Saturday, August 29, 2009

Review of new games

I completed X-Men Wolverine's Origin and it turned out to be a funny game overall. Now I am completing Halo 2 and after that I think of Gears of War 1.(recently I downloaded a patch which will save the save games in My Games folder instead of in a windows live account. Halo 2 also does that, and if u format your computer, which I do lot often, all the save games are lost of Halo 2 and Gears of War. Putting save files for Halo 2 says damaged profile and Gears of War save games could not be found.) Really I am thinking Microsoft is itself killing PC gaming at the cost of XBox360. Windows for live is pathetic and Games for Windows tend to have Save file issues lot of times. It was so easy with quake 2 which saved directly in installed location. Luckily all are not fools and steam games like HL2 also tend to store in installed location or documents folder. Losing save files is really stupid and inability to save them and restore is really bad. I have 2 dvds full of only various save games. Then there is the problem of mouse sensitivity and Quick save on PC ports of console games. Even UT3 got dumbeed down for Consoles and "looks and feels real(y) like a PC port of console game" to quote Unreal demo movies.

RAGE is developed primarily for consoles and Tim Willits will scream at id if anyone is found using mouse and keyboard(like Steve Balmer).

And Supreme Commander 2 on XBox 360(imagine playing RTS without mouse, if not impossible it is certainly less fun) Already there are lots of dumb average shooters, which one plays and then try to get rid of DVD, not collect it in collection like Half-Life series. People even have Doom disks in collection.

I bought ARMA 2. Really the Island is very big, massive scale, But game is too much miltary simulation and less fun. It feels more like GRAW but on lot big scale. But again many people like serious game like ARMA 2. It has one big city and some villages. But you cannot enter many buildings(Open World). Oblivion is more open then.
It clearly seems that RPG gameplay is more suited to games with very large levels. Graphics are less then Crysis say 60% of Crysis. It seems Crysis will still remain the pretiest game(And it is actually quite fun till one fights aliens). I tried Far Cry 2 once again but again I am feeling bored.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Windows 7 The Best OS of Microsoft after Windows XP

Windows 7 has gone into manufacturing on July 22, 2009 and with general retail availability set for October 22, 2009.
Well atleast on time as comapred to Windows Vista.
It is tauted as "Refined" Windows Vista. So you sold Unrefined stuff as premium and Ultimate and Genuine, you nasty, mishchiveous Uncle Bill.(Gates not Clinton). While Bush was raking in refineries you were so unrefined how aweful.
Lucky for you that your name is Bill Gates. Atleast you can make a living by selling books on how to become millionaire if u become Bankrupt so you are secured far better than American Social Security plan can offer. Atleast you accepted in interview taht Vista was the worst Window and you atleast remedied it.
But as always it is the pattern of one good Window after another good Window with a bad Window in between.

Anyway Windows 7 looks good, Ok it looks like it is not made by color blinds and has all the primary colors red, green, blue, yellow in right place, as compared to Black and White Vista.

Features are just so good and really needed while doing away with unecessary ones. All the godies of XP are restored. And there is XP Mode to run all older applications.(this is equal to a virtual pc running XP SP 3 in your windows 7). So now you can safely and easily use 64 bit Windows 7. Especially good for people who really need to use closed source old legacy critical Applications. I know one person who still has one pc with Windows 98 due to a Application required for his business.

Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate will be available for retail sale in most countries.
Get Professional or Ultimate as XPM is not available in Home editions. And get 64 bit only as many applications are becoming 64 Bit.
I use 64 bit Vista and apart from minor problems(All solved) I like it very much.
Also Windows 7 runs faster then Vista on same hardware as it is lot more optimized.

-- Removed Features --
A number of capabilities and certain programs that were a part of Windows Vista are no longer present or have changed, resulting in the removal of certain functionality. Some notable Windows Vista features and components have been replaced or removed in Windows 7, including the classic Start Menu user interface, Windows Ultimate Extras, InkBall, and Windows Calendar. Three applications bundled with Windows Vista — Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Movie Maker, and Windows Mail — are not included with Windows 7, but are instead available for free in a separate package called Windows Live Essentials. Additionally, it is no longer possible to eliminate anti-aliased text from the user interface.
-- end --

Unlike in Windows Vista, window borders and the taskbar do not turn opaque when a window is maximized with Windows Aero applied. Instead, they remain transparent.

The taskbar has seen the biggest visual changes, where the Quick Launch toolbar has been replaced with pinning applications to the taskbar. Buttons for pinned applications are integrated with the task buttons. LIKE MAC OSX.

*** Games ***
It Contains DIRECTX 11
Windows 7 will run all your Old Games (very old games can easily run in Windows XP Mode option, it is different from the app compatibilty option you chose in Vista. It is a running XP virtual machine inside Windows 7. Meaning Win XP SP3 inside Windows 7, without rebooting, just with a setting for the application. Start the application normally and it will work as if it works in XP)

All in all a very Good OS after Windows XP.

As for Linux the best one currently is Ubuntu 9.0.4(I am using), and Fedora 11. Of which I like Ubuntu much better and I prefer Gnome over KDE or any other.
Ubuntu is the Easiest and Best Linux made for Humans till now. Try it, and you will see the sense in it.

So currently my Own Choice and Recommended is
Windows Vista SP2 64 Bit Ultimate (Windows 7 when it is available)
Ubuntu 9.0.4 or above

In dual Boot.

Next time I will blog about the direction my Nex Wars Game is taking in physics(Like Half-Life 2 interactive) and AI(Half-Life 2 like NPCs and Mosters for sp with Halo type behaviours augmented with Fuzzy Logic), a positional 2D Audio system like miles to blast your room even if you are on 2 speakers stereo like with Vampire Masquerade Redemption. And Graphics for Massive Terrains with seemless indoors and outdoors with new features in Editor for making big levles faster by specifying flags in editor on terrain for replacing them with the 3D model of building, a direction being taken by Far Cry 2 editor and which is upcoming in Unreal Editor. Making procedural cities on procedural terrains and forests. Easy fast tools for terrain generation like Terragen or Crysis Sandbox(Both are so similar)

And a lot of info on my novel, about tactical warfare of humans on elves and brotherhood of assasins. And Psycholgical warfare against the Protagonist.

New RAGE trailer

id software has realeased a new trailer of their new awefully awesome truly freeform in body but not in spirit game called RAGE. The salient points were -
(The ? marks are for views I am not so sure or undecided)

-- The Good --
1.) Shooting is very good and fun and enjoyable.(Like Halo?). Machine gun looks very similar to very good machine gun of Far Cry 2.
2.) Physics is just mindblowing(Comparable to Havok 2.0 like Painkiller?) Still good. Still not better then Crysis.
-- The Bad --
3.) Facial Animation is just ok(But a lot of time is left in release so they may improve it. Interestingly Animation is very good in Crysis(Better than Half-Life 2) but Faacial Aniamtion is far less then Half-Life 2. But this looks more due to bad Art work and low artist effort for animating faces. As the face animation toll in Sandbox was very good complete with features. Still acuracy of Facial Expressions is still the best in Half Life 2 and its Episodes(But other aniamtion as a whole does not feel so smooth)
4.) Story does not seem to be much as required for a good Role Playing Experience. In fact tehre does not seem much variety other than - I am bugged by Mutants, kill them I give you money. For Ex. A quest in Neverwinter Nights was to get the true name of mephistopheles(really different).
-- The Very Bad --
5.) AI - If you see any AI in monsters apart from running and jumping then you sure have good eyes, better than Legolas.
6.) -- Graphics -- Yes it is very bad even considering todays satndards, and this game is still a year from release at a minimum. Yes Graphics of RAGE are very bad. They look like Underpowered Unreal Engine Mock Up, except in Outdoors(where Unreal Engine is just a frightened cat). Megatexturing is nothing compared to Very Accurate Shaders for Materials as used in Half Life 2 and Crysis. Atleast a Brick should have light reflectance of a brick and not of tin be it a brick of any planet or dimension, or otherwise it is not brick. Basic Physics of grade 10.
Graphics are ok but when RAGE will release they will not look so great for a 20 GB game.

RAGE is not better than Crysis in any way. And Crysis has been already released for over a year now. And now it runs good on present day hardware also.

If this continues I donot see any future for id tech 5 and RAGE. RAGE still will be a fun game, but not a very good game.
Seperate Wheat from Chaff and you may see that Half-Life 2 was a incredible game even with 6 years development time, but nobody has remembered Quake 4 now, and Far Cry 1 is also rapidly going in Oblivion. But will you forget SWKOTOR ever if you played it.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Rage the next Massive Game by id software

Recently there has been a furore on edge forums regarding performance of Rage on PS3, 30 fps PS3 vs 60 fps XBox360, owing to edge article covering RAGE. Whereas Carmack claiming that performance is bit slow, whereas people say 30 fps difference is not a bit, it is half. Actually both are true. I think the following discussion clears the misconception.

Both things are true -

1.) PS3 version of Rage lags a bit beside XBox 360 - Carmack
2.) PS3 version version will run at 30 fps or 20 fps - edge magazine quoting Carmack

Edge is using Carmack's quote for fanwars, but the fact is true also.
It is clearly written in book "cross platform game programming" that if u do not get 60 fps (exactly 60 fps) then the next stop is directly 30 fps on PS3. Meaning if u get 59 fps even once, PS3 will revert to running in 30 fps, it is architected that way, and after that 20 fps(even if u get 29 fps. So u see both are correct.
And that is why Carmack said that he will lock fps at 60 htz(Also the game functions and updates itself at 60 Hz). Anyway he is pretty confident that he will deliver 60 fps by the time game is finished(Just drop the quality a bit to get 5 fps more, and difference is not even noticable). It looks like as if he is getting 55 fps on PS3 but due to way PS3 functions it reverts to 30 fps.
It is ceratinly not a big challenge to get that bit more performance, but he is actually sad at the level of effort invested in PS3 vs XBox 360(which is lot easy to program and a dominant console now). Ipersonaly do not favour any Console. I like PC(u get 59 fps if that is what is presented).
And PC has lots of Ram too(if u feed it).

Anyway this discussion is pointless seeing u can easily drop visual quality a bit to get some more fps and Carmack clearly says that performance is a bit less, which actually makes PS3 (thank u sony) run it at 30 fps.
Sometimes it amuses me to watch fan wars.(By people who really even do not know the specs of consoles even)

And I really do not think Rage will look better then Crysis even if it comes out after 2 years, and it will not be as fun to play as Fallout 3 (though Rage wil have far better Shooting and Driving which possibly will make it a very enjoyable and good game, but it lacks the core of Fallout 3 and does not will be "interesting" making someone to keep playing it time and again).

I am confident that Carmack will make Rage run at 60 fps, given his history of doing atleast what he openly says, and his knack for making games work on lowest hardware(Quake 1 on 33 MHz CPU complete, Doom 3 playable on Uber stupid Geforce 4000 MX, actually a DX7 featured card lacking shaders completely and that too after release.)
By the way the screenshots in edge article are looking cool, reminds me of Mad Max 3 Beyond Thunderdome. If they just do it right, even just copy the whole Fallout 3 with quality run and gun shooting I am more then happy. Though it already looks a Shooter Fallout 3 conceptually. Still great.

I think visually
1.) Crysis, 2. ) GTA 4, 3.) Oblivion, 4.)Half-Life 2 and that is the end. All these games are the most beautiful and ahve clear realistic graphics and a beauty to look at with top quality artwork.
And Gameplay wise is a matter of subjective opinion.