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Pac-Man's Ghost Behavior Algorithms

nicky_d Re:Always fascinating. (194 comments)

What this reminds me of more than anything is the AI in Halo. You have a number of enemy types with comparatively simple behaviour rules, and if the game featured any one of them alone it'd be very dull indeed, like a game of Pacman where all the ghosts behave like Blinky. But the enemies are always presented in mixed groups - an Elite, several grunts, a couple of Jackals - and there's great synergy in the combination. If you can land a plasma shot on the Elite then you can take him down quickly and the group will disperse, but there are grunts firing on you and lobbing grenades. Grunts are an easy kill if you can get them in your sights, but the Elite is pounding you with plasma whenever you break cover - and the jackals' otherwise laughable defensive creep is turning into a serious flanking situation.

That's on Legendary, I'm obliged by law to specify.

more than 3 years ago

Nintendo To Take On Piracy In 3-D

nicky_d Re:The trend on Nintendo Consoles (249 comments)

Agree. I've got an R4 equivalent DS card. It has some pirated stuff on it, but the fact is (in my case) it just doesn't get played. There's too much of it, and no sense of investment. I try things out of curiosity and I do buy what I want to play, because I like games. I bought Warioware DIY at the weekend and I'm pleased to be able to support great releases like that. But even then, a single 2gb flash card beats the hey out of carrying a pile of official cards on trips, even given their size. And while I can now grab DS demos from the Nintendo Channel on my Wii, it's less hassle to grab a torrent of the full game. Why I can't download demos directly onto my DS I've no idea (as far as I can tell, the demos work the same way that multiplayer-from-one-card works - the DS receives the demo data into its live memory, and it's lost when you exit or power down. But the DSi has an SD card slot, so downloadable demos ought to be an option.).

DSiWare (and the SD card slot) is a move in the right direction. But then I'm hampered by Nintendo's single-unit lock-in. If I want to upgrade to a DSi XL, I've no way to carry my purchased games across. They could fix that the iTunes way, by allowing me to switch my games to another unit, say, three times a year. Or my tying purchases to my Club Nintendo account and letting me authorise a new unit. These things may well come in time, but until they do an R4 card or equivalent is arguably the best way to use a DS, whether you're interested in piracy or not.

more than 4 years ago

Final Fight Brings Restrictive DRM To the PS3

nicky_d Re:For hacking obviously (240 comments)

Ah yeah, good point. I look forward to everyone turning on their original PS3s and being told they can't run PS2 games any more because someone discovered a console exploit using Rugrats Movie: The Game. The sad thing is, it really wouldn't surprise me and it very definitely ought to.

more than 4 years ago

Final Fight Brings Restrictive DRM To the PS3

nicky_d Re:How Console DRM Works for digital downloads. (240 comments)

I believe a Wii account can be moved by Nintendo - I've seen reports where people have had repaired Wiis returned with their games, saves and leftover store points intact. On Nintendo's UK site, at least, they advise against returning faulty or problematic consoles to the store for this reason (explaining that transactions are tied to the physical console).

So if anyone has a problem with their Wii, Nintendo support is the way to go. I expect the same is true of the DSi.

more than 4 years ago

Final Fight Brings Restrictive DRM To the PS3

nicky_d Re:For hacking obviously (240 comments)

As I recall the system update is mandatory to access the PSN store, so users who are banned from PSN won't be able to buy the game. Of course users who can buy it are then obliged to apply future updates if they want to keep playing it. That's sinister; if more games start using this system, users could well end up with a large library of games they don't want to lose, and have to weigh that against a system update they don't want to install.

more than 4 years ago

Windows 7 Starter Edition — 3 Apps Only

nicky_d Re:What constitues an app? (695 comments)

That's interesting in that the author says that installers don't count towards the total. Perhaps this means that portable apps which don't run from a previously installed location won't count, either. Though personally I'd prefer it if you could run as many apps as you like as long as they were all called setup.exe.

more than 5 years ago

Grand Theft Auto Retrospective

nicky_d Re:What I'd Like To See (292 comments)

if it was as influential as the article states, then why are the only games I can find now that are vaguely based off the GTA formula horribly inferior ripoffs with the same criminal motif?

Because very few developers are as good as Rockstar - it's hardly Rockstar's fault that their imitators lack the necessary vision and inspiration...

The Fast & Furious game idea you mentioned could actually be played out within GTA: San Andreas, which features many street racing events and car modding - all you'd have to do is ignore the rest of the game. Admittedly it's only a sidegame, so the depth isn't that great, but it's there, and it's a great example of why the GTA games are to be celebrated. There are two separate rhythm action games in San Andreas (one based around dancing, one around car hydraulics). There are casinos. Paperboy-style delivery missions. Shooting galleries. BMX stunt courses. Articulated truck simulations... the list does go on. This is what the imitators can't match, and it's why GTA's cities are a lot deeper than Shenmue's, if you give them a chance - and I love Shenmue (thanks to Shenmue, I can't walk past a forklift in GTA without going for a spin).

You're absolutely right that the copycats are by and large atrocious, or at least dull, because they're copying what's on the surface of GTA and missing the depths completely. But that's no reason to criticise GTA itself; if fifty percent of developers/publishers cared as much about making a decent game as Rockstar clearly do, we'd be in a true golden age.

more than 8 years ago


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