A Week In Comments

Minecraft Apparently Under Siege By Angry Addicts Demanding More Updates
Comment by: custerc001

Wow. This brings the concept of "entitled" to a whole new level. Let's count the ways in which this is very, very stupid:

(1) Attacking the developer of your favorite game makes them both more busy (because they have to try to fix their website now) and more angry at you, thus less likely to give a damn what you think.

(2) When has forcing developers to rush ever produced a great product? How many great games are there out there where the developers say, "You know, I'm really glad we were threatened and rushed into pumping this game out before we were ready, that's why it turned out so well"? Oh right, there are no examples of that ever happening.

(3) The ransom note is terribly written and makes it sound like the whole thing is being orchestrated by one angry minecraft nerd.

On the upside, I'm glad to see that nearly every Kotaku commenter agrees that this is extremely stupid.

Review: Time Crisis: Razing Storm
Comment by: fuchikoma
Nominated by: CCAF drlard

With the Wii controller tracking the 2 beacons on the sensor bar, it would be able to derive the absolute (relative to the bar) roll angle of the controller, assuming that it starts right side up, and accurately and reliably determine pitch and yaw, for the position it's being held at - within a very small range of acceptable angles. It should also be very good at tracking movement in the Z axis (though it's been less than responsive for me there; camera's probably too low-res.) Its design assumes that the controller will not move around as much as it will point at different angles at the screen, so it tracks that very well. It is probably very bad at tracking its movement along the X and Y axes without the accelerometer, as long as the sensor bar remains relatively centered in its view. A triangular sensor bar would start to fix this, if it were ever a real problem.

A design like this makes sense for shooting games because you mostly hold the gun stationary and change the angle it's pointed at. You can calibrate it to gauge where the center of your screen is, and it will remain calibrated as long as the bar does not move.

With Move tracking a featureless spherical object from a fixed camera, it will be able to absolutely judge the location of the beacon ball in X, Y, and Z axes relative to the camera (though Z accuracy is highly dependent on camera resolution.) Its weakness is that it has little way of telling which direction the tip of the controller is pointed relative to its body. It could tell that you're rotating the controller with the rate sensor, and with the accelerometer it could get a bit more accurate picture of whether the controller was twisted or swung. I didn't know it had a magnetometer, but that is what I meant when I said "digital compass." I think the Sega VR headset used one as well. I have one (maybe the same, maybe a different technology) in my iPhone 3GS, and it is extremely random, especially indoors. Slight magnetic fields from things like fluorescent lights or amplifiers will cause it to give false and erratic readings. (Almost regardless of the technology used, any magnetometer will have these issues since the Earth's magnetic field is so weak and easy to outdo. To fix this you'd need a magnetometer that can identify the Earth's magnetic field and specifically focus on it, filtering out magnetic noise.) Anyway, assuming it is working to full effect in a Move controller, this would let it sense the yaw angle absolutely, but not the pitch or roll angles.

Because of this, it's possible, or even inevitable for a shooting game on Move to drift off course given a long enough play session, with the magnetometer allowing it to at least occasionally make sure that, assuming you haven't moved since you calibrated, you are at least pointing in the direction of your TV. If it occasionally made you point at the center of the screen before a level, like Wii Sports Resort, it could sneak in a rough recalibration good enough for most games other than light gun games, or for a light gun game like this, have a bullseye target - it takes all of a second if that. I know I'd use it if I had the gun shell. One possible way around this is to not actually track which direction the controller is pointing, but to insist that you stand in a stationary position and track how far you move the tip of the controller in X and Y, assuming that your shoulders never move, your arms are always straight, and you're always looking perfectly down the sights.

Using a tilt sensor, or an accelerometer like the iPhone's LIS302DL (maybe it does?) would also allow it to determine pitch and roll somewhat reliably but I find using that accelerometer in the iPhone, it doesn't always notice that the direction of "down" has changed until I bring it right side up again, then rotate it again. In any case, the problem Crecente mentioned would be one with the magnetometer - either the rate sensor drifted on yaw and couldn't get good data to correct itself, or the magnetometer mistook another direction for north, and recalibrated the controller incorrectly.

If there was an "X" on the tip/top of the Move beacon ball, then it shouldn't be much harder to track its overall position and size, but even if the software only occasionally recognized the mark, it would be able to automatically recalibrate the yaw, pitch, and depending on the mark's design or how far the rate sensor drifted off, the roll angle the same way an augmented reality system like Eye of Judgment determines what angle you're holding the card at.

As for the Wiimote's weakness of having a small range of angles it can track accurately, Move should be able to track any angle as well as the next, even if you're pointing away from the screen, where a Wiimote without Motionplus (rate sensor - gyroscope) would only know vaguely that it is being moved in a direction when it cannot see the sensor bar. It could estimate how fast it moved though...

Also, when I played Time Crisis on arcade machines, I didn't have to press a button on my gun to take cover; there was a foot pedal, so it's changed either way. Why else would you aim away from the screen if not to take cover? What else would you want it to do if there was an error and it lost the position of your gun, as the Wii (though admittedly, probably not Move) is so susceptible to?

Guest Editorial: A First Amendment Call to Arms
Comment by: elpflasa

Oh, sweet sassy molassy, how could any of us GAMERS be pro-game censorship? Here's what happens short-term if the Supreme Court allows the CA law to stand: 1. large retailers (I'm looking at you, Wal-Mart) want to avoid criminal charges for their employees, so they inform game companies that they will not stock "adult rated" violent games. 2. Game publishers (I'm looking at you, Activision) tell game developers to cut back on violence, as they need to be stocked at Walmart to get a maximum return on what they spend on the development costs. 3. Game developers, not wanting to be STARVING artists, stuck in a winter Parisian flat with no coal and dying of consumption (yes, Roger Ebert, the developers are indeed artists, f@ck you fat man. and yes, I did make a La Boheme reference, look it up), make Wii Party 79: The Revenge instead of Call of Medal of Duty's Honor: Every War Ever Fought, substituting pies for guns and whipped cream for blood. 4. Gamers, as much as we DO love pie, the world over weep for what might have been the greatest game EVER!

The fact is, censorship leads to horrible consequences. And no, the situation is NOT analogous to Porn. The business model for the distribution of porn (with only miniscule exceptions for Playboy and similar softcore titles) has always been dependant on niche retailers and the internets, so retail giants like Wal-mart have no effect on their revenue streams.

And anyone who is over 18 and American and doesn't vote? There's no way around this: you are a f@cking MORON. I don't care which way you vote, but unless YOU go vote, you will have conceded your voice, your say in how we collectively run things to old people who DO vote, which is why the good people of the State of California wound up with such stupid legislators that they would enact a clearly unconstitutional law in the first place.

Happy 25th Birthday, Nintendo Entertainment System!
Comment by: ntereycelogy

never owned my own NES (my first Nintendo was the N64), but a "friend" of mine had one. And by "friend" I mean our parents were friends and I only ever wanted to come along with them to his house because he had a Nintendo. Which of course he proceeded to hog, "because it was his".

And despite having just about every major title available at the time in his collection (so I could at least vicariously play through, say, Super Mario Bros. 3), he always played Platoon.

...yeah, I don't know. He had a hard-on for that game. I think that actually marked the beginning of my hatred for movie-based games.

Fortunately, his mom sometimes stepped in and pointed out that she/his dad owned it and set the rules, and rule #1 was that guests should especially get to play. One time when our parents were visiting, he actually got sent to bed early for being a turd and I had the NES all to myself for two whole hours. Pure. Bliss.

He'd still hog it when his mom wasn't looking. But at least I got to play The Legend of Zelda in spurts. And on one occasion thought the running mat was quote, "The raddest thing ever!" Followed by, "Hey, it's easier if you just punch it." And finally, "Huh, this is boring now, motion games will never catch on...."

Long story short, now that I own all three current gen consoles (including a Wii with my very own copy of LoZ thanks to the Virtual Console!), I'm exactly opposite from my friend where I especially want guests to play, mainly so I can show off my cool toys.

The only downside to that is when non-gamers visit:

"What do I do?"

"Push the green button."

"Which one is that?"

"The one with the A on it."

"Oh. Okay, now what?"

"Press the X button."

"Yeah... which one is that again?"

"It's... the blue one. Here, let's go over the buttons again... *lengthy overview* ...it'll make sense once you've done it for awhile."

"Okay, if you say so... but I still don't think I'm ever going to figure out this menu."

Anyway... good times. Happy 25th, NES!

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