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Friday, May 27, 2016

#ItsOver

"Mark Skelton – Art Director – has quit CIG."

In case you didn't know who that is, Mark Skelton was, until now, the Art Director for Star Citizen. I also understand that at least one top-level suit will be announcing a similar departure soon.

But don't worry. There is always Elite Dangerous. To say nothing of what looks like the incredibly exciting Goats In Space.

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43 Comments:

Blogger Markku May 27, 2016 11:39 AM  

This is just y'all's faith being tested. This just means that now all you who are faithful, must dig deep. Deep into your pockets. Give sacrificially. Your reward will be great among the stars. All that's going on is that the sheep are being separated from the (NO PUN INTENDED!) goats.

Is you is, or is you ain't a man of faith?

Blogger Jack Ward May 27, 2016 11:42 AM  

Reading this posting, I decided to look up the definitive definition of 'surreal' Then, realized that the short video negated any need for further definitions.
This thing, if serious, is just silly enough to become popular. Even more so might be The Space Goat movie. I would pay good money for that one. And, a larger bottle of decent Kentucky distillates.

Blogger lowercaseb May 27, 2016 11:44 AM  

Just when you get absolutely jaded about video game development, Goat Simulator rushes in to save the day.

They are worth throwing money at even if it's just for the simple fact of making me realize that it is not just me that thinks that the situation nowadays is ridiculous and worthy of mockery.

Oh...if they were only around back in '99 - '04, I might not have left the whole big games biz.

Blogger Laughingdog May 27, 2016 12:03 PM  

Should we expect to see reports soon that the train is fine?

Blogger Nate May 27, 2016 12:09 PM  

I wonder how much money you have to lose to be bitter enough to make something like that Goats in Space video?

Anonymous VFM #9617 May 27, 2016 12:12 PM  

Nate, that's a trailer for new DLC for Goat Simulator, it's an actual game. Truth is stranger than fiction.

Anonymous ZhukovG May 27, 2016 12:18 PM  

When this thing finally ends, it's going to worse than Jonestown.

Anonymous VFM #6306 May 27, 2016 12:22 PM  

The original Goat Simulator was very realistic, especially when you fly the goat via makeshift jetpack into the gas station, exploding it and turning your goat into a flaming projectile.

I had nearly the same thing happen with a propane tank and some rabbits once.

Blogger Servant of the Chief May 27, 2016 12:26 PM  

I was an early supporter of the project. Paid a bit then waited.

Eventually forgot about it until reading about it on this blog. Signed in to my old account, downloaded and played a bit.

Kiiiinda of a let down after a few years.

Anonymous Dr. Brooklyn May 27, 2016 12:33 PM  

Elite Dangerous is a genuinely fun game and I'm glad I bought it once I started hearing about what was happening to Star Citizen. Really scratches that itch for Euro Truck Simulator IN SPAAAACE

Blogger Markku May 27, 2016 12:37 PM  

So, how did Elite: Dangerous accomplish the impossible, and put an essentially unlimited number of players in the universe without prohibitive lag issues? Answer: ingeniously; but it required designing the game right from the start with the huge restriction that this puts on it. They pick players in a weighted random way (likelihood of friends ending up in same instance: High, likelihood of players that have blacklisted the other player: low) and then fill all the remaining slots with AI players that come and go. New AI player needed? He jumps from hyperspace. Less needed? It jumps somewhere else.

The illusion of a massive, consistent universe comes from the fact that all players in all instances affect each other indirectly, through the economy of the universe. But only a vanishingly tiny number of the players online, actually see each other even if they are in the exact same place.

It works amazingly well, but it required that they had this in mind from the very first design document, and designed everything in such a way that the players wouldn't notice this. You can't just throw this system over an existing game that apparently was designed under the illusion that somehow magically they could just throw all online players to one massive instance.

Blogger VD May 27, 2016 12:39 PM  

They pick players in a weighted random way (likelihood of friends ending up in same instance: High, likelihood of players that have blacklisted the other player: low) and then fill all the remaining slots with AI players that come and go. New AI player needed? He jumps from hyperspace. Less needed? It jumps somewhere else.

I've been advocating this stuff for MMOs since 2008. Good to see someone finally do it.

OpenID basementhomebrewer May 27, 2016 12:40 PM  

@1 I wouldn't be surprised to see Star Citizen put out a very similar press release containing a similar message along with a solicitation for more money.

Anonymous Toastrider May 27, 2016 1:03 PM  

Anyone here checked out Empyrion: Galactic Survival? Yeah, I know, yet another voxel building game, but I'm enjoying the novelty of building my own ships -- up to capital class vessels -- from the ground up.

Blogger John S May 27, 2016 1:10 PM  

If you put Elite Dangerous on your wish list on steam, it will automatically email you when it's on sale. Which is frequent. I got it for $15. It's a fun game. Would recommend that you pair it with the Thrustmaster Hotas X (think I paid like $35 for that on amazon).

Good times...

Blogger Michael Maier May 27, 2016 1:49 PM  

I might just buy that Goat Sim now.

Anonymous FP May 27, 2016 1:53 PM  

This DLC will be the one that gets me to finally buy Goat Simulator. What started as a physics demo for a game engine becomes a game itself.

Blogger Cynic In Chief May 27, 2016 2:05 PM  

As a player of both Elite Dangerous and Goat Simulator, I heartily approve. Both games started out simple, did what they said they would do, and then added more content after that was done.

Elite Dangerous started out as a basic space sim, you were only in the ship and you couldn't land on planets. They nailed that down and then added planet landing (but only for simple planets like icy or rocky ones) and surface driving. They might eventually build up to a Star Citizen level, but only after many years of addons.

Goat Simulator is similar, but with a different goal. It was to make a very silly game that made fun of every trope and stereotype. They succeeded and then went to make fun of MMOs, DayZ, PAYDAY, and now space sims.

Blogger Markku May 27, 2016 2:11 PM  

Actually, any planet that doesn't have atmosphere, because an atmosphere would interfere with the current technology level of the planetary approach suite. Which is a clever way of restricting it to uninhabited planets while staying consistent with the game narrative.

Blogger Michael Maier May 27, 2016 2:15 PM  

$2.49 for GOAT SIM on Steam right now.

Blogger Elocutioner May 27, 2016 2:31 PM  

VFM #6306 wrote:The original Goat Simulator was very realistic, especially when you fly the goat via makeshift jetpack into the gas station, exploding it and turning your goat into a flaming projectile.

I had nearly the same thing happen with a propane tank and some rabbits once.


*squints* You were strapping jetpacks on rabbits? Did you get video?

Anonymous Ain May 27, 2016 3:11 PM  

Goat Simulator happens to be on sale for $2.49 today.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/265930/

Anonymous VFM #6306 May 27, 2016 3:15 PM  

No. Nothing that spectacular. I tried to launch a propane tank upward and it didn't go and instead just lit the rabbit hutch on fire. The rabbits were pissed.

Still. Goat Sim reminds me of that.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 27, 2016 3:29 PM  

Anybody who has ever raised goats will tell you that Goat Simulator is the most realistic of all simulation games. Particularly when you collect enough murder victims and sacrifice them to Baphomet to become Evil Dark Super Flying Goat. Goats are ALWAYS trying to do that. If they weren't all ADD sufferers, they would have sacrificed us all by now.

Blogger Chiva May 27, 2016 3:36 PM  

@Snidely. I raise goats and they truly do have ADD.

Anonymous VFM #6306 May 27, 2016 3:57 PM  

Goats have ADD and a superiority complex over sheep. You simply have to watch your back. They are the carney of the farm world. Damn if I wouldn't pick them first for a livestock-based suicide mission though. The G in ZFG stands for "goat."

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 27, 2016 4:08 PM  

VFM #6306 wrote:You simply have to watch your back. They are the carney of the farm world.
I have literally seen a buck goat humping a wooden fencepost with a knothole in it. It's not an exaggeration.

Blogger Were-Puppy May 27, 2016 4:12 PM  

@26 VFM #6306
You simply have to watch your back
---

long time ago a friend had a goat. If you weren't paying attention, you would get headbutt out of nowhere.

Blogger Salt May 27, 2016 4:51 PM  

OT - Yeah, it's over. Vaunted grrrl power takes a Britishly understated hit.

"While the Matildas played with a rotating squad, there is no denying losing to a team of school boys is far from ideal preparation for the world's fifth ranked team in their quest for Olympic gold at Rio."

OpenID frankluke May 27, 2016 5:24 PM  

I used to raise sheep. They too suffer from ADD but are too dumb to be truly evil as goats are.

Except a few... I remember we had one ewe that headbutted a mule so hard he fell over. I think she was just mean, though, not evil.

Anonymous dsmart May 27, 2016 5:58 PM  

@VD

Yes, they designed the new generation of their Cobra engine specifically to power ED. It's a fantastic engine and the networking layer, coupled with how they handled the peer-to-peer instancing is the sort of thing that voodoo doctors speak of. Especially when you consider the scale they are pushing.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 27, 2016 6:02 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 27, 2016 6:03 PM  

When I was raising sheep, and goats for that matter, butting a human was a capital offense. Didn't matter how much wool/milk or meat the animal could produce, one headbutting and it was butchering time.

Nothing quite like gutting an animal while the kids are dancing the "Yay, Dad killed that mean fucker" dance. Then eating his liver for dinner.

My wife once cold-cocked a 240 lb Rambouillet ram, then worked him over with a 2x4 for threatening to butt a child.
Note; do not threaten my children.

Anonymous VFM #6306 May 27, 2016 6:34 PM  

A sheep is so stupid that he can't remember the beating long enough to associate it with any of his behavior.

A goat will plot a reckoning.

Sheep Citizen.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash May 27, 2016 6:44 PM  

Well, we wound up eating the ram a couple of weeks later after he again threatened a butting on a child. I do love mutton.

And yes, goats are evil. A supervillain could conquer the earth if he found the right medication to control goats' ADD. Sounds like a novella plot.

Blogger tz May 27, 2016 7:29 PM  

The Thinkers built a ship and told the third class that the planet was to be consumed by a "giant space goat." So they built a ship and sent off their third class.
- Adams, Hitchhiker's guide.
Maybe it wasn't an unsanitized telephone.

Blogger tz May 27, 2016 7:37 PM  

The goat in space reminds me of the Baphomet statue in Detroit.
Space goats from hell?
(Some of the local farms here have goats. While useful as livestock they really aren't very nice.)

Blogger tz May 27, 2016 7:41 PM  

@Snidely - didn't see the posts before mine. Spot on.
Perhaps "nanny government" means a goat runs things. We had Billy jeff, spouse of the presumptive nominee.
Wether (look up spelling) the GOP responds?

Anonymous Ain May 27, 2016 8:56 PM  

Somebody told me goats wizz in their own faces if they're not de-balled.

Blogger Markku May 27, 2016 9:10 PM  

It's really funny how well the E:D narrative is crafted to explain all the idiosyncracies caused by the restrictions that come from having made it in the only possible way that could work.

Narrative: Hyperspace works in such a way that you set the ship in the general direction of a star, it follows the space curvature, and when it determines that it is adequately close to a large mass, it drops out of hyperspace

Reality: There is a simple hyperspace animation, carefully designed so that it can take any number of seconds, and it just so happens that it takes longer if your network is slow, or the servers are under a heavy load. This is when the servers do the instance matchmaking for the next star system, which is a completely unrelated instance WRT from whence you came, unless you happened to be following a ship - which you can only do in one way: By scanning the other ship's hyperspace "wake" so that the game knows your intent. If you did, it makes sure you end up in the same instance. If you didn't, well, the ship OBVIOUSLY jumped somewhere else....

THIS is how early in the design you have to understand all the restrictions imposed by your network code, when you design such a game.

Blogger Were-Puppy May 27, 2016 9:17 PM  

@33 Snidely Whiplash
When I was raising sheep, and goats for that matter, butting a human was a capital offense. Didn't matter how much wool/milk or meat the animal could produce, one headbutting and it was butchering time.
---

That's more useful than what the rags do with 'em

Anonymous r May 28, 2016 10:05 AM  

Elite: Dangerous is one solution with one set of tradeoffs that works well for what it is. Eve has a different solution with a different set of tradeoffs that also works well (give or take some time dilation under superheavy load).

Star Citizen would need a complete rewrite to be an Elite: Dangerous clone to work, and why would you care about that when E:D is actually out and you can just plug in your HOTAS and have fun?

Anonymous LastRedoubt May 28, 2016 10:14 PM  

@markku

Thank you for that explanation. That's pretty cool.

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