@troyunrau@lemmy.ca
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troyunrau

@troyunrau@lemmy.ca

Centrist, progressive, radical optimist. Geophysicist, R&D, Planetary Scientist and general nerd in Winnipeg, Canada.

troyunrau.ca (personal)

lithogen.ca (business)

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troyunrau,
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Godspeed! I don’t think Ariane 6 will go down in history as a successful rocket, mostly on account of the shift in economics forced on the rest of the industry by SpaceX. But I do get excited for debut launches – some very clever people worked very hard on this. :)

Long Dark dev criticises Manor Lords for lack of updates, Hooded Horse CEO replies that not every game needs to be "some live-service boom or bust" (www.rockpapershotgun.com)

Interesting thoughts about how to define success for video games in today’s market, particularly for those using early access. Lots of respect for Hooded Horse’s CEO, Tim Bender, he says all the right things and seems genuine....

troyunrau,
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I know one of the Long Dark devs – chill AF – and if they are a representation of their company culture, then I would consider this less of a snipe, and more of a business model observation one would make over beers.

But, yeah, it is yet to be seen if Manor Lords is a flash in the pan, or has a long tail (like Paradox games or No Man’s Sky or others).

troyunrau,
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Business people post on LinkedIn. I do too. Gotta know your audience.

troyunrau,
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Dragon Age Origins, first run ever. Had to apply the 4GB patch, and it still crashes occasionally on modern hardware. Off and on.

BG3. Just started Act III, still in the outskirts. The third act is so imposing that I’ve taken a break just to clear headspace, hence DAO above

EU4 (Anbennar fantasy conversion mod) – geez, this game is like crack for me. I’m now well over 4000 hours. I keep circling back. Most recent run was Dwarven Adventurer into Verkal Dromak – the sleeper dwarves with the dream magic system. Long considered a hard start, you’re now aided by an early game rebellion which can sometimes cripple your main enemies, the Hobgoblin country “The Command”. Much fun.

troyunrau,
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I bet this is a falling out with Hasbro execs on royalties. BG3 royalties were a cash cow this year for Hasbro, pushing Wizards (as a division) to be quite profitable, while almost all other divisions in their company lost money.

So now the agreement is over, and Larian is like: we will own the IP on our next project instead of paying $90M to Hasbro… And fair enough – they’ve shown they can kick ass. Hasbro is probably gambling that it’s the IP that made the money, and not Larian being magic in a bottle as a developer. So they’ll kick tires on selling BG4 to another studio.

BG3 will go down in history as the legendary game before enshittification. Larian will make a few great games that don’t sell as well – before selling out to a whale that dumps money on the owner’s front lawn (see also BioWare). The devs who made BG3 will found indie studios and make cool shit for a decade or two. So the wheel turns.

troyunrau,
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Keep going, I’m almost there

troyunrau,
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Wildass hypothesis I just pulled out of my ass with an undergraduate degree in applied physics: maybe interaction with particles emerging from quantum vacuum?

Okay, that sounds like great technobabble. I’m going to watch star trek now ;)

troyunrau,
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Easy. If you can afford to be a space tourist, you can afford to put $5M in escrow for your future medical expenses.

Let’s take risks people!

troyunrau,
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A half dozen years ago, or thereabouts, I entered the Canadian version of this competition, just to see how I’d fare, and to look at the process. Made it through the first couple levels of screening (from 3200 applicants, I was still in the hunt at 300 remaining) but then got filtered.

Some interesting bullet points if you’re thinking of applying, assuming the NASA questions are similar to the CSA ones:

(1) ham radio, morse code, or other amateur radio operator experience is an asset.

(2) Anything aviation or amateur rocketry is an asset, but in particular a pilot’s license. Anything aviation adjacent is still useful.

(3) Russian language (this might be changing in the current political environment)

(4) Experience in an “operational environment” – I suspect this is military jargon, but if you’d don’t field research as a scientist out of wilderness camps, or anything like that where you’re in a small group for work/adventure might apply here.

(5) Medical degrees, or advanced science degrees.

(6) Physical fitness and perfect vision

When I applied, my Russian sucked, my aviation experience was tangential (but copious), and I was a grad school dropout (from a planetary science program), so I didn’t float to the top. But it was enough to make it through the first layers.

There person who ended up winning was a medical-degree air force pilot. Hard to compete haha.

troyunrau,
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They are speaking truth to power at the moment, but people still play MTX mobile games so…

troyunrau,
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I’m not mad. Just disappointed.

I kid. Everyone has their own tastes and flavour preferences. I’m a fan of the book and also think Villeneuve did a pretty bang up job with Part One.

All sci fi ages poorly, some ages more poorly. Dune has the advantage of being a universe where they fought a war with computers, thus they’ve more or less been banned. This helps them avoid references to aged tech like most sci fi, giving it a bit of a reprieve there. If you read novels that were contemporary with it, you’ll find a lot of rooms full of tapes for computer systems, and similar. But perhaps that is more your style.

Personally, I dislike “psi” powers in my sci fi. And Dune, like many others in its era, is obsessed with this notion that “you only use 10% of your brain… imagine what you could do it you unlocked more!?” Modern neuroscience has completely pooh-poohed the idea, but if you read anything classic sci fi, you need to tolerate it. In the case of Dune, I tolerate it because the world building is worth it.

troyunrau,
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Aside from the fact that anything with mass cannot travel at the speed of light… Lots of fun things happen as you approach the speed of light. There’s an excellent mostly-hard sci fi novel called Tau Zero that explores this concept in depth and, despite being older, is worth the read.

(1) Time dilation (the universe and you have different clocks).

(2) blueshifting of objects in front of you. At 0.95c, basically all visible starlight in front of you has been blueshifted into ionizing radiation. Fun fun.

(3) shape distortion. You become more needle-shaped – getting very long and skinny, as observed by the rest of the universe.

(4) you become a nuke. At .99c if you run into anything, your kinetic energy related explosion would be roughly 6x the Tsar Bomba (largest nuke ever detonated) for each kg of mass. Or, put another way, each kg of your mass would impact with the energy of 3kg of antimatter contacting 3kg of matter. Boom.

Sci fi always overlooks the last one. Near light speed combat is basically firing buckets of sand at planets and blowing them up.

troyunrau,
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Right! And that’s not even one percent of lightspeed.

troyunrau,
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All six people who still play Diablo 4 probably bought it though…

troyunrau,
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Depends on the stone. The coefficient of heat flow in stone is very low, so the heat will take forever to flow through the stone. But it should be quite evenly warmed at the top in a few hours if you keep feeding the fire. And it would be more or less immune to flare-ups and other issues.

However, you’d need to use a big slab of granite or something with more-or-less uniform properties, zero porosity (so no moisture or air bubbles are expanding or flashing to steam), and there’s still a chance that fast heating or cooling causes it to crack.

Or just use a metal slab with a pizza stone on top.

troyunrau,
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It’s a fantastic little adventure platformer, wrapped up with cat physics. Some of the missions you end up doing don’t seem catlike at all, but I forgive them – most cats wouldn’t properly move a plot along without the prompting of their robot friend either. ;)

It’s a very nice game, and at a good price point. :)

troyunrau,
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Robot opens door for cat. Cat sits and looks

troyunrau,
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BG3 still. Just started Act 3 for the first time. Astarion as my main.

troyunrau,
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Yeah. If you’re a conpletionist like me, you just run around picking up junk to sell to vendors so that you can buy one of every available named weapon (and store it in camp and never use it)…

Oh, there’s plot? Sorry, busy systematically looting an entire castle… I kid. A little.

I’m really enjoying how each character has a good arc, and that those arcs feel so substantially different from one another.

troyunrau,
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TV Tropes warning. I’ve always liked this scale, which describes the hardness of sci fi. tvtropes.org/…/MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness

Star Wars is about a one, and Star Trek a two (harder but barely), BSG a three. Etc.

troyunrau,
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I’m looking forward to this. Combine it with eye-tracking 3D and you’ve got everything except the tactile response for a holodeck. Like this: youtu.be/Jd3-eiid-Uw

troyunrau,
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Ugh. Are people going to see this one? Sounds terrible.

troyunrau,
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xkcd.com/657/ every time I hear the name Primer, this is what I think of :)

troyunrau,
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Tomb Raider was one of my first 3D games, back in an era before 3D graphics cards were even ubiquitous. Of course, it appealed as much as it could to the horny teenager in me at the time, but it was also a pretty fantastic game. Keep in mind that it was competing against games like Descent II or Duke Nukem 3D, already established as franchises at the time. But look at Tomb Raider’s legacy compared to those. Also notable, Resident Evil came out that year too.

troyunrau,
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Don’t get me wrong, I also like TotK and BG3 and just replayed Outer Worlds (Fallout in spaaaace) and love me some “mainstream” games. But I think people unfairly exclude many genres when making these sorts of lists. E.g.: The Sims, Civ5, Minecraft, Pokemon, and many others that sold like hotcakes and have been extremely good games.

Personally, I’m always biased towards 4X, RTS, and similar, and find it strange they’re always overlooked. Europa Universalis 4 is ten years old and still getting DLC and updates – how many people must have played that game over ten years for the studio to justify that continued investment?

troyunrau,
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I still dream about those parties. We would gather in the youth centre, supervised, with a digital projector borrowed from the school (with permission), in sleeping bags, lying on the floor, projecting onto the roof, staying up until 4am…

Slappers only, no Oddjob. ;)

No, usually it was: autoaim off, pistols, one-hit-kills, no Oddjob.

troyunrau,
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The youth centre was an old church (that the church had outgrown). So it had a huge white gabled roof at exactly the right angle for comfort. Was a blast

troyunrau,
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Taking shareholders out of anything would be a benefit.

troyunrau,
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I don’t think private business is the issue. I think publicly traded business is the issue. In a private business, you don’t have quarterly shareholder meetings with the expectation of continuous growth, and then shareholders demanding you fuck everything up.

Many private businesses are also fucked up, but so many others work just fine. Many work great, particularly small business or employee owned business or coops or similar.

troyunrau,
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Obviously there are a lot of large privately held companies, many of them owned by billionaires, some of whom are very public assholes. Forbes maintains this US-only list (Twitter is 149th and falling): www.forbes.com/lists/largest-private-companies/ But, Twitter notwithstanding, most of these giant companies just quietly go about their business. Some of them become conspiracy theory targets (Koch) due to the flex their owners exhibit on the public sphere. And some of this is clearly incorrect in their table (ie: Cargill is not making $1M in revenue per employee – they probably used US employee count, but global revenue).

Large private companies should be paying more taxes, imo, but are not strictly the problem. Large public companies are evil almost across the whole spectrum. The large private companies don’t typically fire 25% of their staff at Christmas just to massage numbers for the quarterly report.

When you look at small companies though (for example, my company is two people, both owners, no employees), I hope you’ll see that we’re just trying to make a living :)

troyunrau,
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This is a fantastic video. Watched it on my lunch break. I was aware of the rolling method, but all of the developments after that were news to me. Very cool.

troyunrau,
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Recency bias. There’s always been good video game movies and shows, mixed in with bad ones. Most basic example: the Tomb Raider movies were pretty great (for their time). Pokemon has been running so long that people have forgotten it was created as a cross marketing opportunity to sell the game. Mortal Combat and Resident Evil are always overlooked. Hell, even the super campy Street Fighter movie is fun.

My personal favourite is Steins;Gate.

troyunrau,
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I basically coin flip. In games like Mass Effect, I’ll play a male character and then years later play a female character – just to encounter new conversation trees.

In D&D or something like that, it is somewhat harder, due to pronoun hell at the table (I sympathize with anyone having to deal with this on a larger scale – it’s insane on a small scale, and I can barely imagine being trans and having to deal with that…)

troyunrau,
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Oooh, nice! Watched some trailers. Steam version? Or are they better on a console? Both look like they’re PS4 titles as well.

troyunrau,
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Thanks for the recs! Already played Chained Echoes and quite liked it. Wish it was longer haha. Seen Sea of Stars reviews saying weak on story and dialogue and such, so I backburnered it, but maybe it’s worth it for the exploration elements alone?

Never played Outer Wilds. But seen it recommended before and it’s on my radar. Should it be played on console, do you think? Or is the steam version fine.

I’ll look into the rest when I have time. I appreciate all the details :)

troyunrau,
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Price doesn’t matter. Just want a low bug comfortable experience. Sometimes games are better on one or the other. I liked No Man’s Sky a lot more on the PS4pro than on the laptop, for example – just felt more like it was the right tool for the job :)

troyunrau,
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Steins;Gate is one of my favourites here. And Sam and Max. :)

troyunrau,
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Excellent - thanks!

troyunrau,
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I have had that one in my steam wishlist for a while, starting with Trails. Never pulled the trigger. I’ve heard that it is very much a slow burn, but ends up being a favourite for a lot of RPG fans. Accurate?

troyunrau,
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Been through it, although not since the last update or two. Don’t really want to restart it. Also wish it wasn’t first person :)

troyunrau,
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Never heard of it, but it sounds like a well crafted non-combat game. Niiiice :)

troyunrau,
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Thanks for the detailed reply. I wish my holidays were longer – this one sounds very interesting 🤔

troyunrau,
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I appreciate your suggestions and detailed reply. That mod looks spicy haha!

The games I mentioned do have a significant combat elements in them - but the combat isn’t the reason I play them. I don’t mind combat provided that combat isn’t the whole focus, and that the difficulty can be turned down to “cheat mode” the combat and just get on with it. Hell, I’ll break them down, cause this thread has traction and maybe it’s interesting to you and others :)

Chronotrigger is a SNES era Japanese RPG – lots of plot, story, time travel shenanigans, branching story with multiple endings, and also encounters with monsters which are handled with turn-based menu driven combat (so combat isn’t button mashing at all!). It’s old now, but still very good. My favourite trivial example of attention to detail, particularly in the context of time travel shenanigans: there’s a chest in a cave that you can access in multiple timelines – open the chest in the past, and it’ll be empty in the future; so open it in the future first, and then go back to the past and open it again and grab the contents twice! Etc. Here’s a classic bit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_JEhBGDsrY – minor spoilers.

Tales of Symphonia is a GameCube era RPG – unfortunately it has real time combat, complete with button mashing – combat feels like an arcade. But on the easiest setting, you sort of let your AI-controlled companions manage the fight, and you can just mash one attack until combat is done. The rest of the game is mint though, with a lot of inter-NPC dialogue, exploration, a good story, good voice acting (for its era), etc. You have no idea how much time I spent finding recipes for cooking in this one while ignoring combat haha. Sample: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tAYiO8NSLU

The Witcher 3 is a semi-open world fantasy setting – third person view, swords and sorcery stuff. It has a big focus on monsters, so you do have to go out there and hunt them. But it’s not just random encounters. Each monster has a story, and a reason you’re hunting them. It’s probably the gold standard in open world exploration - or maybe it was before Baldur’s Gate 3. Since you recommended romance – there’s a bunch of endings with different partners – here’s one: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ_FkPNdNcs

Outer Worlds is a first person shooter with exploration elements. On the easiest difficulty, the combat sort of slides off of you, and you can focus on the exploration side. It’s kind of a “ship and crew” feel that evokes Firefly (the TV show) where you go around collecting companions and solving the mystery of this corporate hellhole of a solar system. It’s well crafted and I hope there is more like this out there somewhere. It sort of scratches the Mass Effect itch, while being entirely different in story. Samples: www.youtube.com/watch?v=taHXNV7kFcE

Mass Effect is a third person shooter with major RPG elements. Half the time you’re bombing around in your moon buggy looking for crashed satellites, or trying to romance the aliens you picked up, or trying to cure a plague or find out what happens if you endorse a product in a shop… In many ways, it set the gold standard for character oriented RPG interactions, with meaningful choices. Even the NPCs in the background are always having conversations that you just want to stop and listen to. For example: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLpgxry542M

There was a Mass Effect trilogy re-release recently, where they got updated to be able to be played on the current generation of platforms, so I replayed it. Combat in Mass Effect 1 is still boring, but I’m going to scan every planet for anomalies, and drive my little moonbuggy around doing jumps trying to unveil the map of each little area of interest, damnit! And Mass Effect 2 is such a great experience that even the combat is acceptable. I shot the “kid” in my replay of Mass Effect 3 and didn’t know they made that do a thing and was so pumped by getting an unexpected ending compared to my first playthrough years ago. Sample with combat, cutscene, romance: www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5gqrsFLhqo

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