Couch Podtatoes Episode 42: TGEN Tribunal #2 #NBI2015

CP4

This week’s episode of Couch Podtatoes is special in that we volunteered to be the host for the second quarterly TGEN Tribunal. Don’t know what TGEN is? Well there are some handy links on my side bar that you can check out for a bunch of awesome podcasts that are part of the network. The Tribunal is the network’s quarterly show where members of the various shows get together and discuss the hot topic around that time. This time around I’m joined by Roger of Contains Moderate Peril (whom has been a guest on CP many times, you should know him by now) and Braxwolf of Beyond Bossfights. We discuss at length the upcoming NBI 2015, which will be kicking off in May for it’s 4th consecutive year. If you’re a new blogger or would like to get involved in blogging (or podcasting for that matter) you should give the show a listen which should answer some of your questions, and head over to newbiebloggerintiative.com.

 

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Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 42: The TGEN Tribunal #2 #NBI2015 (runtime: 1:40:50)

What are we playing? (starts at 2:08)
Discussion: #NBI2015 (starts at 20:07)

Host Contact information:

Izlain
Blog: Me vs. Myself and I
Twitter:@mevsmyselfandi

Guest Contact information:

Roger Edwards
Blog: Contains Moderate Peril
Twitter: @moderateperil

Braxwolf
Blog: Gaming Conversations
Twitter: @braxwolf

Music Credits:
“Level Up” by Cookie Monsta (from the Riot! EP)
“Challengers” by Riot Games (from the album The Music of League of Legends)

Couch Podtatoes is a podcast about gaming, though we might stray into other forms of media. Sometimes we use strong language, but we try to keep that to a minimum. All opinions expressed by us or our guests are our own and are in no way to be interpreted as official commentary from any companies we discuss. You can visit our official podcast page at http://couchpodtatoes.libsyn.com/. Be sure to follow us on iTunes, and/or Stitcher Radio.

Questions, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged!

#couchpodtatoes #podcast #gamesdiscussion #gaming

The Forest 0.16 – Unity 5 Update

It’s been a while since I talked about The Forest. The last time I played it was a few weeks ago, when I was attempting to play the multiplayer with my sister whom had recently picked up the game. It played like shit, so I stopped rather quickly, and haven’t been back to it. I would like to play it some more, especially now that the game has seen a major graphics overhaul and improvements to the netcode. I will get back to you when I manage to get a multiplayer game in, but I will include some screens of the new graphics engine after the patch notes:

This patch switches The Forest over to Unity 5. Replacing all the old shaders with new PBR materials and textures. We also went and replaced almost all our tree models, implemented a new billboarding system, and put in a first version of our new ocean shader.

Plant shaders now have sub surface scattering, our skin shaders have been rewritten, and many other visual tweaks and improvements have been made to the look of the world, we’re really excited to hear what you think.

For multiplayer we’ve introduced a new network prioritization algorithm to provide more relevant updates of remote entities to players. This means smoother multiplayer gameplay and although the lag isn’t completely removed, we’re confident we can continue to tune in the coming weeks.

Some new graphics options should help those with slower computers get the game running faster, including a new level of detail setting which will allow you to raise or lower the view distance of most elements from Ultra all the way down to Ultra low. Across the board everyone should see some performance improvements.

Sick of dying in a cave and having no idea how you got there? We added a drag away by cannibals system! You’ll now see yourself carried off through world.

New bendable grass means you can see it part slightly as rabbits run through it, making them easier to track.

Some major animal improvements mean geese can now fly from lake to lake, and if you like you can follow them and watch how they spend their days. Plus, Deer now no longer run headfirst into trees!

Player audio has been partially implemented, along with a new take on the female skinny audio.

Due to the massive re-working of some of the environment and terrain we’ve had to wipe save games this patch!

As always, please continue to post your bug reports and feedback in the Discussions area of the Community Hub

Version 0.16 Changelog:
New options menu setting ‘Render Type’ will allow you to switch between new deferred renderer(recommended for modern computers) and Legacy renderer (recommended for older computers)
Full pbr shaders on all items. Reworked most textures to fit new lighting.
Reflection probes added.
New ocean shader (work in progress)
Better bow aiming – sight added to bow. bow tracks better with camera view when aiming up and down. Looks better now when viewed by another player
Animals will now attempt to dodge trees, obstacles and other animals
Fixed rebreather’s air resetting to 0 after loading a saved game
(Multiplayer) Reworked the network prioritization algorithm to provide more relevant updates of remote entities to players (Smoother, less jittery enemies)
Upgrade balance: Inverted bonus curve, it now goes from small (10%) to big (100%)
Fixed booze upgrades still not showing up for some weapons
Added a small outline to chat text to make it visible in bright lighting conditions
Fixed issue preventing to lock floors/roofs on multiple walls on the same height level
Grabber system now turned off when in in inventory/book/pause menu or while placing a building (ie, placing a building near water will no longer trigger drinking)
New snapping grid gizmo to help with manual placing of experimental floors & roofs (tip shows the current lock position and is big enough to be seen from either side of a wall)
Experimental Roofs now snap back to closest edge on current support (ie the wall you’re putting it on)
Goose simulator added. Geese will now fly between lakes and swim around acting like geese
Fixed Bon Fire not lightable
Fixed flying food on rock fire pit
Fixed burn lizard scale
Added generic meat burnt
Fixed drying generic meat
Fixed Treehouse + Treehouse Chalet floor not buildable
Deer will now drink at lakes
Fixed issue where deer would run right through trees!
Dead birds now have a chance of spawning feathers when hit
Revamped cooking to allow eating burnt food but with far lesser gain
Player will now see himself briefly dragged away into a cave when knocked out but not killed.
New art added: Improved airline foodcart
Fixed bug where climbing rope for first time would sometimes cause it to release right after climbing
New trees! New bark and leaf types.
New billboard system with lit billboards and rotation
Unity 5 reflection probe system added
New clouds/sky
All shaders switched to use new unity pbr
Dirtied up and improved regular enemy textures
New pbr skin shader!
In game controls remapping, both in Title & Main scene options
Falling particle leaves now accumulate on ground
Fixed logs flying up into air when trees were cut
Fixed physics on some trees not colliding with terrain when falling
New art added: dead small trunk
Graphics options: added rendering patch selection
Graphics options: added new setting to turn off sunshine occlusion
Graphics options: added new setting to tune Level of Detail
Graphics options: SSAO setting now also changes sample count
Graphics Settings now properly show the saved preset name after restarting the game
Graphics Settings: Renamed “Laptop” level to “Ultra Low”
Fixed survival book entries not clickable on occasion
New art added: new version of plane food! plane tray, styrofoam cups and trays
New bushes- replaced 2 of the worst looking bushes with new type
New lake shader added! reflective and with murkiness
New dead trees! Better textures and models, and now all cuttable!
Better shark ragdoll
Jump animation added to player
New combat move – Flying axe attack. Attack downwards with axe while jumping to perform a powerful ground chop.
When falling from high up, player will briefly stumble to his hands and knees
You can now cook arms and legs (and … eat them – but you probably shouldnt)
Dead trees replaced and now cuttable!
New log type for buildings that matches carried log
(audio) New player sounds!
(audio) New female skinny audio!
New blueberry bushes!
New multiplayer octree based priority calculation
New art: Re-done plane seats
Fish and sharks are now also in multiplayer games!
Touch bending grass added! enemies, rabbits, animals and player will now slightly rustle the grass as they move through it (this is a first pass at this, next version will include better bending)
You can now climb fishing stands
Experimental Walls now block AIs (mutant & animals) from going through it
Fixed fire particles staying up after cutting down a burning tree
New world art: cliff wall variations.
Lighter now stays equipped when exiting/entering ropes
Added some additional optimizations and memory tweaks for 32bit machines that have less than 4gigs of usable ram
Fixed molotov fire never shutting down

The game looks fantastic in the new engine, and does seem to run a bit smoother. I won’t comment on the multiplayer improvements just yet, but here’s some shots of various areas in the game so you can see the improvements to the graphics:

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#theforest #patchnotes #unity5

State of the Tweet: Media Consumption

SotT

So aside from my consistent posts about Shadow Warrior, one of the newest games I’ve committed to playing through and writing about, this was another slow week here on the blog. I keep feeling like there are more philosophical or technical ideas I should be conveying, as so many of the great writers in our blogosphere are wont to do, but I just don’t have the muse. Nothing has come along recently that really chaps my hide, catapulting me into ranty action. As such, I’m providing another round-up of my recent tweets — some to do with gaming, some to do with other forms of media. I hope you won’t mind this occasional foray into other venues besides gaming, but it does give me more to write about, and by proxy, more for you to read about. Win/win.

This past weekend we saw the semi-finals of the North American League Championship Series (NALCS) Spring Split (one of two major parts to the pro season), where the top two seeds, Team Solo Mid (TSM) and Cloud 9 (C9) had enjoyed a bye week and were preparing for their matches against Team Impulse and Team Liquid respectively. C9 was up first on Saturday, and were actually down 0-2 when I posted the above message. I thought it was going to be a sad day for C9, when lo and behold, they won 3 consecutive games to take the series 3-2, and move on to the finals. Excellent play and so much fun to watch.

On Sunday, we were treated to the TSM/TiP matchup, and it was the first series of the weekend that didn’t go all 5 games. TSM ended up winning 3-1 in game 4. TSM is my favorite to win next weekend in the final, but it really could go either way and would be well deserved no matter the result. Both teams are truly on another level. Also next weekend is the third place matchup (which matters when it comes to league points and placement in the summer split) between Team Liquid and Team Impulse, which should also be a great series, as each team gave the top seeds a run for their money.

Also on Sunday, the season premiere of Game of Thrones was on HBO. As a fan of the series, it was great to see it back on the air, seeing the familiar characters and watching the plot thicken. However, thickening was about all that happened, as there wasn’t much action or intrigue in the first episode. I do see where they are lining things up to pick up rather quickly, but it was still sort of a snooze fest. Oh well.

You’ll probably recall that I boycotted purchase of Call of Duty games after Modern Warfare 3. If I hadn’t mentioned it, that is the last game in the long running series that I purchased, after having being a loyal consumer since the very first incarnation on the PC. The game really did become more of the same, year in and year out, and I dislike the model of paying $60 per box plus another $60-80 for DLC and having to do this on a yearly basis. However, I have played most of the games since that boycott, because no matter who you are, you know someone who plays CoD. The last CoD I truly loved was Black Ops, and Black Ops 2 was also tolerable. Seeing the announcment for Black Ops 3 was no surprise, but I wonder how it will perform, and differentiate itself from predecessors? It appears it is taking the Advanced Warfare MO, going with some future tech arsenals, and is keeping the revered Zombies mode. We’ll see what happens soon enough I guess.

I recently finished watching two seasons of Magic City on Netflix. I hadn’t heard of the show, just happened upon it while browsing. Apparently it was an original series on the Starz network (which I honestly didn’t know still existed), but has already been cancelled, so those two seasons are all you’re gonna get. I’d recommend watching it still though, as it had a pretty decent plot during a time period not much shown on TV (I think Mad Men is about the only other show on TV exploring that era). No spoilers, but the series ends pretty solidly, not leaving loose ends, so they must have known they were getting cancelled, or the writers were good at ending things with the season, rather than having cliffhangers.

After URF left us, I decided it was time to get back into playing some ranked in League of Legends. I had a long enough break, and dove back into my ELO hell. I managed to get a few wins and got into a promo series…

But the feeling of elation didn’t last long. I won the first game, but the second two games were thrown, despite our early game dominance in both cases. It seems we didn’t have good shot calling and/or mid-game knowledge. Our rotations were shit and we lost. Both times. I did get to try out Vladimir top though, and he was fun. Sustain for days!

Today I got back into another promo series, and I have won the first game again. Here’s hoping I managed to win it. It doesn’t really matter that much though, as this is just to get back to Bronze II. My Bronze I down to III up to I down to II and staying for a while, then down to III story is about to see the next chapter. I’ll get silver at least, but I really would like to shoot higher.

Another new season for a show I enjoy started up on Monday. TURN is the story of the Revolutionary War between the American Colonies and England. It’s an interesting time period, and the acting and story are superb. The original season which aired last year started off really slow and took forever to get going but I gave it a chance anyway, but this season started off very intriguing right off the bat. I should also mention that I have been watching the last episodes of Mad Men that are airing currently, while another show that started last year is coming back next month in Halt and Catch Fire. I seriously love AMC. Best network on TV in my opinion.

So that’s it for this edition of my random tweets. Peace out.

#stateofthetweet #roundup

Shadow Warrior: A Spiritual Laxative

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Having just defeated a boss demon, Wang has continued on through this urban sprawl, and the objective is still the same. Find the Golem. Find the Sword.

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A few demons appear and are easily dealt with. Few buildings are able to be entered, but those that are usually contain some ammo and cash, and I did find the chapter’s fortune cookie rather quickly. It was most wise.

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More combat with demon’s ensues, particularly after shattering another shrine that barred your way.

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Through the gate is more bamboo forest, and Hoji starts complaining that you are going the wrong direction. You mention needing to stop by your house. The demon is not pleased.

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Wang comes upon a break in the bamboo, and across a reservoir you can see some speeding cars that run into a blockade and a huge explosion is the result. You have no choice but to drop down into the water and look for another way around. Before dropping down, I found another fortune cookie, and this one mocked me.

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Once underground, Wang mentions a secret entrance to his property being nearby. Finding it was easy enough, and of course there’s more dick jokes abound. Coming back above ground reveals that Wang’s house has been attacked, and there are demon’s aplenty.

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The other secret entrance is behind the house, and the Wang Cave is surely a sight. Wang doesn’t appear to be hurting for money.

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Near that hot tub, a mirror had the option to interact, and once I did so, Wang goes into a conversation with Hoji about how all bad ass heroes shave their heads, while shaving his head.

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Nearby, you’ll find weapon display cases, and will pick up a shiny new cross bow, which looks to be quite effective when you upgrade the bolts to sticky bombs (which I have yet to do.

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Hoji starts to explain his need for the sword, and you just talk about how you need to get it for your boss man. Doesn’t seem like much of a partnership, but I’m sure there’s more development to come.

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Wang speaks of the armory and as you head that direction, another new enemy spawns. These ones fly, and yes they were visible earlier in the chapter, but they were always off in the distance. This time they are dropping in through the top of the cave, and the other demons we met prior appear on some islands in the distance. Thankfully there’s a big ass gattling gun to handle them.

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Once inside the armory, you get into another discussion with Hoji, who is making fun of you for having a super hero complex as you get your combat armor on.

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The chapter ends at this point, and that’s also the extent of my play time to this point. When I get more in, more write ups will be on the way.

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#shadowwarrior #playthrough #fps

Shadow Warrior: The Party Bus

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Chapter 2 opens with Wang driving to another destination, which is a similar small town though more urban than the last compound. It appears some shit has already gone down.

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We’re still looking for the Golem who disappeared with the legendary Nobitsura Kage. Hell has broken loose though, and demons are rampant.

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Slicing and dicing them up, Wang heads inside a local arcade, which brought many memories of my youth rushing to mind. I loved the arcade. The flashing lights, the delighted voices, the screams of rage, and of course the games all added up to a great experience kids today will never experience. But I digress.

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Inside the arcade’s office, I found padlock keys that would come in handy shortly. Another homage to Hotline Miami was muralized on the interior lounge area of the building. I love the little easter eggs this game has hidden around.

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Just outside the arcade we had to tip toe across this makeshift bridge, and once across entered a courtyard where portals began to open, and a new enemy type emerged. These bird-like demons could float, shoot bolts of energy at you, along with sometimes becoming enraged/empowered and more potent. After clearing them out, I found a shrine that needed destroyed so I could gain entry to the next area.

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Another new weapon appeared randomly as I fought the demons, the demon heart. They sometimes drop off of enemies, and once picked up, giving it a nice squeeze will kill all of that type of demon that in a small radius around you. It’s rather effective, but you do have to remember to use it.

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By now I had found another Ki Crystal, and used another point in the healing tree, allowing me to heal myself up to 80% each use. It has come in handy let me tell you.

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In the next area, we see an abandoned Squad car, and Wang wonders if there might be weapons inside. He’s pleased to find a sub-machine gun just hanging out on the driver’s seat. Suddenly, demons appear at the end of the alley, and Wang has the bright idea to put the car in neutral and let it explode. Which it does.

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Another easter egg of sorts, after the police car explodes, I spotted a couple of rabbits… well humping like rabbits. Not the end of the joke though, when I shot them, one suddenly turned into a demon rabbit, and that little fucker was tough to take down! Nothing really came of this easter egg either. I think this should have had an achievement attached at least. I still laughed my ass off.

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In the next building, I found the fortune cookie for the chapter. It wasn’t very inspiring.

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I made a few more demon kills and started looking at my other skill trees at this point, and ended up spending some of my collected cash on my machine gun, upgrading the barrel along with adding a laser sight.

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I love the little one-liners he throws out. I know it’s immature dick jokes, but that shit still cracks me up. I don’t want to grow up and you can’t make me.

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Coming to the end of the chapter, I was presented with one last arena, and then a huge boss demon that wasn’t all that difficult, but still a bit tougher than your average demon. Once he was dispatched, I exited the area and finished the chapter.

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Here’s the final stat line. I can see there’s quite a bit of stuff I miss, even though I feel like I’m being thorough. Anyway, next chapter will be out tomorrow.

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#shadowwarrior #playthrough #fps