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Latest Comments by DrMcCoy
Development on the new System Shock has been paused
17 February 2018 at 8:25 am UTC Likes: 3

I don't like Nightdive Studios at all (for various reasons I won't get into here), but I do actually think this explanation of what happened and their plans to counteract what went wrong sounds reasonable.

They got carried away making the game, in their eyes, better, so much so that it started to become a different game altogether. That happens. It's not great, but not terribly uncommon either.

Stopping development for a while, rethinking their situation (and then hopefully getting back onto the original track) is exactly what they need to do now. That seems like the right move to me.

Rise of the Tomb Raider announced for Linux, port from Feral Interactive
14 February 2018 at 8:38 am UTC

I already have this game in my Steam library (from a bundle? Humble Monthly?), but I'm confused about what exactly I have there.

The DLCs are not marked as owned, so I don't have the "20 Year Celebration" edition, I guess? So I'd still need to buy the season pass? Does this include the "Rise of the Tomb Raider 20 Year Celebration Pack" one? Grrr...

In short, what exactly do I need to buy to have everything?

The excellent puzzle game Opus Magnum is now available on GOG
1 February 2018 at 11:13 pm UTC Likes: 1

ValckAny insights into why GoG would deny a request to sell the game?

This is mostly a rumour, but allegedly Opus Magnum looked too much like a mobile game to GOG.

Frankly, I've long since given up on expecting anything rational from GOG.

Steam now has a form of platform-specific wishlisting, to help developers see demand
7 December 2017 at 12:45 pm UTC

Yeah, I do have a bit of a problem where I think "Oh, this looks neat. I'm gonna wishlist it!" quite often. Then during sales, I buy a bunch of them, but somehow always less than I added in the meantime.

And then I only seldom find time to play them.

Heck, there's even some games I bought full-price on release day that I still need to play.

Steam now has a form of platform-specific wishlisting, to help developers see demand
7 December 2017 at 12:16 pm UTC Likes: 7

A quote dump from what I wrote on Twitter:

I like the idea of this existing, but I feel like rolling it into the wishlist is a bad idea.

My wishlist is already messy and neigh unusable with 200+ games on it and no way to keep it organized. Now I'm supposed to wishlist Windows-only stuff, making it even more laborious?

I mean, the wishlist entries don't even show the platform. So I have to double-check that before buying lest I accidentally buy a game I can't play.

Or get excited upon seeing a game on my wishlist while looking through it and getting disappointed a few seconds later.

Before this is in any way usable, I need a way to organize my wishlist. Creating sublists, filter options, fine control over sales notifications, ...

A single flat list is just an unwieldy mess when there's more than a dozen items on it.

Sorry for being so negative. I'm just not happy with the wishlist in general and I feel this exasperates my issues with it.

Especially since I feel I now *have* to do it to get my want for ports registered :/

--

Another point I only thought about later: this also means is that people might gift me a Windows-only game (I have been gifted games from my wishlist by some lovely people). Which would be unfortunate.

TL;DR: I don't think this particular implementation is all that great, sadly.

Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition is coming from Beamdog, Linux support confirmed
23 November 2017 at 9:21 am UTC

Well, I did preorder NWN:EE, and have access to the "headstart" (beta) version now.

The game does come with the standard Bink files. And there's still no Bink support in the Linux client at all, so movies still don't play. That's a bit disappointing.

Audio mixing is weird/buggy now, too, with NPC voices not heard unless I start pulseaudio. And area background music isn't heard, with or without pulseaudio.

Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition is coming from Beamdog, Linux support confirmed
23 November 2017 at 12:33 am UTC

slaapliedjebut it could be the original was written in .Net as well.

No, Borland C++Builder.

Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition is coming from Beamdog, Linux support confirmed
22 November 2017 at 3:47 pm UTC

abelthorneThe hack I mentioned is nwmovies (on GitHub). Is that the same one you're talking about?

Yes.

abelthorneI'm a bit annoyed that it displays a window border for a fraction of a second every time it plays a video, that's why I was looking for a solution with a more classic format.

The Bink format has been reverse engineered by the FFmpeg people. So you should be able to just use mplayer, mpv, vlc, or any other video player to play the Bink files, instead of the original Bink player.

You might want to look into the nwmovies.pl script to see how it calls what player, and change it according to your needs.

abelthorneAlso, for some reason, while all the guides I've seen say to put the Bink player in the movies folder, they seem to play fine on my system without it, using only nwmovies.

That would be already using mplayer then, I think. Look into the nwmovies.pl script and see what it does .

abelthorneI assume it includes Bink decoding but I'm not sure about this.

No. nwmovies just calls another player, either the original Bink Player or mplayer.

abelthorneI guess they'll reencode the videos in a more modern format, I think that's what they did with the Baldur's Gate Enhanced Editions. I wouldn't make a bet on them using the original "master" files, though, they'll probably just reencode the existing bik videos to mp4 or similar.

That would be disappointing.

abelthorneSure, but the videos are already in pretty low quality, a proper reencoding would barely be noticeable.

Well, okay, yes, it might not be with more modern codecs. But back in the day, using XviD, it was very noticable.

Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition is coming from Beamdog, Linux support confirmed
22 November 2017 at 11:14 am UTC

abelthorneA bit off topic but do you have more infos on this?

There simply was no Bink player for Linux at that time, so they removed the ability to play movies altogether from the video client.

People from the community wrote an LD_PRELOAD hack that hooks up into the original game, at the place where the video player would be called, and instead call a native Linux program for playing videos, like mplayer.

You would then have to get official Bink tool, a Windows .exe, and run that in Wine. It would take a Bink movie and export each frame as a single picture image and the sound as a .wav, and then you'd recreate a new video file out of it that can be played with that native Linux program. This, of course, reduces the quality of the video quite a bit.

Nowadays, there are native Bink player for Linux, both the official closed-source Bink player, and also all FLOSS players, because the ffmpeg people have RE'd the Bink format. So while that hack to hook into the original game is still necessary, you at least don't need to transcode the video files anymore.

My hope with the NWN:EE is that they'll make the hack obsolete too, by just using the native Bink library to play the videos, like on Windows. Or alternatively, use a different codec altogether, by recreating the videos from their original source (thus not lowering the quality through transcoding).

abelthorneit would be better if I could use a better format.

You of course can still do that. But you'll introduce quality losses, because going from one lossy codec to another is lossy.

So I for one would advice against it.

abelthorneI assume the game would look only for the bik movies, do I simply convert them and it'll play whatever is in the dir as long as the file name without the extension is correct?

From my understanding of the nwmovies hack, this is correct, yes.

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