Pistos's recent activity

  1. Comment on What is something you hated as a youngster but now like as an adult? in ~talk

    Pistos
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    "____ as a kid, but not as an adult" posts just make me think I've had zero growth and maturation my entire life. :D Like I'm an NPC that just blinked onto Earth at a spawn point, whose stats...

    "____ as a kid, but not as an adult" posts just make me think I've had zero growth and maturation my entire life. :D Like I'm an NPC that just blinked onto Earth at a spawn point, whose stats never change and who never gains XP.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on What keyboard do you use? in ~tech

    Pistos
    Link Parent
    Original Model M.

    Original Model M.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on What are some examples of good administrative/management UI design to use for inspiration? in ~design

    Pistos
    Link
    Here's what I suggest: Don't spend your resources (time, money, effort) too aggressively in the early going, but instead just come up with a good-enough MVP, then get your end users involved in...

    Here's what I suggest: Don't spend your resources (time, money, effort) too aggressively in the early going, but instead just come up with a good-enough MVP, then get your end users involved in the development cycle early and often. Gather feedback from them while you iterate.

    Prototyping tools (Sketch, Invision, Figma, etc.) may help save time and money while still allowing you to gain valuable insight into what your end users want, or what will or won't work for them in terms of UI and UX.

    3 votes
  4. Comment on What sort of software do you want to see? in ~tech

  5. Comment on What sort of software do you want to see? in ~tech

    Pistos
    Link
    I want non-destructive-ness to come to GIMP. If a new image editor came on the scene that touted this feature, I would give it serious consideration.

    I want non-destructive-ness to come to GIMP. If a new image editor came on the scene that touted this feature, I would give it serious consideration.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on What keyboard do you use? in ~tech

    Pistos
    Link
    I proudly use a classic: The Model M.

    I proudly use a classic: The Model M.

    5 votes
  7. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    Pistos
    Link
    Something new I started playing recently (about 16 hours of play at this point) is Battletech. The cut scenes seem to be hand-drawn 2D parallax-ish animation (as opposed to 3D rendered polygon...

    Something new I started playing recently (about 16 hours of play at this point) is Battletech.

    The cut scenes seem to be hand-drawn 2D parallax-ish animation (as opposed to 3D rendered polygon shapes), and they struck me as having some pretty nice background music. The story lines are actually kind of interesting, and have me wanting to find out what happens next. There's a fair bit of detail to the whole game world and its history. That all said, it seems that the core of the game revolves around outfitting mechs and sending them into battle. And, of course, both those parts are fun.

    There is considerable freedom in how to configure your mech loadouts. Every mech model has slots of varying number and type, and you drag and drop your components in. You choose from a fairly wide array of weapon types and strengths, armour thickness, and augmentations like heat sinks, jump jets and enhancements for increased melee damage. I'm sure I'll find more tech available as I progress through the game. You can choose to go with a "stock" configuration (which every mech model has), or deviate as much or as little as you want. Your only restrictions are the slots and the total tonnage of the mech. You also can think about the makeup of your team, and there are some synergies you can try to have. For example, have one mech be very fast and mobile, and outfit another mech with a lot of long range, computer-guided firepower, where line of sight is not required. Then you have the agile one do overwatch and spotting from a far, safe spot, and the other one shoot guided missiles over mountaintops or from behind cover. Or you can outfit one with lots of armour and improved defense systems, to tank and attract enemy fire.

    The pilots (called mechwarriors) are also customizable, insofar as they gain XP, and you choose how to train them, and which special skills they do or don't get.

    The game seems to hit a sweet spot in terms of difficulty level. The early missions were very doable, but I've now reached a point where I am occasionally struggling, and have actually had to abort mission a couple times just to save the tech and the pilots. Repairs are not cheap, and your budget is small enough to be uncomfortable, and you have to make tradeoffs on how you'll spend your money. Repairs are expensive enough that I actually actively think about not taking severe damage in a battle because of how much it'll eat into the bank account, preventing me from taking care of other important costs, like pilot salaries. Plus, if you do poorly in a given mission, there will be heavy repairs needed, which take time to conduct, and pilots will be incapacitated for some time in order to heal. But not being able to field a full team for weeks means no income for weeks -- but monthly salaries and maintenance costs still need to be paid. So, there are these sorts of concerns that need to be managed, but I find it fun to do so.

    Death is permanent. It's not something I thought about until it happened, but, and it's kind of silly to say, but once my first pilot death happened, it kind of hit me emotionally a bit. There are occasional voiceover lines spoken during battle, and you start the game and progress with a team, so you just kind of get a bit attached to them over time. After a pilot dies, once you get back to your HQ/ship and debrief, there is an extra memorial screen that shows the details and stats of the pilot's career. And, as mentioned, there's no bringing them back. You can, however, hire new pilots.

    Overall, a good game worth getting on sale.

    3 votes
  8. Comment on What are the oldest games you still regularly play? in ~games

    Pistos
    Link
    I've recently changed from being a Playstation gamer (of many years) to being a PC (Linux) gamer. But, in the past, I played Battlefield 3 all the way until BF4 was released; then BF4 until BF1...

    I've recently changed from being a Playstation gamer (of many years) to being a PC (Linux) gamer. But, in the past, I played Battlefield 3 all the way until BF4 was released; then BF4 until BF1 was released; then played BFV from release until just a few months ago. If invited, I'd happily play BF4 or BFV (though my PS Plus subscription is expiring soon).

    I also have played the MLB The Show franchise for many years. Even today, I played some MLB '19.

    I also recently re-played Skyrim (new character), last year I think it was.

    1 vote
  9. Comment on A Seattle police officer’s extraordinary pay raises questions SPD can’t answer in ~news

  10. Comment on The sunk cost fallacy in ~science

    Pistos
    Link Parent
    I think the experiment was deliberately designed so that the second test had one of the items become free. That is, the "pain of loss" (paying anything at all, event 1 cent) was removed. If the...

    I think the experiment was deliberately designed so that the second test had one of the items become free. That is, the "pain of loss" (paying anything at all, event 1 cent) was removed. If the Kisses were not free in the second test, there'd still be the pain of loss -- both choices would have a pain of loss.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on The sunk cost fallacy in ~science

    Pistos
    Link Parent
    Thanks. I wasn't sure which of the two was more appropriate. Now I know, going forward.

    Thanks. I wasn't sure which of the two was more appropriate. Now I know, going forward.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    Pistos
    Link Parent
    I saw this being promoted in the Steam store. I agree: Based on the videos, the art (and animation) looks beautiful. I've wishlisted it, to wait for a sale.

    I saw this being promoted in the Steam store. I agree: Based on the videos, the art (and animation) looks beautiful. I've wishlisted it, to wait for a sale.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    Pistos
    Link
    I'm still playing Eternal Card Game, with some 200+ hours clocked. Previously, I mentioned how it feels a bit unfair going against other players who have much better card collections, with some...

    I'm still playing Eternal Card Game, with some 200+ hours clocked. Previously, I mentioned how it feels a bit unfair going against other players who have much better card collections, with some really great cards in their decks. However, while I've had some success with a couple decks I've crafted, I've really begun climbing the ranked ladder with this third deck I have. It's allowed me to stand a fighting chance against players with decks that, honestly, routinely have several high-powered cards in them, even though my cards are, in my estimation, quite mediocre in comparison. So, I feel a bit proud of myself that I was able to do some thinking and planning, and craft a competitive deck without the same level of resources (money, time) that other players might have spent.

    I still recommend ECG to anyone remotely interested in card battler games, or in one-on-one thinking games. If you like and understand mathematics, statistics or probability (perhaps you know what the term "hypergeometric distribution" means), you'll have a leg up on the competition. It's free to play, so it won't cost you anything to check it out.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on What are some beautiful/brilliant/inventive games that were panned by critics? in ~games

    Pistos
    Link Parent
    Wishlisted; thanks for sharing. It's even playable on Steam OS / Linux, which is nice.

    Wishlisted; thanks for sharing. It's even playable on Steam OS / Linux, which is nice.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on What are some beautiful/brilliant/inventive games that were panned by critics? in ~games

    Pistos
    Link Parent
    Right, point taken. And, actually, your response jogged my memory; I updated my comment to include mention of an impersonate ability (which, I suppose might be available in other games via mods, too).

    Right, point taken. And, actually, your response jogged my memory; I updated my comment to include mention of an impersonate ability (which, I suppose might be available in other games via mods, too).

    2 votes
  16. Comment on What are some beautiful/brilliant/inventive games that were panned by critics? in ~games

    Pistos
    (edited )
    Link
    The Killzone series (PS2, PS3) brought some innovative modes and mechanics to the FPS genre. FPSes have the usual modes like deathmatch, capture flags/zones, bomb/defuse. But Killzone had other...

    The Killzone series (PS2, PS3) brought some innovative modes and mechanics to the FPS genre. FPSes have the usual modes like deathmatch, capture flags/zones, bomb/defuse. But Killzone had other modes like Assassinate, where one player (out of 24!) is the target, and one team tries everything they can to kill this one player, and the target's team is supposed to protect him. This mode brings the concepts of chokepoints and concentrated fire to a whole new level. Teammates yell at the target and try to get them to come to the most defensible locations. Let me tell you, being the assassination target is a heartpounding thrill like no other that I've experienced in an FPS.

    There was also a class that had a special ability to go semi-invisible. Think Predator movie(s). You see an outline if you're really paying attention -- but, of course, in frenzied combat this is easier said than done. Also, if you train your crosshairs on a suspected cloaker, your reticle changes colour depending on if it's an ally or an enemy, so you can check that way, too. But: Killzone has friendly fire, so you can't just hastily shoot anything suspicious.

    EDIT: I was actually confusing this feature with another feature: One of the classes had an ability to impersonate the enemy team, including the username/gamertag of an actual player on that team. So, you could sometimes get behind enemy lines and do some serious flanking and other trickery with this ability.

    Another feature I really liked in Killzone: in addition to squad comms, your voice can be heard by anyone nearby, friend or foe. So many times in other FPSes, I wish I could talk to a nearby non-squad teammate, and tell them to move out of the way, or drop supplies, or watch out for an enemy, etc. Also, global voice chat was active between rounds, so you could congratulate teammates or trash talk the opposition.

    Killzone was a lot of fun, and I think it deserved to be more popular than it was (though, granted, it did have 6 or so games in the series).

    --

    Another game which had a mechanic that I haven't seen in any other game since is Okami. It's a 3D adventure game with visuals done in a "painted art" style (for lack of a better term). The distinguishing feature is that you perform magic in the world by using a [virtual] paintbrush on the "canvas" of the world around you. So you solve environmental puzzles by doing things like: magically slashing trees or rocks to remove obstacles; or cutting loose an object that is out of reach, making it fall to the ground; or painting in the sky to temporarily change night to day or vice versa. Combat also has the paintbrush mechanic. Your avatar has normal, low-powered moves that work via normal button presses, but you can also do some super moves by painting certain brush strokes or shapes during battle. A horizontal line would do a slash on the opponent; a circle would create a bomb at that spot; and other shapes or strokes that I can't remember.

    Overall, I thought it was a good game. Perhaps it suffered from straddling genres: As an action game, it wasn't challenging enough, but as an adventure game, perhaps people that aren't good at action games would have had trouble with the combat.

    7 votes