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August 4th, 2021, 08:49
Still trying to figure out what to play in my upcoming vacation. CDPR is taking forever and a day to release their stuff - but I think it's a wise decision to shut the fuck up instead of what they originally attempted by doing actual marketing campaign for patches. That in itself sort of tells you all you need to know about their position

It's been what, 8 months since release - and it's still pretty awkward in terms of immersion breaking stuff - even though most of the quest-bugs seem to have been fixed at least.

I have this totally unjustified feeling that the next "big" patch will make some actual improvements to certain core issues - but I have no idea where I'm getting that from.

Also, the "summer" release for the System Shock remake is certainly looking less and less likely - so that's probably out as well.

The RDR2 DLSS patch was a bit of a disappointment, too. It's probably the first example of this where I prefer to play without it. Still, RDR2 runs at a reasonably steady 60 FPS with everything maxed on my rig, so that's ok. I'm leaning towards this one.

In the meantime, I'm playing ESO - which remains my favorite modern MMO. I considered GW2, SWtOR and LotRO as well - but ESO is just the best one.

I've always wanted to make a hybrid character - and they've taken a lot of small steps towards making that viable. I think now is the time.

It's going to be a hybrid Dunmer - focusing on big boom-ish AoE damage, with supreme Ultimate generation. The idea is to have the big powers back up after each encounter. Should be great for CP farming

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August 4th, 2021, 09:44
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Also, the "summer" release for the System Shock remake is certainly looking less and less likely - so that's probably out as well.
I'd say there's exactly zero chance of that happening. In fact, I'll be surprised if it gets released in 2021.

I regret having backed it for as much as I did. The development cycle has been a complete joke.
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August 4th, 2021, 11:25
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I'd say there's exactly zero chance of that happening. In fact, I'll be surprised if it gets released in 2021.

I regret having backed it for as much as I did. The development cycle has been a complete joke.
Yeah, they're way off schedule for such a modest remake. I mean, I know they were delayed by the initial failed scope and subsequent engine change - but that was very long ago now.

The Unreal Engine is essentially fully capable of doing the core features, including physics and the requisite modern lighting effects - with relatively modest implementation work. Apart from asset development and the rather straightforward Unreal-style shootey gameplay - it should mostly be a matter of simply making the levels.

Of course, that's still a lot of work - but there's no way it should be taking this long. It looks like they're making one level every 6 months or so - which is a bad joke considering the tools available.

I do think it's feasible we'll be seeing it this year, though - as they've done most of the levels by now - and I don't think SS had more than 9 or 10 of them?

Oh well.

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August 4th, 2021, 11:40
Fun fact:

The original System Shock was developed in LESS than 2 years - and they had to build their own revolutionary engine + physics system first from scratch, as the UU engine wasn't quite capable of true 3D and so forth.

I guess there really is a difference between people who know what they're doing and people who don't.

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August 4th, 2021, 11:50
I've been playing Battletech with the BTA 3062 mod. It completely changed the game and adds a crapton of new customisation options.

Really enjoying it. The only negative is that the engine isn't very good so it slows the game down a lot.

I'm planning to continue my Solasta run once I get tired of Battletech.
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August 4th, 2021, 13:05
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The Unreal Engine is essentially fully capable of doing the core features, including physics and the requisite modern lighting effects - with relatively modest implementation work. Apart from asset development and the rather straightforward Unreal-style shootey gameplay - it should mostly be a matter of simply making the levels.

Of course, that's still a lot of work - but there's no way it should be taking this long. It looks like they're making one level every 6 months or so - which is a bad joke considering the tools available.
In their defence, adapting code to a completely different engine (and API) can sometimes be more complex than developing for an engine developed in-house, if the structure of the interface is not compatible at all.

And instead of creating away, they have to see what's there, understand 15-year-old code and scripts, see the logic of the whole game, and mostly redo everything in a similar way.

The art is more demanding today than in '94 too.

So I'm not shocked if the first levels were that slow to get out. On the other hand, if they keep the same rhythm with the remaining levels, then there's indeed another problem. Maybe it's the case, I haven't followed them closely.

Less than 2 years for the original was quite the feat, too, those guys were good.
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August 4th, 2021, 13:17
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
In their defence, adapting code to a completely different engine (and API) can sometimes be more complex than developing for an engine developed in-house, if the structure of the interface is not compatible at all.

And instead of creating away, they have to see what's there, understand 15-year-old code and scripts, see the logic of the whole game, and mostly redo everything in a similar way.
The System Shock remake is based on the Unreal Engine - and they're not looking at old code or scripts AFAIK - as they have no reason to do so. They're using the modern engine to recreate what the game looks and plays like - which has a bunch of great editor tools, and they don't have to recreate much in terms of the rendering code, as Unreal Engine can already do every single physics or rendering engine-related thing that the original game could do - and then some. In fact, I doubt they've done a single non-gameplay line of code - except perhaps for some of the dismemberment stuff, which is arguably gameplay code.

Heck, a bunch of the gameplay related code should be more or less ready to go with modest implementation work - as System Shock is basically 90% shooter with light RPG elements. Developing a shooter in the Unreal Engine shouldn't be insurmountable.

That said, obviously it will take work - and they need to implement a bunch of RPG-like mechanics and the AI stuff. Same goes for the Cyberspace visuals and movement code - and the various toys you get in SS. Still, really not as much work as one would think - as the engine is fully capable of it all without having to make it possible first.

The art is more demanding today than in '94 too.
Well, yes and no. Remember that the tools were very, very different back in 94 - and creating textures and meshes for a 100% custom engine without ready-made tools was very time-consuming as compared to today.

I mean, I know from personal experience how much you can accomplish with these modern developer-friendly engines as just a single person. You can literally download the vast majority of asset work for a modest cost - and import them directly into the engine. This includes stuff like animation, textures, meshes and sound.

Obviously, much of that will be hand-crafted here and not imported (at least I would hope so) - but the engine is definitely ready to handle asset imports with surprisingly little work.

Now, if the System Shock remake was an AAA game with that level of production values - they'd need a much bigger team to create highly detailed assets.

But the game is actually quite primitive when it comes to textures and assets.

I don't know if you've played it - but it's most definitely not an AAA kind of game. It's very clearly an indie title with a limited budget.

No, I'm afraid this Remake is amateur-hour. Either it's basically a one-man team, or they don't know what the hell they're doing.

Not too surprising, though - given that this is their first game of their own. Well, except for all the design work and concept in itself.

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August 4th, 2021, 14:14
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The System Shock remake is based on the Unreal Engine - and they're not looking at old code or scripts AFAIK
Depends how accurate they want to be vs the original game. Are you saying they do that from playing the game only, and that they know all the triggers, hidden items and logic paths? It could well be, it's not a very complex game.
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
You can literally download the vast majority of asset work for a modest cost - and import them directly into the engine. This includes stuff like animation, textures, meshes and sound.
It's easy if you create something and you have enough experience, but if you have to match the theme of existing models, architecture and textures with more details and resolution, it's something else entirely.

I've played a little bit of the demo, that's all (again one of those games hard-mapped to a QWERTY keyboard ). I played the original long ago, so it's hard for me to compare side-by-side, but overall it seemed to me they respected the original look and feel of the level.
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
No, I'm afraid this Remake is amateur-hour. Either it's basically a one-man team, or they don't know what the hell they're doing.

Not too surprising, though - given that this is their first game of their own. Well, except for all the design work and concept in itself.
If that's their first game, it explains a lot! I've only dabbled a little in 3D engines and it was long ago, but I know from experience that any software framework takes time and experience to use efficiently. It always seems easy to build a basic, standard test example, then you start struggling for each specific feature you need on a real product. More often than not, you have to work around a lot of bugs, and re-do existing assets.

Unreal is not the easiest engine either from what I heard, it's usually favoured by more solid and experienced teams because of its pipeline, especially the art & animation parts. Perhaps it's not true and there's a simple approach, but even in that case, such a complex set of tools is not trivial to master.

We'll just have to hope they manage to build a good game then.

PS: you could still play the first chapter of Wrath of the Righteous, if I haven't scared you too much They seem to be progressing with the bugs by releasing regular patches.
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August 4th, 2021, 14:26
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
Depends how accurate they want to be vs the original game. Are you saying they do that from playing the game only, and that they know all the triggers, hidden items and logic paths? It could well be, it's not a very complex game.
It would be about 1000% easier to play the game for that information - than looking through 25 years old code in a custom engine - but I obviously can't rule out that they've looked at old code.

I honestly think I could re-create System Shock almost entirely just from memory - barring the actual level layouts (I can't find my way out of a paper bag) - in terms of game and feature design.

It's easy if you create something and you have enough experience, but if you have to match the theme of existing models, architecture and textures with more details and resolution, it's something else entirely.
Well, I don't really think we're being too clear here.

It's all a bit… I think it's relatively easy - you think it's quite hard. Too many variables for us to be really certain if we're really talking about the same things

All I can say is that I think it's easier for this particular level of detail than you might think - at least I think I could personally create comparable art for everything except the enemy models and their animations (those I could definitely not do) and I'm NOT an accomplished artist.

If that's their first game, it explains a lot! I've only dabbled a little in 3D engines and it was long ago, but I know from experience that any software framework takes time and experience to use efficiently. It always seems easy to build a basic, standard test example, then you start struggling for each specific feature you need on a real product. More often than not, you have to work around a lot of bugs, and re-do existing assets.
Sure, it takes time to learn - but times have changed very, very significantly when it comes to user friendly editors and tools.

But I'm not saying it can't take time - I'm saying that 6+ years for this particular game - at this particular level - is way, way too long.

I'd say at least a year too long - even for an inexperienced team and even considering the initial mess of the change in scope and engine.

Unreal is not the easiest engine either from what I heard, it's usually favoured by more solid and experienced teams because of its pipeline, especially the art & animation parts. Perhaps it's not true and there's a simple approach, but even in that case, such a complex set of tools is not trivial to master.
Well, the actual visual editor is excellent - and then it's mostly a matter of how good you are at coding - which is either C++ or C#. Obviously, if it's your first line of code - then it's hard.

If you're an experienced developer for a 3D game - I would like to argue that it's much, much, MUCH easier than it is to develop your own custom engine back in 1994.

But whatever, it's not like this is important. We can agree to disagree

We'll just have to hope they manage to build a good game then.
Considering it's System Shock, which ranks in my top-5 games of all time, there's a good chance of that

PS: you could still play the first chapter of Wrath of the Righteous, if I haven't scared you too much They seem to be progressing with the bugs by releasing regular patches.
I tried it, and I like what I'm seeing. But it still seems a little rough. But it's an option

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August 4th, 2021, 14:40
Yeah, when they made the engine switch, that was big red flag, IMO. There's no reason Unity couldn't do what they're attempting here. I suspect that were just struggling, and decided to try their hand at Unreal instead, and are slowly trying to figure it out as they go.
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August 4th, 2021, 14:47
According to the developers themselves, they switched to Unreal because it's much less of a hassle when developing an FPS for consoles.

That could be bullshit, but it sounds right to me.

Now, I'm even more amateur-hour than amateur-hour - but I definitely wouldn't pick Unity for a modern shooter. It's doable - sure - but it's just not suited for the kind of smooth and slick responsiveness you want from such a game.

For System Shock, it sort of depends on what you emphasize. There's no reason Unity couldn't handle the original SS "feel" quite well - I would just advise against focusing on the shooting and perhaps evolve the more cerebral aspects of the game.

But that's not what they've done - and it's clearly meant to play mostly like a straight-up shooter - and I think the Unreal engine is just a better fit for that, at least based on my experience with Unity fast-paced 3D games and Unreal engine fast-paced 3D games.

Unity games are almost always bogged down with some kind of performance issue or garbage collection related stuttering. For an inexperienced team, that wouldn't bode too well.

I think they made the right choice - though it's obviously had a cost in terms of delay.

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August 4th, 2021, 15:42
Well, I don't really agree for the reasons already given - but that's hardly here nor there. The developers certainly made their choice - and we'll see how it turns out.

For the record, I think it's mostly a competent remake - even if it's not what I would have wanted personally.

The only real criticism I have is that I strongly disagree with their retro-style textures - that seem to clash heavily with how they've opted to make everything else rather modern.

It's also a little too dark for my tastes - but that's largely because you don't have access to a flashlight of any kind (at least none that I could find in the updated demo). The original game was surprisingly bright and vibrant for a sci-fi semi-horror game set on a space station.

So, I'm happy with a darker approach - I just think they need to implement some sort of player-controlled light source to compensate.

Other than that, it's pretty much System Shock with much better controls and a much more responsive engine.

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August 4th, 2021, 16:53
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
I think the main reason that more ambitious projects don't go for Unity is that you can't modify the engine code, which can be restrictive. But for an FPS at this level, I'd be very surprised if there was a roadblock that justified scrapping development
You can't? From the comments of Dark Crystal Games devs, they modified it quite heavily. I didn't ask for details, maybe they meant something else like modules on top of it. It must be pretty risky to start modifying the source code, though.

From what I've heard of the Tactical Adventure people, Unity wasn't without its performance problems. Obviously there are still serious issues with recent cards, performance issues also popped up in the Pathfinder beta once they started adding light effects. The loading time for relatively small maps is quite high as well.

Now, maybe those devs are not using it properly. But either way, that confirms what I said earlier, using complex frameworks efficiently is bound to be difficult no matter how shiny their IDE is, because of their complexity and the hardware variety they have to support these days. Compared to that, engines of the 90s were pretty basic and straightforward.
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August 4th, 2021, 17:45
So after completing Legrand: Legacy, I went back to Kingdom: Deliverance, and started working on the additional content that I acquired last month. I was doing some quest as Teresa, yet I just wasn't feeling in the mood to continue, so I saved and stopped, looking for something else to play. I landed on Final Fantasy the first, and even though it's only been out a week or so, I'm hopeful that, since it's a thirty plus year old game, it shouldn't want for many patches/updates. I've only played two hours, just hit level five and got my ship, and either this version is much easier than the one I played before, or hard just isn't hard anymore. As of now it's been quite easy to play.
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August 4th, 2021, 19:58
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It's also a little too dark for my tastes - but that's largely because you don't have access to a flashlight of any kind (at least none that I could find in the updated demo). The original game was surprisingly bright and vibrant for a sci-fi semi-horror game set on a space station.

So, I'm happy with a darker approach - I just think they need to implement some sort of player-controlled light source to compensate.
Yeah, that's a common complaint about the demo, and I agree with it. The original SS had a flashlight that you cound find, but it wasn't until a few levels into the game.

https://shodan.fandom.com/wiki/Head-Mounted_Lantern

It even had different brightness settings which was cool. All they need to do is make it available to the player earlier in the remake. Hopefully they're smart enough to do that.
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August 5th, 2021, 22:02
Originally Posted by Shagnak View Post
No, I was raging at the dumb implementation of the encounter. It gives you the another option, but is bone-headed about it.

Edit: FWIW, I prefer open world games to have harder encounters that you can stumble onto (just return later if you can't handle it), and the developers should at least be commended for having the option in there for if you stumble upon it early.
Ah right, well you'll have an awful lot of dumb encounters to look forward to LMAO. It's not the game's strong suit at all.

I decided to play a Neutral Evil character for this game, just because it's an alignment I've never played before and I also wanted to play as a Rogue for the first time in a single player character game. And, wow, are most of the Neutral Evil options exceedingly irritating or what. Not to mention pretty much all of them piss off every single one of your companions in the board room.

And as for combat encounters, well, I'm finally getting a bit tired of killing either wolves or bears. Oh, so you've defeated a Bear have you? Well how about a an Enraged Bear? Done that? How about a Ferocious Enraged Bear? What wonders await me in the next map I wonder, oh, what a surprise, it's an Owlbear. Then an Enraged Owlbear. Then a Ferocious Enraged Owlbear, then etc etc etc.

I'm currently having to fight an Enraged Ferocious Treant-Like Owlbear with more AC than a level 20 Paladin with the best Armour in the game and a higher BAB than said Paladin dual wielding Holy Avengers with 14 feats in Longword and assorted attack bonus specialisation.

In this same encounter one of the Purple Ferocious Spirit Bears actually and for real casts Mirror Image on itself. LMAO.

I guess I'm still enjoying it though. Kinda. I dunno, it swings between very enjoyably addictive and ludicrous time waste with such frequency and rapidity I couldn't say from one day to the next if I'll be playing it next week or not.
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August 8th, 2021, 20:37
Well this is a funny kind of DLC/expansion. I have to stop my game of Pathfinder Kingmaker at the halfway stage in order to start the Varnhold's Lot DLC in which I don't even play as my main character but instead start all over again as a completely different character! Why even bother having this as a mid-game interruption? Why not just have is as a bonus mini adventure completely separate to the main campaign? Truly bizarre.
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August 8th, 2021, 21:06
I'm getting less and less interested in playing Red Dead 2. The game just isn't making sense to me.

The game has the occasional stranger on the side of the road. Some are looking for help, some are looking to rob/kill you. I ran into one gal that killed me but I had to re-load a little later, so I ran into her again. This time I decided to ride around and see if I could find her friends. Nope. Though eventually she got tired of waiting for me and started shooting - and out pop her two friends. <sigh>

I actually managed to beat them so I get to at least get some cash from them, right? Nope! There was a witness that's now riding off - I have to chase him down or there will be a bounty on my head right in my home territory.

After all that, I get some good luck - a 3-star buck was dead on the side of the road. The sun was going down so I load up the buck and ride hard to try and get to town to sell it before the butcher shop closes down. Unfortunately, I bumped into somebody with my horse next to the stall. It wasn't even enough to knock him over, but he got mad and started shooting at me! I knock the weapon away and punch him. Somebody witnesses my attack and starts running. <sigh> The butcher also decides I'm evil and starts fighting me. I can't attack that guy! He's a big source of income for me! So I just let him kill me.

The thing is, death has been massively nerfed. If somebody ambushes you, you lose whatever cargo is on your horse and about 5% of your cash on hand. That's it. If you haven't got anything special on your horse, it's often better to just let the ambushers kill you rather than risk getting a bounty on your head for defending yourself!

Arthur is a mess, too. He makes no sense to me at all. One minute, he's bashing old men in the face with the butt of his gun to get some money out of them, the next he's helping some lady with a sprained ankle. It's not like Arthur has some hatred of one class of people or another, though. It's more like Arthur's morality changes depending on who wrote that bit of story.

The graphics sure are nice, but come on! This is supposed to be AAA!?
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August 8th, 2021, 23:33
@Zloth


I played and finished RDR 2 earlier this year as well and I share these complaints to an extent.

I wouldn't obsess over hunting for income. I don't think I ever really sold anything. I got by just fine from the dollars you find lying around, get as rewards or loot from bodies. There isn't that much interesting stuff to buy anyway. The weapons don't really make a huge difference. You should be able to afford the best ones easily without hunting or other rather boring activities.

Just like GTA V, I avoided nearly all of the side activities (not side missions) because they play terribly with PC controls anyway. I just did the side missions and main story missions. I only hunted down the legendary animal that is part of a side (or main even?) mission and then never really bothered again. Same for fishing and bounties and robberies and all that stuff.

As for your own bounty, I never felt it was a problem. Unless you kill the whole town, the bounty is literally pocket change. Just head to a post office (train station) and pay it off ASAP.

Regarding Arthur's character and without spoiling anything, there is a reason why the game is called Red Dead Redemption 2. Arthur is a worn down has-been gunslinger in the game who is slowly beginning to reflect upon the choices in his life. This will become much clearer later in the game.

The story gets pretty interesting later on. I was severely disappointed at first, too, because all there is to the story is basically just that the gang needs mo' money (Dutch verbatim) for a long time while failing at it.

On a whole I would recommend to not waste time hunting or with any other distractions unless you really enjoy them, of course.
Just do the white and yellow mission map markers and if you accidentally catch a bounty just pay it off.

It took me ~64 hours to finish the game and I'm not a fast player. I rarely used fast travel so the majority of that time was probably spent riding from A to B. I explored the whole map and finished maybe 80% - 90% of the white map marker side missions. The achievement tracker says I finished at 81/100 completion.
The map may look big at first and it may seem like a huge/long game but it really isn't (GTA V took me just over 40 hours to finish BTW) if you don't want it to be.

P.S.: I'm not sure what is wrong with the graphics(?). I played the game before the DLSS patch with everything maxed out (RTX 3090) and I'd have to say it is one of the best looking games I have ever played. BTW, if you use TAA make sure to dial up the sharpening.
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August 9th, 2021, 06:44
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
As for your own bounty, I never felt it was a problem. Unless you kill the whole town, the bounty is literally pocket change. Just head to a post office (train station) and pay it off ASAP.
Oh, so that's how you get rid of them! Would have been nice if the game had mentioned that. Maybe it did and I missed it?
Arthur is a worn down has-been gunslinger in the game who is slowly beginning to reflect upon the choices in his life. This will become much clearer later in the game.
Seems more like a psychopath to me. If he was cruel to everyone outside the gang, that would make sense to me. If he was cruel to the rich, kind to the poor, that would make sense to me. If he was only cruel when his fellow outlaws were around, that would make sense to me. But, so far, it has seemed really random to me.
…the gang needs mo' money (Dutch verbatim) for a long time while failing at it.
Mo' MY money! Those good-for-nothing outlaws haven't put in $10 between the lot of them!
On a whole I would recommend to not waste time hunting or with any other distractions unless you really enjoy them, of course.
I actually do like some of the hunting, but hunting deer over and over gets dull very fast. Exploring has been fun, too, especially now that I can fast travel to/from camp.
P.S.: I'm not sure what is wrong with the graphics(?).
Huh? Oh, no, the graphics are great. My only beef with the graphics would be that I can see about as many stars from my suburban house, even with a full moon, as can be seen in this game. Voice acting has been excellent, too. The AAA comment was regarding all the other stuff going wrong. The gameplay doesn't feel very AAA to me.
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