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For Your Consideration: SplitScreen

October 21, 2010 3 comments

In lieu of a decent written article, since I’m sitting at the college library and I don’t feel like actually writing, here is an un-edited discussion about things to do with games, between my good buddy Mark (of Random Hoo-Haas, see side-bar links), and myself. Enjoy?

[11:35] Ian: Quick, Mark, spit something at me. Postulate something about the games business for me to extrapolate on.
[11:35] Ragey: Um.
[11:35] Ragey: Offline multi-player – do developers still acknowledge it?
[11:36] Ian: You god damn genius. Is the art of split screen lost? Golden Eye 2010 begs to differ!
[11:36] Ian: As does most of the wii, for that matter, which may be why the Wii is a big family/party system.
[11:37] Ragey: There’s a lot of games on the 360 that I’m surprised have online-only multi-player. I mean, how hard can it be for OutRun 2 to include splitscreen?
[11:38] Ian: Indeed. That’s one thing that I think games like Halo and Call of duty still have over a lot of other shooters that helps give them that foothold in the industry
[11:38] Ian: that being they still fully support four player split-screen.
[11:38] Ian: Albeit Halo multiplayer is on a much grander scale when you’re online, it’s still fun to sit down with three buds and shoot eachother in the face hole.
[11:39] Ragey: Of course. Left 4 Dead is fun online, but it’s much more fun when I’m playing it with people in-person (though it only supports 2-player splitscreen, which given the amount of zombies and crap on-screen I guess is a given)
[11:40] Ragey: Also I suppose it’d be neat to maybe talk about the programming behind splitscreen? Like, I get the impression it’d be something that’s relatively simple, but since a lot of games even back in the day struggled with it there must be more to it than I think.
[11:40] Ian: Yeah, that’s an issue. In this age of Hi-Def gaming, split screen means A: A smaller view for each player and B: More objects that have to be rendered at a time.
[11:40] Ian: I mean, think about it
[11:40] Ian: For every screen, the game is literally having to render a whole other scene.
[11:42] Ragey: I think that’s the bit that confuses me – does having a second camera (player) mean that it has to re-render everything that’s visible?
[11:42] Ian: Yes, essentially.
[11:43] Ian: The assets are shared as far as memory goes, so there’s not a huge extra processing or memory load, I don’t think
[11:43] Ragey: But depending on the intensity of the game it will have an impact, I imagine.
[11:43] Ian: But the graphical elements definitely suffer a bit. I haven’t really looked at Reach, for example, splitscreen in depth VS single screen, so I can;’t pull any isolated examples
[11:43] Ian: But it seems like the logical thing
[11:44] Ian: It’s kind of like this 3D games thing on the Playstation 3
[11:44] Ian: Those games that are starting to implement glasses 3D definitely suffer, because they are having to render the game from two slightly different angles.
[11:44] Ian: Which has been developer confirmed.
[11:45] Ragey: Hm, intriguing.
[11:45] Ian: Fascinating indeed.
[11:47] Ragey: Of course, then there’s also the usage of low-poly models for when stuff gets too much. Mario Kart Double Dash is the first example that springs to mind. I can’t help but wonder if, say, there was something like Left 4 Dead made for the PS3/360 with 4-player splitscreen, but the graphics were N64-quality. Would that make it easier to run or would the sheer amount of models (never mind their complexity) still bog it down?
[11:48] Ian: It would make it much easier to run. I could run several N64 games at the same time on my laptop at home via emulation and not have any slowdown
[11:49] Ian: In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s a port of the n64 Goldeneye on XBox Live Arcade
[11:50] Ragey: Now that’s very interesting. Because I admit I was almost wondering to myself, why have we never seen anything like Left 4 Dead until the 360 (in the sense of a co-op game against tons and tons and tons of mass mob enemies), but it’s really just down to the processing power, I imagine. I’d love to see a cheap low-poly version of the game made just to see how it would run.
[11:50] Ragey: And I know Perfect Dark’s been ported to the 360, I think Goldeneye’s still in legal limbo.
[11:51] Ian: “Rumors and even footage of an XBLA remake of Goldeneye floated around the Internet in recent years, but due to licensing and other complexities, a brewing re-release of Goldeneye appears to have been aborted. ”
[11:51] Ian: correct you are
[11:51] Ian: Parfect Dark was more or less the same engine, though.
[11:51] Ian: so the example stands.
[11:51] Ragey: Mmm.
[11:53] Ian: That all said, I’d imagine multiplayer split screen shooters usually run at so fast a pace, you wouldn’t really notice any drop in visual quality at the time.
[11:54] Ragey: Of course. And the fact the screen is squashed probably helps, too.
[11:54] Ian: Yeah

A Quick Note!

November 27, 2008 Leave a comment

So uh… It’s been a while, huh? I, unfortunately, don’t have any real interesting stuff for you right now – BUT, I do have a little rant!

I know it’s been said a few thousand times in several languages and variations of grammar, but allow me to rant here for a moment.

Y’see, something is really beginning to piss me off. Actually, scratch my last, it’s been pissing me off since it first became a prominent thing in my life and social interactions: Console fanboyism.

I’ve just been browsing the G4 Feed, and there was a story about Fable 2 possibly coming to the PC. Now, look at this, this is an article about a potential PC game. How, you may ask, could that spark a console flame war?! It’s illogical!

Well, you’re damned right, it is illogical, but it fucking happens anyways because people are just so desperate to have a go at each other’s necks that they will take ANYTHING remotely related to consoles as a chance to pull their electronic switchblades out. I’ll take a second here to show you some particularly choice comments in this article. I’ll leave out account names for the sake of me being a halfway decent person:

Wait, I lied. I’ll call out the major offender here and now. If you ever go on The Feed, you know them well:

Posted by RedRingOfDeath – Wednesday, November 26, 2008 12:59 PM

Next up, Gears of War 2. They said Gayble 2 wouldn’t go to PC and look at this so Gears 2 will be next. So much for exclusives.

Had Mr. RRoD not said anything, or used the derogative ‘Gayble’ slang, I doubt anyone would have descended into this flame war Hell, but no, trolls will be trolls, and so the madness commences.

Answer this question xbots:
Name one 360 exclusive game you have coming out next year that is not a DLC.
“…Ummm…mmm hmmm….” Oh yeah none!

…Really? Reeeeaaaally? Holy shit, are you that desperate to piss people off? Alas, though, it gets better, or worse. That depends on how you look at it. I’m gonna point out a blatantly obvious interaction that reeks of fanboyism. Why fanboyism? Observe the names of our combatants.

Posted by Bizarro_PS3 – Wednesday, November 26, 2008 2:31 PM

I remember when the first fable came out they said it was gonna be the best rpg ever made! lol. and look how that turned out!(it sucked) haha

aint got nothing on the king of RPG’S FINAL FANTASY!

Posted by hellrazer360 – Wednesday, November 26, 2008 2:40 PM

remember how we (xbox 360) stole final fantasy 13 and tekken 6….lol name one game ps3 stole from us (bioshock dosent count because that was on pc also)

Posted by Bizarro_PS3 – Wednesday, November 26, 2008 2:43 PM

stole? u mean paid more than ya had to lol.

what about saints row? wasnt it just a 360 game at 1st? its on ps3

theres your one game u said to tell u.

With this, I point out that I’m also calling out a 360 fan here, just to avoid looking as if I’m 360 biased. What strikes me as most ridiculous is the entire topic they argue. Stealing games? Really? Jesus Christ, last time I checked we were a global community, and the more people who could enjoy a game the better! What happened to this community? It’s not like it’s the 90’s anymore, where you had Sonic and Mario and they ONLY appeared on their respective consoles. No, this is the age of multiplatform, this is where we ought to stop fighting. However, ironically, I think the multiplatform aspect might be contributing to the fighting.

My reasoning? Because the two consoles (Notice how the Wii is generally left out of the bitching, we’ll get to that.) have so many games in common, and so few (good) exclusives, that people feel some insecure need to justify their purchase of a few hundred dollar electronic behemoth!

Are 360 owners jealous of the PS3’s Blu Ray capabilities? Perhaps.

Are PS3 fans envious of the 360’s lower price point? Probably.

That’s great, both consoles have their ups and downs, and those facts CAN be debated intelligently, at least, they could be in a perfect internet world. Too bad people seem to see the internet as a License to be a jackass.

On a side note: Going back to the Wii, why do we so rarely see the little tyke being dragged into the war? Because it’s so different. Good or not, it’s set itself apart from the Ps360 so far that no one even bothers comparing.

You know, I’m rambling now, so let me sum this up in some nice, fancy bullet points.

· We, as ‘gamers’ are and have been a community since the dawn of the internet, and even before (albeit not globally), in the age of arcades.

· Games are what matter, the damned hardware is fucking pointless and useless without them.

· The more people enjoy a good game, the better, why in the hell are we fighting about multiplatform games and who stole what goddamnit?

· Console Wars this generation clearly stem from an insecurity in your purchase. If you’re that tweaked about it; save up, shove your pride up your ass, and buy the other console as well. There you go.

· The Wii is like the little five year old who people only make fun of in private company because you don’t want to make it cry.

· Shut the fuck up already.

‘K. Done.