Destiny: Some cracks in the wall

In some ways I got an answer to a previous question. How much had to be cut for Destiny to fit on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms?  The depressing answer: Quite a lot.

So, might as well get some of the ugly bits out of the way, starting with Cross-play. While Destiny supports in-platform cross-saves of characters, there is no cross-platform play between the PS3 and PS4; nor the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One. The good news is that switching consoles means you will not lose character progression, if you happen to own both games. Straight up front, this feels strongly like dirty pool tactics on the part of Activision.

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Khronos @ SIGGRAPH: time for a new OpenGL?

More of a quick post for the proper GNiE site since I’ve been sporadic about the subject on G+, and never got around to following up the Mantle posting from last year. The short version is that earlier this year Microsoft announced that the next iteration of DirectX, not surprisingly named DirectX 12, would be targeting the low-driver overhead typically exposed through OpenGL extensions. Since Microsoft’s announcement there has been a relatively steady stream of developers kicking OpenGL in the binaries; and a steady stream of other developers pointing out that many of the OpenGL faults listed by the first set of developers were already addressed in later revisions of OpenGL. In short, the whole low-driver overhead and clean coding capability has become a right and proper mess, and about the only solution anybody can agree on is that it’s time for OpenGL to be overhauled.

Only… OpenGL was already supposed to have been overhauled. Wikipedia, of all places, actually has a relatively accurate synopsis of what was supposed to happen in OpenGL 3.0:

Fast forward to the upcoming SIGGRAPH in Vancouver… and it looks like Khronos is ready to tackle a true next-generation rendering API. Hopefully OpenGL 5.0… will not repeat OpenGL 3.0′s history.


Destiny: Splitscreen, Scale, and Feedback

Well. This was an unplanned post. I actually did hear back from an Activision agent after pushing the previous Destiny article. When relating the contact on Steam I got asked: “What would you do if Bungie and Activision actually sent you Destiny Edition PS4 etched with a note: “To VT-Grumpy-Bunny from Bungie”

My first response was that given all the pot-shots I’ve taken at Bungie and Halo over the years, I’d probably have any package from Bungie X-rayed first. The second response for the curious was an admission that I don’t know what I’d do. Probably faint from shock. After the laughing died down though, more serious questions arose.  Such as, If I like Destiny so much, why have all my postings been so negative? 

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Destiny: thoughts as Beta approaches

Yet another   post, written with barely a week to the launch of the  beta. The intervening weeks between the Alpha and the Beta test have been filled with various events, repercussions, and rumors. Among the possibly important events have been the revealing of the various player versus player game modes through a video on a Ziff Davis site.  Continue reading

Destiny – Alpha – Afterthoughts

The #Destiny #Playstation4 Alpha Test came to and end yesterday, prompting a very Darth Vader like “Nooooooooo” from myself on Twitter. Yes, contrary to popular belief, I do actually have a Twitter account, but my thoughts on that service are for another post.

In the closing hours of the Alpha Test I started working on my usual attempts to break the game, such as taking the in-game open-world air-bike into the narrow and twisty corridors that separate larger map sections at full boost speed.  The result of the high-speed traversal was forcing situations where the game did have to stop and display a Loading message. Ergo, there is an upper limit on just how large maps can actually be, no matter how Bungie’s streaming map system is structured. Once again I found myself wondering just how much supporting the previous generation of consoles has hampered the Destiny world.

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Stealth Release: Sid Meier’s Civ5 to Linux

There wasn’t any blurb about this particular release on the 2k blog, or their press feed, just an unexpected release of Sid Meier’s heavily award winning Civilization 5 into Linux through Valve’s Steam. Installing the game myself, but I suspect that some of the usual caveats for high-profile games will apply.

In other words, I’m expecting CivV to run like a shambling zombie on the only graphics hardware I have, AMD Radeon. Much like the recent Witcher2 and Metro releases, gamers will likely want Nvidia graphics hardware under the hood. That being said, AMD’s recent driver releases have made some titles tolerable… but there is a big difference between tolerable and meeting performance parity expectations.

Destiny – Alpha

Right then. Bungie’s Destiny. For those not following me on G+ I have been particularly verbose about the game there, largely starting with off with the tirade I typically give Bungie games in January 2013. My own tune towards Destiny started to change in June 2013 after initial gameplay was revealed and a one liner to the effect of: Probably helps that it’s not ripping off #AdventRising  and #OrsonScottCard

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E3: PlayStation Press Conference Liveblog

The consensus last year was that Sony didn’t have to do much relative to Microsoft – just basically paint the PlayStation 4 as “not the Xbox One,” and by all indications, they did that quite well, indeed. Microsoft’s conference this year wasn’t a grand slam, but neither was it having their pants fall down around their ankles as they strike out with the bases loaded, to strain that metaphor dangerously. What will 2014 bring? I suspect we’ll hear a fair bit about Vita, and PlayStation Now, along with maybe one or two teaser announcements…for 2015. Continue reading