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9761  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Sunday Skin Poll(redux) - Does it really belong here? on: June 15, 2007, 07:14:01 PM

Quote from: Lee on June 15, 2007, 06:33:46 PM

If KD stops, then Corruptrelic may take over the duties. Do any of us want that? slywink

Ok, I retract everything I said on page 1. slywink
9762  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Sunday Skin Poll(redux) - Does it really belong here? on: June 15, 2007, 04:11:14 PM
Why are you still on the "live with or leave it" angle?  The skin threads don't bother me, I look at them, I don't have a problem with them.

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on June 14, 2007, 02:43:48 PM

I'm interested in seeing how this plays out.  I'll give it to this Sunday and we'll see then. 
But clearly Ron's interested in at least examining the issue.  I would wager that he's more interested in hearing people's thoughts for and against the issue than he is in just throwing up a poll and going with the winner.

Quote from: Blackadar on June 15, 2007, 03:39:38 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on June 15, 2007, 03:29:27 PM

Consider, in your ardent faith in the word of the poll, that Turtle, who initiated this round of discussion about whether the skin posts are turning away, said that he likes them.

So depending on whether he and I voted for option 1, option 2, or option 1 and 2, we could've added 2-6 "poll points" towards keeping them as-is, despite both thinking that they might be turning away the female demographic.

I guess this is a TV show now.  Do you know what the "female demographic" consists of?  And do we take a worse ratings hit by removing any/all offensive threads or by keeping them?  Let's hire Gallup to find out!

If you're going to post again, answer this - is the argument that Sunday Skin - and NSFW threads like it - are too offensive, or is it that Ron's posting these the problem?  It's either one or the other.  Define the issue, please.

The female demographic consists of females who may be interested in gaming forum, or just an off-topic forum with people they relate to.  And I don't know if removing skin threads will make us gain more people than we lose, I thought that was the whole point of Turtle bringing up the discussion.

And as for your ultimatum, I think the issue at hand is whether threads full of skin pictures make the site less welcoming to women.  As a point in the discussion of that issue, I personally think that if the skin threads are coming from the site staff on a regular basis, it sets more of an example than if it's just a forumer posting the thread.
9763  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Sunday Skin Poll(redux) - Does it really belong here? on: June 15, 2007, 03:29:27 PM
The poll has spoken, live with it or leave?  Is that what we've come to?  Did you miss the part where I'm not offended by the skin threads?

Consider, in your ardent faith in the word of the poll, that Turtle, who initiated this round of discussion about whether the skin posts are turning away, said that he likes them.

So depending on whether he and I voted for option 1, option 2, or option 1 and 2, we could've added 2-6 "poll points" towards keeping them as-is, despite both thinking that they might be turning away the female demographic.
9764  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Sunday Skin Poll(redux) - Does it really belong here? on: June 15, 2007, 02:53:22 PM

Quote from: Blackadar on June 15, 2007, 01:57:03 PM

Quote from: Laner on June 15, 2007, 01:26:28 PM

Maybe you missed the part where the site owner doesn't start all those threads you mentioned on a weekly basis.

Maybe you missed the part where it's the site owner and he can do any damn thing he wants.

Sorry, I find the whole "Ron should censor himself even more than the average poster here" argument beyond bewildering.  You'd have a much stronger argument that perhaps the threads themselves should be outside the CoC.  But to suggest that the site owner shouldn't have the same permissions (almost used the word "rights", but then we'd get into the whole "there are no rights on a private forum sidetrack) as a normal user is ludicrous.

Of course he can do whatever he wants.  He can turn Gaming Trend into a full-on thumbnail gallery porn site if he wants to.  But what does he want to do with the site?  What does he want people to come here for?

Is he ok with the forumers in the Off-Topic forum keeping five threads of non-nude skin threads bumped up to the top, a picture post thread each for five different fetishes?  Instead of just Sunday Skin, can the forumers start a regular skin thread each day of the week?

I'm guessing you might think those examples are absurd. 

There's a line, of course, and yours is probably drawn to where one or two skin threads at a time is ok, but 5 is getting a bit carried away.  For other people, the line is drawn a lot sooner--just one skin thread at a time gives the forum too much of a men's club vibe.

So there's two questions:
1) Does this place have too much of a locker room vibe, where half-nude pictures and sexist comments (like mytocles mentioned) are getting thrown around enough to drive away potential forumers?
2) Do we care?
9765  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IGN gives DiRT an 8.4 on: June 15, 2007, 01:37:11 PM

Quote from: ATB on June 15, 2007, 01:26:41 PM

Quote from: Misguided on June 15, 2007, 02:30:07 AM

30 is plenty, if consistent.
60 dropping to 45 isn't that bad. 30 dropping to 15 is a big problem.

How does one tell what the framerate is?

I hear guys on podcasts say it was running at a smooth 60 fps. How do you check that?

I just count them real fast.
9766  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Come on down! It's Bob Barker's final show! on: June 15, 2007, 01:36:39 PM

Quote from: Destructor on June 15, 2007, 01:11:57 PM

I also agree that TPiR is Bob's show. I just don't see how it can go on without his dedication and energy.

Folks may not remember it, but there was a short lived attempt to bring TPiR to prime time with a different host.  IIRC, they had much bigger prizes, the format was tweaked slightly (I seem to remember they even stuffed it into a half hour timeslot), and I think it failed after only a month or two.

I can't see how the show could succeed without him, but then again I'm sure a lot of people didn't see how the Tonight Show could have gone on without Johnny.  I'll be very curious to see how the new host handles his first day on the job.

Also, I think it'd be awesome if Bob Barker took advantage of his retirement and did what a lot of other folks his age in the audience of the Price is Right!
9767  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Come on down! It's Bob Barker's final show! on: June 15, 2007, 04:59:52 AM
Whew, it looks like the 2nd showing is at 8pm.  It snuck up on me and my DVR is currently out of commission, glad I can still catch it in prime time.

I can't believe I missed my chance to see a taping.  The one time I tried to go with some friends, we got to the studio at 6:30am but there were already too many people line.
9768  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Sunday Skin Poll(redux) - Does it really belong here? on: June 15, 2007, 04:39:33 AM

Quote from: Lee on June 15, 2007, 02:40:29 AM

Quote from: wonderpug on June 15, 2007, 01:37:05 AM

For the record, I'm not personally offended by the skin, it just seems unprofessional to have as a site-sponsored weekly feature.  It's a step away from having a "Babes of the Week" button on the front page.  If Ron wants the place to feel more like Maxim, I guess it's appropriate, I just always got the impression he wanted the site to be fairly family friendly.
Wow, talk about jumping to conclusions. Step away? Please. They are posted in an off topic forum, most of the stuff posted here is unproffesional, silly, funny, etc.

Not so much a conclusion as it is an opinion.  The site owner, every week, posts a series of girly pics.  We have forumers who anticipate them every Sunday, and who notice if they're gone for a day.  Surely we have lurkers who also make a habit of looking at the pics every Sunday.  I don't think it's that much of a stretch to call it a feature of the site, it's content provided by the site staff on a scheduled basis.

The site is family friendly. The forum is most definitely adult, and not because of one Sunday post. I see quite a few threads I wouldn't think people would want their kids reading.
Our forumers are mostly adults, but are the forums intended to be adult only?  Ron doesn't like excessive swearing or nipples, so there's a line somewhere.  I don't remember anything in the forum registration asking if I was over 18.

Do we really judge websites by their forums? I love Gamspot, can't stand their forums. Same with Penny Arcade. I could probably find another 100 examples. These threads have nothing to do with the front page, and I think it's safe to say they never will. In fact hopefully soon we will be able to comment on the front page on articles without even entering the forums.
You wouldn't think any differently of Gamespot if they opened up a forum section to submit amateur porn?  Of course a site owner is responsible for what they allow in their forums, don't be silly.  There's a reason Ron has a code of conduct and moderators enforcing it.  You yourself posted in ATB's original thread that you thought "a dedicated skin forum would reflect on the GT site itself."  My similar opinion is that a skin thread posted on a regular basis by the site owner reflects on the GT site itself.

Anyway, the poll is pretty clear, the vast majority like the threads, or just ignore it.
So the majority of people who have not been driven away by the locker mentality have voted that a locker mentality will not drive them away.  That's pretty convincing.

Again, I don't personally have a problem with the threads.  I look at them, as do I look at the NSFW round robin thread at OO.  The difference is that OO is just trying to be a hangout, not a professional gaming site.  IGN is a gaming site with a Babes Channel, and I do think that makes IGN more of a Maxim style gaming site.  Gamespot, as far as I know, does not have a section for girly pictures, and sure enough, to me that makes them more professional.
9769  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Sunday Skin Poll(redux) - Does it really belong here? on: June 15, 2007, 01:37:05 AM
I don't understand why it's so hard for some people to even comprehend the point of view of people who don't find Sunday Skin appropriate.  Would you be also be okay if a mod posted a weekly erotic story?  You don't have to click on it, they're just words, etc.  Is it really so difficult to see how a weekly, "Hey guys, let's get aroused together!" thread is different than a thread talking about games with guns, or how wanting softcore porn left out of a gaming forum is different than being offended by the human body?

I mean jeez, I'm pro-choice but it's not exactly a struggle to at least see where the pro-life people are coming from.

For the record, I'm not personally offended by the skin, it just seems unprofessional to have as a site-sponsored weekly feature.  It's a step away from having a "Babes of the Week" button on the front page.  If Ron wants the place to feel more like Maxim, I guess it's appropriate, I just always got the impression he wanted the site to be fairly family friendly.
9770  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [ds] etrian odyssey impressions on: June 14, 2007, 08:51:30 PM
You folks still playing this?

I was chugging along at a great pace until I finally unlocked the Hexer.   My plan was to unlock both Ronin and Hexer and then powerlevel them at the same time before continuing on deeper in the labyrinth, but I only got them to level 15 or so before I got bogged down in the grind and lost my incentive to play.  I think my DS has been in sleep mode for almost a week now (plugged in) with my poor adventurers stuck frozen in mid-fight, but I'd rather play Forza at home and I've gotten back to reading books on the subway.

I should probably just forget about the Ronin & Hexer and continue on with my original party so I can finish the game, but even that route is hard after losing my momentum with the game.
9771  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Has MS Finally Changed 360 Cooling? on: June 14, 2007, 05:35:39 PM

Quote from: mikeg on June 14, 2007, 05:19:36 PM

Personally, I think with them K N O W I N G it is a design flaw they should replace EVERY system that is not set up the new way.  Cuz make no mistake about it, they will die. 

To do anything else, imo, is criminal.   If not, they will never get my money again that's for damn sure.

Man on plane: A new console built by my company plays a game somewhere rendering at 60fps. The GPU overheats. The system crashes and burns with every Live download trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of consoles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

Woman in next seat: Are there a lot of these kinds of failures?

Man on plane: You wouldn't believe.

Woman in next seat: Which console company do you work for?

Man on plane: A major one.
9772  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Has MS Finally Changed 360 Cooling? on: June 14, 2007, 03:36:33 PM
I think the idea is that it intentionally overheats your system in order to expand some of the contacts that have come loose from their solder and get them to reconnect.
9773  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [Forza 2] Thoughts, Questions, and Suggestions for Forza 2 Multiplayer... on: June 14, 2007, 03:18:16 PM
You know, I just thought of a better way we could do some kind of driving lessons in the game.  If you're in a multiplayer lobby, but dont' join the race, I think you can go in to spectate the live race, right?  And I believe you can even pull up the telemetry to see the steering and gas/brake inputs the driver is doing.  Since you can still use voice communication from the lobby, this method would let the tutors give live advice and comments right from the back seat.

Another idea I've tossed around for how to make multiplayer more fun for all is the idea of a handicap system to let the beginner drivers be able to compete with the more experienced drivers.

Couple ways we could do this:

Set PI handicap.  If we plan to have a D400 race, the experienced drivers have to stick to the 400 limit, but the less experienced drivers would be allowed a PI handicap of an extra 30, 50, 70 PI, or whatever seems a fair boost for each person to bring them in line with the front of the pack.  They could keep the handicap through events (and tweak the amount as they get better), so that with a 50 PI handicap they'd know to bring a C450 for a D400 race, a B600 for a C550 race, and so on.

Handicap based on lap times.  This would take some extra planning, but basically we get some of the more experienced drivers to post their best lap times for a certain course, like Sunset Peninsula, and then the less experienced drivers are allowed to add whatever upgrades they need to get close to that lap time.  Someone might really need a tire upgrade that results in them bringing a B-class car to a D-class event, but if they end up having a similar lap time then the class difference won't be an issue.

As far as the settings the race host would use to allow for this, it would be as simple as allowing all cars, and having everyone in the room just agree on what class race they were doing next, self policing their car choices.

It might take some tweaking to make this feel fair to all, but I think it would let the "back of the pack" folks have a more exciting chance for first place, while giving the "front of the pack" folks a bigger challenge.
9774  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 14, 2007, 03:05:28 PM
Booo.  I mean, you get cash for beating AI in single player, why not give it for beating AI in multiplayer as well.  I don't see how it would break the game, it's not like it would turn into some cash farming exploit. Even if I win an 8-person multiplayer race my winnings are still going to be well short of the $25k or so I can get from the early Professional races with the difficulty and rarity bonuses.  So why not let the last place human still get some prize money if they beat some AI cars?

Ah well.
9775  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Good news for XBOX 360 dogfighting lovers (not that kind of dogfighting) on: June 14, 2007, 02:30:13 PM

Quote from: Purge on June 14, 2007, 02:01:55 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on March 21, 2007, 03:38:18 PM

Not to mention Fable 2, which seems to be shaping up to be some kind of dog simulator...

By that logic, so was Bards Tale, and Dungeon Hack. retard

Eh?  Back in March, when I made that post, we had just been told that the dog in Fable 2 would replace the minimap, would not be controllable, would attack enemies for us, be trainable Black & White style, would morph good/evil Black & White style, would feature advanced AI, and allow us to experience love.  The joke's not quite as appropriate these three months later.
9776  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 14, 2007, 01:02:05 PM
I could be remembering it wrong, but when you're given a long list of tire brands to choose from, aren't the first few high on grip and reaction but low on longevity?

Regarding multiplayer races:  Does adding CPU opponents affect the prize amount at all?  If someone gets last place among the humans, but manages to beat 4 CPU opponents, do they get some cash reward or still zero?
9777  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wii vs. Guitar Hero II - the non-gamers decide on: June 13, 2007, 08:40:07 PM

Quote from: Dimmona on June 13, 2007, 08:27:34 PM

So there you go - different strokes for different folks I guess.  Out of all the games we tried, I never imagined that the one thing they would get completely hooked on would be the stupid Warioware Darts game.

Non-gamers are hard to predict.  Out of all my numerous failed attempts to get my fiancee to try various games that seemed very approachable, she ended up really liking Indigo Prophecy of all things without any nudging from me.

I'm surprised your friends didn't go for Tennis or Bowling, those two usualyl seem to go over well when I introduce people to the Wii.
9778  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Sunday Skin Poll(redux) - Does it really belong here? on: June 13, 2007, 08:05:20 PM
"I feel like they don't belong here" is given a neutral rating, and is on par with the "Meh, I don't care" option?
9779  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Prince of Persia Classic: Anyone Get it? on: June 13, 2007, 06:01:05 PM

Quote from: Purge on June 13, 2007, 05:50:41 PM

Ooo, they need a redux of Out Of this World.


They have a version with updated visuals on the PC, for a whole dollar less than PoP Classic!

9780  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Prince of Persia Classic: Anyone Get it? on: June 13, 2007, 05:41:16 PM

Quote from: Gratch on June 13, 2007, 05:34:59 PM

Was considering it, but $10 is pretty steep for something that I'll probably spend a couple hours with at the most.

Yeah, $10 for what is almost by definition a one hour game is a bit rough, but nostalgia reigns supreme on this one.  Unless I hear reports of control issues (one of those euro-reviews mentioned you can't use the d-pad for the game) it's just a question of when I tire out from Forza enough to want a diversion.
9781  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 13, 2007, 04:10:54 PM
GAH.  Getting tempted by the Microsoft Wheel.  Gogamer's at $100, but with shipping it'd be $115, meaning it would just be another $15 to have instant gratification buying it at a B&M store, so $130 it would be.

Fun - I'm loving Forza, wheel would add to the enjoyment and immersion
Drifting - I think it'd be fun to learn how to do in a sim, and although I'm getting better at it with the gamepad, the ability to more precisely countersteer with the wheel would make it much more doable.
Future usefulness - At some point I'll be buying DiRT, and rally racing is just incredible with force feedback.  Other racing games sure to follow.

Empty wallet - I really shouldn't be spending another $130 on a peripheral.
Build issues - Accidentally downshifting twice instead of once doesn't sound fun.
Mortality - Fiancee will kill me.

9782  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 13, 2007, 02:34:32 PM
Weird, I don't think I've noticed any reduced handling on the last laps of an 8+ lap race.  Are you guys using upgraded tires?  I don't think I've had the high end racing slicks on any of the cars I've raced 8+ laps with, but I would think that even those would last much longer than 6 laps.
9783  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Going hiking in Southern California on: June 13, 2007, 02:02:09 PM
I don't think you're going to find the experience as intimidating as you seem to think it might be.  California has an excellent State Park system.  Unless you're planning on going backpacking or climbing a summit, you'll do just fine even with just a pair of sneakers, a few granola bars, and a bottle of water.  Just go your own pace, stay hydrated, and you'll do just fine.
9784  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2: COOL CAR PIC'S....... on: June 12, 2007, 10:55:28 PM
Move over Ferrari, go home Lamborghini, there's a new beauty in town.  I give you, my Plymouth Barracuda:

9785  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 12, 2007, 08:47:34 PM

Quote from: Geezer on June 12, 2007, 08:20:02 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on June 12, 2007, 03:47:41 PM

Quote from: juniordan on June 12, 2007, 02:10:20 PM

Whats the Fix [to understeer]??
To reduce understeer, raise front tire pressure/lower rear
'cept the bolded part is backwards slywink
Woops, fixed it above.
9786  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 12, 2007, 06:40:02 PM
I have got to remember to take a picture of my AWESOME ghetto Plymouth Barracuda that looks like something you'd find eternally resting on cinder blocks on someone's driveway.  Its overall color is a hideous late 60s green, but the front left fender and right door are colored primer.  It's got rust behind most of the wheel wells and on the roof, some bullet holes on the hood and one door, "WASH ME" written in dirt on the trunk, and a spraypainted "JOE WAS HERE" graffiti on one side.  It's a thing of beauty.
9787  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 12, 2007, 06:17:28 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on June 12, 2007, 06:11:14 PM

Just wait until I turn my Fairlady 280Z into Prowl of Transformers fame.   icon_cool  I'm already working on a Jazz replica. 

Let me know if you want my Autobot logo, I'm happy to share it.   (as long as you lock anything you use it on that you're going to sell on the auction house!) 
9788  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 12, 2007, 06:07:25 PM

Quote from: Starshifter on June 12, 2007, 03:21:53 PM

What did most of you do with the cars you unlocked?  For example, I unlocked quite a bit of cars while doing the Proving Grounds and now I'm not sure what to do.  Should I sell them?  Upgrade them?  Will they be useful later?  I tried to sell one and I was only offered 100 credits.  Do you guys basically focus on a few cars, upgrading them, or do you try to upgrade all the cars?  I'm really lost.  My cars are piling up and I don't know what to do.

I personally just like collecting everything I get.  As far as I know, you don't have a limit to the number of cars in your garage, so as far as I'm concerned the more the merrier.  Not only do I have more cars to choose from if I want to try something different, I have a better chance of having something I can already use for a race with unique car restrictions.  For example, I was able to complete a Corvette-only career race with an unmodified reward car, so I didn't have to spend any money buying and upgrading a new car to enter.

And it's easy to seperate the cars you've upgraded, tuned, and painted from the massive collection you might obtain, just mark them as favorites and they'll show up first in the garage.

If you do want to sell your reward car anyway, you should try selling it on the auction house where you have a good chance of selling it for $5000 (which I think is the minimum list price.)  I think the Lancia Stratos is a reward car for people that chose Europe as a region, and I've been buying them 3 or 4 at a time for $5k each to slap my paintjob on and resell, since I can't buy them in career mode myself.
9789  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 12, 2007, 05:57:03 PM
I found some great pictures illustrating the late apex concept:

This first image illustrates the difference between a plain geometric line around the turn and a standard symetrical racing line.

Here we see the advantage of a late apex.  You have to slow down more to make the sharper turn-in, but this line flattens out a lot sooner letting you get on the gas sooner, providing a faster exit time.  Your moment of slowness in the turn entry will more than be made up for by the speed advantage going into in the straight after the turn, as per the math & physics example I posted earlier.

I tend to think that a late apex is preferable for most turns even if you're not trying to pass someone as gellar mentioned, but especially in turns that are followed by a long straight.
9790  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 12, 2007, 03:47:41 PM

Quote from: juniordan on June 12, 2007, 01:55:24 PM 2 wins because he was able to accelerate at an earlier point than car 1?
So taking a turn wide and cutting the edge on exit is better ?
Because if you follow most on the breaking lines your hugging the inside you get a shorter line on exit..right?
Car 2 could be going 5mph faster out the turn because he accelerated earlier.  This could have been from entering the turn slower, or by having a later apex than Car 1.  The 5mph difference could be brought about other ways as well.  Maybe they took the same line but Car 1 rode on the bumps on the inside curb a bit too much.  Maybe Car 1 didn't turn the steering wheel as smoothly and his tires squealed just a bit more on the turn.

Quote from: juniordan on June 12, 2007, 02:10:20 PM

Whats the Fix [to understeer]??
Gellar posted a list with a bunch of over/understeer corrections.  To reduce understeer, soften front shocks/stiffen rear shocks, lower front end/raise rear end, soften front sway bar/stiffen rear, raise rear tire pressure/lower front, or simply drive differently and take a different line.

Quote from: juniordan on June 12, 2007, 02:10:20 PM

Also last night I was doing the Corvette races, I went the the 2002 back one you win I forgot where. I supped it up to like 10speed, 8.6accel, a 6.4for breaking, and 5.1Handeling. give or take. Car topped out at 241mph. However the car could not be controlled, I tunned and tested till I couldn't anymore. On the straights the rear of the car acted like it wanted to pass the front it would stat fishtailing with no controller input. Let not even talk about making a turn...just wouldn't happen. Is the car just to fast for this type of racing? I cant even say it could drag race because it cant even hold a straight line...... What are the tuning recommendations for this? 
If you create a monster like this, there's a few things you can do to tame it.  One, upgrade the tires by improving the tire compound and/or making the tires wider.  I really wish the game would let you have different sizes and compounds in the front and back.  Two, add a rear wing and tune to add a lot of downforce to try and keep that rear end on the ground.  Three, if you took some of the weight reduction options, think about undoing them.  The extra weight can help you stay on the ground.

Quote from: Booner on June 12, 2007, 02:13:41 PM

You always want to make the smoothest arc possible from the outside of the turn, to the inside at the apex, then back to the outside on the exit. You keep your maximum velocity this way and minimise the chance of spiking your lateral Gs and swaping ends.
Another thing to remember is that the apex is not a set point on the track.   It's easy to look at a turn and assume the apex is the point right in the middle, but most of the time a late apex is preferred.  A late apex pushes the apex (the point where you're closest to the inside of the turn) closer to the end of the turn.  This shape goes hand in hand with the "slow in, fast out" philosophy, as the late apex means you were taking a sharper, slower turn at the beginning in order to have a less sharp, faster turn at the exit, thus getting on the accelerator sooner.
9791  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 12, 2007, 01:53:27 PM
If anyone's a little fuzzy on the concept of understeer, I dove into the time trials for the first time last night and there's a perfect example of understeer right at the beginning.

In one of the first two time trial races in arcade mode (I think it's the very first one) they have you driving a front wheel drive Ford Focus on a track that has some long turns.  Take the Focus for a run, start into the turn, and when you're in the middle of the turn really give it some gas.  You'll find that instead of your back end sliding you out into a spin like you might be used to, you'll plow right off the outside edge of the turn.

The reason understeer like this is so common with front wheel drive cars, (and often with all wheel drive cars), is that your front tires are already doing double duty in the turn.  They're both working to keep you turning, and they're being used for any acceleration you're trying to do.  If you overdo it on the acceleration, they lose traction and can no longer help you steer, thus you plow towards the outside edge instead of keeping in the turn.  And that's understeer.
9792  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Are there any 56k-friendly MMORPG's? on: June 12, 2007, 12:13:19 AM
I'll bet The Realm would run pretty well on 56k.  icon_wink
9793  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wii vs. Guitar Hero II - the non-gamers decide on: June 11, 2007, 08:50:14 PM
He did have a 2nd nunchuck so that people could box, but we weren't even able to get past the title screen of Wii Sports.  It would've been really interesting if he had a 2nd TV in his basement so that both GH and the Wii could've been running at the same time.  If a non-gamer walked downstairs and saw two people being rock stars on one side of the room, and four people jumping around swinging remotes at Wii Tennis on the other, I wonder which one they'd be more curious about.
9794  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Wii vs. Guitar Hero II - the non-gamers decide on: June 11, 2007, 06:45:40 PM
As a group of gamers who're interested in the flow of the gaming industry, as well as just the games, it seems like we're often curious how the casual gamers or non-gamers are receiving these games.  Last Saturday I got to see a big group of non-gamers be presented with two options that are known for being casual-friendly: Guitar Hero and the Wii.

Saturday night a friend of mine had a big all-night party with at least 50-70 people that came.  In his basement, he had a TV that was ready to play either Guitar Hero II, with two guitars and all songs unlocked, or the Wii, with either Wii Sports or Warioware ready to go.

Guitar Hero was booted up first.  I set it to co-op, thinking that people would have more fun playing on the same team, but the person playing rhythm/bass always had a hard time understanding which notes of the song they were supposed to be playing.  I switched it to face-off, and people did much better.  Not only was it easier to understand since people were playing the more familiar lead, there was no chance of an audience meter dropping and making people lose a song.  We kept it on this mode for the rest of the night.

Everyone was hesitant to try it at first, they all thought it looked too complicated.  Indeed, most everyone had no clue about the concept of holding down a fret and strumming.  One person even made it through half a song before he realized he wasn't supposed to be strumming the whammy bar. (We would've corrected him, but he was accidentally hitting the strum bar often enough that we didn't realize what he was doing.)  As more and people started gathering around, and more people jumped in and gave it a try, the easier it was for newcomers to give it a shot.

It was a huge huge hit.  Even though people had it on Easy mode the whole time, they were jumping up and down in the song, doing "rock moves" like playing on their knees, and laughing the whole time.

People played for hours before the basement crowd died down a bit.  With nobody really interested in taking the next turn, I thought it was a good time to try and switch things up to the Wii.  I booted up Wii Tennis, put the box of four remotes out, and...


Despite whatever hype we think people are seeing in the news and media, none of the half-dozen people that were still downstairs wanted to give it a try.

So the rest of us went back upstairs to join the rest of the party.  After a little bit, though, the host wanted to give a more concerted effort to get people into the Wii.  After all, he had just bought the Wii, 4 remotes, a 2nd nunchuck, and a 2nd game all for this party.  He led a dozen people back to the the basement to show them how fun the Wii is.  How can you go wrong with 4 people playing Wii Tennis?

I headed down to join them a couple minutes later and....they had switched the TV back to Guitar Hero II, which everyone ended up playing for another several hours.

So in this case, Guitar Hero won the hearts of the non-gamer by a huge margin, there wasn't even a single swing of the wiimote.

Admittedly, Guitar Hero had a big head start.  People that had already gotten over the learning curve for the guitar might have been too intimidated to try and learn the Wii.  If we had started the Wii first, I'm guessing it would've been a bigger hit.  I think it speaks to the easy universal appeal of Guitar Hero.  You're holding a guitar, you're playing songs you've heard of before.

Even with GHII's head start, though, I was expecting people to be more curious about the Wii, and that the Wii would be more approachable.

We'll see what happens at his next big party this Christmas, but by then he'll probably be upping the ante with a full set of Rock Band equipment.
9795  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 11, 2007, 05:41:15 PM
The Importance of Exit Speed, the physics:

So why is the exit speed of a turn so gorram important?  The short version is that your speed at the exit of the turn is going to be amplified by the length of the straight after the turn.  Here's the mathematical explanation:

Let's say we have two identical cars that accelerate at a flat 5 meters/second/second.  Average cars accelerate somewhere around 3-4m/s/s, so our car is pretty good.

We have a turn followed by a long straight.  Car 1 exits the turn at 25mph (11.25m/s), Car 2 exits just slightly faster, at 30mph (13.5m/s).

Our distance travelled (d) is equal to our starting speed (v) times time (t), plus 1/2 acceleration (a) times time squared (t^2)
d = vt + .5*a*t^2

Elapsed Time   Car 1 distance   Car 2 distance   Difference (m)   Difference (ft)
1s                  12.5m              17.5m              5m             16.4ft
3s                  52.5m              67.5m             15m             49.2ft
5s                 112.5m             137.5m             25m             82.0ft
7s                 192.5m             227.5m             35m            114.8ft
10s                350.0m             400.0m             50m            164.0ft

After just 3 seconds, that 5mph difference exiting the turn has given Car 2 a 50 foot lead.  Even though they're accelerating at exactly the same rate, at 5 seconds the distance between them increases to 82 feet, and after 10 seconds Car 2 is a whopping 164 feet ahead.

Same exact car, same exact acceleration, but by leaving the turn just 5mph faster, Car 2 has gained a big advantage.  If they keep this up over many turns over several laps, Car 2 is going to win by a big margin even though he's driving the exact same car.

So every time you come up to a turn, you should be thinking about what you can do to make your speed as fast as possible when you exit.  If there's a series of turns one after another, you want to plan your line through the first turns to give you the biggest advantage exiting the last turn.  In a 3 turn series, even if you have to take the first two at completely odd angles, if it lines you up for a speedy exit in the 3rd turn, it's going to give you a better lap time.

You know how they say a race is won in the turns?  This is why.
9796  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2 tips and tricks on: June 11, 2007, 03:44:38 PM

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on June 11, 2007, 01:55:14 PM

Ok, question on tuning the transmission.  Do you tune all the gears or just the final gear?  Somebody was saying that it's pretty easy and there's some deal with looking at some graph?  Help.

Power, Torque, Dyno Graph 101:

Dyno Graph - When you buy engine upgrades in Forza, you'll see a graph of your engine's power raising and lowering according to your changes.  This is the equivalent of a "dyno graph," which real life car tuners obtain from running their car on a dynometer.  A dynometer is a platform you park your car on that has a pair of big cylinders that your car's tires rest on, sort of a car treadmill.  You bring the car up to speed and then floor it while the dyno measures your power over your RPM range.  The result is a dyno graph like we see in the game, which charts your horsepower and torque.

Torque - Torque is your engine's twisting power.  This is the real measurement of your engine's strength, in each gear you're going to be getting the most acceleration where the torque is the highest.  So why should we care about horsepower?

Horsepower - Horsepower is "power," or your energy delivered over time.  Essentially, it means how fast your torque is getting delivered to your tires.  For cars, time = RPM.    So the torque is the raw energy of your car, but the horsepower lets you see how fast that energy is being delivered to your tires.  So when your torque is at its peak, your HP won't be its highest because the engine isn't spinning fast enough to quickly deliver that energy.  To the right of your torque peak, although you're getting less energy, your engine is spinning faster in proportion to the loss, so you're gaining more power (HP) overall, maxxing out at your HP peak.  Past your HP peak, your torque is decreasing more than your increased RPM is compensating for, so your HP starts to drop.

How to read the graph - Since the equation for horsepower is: HP = torque * RPM / 5250, your HP and torque curves are always going to meet at 5250 RPM.  Your power band, or your car's "sweet spot" is generally going to be the RPM range from a bit before your torque peaks, to a bit after your HP peaks.  This is the range you want your tachometer to be in for most of the race.  For a naturally aspirated engine, the curve is usually much broader, giving you a wide range of useable RPM.  For a turbocharged engine, the curve is usually shifted much more towards the higher range, with a smaller "sweet spot." 

Upgrading - As you pick and choose your engine upgrades, keep an eye on how it changes the graph.  Changing your intake or exhaust is generally going to give you more power overall, shifting the entire curve up.  This is nice and reliable, as you're getting more power across the board without changing your car's characteristics too much.  Adding a turbo, or adding a bigger turbo, is generally going to increase just the high end of the graph, meaning that your "sweet spot" is now in a higher RPM range.  With this kind of upgrade, you'll want to make sure to change your gearing to better take advantage of this new power curve.

Tuning - Once we obtain our power band (reminder: RPM range from just before your torque peak to just after your HP peak) we turn to the gear ratios.  The Y-axis of the gear ratio chart shows the RPMs, while the X-axis shows the speed of the car.  The X-axis is the easiest, change your final gear ratio so that your highest gear doesn't stretch to the right of the highest speed you need to go.  For the Y-axis, we want the white lines for each gear to match up with our power band, so if our power band is from 5k-7k RPM, we want each line to likewise go from 5k-7k.  A turbocharged car will often have a very narrow power band, very high in the RPM range.  It'll likely move very quickly through the gears in order to keep the engine in, say, the 8-9k range.  A naturally aspirated car, especially something like a classic American muscle car, is going to have a much broader range and might not have to shift through the gears nearly as quickly.

"I hear you can get better times if you use manual transmission, why?"  There are other advantages to manually shifting, but I'll stick to what's most applicable to the power curve.  The game's automatic transmission will shift as far into the red line as possible.  For some high revving high pitched whining turbocharged car, this might be ok, but for many other cars (American muscle, I'm looking at you) the red line might be well past the car's power band.  Sure, your 800hp Shelby Mustang beast can go up to 9k RPM, but if your power band ends at 7500RPM then you're not accomplishing anything.  You're better off shifting at 7500RPM (well short of your red line) and bringing your engine back all the way down to 3000RPM which is well within your power band.

Whew, ok, short version:

Power band = RPM range from torque peak to HP peak, you want to tune your gears to keep you in this range as much as possible.  Also, tune your final gear ratio so that your last gear red lines at the highest speed you need.  Having a 6th gear that goes to 200mph isn't going to do anything for you if you never go past 150mph in the races you're running.
9797  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (6/11) on: June 11, 2007, 02:05:58 PM
I'll surely get Prince of Persia sometime soon, but I'll wait for my Forza addiction to wane just a bit.
9798  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 10, 2007, 11:37:21 PM
Wow, the auction house seems to be the way to go when you want to get a new car.  I needed a Porsche for a career race, and got a 911 Turbo upgraded to S class for about $6k.  Even better, turns out the owner had already used it in a number of races, so I instantly gained the "car level 5" achievement as well as a Porsche parts discount for the car level.

Was then able to get a suped up VW Golf for $5k to clear out some VW only races, and now I'm trying to win some upgraded Audis.
9799  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 10, 2007, 09:45:09 PM
The manual's pretty worthless, I wouldn't worry about it if the disc is in good shape.
9800  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 2: COOL CAR PIC'S....... on: June 10, 2007, 04:04:53 PM
Couldn't resist turning my Alitalia into Wheeljack:

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