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  1. I actually think it was in some areas, just not enough to harm the game for me. But asking what this game could do is moving the goalposts. The argument I was addressing was "what if every other game also had a yellow filter", not "what if DE:HR had even more yellow filter". There are things DE:HR could have done to make the tinting disruptively overboard for me, but it didn't, so the question is as meaningful as asking "would it have hurt the game for you if Adam Jenson had the voice of Elmo?". And to be fair, there are other things HR did do that I found as disruptive as you found the tint, but those aren't the topic at hand. You always find tinting disruptively unpleasant regardless: fair enough, just personal taste, and doesn't need justification. The other points are all good, just insufficient or irrelevant without a taste-based dislike to rally behind. You think it's technically lazy: I agree, but again, the result is enjoyable enough for me that (again, for me) this criticism is merely academic. You don't think it really means or symbolizes anything connected to the story or themes: I agree, it's a purely aesthetic choice with no deeper meaning, but that doesn't make it automatically bad (it does not symbolically contradict anything), it just kicks the ball back up to "personal taste". For me, the strong black-and-yellow color scheme of the game meshed very well with the other design elements, and contributed to the atmosphere and the distinctive flavor/character of the game. With most games that use tinting, that isn't the case: the tint clashes with the other design elements and/or mood of the setting, and/or is nakedly there for no reason other than because one of the devs thinks "more is better" when it comes to postprocessing, or because a suit at the publisher has a cargo-cult checklist for what's makes a good game. The fact that it's built into the textures and lighting rather than just being a filter is part of this. It makes it look and feel more integrated, rather than just a superficial filter, which is part of what makes it feel like an actual considered style. And there's a lot of stuff in the game where the colors underneath the yellow were clearly chosen for how they intact with the yellow, and this in turn is used to effect how shapes mesh and contrast compositionally. Even though it doesn't tie into the theme, it definitely does tie into the overall visual design. Having never played the original Deus Ex, I can't fairly comment on a comparison. However I can think of other series I like that changed or reinvented their visual style to IMO their detriment, but also others where I either didn't mind, or thought it was an improvement. So again this feels like something that, as a principle, is not really about the fact of a change, but rather the nature of the change. It only seems like it's the fact of a change when focusing on a specific example in isolation. Basically the only points that matter are 1) you just don't like tinting in general, period, and 2) you find it physically uncomfortable for your eyes during long play sessions. To someone who likes the the tint (like me) all those other points at best fade to irrelevance without that initial dislike to anchor them. You even sort of admit it without realizing: Well, you set the tone by bringing reasoning into it in the first place. Everything I've posted has just been rebuttal to reasoning arguments you've proposed. Can't act like I'm the unreasonable one for playing along. To be clear: I'm totally cool and on-board with you not liking the tinting. And I'm cool with you having supporting logic for that dislike. There's stuff I feel & think similarly about. But by putting those reasons forward, you're treating it like it is or should be to some degree more objective than just an opinion, and that means asking people to consider it is asking them to peer review it, not just accept it.
  2. Not 100% true: the takedown trick for Namir works, and IIRC so does the gas canister thing for Barrett. The Namir takedown was actually an exploitable bug in the original version, but because people liked it the devs never patched it. On the video: I actually like the yellow filter thing in the original HR. I feel it's on of the few games that actually uses color filters for real artistic style purposes, and not just blindly cramming it into the stack of cargo-cult "must have" features like other games. I feel like a lot of the hate it gets is basically a case of all the jackass devs misusing a thing causing people to be so sick of it that they can't enjoy it even when it's done well. It's victim of a "this is why we can't have nice things" situation. Sort of like a movie using bullet time shots in a legitimately interesting way... 5 years into the Matrix-spawned trend of every single hack action director throwing random bullet time shots into everything, everywhere. No matter how smartly it's done, at that point most people are going to roll their eyes and go "Oh god, not this AGAIN. Just MOVE ON already". Ross's argument of "imagine if every game used a yellow filter like this" is kinda broken in a way that ties into this. It's like criticizing The Matrix by saying "Imagine if every action movie did this". First, in that the subsequent overuse by hack directors doesn't mean it wasn't good in The Matrix. Second, it assumes that anything that can't be used in every game/film is somehow made categorically bad by that limitation. What if every movie was set in Antarctica? Would that suck? Yes. Would that Make "The Thing" a bad movie? No. What if every single story (movie or game) could only have Muppet characters? What if every single soundtrack could only be done by Phillip Glass? What if every visual media had to be in Sin City-style accented B&W? What if every single cast could only be all female, or all male. What if every single game had to revolve around quasi-predictive 90's conspiracy theories? The argument only seems to work if the element in question is one you already dislike for other reasons, and you aren't thinking about it too hard, because any possible element of any game or movie or other media can be equally damned by it. The extension of that thinking is, ironically, a world where all media is a samey void; nothing stands out, nothing breaks new ground, established formula is law. Because literally anything that's different, good or bad, can be ruined if it's overused, or used in the wrong contexts.
  3. I've tried to get into Linux a few times (I give it a go pretty much once a year), but it's never worked out, for pretty much the reasons others have outlined already. I don't have an interest in system tinkering as a preoccupation unto itself, I just want an alternative for when Windows finally becomes too closed for even my plebeian tastes/needs (they've been inching closer and closer with each generation). I've always been ultimately put off by how even the most "friendly" Linux distros still require CLI for almost literally everything. They aren't real GUIs, they're just wallpapers that look like GUIs until you actually try to do something... anything. To a non-coder, working with the CLI is like working with the Necronomicon. It's all about blindly reciting incantations you can't pronounce, in a language you don't understand, where one wrong syllable, one wrong inflection, one rune (in an alphabet you can't read) mis-copied in the diagram chalked on the floor can mean either nothing happens or disaster happens. And you may never know what or why. Coders don't fully understand this, I think, because they tend take their prior knowledge for granted, and mentally downplay the investment it took them too acquire it. Because it's simple for them now, they think it's simpler to a newcomer than it actually is, and they underestimate how much their personal fascination with coding played a part in learning. If there was one thing I could tell the devs of mass-market oriented distros like Ubuntu and Mint, it'd be: The average user should never have to know CLI even exists. As far as the mass market is concerned, if you, as a designer, ever have to tell someone to open the terminal, that means you already failed. This is the idea that lead Apple and Microsoft to conquer the world; the idea which arguably created the sophisticated tech-rich world of today by putting a computer in every home and business, creating a mass market to drive tech development. Without this idea, you'd have no public internet (and by extension, no e-commerce, no Netflix, no Freeman's Mind, etc), no smart phones, no all kinds of tech and socioeconomic game changers we take for granted. As long as the Linux bubble is resistant to acknowledging, much less embracing the same realization, Linux will always be the redheaded stepchild OS. The Linux community seems culturally stuck in 1982, back when the idea that a non-programmer had no business owning a computer was a flat out truth. Meanwhile, in actual modern reality, computers are everyday appliances, essential to basic modern life, and demanding that users know how to code just to use your OS at all is worse than demanding every car owner be a mechanic. It's an attitude with a bizarre, indeliberate anti-progress irony to it. And I rant say that as someone who really, really wants to like and use Linux.
  4. Leaving the panel off makes CPU temp 70 ℃ instead of 80℃. And I do have decent Thermaltake case with both in and out fans and with top and front sides made out of wire mesh.Do not underestimate convective force when there is temperature difference of 50℃. I'm not calling you a liar about the temp difference you're experiencing. What I'm saying is that if you're getting better temps with the panel off at all, that's a big neon sign that something is wrong inside the case. It's like saying you keep your fridge door open because you've found it keeps food colder that way. It can be true, but it wouldn't mean you've made your fridge work even better: it'd mean you've found out your fridge is broken. A closed, fanned case is supposed to be a wind-chill tunnel fed by the room air. No matter how nice your room air is, the case should always be even better, because it works entirely by locally optimizing that very same air. If static room air is cooling better, that means something is borked in your fan setup or airflow path, causing your case to be an insulating box instead of a wind tunnel. Either the fans are on the wrong vents, or there's something inside the case obstructing/redirecting the flow of air, or the fans don't have enough CFM. Air cooling is one area of PC building where it's still not enough to just buy the "best" parts and Lego them together. You have to actively design the air path for your setup's internal geometry. You can buy a 1000 dollar case with all the bells and whistles, and still FUBAR the cooling by putting the fans in the wrong places, or by allowing stuff to obstruct or divert the air path inside. It's much simpler than is sounds, but that doesn't factor if one doesn't know it's to be done at all. If you post pics of your PC, I can help you figure out what's wrong.
  5. Actually you want at least two fans operating in a push-pull config, adjusted so the case is operating at a slight positive pressure. You want the inside of the case to be higher pressure than ambient air, as that 1) keeps dust from getting in via vents and cracks and such (any actual fanned intake should have a filter mesh), and 2) allows you to specify a specific intake point in order to insure circulation. You want a push-pull setup so you can control both the total volume of airflow, and how it circulates through the case. You don't want just a single fan, as this puts you in a bad position. If the single fan is an intake, you get positive pressure, but poor airflow that can raise temps instead of lowering them. If the single fan is an exhaust, you get negative pressure resulting in more dust, and again, uncontrolled circulation that can reduce or even eliminate the fan's effectiveness at cooling. Say the one fan is mounted as an exhaust on the back plate, and there happens to be a vent on the top, and on the front panel. If the the vent on the top allows more air in than the fan can move out, then you're just sucking air though the top rear corner of the case without it going anywhere else. Some OEM computers may come with only one fan installed. This is not as it should be: it's an example of the manufacturer cutting corners because they know most buyers probably won't be savvy enough to know better. If your case has only one fan mounted, installing a second one will take you much further than taking the panel off will. Leaving the panel off is rubbish unless you're doing something like pointing a box fan at the open side, and even with a box fan it'd be less efficient that a proper two-fan system. With the case open, none of the fans can direct circulation, so you're reducing cooling efficiency to basically the level of ambien room convection. The entire point of closed-case, fan-based circulation is to increase the airflow past/around the components above that of the surrounding room air, turning the case into a convective heat exchanger.
  6. "Focal plane" is the technical term. In real life this is determined by your eyeballs rotating in their sockets to converge at a particular point in 3D space. In order to properly replicate it, a VR headset (or 3D TV) would need eye tracking capability. There are rumors that the next gen of headsets will have this, but only rumors right now, so far as I know. The tech has been around for a couple of decades already, so it's mostly jusy a matter of getting it to fit inside the headset without screwing the price. Provided VR doesn't die while trying to get up to steam Like a lot of other 3D stuff did, eyeball tracking will inevitably be incorporated. Fun fact: modern helicopter gunships use this to aim their nose turrets. The gunner has a helmet with an eye tracking eyepiece, and the gun automatically rotates to follow the gunner's eyeball, Predator shoulder cannon style. In the interim, it seems to me like the same software used for depth of field could be easily adapted to focal planes. I mean both are basically about anticipating where in 3d space the player is looking, and setting a distance value accordingly, so a good DOF system should be able to double for a good FP system. Mind you that's a good DOF system; many DOF systems are either terrible (constantly focusing on the wrong things), or lazy (super-deep fixed DOF that's basically just an alternative to LOD fog). Of course, the counterpoint would be that even good DOF effects aren't realistic, and can't be done realistically without eye tracking either. On a more general note, the aesthetic camera design of the game can make a huge difference as well. I've been replaying the Tomb Raider reboot recently, and that game would be terrible for VR because of the way it handles camera movement. During gameplay the camera sways drunkenly with the most minor character movements, and the cutscenes have the most OTT shakey cam I've ever seen in any visual media. It's a great game, but there's something genuinely worrying in how the camera is designed. Like, it's not just someone applying "more is better" to compensate for a lack of know-how, it actually feels like someone trying to compensate for eyeball seizures or dyslexia-like visual field scrambling the way people who don't know they're losing their hearing compensate by shouting. I've never experienced motion sickness in my life, but I imagine that playing TR in VR would give me massive headaches, and would probably have Ross puking himself hollow within minutes. I wouldn't want to play TR without a mod that reworks the camera system to get rid of all the swaying & shaking (and TBH, I would love for such a mod to exist anyway, as that is like the one big WTF flaw in the game regardless). Unfortunately, as far as I know TR is one of those games that can't be modded without cracking. It also seems to me that a more "theater" type system like Ross describes would be almost mandatory for 3rd person titles in general, since head movements would not track proprioceptively to rotation around your character model the way they would in 1st person.
  7. I was expecting Freeman to flip out a bit over the gonarch's testicular appearance, but I guess that would have been... (puts on sunglasses) ...low hanging fruit.
  8. How long does it usually take the Blip to finish putting on it's makeup? Blip says the vid has been uploaded, but is "not ready" (whatever that means). I'd watch the Youtube one, but Youtube on my end has finally succumbed to Google's persistent efforts to render it useless. Movies load slower than my connection speed (which isn't that slow, but Youtube's great bloody stack of scripted junk features keeps interrupting the process), and they don't buffer, so the only way to watch stuff there is in sporadic handfuls of seconds. Used to be I could just use a flash downloader to grab it and watch that way, but now it appears the audio is separated from the video so doing that only gets me a silent movie. And the only plugin to fix Youtube's crap has been completely busted for months.
  9. There's coffee mugs you can get that have wide conical bases for exactly this purpose: so that when knocked they scoot instead of tipping. In regards to placement, my home PC is set up entertainment center style (TV for monitor, tower next to TV, wireless keyboard on lap, and mouse on hand-height end table beside easy chair), so it's not much issue there. There is nothing about this setup that is unergonomic for any PC work, so unless you have to share the same TV with someone else, computer desks at home are for jive turkeys. When I have a drink, I put in on a coaster on the far side of the mousepad. If you're at work, or constrained into using a desk at home (or for some perverse reason still wish to use a desk when you don't have to- I'll bet you wear a tie to bed and eat pizza with a knife and fork too), I've found that keeping your soda coffee vodka LOx virgin's blood water off the upper outside corner of the mousepad seems best. It's convenient since it's in a very ergonomic straight line with your mouse hand, yet is also outside the arc of most normal (both deliberate and accidental) hand activity. Your hand is only likely to cross that area if you're using the far corner/face of your desk to store something. Seems like I'm always seeing people put their drinks either between the keyboard and monitor, keyboard and mousepad, or off the left side of the keyboard, all of which are blatant invitations to spillage due to being inside the hand traffic arc for common movements and activities.
  10. Exactly. Tweak her into a Maxim model, and you lose the very thing that made her cool and unique in the fist place. That's what the cinematic mod appears to do. All hype aside, she doesn't really get much character development. Most of what people think they know about her as a person is inferred, so a shift in her appearance alone can actually drastically change her character.
  11. They're one of those companies that uses their flagship product as a loss leader for buyable add-ons and content. They have "basic" versions of most of their main apps which are always free, and then a whole bunch of buyable plugins and tools and content* which are their real source of profit. These are the "pro" versions though, which have a chunk of the major plugins already built in. I think the reason they're doing this big free promo thing is because the new version of Poser is either coming out or just came out, and they're hoping that between this and their new Genesis figure (which isn't Poser compatible yet, unlike all their other content save the dynamic cloth items) they can steal some of Posers customers. *If you check sites like ShareCG and Renderosity, there's a gigantic amount of community-authored Poser/Daz content available for free, though, so you can actually do quite a lot without ever spending a dime. This would allow you to cut down on the amount of content you have to convert from Source, as Combine and creatures aside, most of that is ordinary "real world" stuff that can easily be subbed or replicated with Poser/Daz content.
  12. I'd love for FM to continue through HL2. Seems like that's still a long way off though. Never heard of the cinematic mod before. Just did a google image search... Wow, I'm not sure the guys who made that actually understand why Alex is so popular. Yeah she's supposed to be fit and attractive, but in a down-to-earth tomboyish sort of way, not in an FHM pinup model way. The whole reason she gets all the attention she does is because Valve really succeeded in making her that attractive while avoiding the over-polished pinup model look. Background characters kinda remind me of how Halo 3 thought that increased detail automatically meant increased realism regardless of execution, and ended up actually making the human faced characters look blobbier and less lifelike than their low res predecessors.
  13. Daz 3D has a few of their pro version apps on a free promo special right now through February 29. Good opportunity to grab a copy of the full pro version for free, just in case. http://www.daz3d.com/i/3d-models/all-products-promotions?cat=1068#1,cat_1068_382 Note that the motion capture add-on shows the TF2 Heavy being used in the example pics: http://www.daz3d.com/i/shop/itemdetails/?item=13351 Not trying to be a shill/spammer, just seemed like lucky timing.
  14. I like to imagine that Xen isn't so much a proper universe itself as a geometrically defined void between universes. It has its own spacetime, but its form is dictated by the geometric relationships of the the larger universes that make up its "walls", rather than by its own internal forces. Imagine a bunch of soap bubbles crowed up together, then imagine a long, narrow, winding void formed by edges where multiple bubbles meet, but surface tension and pressure imbalances prevent them from fully sharing a single vertex. Obviously that requires taking critical liberties with the way soap bubbles work, but it is only a metaphor after all. Besides, if not all universes share the same constants, that might make it hard for them to tessellate properly even if they do have squishy mergeable boundaries. Anyway, the spacetime inside Xen is all torqued and folded and compressed according to the forces defined by the boundaries of the universes that form the boundaries if the Xen universe. So space inside Xen has hard little knots and twisted creases/ribbons in spacetime running it's length that act like singularities, ether drawing mass like a gravity well, or repelling it, causing what little mass there is in Xen to collect as strings of little "islands" at wells and equilibrium points. This is why the "islands" Gordan visits appear to have a strong, consistent directional gravity while also being tiny and apparently suspended in mid space. The constants of Xen spacetime are the same as our universe's, but there are many different universes making up Xens "walls", with several different stable arrangements of constants. There are only a handful of such stable constant arrangements though, so they repeat along Xen's length. Only mass and creatures from universes that share the same constants as Xen can exist inside Xen and use it as a "border world" universe.
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