an_angry_tiger's recent activity

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

    an_angry_tiger
    Link Parent
    I don't know if it's still like this, but in the past in Rimworld Randy was paradoxically the easiest of them. Tynan (the game designer) made a game where you're gradually losing, your colony...

    I haven't been able to keep a colony running for over an hour without losing somebody on Cassandra Classic or Phoebe Chillax on the easiest setting, and Randy Random just terrifies me conceptually, because you can get years of easy living, than be suddenly destroyed

    I don't know if it's still like this, but in the past in Rimworld Randy was paradoxically the easiest of them. Tynan (the game designer) made a game where you're gradually losing, your colony fighting against the elements and adversaries in a brutal survival, gradually ramping up. The other "storytellers" are supposedly harder because they keep ramping up and expecting you to have to keep up, Randy may be easier because, although it's random and you can get unlucky, it's not pushing you on that path of constantly trying to keep up with what it throws at you.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on Tool assisted speedrun: Chef Stef's NES Arkanoid "warpless" in 11:11.18 in ~comp

    an_angry_tiger
    Link
    Wow that's impressive, recreated the game's logic so they could run fast simulations of it, and then ran every combination of inputs possible to determine what the fastest speedrun could be. They...

    I've always been intrigued by brute forcing as an optimization strategy and tried to find a game where it might be possible without spending multiple lifetimes finishing it. After some research, I decided that NES Arkanoid was a good candidate.

    At first glance, brute-forcing an 11-minute TAS might seem to be completely impossible, having 2^8^(60 * 60 * 11) possibilities to evaluate. But that assumes we actually want to try every combination of inputs; if we encode the rules of the game into the bot and don't bother looking for things like glitches or ACE exploits, we can actually get this into the realm of possibility. The input surface of the game is actually quite small: you only have to press left, right, and A, and never any of those at the same time. There also aren't all that many ways to bounce the ball around.

    ...

    The bottleneck was emulation speed. Could I improve performance within the emulator? I found a few settings (like disabling the display) that gave marginal improvements. But I was still a long way from the goal.

    And then I realized something - what if I could simulate the game state instead of emulating it? There's a lot of overhead in running BizHawk, running the Lua engine, and emulating the NES internals that isn't necessary if we're just trying to make a ball bounce around. Could I instead write an optimized, bare-bones program that mimicked Arkanoid's mechanics and then run my brute force bot on that?

    So I went back to the drawing board. I disassembled the game, analyzed its logic, pulled out the routines that mattered for gameplay, and rewrote them all in C++. Logic for graphics, sound, and such could be omitted since they don't affect the physics or any outcomes in the game.

    With the replicated game engine in hand, the next step was proving it was equivalent to the original. I constructed a test harness that fed Baxter's TAS inputs into the engine and compared memory values against what BizHawk showed for any divergence. This uncovered many small issues and inconsistencies that I painstakingly fixed. Eventually I'd resolved everything and could "play back" Baxter's TAS perfectly.

    Wow that's impressive, recreated the game's logic so they could run fast simulations of it, and then ran every combination of inputs possible to determine what the fastest speedrun could be. They turned the game in to a problem they could run a brute force algorithm on. The people in the TAS community constantly blow my mind with the ingenuity, creativity, and dedication they put in to do something impressive just for the fun of it.

    6 votes
  3. Comment on ‘I am not gonna die on the internet for you!’: how game streaming went from dream job to a burnout nightmare in ~games

    an_angry_tiger
    Link Parent
    Well there's potentially a third way -- be a comedic trainwreck. Similar to the path you alluded to, where people tune in to see just how far you'll go, similar to an IcePosiedon or xQc type....

    Another issue with Twitch is that the only way to gain a following is to either be a woman who isn't afraid to flaunt her body or be genuinely good at video games. Highest I ever hit in SC2 was Diamond League, which is dogshit by Twitch streamer standards.

    Well there's potentially a third way -- be a comedic trainwreck. Similar to the path you alluded to, where people tune in to see just how far you'll go, similar to an IcePosiedon or xQc type.

    That's not a great position to be though.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on TV Tuesdays Free Talk in ~tv

    an_angry_tiger
    Link
    I watch basically no ongoing TV shows anymore, but How To With John Wilson's new season starts tomorrow and I am ecstatic. Been watching clips from the first season all week....

    I watch basically no ongoing TV shows anymore, but How To With John Wilson's new season starts tomorrow and I am ecstatic. Been watching clips from the first season all week.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUiRM7NOOow

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

    an_angry_tiger
    Link Parent
    Huh neat, learn something new every day.

    Huh neat, learn something new every day.

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

    an_angry_tiger
    Link
    I feel like every time I post in this thread it's about Battlefield, and here we go again: Battlefield 1 I started playing a bit of the campaign as a mindless thing to pass the time while...

    I feel like every time I post in this thread it's about Battlefield, and here we go again: Battlefield 1

    I started playing a bit of the campaign as a mindless thing to pass the time while listening to a podcast. I was decently impressed by the intro mission, and then the British tank campaign after that. The intro mission has this cool thing where (and this barely counts as a spoiler):

    You're playing as a soldier defending against an advancing line of troops, you fight them until eventually you die and you're presuming it's going to restart you from a checkpoint. Instead it flashes the text "Character Name 1894-1917" on screen and you respawn as a different character, you keep doing this through like 6 characters in different positions until that mission is complete. It was a nice little touch that communicates the nature of war and how people die, permanently, forever, lots of them.

    The tank campaign was pretty good too, a decent story and some nice writing, the cutscenes were well directed and acted and I didn't groan once. The ambience and atmosphere of the game is incredible, and it's clear a lot of work and love was put in to making it. I enjoyed my time and think they did a great job.

    Now the problems: I don't like singleplayer FPS games, this game suffers from the same things I don't like about almost all singleplayer FPS games. Very few singleplayer FPS games move past that style of gameplay where the only thing you can do is:

    • hide behind cover
    • wait until enemy soldiers pop out of cover, shoot them
    • reload, rinse, repeat until the giant horde of enemies with no personality have been sufficiently slaughtered, and you move on

    That was what I started feeling when playing through that tank mission. You're moving a tank forward, you shoot vaguely in the direction of enemies (you have a big cannon and a high calibre machine gun on top, you don't have to be precise), you get out of the tank, you run towards soldiers, you shoot them, you get back in the tank, you drive and shoot until plot happens and then you have to get out and sneak in to a town on foot at night armed only with your pistol (for some reason a German Mauser despite you being British) to get some sparkplugs for your tank. The sneaking in to town on foot was a nice gameplay twist where you can approach it in different ways and play it all stealthily, until I realized that it really was just easier and quicker to run at or past enemies and pick up the 3 objective things you needed to complete the mission without a care in the world in to how professional it was.

    There was a point where you have to defend singlehandedly against a wave of incoming tanks and soldiers with only the tank you're driving. For the bulk of that experience I was just waiting for my cannon to cooldown so I could shoot at the other tanks again. I was playing on medium difficulty, I was not doing anything skillful, I destroyed what must be 10-20 tanks and 50+ soldiers in that time, I was just sitting there hammering down on the left mouse button waiting for the cannon to reload so another tank can be destroyed. The only reason I beat that mission was because the game had to be balanced where you could take down 10-20 tanks and 50+ soldiers without having to think about it -- other tanks had less HP and did less damage than I did, those soldiers had no effect on my tank, we weren't playing the same game.

    For about 20 years I've been playing multiplayer FPS games and loving them, and I love them because you have to be good to win, you have to think and play smart against other capable intelligent (well not always 👀) people, people who have access to the same abilities and weapons and level playing field as yourself. If you're doing well in the game it's because you're better at playing the game than them, it's a dynamic and challenging experience. The bulk of singleplayer FPS games can't achieve that and don't try, they can't capture the nature of having to be good at FPS games so they reduce the game down to your character, a superhuman, facing off against a ludicrous number of dumb robots that can barely fight back.

    The other thing that left a weird taste in my mouth was looking at the other campaign choices in the game to see what was coming up: there were no missions where you played as one of the central powers. I'm not a particular fan of any of the central power empires or their objectives, but it feels weirdly incomplete to have a comprehensive game about the first world war with incredible ambience and (in multiplayer at least) a pretty immersive experience of trench warfare (although much faster paced than in reality) and leave out all the trench warfare and 4.3 million dead people on the side that wasn't British. There's a tank campaign, an airplane campaign, a Gallipoli campaign, a middle eastern campaign, and one campaign in Italy where you storm a fortress. Nothing about the most distinguishable and horrific part of the war.

    That combined with the gameplay made me realize this isn't quite (singleplaye story-wise) a game about World War 1, it's a game where you play as supermen mowing down waves of faceless enemies. The tank campaign I played has you play as a character who was literally a chauffeur driving cars before being put on this tank crew, this is his first time on a tank crew. By the end of the campaign he's killed at least 100 soldiers by himself and singlehandedly repelled an enemy offensive with his single tank. 68,176,000 soldiers participated in the war total, how many of their stories were like that?

    7 votes
  7. Comment on 'Halo Infinite' might be throwing the worst live event I've ever seen in ~games

    an_angry_tiger
    Link
    I've been playing the multiplayer since the surprise launch and the gameplay itself is great, I'm a convert on it despite not being big in to previous Halo's. I don't really care about progression...

    I've been playing the multiplayer since the surprise launch and the gameplay itself is great, I'm a convert on it despite not being big in to previous Halo's.

    I don't really care about progression and battle packs and customization that much, but even I have to say that the route they chose is absolutely hilariously bad and exploitative. There's some stuff you can earn for free, but it's fair to say the majority of the good stuff that you'd want seems to be gated behind a paywall per-item. Even after buying items the experience doesn't get better -- I'm talking you buy a new character model (an "armor") and then you have to separately buy colour schemes per model, if you buy one it won't work on all "armors" despite looking exactly the same -- you have to pay out more baby.

    Some of the unlocks they have put up are also laughably bad. For example there are different colour schemes you can get for your "AI" (imagine it like a little pet parrot that pops up in the game every once in a while), and one of the first ones you get is a green one, and one of the last ones you can get -- after grinding for ages with the bad challenge and slow XP system -- is......a very subtly different shade of green that no one would notice. You can buy character models that look oh so slightly different (have to pay up for each one, no free rides), and then on top of that buy colour schemes (gotta pay separately) for it (locked to the armor) that might be indistinguishable from another colour scheme (that presumably you'd have to pay for too).

    Overwatch had a pretty good system on launch, you keep playing and you get lootboxes the more you play. You can pay for more lootboxes but you never have to, I've never paid for one and I have plenty of great skins for all characters. The skins and stuff you get from lootboxes is fine, and you'll end up with plenty good ones to choose from for your favourite characters just from playing.

    The way Halo: Infinite does it just removes any veneer from what they're doing, making it crystal clear to anyone who spends a little bit of time in the game that they want you to open up that credit card and empty your whole bank account in to getting that specific Master Chief armour with the right colour scheme that you wanted. Oh and of course in previous Halos all this customization stuff was free (with the purchase of the $60 game granted, but you can very easily spend more than that just getting a few customization things in Infinite).

    13 votes
  8. Comment on ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ exits Netflix; will launch on Paramount+ globally in ~tv

    an_angry_tiger
    Link Parent
    Presumably that means you've been watching the first 3 seasons of it. What about 4 broke the cycle for you? Or rather, what did you like about the show for 3 seasons?

    Presumably that means you've been watching the first 3 seasons of it. What about 4 broke the cycle for you? Or rather, what did you like about the show for 3 seasons?

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

    an_angry_tiger
    Link Parent
    It's one of the lowest rated games on steam right now due to fan backlash. I've played some of the release (despite how long it feels, according to Origin it's been less than an hour), and played...

    Is anyone in the loop regarding BF2042? I vaguely remember we talked about it here before. I also have heard in passing that it might be quite overhyped.

    It's one of the lowest rated games on steam right now due to fan backlash.

    I've played some of the release (despite how long it feels, according to Origin it's been less than an hour), and played the beta. In a non-dramatic and reasonable fashion I would describe it as a mediocre game. It has a ton of bugs on launch, its missing features that were present in old games going back 13 years, it's got quite frankly the worst designed UI I've ever seen, it has incredibly questionable design decisions out of the gate (the most powerful vehicle in the game until they announced they're changing it in a patch is the hovercraft, and that's because it has a weirdly huge amount of armour, is super fast, can run over people, and for some reason it can climb up the walls of buildings, no literally). On a lot of peoples computers it runs terribly despite not looking great (mostly due to bad visual design, most textures look very flat but end up being very high resolution, things look mediocre but a very crisp and intensive mediocre).

    It's not a great game. You can try out 10 hours for free on the EA Pass (that's what I've been doing). Most of the community hates it, a lot of reasonable reviewers of it who were fans of the past game are at best highly skeptical and not enthusiastic about it, and it brings very little over past games. The only shining spot about it for me is that it got me in to Battlefield 1, which is an amazing game that has very fun multiplayer and it only cost me a few bucks (it's also on the EA Pass too I think).

    4 votes
  10. Comment on Kyle Rittenhouse, Project Veritas, and the inability to think in terms of principles in ~news

    an_angry_tiger
    Link Parent
    Does carrying a gun across state lines mean that much anyway if it isn't illegal? I see it brought up a lot in regards to this case like it makes the situation worse and I'm not sure I see why. Is...

    Does carrying a gun across state lines mean that much anyway if it isn't illegal? I see it brought up a lot in regards to this case like it makes the situation worse and I'm not sure I see why. Is it a bigger deal to drive from a suburb just down the road in another state, than driving from Amarillo to Houston with a gun?

    4 votes
  11. Comment on The case against open-world games - Grand Theft Auto set the standard, and video games have been worse off ever since in ~games

    an_angry_tiger
    Link Parent
    Man I remember FUEL and did the same thing. I think I stopped even doing any races at all and just drove all over the map seeing what was there. That was a really cool and well made open world...

    Man I remember FUEL and did the same thing. I think I stopped even doing any races at all and just drove all over the map seeing what was there. That was a really cool and well made open world map. And that little studio? Asobo, makers of the new Microsoft Flight Simulator.

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

    an_angry_tiger
    Link
    I got the EA Pass thing, which gives you a 10 hour trial of Battlefield 2042, so I was going to check out BF Portal in that for a bit, but instead...... Halo: Infinite('s free multiplayer) came...

    I got the EA Pass thing, which gives you a 10 hour trial of Battlefield 2042, so I was going to check out BF Portal in that for a bit, but instead......

    Halo: Infinite('s free multiplayer) came out today, a little surprise a month early, so I've been doing that all night.

    I'm not really a Halo guy but it's a nice streamlined multiplayer experience and I'm having fun with it. I'm getting in to the tempo of things and it's nice to have a nice small-scale competitive arena style (I consider it a child of Q3 and UT although with a very different feel) that's adrenaline pumping and fun to jump in and out of. I can't wait to see what they do with it as it goes on, and best part is it's free.

    Also I did play a bit of BF Portal, playing the Bad Company 2 playlist, but I really can not get in to it at all. It just feels like playing (really good) BC2 maps in the (really bad) BF2042 engine, and.........it all just feels wrong and I can not get in to it at all. I played Battlefield 3 last night and it instantly feels way better to play right off the bat -- so it's not just a nostalgia thing, BF3 (and I must presume BC2) just feel (to me) like way better games than BF2042, even with the Portal thing.

    6 votes
  13. Comment on My thoughts on Denis Villeneuve's Dune in ~movies

  14. Comment on Know how The Beatles ended? Peter Jackson may change your mind in ~music

    an_angry_tiger
    Link
    Eagerly awaiting this coming out. The remastered footage of it I've seen on youtube looks incredible.

    Eagerly awaiting this coming out. The remastered footage of it I've seen on youtube looks incredible.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on Windows 11 blocks Edge browser competitors from opening links in ~tech

    an_angry_tiger
    Link Parent
    How have you been finding the change in OS so far?

    How have you been finding the change in OS so far?

    2 votes
  16. Comment on YouTube will no longer publicly display the dislike count on videos in ~tech

    an_angry_tiger
    Link
    From reading people talk about this on the internet (more elsewhere than here), I'm really surprised by how many people say they paid attention to the dislikes count. I honestly don't think I've...

    From reading people talk about this on the internet (more elsewhere than here), I'm really surprised by how many people say they paid attention to the dislikes count. I honestly don't think I've paid attention to or noticed dislike counts on videos -- and I'm only speaking for myself and acknowledge opinions to the contrary, but I don't think I'll miss them, I'm not even sure I'll notice when they're gone.

    Sometimes I do wonder if I'm in a bizarro alternate youtube where things just work fine though. I don't get Jordan Peterson videos recommended to me, I don't really get any political video recommendations (aside from the NYTimes and Vox channels that I subscribed to and seldom watch), for the most part all I see are things directly relevant to my tastes -- comedy podcasts, art videos, videos about movies, cooking videos, people I've subscribed to. I'm not sure what I did but youtube overall is a very neutral and pleasant experience for me, and I use it basically all day long.

    13 votes
  17. Comment on Why Mulan (2020) didn't work in ~movies

    an_angry_tiger
    Link Parent
    Coincidentally this guy does have a video about Sweeney Todd that I have not seen (nor the movie), may give it a shot now then https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4K-9Ekzc2A

    Coincidentally this guy does have a video about Sweeney Todd that I have not seen (nor the movie), may give it a shot now then https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4K-9Ekzc2A

    3 votes
  18. Comment on Aaron Rodgers blames ‘woke mob’ in bizarre first interview since COVID drama in ~sports

    an_angry_tiger
    Link
    The newest saga in the fun soap opera that is my fantasy team is here, and it's that Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID, revealed that he had not in fact been vaccinated like he previously...

    The newest saga in the fun soap opera that is my fantasy team is here, and it's that Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID, revealed that he had not in fact been vaccinated like he previously suggested, and is now taking a fascinating and fun heel turn in to Joe Rogan style COVID-skepticism.

    Embattled Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers claimed Friday he has an allergy to Covid-19 vaccines and that he is taking ivermectin, and lashed out against the “woke mob” allegedly out to “cancel” him.

    Rogers, who tested positive for Covid-19 and won’t play in his team’s game Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, has come under fire for not getting vaccinated.

    “Look, I’m not, you know, some sort of anti-vax flat-earther. I am somebody who is a critical thinker,” he told “The Pat McAfee Show.”

    “I consulted with a now good friend of mine Joe Rogan, after he got Covid and I’ve been doing a lot of stuff that he recommended,” Rodgers said, adding that he has taken monoclonal antibodies and ivermectin.

    And this cherry on top (for the video: https://twitter.com/benbbaldwin/status/1456683358205906953?s=20):

    Rodgers on @PatMcAfeeShow: I tested positive (for COVID-19), most likely from a vaccinated individual.

    He also referred to this MLK quote: "One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."

    6 votes