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  1. Ross, if you end up having to move (or even if you don't), it may be worth making a recording booth. It doesn't have to be expensive or even a permanent part of the room. For instance, if you pick a corner of a room and put some sort of sound dampening material on the walls, ceiling, and maybe the floor if you can't get a ground floor apartment, you could then close the booth either with two removable panels with sound dampening material, or a frame that can be used to hang blankets. If done right, it should solve the problem of annoying the neighbors, minimize background noises when recording, and make noise concerns a non-issue when apartment hunting. If you have a bunch of blankets, it may be worth experimenting with the idea at your current apartment. That way you'll know in advance whether or not the idea will make apartment hunting any easier, and even if you don't move it may help your recording. For a really improvised experiment, you can just lie on a bed with some blankets piled on top of your head, yell at whatever your maximum recording volume is likely to be, and have Magda listen in from a different room or maybe outside the apartment to report how well the sound blocking attempt works. If you can muffle your voice that way without too much difficulty, then perhaps making a recording booth with a similar material thickness could allow you to record without disturbing the neighbors.
  2. As I recall, Walton Simons could be avoided by simply running past him, but Anna Navarra and Gunther Hermann couldn't be avoided without exploits. There is a notable difference with Anna and Gunther though. While the game does require you to kill them, you don't have to actually fight them. Deus Ex did reward exploration and hacking by allowing the player to figure out their kill phrases, which made killing them as easy as selecting the correct dialogue option. The original version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution did not have a similar reward for non-combat builds.
  3. That was one of the most obvious problems for me with Human Revolution. I remember when I first met Malik in the game. There was a twitchy quality to her that I found intriguing. It seemed like a unique detail, but soon after I started to realize that pretty much every female was animated the same way. It quickly got to be annoying because it stood out so much. People may tend to complain about stuff in various games being blandly generic, but I find noteworthy repetitiveness to be more annoying, since it sticks out so much more. And I think my experience with Malik is appropriate here, because as with daisekihan's experience with Taggart, I initially mistakenly assumed the animation quirks were a deliberate part of the character, rather than something generic for a large number of NPCs. Remember though that this is a game where players actions at the end of the game influence how the public perceives augmentation technology. Even if the characters in the game are largely being influenced by rhetoric, shouldn't the PLAYER at least be exposed to facts surrounding the different viewpoints so that they're making an educated decision? It's perfectly possible to have facts that don't lead everyone to the same conclusions. Just look at the Edward Snowden leaks for just one of many examples. He leaks information on how the government monitors people, and it gets two widely different reactions. One side hates him for compromising the government's efforts to maintain national security. The other side loves him for revealing government intrusion into people's lives. The facts from the leaks support both sides. His information does put the government into an embarrassing political situation, while simultaneously giving terrorists and other criminals the opportunity to reevaluate how they use technology to communicate. But on the other hand, it's also solid evidence on how people's privacy is being invaded, which gives people reason to be more distrustful of government. Neither side is operating on false information, but their personal beliefs dictate the conclusions they draw from the facts. This is the way the game should be--letting the player make their decision based on facts, rather than on solely on who makes the most persuasive argument. For people who are on the fence, rhetoric may help push them toward one conclusion or another, but that rhetoric should have a basis in fact if the player's decision is supposed to have real meaning. After all, we're not trying to fool the player into falling for an Illuminati scheme. Deus Ex and Invisible War didn't do that. They both let the player behind the curtain, to see the secret societies in action and let the player draw conclusions based on what these factions are really doing, rather than on what the population at large thinks they do or don't do.
  4. For Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Invisible War, which endings did you choose as your personal endings? To expand on that question, if you had to rank the endings in each game in order of preference, how would you rank them? Last question: How did you feel about having a character you played in the first game end up as a major NPC in the second game? I can't say I was too happy with the developers essentially wresting control of the character from the player and dictating their own vision of the character.
  5. Ironically for me, patches made the stability worse. I decided to start up a second playthrough of Invisible War recently just because I'm a bit of a masochist, and found that on Windows 10, the only version I could get running was the original 1.0 version directly off my CD copy of the game. If I install the 1.1 patch, the game will start, but fail to start a new game or load any existing saves, and if I install the 1.2 patch, the game won't even start. On the plus side, v1.0 has been stable enough to be generally playable. I'm near the end of the game and have only had two crashes to desktop, and one case where some sort of glitch was preventing the game from starting up. Rebooting fixed that problem.
  6. What?! Homeboy with his gat sideways on the cover was totally gangsta, yo! ... Yeah, I'll admit that was a major factor in deciding to play as the female version of Alex D in my playthrough.
  7. Ross, I know you said the ending sucked, but which one did you pick as your personal ending? Also, I really hope you talk about the Pequod's and Queequeg's part of Deus Ex: Invisible War in your next video. Certainly I don't agree with the people who think a pacifist playthrough is the only "correct" way to play the game, but I can understand why people want to be able to do a pacifist playthrough. Most games really don't give you a whole lot of choice over how you handle problems. If a game puts a gun in your hand, that's how you're going to solve your problems. It's hard to find serious games that don't require constant killing. For the most part, Deus Ex does a great job of putting the gun in your hand, but giving you the choice not to use it. There are of course the few exceptions that require taking advantage of glitches, but as a general rule the game lets you decide how you want to deal with your antagonists. Sure, stunning a character is functionally identical to killing them for gameplay purposes, but if in your mind you're thinking, "Those UNATCO guys I used to work with were just doing their jobs. I don't want to murder them just because they don't understand what's really going on," Deus Ex gives you ways to spare their lives, whether it be by avoiding them, or using non-lethal takedowns on them. I never tried to play a dedicated pacifist run in Deus Ex, but in each playthrough, I treated the enemies in accordance to what I thought of them. At the beginning of the game, I'd pop each and every NSF terrorist in the head, but once I found out what was really going on, I was much more likely to use non-lethal attacks where practical. And in the case of the UNATCO agents, they were trying to do the right thing, so I didn't treat them all like vile criminals even when they were trying to bring me to justice. Then you get obviously villainous groups like MJ-12. All I can say is that free bullets were to be had all around. For a pacifist player who believes in the sanctity of life, a game that lets you wade into violent situations without forcing you to be a one man death squad is a pretty powerful idea. It really lets a pacifist put their beliefs to the test. Normally games that don't involve killing are designed so that killing is basically impossible. Usually, it's due to kid-friendliness, but some serious games simply make it impossible to use lethal force as a gameplay mechanic. It's very rare for a game to feature shooting mechanics, then turn around an make it possible to avoid just about the shooting. While I'd personally never be interested in a pure pacifist playthrough, I really like the idea of a game where that's possible. It means that killing people in a game really is a choice, rather than the sole means of interaction with an adversary. And there is challenge to a pacifist playthrough. Ross even mentions one example, with those tranquilizer darts not taking effect instantly, unlike a bullet or two to the head. Stun prods are somewhat unreliable and require ammo, unlike knives. There aren't as many non-lethal weapons as there are lethal ones, and in my experience, non-lethal ammo was harder to come by than lethal ammo. In my experience, it really did require less effort to kill people in Deus Ex than to let them live. Especially with silenced weaponry, where one rifle bullet or two pistol bullets to the head could quietly solve just about any problem.
  8. Is that really all that odd? My driver's license has a picture of someone else's child on it.
  9. Ross, I was noticing the image you posted had an even number of pixels in width (48 pixels), but an odd number of pixels in height (19 pixels). If you add an extra row of pixels to get the image height to 20 pixels, does the problem go away without needing to manually adjust the offset? I suspect that with the odd number of pixels in the height, the center of the image lands at the center point of a row of pixels, giving you that half-pixel offset.
  10. We're getting pretty close to that. Manus VR doesn't have force feedback, as far as I know, but those gloves support full finger tracking.
  11. I agree with #4 completely. Honestly, even though it's the same technology, the 3D effect from the Elsa Revelators was NOTICEABLY better than 3D vision, even though Nvidia bought them out and used the same technology. It took a lot of the "wow" factor away and I can't even explain why, but it sounds like you have a better grasp on it. As for flat textures, the illusion is obviously broken in 3D, although again, I'd be thrilled to play something with Quake or Unreal graphics in 3D, so I can scale my expectations accordingly. I'm not sure decent color would be an issue for me. As for low resolution, what I liked less were the lines between the pixels. The low resolution wasn't a huge problem for me, although it certainly does promote nearsighted tendencies since a lot of far off details can't be focused on. I wrote about this in more detail back in the Ross Rants: 3D thread, but it is absolutely possible to adjust both depth and convergence to get exactly the desired 3D effect with NVIDIA 3D Vision. The catch is that the convergence adjustment is disabled by default, and the method to enable it isn't intuitive. There's also the issue that it's easy to assume the convergence adjustment is broken, because the convergence adjustment doesn't have onscreen UI like the depth adjustment does, and the changes to convergence aren't readily apparent until the convergence point starts getting close to the screen plane. But it's there, and it does work. An Ross, as for VR, don't despair yet on the nausea front. I was watching that video where you tried DK1, and it pretty much mirrored my experience. The Tuscany demo on the DK1 instantly caused nausea as soon as I started moving, and going up the stairs in that demo made me fell like I was about to vomit. DK2 was a far superior experience for me, and with the room scale capability of the Vive, some surprisingly intense titles have been easy for me to deal with. I just tried Windlands, which I bought specifically to see what I could tolerate out of a Vive game, and I found I was able to handle that better than I could Titans of Space on the DK1, which caught me completely by surprise. The hardest part of Windlands for me to deal with was the tutorial level, which keeps you on the ground for most of it. Once the game opened up, it got easier to handle. Also, I don't think you should underestimate the benefit of room scale. Games built with room scale in mind are nausea free for most people, as your movements in real life and in the game are not out of sync. Room scale may have its own limitations, but it sure beats getting too sick to enjoy VR. Even if you don't want to take advantage of room scale or don't have the space for it, having access to motion controllers opens up many possibilities for streamlined interfaces. Imagine not having to have separate buttons for firing, reloading, selecting weapons, opening doors, etc. Just reach out with a controller and grab/interact with what you want. Imagine being able to open a door slowly the way you would in real life, instead of having to have a clumsy interface implemented for the purpose. Or throwing a grenade around a corner without exposing yourself to an enemy. How throwing that grenade with a light underhand toss instead of a hard overhand toss, or maybe aggressively slinging that grenade under a partially opened garage door, or gently lobbing it just over a wall. Or manipulating items in multiple axes without having to have the infamous "robot crane arm" from Trespasser. Or being able to glance at the Pip-Boy on your arm just by moving it in front of your face. I could go on and on, but with the right design, proper motion controls means getting away from having dozens of button mappings just to be able to interact with the game. At the very least, you were talking about how NVIDIA's idea of mapping mouse control to the headset was a bad idea because you'd have to be waving your head all over the place. Well, proper motion controls make that completely unnecessary without forcing you to aim with an analog stick. It's really cool being able to place a shield over my head or behind me in Space Pirate Trainer while shooting in a completely different direction. Try doing that with a gamepad. Or then there's Windlands where I can shoot over my shoulder to latch onto a nearby surface without having to see it. I don't think VR is complete without motion controllers, but at least on the plus side, they're already available for the Vive and Oculus is actively working on their own, so that should be a non-issue as long as you go with either of the front-runners.
  12. Wow, I never realized that was an actual thing. I guess that also explains why the red LED in my sound card is so much more annoying to me than most other bright lights.
  13. By the way Ross, what do you think of those red/blue nVidia anaglyph glasses? Even though I have the LCD shutter glasses, I bought some of the anaglyph ones just to have them, and the red lens is so obnoxiously red it kind of hurts my left eye to wear them. The blue lens seems to be fine though.
  14. Objection! As a counterpoint, I've taken your comparison image and added a screenshot I just took of Mirror's Edge in the lower-left corner, with an additional copy of the TriDef screenshot to facilitate the side-by-side comparison: I think you'll find that the perspective from my 3D Vision screenshot and from the TriDef 3D screenshot are nearly identical. Admittedly, I had to adjust the 3D settings to get it that close, but that was pretty easy to do. The 3D Vision software gives full control of the depth settings, and optionally convergence settings as well. The depth setting adjusts the scale of the perceived image depth, whereas convergence essentially adjusts how big everything appears to be. Pushing convergence far into the 3D scene tends to make everything looks smaller, which also tends to result in 3D pop out. Pulling convergence close to the camera tends to make everything feel larger, which avoids 3D pop out, but tends to create a more realistic looking scale. In a 3rd-person 3D game, pushing convergence way out makes it feel like I'm controlling an action figure in a toy city, and the character can end up floating in front of the monitor. In a case like that, I prefer setting convergence so that the character feels like they're right at the screen, and the stuff they're walking past starts streaming at me. The only real annoyances with adjusting convergence are A: enabling convergence controls is buried in the 'Set Keyboard Shortcuts' menu, and B: the convergence controls don't get an onscreen setting indicator, so it's sometimes hard to tell if the convergence setting is even doing anything. Due to the way the convergence setting works, initially there's almost no effect at all, and then once convergence goes out far enough the effect starts to get dramatic. But once convergence adjustment is enabled, there's no problem tailoring the 3D in each game to whatever you like. The big problem I see 3D Vision is that most developers don't account for it. They use a lot of post-processing tricks that produce some really disorienting lighting, shadow, and water effects when viewed with 3D Vision. This was much less of a problem years back when 3D rendering was inherently simpler. Fortunately, for many popular games people have come forward to write custom shaders and whatnot in order to fix those problems. Helix Mod is an excellent place to go for those fixes. It really is amazing how effective stereoscopic 3D can be when setup properly. I played Black Mesa in 3D, and it seemed like everything stood out. Stuff that I would have otherwise assumed to be textures on flat polygons at a glance turned out to be fully rendered details. Whether they be keys inserted into a console, switches on a control panel, or buttons on a guard's shirt, every tiny polygon that would otherwise be wasted detail stood out and really fleshed out the scenes. Clutter looks great in 3D too. In 2D clutter tends to blend together and just be "noise", but in 3D the individual objects stand out enough that a cluttered scene feels dense instead of noisy. I've found that the best games for stereoscopic 3D are the ones where a lot of the action occurs up close. Left 4 Dead 2 is great for this. Since the infected have to rush at the player to attack, pretty much the entire game is "in your face" 3D, and I love it. And Ross, while everyone is different, I do have some possibly encouraging news about VR and motion sickness. I'm also prone to car sickness, and when I tried the Oculus Rift DevKit 1, it made me immediately nauseous in pretty much everything I tried. The only exception was a stereoscopic 3D version of the original Doom, strangely enough. Anyway, with DevKit 2 nausea has been pretty much a non-issue. Between the improved framerate, tracking, and latency reduction, I went from feeling like I needed to throw up seconds into a DK1 demo, to being able to play for hours with DK2 with barely anything in the way of ill effects. Certain types of movement could make me feel a bit weird, but nothing major or lasting like I was experiencing with DK1. As you pointed out in the video, there's always Dramamine, but in my experience being prone to motion sickness isn't necessarily an obstacle to VR. Edited to add: Here's a link to the full-size anaglyph shot I took for the comparison: Mirror's Edge Anaglyph Screenshot Also, if you like, I can see about making some comparison screenshots later to show how different adjustments result in different levels of pop out.
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