just light up.

This was back in my dark age of shy and introvertedness, so despite her making conversation with me, I never realized or tried to converse back, and this was after she was constantly getting chatted up by other guys and groups.  Still she was so striking to me that I still remember her and that pic just brought back memories.
7958  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: STALKER GOLD! on: April 06, 2007, 05:41:57 AM
What a massacre.  Of course if the developers actually implemented AI room entry routines and grenade usage, you'd be dead.  slywink  Actually, I wonder they'll use grenades on the highest difficulty.

I remember a similar scene when I went to rescue Mole, I saw a whole group of 10 or so military standing in front of Mole's door, one grenade took out all but one.
7959  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts expansion on: April 06, 2007, 02:00:26 AM
Yeah, Russian conscripts were pretty well known by know.

I forsee the Russian army being based on 3 branches like the first game.  One of the branches would basically the conscript branch, providing a lot of cheap, but poorly armed and trained conscripts and various conscript/infantry boosting abilities (such as comissars that executed those retreating for further morale bonus).
7960  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: STALKER GOLD! on: April 05, 2007, 11:07:48 PM
Actually, the game looks great with all the details on, the problem is it takes a really beefy system to run it with everything on, which is okay considering the scope of the game.

They probably should have allowed for two different renderer configurations depending on whether you're indoors or outdoors, this way they can bump up the graphics indoors and tone it down for outdoors.
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