Topic-Free Mega Thread - v 1.11.2020

The YouTube video you linked reminded me… I need to make SK’s thread scheduler CCX-aware if there are insane people running games on Threadripper CPUs :slight_smile:

Currently it balances thread → core assignment from 0 to N assuming all the cores have the same boost potential. That’s not true for Zen 2 CPUs and Threadripper CPUs; Precision Boost assigns each core / CCX different scaling weights and for SK’s thread scheduling features to work as intended on chips not designed for games, I need to distribute the busiest threads onto the highest scaling cores first.


Crunch is proving more and more of an issue, and less and less people care about it lol. Remember how Last Of Us 2 got all the critical acclaim despite the horror stories? We’re going to hear a lot of new stories going into next gen games.

Regarding Nintendo, all they have to do is give you a goal. As long as there’s a motive, then players are willing to play through.

It would be interesting to see Microsoft capitalise on their own stuff, trying to create the unique stuff we don’t get elsewhere, like what they’ve managed with Cuphead and Flight Simulator. I’ve also said for ages that they need their own Zelda-like IP. Sony has GOW, which was basically inspired by Zelda. The new Black Myth game is the sort of thing Microsoft could’ve made, but didn’t. They basically need that grand action-adventure game. Imagine if Dark Souls was a Microsoft exclusive :eyes:

Yeah the crunch culture was already unhealthy and if deadlines are going to even more of a pressure from publishers due to costs and unwillingness to do a proper delay for additional development time (I would think a few months minimum maybe even half a year or more for the time required to both finish up, polish and test things.) it’s only going to get worse.

I believe with the earlier X360 console Microsoft secured a few publishing deals through some Japanese studios but nothing long term came of it and the focus on Kinect back then I would think hampered some of these efforts as well.

Sony went big with Deep Down but that ultimately fizzled out into … something I don’t know if they’ll ever post details on what happened here.

Wonder if Microsoft or Sony would try to get From Software’s game Elden Ring as a exclusive though it wouldn’t be a partnership as such, Sony might be trying something with their rights to Demons Souls too starting with this remake effort.

Rare is still around but they are working on Sea of Thieves.
Coalition is the Gears of War Studio and 343 is the Halo studio but they’ve done a bit with the franchise…well it’s going to some open world format it seems for both of these. How unsurprising.

Microsoft are also doing something with Fable and I think Age of Empires 3’s remaster is getting ready for public beta testing and release if I got the details on that right.

Might be more from some of the smaller studios and third parties that have signed up with Microsoft I haven’t followed up on this much at all particularly their other primary studios.

Sony has Bugsnax which somehow turned into this memetic thing and a bunch of other titles ha ha.
But I don’t believe the PS5 launch lineup itself is finalized yet plus the whole backwards compatibility program for either console and the path for upgraded versions of existing games for the new hardware.

Some publishers seem to go with separate SKU’s and if it wouldn’t backlash from others doing it free I wouldn’t rule out DLC type costs either instead of vague nothings on how it’s somehow impossible to make it into a patch or discount for existing owners.

More time usually equates to more crunch, for some reason. If the law was strict in every area and actually required each studio to have someone overlooking everyone’s shifts, making sure no one is overworking or being harassed etc, that would be different.

People are upset Bloodborne is PS exclusive, but i’d be extremely upset if i can’t play Elden Ring on PC. It’s George R R Martin writing it, i need to play it. And he’s actually a very very capable writer, but uhh, let’s hope Elden Ring doesn’t leave on some cliffhanger that has us waiting for sequels or relies on other writers to tie it all up.

I was expecting Microsoft to buy up Wbros Games, back when it was on sale or at least seemed to be. After seeing how Gotham Knights looks, not so sure. And then they have that new LOTR: Gollum game that i can’t wrap my head around. Owning WB Games would be a big deal though, Xbox would own the rights to Harry Potter, Batman, LOTR, all huge IPs.

I expect From Software to be well enough now that they can do multi platform development and won’t need to do any exclusivity agreements but depending on what Microsoft in particular could offer for a deal like that one never knows, Sony too presumably even if they probably couldn’t go up against Microsoft directly for these bids should they get serious.

And yeah that Gollum game is odd it’s Lord of the Rings but then it’s focused on Gollum of all characters and not just an adventure or stealth game either it seems plus the art is well it looks off even much as Gollum has a ton of varying designs outside of the movie trilogy.

EDIT: What’s that hat on the background Orc character too.
(And the long arms and stubby legs or what it looks like.)

EDIT: Well there’s also some other designs like the early books and illustrations but that ranges from all sorts of artistic creativity.

Or the movies.

Had to double check, and Elden Ring was already confirmed as multi-platform a while ago. If Sony or Microsoft were to buy the rights, people will rage and attack the company that snatches the game, when they just don’t need to. Something like Bayonetta 2 made sense, where Nintendo actually revived the franchise and got exclusive rights. Hiring devs for a game on your platform is fine too. But pulling a ROTTR, which was forced into an Xbox exclusive at one point, it will annoy many of us.

Sure, just use the details tag that Kal used. It’s as much “spoilerino” that Discourse supports, by my knowledge.

Okay so i’ll do my best to recall what i played more than a thousand days ago. I only played the first few hours just to re-iterate. Forgive me if i don’t remember everything like for like. Also i know you’re sensible with discussions (because these shouldn’t be arguments), but for clarity’s sake i’m going to say i don’t aim to project my opinion on you. Just explain mines.

SPOILERS. Please ignore and stuff.

Anyways, from what i remember, the story starts off with a man being banished as he finds a baby his tribe doesn’t accept or something. Fast forward to the future (or closer to the present), and the baby is a kid now and he’s still looking after her. They live alone as outcasts and he’s basically her father.

It’s obvious from the get go that he’s set up to die early into the game, he has no real arc or goal beyond raising Aloy, and you know, the game will want to give you a reason to root for her if you’re expected to resonate with her. What better than killing her father off? You have to factor in that her arc (at least near the beginning) is to go on that tourney and explore the world (or was it to be part of that rude tribe?). We can tell there’s much for her to learn through the course of the game. She even gets that device (conveniently being the only person to ever bump into it?) which is basically pushing towards that discovery arc. Her father figure likely has nothing more to bring to the table. He raises her and even trains her till she’s an adult, only dying after she knows how to fight because what better time to die. There was also the fact that they make the kids who are a part of a tribe a bunch of a-holes to her, with that rock throwing scene. Came across artificial, it happened at a time where you’re already supposed to feel for Aloy, but the game wanted to be extra certain you were sorry for her. Also, those rocks were huge lol, pretty sure that could seriously injure a kid, possibly fracturing a skull. The way that main kid throwing the rock acted, was deliberately cinematically annoying, felt like bad acting. The overall scene felt like nothing realistic or believable, it had no purpose beyond pulling your heart strings. And then there’s that tourney itself, again making those kids (now grown ups along with Aloy) a bunch of bullies again because we need them to be. Who risks focusing on someone you barely know for a serious competition? But i guess we’re supposed to think woah she won even with those obstacles we were getting annoyed at, that’s if i remember her winning.

Now, fundamentally, the reasons for all the things i’ve mentioned is because the game really wants you to root for Aloy, well duh she’s the main character. You have to sympathise with her so you’re invested in her story and the game itself. But there are better ways to make you care about someone besides throwing them with a bunch of sad and annoying moments to gain sympathy points, or forcing Aloy and her father figure to be the good guys while everyone else is a cliche bad person. Didn’t come across logical to me, just saw the writing tactics that you’ll find in most movies.

Beyond that, there was that moment you first sneak through the bushes past those robots. “How are you doing this!?” Those words are still engraved in me, lol. I just kinda, moved the left stick forward without even using that special vision… And if i’m remembering properly, that cave with the holograms when she bumps into that device, it was giving her and the audience conveniently enough exposition. My overall experience felt contrived, just glittered with nice graphics and music, and that cinematic polish to mask it.

The game does have an interesting world and concept behind it, and they did a great job with Aloy’s design. She’s an iconic looking character. The music is solid too. I did try to push through those first few hours, even playing as present day Aloy quite a bit. The gameplay was decent, but the obsession with being cinematic and with this quality of writing wasn’t helping. I was ultimately never hooked, and i expect to be within the first few hours of a game i play.

A bit of narm and a bit of trying to grab player attention early while teaching the mechanics and tutorial segment.

Assassin’s Creed Origins felt like it fell to this early on but a bit extra because the entire backstory is missing and feels cut out only presented a bit later as a flashback sequence in a more abridged form.

Game wise I believe this is one where a lot of the back bits and info comes from late plot progression and these collectible logs and audio tapes that can only hold a few sentences each but last forever much as you litter the workspace with all these logged data lying around everywhere instead. :smiley:

EDIT: Well, many games fall to trying to push players into a certain mindset or through a certain path and character presentation and all that way too quickly so the action can start, probably some analytics for that too.

EDIT: Some of them do get better later into the game though or you have to find all these tapes and what not, Metal Gear 5 had particular issues with cassette tape overload much as some of it was extras like the very, very in depth hamburger discussion.
(Which I think actually carries over from Peace Walker having much of the same type of presentation for many of the background details including plot stuff.)

EDIT: The very fine act of presentation and story reveal with a crowd that for a majority of them they just wants to get to the action parts.

Edited your post so the stuff is actually hidden :slight_smile:

But yeah, you’re basically describing what can be called the “prologue” area and part of the game. It’s sole purpose is to have you get to know Aloy, understand how both being an outcast as well as the sole user of a “focus” device of The Old World sets her apart from the rest of the world and allows her to achieve things nobody else could. This then serves as her springboard and purpose to further her understanding of the world in a way nobody else is interested in doing.

Aaaand basically nothing of it really matters beyond serving as the introduction phase. :upside_down_face:

The story of the game (both “past” and “present” story) kicks in a bit further into the game.

Do realize also that the tribe is basically old school and any technology or ruins is forbidden to explore. And to have that device in itself is an issue. You will find there is much more to the story and that prologue is to setup on a little of what happened. It builds up quite nicely later and you can choose on your reactions. These kinda affect how dialogue comes out as well. Just minor change but its there.

On how you dealt with that kid in beginning in game you can choose to use dialogue that actually makes him remember what you did to him. So there is a bit of complexity there. Just play thru it and gets much more interesting a bit later. Also try to do as many side quests as well. It helps develop the overall worlds lore by a ton and you gain a bit more insight on why the world is like that. And how different each culture is.

Its the whole concept as well that the kids are raised by their parents who in turn shun her so they are just following their parents teachings. There are moments in this game that made me laugh due to how stupid some of the dialogue gets in the game. Its quite crazy and you are right there is some scenes that seem way over the top then necessary. But it just makes the game a bit more amusing to me.

Mhm, Horizon: Zero Dawn has the challenge of basically balancing multiple factors in its introduction area:

  • The game must position the main character in such a way that her actions makes sense provided her surroundings.
  • The game must explain and give reason to why technology among humans haven’t increased further.
  • The game must give just enough information to hook the player to continue playing.

Technically the whole game focuses primarily on being an information dump. The main quest and all of its surrounding voice recordings and data logs and whatnot are all designed around setting up the whole game world and informing the player of the various factors, factions, and whatnot, involved in both the current world as well as the past that lead to its destruction.

One of my hopes for the sequel is that we will see a main quest that more heavily features a great main story of the “now”, as Horizon: Zero Dawn served as the necessary ground to further tell immersive stories upon within the world the characters finds themselves in.


I am excited for sequal as well in the case of what happens with that particular guy that becomes part of main story. It’s definitely gonna get more interesting and well I do hope as well that it builds more into things you can do and such. I am on my second playthru to do NG+

Yup, I think most players in particular found the “How are you doing this?!” moment of Teb (I believe he’s called) during the childhood period to be unnecessarily over the top, lmao!


Oh yeah Teb especially. I mean that is just weird on how it comes out later in the game. I mean almost that forbidden love type stuff :joy:

You’re probably right and i may be convinced it’s a good story if i do go through the entire game. As i alluded to earlier, i don’t know any story (besides tv shows) where the writing quality improves over the course of it. Horizon would have to achieve that for me. Even though what i saw was just setting her and the world up, it relies on a lot of over-used conventions just to do that. I can only assume i’ll see a lot more of the same over time. I also mentioned, i expect to be hooked in the first few hours, that feels like enough dedication before i potentially waste too much time.

The prologue still serves as a means to get you to root for Aloy, as i said, you need to be invested in her story. What better way to achieve that than tugging at your emotions? I just didn’t like their approach to doing so for the reasons i explained. It just tried too hard.

But as i’ve also said, i’ve been willing to give the game another try just because there’s always someone talking about it and a PC version was nearby (which it was at the time). Broken port though so i’m not touching at least for now.

Edit: When i mention tv shows, i don’t mean where episodes pick up over time. I mean something more in line with Person Of Interest, where the writers get better and better at their job over the course of each season.

As long as you keep in mind that the quality isn’t really in the events of the “now” in themselves, but more of the package as a whole – the world building, the backstory you get throughout the main quest and how it ties into the now, etc. :slight_smile:

If you like the modern Tomb Raider games you really should play through it. The comparison I initially made to the game being “Tomb Raider-esque” is very appropriate, I think, as in many ways it’s a modern Tomb Raider-style fully open world game, with a ton of side quests, stories, lore, and stuff to find and discover.

My first completionist playthrough (playing on Hard and including the DLC package) took me some 55-60 hours and I don’t regret a moment of it.

I’m currently playing through New Game+ on Ultra Hard (hardest difficulty) while speedrunning through the main story line (as in, really running through everything), and seeing everything condensed and/or skipped just highlights how much of the story is presented through everything else in the world.

I’m almost at the end (~82% of the main story line completed) and I think I’ve come that far in just a couple of hours (5-10, I think) of skipping/running through everything this playthrough around. Looking at the world map is a damn disappointment, as basically no zones at all are explored as I skip all the side quests along the way.

Well, i only like the story of the 2013 game. Rise was still fun, but uhh, no the writing was terrible in my opinion. Nothing that ruined the game i’d say, but didn’t elevate it either, was basically pointless to me. I even posted a review saying they need a better writer for the next game… I hated Shadow. The only thing that got me through it was that i like Lara as a character, even if she is a bit of a psychopath lol.

2013 is the only one with a good story, but even then i’d say it’s far from stellar or notable. It’s just a good enough story to make for a fun adventure with a great setting, and i had all the motive i needed to finish it.

Yeah, Horizon: Zero Dawn is basically the same, but with more side content, lore, more expansive gameplay etc.

When I played Horizon: Zero Dawn back in 2017 on PS4 I was immediately struck by how familiar gameplay-wise it was to the modern Tomb Raider titles. It’s not an exact copy, luckily, but the core gameplay and some key aspects are the same, and Zero Dawn can be quite reminiscent of Tomb Raider at times in what it has you do (explore mysterious “caves” of old; read lore pieces from the past, and whatnot).

I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Horizon’s developers took notes from Tomb Raider (2013) and Rise of Tomb Raider during development.

Hmm… Wait. So what game do i get now. Control or Horizon lol :man_shrugging:t2: