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ROSS’S GAME DUNGEON: SiN

Have some SiN! This is the last Game Dungeon for the year, there’s a high chance of it mutating after this, but I think probably in a good way. This is a game I definitely like, but it’s one with a bunch of qualifiers too. Video contains a bonus! New video coming soon!

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I'm glad it's an hour long. I get to bill my client while watching Game Dungeon. I'm so happy I became a consultant.

Edited by Im_CIA (see edit history)

"You don't get to bring friends."

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What a perfect way to end the year.

Have a nice good rest Ross, let's consider it a combined NY / belated birthday present.

Come the full moon, the bat flies whose boiling blood shall stem the tide.

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As someone with only one functioning eye, the section about poor man's 3D was very: ah yes, the screen here is made of screen.

Also, I made some torrent files for the soundtracks in case the Mega links ever go down:

 

Happy whatever-you-celebrate-this-time-of-year folks!

 

Edited by ThatOneDraffan
Added trackers (see edit history)

ISTP-T | Aspiring Blind AF Pilot | Programmer

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You might try Rise of the TMNT. The writing is still saturday morning cartoony but the animation during fights is certainly nice to look at.

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About menus and GUI scale, aren't it are standard for the time? Since games meant to be played at 640x480 or 800x600 anyway nobody seen a problem with that. I think vanilla quake 2 does it too. And some other games had even more wierdly implemented menus.


Maybe they have the Barney Miller remake on streaming services in the 2030s?


Also, SIN source port does not exist? Since idtech2 is opensource for a very long time and I don't remember when I played the original Quake 2 last time on modern hardware.

 

 However, in many ways Sin looked more advanced in plot and mechanics than more later Raven's Soldier of Fortune from 2000. SoF shows more shortcomings of the Q2 engine and does not have stuff like helicopter turret sections and felt much less alive. Raven did a much better job on their idtech3 engine games.
Bonus points for Quake 2 "jelly models" because 8bit per vertex coordinate limitation! Quake 2 also had no skeleton animation support of course and IIRC and animation interpolation worked weird. Also, the texture depth buffer on the non-map object had limitations. Lack of draw distance detail is the result of Sin using a lot of external 3d objects instead of map brushes which was not really common back then for such games, like in half-life and quake everything, even stuff like trucks is map brushes. I suspect that this is also the result of weird lights on soda cans from cutscene: they are an external 3d model, not a map object so lights do not affect them. I think, only old Bethesda in the 90s heavily used such stuff to construct entire levels.

Lips animation in general not something common in-game before... 2000? And sin cutscenes were in-game ones mostly, not recorded movie files on a CD. Yea there was Half-Life, but still. And I think making lips animations by animated texture like you showed was kind of a pain in the ass, I remember such technique used in-game on idtech3 Raven's Star Trek Voyager Elite Force. Drakan Order of the Flame has no them, so TES Adventures Redguard that came out the same time as HL1 and Sin outside pre-rendered cinematics.

Edited by ultrayoba (see edit history)

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22 minutes ago, Archdeco said:

You might try Rise of the TMNT. The writing is still saturday morning cartoony but the animation during fights is certainly nice to look at.

Or Batman the Animated Series

"You don't get to bring friends."

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Sin is a solid episode, reminded me of Messiah and Apocalyptica. Not a good one or a masterpiece.

And I was as surprised as you when Ross didn't make a joke about potty pigeon while controling a pigeon. Also I don't get why Ross became telling the story about some turtles in the middle of the episode.

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20 minutes ago, potty_admiral_bop said:

Not a good one or a masterpiece

Jeez man.

Come the full moon, the bat flies whose boiling blood shall stem the tide.

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1 hour ago, Archdeco said:

You might try Rise of the TMNT. The writing is still saturday morning cartoony but the animation during fights is certainly nice to look at.

I think 2003 turtles will be the best place to go. This cartoon is in line with stuff like the MIB animated series and other late 90s early 00s nice animated stuff. They are most adult from TMNT animated series.
Also Ross might enjoy Turtles Forever after it - 80s-2003 cross over.

 

I watched a bit of RotTMNT and it is for modern kids, ie very annoying.

45b38eaee9e8bcc0004fa33126606132.jpg

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Since you talked about TMNT, I'll tell you a curious fact: It started of as a independent comic book, and as far as I know, it's a lot gritty compared to the other media it spawned.

 

Also, If you think that Blade just finding a machine to simply revert his mutation is ludicrious, Freedom Planet is far worse, because...

Spoiler

...In that game, the bad guy turns Milla, one of the main heroines, into a giant monster, which ends up serving as a boss fight. Then, at the end of the game she's fine and back to normal like nothing happened. And it's even worse because when you defeat her, there's a "dramatic" cutscene (with quotation marks because, let's be honest, this game is tryhard edgy when it comes to trying to have a serious story) where Lilac cries over her body like she's gone for good. Also the fact that you destroy one of Milla's eyeballs during the fight.

 

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Oh yeah that wobble effect on models, i remember it being quite extreme in Kingpin, especially on character models, but also on objects like motorbikes etc.
I found it curious that i hadn't noticed it in other games at that time, but apparently there weren't
that many 3rd party games made using the Quake 2 engine (compared to idTech 3 later on), and out of those i had only played Kingpin.
Well that and Herectic 2, but not for long, since it gave me massive motion sickness despite being in 3rd person perspective.

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Hey Ross,

 

Since the topic of John Carmack working on AGI came up, are you interested in coming back to the subject of AI safety?

 

A lot of vulgarization resources have come out recently, and also a lot of ML innovations have come out which make it a lot easier to reason about the relevant concepts (eg it's easier to talk about how AI might game its reward system when you can use the Hide-And-Seek video as a visual support).

 

Do you think you might revisit the subject?

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With all the comparisons to Half-Life, I'm surprised you didn't point out how similar the two games' dam levels are. You start off by destroying a helicopter, it's got that little outbuilding on a tower, and you even showed Blade diving into the water and encountering a pair of water monsters.

 

Also, are all the issues you had with this game present in the current digital version, or do you insist on only using your original vintage copy when you have one?

 

I'm impressed that the draw distance of the props actually is adjustable. I know for a fact that in Source games, it's something you hard-code into the map file. Maybe there's an obscure console command to disable fading entirely, but I'm not aware of it.

Edited by Steve the Pocket (see edit history)

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Seconding the recommendation of RotTMNT. Watched all of it and it was a blast. Extremely good animation (especially during fights), writing and humour.

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I feel like Ross didn't properly wrap up his commentary on Episode 1. How does it end? Does it leave you wanting more? Is it actually good as a standalone game, or as an intro to a longer series? Is Ross upset because it was bad, or because it was good but didn't get a proper follow-up?

When Ross got into talking about the music I thought he was on a tangent but he'd eventually get back to the game, but he never did. So the review of Episode 1 feels aborted and incomplete.

Edited by Tobin (see edit history)

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4 hours ago, Tobin said:

the review of Episode 1 feels aborted and incomplete

Well, the game series was itself aborted and incomplete, so I think reviewing it this way was fitting :-)

 

 

I remember getting this game on the same pirate DVD with Half-Life 2: Episode One. Since I never played the original SiN, it looked kinda drab to me and I stopped playing after maybe an hour. (It didn't help that I played it right after finishing HL2EP1, so my subconscious mind kept telling me that I'm playing a mediocre HL2 mod).

 

But you know what? I liked the menu theme so much that I ripped it into my MP3 player (and because back in 2006 I had no idea how to hack the resource files, I connected the line output of my MB to its own line input and recorded it that way, just because I loved it that much). And now I find out that this song - literally the only thing that stuck with me out of this whole game - was almost removed by the managers.

Come the full moon, the bat flies whose boiling blood shall stem the tide.

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Awesome episode Ross, enjoyed it thoroughly.

 

I have a love-hate relationship with games that punish you with harder sections if you don't find the secret ways of making them easier.  It gives you a legitimate feeling challenge that your friends will also get stuck on, but it's also easily spoiled by one person sharing the secret (or a walkthrough). 

 

Hazardous Course 2 (hl1 mod) had a whole bunch of these, I had no idea that it was even a theme until I watched someone else's walkthrough.  I glitched and spammed my way through most of these sections legitimately and in my defence I consider it a life achievementTM (along with the lava-surfing section from Conker, brrr). 

 

I definitely got HL1 vibes at 58:19 :

 

outdoor_sin_v2.thumb.jpg.c8533ce73154e549ff233bfaafb1cd6a.jpg

 

That's the outdoor area where you hear grunts talking about freeman and where a sniper starts shooting you if you grab a medkit off a padmount transformer.   Is this area from the base game or the expansion (ie after Hl1's release)?

 

outdoor_hl1_v2.thumb.jpg.3c4f485d6b32d4545405009dd9059ee7.jpg

 

 Your graphics drivers check the executable name to work out what list of hacks to apply to the game. This is a big tradition, both for fixing stuff in current games (AAA releases tend to have big graphics driver updates released afterwards) and stuff for older more popular games (so they don't break with modern drivers).  I think I even recall Mesa (a common Linux graphics driver stack) has such things.  A lot of graphics devs hate game devs, rumours like this are all over the place:

 

Quote

The problem here is that the games being manually optimized by the graphics card vendors can have pretty horrendous code. To the point that I remember reading a post at some point about a large game not even calling glEnd after a glBegin. So these big companies get the graphics card companies to manually go through and hack together some specialized code (including the shader code that will replace the shader code written by the big game company) to fix up how the game works, and optimize it so it works well.

 

The low fade distance for the vegetation probably didn't have to do with polygon counts, but more to do with the fact they're transparent.  Transparent objects require more passes to render and (worst of all) proper sorting before you render them, because they depend on what was rendered behind them (unlike opaque stuff).  Sorting is expensive if you don't have a clever system.  The doom, build & quake engines have massively effective ways of handling terrain (brush) sorting, but I'm not sure about transparent object poly sorting in quake2, it might have been a super-slowdown case where even having three plants onscreen brings on the tremors.

 

White edges around characters with some versions of AA: could be bleed from an atlassed charset maybe?   Normally you stretch the texture UVs ever so slightly larger than the mesh quads to get rid of this problem, but that must somehow be getting ruined by the AA method.  Some graphics drivers used to auto-stretch/twiddle UVs in weird ways sometimes too; I recall stories about some game engines having to detect this (to-counteract it) and other ATI vs Nvidia emulating or not each other's behaviour?  I'm not sure.

Edited by Veyrdite (see edit history)

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