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SimCity 5: How Not To Design a Single Player Game

Ren.Tamek Re:This is unfortunate. (569 comments)

Fuck that, COD4 used SecuROM for it's copy protection. The 200X time period will live on in my mind as the era when it became standard practice for companies to sneak some type of malware onto your PC as a 'reward' for buying their game. I was pretty careful at this time to make sure I was buying 'clean' games, but still ended up with StarForce on my machine somehow.

This annoyed me so much at the time that I completely abandoned PC gaming, and a sustained boycott of all new PC games from most large publishers is still the only way to keep your PC safe from malware.

Compared to that, always on DRM actually seems to be a step in the right direction. OK so the game might not always work (same with all DRM'd media), but at least you can delete the game from your machine if that annoys you.

about a year and a half ago
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Is the Wii U Already Dead?

Ren.Tamek Re:ALL consoles suck... (403 comments)

I do agree with you, but I think there was an element of newness there too, because this was the first major xbla release. It was bitesize indie gaming for cheap, accessible to everyone, and there was some real excitement about that. Probably a lot of bloggers in the major gaming news wanted to overanalyse it, which lead to it being much overhyped.

Those were interesting times - I remember thinking how dumb it was to expect me to buy a hdtv, now you can't even get regular tv's anymore :)

about a year and a half ago
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Is the Wii U Already Dead?

Ren.Tamek Re:ALL consoles suck... (403 comments)

I'm somewhat surprised this isn't modded up to 5 by now. Perhaps there aren't many gamers on slashdot who have seen multiple generations? The WiiU is only a few months old at this point, it needs a good 6-8 months after launch to acquire a good enough library to be a good purchase. But it is still selling, even with the current software drought - wikipedia says 3 million units in 3 months, which is not bad in my book.

Heres the xbox 360 launch lineup: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360_launch#Titles

Nothing but crap in there. You're basically buying the console for CoD2 and PGR3, and these were the best titles on the system for quite a while! But the system matured and became good over time. This is a non-story really.

about a year and a half ago
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Political Science Prof Asks: Is Algebra Necessary?

Ren.Tamek Re:Calculus and Shakespeare (1010 comments)

Lastly, there are some students who are truly intellectual. ... They may take non-major related classes out of interest (I'm doing this with physics, chemistry, and maybe biology)

Emphasis mine. You've conveniently split your peers up into 3 categories - two 'bad' categories, complete with cutting descriptions, and a third that you happen to belong to. It's human nature to value your own worldview above other peoples, but I think it's worth pointing out what we're all reading here.

You go on to say that those other people are binging you down and making education worse for you. But I say those other points of view are quite valid, and the world doesn't revolve around your needs and desires. We need to come to terms as a society that formal education is just for getting letters in front of your name, and to stop expecting so much from it.

Here is my personal philosophy: the best we can hope for is to introduce someone to a topic that sparks their interest. The best work will come from personal study, no professors or classmates required. And if someone wants to have a beer and watch football instead, there is nothing wrong with that either.

about 2 years ago
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DRM-Free Game Suffers 90% Piracy, Offers Amnesty

Ren.Tamek Re:World of Goo's methodology is flawed (795 comments)

Indeed. If you look at the World of Goo post you just mentioned, they reference a previous study on Gamasutra of an indie title that also estimated their piracy rate to be about 90%. Considering 2D Boys rationale seems fairly rushed and decidedly innacurate, isn't it surprising that they came up with the exact same 90% figure? For a game with a totally different copy protection structure, in a totally different genre, calculated 9 months apart? How much do you want to bet that they knew about that article before they calculated that figure.

So now this Machinarium article appears for a game released 2 years later, in yet another totally different genre, and they find an estimated piracy rate of 85% to 95%. You can bet they were aware to the 2D-Boy 90% figure, since it was well publicised on /. and in the gaming media. Do we think this figure we have an existing bias to might have some relation? Hello, this is just the same 90% figure with a 5% error rate on either side!

The problem here is that, without any competent statistics having been done, the popular media are giving people the impression that a 90% piracy figure has been established, with numbers people have pulled out of their rear ends. Piracy issues aside, one thing that gets on my nerves is bad statistics. It's basically the same as lying to people.

about 4 years ago
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US Military 'Banned' From Viewing Wikileaks

Ren.Tamek Re:Authenticity (390 comments)

Absolutely, the last thing you want as a military commander is the troops thinking for themselves and questioning the absolute intellectual and moral superiority of their leaders. The next think you know, they'll be refusing orders to pointlessly march to their deaths! Luckily, we can order them to remain ignorant and only receive information from proper government channels, assembled by men of intellect who have done all the thinking that ever needs to be done. It's a good thing these people have sifted through the bullshit and are now able to tell us the truth: everything is fine, we're winning, good job team!

about 4 years ago
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Working Toward a Universal Power Brick For Laptops

Ren.Tamek Battery (365 comments)

Fuck the power brick, those are easily and cheaply replaced and rarely ware out. Laptop batteries are constantly needed for the machine to function away from a desk, and lose their capacity very quickly. How about a common housing and voltage for those? You could have like 5 standard shapes and sizes, ranging from small to large for different sized laptops. Every dell 15 inch is about the same size, shape, and colour (black) as a toshiba 15 inch, an asus 15 inch etc.

more than 4 years ago
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A Call For an Open, Distributed Alternative To Facebook

Ren.Tamek Re:Just don't use facebook and stop crying (363 comments)

Basically, if you have a wordpress/blogspot, a flickr/picassa, an email address/home page, you should be able to "plugin" to something that gives all the functionality of facebook. Yet you would be free to expire/migrate/manage your data as you see fit.

How does the first sentence guarantee the second? The first thing an internet marketing company would do with such a system is spider all available information to their own private databases. All information that you've published there, even if you later deleted it, would be available for purchase. These people, who try to fill my personal inbox with 500 pieces of marketing spam per month, will not respect the privacy settings of your robots.txt file.

And besides that, how would you prevent people on your private friends-only area from accidentally republishing private bits of your web space to their own public space by 'liking' or writing comments on your updates or photos? There would have to be a mechanism to stop that, which everyone on your friends list has to adhere to. That would be even more difficult outside of a centrally controlled company like facebook.

more than 4 years ago
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Flash Is Not a Right

Ren.Tamek Re:Two senses of "closed." (850 comments)

They have a lot of influence in those fields though, and it's growing by the day. Smartphones / netbooks are markets which are just starting to hit the mainstream, and Apple is disproportionately able to influence the direction of their growth.

Even if what they're doing isn't illegal it is still a Bad Thing, and GP's arguments still hold precisely because they appear to be well on their way to securing a monopoly in one or both areas. Regardless of whether they've reached the magic monopoly marketshare number or not, I think now is an excellent time to stand up and let them know we think they're behaving unethically.

more than 4 years ago
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Students Flock To GMU For a Degree In Video Game Design

Ren.Tamek Re:won't take long... (225 comments)

Hope you've got a solid chair budget laid out for the next 10 years.

more than 4 years ago
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The Gamebook Writers Who Nearly Invented the MMO

Ren.Tamek Re:First MMOs (72 comments)

That's not even the first graphical MMO. Neverwinter Nights was released in 1991, which is the earliest i've heard of.

more than 4 years ago
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Digital Economy Bill Passed In the UK

Ren.Tamek Re:Yup (384 comments)

Quick question if you are still reading responses to this topic - where is Luke Leighton's constituency? It says 'south west surrey' on your website. I live in Kingston, which is in south west surrey, but i'm not sure if that means he'll be on my ballot or not since it is usually referred to as it's own location. Cheers.

more than 4 years ago
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Linux Games For Non-Gamers?

Ren.Tamek Greenhouse Games (460 comments)

Greenhouse Games is the indie distribution website set up by the Penny Arcade team. There are more games for windows and mac than linux, but you will find a few titles that run natively, most notable the Penny Arcade itself, On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness (pt1 and 2).

Demos are available, so feel free to try before you slap down 10 quid or so.

more than 4 years ago
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Left 4 Dead 2 Banned In Australia

Ren.Tamek Re:And... (215 comments)

Quoting out of context and insults; it's what all the cool kids are doing.

Seriously though, given that I obviously misunderstood your first post (using 'believe' to mean 'I am aware of the existence of' rather than 'I have belief in') I really think further argument is pointless given that we seem to have the same viewpoint: no scientific consensus (regardless of which side of the debate you think is stronger, more research is required, especially before laws are passed). Excellent. Glad that's straightened out. Also you smell (sorry i'm not great with insults).

more than 4 years ago
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Left 4 Dead 2 Banned In Australia

Ren.Tamek Re:And... (215 comments)

I believe there's some evidence that both can negatively impact social development in children, with the latter having a measurably stronger impact.

You don't believe in evidence. There either is evidence supporting your claim, or there isn't. Current research on a causal relationship between video game violence and real world violence is pretty inconclusive. Take a quick look at the top 10 hits in google reporting on the findings of recent papers.

Now if you'd rather be safe than sorry with your own children that's fair enough, but I really think its morally wrong to use censorship to deny a work to an entire country based on unscientific opinions.

more than 4 years ago
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Gaming the App Store

Ren.Tamek Re:Who actually cares about the "good" ratings? (217 comments)

I try my best to never read a review written by someone I don't know, especially when it's a game or something that requires objectivity. When you know the reviewer and their likes, dislikes and biases, you're best equipped to interpret their review for what it is. It's even better than reading a professional review in most cases; I consider the idea of a professional film watcher or game player somewhat nonsensical.

more than 4 years ago
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Financial Issues May Force Changes On Games Industry

Ren.Tamek Re:Looks like (246 comments)

The delicious irony is that publishers and developers were the ones who decided to abandon the PC games market. There's 'too much piracy' there they say, throwing away millions in sales from the many loyal PC fans worldwide. Now they're telling us that console royalties are too much money? Well, I can't have too much sympathy there; they've pretty much made their own bed, and are complaining that they have to lie in it.

about 5 years ago
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Why the UK Needs the Pirate Party

Ren.Tamek Re:Sounds promising, but... (363 comments)

ie. We want to reduce copyright to meaninglessness. It's abolishment in all but name.

No it isn't. It's legalisation of non-commercial, non-profit filesharing. What logic are you using to get from a to b?

Remember, 11.5% of our population is engaged in it right now. Think about the sheer number of people that would be criminalised over a trivial issue, and then tell me that these laws are realistic.

about 5 years ago
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Why the UK Needs the Pirate Party

Ren.Tamek Re:Sounds promising, but... (363 comments)

Because I've got a Sky box, not a Sky+ box.

Bad luck. If you're going to stick with sky i'd definitely recommend it, even if you're not going to consume media the same way I do. It's very useful. You should be able to get an upgrade for free/cheap a year after you signed up I believe.

You put forward the idea that ad-supported content should mean that the content is free and it is a business model for the producer. With TV shows that isn't the case - the ad-supporting is to the channel, not the producer.

I'm not going to argue this point with you, because the fact that it works is self evident. Many programs you watch on TV don't make it to DVD at all, but they obviously still get produced, and everyone involved makes good money.

If you want to buy DVD's then fine, there's nothing preventing you doing that now or in the future. The more content becomes available over the internet, the better value DVD's will become. We are already starting to see cheaper deals, better packaging, more episodes per boxset, and more special features than before. We are going to hit a point where it makes no sense to download gigabytes over the internet when you can easily and cheaply order DVD's online and have them arrive tomorrow, in good quality and high definition. You can thank us later.

the general public don't normally know how easy file sharing is and how low the risk of being caught is.

Again, 11.5% of the British public is actively involved in pirate filesharing. That's a massive amount! The readership of The Sun is only 3.1 million, and that's our best selling daily newspaper.

about 5 years ago
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Why the UK Needs the Pirate Party

Ren.Tamek Re:Sounds promising, but... (363 comments)

And I hate adverts with a vengeance. Given the choice between watching Bones or House or something on Sky with adverts or watching it on a DVD I bought/rented (so no adverts) I'd go for paying for it every time (as long as I had the money). If people can freely copy digital versions, what's going to encourage people to make the DVDs?

Dude, we both have sky. Why don't you set your sky box to series link your favourite shows, then watch them all at your convenience, fast forwarding through the adverts? This method is so convenient I would never even consider torrenting shows that are being shown currently on sky. This is a really good example of exactly what companies should be doing, rather than legislating the hell out of everything. Sky is making a crap load of money off this very idea.

And if they stop making the DVDs, what's to encourage them to make the show in the first place? The advert revenue on TV goes to the station, not to the show.

No you are misinterpreting the process I think. TV companies pay all the upfront costs of production and all the actors fees etc, as well as a lump sum to the creators *before* they make a single penny from ad revenue. It's a huge gamble for them. If the show isn't popular, the TV company loses money. If it is popular the station get full revenue for that showing, but the creators are in a good situation to negotiate royalties on the IP, including but not limited to all kinds of rebroadcast (so DVDs, repeats and other TV channels).

And everyone is going to act in the same way as you to a sufficient degree that it'll be able to fund all of the creative media we have at the moment?

Yes they really will. pirates are the music industry's largest source of legitimate customers. People are desperate to spend money on their favourite media, and they are doing exactly that when you provide them with good, value-for-money products.

The reason why piracy and P2P has taken off is because people can get it for free with almost no chance of repercussions.

I don't disagree... but that's exactly the point isn't it? You can't turn back time and make bittorrent not exist, so it's pointless trying to legislate against it's users, and many believe it's not even necessary in order for companies to keep making money.

about 5 years ago

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