Diecast #240: AGDQ, Elite Dangerous, Road Redemption, Procgen Cities

 
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In this latest episode of our innovative and groundbreaking podcast, two guys talk about some videogames. But unlike those other podcasts, we don’t waste time talking about popular games that are relevant to your experience. Instead we focus on obscure indies or older titles. You’re welcome.

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Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.


00:00 Awesome Games Done Quick

I’m really curious what everyone else thought of the show. They had almost zero games I care about this year, but maybe they’re zeroing in on a core audience of 90s kids.

10:52 Rimworld

19:00 Elite Dangerous

I’m sure this tirade will be completely non-controversial and nobody will have a problem with it.

35:45 Road Redemption


Link (YouTube)

During this segment I claimed the road was different every time. The loading screen makes it sound like the road is being randomized. But after a few hours of play, I’m questioning if this is true, or what parts are actually randomized.

40:00 Twitch Autoplay

I call shenanigans.

47:45 Mailbag: procedural city generator by Marian42

Dear Diecast,

Have you seen the procedural city generator by Marian42? It looks like the sort of thing that a procedurally generated city programmer and his co-host the Blender enthusiast might be interested in. Despite reading Marian’s blog post about the project multiple times, I still don’t understand the waveform collapse algorithm he uses to generate the city. Any thoughts?

–John

Here is the generator Paul was talking about.


Link (YouTube)

57:49 Mailbag: Epic Games Store

Dear Diecast.

You most likely already have read the news about Ubisoft moving their games from Steam to Epic store. Shamus seems pretty positive about Epic store because of “competition is always good”. But for me it looks like rather bad thing happening right now to PC gaming. Epic doesn’t compete with Steam for customers, it competes for developers, and the customers are just getting screwed in the process, because they are forced to use obviously inferior (in terms of features) store. No reviews, no forums, no tags, no big picture, no controller customization, no time played tracking and so on. Steam developed shitton of features over the years which it didn’t have to (because of having no competitors). Why would you think that Epic would do the same? They have the games exclusively on their store and it’s enough to force the customer that want to play them to use it. Epic haven’t promised any features other than user reviews (opt in for publisher!). Origin and Uplay exist for years and they have zero of Steam features. Isn’t it likely that we end up with Epic store as the same shitty but cross-publisher store? For me it looks more about corporate greed than any consumer benefits. Epic has billions of profits from Fortnite which they want to invest in getting cut from every pc game sale, and publishers want to have bigger share of revenue. Customers are just would be forced to live with what corporations allow them.

Best regards, Dmitri.

I notice we keep having this discussion, and I’m not sure how to break us out of this loop. Let me try an analogy:

A sports team comes up with a new strategy. Say the Zanarkand Abes invent a new passing strategy. Suddenly they begin scoring goals in situations where teams usually couldn’t score. This is a good strategy. It makes the game more interesting. This strategy might be adopted by other teams and mix things up.

This does not mean that the Zanarkand Abes are the best team, or even that they deserve to win the title. They might be a terrible team with bad players, but this move they invented still has value. In a league where one team wins all the time, anything that disrupts the status quo is good.

Yes, the Epic platform might ruin a few titles. Maybe it will turn out the platform never adds basic features. But that still could be less overall damage to the industry than having everything ruled by a single hegemonic storefront. Consider two numbers:

A: The number of titles that would have made money if they were only paying a 12% royalty fee, but who lost money with a 30% royalty fee. These teams will either disband or choose not to make a sequel.

B: The number of games that wind up being exclusive to the Epic games store.

If A is greater than B, then Epic’s move is overall good for games even if they never improve their storefront. On top of this, I think a game being tied to a single horrible storefront is less of a tragedy than a game not getting made at all. This is particularly true in the case of under-served markets and niche games.

That said, I’m actually pinning my hopes on Discord and GoG.

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