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TwinIon

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Everything posted by TwinIon

  1. It's not too hard to decipher roughly how much indies matter to Nintendo. Look at the last investor report. They break down that digital game sales make up ~23-24% of their revenue. During a period where they do not have a major first party releases, download only software, add-on content, and Nintendo Switch Online make up about 50% of that total. (When they do have a first party release, it's more like 40%) So all digital only releases make up ~10% of their sales. They don't break that down any further, but the images they used showed Nintendo Switch Online, the Smash Bros Fighters pass, and one indie game. If I were to take a complete guess, I'd wager that indie games make up at most 50% of that number. So all indie games combined probably make up a maximum of 5% of their revenue (when they don't have a major title releasing), but likely it's closer to 3% or less. However, it's probably even less important to them than that. Even if it's 5% of their revenue, it doesn't move the other numbers at all. When they release one big game, their hardware and software sales jump up so much that it dwarfs nearly every other concern.
  2. What a scumbag. By far the best part of the MS acquisition will be finally getting rid of Kotick. Very happy to see that the narrative forming is that he was terrible, so MS was able to buy them out.
  3. While I do expect to see this FTC be a bit more bullish on anti-trust, I also don't expect them to stop the MS deal. Yeah, Activision/Blizzard does have their own launcher/storefront, but they're not really competitive with MS in that way. The games industry will still be left with a bunch of competition at various sizes, and it's unlikely this has any real impact on consumer pricing. The most that I can imagine is the FTC putting some kind of limited conditions on the sale, forcing MS to continue publishing on other platforms for a time, but even that seems unlikely.
  4. I did notice that one of the first things said in the announcement video was that even after the merger MS would still only be the third largest video game company, after Tencent and Sony. I'm sure that was aimed at regulators. Hopefully this new FTC can change the way we think about anti-trust in this country, though I won't hold my breath.
  5. I picked up Mars Horizons and played through it recently. It's a game where you manage the space program from the first satellite to landing on mars. It seemed like an interesting idea and had good reviews, but I don't think it's great game. Each area of the game is too distinct, and there's too little insight into everything going on, which makes each area feel isolated. You select what to research, build out your launch facilities base, plan your missions, build your rockets, and execute your missions, but none are that compelling. For example, lets say that I'm thinking a few steps ahead and want to over-build a few rockets so that I can level those up for some more important missions to come. Well, it's not that easy to figure out what rockets you actually need for those future missions. There's a tool to help you figure that out once you've already begun the mission, but you can speculate on future ones. You can just do the math, but it really seems like there should be more insight there. Same goes for building out your base. I don't know how big different buildings are until they're built, so while I'm building out my shuttle program and researching the landing strip, it would sure be nice to be able to take that into account while placing buildings, I can't really do that without looking up the numbers online. You can move buildings after the fact, but I really feel like I should be able to plan ahead better, since that's really the name of the game. Likewise, the game is structured around the idea of a race, but there's little info on how the other participants are doing. No, I shouldn't have perfect insight into what the USSR is doing, but maybe an overall view of what they've accomplished versus what I have? Later in the game the Mars preparedness number is kinda helpful in that, but it's still not great. I beat the game and don't rightfully have a perfect idea of if I crushed them or just squeezed by. The missions themselves are little mini-games that I did not find challenging or rewarding, but thankfully you can skip them. I'm sure if I did them all by hand I'd have done better, but they just were not exciting enough to bother. I ended up getting about 10 hours of of my 10 dollars, so I can't really complain, but I'd probably have been better off buying an expansion for Surviving Mars.
  6. I liked Roku for a while as they seemed like an ideal platform agnostic set top box provider, but they've long since transitioned to an ad company, which brings with it the same burdens as any other platform. They aggressively sell data, they make (or fail to make) deals with content providers over that data, and they do stuff like this. There's no way I buy a Roku anymore.
  7. I know that the announcement throws the word "Metaverse" in there like it means something or matters to anyone other than Zuck, but I think there is actually some relevance here worth thinking about. Most conceptions of the metaverse entail a rather complete interoperability. If I move my avatar between spaces, it should be consistent. This is obviously one of the biggest stumbling blocks of the whole idea, but I do think there's more possibility for some various siloed metaverses. Microsoft is building up quite the collection of valuable IPs where people spend a lot of time. Should any stripped down version of a metaverse happen anytime soon, it's easy to see MS having an advantage in being able to carry things over between all these IPs. I'd still say that even that kind of stripped down, siloed metaverse has yet to prove to be a worthwhile idea, but MS may well give it a go anyways.
  8. This is a mildly hopeful take. We've seen MS willing to let studios do their own thing to some degree. I don't think there's ever going back to "the old Blizzard," but if the structure of Xbox Gaming post acquisition has Blizz out from under the pressures of Activision, it could be really good.
  9. Bill Gates did a TED talk in 2013 and planned to spend $5 Billion to videotape teachers in order to get feedback and figure out what made some teachers more effective. I don't know if that went anywhere, but today it's an idea that certainly comes off as misguided naivete at best.
  10. As I've been going through a new game+ of HZD, I've come up with a short list of things I'm really hoping to see improved in the sequel: Traversal is just bad, while on foot and mounted. Mounts are too slow, too limited in how they climb, and just not as good as they should be in such a big game. The on-foot experience is much worse though. If you're on flat ground or going through a very specific path that's been laid out, it's fine. If you have to deal with any terrain or want to explore, it can be painful. Thankfully this looks like something that Forbidden West has really put effort into, so I'm excited to see how that goes. Another thing they've already mentioned improving is the hand to hand combat, which is basically non-existent in HZD. Basically any effort at all would be a big improvement. A small weapons related thing I'd like to see is more weapon customization. Mods are fine, but I feel like I should be able to select which arrows I use on which bows. I'm sure that the weapon selection will be different, so maybe this won't even be needed. One other small thing that makes a big difference is the collection aspect. The game wants you to constantly loot everything or else risk running out of materials for crafting stuff, but also throws in a bunch of junk. What's worse is that so much of that junk is potentially useful, so you kinda don't want to sell it. The inventory should be bigger, looting should be faster, automatic, or less necessary, and inventory items should either have a clear purpose or be clearly marked as junk and easy to sell in bulk. Also, while I don't really mind the animal parts being necessary for capacity upgrades, the drops are way too rare. I bet I'll finish my newgame+ save (having done most of the sidequests in my first go and very few on my second) without having upgraded all my stuff completely, but having spent a decent amount of time hunting. How many freaking raccoons are running around without skin or bones!? Overall though, it's still a wonderful game. A highlight of the generation, with a unique setting and aesthetic that also manages to be really fun to play. Really looking forward to the sequel next month.
  11. So, will the F2P GTA mobile game be GTA 5, GTA 6, or a whole separate endeavor? Since I don't have a ton of interest in GTA multiplayer, I might prefer them separating the two. Build GTA 6 as a typical AAA single player game, and then build a separate GTA Online that's free to play across mobile/consoles/etc. Basically what Halo Infinite did, but with mobile. I'm sure that existing GTA Online players don't like the idea of moving to a new game, so maybe the existing GTA 5 Online experience will just evolve into a mobile game. Not that R* needs Zynga to either build the mobile version or show them how to monetize it.
  12. TwinIon

    Wordle

    I don't have a single starting word. I just go with whatever comes to mind.
  13. TwinIon

    Wordle

    Wordle 206 4/6 ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ ⬛⬛⬛🟨🟨 🟩🟩⬛🟨⬛ 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩
  14. This is one of the best things I've read on "Web 3" so far, written by someone that actually did the thing and create some real dApps to see how it all works. It gets a little technical, but the main points are made plainly. He makes the point that I was attempting to make earlier much better. While I complained that NFTs were often just http links, he points out that they don't have a hash or any way to ensure that the link is the thing it's claiming to be. To prove his point, he made an NFT that reads who is looking at it and changes based on that. So if you were on OpenSea or Rarible (places where you buy NFTs), you see one thing, but if you open it up in your wallet, you just see a poop emoji. Hilarious, proves his point, and also got his NFT removed from OpenSea. That brought him to what I think is his best made point: that the decentralized web is currently very centralized. After his NFT was removed from OpenSea, every wallet app he used wouldn't show his NFT anymore, because every wallet app uses OpenSea's API instead of contacting the blockchain directly. So his NFT still exists on the blockchain, but the universe of apps people actually use can't get to it because a centralized system that everyone relies on is playing man in the middle. He goes on and talks about how pretty much all blockchain interactions rely on a very small number of these centralized systems, and how their ability to iterate faster than the blockchain protocol is likely to cement their dominance over time. I think it's at there that the rubber meets the road. Before this piece I hadn't thought of it this way, but each blockchain is a lot like an open standard. There's the theoretical promise of how it could work if everyone agrees to use it in exactly the same way, but you can easily end up in a scenario where a small number of entities end up controlling how it's actually used.
  15. Something I think is worth pointing out is that the PSVR2 resolution isn't much higher, but they're promising a good deal more FOV. I'd be very happy if the FOV number is real, but I would also suspect that the limited resolution increase would mean a very similar perceptible pixel density / screen door effect. It'll also very much depend on the how good the lenses are, but I have high hopes based on how much effort Sony seems to be making. Very much hoping it makes it out this year, but even if does I wouldn't expect to be able to buy one.
  16. Thanks for the impressions. These laptops are awesome, but you rarely hear from someone who actually owns one. dsfsdfs That thing was my dream laptop for a short while. I too still like the design.
  17. I just started playing some HZD on the PS5 and in some scenes it looks really great, especially compared to the OG PS4 I first played it on. It's a shame they didn't have time to optimize it further. The LOD pop-in is still quite bad and loading times obviously don't take full advantage of the PS5's SSD. Overall it still looks great.
  18. I feel like I've seen this before, but I couldn't quickly find it. It's probably more useful than the trackpad screens that Asus made a while back, but if you're going to throw a second screen in a laptop, I think the ZenBook Pro Duo's second screen seems potentially more useful. I remember Lenovo's version of this. It seems like a very cool idea that I feel like wouldn't actually work well in the real world, at least not in the ways that I typically use my devices. As someone that uses their iPad more than their phone or laptop, I still love the idea of a machine that can be both, but Windows software has a long way to go to make that doable. I wonder if the forthcoming ability to run android apps on windows will help make these kinds of things viable.
  19. Of course the Sun is exaggerating a bit here, but the story is more fun than a collision. The frigate lowered their sonar array directly onto the sub, pulling it across the sub's hull. That's pretty funny.
  20. I'm kinda surprised. I personally haven't watched any CW shows for a while, but it always seemed like they had an audience.
  21. Thinking a bit more about this, and I think it's fair to expect PSVR2 to be home to the best looking VR games for the foreseeable future. High end PC VR games like Alyx hardly exist. Meanwhile, the PS5 is powerful enough that new games could look much better than we've been seeing elsewhere, especially if foveated rendering works as well as people hope it might. There doesn't seem to be much indication that Meta is terribly close to releasing a Quest 3, and even when they do, it's likely that it'll remain focused on being a stand alone device, keeping it well behind the PS5's processing power. So I really hope that Sony nails it with the PSVR2, because it's our best chance for high end VR experiences for a while.
  22. I enjoyed Boba Fett, driving instructor. Yeah, it's a story that's been done, but it was a perfectly enjoyable episode of TV.
  23. For some reason, I thought I recall hearing that the Quest 2 was sold at a price that they don't make any money on it. I'm dubious that Sony would chase a similar model, but possibly. Personally, I'll guess $400. I'd be very surprised if Sony made the new headset PC compatible, but I can imagine it getting some unofficial drivers. So far, everything they've announced has been beyond my expectations. If it's anywhere as good as it could be, It'll be a great addition to the VR space.
  24. I didn't really keep a log during the year, so here's a recap of what I played through this year. PC: Destiny 2 - I continue to enjoy my time in D2, which is an excellent shooter that still stumbles with its MMO aspirations. Hearthstone Battlegrounds - I've long since given up on Standard in HS, but I return to Battlegrounds periodically since it doesn't require any deck building and is easy to play for 20min and then have that turn into 2 hours. Dyson Sphere Program - I haven't played any of this games' progenitors (factorio and the like), but DSP consumed me for over 100 hours and there was still endless optimization to be done long after I put it down. Nier Replicant - A very solid action game in an interesting world that unfortunately isn't great at respecting the players' time. I still need to play through Automata. Humankind - A very worthy Civ competitor that doesn't really stray far enough from its' inspiration to feel totally unique. Deathloop - Possibly my favorite roguelike game that avoids a potentially repetitive experience with a compelling story line and strong guidance. I only wished for a bit more genuine discovery. Switch: Metroid Dread - A very solid 2D Metroid entry that also doesn't stray too far enough its roots to feel exciting in 2021, but is overall still a worthwhile playthrough. PS5: Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart - Pixar quality visuals is not an understatement. R&C remains as it ever was, entertaining, straightforward, and zany. Returnal - I typically stay away from "hard" games that punish the players, but I'm glad I gave Returnal a try. I think a more gradual learning curve might have been warranted, but once I got through the first biome, I was able to quickly clear the rest. The shooting and movement feel superb, and the graphics feel as modern as they are. Spider-Man (PS4) - My first PS5 experience was one I'd already had on my PS4. I've replayed so few big open-world games that it's an incredible affirmation of the quality of Spider-Man that I was willing to replay it so soon. It really shines on the PS5. Spider-Man: Miles Morales - Largely more of the same, which is (for now) more than enough. Traversal is just so joyous in these games, combat is fluid, and the story is well told. Guardians of the Galaxy - It's a fine shooter, a meh adventure game, but a wonderful time. The characters and story make it worthwhile, even if the moment to moment gameplay isn't super compelling.
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