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About lazygecko

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  1. "I used to play King Lear" was something Bob Hoskins said about his role in Super Mario Bros, and the exact same quote was one of Rickman's lines in Galaxy Quest.
  2. Something I started thinking about since it feels like the film being firmly in the pantheon of "bad video game movies" seems to have become this self-perpetuating narrative that just gets mindlessly repeated without any real critical thought put into it. Basically the only things that do get acknowledged are that 1: It was a very loose interpretation of the source material, 2: the filming/production was a nightmare and Bob Hoskins absolutely hated working on it, and 3: Nintendo regretted the decision and caused them to back away from film licensing until very recently. Now, I can understand that people would be disappointed that it is not a faithful interpretation of the source material, but apart from that none of these things really say anything about the quality of the film on its own merits. Plenty of films have had very troubled developments but still come out great in the end. And I find the whole re-imagining of the world as this dystopian cyberpunk-esque setting to actually be pretty fun and bold move with the amount of thought they put into recontexualizing all the game elements to fit the setting. It's very different from typical boneheaded Hollywood decisions you otherwise see like cutting out the hell and demon themes from Doom entirely. I haven't seen the movie in its entirety again in a long time, but watching clips of it on Youtube it does seem like a pretty fun romp that would be inoffensive at worst. Hardly something I would call bad and difficult to watch. And even though the main cast don't really have their hearts in the project off camera, they do their jobs and Dennis Hopper gets to chew the scenery. Basically what spurred my thought on the whole thing was The Last of Us HBO series that just came out, which is more or less a rigid 1:1 adaptation of a game that already aspires to be as cinematic and live action-adjacent as it can be in its presentation and performance, which I find so fundamentally uninteresting and superfluous as an adaptation, and the original SMB movie is something you'd find at the exact opposite end of the spectrum.
  3. lazygecko

    Buying music nowadays

    Supporting artists directly through Bandcamp, Patreon and/or merchandise is basically the way to go. Spotify doesn't provide shit for the average musician and it's just yet another facet of unsustainable big tech propped up by venture capital hoping for some big long term payoff that's never gonna happen. Bandcamp being acquired by Epic doesn't bode well either, though.
  4. lazygecko

    2000s-era Internet Nostalgia

    I hold little to no nostalgia for that period of the internet, or pop culture in general. I'm glad that's far behind us.
  5. lazygecko

    Sonic the Hedgehog franchise discussion

    It is definitely not dumb proof. Designing a set of samples that conform to the chip/format limitations can be quite challenging, and back in those days people didn't have nearly as flexible and easy to use tools for sample editing as we do today. The vast majority of developers simply relied on the bog standard library Nintendo provided with the devkit. And there are plenty of mistakes in instrument samples in tons of games causing tuning issues and the likes. I really don't like seeing this common claim by laymen that SNES music was simply easier to do across the board, because I think it undermines just how much skill and clever problem solving went into the higher tier of soundtracks and how they figured out the best creative optimizations. As for the orchestra discussion, I also find that to be kind of reductive, and I think what people really mean without quite being able to articulate it is that the SNES simply does sheer scale very well. The advantage of sampling, even with the limited memory, is that you can put entire sections of string/brass/choir recordings into a single sample which span multiple performers playing in unison and stacking several octaves, so you get this really big sound that conveys orchestral symphonies well. But given the strict memory limitations, this also comes at a tradeoff of depth and expression, because you're not really gonna have enough space to fit different articulations of said instruments like staccatos, tremolos, crescendos, etc (the only games I know of that even attempts this is Actraiser 2, and it has a very diminished set of unique instruments so it could fit the different articulations into memory). This is actually where FM has a big advantage where the equivalent instrument parameters only require a few bytes instead of several kilobytes, so you can create as many variations you want (or use parameter automation to alter them on the fly). There aren't really any released games that truly take advantage of this though. But typically stuff like brass articulations have proper decays and swelling in timbre, whereas on SNES they have to approximate everything just with raw volume envelopes. If you settle for a smaller scale, chamber music type of style, you could get orchestral type of music on the Genesis that instead sounds richer and more expressive with well articulated solo violins and the likes, where everything just has more texture and life to it.
  6. This new video from Folding Ideas is kind of needlessly lengthy in its dissertation and the best part are the concrete anecdotes from the game rather than the abstract theory, but the topic itself on instrumental play is very interesting, and while WoW is used as the main example it's something that applies to gaming as a whole and especially how the modern internet has normalized this kind of trickling down of minmaxing attitudes that pervades even the casual sphere. I think the most telling microcosm event is the one brought up relatively early about a guy who was ostracized by his entire guild for not spending more hours grinding over a given week for a minuscule chance to earn a trinket with a few more item levels that may have theoretically increased his performative output by around half a percent. When Shadowlands launched I made an effort to get into mythic+ dungeon running for the first time. And I would say I was still doing it on a very casual level not that concerned with attempting to reach the higher keystone difficulty levels. But the pressure from the community still felt immense and downright unhealthy for me. And on top of that I was playing as an arcane mage which was not considered the absolute best of the best class/spec tier at the most hardcore level. This practically does not matter at all outside of that sphere of top players since we're talking about a few percents of difference in theoretical damage under the most optimal conditions, but the whole psychology of instrumental play that has been so heavily normalized in the community as a whole meant that I had a very hard time being invited into groups and was disproportionately scrutinized in the group dynamics. So that's WoW but there's also the discussion about how it affects gaming as a whole. The video briefly touches on speedrunning which is sort of a different facet of instrumental play, and one I would instead describe as largely positive with very supportive communities and also pretty compartmentalized from how games are "normally" played. I think single player CRPGs also factor into this and how you could notice a clear shift in design philosophies even in the modern throwback games that try to recapture the magic of Baldur's Gate and the likes. The normalization of online databases, video guides and theorycrafting (what the video describes as "paratext") feels like it has resulted in devs being very hesitant to put overtly overpowered items in their games for the players to find, like you often could in older CRPGs, since there's a kind of tacit expectation that word will spread very quickly on how to obtain these items and everyone will just be using them all the time. The Souls games that kinda straddle the line between single player and multiplayer/shared social experienced have also garnered a reputation for having the most insufferable backseat gamers whenever someone streams these online and get yelled at for not using the absolute best strategy, build or item in any given situation. And then there's just what I would describe as generally weird stuff like competitive Quake 3 players effectively disabling textures by setting them to the lowest possible mipmap values and making the game ugly as hell because it gives you an edge in raw readability.
  7. lazygecko

    Sonic the Hedgehog franchise discussion

    No one I knew in my social circle at the time actually took the console war stuff seriously. It was just seen as some cheeky fun. The more games the merrier was the mantra. It was only when I started socializing online that I noticed people actually buying into that narrative. I don't think your attitude at the time was unusual though. In the 2000s I think there was definitely this very aggravating anti-Sega bias online perpetuated by the "gatekeepers" of retro gaming circles, ie the people running the websites publishing articles or putting out some of the earliest video content. Even if they actually liked some Sega games they just couldn't help making a back-handed compliment about it. These people were very predominantly Americans acting like they had some kind of chip on their shoulder from the edgy 90's marketing poking fun at Nintendo, and this kind of set the overarching online narrative that saturated public opinions on gaming forums as a whole. Things are definitely a lot better today as the retro gaming community has diversified and matured greatly.
  8. Insider trading is a serious crime. Unless you're the US congress.
  9. This is a very, very long medium post detailing the whole ordeal of the entire project from start to finish from Mick's perspective. I'll try and "summarize" the key points (this will still be long as hell) that stick out: Edit: It looks like the old thread was resurrected while I was writing the summary. Merging the post into the old thread should be fine as well.
  10. Here's what it looks like with the palette tonemap enabled in GZDoom. I think there are 2 main things holding this feature back at the moment: gamma/brightness and lack of dithering. It could probably look a lot more dynamic and interesting if it actually let you configure methods to dither down to the 256 color palette (any dither mods I try using just seems to apply the pass after the palettization has already been down), and since the relighting mod makes many areas very dark it also results in merciless color reduction and banding from the palette. Currently I have the gamma set to 1.2 to even be able to see, but I think if the tonemapping was applied after the gamma raise then there would probably be more colors in the midrange for it to work with.
  11. Did you manage to get independently filtered parallax somehow? What I have come up with is basically some kind of weird half measure where trilinear texture filtering is enabled, and then 6x NormalNx texture scaling is used which retains a kind of pixelated look and it properly interpolates the parallax depth. Still, the output just feels weirdly smeared. Also trying the GZDoom tonemap post processor to palettize everything to the original palette. Not really sure how much I like that either.
  12. Before and after texture filtering is toggled. Seems pretty obvious it's the lack of interpolation that is the culprit here. Wondering if and how that could be solved on the shader level.
  13. There's a setting in the option that determines the light direction, and the default is set to random. Testing with the Bandither shader
  14. lazygecko

    Thoughts on the Fallout Games?

    There's a universal trend towards short-sighted greed in post-agricultural civilization that transcends capitalism as an ideology. The Romans regressed from a republic into an authoritarian state and eventually collapsed precisely because of an upwards transfer of collective wealth to a class of elites who just kept taking more and more for themselves. And it was that kind of vibe and historical thread the Fallout narrative was tapping into.