SunSpotter's recent activity

  1. Comment on Humble Bundle creator brings antitrust lawsuit against Valve over Steam in ~games

    SunSpotter
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    Well...sorta. I get where you’re coming from but so far it hasn’t really worked out like that. You can already buy Steam keys from random people on the internet and the marketplace for that is...

    Literally no reason not to buy a secondhand game

    Well...sorta. I get where you’re coming from but so far it hasn’t really worked out like that. You can already buy Steam keys from random people on the internet and the marketplace for that is called G2A. How it usually works is someone buys a humble bundle game that comes with an activation key for Steam, and they later decide they’d rather sell the key than activate it on their own Steam account, so they go to G2A.

    The problem is that it’s rampant with fraud and scams. Straight up fake keys, and illegitimate keys generated with a key gen have become common place. It’s bad enough that the site strongly recommends you get some kind of insurance with your purchase.

    You’d likely need a whole new platform to sell these keys and it would need to be policed fairly well.

    5 votes
  2. Comment on Good electronics repair shop? in ~hobbies

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    For future reference, I wouldn't recommend turning on the recorder anymore until it's been fixed. A seized motor can be repaired, but a motor that's been burnt out will have to be replaced. Kinda...

    For future reference, I wouldn't recommend turning on the recorder anymore until it's been fixed. A seized motor can be repaired, but a motor that's been burnt out will have to be replaced. Kinda wish I had more free time for myself because I'd be willing to fix it for you if I did. I dabble with repairing all kinds of older electronics for fun and if you're calling shops in LA, you're probably not too far from me.

    If you don't want to repair it yourself, I understand and won't argue that you should. But you should be aware that the repairs probably aren't that serious. At worst you might need to replace some capacitors. You'll definitely need to unstick and re-lube the drive motor, or order a replacement if needed. Most likely you would need to replace the drive cable which transfers motion from the motor to the spindle, if there is one. Some earlier floppy and cassette drives had these, others were directly driven by the motor. Probably wouldn't hurt to wipe the read head with some isopropyl and a q-tip either. 30 years of dust gathering in your attic could have deposited some dust on the read head, which would impair playback quality and scratch the media.

    So you're looking for someone (anyone really, maybe even friends or family) with soldering skills just in case, and enough free time to clean/service the drive and order replacement parts.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on What does analog have that digital doesn't? in ~talk

    SunSpotter
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    In terms of formatting discrepancies, probably a fair assessment. In terms of the longevity of the disc itself...well. Suffice to say there's a lot of debate on the lifespan of CD and the answer...

    There are no 100-year-old CDs or DVDs, and there never will be

    In terms of formatting discrepancies, probably a fair assessment. In terms of the longevity of the disc itself...well. Suffice to say there's a lot of debate on the lifespan of CD and the answer isn't really clear yet. The first CD-ROM meant for a digital computer came out in 1984, and the first IBM compatible (basically the architecture that went on to become the PC standard we use today) CD-ROM came out a few years later sometime around 1986-1987.

    Microsoft Bookshelf was actually one of the first well known pieces of software to come out for early CD-ROM, and copies in good condition still work if you pop it into any run of the mill CD or Blu-ray player under the appropriate (real or emulated) environment. Much like Vinyl, CDs only last as long as they're cared for. If you get it dirty, bang it up etc it will stop working. And it's pretty well accepted that eventually CDs will start degrading from age, but we don't really know when that will start happening, because even the oldest discs haven't started suffering from this yet. This is opposed to basically all forms of magnetic media, which have half lives which are not only measurable but easily observed.

    6 votes
  4. Comment on Zemo and New Cap: Lawful evil or lawful neutral? in ~tv

    SunSpotter
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    My honest opinion is that they're both Lawful Evil, just for different reasons. Usually NE characters commit evil because it benefits them and only them; they aren't guided by gleefully sowing...

    My honest opinion is that they're both Lawful Evil, just for different reasons. Usually NE characters commit evil because it benefits them and only them; they aren't guided by gleefully sowing chaos, or working within the confines of a moral code.

    It's hard to gauge how much Zemo is motivated by revenge, and how much he genuinely buys into his own dogma. If he leans more toward revenge, he's definitely a more NE style character. I think choosing not to take the serum, and instead smashing it makes a case for him being LE though, and this was in fact the scene that got me thinking.

    Cap on the other hand...hoo boy. Captain PTSD is probably a good way to put it. Honestly I'd agree that if he wasn't already LE, he probably is now. He's basically being setup to become exactly what Zemo warns against.

    1 vote
  5. Zemo and New Cap: Lawful evil or lawful neutral?

    Warning: this post may contain spoilers

    Episode 4 of Falcon and Winter Soldier had me contemplating the architypes these characters represent. If you haven't seen the latest episode, I recommend watching it first because it actually does a lot to develop their characters (also spoilers are bound to come up).

    Anyways, both characters show a clear commitment towards a guiding set of morals. Zemo with his unwavering commitment against super powered individuals. Cap with his fight against terrorism in the name of justice. Cap obviously believes himself to be good, but his actions don't always reflect that. Meanwhile Zemo seems to be aware that his zealous actions are morally problematic, but doesn't really care.

    I realize it's kind of a silly question, but the ambiguity of the actions these characters take has me wondering where they would traditionally fit on the good ole' alignment chart.

    7 votes
  6. Comment on 7% of Americans don't use the internet in ~tech

    SunSpotter
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    This is an interesting question. Keep in mind it's not just people willing to accept cold calls though, it's people willing to accept cold calls and actually complete the survey. For the purposes...

    a demographic I assume, but have no data to support

    This is an interesting question. Keep in mind it's not just people willing to accept cold calls though, it's people willing to accept cold calls and actually complete the survey. For the purposes of laying out my case here, I'll say that the people most likely to answer and complete the survey are most likely to be both more trusting and patient. As an example, an elderly person might be more likely to be both trusting and patient. By comparison, someone who takes a lot of calls from potential clients (lawyer, real estate agent etc) would be more trusting of phone calls but not likely to be as patient if they perceive such a survey to interfere with their business. With that said, I'm not so certain we are dealing with a specific demographic in the traditional sense.

    Without specific data on who is most likely to pick up these calls, it becomes a hypothetical based upon the original criteria. Is a person with greater than average trust and patience in a general sense, more or less likely to use the internet? A study also from Pew indicates that people who are white, married, rural, higher income, middle aged or elderly are more likely to be trusting. That's not to say we can conclude only wealthy, older white couples living in the sticks are likely to respond, merely that belonging to one of those groups would make you more likely to respond. Patience was harder to quantify, but the idea of patience in an economic sense does seem to come up, and the consensus seems to be that there's a correlation between higher income and patience, which agrees with the results obtained from demographics who are more trusting.

    This actually paints an interesting picture for the study, because it means that groups of differing internet usage, as according to the data provided by the study itself, are more likely to respond. For instance, families whom are older, or live in rural areas are determined by the study to be less likely to use the internet, and this idea is already commonly held by the general populace to be true. But with wealthier families, the opposite is true, and it is a phenomenon corroborated by other studies. As to whether or not single vs married individuals are more or less likely to use the internet with all other factors accounted for, it's hard to say, and made more difficult by the fact that the study in question didn't actually survey that. If I had to guess though, I would say that married individuals are more likely to use the internet because of their children pushing them to adapt, and because having a partner introduces more spontaneity, which could lead to the development of broader skills and interests. Moreover, couples are more likely to be wealthier due to their combined income. In regards to the affect of having a partner on broadening interests and skills, it comes purely anecdotally from my own observations about my parents, and from working estate sales and noticing the difference between people who lived very insular lives vs those who were married most of their lives. However, I'm not sure how to find reliable data to prove the correlation.

    Overall, it's still hard to comment on the efficacy of the study without digging into the raw data and trying to look for bias in the demographics that responded, but I think that from the above points I've laid out, that we can at least conclude that the data is representative of the truth. Which is to say, even if it's not perfect, it provides a close approximate of the number of people who don't use the internet, and gives good insight into which demographics are less likely to use the internet. If anything, it's possible that the study may be biased in favor of those who use the internet.

    6 votes
  7. Comment on If humankind left Earth and came back after 100 years, how much of our digital files would still be readable? in ~talk

    SunSpotter
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    I think HDDs are more prone to long term failure than people may realize. I've dealt with lots of old hard drives, and with mixed results. Some of this may be fixable (or already fixed) with...

    I think HDDs are more prone to long term failure than people may realize. I've dealt with lots of old hard drives, and with mixed results. Some of this may be fixable (or already fixed) with modern technology, but here's just a few things that can go wrong with hard drives only 30-40 years old.

    1. Bit-flip: People mostly talk about bit flip in the context of copying errors, or in environments with high radiation where passive bit flip is more likely, but it happens in all magnetic media given enough time.

    2. Head sticking: If a hard drive doesn't move for a long time, as in the span of decades, there is a possibility that one of the heads will become physically stuck to the platter. This can sometimes be fixed, but will always result in loss of data wherever the head became stuck to the platter. Most modern HDDs shouldn't be affected by this because they're supposed to 'park' the head away from the platter, but you never know. It's possible that some cheaper drives, or older drives still in use today don't have such functionality.

    3. Material degradation: This is a big one that flies under the radar I think. Seals, O-rings, anything that could be used in the construction of a hard drive and which is made of rubber will degrade over time. If you've ever picked up an old piece of plastic or rubber that's become sticky or gummy, this is what I'm talking about. Not only are you no longer guaranteed to get a perfect seal when this happens, it can also seize up the motor, or other moving parts.

    4. Low-level format degradation: When you format a drive, you're performing whats known as a high level format, but there exists an even more fundamental type of formatting that tells the disk controller how disk sectors are laid out, and it has to be calibrated very precisely. Modern drives have this low-level format performed at the factory, and consensus seems to be that attempting LLF on a modern drive would destroy it. Which means that if the controller either forgot, or could no longer read where those sector boundaries exist on the disk, the data would be irrecoverable.

    Worth a mention that it's uncertain how suitable CDs are for long term storage since as a plastic, they can degrade as well. It's difficult to say how much of a problem that will be though. I only know that it hasn't become a problem with vintage CD media yet. Still, it really only leaves ROMs as the only surefire traditional media to survive as far as I'm aware.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on Why use old computers and operating systems? in ~tech

    SunSpotter
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    If you're willing to do the legwork, it's possible to snag such a system (or a similar one) by searching through Craigslist, Offerup, FB Marketplace, Estatesales.net, or similar sites depending on...

    If you're willing to do the legwork, it's possible to snag such a system (or a similar one) by searching through Craigslist, Offerup, FB Marketplace, Estatesales.net, or similar sites depending on where you are in the world. There's no guarantee you'll get anything dirt cheap, but anyone with experience on those platforms is well aware they can't compete with eBay prices, so it'll be a little cheaper at least. You might have the best luck parting something together through a combination of watching eBay listings, and loose items that show up on Offerup or CL.

    Not sure how much I recommend it in the pandemic, so obviously take precautions and use your best judgement as far as that goes, but it's how I've managed to collect some of the older systems I own.

  9. Comment on Why use old computers and operating systems? in ~tech

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    Oh look It's my time to shine I actually collect and restore vintage computer systems as a hobby. Some of them I end up selling once I fix them up if I decide they're not something I can enjoy...

    Oh look
    It's my time to shine

    I actually collect and restore vintage computer systems as a hobby. Some of them I end up selling once I fix them up if I decide they're not something I can enjoy them long term, and I've occasionally been shorted on a system that's basically trashed, but for the most part I have a neat little collection of historic machines that are in good condition. It started partially out of curiosity since my dad had some older stuff laying around from when he first started using computers, and partially as a learning experience.

    What kind of learning experience you might ask? Well, in this day and age, vintage computers require a lot of work to be usable, especially if you didn't grow up using them (like me). I've taught myself some extra coding skills, research skills, soldering skills and also learned a great deal about computer history along the way. I'd also like to gain some skills with an oscilloscope, but those are fairly pricey. In all honesty, while I've learned a lot, I still have a ways to go because school and work have prevented me from really putting as much time into my hobbies as I would have liked.

    Anyways, once you have a nice little system set up, it really is surprising how much you can do with it. Sure you can't use the latest games or programs, but most software you would demand of a computer today was still available back then. If you're coming at it from a programmer/development point of view you will probably be disappointed, but if you think about what you would demand from say a library computer then you'll find you can still do most everything you need. MS Office type products have been around for a while now, as have mice, printers and games to keep you occupied. Sure you probably wouldn't want to run any complexed calculations or excel macros or the like, but it's fine for casual use. Plus, if you're not a fan of the hum or eye strain of an old school CRT, most things can be adapted to display on a modern display anyways. You can even adapt old hard drive standards to an SSD these days so that you don't have to worry about limited storage space. Really, the only thing you can't easily do, in the sense of there being a program you can just run, is browse the modern web on a vintage computer. It's not that it can't be done, from my understanding the problem is that no one is willing to support continuing development of a browser that runs on 30+ year old systems with limited specs.

    I'll finish off by saying that I have a couple systems I'd like to showcase on Tildes in the future once I have them where I want, but I don't know when that will happen due to my tight schedule. If anyone has anything specific they'd like to see out of such a showcase though, let me know!

    6 votes
  10. Comment on The Falcon and The Winter Soldier | Episode 1 Discussion Thread in ~tv

    SunSpotter
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    None of the new Disney shows have been perfect in that respect. Tbh The Mandalorian was fairly enjoyable overall but still stumbled a lot with logical and internal consistency. WandaVision maybe...

    But a little more effort into respecting the logic of the fictional universe would make the show more enjoyable for a lot of people.

    None of the new Disney shows have been perfect in that respect. Tbh The Mandalorian was fairly enjoyable overall but still stumbled a lot with logical and internal consistency. WandaVision maybe not as much, but it was also much more self-contained.

    I'm fine with overlooking nitpicky background level issues as long as the show makes sense and is enjoyable overall, but this first episode gives me mixed feelings. The intro felt like it was trying to be a proper Avengers movie too much, just over the top action and an unbelievable amount of resources being thrown around all at once even though the premise seemed like a simple terrorist kidnapping. I'm hoping that they'll continue to learn and adapt in future episodes/series rather than embrace the cheese as part of the style though.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on What kinds of content are you hoping to see on Tildes? in ~tildes

    SunSpotter
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    Seconding more interest in ~hobbies. I know there’s a lot of programming related projects that people talk about on here, but as someone with only basic programming skills they only appeal to me...

    Seconding more interest in ~hobbies.
    I know there’s a lot of programming related projects that people talk about on here, but as someone with only basic programming skills they only appeal to me so much.

    I’d like to see a more diverse collection of hobby projects, because I enjoy seeing what people are passionate about.

    6 votes
  12. Comment on Apple subpoenas Valve as part of its legal battle with Epic: Valve fights back in ~games

    SunSpotter
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    It could be that the intention is genuine and just extremely arrogant, but it almost feels more like legal haggling to me. Ask for way more than you need, compromise and end up with what you're...

    It could be that the intention is genuine and just extremely arrogant, but it almost feels more like legal haggling to me. Ask for way more than you need, compromise and end up with what you're really after but might not have snagged otherwise.

    Regardless, it would seem crazy to me if the courts completely caved to Apple. Sounds like Valve doesn't even have the data Apple wants, and it would be extremely costly for Valve to put it all together. That would seem pretty unreasonable for a party that's completely uninvolved.

    6 votes
  13. Comment on Zack Snyder's Justice League - Official trailer in ~movies

    SunSpotter
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    Somewhat off-topic, but I don't even know where I could watch the IMAX version even if I wanted to right now. A quick search reveals all my local theaters are shut down, and I'm not even sure if...

    Somewhat off-topic, but I don't even know where I could watch the IMAX version even if I wanted to right now. A quick search reveals all my local theaters are shut down, and I'm not even sure if there are any in my state open at the moment. Regardless, I wouldn't count on anything being open in a world where all it takes is another surge before we end up on lockdown again.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on Google submits plans to build 7,000 homes in North Bayshore, the largest project in city's history in ~design

    SunSpotter
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    Now that you mention it, it does sound pretty similar to something you'd read in a Fallout terminal. All it's missing is a few follow up entries talking about how the company used its autonomy to...

    Now that you mention it, it does sound pretty similar to something you'd read in a Fallout terminal. All it's missing is a few follow up entries talking about how the company used its autonomy to pollute the land and poison its residents because it just waived away environmental and food safety laws.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on TheDonald’s owner speaks out on why he finally pulled plug on hate-filled site in ~tech

    SunSpotter
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    Sometimes I feel like it's good to read things like this as a way to anchor your own beliefs in reality. The idea that the media and academia are indoctrinating kids into worshipping the state is...

    Sometimes I feel like it's good to read things like this as a way to anchor your own beliefs in reality. The idea that the media and academia are indoctrinating kids into worshipping the state is laughable. And it's especially laughable that they're being indoctrinated to worship some sort of socialist manifestation of the state.

    I remember a period where the liberals were accused of teaching kids to hate America by teaching them the true history of stuff like Vietnam, MK Ultra, Native genocide etc. Regardless of that, studies show more people than ever before, including the youth are skeptical of corporate and government institutions.

    4 votes
  16. Comment on Are software engineers "engineers"? in ~comp

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    As a senior mechanical engineering student, CS professionals gatekeeping themselves out of being called engineers is honestly pretty funny to me. Most mechanical engineers (and adjacent majors...

    As a senior mechanical engineering student, CS professionals gatekeeping themselves out of being called engineers is honestly pretty funny to me.

    Most mechanical engineers (and adjacent majors such as aerospace and nuclear) have only a rudimentary knowledge of other fields of engineering such as electrical engineering and computer science. In effect, we know enough to know that we know nothing. So we view people who are really proficient in those outside fields of engineering, essentially as wizards. I get the impression from most other students, professors and professionals that software engineers are seen as peers, and an integral part of the design process in the modern world. No one I know of would look down on a programmer for choosing to call themselves a software engineer.

    However, one argument they made in favor of software engineers being "real" engineers isn't quite right. While it may be true that most forms of engineering don't outright require licensing on a legislative basis, most employers require or strongly prefer some kind of license unless it's an entry level job. A civil engineering friend of mine basically had to get his PE license the moment he got his first real job outside of college. And in my field of Mechanical Engineering, taking an EIT exam isn't an uncommon requirement if you're looking for a job with more than a couple years experience. I suspect the author talked with older engineers who grandfathered themselves in with their own experience, by starting back when the job market was scarcer and employers cared less.

    Regardless, I will make a case for software engineers by making a case against the authors suggested term "software craftsman". Traditional fields of engineering can be just as much of an artform as computer science, and honestly while I have no qualms with CS professionals calling themselves engineers, it is a bit insulting to infer that other forms of engineering are not similarly a craft which require creative thinking. It's not all building bridges as the author described, nor is it building small mundane things like staplers. There are an uncountable number of specialized devices which need to be designed for simplicity, longevity and strength, and there are millions of ways to go about solving those design problems, but only a few good ones. Finding those few good designs, is an art and creative skillset unto itself. We never were told to flip open our textbooks and learn the skills behind proper internal combustion engine design. We're taught mechanical thinking and the requisite math to validate our designs. Honestly, I imagine this isn't much different from most computer science degrees. You aren't taught how to make specific programs, you're taught how to program, how to think efficiently, and the underlying math to make your programs work. That's engineering.

    Don't let people tell you that it isn't, just because you can cut and paste large snippets of code from github or stack exchange and make a functioning product out of your miraculous spaghetti code. There's a lot of cut and paste in traditional engineering as well. It's hard to give too many examples with my limited experience, because I'd probably say it wrong, but I know from experience that it does happen. Overall, call yourself whatever makes you feel comfortable; don't feel obligated to invent some new term for what you do, or feel compelled to avoid describing yourself as an engineer.

    9 votes
  17. Comment on What is the difference between Linux distros? Why do you use the one you use? in ~comp

    SunSpotter
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    As someone interested in computer history (and who actually owns some stuff from the 286-486 era), would you mind going into some of the reasons a person would choose Linux over DOS back in the day?

    As someone interested in computer history (and who actually owns some stuff from the 286-486 era), would you mind going into some of the reasons a person would choose Linux over DOS back in the day?

    6 votes
  18. Comment on What do you use for email? in ~tech

    SunSpotter
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    Under what circumstances would that even happen? This is the first time I’ve heard of this being a serious problem, so you’ve got my interest.

    Under what circumstances would that even happen? This is the first time I’ve heard of this being a serious problem, so you’ve got my interest.

    2 votes
  19. Comment on Apple preparing next Mac chips with aim to outclass top-end PCs; up to 32 core CPU's, 16 core GPU's rumored in ~tech

    SunSpotter
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    So I this is something I posted on reddit, but didn't really get much discussion. I really wonder what the longevity of these early high end systems will be. I feel like there's a good chance that...

    So I this is something I posted on reddit, but didn't really get much discussion. I really wonder what the longevity of these early high end systems will be. I feel like there's a good chance that either:

    A) Apple arbitrarily revises the architecture, claiming "new and improved design makes it incompatible with our previous versions". Forcing early adopters to upgrade at a huge loss if they want continued support.

    B) The platform fails to be popular enough to receive widespread compatibility beyond a few "killer apps" that make the platform viable in the first place. Ultimately Apple kills off the platform, either entirely, or at least in its current form to make a cheaper equivalent.

    C) Apple gets cold feet, and cancels the platform once it becomes clear that it's not an instant success; goes back to x86. Fortunately Apple isn't Google, otherwise I'd be sure this would be the case. Still, it's not out of the question.

    And that's just all the things Apple might do based on past behavior (NeXT, PowerPC, planned obsolescence philosophy). Not to mention, this is exactly the kind of behavior that 80's brands exhibited back when proprietary non-x86 platforms were common. And as a brand new, completely closed platform, owners would have no recourse either. Sure, there might be legacy support for a while, but there wouldn't be any standard version of Windows or Linux you could install. I'd be surprised if there wasn't a forward thinking hardware lock on installing some ARM compatible distro anyways, effectively limiting you to a compatible Mac OS.

    The only silver lining here is that I feel like the only people buying these systems will be huge studios with money to burn, so perhaps they wouldn't be nearly as miffed by such actions as an ordinary consumer. Regardless, seems like a risky decision to be an early adopter. What do you think Tilderinos? Would Apple actually do something like the above, and would you care?

    Edited in "either" for clarity so it didn't seem like I was assuming all these things would happen simultaneously, rather one or the other.

    4 votes
  20. Comment on Cyberpunk 2077 preload now available in ~games

    SunSpotter
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    I originally posted this higher up, but this actually seems like a more relevant place to put my $0.02 in, so I moved my comment to address this directly. I'd unironically be happy with Skyrim:...

    I originally posted this higher up, but this actually seems like a more relevant place to put my $0.02 in, so I moved my comment to address this directly.

    I'd unironically be happy with Skyrim: Cyberpunk edition in terms of gameplay. I just want a good, open world RPG with lots of things to do and different ways to do them, which doesn't restrict my character to a predefined persona.

    The talk of the game being juvenile and lacking self-awareness regarding it's own dang genre is giving me pause for concern though. All they have to do in terms of writing, is a half-decent plot that either stands on its own or is at least cool enough to make me suspend disbelief. Then, throw in some boiler plate cyberpunk messages and tone down the horny to not be a central theme and I'll be happy. If they've failed at even that much, I'll pick it up for 30% off on Steams 2021 Christmas sale or something.

    5 votes