11 May 2016

Screenestate...Ansel and Greatel!

I read on RPS the other day about Nvidia's Ancel tech and, wow... I'm seriously impressed!

I won't reinvent the wheel so here's the short of it as described by RPS:

Games supporting Ansel will let players pop open a camera mode, which pauses the action, turns off the game’s user interface, and lets them compose a shot. Along with moving the camera freely, folks will get to fiddle with the field-of-view, tweak colours, and apply a few simple filters for that Instagram effect. It’ll also offer some fancy image formats, including colossal 8-gigapixel screenshots for mega-high detail, the high dynamic range EXR format, and 360-degree panoramas intended for virtual reality.

This is basically an enhanced version of the screenshot modes available in a number of different games. Want filters like Shadow of Mordor and Dying Light? You got it. Want to be able to turn off the UI and get a clean shot then they have that too. Want to move around the level freely like Shadow of Mordor (and apparently The Order 1886 - though somehow I missed that when playing!) then you can...

What's more interesting are the other features but I do wonder how far from the player character the camera can roam. Either way, no matter how limited, I think this is only a good thing.

The only reason I'm not more excited by this is that it's Nvidia cards only. That's a shame because it's a cool tech and takes a lot of the hassle out of coding these sorts of screen-cap features into each and every title to be released. I think I'd be more interested/excited if this was Valve announcing this feature for Steam... or Microsoft announcing it for Windows. As it stands, I'm looking at the new generation of graphics cards and, depending on the price points of AMD's cards, I'm likely heading towards one of their mid-high range cards as I usually never spend €350+ on a graphics card as, in my experience, most cards perform well for the same number of years at the same settings and you're ready to buy a new card (or couple) at about the same time anyway...

I also don't game on anything anywhere near a 4K resolution so there's no need for me to push that many pixels as it is. What I do want is something that is power efficient, quiet and not too hot (for my non-air conditioned hot spot); A card to go in my planned new rig towards the end of the year that will suffice for the next 4-5 years on Win 10 (even though I don't really want that OS but, hey, I can't stick with Win 7 if I want to play new games!) and even though the new Nvidia cards look tempting I doubt they will be very affordable in my little corner of the international market.

5 May 2016

Dubious backseat designing...

So, I've been a following the indubitable Bill Harris for a number of years now. I was put on his tail by the folks from GamersWithJobs and was hooked from the start. He has a very specific and personal writing style which I would liken to David Gemmell... who could make even the most mundane items and events seem revelatory and exciting.

Bill's a great guy. He also released a game virtually by himself and now he has a follow-up idea.

I think it's a great idea but I think I also have a modification of this idea that would make it more fun and interesting to potential players. The backseat designer in me just couldn't stay quiet. The concept is a half-minute hero version of American football...

4 May 2016

In theory? Is it so hard to understand logic? A.K.A. Why the PS4 was so successful...

There was an article published at Eurogamer the other day essentially positing that most powerful console hardware is the way to 'win' in sales.

Not only is this not true - as seen time and time again - Richard Leadbetter, the story's author also had this nugget to share with the readers:

"Nintendo, Microsoft and indeed Sony itself will be looking at the phenomenon that is PlayStation 4, wondering why it was so successful. Part of the formula is undoubtedly the strength of the core technology. Looking back, Nielsen polling data suggested that "better resolution" was the number one reason buyers purchased PlayStation 4 over its competition. On the one hand, that nugget of data may seem quite unbelievable but on the other, consider this - given two extremely similar pieces of hardware sold at similar price-points with much the same library of software, which would you buy? "Better resolution" may well be the closest the survey had to a response highlighting the spec differential."

I can't understand where he's coming from on this - at all!