Tagged boring

The Tedium Of Control: 4K Virtual Photography & Critique

RND/ To consider a Control game / story design assessment.

Via Visiting Resident Bureau Theorist Robert What.

Some 4K Virtual Photography:

Subjective philosophical note fragments arising after recent virtual engagement with Control simulation. Forward to Director Trench eyes only (Astral Plane.)

00: To consider Control as violently mediocre and terminally overrated by easily impressed agents and-or parties acting within this agency. Suggest they ‘run a check’ to see if critical cognitive functioning is at optimal. (Good example: the laughably shill-like, pseudo-philosophical ‘Concrete & Control’ video by Inside Gaming.)

01: In which the real Control game is only ever vaguely symbolically hidden within the drab simulation we got.

02: The voice of Agent Jesse Faden is so stunningly awful, so amazingly bland, it’s a wonder she isn’t shot on sight by other bureau staff for acting so badly – like some Hisser, badly pretending to be remotely human. Janitor Ahti’s broom has more of a believable backstory and personality. Indeed, every time one sees a (pointless) closeup of her dead-eyed mug asking dumb questions to itself, one feels an overwhelming urge to slap it blind with the dirty wet business end of said broom:

Jesse Faden, Agent Of Cluelessness

03: There is next to zero deep interrogation of the themes Control purports to examine – only by accident and by oblique implication are the notions and idea spaces of (say) Cosmic Horror and Brutalist Architecture remotely engaged with.

04: The Bureau itself is one of the more interesting aspects of the game and feels criminally under represented.

05: Other than Janitor Ahti, former Director Zachariah Trench is the most interesting character and has the best voice acting. His removal so early in the game was a big mistake. (Right from the outset, Agents / Players know about and care less than nothing for Jesse, and her instant promotion at the very beginning is arbitrary and without emotional impact.)

3840 x 3840 .jpg – Ideal / Idealized Cost for such Conceptual Work: £160K – contact Robert What for details:

A Thermo-Psychic Bureau Portrait of Director Zachariah Trench

06: While often mildly entertaining, the video based appearances of former Head Of Research Casper Darling do little to actively improve the game, since they feel distinctly incongruous with Controls’ overall aesthetic. Recommend immediate suspension of all live action video in video games.

07: Control would work best as a whole speculative ‘theory-fiction’ space, the video game being only one key aspect of the internet-diffused narrative mega-structure. Instead, there’s very little to go on after a couple of hours playing and one feels highly bored of the whole thing.

08: Rather than a shitty cut-scene, the ‘claiming of spaces’ back from their Hiss state should have been rendered in real-time. In fact the bizarre physical mutation of the structure of The Oldest House should have been rendered in real time as part of the gameplay – like a form of ‘control point capture’.

09: Narrative elements such as contexual lore and back story feel cynically and lazily shoe-horned in. Few want to read a heavily redacted screenshot of a text file nowadays. Why aren’t such elements presented dynamically in-world, live, fully integrated into the game itself, rather than a mere dumb ‘overlay’? The same goes for audiotapes. Nobody listens to them.

10: Once players are exposed to the Hiss for the first time, their subsequent and repetitive reappearance is nothing but mindless grind and a useless obstacle to free movement throughout the Bureau.

11: OK, it’s ‘supposed’ to be a confusing, maze-like labyrinth, but holy Hissing Jebus the map given to agents must be the most useless ever designed. One is better off getting a notion of where North is by the flicking lights seen in a nearby toilet.

12: The game’s often just too fucking dark, and the ray tracing option frankly boring, smeary and grainy. Also without a 2080ti, 16megs and a quick SSD minimum, the fame rate chugs during intense action.

13: One eventually logged off in boredom (waiting for a spore vaccine jab from the good Doctor), feeling unable to continue due to the painfully slow and frustrating speed of traversal and exploration. There simply wasn’t enough emotional engagement or genuine intellectual interest on display to keep one playing and engaged; all the available (/implied) elements of Control never quote gelled to the point one was totally aware of a unified story space being successfully presented. Indeed one felt ‘Control’ should have been simply named ‘Tedium’. (Just check out how bored the last guy looked):

Save me from Control zzzzzz

// how to play big science

Blocktober Gamedev Screenshots

RND/ To imagine a game called #Blocktober, in which largely untextured, ‘blocked out’ in progress levels are presented as ready to play:

3840 x 2160, 256 col .png, images via Twitter

– In which you still see the exact same kinds of developmental (architectural) paradigms at work, and although in modern terms and methods are highly efficient and heavily engine optimized, they still rest on largely un-examined first principles, common shared language (gaming grammars and assumptions) – regarding space, gravity, proportion, usage. Places based on such (often dull, ‘real world’ based) assumptions are still often merely backdrops to the action rather than central characters in themselves, and still very much static rather than dynamic. They just stand there like blocks of dumb concrete (despite being made of pixels and light.)

For the AAA games industry, #Blocktober represents “a beautiful insight into how game worlds are built” (Rock Paper Shotgun) but, rather than some apparently clarifying ‘behind the curtains’ look at how the game sausage is made, is in fact its entirely hidden ideological foundation.

Indeed, why else would so many people spend quite so long tinkering endlessly (and largely uselessly) with getting two adjoining virtual walls to line up ‘just so’? Who should care about that? Is there anything more cosmically boring and overly long winded than level design as it exists now? Just check out the Two Time making his own level. Why isn’t the level being actively designed via instant, dynamic hands-on play, instead of this endlessly anal ‘screwdriver mode’ (as Brian Eno calls it)?

// how to play big science

Cyberpunk as an Ideological Safe Space For Transhuman Capitalist Techno-Fascist Jerkoffs

RND// To consider at least a few ways in which Cyberpunk always was a mere ideological safe space for transhuman capitalist techno-fascist jerkoffs.

A possible response or temporary 12-step satirical antidote to the uninterrupted, unfiltered gushing hype still (to this day) surrounding what basically seems only a minor vestigial sub-genre within the literary sc-fi ghetto:

Scene 000. Oh to unceremoniously drop kick Cyberpunk back into the back alley garbage it was found discarded in. Not only just another gross teen terminator power level 9000 circle jerk, but a key expression of the banal fantasy of power – always simply just Your-Inner-Dad with a new fake designer eye he utterly fails to perceive his own willful idiocy and asshole-ness from. A speculative scenario in which Cyberpunk was, and is always forever thoroughly bleached / beached plastic White (as a state of techn0-mind and will-to-dominance.) Cyberpunk as cool, only in the sense that a twitching corpse hooked up to the internet is cold to the touch.

Scene 001. Cyberpunk as a Dark (/Web) Paradise – a desperately inane Killing Joke always at someone else’s real expense, writ large on the walls of Global Spectacle – bloody, circuit-riddled idiot brains smeared up against a wall of conservative shit streaks, mere ideological shorthand for “Sociopathically Fetishized Hyper-Futurism” – that is, a perfected Utopian Dystopia or Dark Paradise for arche-typical leather clad über-dingus “Lord Edge” to strut around in – renegade maverick dick king of the biowired dung-heap, casually dishing out Cool Cyberpunk Headshots to those deemed less automatically unworthy of survival in His Brave New Data Order. Cyberpunk as something always kinda pathetic and vague and dimly violent, for tough guy wankers only – militant Ryandian individualists with a pathological Lone Wolf Syndrome chip on / in their shoulders – self important internet trolls run amok who underwent Permanent Irony-Gland Removal Procedure at vat-birth.

Scene 002. “Information Wants To Be Free.” Yeah, for a price only a pre-selected minority can pay. What ‘freedom’ in this context means is simply exclusive Neoliberal distribution rights – the heavy hidden hand of the global market place concerned only with constant ‘disruption’ – ie. constantly shaking dead tree to loosen coins from your rentier wallet – the black hole of big data pushing its dead weight around, leveling entire mountains to shave off milliseconds off sweet ‘free market’ trades. Information releasing itself from Pandora’s internet box, only as a cause for celebration for those already with the fiscal means to trade in it. And besides, who gives a flying neon tinted shit about apparently holy ‘Information’ when it’s Meaning your starving for?

Scene 003. On “The Street Finds It’s Own Uses For Things”: No. You don’t live on the street like or with almost everyone else – you merely hang about on rainy rooftops looking cool, have easy instant access to bleeding edge arm blades and high caliber A.I retorts for when you’re murdering roving mutie punk gangs. Your weak “I didn’t ask for this”™ excuse doesn’t wash here either – nobody’s buying the fact The System had you brought hook line and sinker from the very outset. This is a ‘program’ (in all senses) you already committed to with every breath of your pretty designer lungs.

Sure, you often get all angsty over the radical changes to your meat puppet body and your ongoing mis-relationship with technology (at this point, sufficiently indistinguishable from Magical Thinking) but no doubt your cool black leather jacket and ‘street cred’ will see you through another day of hard, bloody ‘biz’ and designer sex, you poor synthetic lamb.

Scene 004. The same goes for that old ‘High Tech, Low Life’ lie: whenever Cyberpunk talks of and-or evokes ‘grim meathook realities’, it’s only ever suggesting that some poor bastard making shoes out of old tires on a dusty street corner in Africa is somehow remotely ‘cool’. That is, it’s only ever cool and interesting from an ultra-privileged, White-minded, colonialist position of safety and comfort. You are not (nor never were) that abandoned orphan in some war lord torn state, forced to sell your life and labor to passing Ugly Inner Amerikan tourists in a passing air conditioned tour bus; you are not seen as entirely disposable and meaningless as the tires they cut using a bit of old wire connected to a stolen Tesla battery.

You however with your soft hands, soft wired brain, almost no moral spine and barely a fucking clue, generally live on the Lowest Default Difficulty Setting possible. So enough oozing with techno-romanticism already – all those pious industry psalms have been heard before. Cyberpunk as a cheap holiday through other people’s misery – with WiFi.

Scene 005. Anti-Humanist, Cyberpunk Transhuman Assholism 101: In which you are only ‘free’ under Global Ludocapitalism to be an ’emancipated slave’ – ie. to be free to mindlessly be consumed by mass consumption. There’s about as much potential for actual freedom within Cyberpunk Reality as there is by upgrading your fucking graphics card in order to play Cyberpunk 2077 (wow, who even remembers them Old W4r3z?)

Scene 006. Style Over Substance.

It’s like, hey, you get more street cred experience because you looked cool killing someone.” – Alvin Liu, CD Projekt Red

You mean only have style, because your substanceless and generally pathetic. But no, wait haven’t you heard? That’s recently been updated with a hotfix patch to ‘style *with* substance’ – the new old Playstation inspired Third Way, ‘Labor with a Laptop’ as they used to say in England. It’s been done to death. Talk about barely warmed over – at this point, Cyberpunk make Zombies look fresh dynamic and exciting.

Scene 007. The Cyberpunk Future Doesn’t Need You: It’s been repeatedly running itself into the ground for quite a while now. A fully automated shit show out of control – yet which is fully in control of you. Likewise, nobody needs Cyberpunk. Try living in a shitty rented room with a flickering neon sign loudly humming right outside; you’ll want to smash that shit right off with a lump hammer inside an hour. (How deadpan-ironically punk.)

Scene 008. The Only Thing Good About Punk Was Post-Punk. Punk was to Disco what Post Punk was to Syd Vicious – some dimly aggressive undead hamster who shot up speed mixed with vomit and toilet water and only impressed very few. Shit, the only thing going for Punks was the very fact they were Pretty Vacant – at least compared to Cyberpunks cosmically cringy, ultra self serious techno-fascist ‘Mirrorshades’ data highway cop look. Thankfully we collectively moved on fast after that false dead start and got Television, Wire, Cocteau Twins and No Wave. Listen to the raw power of Iggy’s Down On The Street and realize (/Cyber)punk on serious LSD tabs would be an immediate and much needed improvement. The Stooges make (/Billy Idol’s) Cyberpunk look like Fucking Abba’s Greatest Hits.

Scene 009. Cyberpunk as Pseudo-Dystopian (‘Pseudopian’): The myth Cyberpunk constantly told itself is that was it ever somehow remotely, truly Dystopian. In fact it was only ever merely fascist Italian Futurism’s love of the sounds of war and destruction – as seen from a nice balcony overlooking the carnage in the distance. Only a few Cyberpunk fiction ever truly lived in its mundane everyday world – the vast majority (of the 1% minority) always seem too busy strutting around with all the necessary implants making big deals, busy battling for data, working for the man – all meals, ammo, accommodation and associated expenses part of the exclusive Deal.

Scene 010. In which Cyberpunk is that obnoxious pasty shit-eating brat from Ready, Player One – but just armed to his perfect teeth with smart air burst ammo and a heavily modified illegal 3D printed AK47 he regularly polishes with his MAGA hat. And somewhere on the wall of his hollow rented skull you can bet is a slightly torn poster of Cyberpunk’s spiritual guru / mythical founder William Gibson – a hopeless beanpole voyeur nerd who simply wasn’t cool enough back in the day to hack it as a hippie.

Note that an anagram of “William Gibson, Neuromancer” is “Common as unreliable wiring” and perfectly describes most Cyberpunk ever conceived – that is, it was written (badly) by Console Cowboys. [‘Cowboy’ is a UK term for bad tradespeople who do a lousy job on your house, often for inflated prices.]

Scene 011. Mask Of The Colonial Gaijin: in which all Cyberpunk ever did was pick and choose other far more interesting cultures and peoples to rip off and colonialize – which were already acting Cyberpunk in infinitely far more interesting ways than, eg. the talent free director Rupert Sanders ever envisioned. Thing is, saying shit like “Kowloon Walled City is oh so (cool and) Cyberpunk” often only ever merely betrays one as a depthless idiot, entirely indifferent to poverty and human suffering – who is only ever really interested in the Advanced Techno Aesthetic, regardless of the utterly misery which built those very (/social) structures. “It sure is neat to visit there (Virtually).. [but I’m sure glad someone else is living there instead of me!]”

Scene 012. Transhumanism: as simply anti-philosophical ideological justification for ultra rich white assholes who want to live and reign forever – as if they didn’t already own enough of the fucking pie. ‘Sieg Science’ is the transhumanist motto. Bollocks to that. Coming soon to an A.I-drone graffitied wall near you: “Death To Immortals.”

In short: believe in the pathetic, darkly laughable, amazingly obsolete, acutely embarrassing intellectual poverty and conceptual / artistic irrelevance of Cyberpunk – and YOUR DEATH WILL BE LIKE BAD SCIENCE FICTION. (Note: Keanu Reeves is only remotely ‘breathtaking’ if you’re a total chode.)

Keep your games out of my politics ;-)
– Theorist Robert What

Example Reference Links

On Absurd Videogame Industry News: JayzTwoCents Transcript

RND/ to consider a slightly rough Google transcript of a video by cool vlogger JayZTwoCents (Jason Langerin):

In which, putting it all down on the page makes it read like the mild head-injury ramblings of someone foolishly immersed / half drowned in meaningless internal videogames industry tech mews minutiae.

To ask, who talks like this? Who (apparently) has such ‘deep insights’ into the fiscal workings of super massive and inherently evil near future mega-corporations – and how does that exactly tie in to giving out consumer friendly clickbait ‘advice’ about when exactly – oh the existential pain of such a question! – to throw in one’s ideological wallet and commit fully to The (Sales) Program and purchase some inherently obsolete motherboard or graphics card.. capable of running the astoundingly beige homogeneity of modern videogames at 60pfs.

At what point does always merely “making financial sense” simply mean acting like a hollow, soulless echo chamber for His Master’s [AAA Game Industry] Voice? “Woof woof, Nivida-woof!”

JayzTwoCents: Why did AMD skip Ray Tracing on Navi cards? Man things were heating up here in Southern California and I’m not talking about the heatwave I’m talking about all the discussions regarding what’s coming coming out of III whether it be gaming consoles or of course PC hardware because AMD has obviously stolen the show with the amount of news and and press releases and all that sort of stuff now

Yes I’m aware that this is right on the heels of the last video we did about Radeon but I think there’s a lot more to talk about we have more insight we’ve done more research and we got to have a finally have a meeting with AMD engineers and talk to them specifically about some of our questions and concerns which I’ve seen parroted in the in the comments section of a lot of the video so we asked him

Does a lot of those hard facts the hard facts the hard questions and we got some information on and then also kind of a new perspective of how the sort of look at the 5700 XT and the 5700 so let’s go ahead and talk about that with their 9 blade designed the skier on D RGB fans from metallic gear offer a balance of performance and aesthetics available in both 120 and 140 millimeter sizes the ski run fans are sure to fit any size builds

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Alright so let’s rewind to August of 2018 specifically Cologne Germany when invideo launched their r-tx lineup of graphics cards and byte lineup I mean 2080 and 20 atti with a 2070 kind of thrown in the mix there a little bit and there here was the response and and this is a totally justified response but this was the general response from the public they cost how much you’re getting 20 to 30% more performance over pascal 1080 TI

But you’re getting it’s costing you 40% more whatever it was 50% more something crazy like that that the general consensus was gamers want performance they want high FPS low latency low response times you know all that sort of stuff so turning on a fidelity feature like rate racing at the cost of 50% or more FPS at the time anyway there’s been some optimizations but still it’s it’s a performance tax no matter what the audience said we don’t care about DX r we care about performance well let’s fast forward nine months later now to June of 2019 at E3

AMD launches its new high-end gaming cards not to be confused with the enthusiast level which is where the Vegas stuff and like RT X kind of resides but a high-end 5700 XT in a slightly lesser high in 5700 featuring seven nanometer Navi technology on the new rDNA architecture completely different from GC n which stands for graphics core next if you didn’t know the most common thing we saw even though it was on average a hundred dollars less than its direct competitor from Nvidia and giving you anywhere from 2 to 21% more performance in gaming was where’s the RT X or where’s the DX r where’s the ray tracing Navi was our Savior why don’t we have ray tracing Navi you were supposed to save us so I find it kind of interesting that the audience back not even a year ago was

And even just last week when we do our video about the quake 2 RT X update was no-one cares about this crap but then there’s so many people out there that are like what the hell why doesn’t have DX are so we’re in this weird kind of a limbo space where you have to make this decision do you want max performance or do you want max fidelity and by fidelity I mean all the eye candy right the global illumination soft shadows the obviously DXR ray tracing for light paths all that sort of stuff

You have to kind of take your pick because right now we are on the cusp of the next gaming revolution just like we were nearly 20 years ago when rasterization came out we’re we were on the next generation of the wait games are going to be performed so I asked this question specifically when we had our meeting today with AMD

I said can you speak to why dxr is not something that was mentioned outside of the console space because that’s the other thing that confused a lot of people was like well wait a minute if project of whatever it’s called for the new Xbox Scarlet if it’s going to have 8k capable gaming and it’s gonna have ray tracing and it’s an AMD GPU or APU technically why the heck is the PC space not even mentioning it or talking about it when that’s AMD’s bread-and-butter so I asked him that very same question and the general consensus here and of course this was a lot of like not off the record but this is off the slides at this point because there was this was not a specific forethought conversation that was supposed to be had was that ray tracing does indeed need some maturity and not with the architecture which obviously needs to happen

I mean NVIDIA is doing it through tensor cores for DL SS and that’s a super sampling right deep learning super sampling and then it needs to be also optimized in the arc RT core space which is what’s happening with all the ray tracing calculations all that math is being performed on the RT cores and then the cuda cores and a lot of the other push processing and you know that sort of stuff so we’ve seen a good first gen implementation of it in terms of the fact that you can even do it in real time was already kind of the the wow factor and then doing it at 60fps is already great obviously had a huge cost of $1,200 so $1,200 for 60fps regardless of how good the scene looks seemed like a huge step backwards to gamers and then the outcry was obvious

So AMD made the conscious choice of targeting where most gamers reside and that is going to be in the well the 5700 XT and 5700 are indeed high-end cards but it’s going to be in that range and down to be fair I think most gamers are shopping around two hundred and fifty dollars and if you want to spend that kind of money on a graphics card you’re still going to be stuck with like the RTX 580 our X 480 or will know that the 48 585 70 or even a 590 but you’re not going to obviously be getting any of the new RTR our DNA tech architecture the best way to kind of look at this is the way Rysen first-gen like the 1000 series wasn’t so much a game-changer as much as it was a disrupter it’s referred to as a disrupter because it was designed to just kind of make people kind of go whoa wait a minute what just happened okay I’m not sure about this

Something happened I want to see how this plays out and then 2000 series rise in which is still first gen rise in came out and the market share started to shift Intel’s market share gains stalled and then AMD gain back cpu market share although Intel was still the dominant player aim to gain back market share and then Xen to now giving us the amount of increase we saw an IPC and now beating apparently core four core Intel CPUs at a much lesser price has changed the CPU industry this is what AMD is banking on our DNA being for graphics this is first gen rising for graphics cards you’re not gonna see the disruption necessarily happening right now but what you’re gonna probably see is a lot of people adopt that whole wait-and-see attitude and as long as AMD can live up to the promises of we are going to be making this as good as possible over the next several generations

And by generations I don’t mean we’re talking five-year plan I mean we’re talking three-year plan probably at this point then what you’ll start to see is a much broader spectrum of competition taking place across the board but like anything else you can’t get there without launching the initial disrupter in the first place the other thing that they reason why they didn’t launch this high-end God’s saving Saito saved the gamers Navi architecture which everyone thought was gonna be coming out because we don’t remember a year ago we heard that there’s gonna be a RTX killing card for 250 dollars from AMD and that’s called na’vi

Well the internet sort of made that up on their own AMD you cannot find a single piece of information where AMD even speculated or hinted at any sort of performance for that before that dollar range whatsoever but what AMD has decided is that the raw performance is more important than the eye candy but at the same time what they was more important was that you have backwards-compatibility in terms of the toolkits and because GCN is so matured in terms of being in the console space in the PC space in the cloud space as well as mobile it was it’s easier to implement and get the technology out into the wild by making sure that it’s backwards compatible with all of that while featuring forward compatible technologies as developers come online for it

So they adopted what a lot of people said Nvidia should have done which is the adopt now and then we promise in six months to a year these features will become available because of the fact that you know it’s gonna take time for RT X and DX are to be implemented by the developers they decided to build a graphics card on a new architecture because as much as people want to say our DNA is just a rebrAMDd GCN it’s not it is ground-up different the difference is that it’s ground-up different with a hundred percent backwards support our backwards compatibility support so that allows you to have a much broader spectrum of adoption of this particular card in terms of games being designed for it while also utilizing forward-facing technologies that are only going to be available on the Navi based architecture

That once the adoption rate improves and more Navi cards are out in the wild then you’re gonna see features come online later on in games whether they’re new games or updates to existing games that means your graphics card that you buy today will get even more value in the future features that people care about like Radeon a min sharpening which is gonna be sort of like a DL SS but it’s open source and anyone can use it including Nvidia if they want to it’s kind of like the opposite of how hair works and and the Nvidia game works was back in the past although that was a very close source and developers had to either buy packages or buy particular SDKs and stuff to use those features is a hundred percent open you’re also gonna have the fidelity FX which is going to be different features that people can developers can put into their games that are going to be optimized on

Obviously now the architecture so forward compatible stuff or forward technically future proofing that as those features come online the architecture that was designed with those features in mind are gonna be remained much more relevant into the future rather than suddenly going well I’ve gotta buy a new graphics card now to use all these features you buy a new graphics card now that gets you an immediate performance bump and the way games would played today on the AP is and the SDKs that are available today specifically being you know obviously DirectX and Vulcan and then we’re gonna see an improvement in the future so that is sort of the strategy behind why AMD launched at the 5700 XT and 5700 now we tried really hard trust me we tried to find out if there’s gonna be an RX 5800 XT or a 5600 because I feel like – scuse on the rDNA family that’s a good place to start

I’d be shocked if we didn’t see the stack sort of trickled down a little bit but I don’t think you got if you guys are waiting for a twenty atti competitor from Navi I don’t think you’re gonna see it in this family I would love trust me to see a twenty atti rival right now from AMD but it’s clear that the Radeon 7 is the enthusiast card that you get from AMD right now for more entry-level stuff I almost feel like we’re probably not gonna see anything until a little bit later on maybe when the new um the updated Xen apos come out featuring Navi I also asked that question I’m like can we we see the 3200 and 3400 G featuring ray Vega 8 will we potentially see those utilising the Navi in the future and of course it was will

We’re talking about this today we can’t talk about anything in the future and of course I knew that was gonna be the answer but I’ve got a Trier I’ve got to ask the questions that you guys were all wondering the whole point of this video in fact if anyone even said just skip this video and go to this time point stamp this one if you are waiting for an Nvidia killing AMD rate racing card this is not it it’s not coming and you should probably just go ahead and determine which purchase makes sense for you right now whether you want $100 more expensive in video card that can do rate racing or $100 lesser expensive graphics card from AMD that gives you more raw performance than $100 cart a card that cost more or you get your DXR and then the frame rates kind of do that because you know the XR is a huge impact of performance

But you have that choice and the choice is yours in this consumer that’s where you vote not the comments section not the like dislike ratio you spend your money on what you believe in that’s how you vote all right guys thanks for watching I just wanted to sort of add to our last video because now that we’ve got a little bit more insight and got to get face-to-face and asked questions that were way off the slide I felt like an extension to our previous video was necessary all right guys thanks for watching and as always we’ll see you in the next one and the next one’s gonna include some hands-on stuff with Rison which I cannot wait for because teaser we might be going back to Rison for long-term testing with our editing rigs because of new graphics APR graphics SDKs that are integrate they’re gonna integrate with Adobe and stuff if and when Adobe ever gets off their ass to implement alright guys it’s an exciting time to be alive okay

We need to have a talk because I’m getting so many messages and stuff right now that it’s kind of driving me crazy because we are on the cusp of a lot of new hardware coming out and I’ve got people asking me what they should buy today we said it a million times when you guys are buying and building new equipment you need to have your ear to the ground so you know what’s coming because it’s going to affect what’s already out so today I’m gonna give you some buying advice that way you hopefully haven’t wasted or don’t waste any money here in the near future the Sennheiser HD 58 x jubilee headphones offer everything audio enthusiasts desire continuing from a long line of innovation weighing in at just 260 grams gold-plated connector 1 point 8 meter detachable cord and full rich sound make the Sennheiser HD 58 X headphones from drop the obvious choice for those who are serious about sound

Sign up for drop is always free so take advantage of this deal by heading to drop using the link in the description below so this is another one of those patented talking head videos so feel free to go ahead minimize this and put on your favorite music if you like because I just want to give you guys some information as quickly as possible since we are literally on the edge of just a crazy summer when it comes to hardware you’ve seen us already talk about it some of our other videos regarding Zen 2 and the rise in 3000 series we’ve talked about how Intel doesn’t really have a mainstream kind of a launch or match happening right now

We also talked about some of the new stuff coming out from AMD regarding graphics cards and there’s going to be a rumored to be some changes here coming from Nvidia so there’s a lot to talk about so it’s kind of concerning and I feel bad if you’re one of those people that are watching this and has sent me this message you know who you are I’ve gotten tons of them people that are currently working on various builds and I’ve said it before that it makes sense to buy parts over time if you can’t afford the best now at least the best you can afford for your budget now then maybe it’s worth waiting a little bit longer adding a little bit more into your budget that way you can get a better more future proof or future friendly PC then by saving money today because you didn’t want to save a little bit longer the problem with that piece of advice that admittedly it’s not all advice is perfect is the fact that you don’t necessarily know when new hardware is coming

Now we did kind of know that Zen 2 was coming from well Computex last year was rumors CES this year with some official announcements and that obviously we had Computex and then III wear all of the all of the cards were basically shown and we knew that July 7th was the date that a general availability for both graphics from AMD Radeon as well as AMD Xen 2 base cpus are going to be available like I said the 7th of July now what I’m kind of confused as I’ve gotten some messages from folks that are like hey I just went out today and bought myself a 2600 or a 2200 G or whatever what motherboard should I get and I’m thinking to myself oh man oh man maybe utilize that return that return policy if you’ve got one because even if you’re thinking I’m not planning on going Zen

I’m not planning on going well like I can’t even give an Intel counterpart because there’s really not one to really kind of compare with this launch its existing skews but it still sort of applies here because if AMD comes out and is truly taking back market share versus Intel – things have to happen from Intel a an answer in terms of products cues or a reduction in price now we didn’t necessarily see that happen with the first generations in but with the I pcs rumored again there’s no first-hand experience here yet rumored to be improved over last generation and exceeding Intel currently then it would make sense that they would have to potentially lower the price

Now Intel’s more expensive as it is so even if they lowered the price to match as n2 and the performance is the same well then I guess you have choice with the AMD new platform having newer features though like PCIe gen 4 and eight gigabit USB throughput rather than four gigabit and all that sort of stuff so there’s lots of lots of things to talk about there one of the things that tends to happens retailers would be Newegg Micro Center I guess memory Express in Canada and all that sort of stuff is when older generation stuff is being phased out I can tell you right now AMD is not making new CPUs for older generations and they’re not motherboard manufacturers aren’t making new motherboards for the x4 70 and older

They are all they’ve got all of our manufacturing process pumping out the newest stuff so what’s gonna happen is as older hardware’s to be phased out you’re gonna start seeing things like bundle deals you’re gonna see Rebate unity / prices so it makes no sense when right on the edge of a new hardware product being launched to go out and spend the full retail cost of some hands available now when it’s more than likely than the drop in cost now sometimes that cost savings enough to even be able to bump you up one whole processor tear or maybe even one whole graphics tear now when it comes to the graphic side of things we still don’t know exactly all the details and stuff yet

Regarding the Nvidia stuff we don’t know how exactly 5700 XT and 5700 are going to truly stack up but I can tell you right now what has always tended to happen and then it happened in Pascal was when AMD launched a new graphics card new SKUs or rearranging of price or sometimes just a complete stack change has happened from Nvidia for instance the Vega 56 and Vega 64 launched Nvidia then launched the 1070 TI which slid right in between obviously a 1070 and 1880 to sort of give you more competition or a better performance per dollar or brand value or however you want to look at it at that particular price point giving you now choice options and more than just one competitor

So the whole point of this video right now is to kind of basically tell you pump the brakes stop don’t buy any hardware yet right now seriously even if you’re not planning on buying the newest stuff changes in product stacks and prices at the retail level happens all the time in fact oftentimes a manufacturer will even incentivize through manufacturer rebates bundle deals game codes all kinds of stuff that they want to move the old product off the shelf because they want people adopting the new stuff so they want the old stuff out as quick as possible they’re gonna blow it out and the new stuff is gonna come in now we’re gonna go all the way back to first generations in ibly 2016 when the 1800 X and the 2700 or 1700 X and 1700 all that launched the 1800 X cost $500 it was an 8 core 16 thread processor that was basically double the cores that you could get from the Intel offering offering potentially disruption in the product stack of the X 99 platform

Or the 59 60 X which was a 16 core processor for a much better value of 500 bucks half the cost of a 59 60 X but with more than half the performance it didn’t match the performance but it gave you more than half the performance for half the cost which is a better performance per dollar the same thing happened with the 2700 X member there was no 2800 X just a 2700 X and down where we saw a particular launch price and then it quickly sort of came down from there so I would also be potentially leery of running out and buying new hardware on day one especially for AMD because it’s likely we could see a price drop over the next few months especially if we get as we get closer to back to school back to cool back to school sales are a legitimate thing that happened in pretty much all retailers as well as Christmas deals and Christmas bundles

And I wouldn’t be surprised if the $499 3900 X that is a 12 core 24 thread part doesn’t drop down to the potential of $400 or maybe even like a 379 range where the 3950 X part at $749 slides in at the $500 we’ve seen it every single launch from AMD a launch price followed by a price slide which makes me feel bad for the early adopters on the AMD stuff because although it’s great you potentially then see this this while your performance per per dollar is terrible versus someone who bought it at a better price with a more refined and a more matured manufacturing process of this of the node or the dye and they’re getting potentially better performance for lesser money so this is why you need to pay attention you need to have your ear to the ground and if you just ran out and bought a new processor or a new motherboard because you’re building something right now

I would potentially return it get your money back and hang on to it because at the very least you’re gonna see the same price moving forward but more than likely a price drop so that’s that would definitely be my suggestion there so anyway guys yeah just a little bit PSA here I got enough messages to warrant this video kind of telling me or telling you guys to just hold off just wait consumers have all the power in this market it’s your dollars the manufacturers are spending your money to make their parts so if you’re not spending it with them then of course you know it drives competition in terms of not just between brands but wanting your money and they’re saying how do we from you and so they give you better incentives and stuff so hang on to it anyway guys just a quick PSA thanks for watching and as always we will see you in the next one [Music]

Example Reference Links

// how to play big science

Rage 2 as the worst (most hollow) videogame of modern times

RND/ to consider poor old Rage 2, as perhaps the worst videogame of modern times – one crying out for a new theory of Hollow Videogaming to explain its particular deficiencies.

A fascinating example of a global industry long gone to creative pot and perfectly content to sit on its distinctly minor laurels, imagine Rage 2 as the digital equivalent of taste free Styrofoam Packing Peanuts; the epitome of safe, by-the-numbers design by neckless committee – the apogee of lazy and cynical Corporate Gaming Culture. Yet do not lament for its D.O.A appearance, nor its near-instant passing.

Rage 2: Abandoned Garbage

Mechanically speaking of course, its movement system and moment-to-moment gunplay seem perfectly tuned to standard AAA sub-standards. While decidedly ordinary and mindlessly repetitive (read: normalized), these systems easily pass for what’s commonly termed Fun(TM) by wandering, easily impressed ‘PC Master Race’ hordes. Rinse and repeat till you finally uninstall due to Terminal Boredom.

Blowing up spanner dumb baddies with rockets – unloading round after predictable round of shotgun ammo while in ‘overdrive’ mode into blank, expressionless faces of idiot A.Is somehow remains interesting throughout the short length of the main single player campaign. It has to be – there’s almost nothing interesting about any other aspect of the world presented. As a fragmented whole far less even then the sum of its dull, listless parts, Rage 2 feels like a vast, open world stuffed full of.. nothing much in particular.

To say this game and others like it “doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel” seems a cosmic scale understatement. It’s a long abandoned sandbox in a post apocalyptic playground, casually littered with a few dried lumps of mutant dog crap and crushed beer cans – their ancient corporate logos scoured away by the dust of digital time and the synthetic ravages of game engine sunlight. As though every element of the game merely dropped in, right out of the Digital Void – or was simply pinched off, straight out of the industry’s dark arts.

Users often report crashes to desktop, while repeatedly sighing like unwell wood pigeons. Day one patches abound. Before release, the trailers are pure AAA, hyped up ‘bullshots’ – in game Rage 2 often looks smeary, flat, largely free of geometric detail (bring back megatextures, all is forgiven!) and amazingly devoid of anything approaching Life, Emotion – or Meaning. A barren gaming wasteland, listlessly explored in a little armoured beep-beep mobile, wondering why the heck you pre-ordered (while waiting for Doom Eternal, Halo Master Chief Collection or Keanu Cyberpunk 2077 to arrive.) In the meantime, there’s yet another wastey bandit camp for you to clear out to the deep virtual north of here.

Remember those Super Ultra Generic cans of quality consumer digestibles seen in the Alex Cox’s cult punk road movie Repo Man (1984) which just said “FOOD” on the label? Well, consider Rage 2 in the exact same hopeless category. The helpful phrase ‘naff’ describes it well; a UK term indicating something is of poor quality; dull, flat, deficient. (Think of some cheap widget brought off Ebay that breaks within a week, some small plastic bit snapped off forever.)

Despite the use of awful Andrew W.K whiteboy music, Rage 2 is about as edgy and hardc0re as Your-Dad, a game nobody asked for – and yet still somehow didn’t even really arrive, even as it limped on and then instantly off our collective memory screens. Just view recent Steam Charts for desperate, saddening proof. It’s the long tale of a dead rat.

Rage 2: Concurrent Players (Steam Charts)

The only reason it seems to exist, is that by now it’s pathetically easy for companies to throw violently uninspired games like this together, and then (apparently) make easy polystyrene profits. One can imagine the design brief, tacked to the corner of some poor, half Crunched to death gamedev’s monitor screen – “Wacky Post Apocalyptic Something Loot Shooter.” (Even so, Gamesindustry.biz reports that, comparatively speaking Rage 2 is selling about half what the original did, despite the increase in digital sales.)

As regards artfully chosen aesthetics and coherent overall art direction, at least the original Rage had some – unlike Rage 2, where precise, considered design has been replaced wholesale by garish neon hues and dumb spiky hairdos. (Most NPC’s look like Keith Flint [rip] after a heavy night out on the sauce.) Someone’s making a killing in post apocalyptic hair gel! Fetishistic dystopian nuke porn for a generation all but undead from exposure to the gamma radiation of pre-order hype. (*Cough* I returned my virtual copy within half an hour.) Despite expressing what Jim Sterling disliked about Metro Exodus – that it was hopelessly cluttered and extraneously detailed to near-Baroque levels, featuring “immaculately detailed rust” – at least the original Rage clearly indicated that, at least someone somewhere was honestly trying their best.

With Rage 2 however, the overall tonal deafness and disjunction is complete. It looks and feels like it was thrown together almost automatically, via Algorithmic Google A.I Hive Mind Tech. The visual results are at worst, amazingly banal but at best express a kind of lonely, hollow kitsch. As though the entire game’s universe is simply milling about. Much like its NPC’s. Disconnected fiddling. ‘Faffing’. Permanently idling. Waiting around for a player to come and put it out of its miserly misery with multiple bullets. Truly, a game both from and of a digital post apocalypse.

Several places in Rage 2 remind one of PUBG’s desert map Mirimar – but instead of a timeless desolate beauty, their simply non-places, disappointing loot-deficient cubes.

With Rage 2, the desperate illusion of a dynamic, breathing world has finally come to rest, utterly spent and wasted by the side of the Mad Max highway to videogaming oblivion. It’s a toothless dog that’s crawled under the porch to die, alone and unloved. From this point on, there’s an argument to be made that Rage 2 symbolically stands as the ultimate in abandoned movie sets – half built and jerry-rigged, stuck together with sun melted duct tape and cheap cans of neon paint. (Even now, you can still hear the bearings rattling inside the cans, fading into the silently howling digital desert night winds.) Rage 2 as the static between dead stations, now and forever offline.

Of course, the best-worst aspect of the Rage 2 experience must be the endless (false) need to keep running forward, endlessly scooping up those fucking blue Feltrite Cells (health shards) dropped by recently killed enemies. Naturally these disappear almost instantly, and so must be proactively collected like crack vials. This exactly mirrors 2016’s “Doom Lite”, giving players back health with each kill, thereby forcing them to wade into the fray, like Mario collecting coins. Deliberately putting oneself in harm’s way, chaining – kills like empty, unwashed milk bottle days between – because such action directly feeds into the game’s focus on constant movement as raw AAA corporate videogame consumption.

This is a naked gambling mechanic which seems inspired by the repeated pull of Las Vegas slot machine levers. A straight up dirty psychological tactic, designed for short and long term reinforcement and guiding behaviour, a form of ‘learning’ about dopamine-potential-spike like rewards. In terms of raw disgust, it has to be up there with using Deliberately Slow Walking Speeds to pad out play time (eh, Metro Exodus?) Anything, anything at all to keep us gaming and our attention off the fact we’re being actively diverted from all that truly matters. From the plain fact Rage 2 doesn’t matter in the slightest (and most certainly doesn’t give a single rusted bottle cap about us.)

The two dimensional dialogue of Rage 2 ‘characters’ is amazing – like listening to the inner cringe inducing psychic ramblings of mildly coked up strangers in some try-hard XPox 360 game lobby. Someone disposable (with bad lip sync) yelps “There’s plenty more where that came from. I’m telling you. This is the big one.” To which the listless response is “Alright, then let’s go fuckin’ get some.” Yea. Certainly the kind of quality AAA Industry writing that gets anyone pumped for the action to come! And ooh boy does it ever go on, especially in cutscenes, the first of which players encounter in a sealed vault has them breaking fingernails in attempts to claw the front door open, trying to escape what might be termed an ‘unskippable, unending inquisition by turgid narrative exposition’.

As Danny Brown says or rather screeches in one of Rage 2’s bizarre trailers, “Ain’t it funny how it happens?” To which the answer is no Dan, not really. It didn’t happen by accident but was designed that way. It seems the only point of Rage 2 is to help combat gamer insomnia. Perhaps passing poly-dimensional alien anthropologists from the impossibly distant psychedelic future will eventually pry open the dusty, long-abandoned ark of ‘our’ Corporate Gaming Culture and scratch their elegant insectoid heads in bemusement at this oh-so slight, kinda pathetic 21st Century example of Brainless Digital Fun. Hopefully they will then unceremoniously seal the ark for good, and have no trouble at all forgetting about its existence – and the oh-so safe, dull and hyper derivative product contained within.

Observant players will notice the high numbers of store front mannequins dotted around Rage 2’s blandscape, many of which sport broken televisions (maybe oldschool computer monitors?) on their idiot heads; could there be any more accidentally on-the-nose symbol of this game’s pathological uselessness – perhaps of gaming’s profoundly un-profound cosmic uselessness as a whole?

Expect to pay no more than 20 dollars when it comes out on sale, fished from the bottom of some dusty Digital Walmart bargain bucket – a mummified rodent, partially covered in pink spray paint. A dead land of bone tired existential waste and impotent ‘rage’ indeed.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images [..]
– The Waste Land by fascist T.S. Eliot

Update Patch: bulletpointsmonthly.com/ rejection email

Hey Robert,

Thanks for sending this over! I like the article but we’re not planning to run a month on Rage 2 anytime soon and don’t accept freelance submissions upon request.

Thanks again for thinking of us with this, though.

All the best, Reid McCarter

Example Reference Links

  1. Ehh, You Gamin’ Real Good: On Vacuous Play
  2. Paste: Rage 2 Is a Game and It Exists and You Can Certainly Play It, If You Want To
  3. The Art of Nothing: A Look at Negative Space within Videogames
  4. Compound Improvements: Do Not To Do List – Power of Empty Spaces
  5. Writing On Games (Youtube): Why Breath of the Wild’s Empty Space is So Important
  6. Psych Central: When You Feel Empty: What It Means & What to Do
  7. r/StopGaming: I Just Feel Empty When I Play Video Games Now
  8. Goombastomp: Review: ‘StellarHub’ is Nothing But Empty Space