kru's recent activity

  1. Comment on What's a game that you feel is almost great? in ~games

    kru
    Link Parent
    This is just the expectation of the industry now. I've pitched an rpg project, with a designed play-time of 20-25 hours, to multiple publishers. Every one which expressed interest was along the...

    I just wish they would get rid of the notion that their game has to be super long

    This is just the expectation of the industry now. I've pitched an rpg project, with a designed play-time of 20-25 hours, to multiple publishers. Every one which expressed interest was along the vein of "This is great, but can you give us a revised budget with at least double or possibly triple the expected play time? Thanks." Want to make an rpg? You need money. And the people with money who are funding rpgs all seem to have an expectation that an rpg needs a minimum play time of 80+ hours.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on What's a game that you feel is almost great? in ~games

    kru
    Link
    I have so many: I Was A Teenage Exocolonist is a damn-near masterpiece. And I can't really go into the details of what the game's fatal flaw is without spoilers.The major issue that prevents it...

    I have so many:

    I Was A Teenage Exocolonist is a damn-near masterpiece.

    And I can't really go into the details of what the game's fatal flaw is without spoilers.The major issue that prevents it from being a best of all time for me is that the length of each run is on the order of 15-20 hours, and most of that content will be repeated. This means that a player can easily spend 15 hours of their time to see less than 10 minutes of new content if they're unlucky, or even see zero new content if they're super unlucky. If each new run guaranteed a new content path would be followed, or did some really obvious signposting for new runs to help prevent wasted time, I'd rank this as a downright masterpiece. As it is, it's just pretty darn good.
    Aside from that, the game is amazing for what it is, an incredible story-heavy game with a clever card battle system that is themed in a way such that, once I realized what the cards represented, I was floored.

    Wyrmspan the dragon-themed spinoff of Wingspan is incredibly well done. But I think that the mechanic where coins can be found from cards in the deck, but coins also give extra turns, is not well balanced given the randomness of the deck. I like the idea of coins giving extra turns for certain always-available actions (such as reaching the end of one of the tracks), but I dislike the idea that a very lucky player can get 4-5 extra turns over another player (this happened in one of my games, instant fun killer waiting around for this last player to finish all of her turns, and this player steamrolled the group by a huge margin - no thank you). Otherwise, the game would be fantastic. But, as it is, I'll not play it again until some fix is implemented because of the huge randomness involved.

    Cultist Simulator needs a way to automatically repeat actions, or otherwise reduce the insane repetitious grind from putting the same cards into the same slots for hours on end. The game has a ton of great lore and the discovery aspect is where all of the fun is. It's just sad that those fun parts are buried beneath one of the worst, most boring and repetitive grinds imaginable.

    Wildermyth needs longer campaigns. I feel like the amount of time I spend with my lovable crew of characters is too short. Then they defeat the big bad boss (or all perish) and I have to start over. The formula wildermyth uses works very well, but I feel as though there could be more emotional impact if I was able to stay with my characters for longer than the 2-3 hour stint of a single story. (Note: I last played this 3+ years ago, so this issue may not be present anymore, but it was when I played so I'm writing it.)

    Tyranny just needed more time in the oven. It's criminally underrated, in my opinion, and was on track to become an excellent example of top-down party RPGs. Story, setting, combat mechanics, all amazing. It just needs more content, bigger maps, more fights, more dialogue choices, and a better conclusion. It might be stretching the idea here, but the single one thing this game needed to reach greatness was more development time.

    Finally, Blood on the Clocktower. There isn't actually anything wrong with the game at all. It's utterly fantastic and as perfect a social deduction game as you could want. My only problem with it is that I can't regularly get 8+ people together to actually play it!

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

    kru
    Link
    There's been a trend in modern board games, over the past decade or so, towards providing randomness first and then allowing the player to make decisions about how best to apply that randomness to...

    There's been a trend in modern board games, over the past decade or so, towards providing randomness first and then allowing the player to make decisions about how best to apply that randomness to the game state. For example, the player might roll some dice and then decide where to place the dice on his board, or draw some cards and then decide how best to use those cards with no further randomness involved. I'm very glad that this trend has been becoming more prominent in video games.

    Slice and Dice epitomizes this style of gameplay exquisitely. It's a very tactical game that presents the player with a bad situation, and the challenge is to use the party's abilities to find a way out of it. Aside from the initial randomness of the ability dice rolls the decisions afterwards are completely deterministic. There is even an undo button so that you can do a series of actions to see what the results will be, then back out of them to try and find a better path forward. The decision space of each encounter is large, but not so large as to be unwieldy. The designers have hit a sweet spot of short, medium and long term decision making that suits me almost perfectly. I think this game improves on the formula of Slay the Spire roguelikes immensely. While I do enjoy the deck-management of card battlers, I find that I enjoy the dice-management of Slice and Dice even more. It's worth playing the demo for a few runs to get the hang of the game.

    7 votes
  4. Comment on 'The gold rush is over:' Slay the Spire and Darkest Dungeon devs say that big Game Pass and Epic exclusive deals have dried up for indie devs in ~games

    kru
    Link
    Yup. We just had a $12m project cut to be a $10m project at the publishers' request. Then again cut down to $8m, and finally just cancelled. The next few years will not be great for indie game...

    "I talked to at least five small teams, like 35 [members] and under, during GDC, and they're like: Cuts, cuts, cuts, funding canceled, talks that were going on for a year, canceled," said Casey Yano, the co-founder of Slay the Spire studio Mega Crit. "It sounds like it's shit. We're definitely very privileged to be able to self-fund. [Otherwise] I'd be very, very, very scared right now."

    Yup. We just had a $12m project cut to be a $10m project at the publishers' request. Then again cut down to $8m, and finally just cancelled. The next few years will not be great for indie game projects.

    12 votes
  5. Comment on Is there interest in a board game-focused Discord server? in ~games.tabletop

    kru
    Link Parent
    If you want to fill a game of botc, post it on https://boardgameschedule.com/. That's where I check when I want to find an online game.

    If you want to fill a game of botc, post it on https://boardgameschedule.com/. That's where I check when I want to find an online game.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on Larian Studios won't make Baldur's Gate 3 DLC, expansions, or Baldur's Gate 4 in ~games

    kru
    Link
    Makes sense. WOTC can be a pain in the ass to deal with, like almost any IP owner is. I'd be sad if they went back to do more divinity in the weird cartoonish style of divinity. I enjoyed BG3 more...

    Makes sense. WOTC can be a pain in the ass to deal with, like almost any IP owner is.

    I'd be sad if they went back to do more divinity in the weird cartoonish style of divinity. I enjoyed BG3 more than the divinity OS series because it took itself seriously and treated the player as an adult. With D:OS series, almost everything had this weird feeling as though it was all trying to be tongue-in-cheek or lampoon something that I couldn't quite grasp. Fun enough games, to be sure, but BG3 was a step above them.

    33 votes
  7. Comment on Donald Trump's lawyers say it is impossible for him to post bond covering $454 million US civil fraud judgment in ~news

    kru
    Link Parent
    This was good food for thought, but I don't think Trump (or anyone) should get special treatment here. It happens all the time that penalties are meted out which are later found to have been in...

    This was good food for thought, but I don't think Trump (or anyone) should get special treatment here. It happens all the time that penalties are meted out which are later found to have been in error (to excessive, or just flat out wrongly applied). There are countless cases where accused people have lost months, years or even decades of their lives due to incorrect judgments. Losing some property is small potatoes in comparison, imo.

    There should absolutely be a better system that avoids wrongful judgments. But, given the system we have, Trump should be treated equally. That means that he should pay the judgment (or post bond to stay it). If it is later found, on appeal, that the judgment was too harsh, and his properties were wrongly siezed - oh well.

    15 votes
  8. Comment on Has anyone here received any benefit as a consumer from algorithmic ad targeting? in ~tech

    kru
    Link
    My girlfriend has bought several articles of clothing from those types of targeted ads, and she has backed a ridiculous amount of board games on kickstarter because of similar ads. I guess...

    My girlfriend has bought several articles of clothing from those types of targeted ads, and she has backed a ridiculous amount of board games on kickstarter because of similar ads. I guess targeted ads work best on items where having duplicates with slight variations is acceptable. However, it doesn't help that they try the same thing with vaccuum cleaners or televisions. I don't need another refrigerator since I just bought one, thanks, Amazon.

    23 votes
  9. Comment on When armor met lips in ~science

    kru
    Link
    This is a light hearted article discussing the findings of a paper on the nautilus, and why it only lives in the area that it does. It was a pretty fun read. Thanks for posting it. The bit that...

    This is a light hearted article discussing the findings of a paper on the nautilus, and why it only lives in the area that it does. It was a pretty fun read. Thanks for posting it.

    The bit that hooked me:

    (Years ago, I used to scuba dive in that area. My dive instructor told me that a nautilus never comes above 100 meters depth unless it’s seriously ill or injured. Meanwhile, a recreational diver should never go below 40 meters depth — nitrogen narcosis, oxygen poisoning, the bends, just don’t. “So if you’re diving and you see a nautilus,” he said, “at least one of you is in big trouble.”)

    Okay, so: why? Why is the nautilus restricted to this small area, when older armored cephalopods roamed worldwide? Is the nautilus just… worse? An inferior design, or something?

    No. Here’s where things get mysterious and interesting. After the asteroid hit, the ammonites all died out. But chambered nautiluses survived, and they thrived! They weren’t as ubiquitous as the ammonites, but for about 30 million years they were found all over the world. Dozens of species, all sorts of different habitats. The “shell, but also tentacles” design was still solid.

    But then around 30 million years ago — halfway through the Age of Mammals, give or take — something happened. The nautiloids started disappearing. Fewer species, less diversity. Bit by bit they shrank back into their current small range.

    So what happened?

    10 votes
  10. Comment on US libraries struggle to afford the demand for e-books and seek new state laws in fight with publishers in ~books

    kru
    Link
    Wow. $55 for an ebook license that expires after 2 years or 26 checkouts. Meanwhile, a good-condition donation of a hardback costs nearly nothing to clean and shelve. I think we do need laws...

    Wow. $55 for an ebook license that expires after 2 years or 26 checkouts.

    Meanwhile, a good-condition donation of a hardback costs nearly nothing to clean and shelve.

    I think we do need laws allowing people to donate ebooks and other digital purchases. I'd donate from my ebook library if I could. The fact that I can't say, "Here, have my copy of X, I don't want it anymore" is the reason I have avoided digital purchases from the get-go, as much as I could, at least. All the way back to iTunes, I tried to get physical media whenever possible. I held out as long as I could against Steam, too, until physical copies of games just became containers for downloadable codes. Now we are a nation of one-time locked in purchases.

    This article was useful. I'm going to take more trips to my library to get physical copies now that I know I'm depleting a finite resource by borrowing ebooks. It's just silly that the ebook license is the one that's finite, and the physical copy which requires the energy of me having to get to the library to check it out is the one that has near unlimited reuse.

    32 votes
  11. Comment on The small company at the center of ‘Gamergate 2.0’ in ~games

    kru
    Link Parent
    This is a great mini-summary. Thanks for it. Streisand effect for sure. I don't have any ire toward SBI. My own company does narrative consulting from time to time. But this situation is pretty...

    This is a great mini-summary. Thanks for it. Streisand effect for sure.

    I don't have any ire toward SBI. My own company does narrative consulting from time to time. But this situation is pretty strange and I hope it flames out shortly and doesn't grow into GG2.0 for real.

    7 votes
  12. Comment on Rimworld - Anomaly expansion and update 1.5 announced! in ~games

    kru
    Link Parent
    Random object access is rarely threadsafe. Gameplay is easy to make spectacularly single-threaded. By the time you realize that your gameplay pipeline is the bottleneck of the app, it's so...

    Why don't programmers multithread?

    Random object access is rarely threadsafe. Gameplay is easy to make spectacularly single-threaded. By the time you realize that your gameplay pipeline is the bottleneck of the app, it's so morbidly attached to the main thread that pulling it all apart and designing it to cross threads is a nightmare that the budget can't sustain.

    And for the followup, why don't game programmers design their gameplay logic for thread safety from the get-go, I'll again point to tiny budgets. Game devs run as fast as they can to get a working prototype that proves the gameplay so they can sell the project to a publisher. The publisher then says, "Cool game, here's not-enough-money to make it saleable." Now the developers have only enough cash to hire bargain bin engineers who will be swamped just polishing up the prototype and supporting the inevitable feature-creeps that the publishers ask for. The idea of revamping systems for proper simd is not feasible.

    Why yes, I am a bit bitter, having just gone through this exact scenario.

    This is why game engines need to support simd with their default tools. Cash-strapped devs can't afford it. I was super interested when Unity announced HPCS/DOTS but they seemed to have stopped it. Unreal has some good threaded-by-default stuff for rendering and audio, but most gameplay takes place on the main thread still.

    Ludeon is in a unique position, though, since they likely have tons of cash from the success of Rimworld and its DLCs.

    8 votes
  13. Comment on Tom Cardy - Fruit Salad (2021) in ~music

    kru
    Link Parent
    Tom Cardy is great. Be sure to catch his song Weird Guy. This one's easy to miss since it's not on his channel.

    Tom Cardy is great. Be sure to catch his song Weird Guy. This one's easy to miss since it's not on his channel.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on Price fixing by algorithm is still price fixing in ~finance

    kru
    Link Parent
    I don't think this is relevant to Wendy's use of surge pricing. In that case, Wendy's is just changing their own prices during peak usage times. If Wendy's were actually using a third-party to...

    I don't think this is relevant to Wendy's use of surge pricing. In that case, Wendy's is just changing their own prices during peak usage times. If Wendy's were actually using a third-party to recommend prices, in which that third-party was also providing pricing suggests to a competitor, that might run afoul of the law in this article.

    This seems pretty squarely targeted at the landlord companies who use software which allows them to collude at rent setting. In addition to boasting about their proactivity in protecting renters, the FTC is also trying to warn some private landlords who might be considering use of the same software to maximize their own rents.

    7 votes
  15. Comment on What are some significant numbers or juxtapositions of numbers and quantities you often notices? in ~talk

    kru
    Link
    14 and 88 have recently (as of the past decade or so) been something I've paid a lot more attention towards. Those numbers have a strong meaning to white supremacists and nazis, and I've been...

    14 and 88 have recently (as of the past decade or so) been something I've paid a lot more attention towards. Those numbers have a strong meaning to white supremacists and nazis, and I've been sensitive to seeing them in various places. For example, back in 2018 there was a press release from the Dept. of Homeland Security that cause a bit of stir because it featured a title with 14 words, and it ended with an odd choice of statistic: "On average, out of 88 claims that pass the credible fear screening, fewer than 13 will ultimately result in a grant of asylum." Strange to round your base to 88 instead of something more common like 100, 50 or 10.

    I'm not exactly amused when I notice these numbers, but they are significant and give me pause when I do notice them.

    15 votes
  16. Comment on What's the matter with men? They’re floundering at school and in the workplace. Some conservatives blame a crisis of masculinity, but the problems—and their solutions—are far more complex. in ~life.men

    kru
    Link Parent
    I think it is meant to be simultaneously interpreted as "she believed" and "he lied"

    I think it is meant to be simultaneously interpreted as "she believed" and "he lied"

    19 votes
  17. Comment on What a bunch of A-list celebs taught me about how to use my phone in ~tech

    kru
    Link Parent
    I know some phones have started selling "No SIM" as a feature, but this ability is part of the allure of using sim cards. The SIM card is your link to the carrier, so whatever phone it is in is...

    I wish that carriers would let you have two phones that share the same phone number.

    I know some phones have started selling "No SIM" as a feature, but this ability is part of the allure of using sim cards. The SIM card is your link to the carrier, so whatever phone it is in is the phone that has your number.

    3 votes
  18. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    kru
    Link Parent
    Giving unsolicited thoughts is why I'm here! It's too easy because there isn't an incentive to take anything other than the most direct, simplest route. Giving some hoops to jump through would add...

    Giving unsolicited thoughts is why I'm here!

    It's too easy because there isn't an incentive to take anything other than the most direct, simplest route. Giving some hoops to jump through would add challenge.

    There's also no significant change in velocity, so predicting which corridors are reachable and which aren't is pretty easy after a few seconds. Temporary changes in speed or time dilation would give the player the challenge of recalculating which areas are reachable.

    It's VR so utilize the player's ability to look up, left, right, and maybe even behind them.

    Jump ramps to reach bonus points or hurdle over high obstacles.

    Gaps in the floor that have to be avoided.

    Flying sharks with laserbeams that sail in from the sides, or things falling from the sky so the player has to divert some of their focus on the peripherals.

    Maybe a rearview mirror to avoid things coming up from behind could be an interesting diversion of the player's attention.

    3 votes
  19. Comment on Inside Apple Arcade: axed games, declining payouts, disillusioned studios – and an uncertain future in ~games

    kru
    Link Parent
    It's actually still the case that these games will apply effort to keep you playing. Apple Arcade games get paid based on how much time users spend in their specific app. My partner was a...

    So Apple arcade sounds like a good value. No ads or in-app purchases, and games maybe don't have to try to condition you to keep playing or spending more money.

    It's actually still the case that these games will apply effort to keep you playing. Apple Arcade games get paid based on how much time users spend in their specific app. My partner was a developer of one of the more popular games on Apple Arcade. She was telling me about some changes that were planned for one of her titles, for the purpose of increasing user retention and engagement. I was struck by the absurdity of the situation. The company has multiple people with phds and masters degrees, wicked smart people, focused solely on finding ways to entice other people to play solitaire games for longer periods of time. That was one of those brief moments of clarity where I realize that our society is truly weird.

    6 votes
  20. Comment on What are your favorite series that are not from the US or UK and also not popular anime? in ~tv

    kru
    Link Parent
    Honestly, no. I enjoyed it, but if it didn't hold your interest then I can't recommend picking it back up.

    Honestly, no. I enjoyed it, but if it didn't hold your interest then I can't recommend picking it back up.

    3 votes