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shinRaiden

BI Developer
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Everything posted by shinRaiden

  1. The BI Simulations development team located in Orlando, FL is growing again, and we have several more openings for designers. Opportunities are currently focused on scripting and content config development at this time. Taskings are generally more interaction/functionality oriented, and less so on mission/scenario design. The current application window for designers extends through mid-August 2011. For more information please visit the position description page here.
  2. shinRaiden

    North America Release / Publisher

    :icon_ohmygod: "Of course BB's going to have it, any reputable game's got shelf space at BB. And if they don't, walmart will." So I checked BestBuy. It say's it's back ordered, and not on the shelves in at least two different regions. That's weird, is it a holdup with the distributor? Who's the manufacturer? "Got Game Entertainment". Who are they? Line up here. That explains a few things, I'll look for it instead at the 3-for-$5 pile at the freight salvage liquidators warehouse along with all the other dropped pallets of no-label stuff. Also, Walmart.com doesn't show it either, only ArmA1/CO. More ominous clouds. BestBuy, Walmart, Gamestop, these are the biggest retailers of video game boxes in the United States. They are not distributors or publishers, they just sell games that others put on their shelves. And right now - those boxes aren't making it to the shelves, and it's anyone's guess as to when it's going to sort itself out. For what it's worth, strictly on shelf visibility alone, Atari's packaging of ArmA and CO *always* had prime shelf space right next to EA titles, and maintained upper-tier pricing. That has to account for something.
  3. For a whole lot of reasons - many posted here on the forums and other unposted - I'd finally decided a week or two ago that I was NOT going to get ArmA2 or even bother with it at all. If it is in fact going to be distributed comprehensively, or at least in the US on Steam, then that's sufficient to make me reconsider that decision, because that demonstrates some beginnings of long-overdue policy changes.
  4. Walmart and Kroger's still had high-positioned slots with mid-upper tier pricing long after the BestBuy slots were replaced, all of which lasted much longer than I expected. If Atari felt they could justify the slot distribution and positioning, then obviously ArmA was worth it to them to do so. If you're in need of a private publication with the intent of personal use, think twice about a vanity label. If you're doing a legitimate commercial work, then there's no excuse to vanity label your work.
  5. shinRaiden

    FP : DR - News & Discussion

    Been a while since I trolled here, first to reply to walker's points. Now this be my opinions, but I don't see those as significant issues for a number of reasons. No Civilians If the environment isn't built up enough for the civilians to have a reason to be there, should they be there at all? Imho no. Use Fallujah rules, psyops told all the civvies to leave, so all that's left is bad guys and a few refugees hiding. But if you want civvies, then don't make it look like token role-play contractors. The number of buildings in OFP that could be construed as livable, although missing any number of essential furnishings, could be numbered on the fingers of one hand. ArmA, + QG, maybe less than that? That's in reference to a pre-populated 'living' environment. No Flyable Jets The point's been made somewhere prior that approaches alone would effectively use up most of the respective product's virtual airspace, and that many lower-end air defense systems would effectively result in the entire airspace being considered denied. Secondly, neither product has resolved the issue with absurdly artificial altitude transposing to compensate for the view distance culling, mandatory for the ground plane culling systems. So like with BF2, the effectiveness of manuevers transposed lower in altitude and radius by orders of magnitude without altering the performance of the aircraft is crazy-talk. Micro Battles Unless you're sitting back at the command level, everything becomes mano-a-mano micro-battles. You navigate this block, secure that house, and engage enemy pixels one blob at a time. The choreography of the micro-battles is what creates the campaign arc, by linking together objectives, activities, and outcomes. This is why the CoD-piece franchises suck, because if you zerg-nade the spawn points, you win. No thinking or creativity involved, and no way to pwnzor the story-line. Micro Multiplayer Not exactly 'micro', the numbers advertised are pretty much in line with most other non-MMO's. The only way the MMO's are able to support higher player counts is that they use 'probability', rather than precision. WoW, Eve, etc, you lock onto a target and roll virtual dice with coefficients to calculate damage. ArmA/BF2/DragonRetching/etc use 'precision', where everything is a dynamic entity, which results in an absurdly higher amount of data to transmit, over upload limited cable internet. No Wildlife. If you have time and staff to screw around screwing with animals, the rest of your product had better well be completely flawless, 'cause otherwise, imho, it's rather insulting to imply "well we had time to make a whole new mocap anim tree for pigs, but couldn't be bothered to finish the hand anims code that we started back when we were still partners." No Editor for the consoles. Only an external editor in PC. Gonna tie these two together. Sure the consoles don't get an editor, that's because it's not possible to put an external editor on a console, and frankly it's rather impractical to try and cram all the needed editor UI on top of what it is you're trying to edit. Crysis-PC uses that same model, and it's superior for a couple reasons. First, by decoupling the editor from the engine, it removes the need to write all the editor handlers in the engine. This can help team development by trimming the engine back to engine-specific things. Second, there's the UI aspect of usability. With an external editor, it's far easier to monitor or query parameters simultaneously with editing the affected entities. Third, it can - depending on implementation model - allow for editor feature development and optionally plugins to be developed and refined asynchronous to the rest of the development process. Now as for consoles, even if you have some sort of pre-fab or overlay system to design bits of a scenario at a time and merge later, to make an epic mission using only your thumbs is really a bit too much to do, so the natural outcome will be trending towards micro-battles simply from a mission design practicality standpoint. Limited urban environment. True, but that would be more of the same and nobody's innovated there in a really long tim. ========================================================== Now for the rumor-mongering... First things we saw from CM was shopped and rendered videos, that were billed as "visual targets", and that was it for a long while. Then we started getting a trickle of in-game stuff and it didn't exactly match ... at all. What the in-game footage tells me is that they wised up and realized you can't get CoD detail on expansive environments in a timely manner or with cross-platform performance. Given those limitations, I think they've done an excellent job, and while it can always be improved on, they appear to have made the most of their compromises. The pre-renders weren't misleading imho if you know how the games work, but they definitely were setting themselves up for a pile of zerg'ish fanboy disappointment. What's put them in a bind really is their plan for being cross-platform. If they stuck to one platform, either PC or console, it could sort itself out. If they committed to the PC, they could pull a Crysis and insist everyone upgrade to non-existent hardware specs. If they went with just the console, they could throttle it to make it meet M$ performance specs. Facts of the matter is that you can't really run the same content source to both platforms, unless you seriously hobble the PC. CM's marketing BS has been superb, it's even caught BIS up in the fray 'forcing' BIS to respond to CM instead of proactively advertising on their own. Whether it is a house of cards or not, remains to be seen when the product hits the shelves. Soldner was a good example of that, had dynamic character modeling and robust building and environment destruction, but the developers pulled the plug on it and it imploded. There's been plenty of similar allegations on these forums that ArmA was likewise rushed to 'stop the bleeding', but in this case it didn't sink the ship, perhaps due to 'Fortress Mnisek'. If there is grains of truth in the extrapolations of the rumors, like everyone else we'll just have to wait and see if it really does get treated as dead on arrival, or not.
  6. Presentation of dynamic stuff like this typically has to take one of two approaches. First is the 'simulation' approach. This orientation uses of actual scientific models to provide a statistical sampling of the whole effect. For example, it's impractical to simulate the individual effect of n trillion rain drops, but the maths for liquid reactions over time are simpler to project. Similarly it would be impractical to calculate a fully 'natural' environmental spectrum, but it is practical to artificially 'clamp' distinct modes. From another point of view, even wide-spectrum analysis tools have fine-grained filters to focus on the very narrow and specific objectives. There's little need for example to do a full water vapor simulation when you're filtering for RF propagation, simply insert an appropriate approximated coefficient. The other approach, that used by 'serious games', instead bypasses the simulation of the natural phenomena to rather present the observed effect of the phenomena. So instead of trying to simulate it, they skip that whole process to directly replicate the observation. An interesting theory, and in practice can occasionally result in a higher fidelity presentation than a traditional simulation system. It does however have its inherent weaknesses, as they tend to be extremely limited in scalability. For example, in OFP/ArmA rain is presented as a billboard'ed visual effect. Like with other games, it provides an atmospheric presentation effect, even though there is a lack of hydrodynamic or thermal or other environmental effects. Non-visual spectral presentations in the 'serious games' approach are challenged by the typical lack of necessary systems required to accurately replicate the differences in propagation between visual and non-visual emissions. Game models typically use face-based modeling, rather than solid object models for visualization. Pseudo-solid object components such as collision geometry - simply collections of dimensional properties - merely provide static parameters and do not for performance reasons typically provide adaptive materials. Performance optimization methods in computer graphics assume static objects that can be readily replicated and directly rendered. Implementing the various degrees of procedural modeling required to provide a dynamic visualization more accurately reflecting non-visual spectrum emissions requires renderer design outside of traditional hardware optimization capabilities. For thermal imaging in VBS2 a hybrid approach was done. While it was obviously impractical to change the renderer to a procedural solid object model, inspiration from that approach was used to create the texture maps for the objects. The RGBA channels record in separate channels the various emmissive characteristics to provide a range of presented visualization dependent on metabolism/utilization, environment, and other factors. As a result, the texture map generation process is quite complex, but the rendered effect simply uses a different shader modes to present a visualization of the net effect of the object. EM/RF simulation would have similar challenges, that in a gaming world would probably still have to be addressed as a presentation of the observed effect, rather than the direct simulation of the phenomena. Aside from the technical complications, there's also the aspects of business objectives (eg would the investment required to include the expanded spectral presentation realize an appropriate return on investment) as well as propriety (paper-pushers take a dim view of lulz-ware that can be repurposed as an arguably adequate systems trainer). But, opinions on those matters vary widely and are founded on the morass of impatience, jealousy, and covetousness.
  7. shinRaiden

    North American Publisher

    Is it fun being stuck in the past? You dont still want software on tapes do you? Hows about having ArmA2 on a nice stack of ~6970 floppy disks? I don’t like purchasing "AIR" and that’s what you get from itunes exc.  Give me a tangible hard copy.  If the costs were significantly lower, due to the lack of print and product,  I would consider it.  But they are NOT.  As for a NA publisher,  I believe this is what’s holding them back from Console disclosure. That is misleading, inaccurate, and uninformed. itunes does have a policy of not allowing re-downloads, but there is no restriction prohibiting you the user of maintaining your own backups and copying them to another authorized machine for immediate playback, or sharing them from a centralized library. steam on the other hand does allow you to redownload any content at any time, without disk scratches. yeah we can tell your not here to help How about when stem goes down and you cant play your games. Or how about if your isp id down and you cant log into stem and play your games. Got to love people that cant live without their tec. Its funny to watch people after a big storm hits and they dont know what to do. I really dont understand whats the big deal, why not have it on both? I just hope all countries get it at the same time. Also misleading, inaccurate, and uninformed. Search steampowered.com support Company of Heros has some difficulty with offline mode, but that's Relic's problem, not Steam's and not Valve's. I just migrated 35gb of steam content from 2 machines to a 3rd, the only games that gave me any hassle were the valve titles as valve requires a cache validation step not required by the other developers who distribute via steam.
  8. Wow! Never thought I'd see it. Do you know if it is done with heavy scripting and is therefore a bit demanding in terms of performance, or not? I agree it'd be great if it was officially implemented, but if it isn't (since Arma II is at a late stage in development,) maybe a mod that includes it for all vehicles is possible? In fact which member did it and does he have a thread? That's model + model.cfg stuff. Typically, the normal practice is to put the gunner proxy fixed in the _traverse selection in both view and gunner LOD's. If you put the gunner proxy in the _elevation selection in the gunner LOD, you can move it around with the hands matching the handles implicitly. You don't want to view that in view LOD though as it would look hideous externally. What I'm guessing happened here is the gunner proxy's in a selection branched to _elevation, but with some nice offset/inverted coef's to move the gunner around. + Aside from the model-specific maths, it's simple to implement in models and model.cfg files. - Can't be done in a mod, requires specific model/model.cfg work.
  9. shinRaiden

    BI press release Re: OFP title and development

    Adumb loves you long time too. I'm as much a lawyer of interwebs as Oh (Fishysticks): Dead Rats is a sequel without equal.
  10. shinRaiden

    BI press release Re: OFP title and development

    Nah, sadly CM's not really in a whole lot of trouble really. Worst case scenario they have to rebrand their product, but our esteemed colleague Mr. Kegetys has provided a working tool demonstrating how easy it is to generate new product names. Now if CM happens to use that tool, then that's a commercial usage violation of Finnish copyright statutes, I'm sure that the attorney's representing Rare Exports, LLC would be more than suitable to represent the plaintiff in that potential proceeding. So once they got a new brand name, they just have some slaves, er I mean artists, drool over it for a couple days, then run it down to kinkos and run off a few dozen copies, and presto, history's rewritten, His Most Glorious and Exalted Emminency Clive of the Lindops (pbuh) has a fine new wardrobe worthy of most magnanimous praise, and we have world peace, end to hunger, disease, and global warming.
  11. In for the win: http://pc.ign.com/articles/135/135449p1.html April 14, 1999 on part 3 at the bottom.
  12. My google'd contributions: Link's invalid, and Prague Post seems to have not put their July-Dec 2005 archives online, yet. It's a shame, it's an excellent article with useful info. http://www.praguepost.com/articles/2005/08/03/virtual-victory.php Gamasutra post-mortum for BI's development and delivery of the product labeled OFP: http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20011219/spanel_01.htm Epic tail of publisher fail - "Bohemian Crapsody": http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=102189 Various other bits, duplicates some parts from the Prague Post article, and ties in factoids available from Czech Ministry of Justice publicly available online business records: http://www.cbw.cz/en/bis%92-armed-assault-on-pc-gaming-/2918.html
  13. shinRaiden

    Americas Army 3

    0 - No context is given, so I presume aggregate stats across entire product family. 1 - Fair argument there, peak and avg active stats are nebulous due to multiple concurrent games. Additionally, your point stands about validity of 'uniqueness' of accounts. 2 - No source is given for what source is 'official', and what constitutes a download. 42 million downloads, along with a Fileplanet most-downloaded sticker though has to account for something, even if it is franchise-wide. At this point though, since everything has bots, you kinda have to average in the bots as an indicator of market popularity, eg because if it wasn't popular it wouldn't be botted, particularly where there's little RMT potential other than leveling honor for a yuan or two. 3 - There is a data center with a fair bit of stored replays somewhere that Army Research Lab's got their hands on that gives interesting research. It's possible to build statistical overlays from thousands of played scenarios to determine statistically optimal routes, and in theory that could then be injected back into the game as guidance or real-time performance/deviation analysis. The record title also is fairly specific, and there's not likely anything else that would come close. There's three qualifiers: Free, Online, and Shooter. Online and Shooter, there's competition. Free and Online, plenty of those too. Free Shooter, those justifiably have crappy stats. Aggregate all three though, and nothing else comes close. It's a bit unfair though because as a non-commercial title they're the odd man out in a predominantly commercial market. 4 - Well yeah, but that's kind of a non-record isn't it? When there's nothing else to compare to or measure against, how do you gauge the significance? It's one of those retrospective things I guess. Now it's serious business, but back then, it was a wild gamble adventure. 5 - Look at the title. VAE's not exactly run out of the back of a single HMMWV, it's a mammoth setup. Anything remotely that size tends to be fixed site operations, eg mall arcade / hobbyist type stuff. It also doesn't specify whether that includes the lite version, which puts four dismounts and a driver in an expanded snowmobile trailer and is typically used by National Guard Recruiting. It takes a lot of real estate space to park even part of VAE, not to mention the infrastructure staff. I very highly doubt there's anyone else that's doing anything anywhere close in terms of scale. Then again, anyone else would be focused more on revenue returns, while VAE has predominately non-revenue objectives which helps justify the scale. The pics here give some sense as to the scale.
  14. shinRaiden

    FP : DR - News & Discussion

    I see... * clone anims coming up the beach * low counts of high-poly vegetation * endless waves of billboarded grass (q: why are the camera angles so much lower than eye level?)
  15. shinRaiden

    Why can we not post images over 100KB?

    What I don't understand is why the rules of good bandwidth behavior should be discarded just because people have more bandwidth now. (What about monthly cap though?)
  16. shinRaiden

    ArmA maps are TOO large for public servers

    Whoa, hold on there, how dare you insult the community? As we all clearly know, this unforgivable deficency in delivered content, global warming, the financial crisis, lack of world peace, and all of mankind's ill's can rightfully be laid at the irresponsible feet of BIS. It's high time you get your nonsensical attitude straightened out or you won't last long around here. The only way BIS can atone for their crimes is if they scrap this whole 'Chernarus' nonsense and go back to basics, some proper symmetrical mirrored 500m*500m control point maps. If they don't ship a dozen of them, with each building completely dynamically destructible down to procedurally generated factions of a brick that can then be individually manipulated, and if they don't also ship a dozen different missions for each map, then they deserve the fate that's rightfully coming their way, and the community will of course be rightfully justified in saying "I told you so".
  17. shinRaiden

    Iran Launches Satellite

    The point is that this means they've figured out the manufacturing and control systems for multi-stage rocketry, alleged to be substantially more complex than single-stage. Multi-stage allows for dramatically different flight profiles than what's achievable by single-stage systems, but has a whole pile of intricate complexities. Single-stage systems are inherently theater-oriented as they are in principle just boosted simple ballistic devices. Multi-stage systems are in short, game changers because they allow for radically different flight profiles. While it's true that in relative terms, multi-stage systems reduce the proportional ratio of the package to accommodate additional stage(s) as initial payload, scalability is a much more relatively simple problem than switching from single to multi stage. Even with a reduced payload capacity, it bears mentioning that this is a much more political statement of strategic importance, rather than an evaluation of tactical delivery capabilities. The political implications are that despite ambivalent sanctions, Iran now has the resources necessary to develop and deploy systems capable of deploying Iranian policy with impunity. It's a political bogey-weapon that then forces the quisling infidels to negotiate to the terms of the true disciples of the Mahdi. Regardless of which political persuasion you pander for, I think we can all agree that in general, all of the western nuclear powers have in place reasonable amounts of political bureaucratic depth and discipline to reduce the risk of rogue incidents. The classical imperial hierarchy of the Eastern nuclear powers likewise should in theory impose a subservient environment preventing the personal autonomy necessary for rogue events. Emergent nations however, with the lack of significant nationalism or extra-ethnic cohesion have a particular risk for Danilo Ilić type events. Once the shot's in the air, you only have seconds with the best of pre-positioned equipment to make an assessment of whether it's one stage or more, where it's heading, what it's carrying, why it's launched, and what to do about it.
  18. shinRaiden

    DMM

    DMM, that's the overhyped limited-use pre-cracked spammy fud used in The Force-leashed/chained/gagged? No thanks...
  19. shinRaiden

    USA Politics Thread - *No gun debate*

    The prior financial model in the US was that the Federal Reserve, a semi-autonomous entity, would with the guidance and sponsorship of the US Federal Government, >create< inter-bank loans. Changes to the net amount of loans in-system was the method by which money supply was managed. Why do I note this in the past tense? Because impulsive decisions of the past several months have in response to as-yet unprosecuted shenanigans made it abundantly clear that financial system realities have altered dramatically. First and foremost, it should be amply evident by now that the Federal Reserve, even with dubiously legal commercial bank collusion, is wholely unable to control the financial markets and impose stability. They can for a time add brakes here and there, but the reality is that individually and collectively there is nothing that they can do to prevent any sort of freefall. Lehman Brothers was the sacrificial goat test. I think everyone's assumption was that if LB were hung out as a test, cooler heads would prevail and the chaos would lessen. Rather, LB wasn't even a speedbump, and AIG dropped the next day. At this point, it should have been obvious to anyone involved that shoveling Zimbabwean mountains of money at 'the problem' wouldn't 'fix' anything, as the agencies 'trusted' to guide and manage the money system were largely irrelevant to the building nightmare. The alternative Venezuelan model, of nationalizing problematic commercial sectors and restricting bad corporate policy by fiat, is what's being played with currently. It may not be advertised as such, but as always the devil's in the details. Throwing more money into the rathole of business as usual will not fix the rathole. It will however alter the corporate accountability in a direct fiduciary role as opposed to the traditional government role. Fundamentally, the markets are in a freefall, the only question is whether there's an outright run on the entire system, or if people are just setting fire to the banking system because they don't care any more. The policy makers won't say this publicly because 1 - they don't have the personal metaphorical assets required to govern with due diligence, and 2 - it's been over a hundred years since the last time we've had good old fashioned bread riots, and nobody wants to go down in history as the next fiddling Nero or Pres. Harding. What we're seeing now is panic scrambles by the people that should be leading, managing, and governing, but instead are caught with their pants down doing shoe taps in the bathroom and hooker sushi in the boardrooms. Congress has abdicated any sort of oversight credibility by arguing over the precise amount of gravy to add to their own pork, little or none of it actually targeted at the actual financial problems. This isn't fixing any problems, this isn't just throwing good money after bad to continue business as usual, this is outright setting the town on fire in a gluttonous orgy. So what can the citizenry do? Not much at this point. Bush made a half-hearted apology, his comment about "compromising his free market principles" meant that he asked the people who's responsibility it was for their advice and recommendations, then gave them the support they wanted, and it failed anyway. If you throw all of the financial folks in Club Gitmo and coddle them in the subservient way that the previous celebrity residents were, that's still not going to 'fix' anything. We're all just going to have to hold and see where it goes. Job 1:20-22
  20. shinRaiden

    COD4 question...

    Blitz. Checkpoint. Done. Repeat for rankings. As long as you don't clear checkpoints, they keep zombie-spawning. Keep moving, and the checkpoints stop the bots. You thought this was a 'credible' game with stuff to explore and puzzles? The most complicated part is how to open the box and hold the controller...
  21. shinRaiden

    Americas Army 3

    I offer this one point to ponder, with the caveats that 1 - this is personal observation, 2 - I'm not a subject matter expert, and 3 - the case in point was a limited evaluation of a specific research project.. That said... Several years ago I had the opportunity to listen to a series of presentations given regarding the adaptability of entertainment mediums to instructional applications. (Technically it was a symposium on the status and assessment of Serious Games.) During the course of the presentations, several individuals cited a case where Army Research Laboratory had gathered a very large number of recordings of team matches on a given AA map, loaded them into a massive data warehouse, and ran an exhaustive statistical process resulting in a statistically 'optimal' route/sequence most likely to 'own' the map. This data could then be overlaid to provide near-instantaneous assessment if users in subsequent scenarios were deviating from 'optimal', and by how much. While this was cited anecdotally, and in hindsight perhaps more as an indication of 'positive disruptive educational innovation', I did have an immediate concern however that inherent design nature of AA1/2, and from the screenshots I strongly expect as well from AA3, to by habit and design continue to confine AA's orientation to an n-way mirrored route corridor system. The core of my concern rests around the nature of functionally symmetrical mirrored checkpoints, where all too often the gameplay becomes rather a meta-game of checkpoint blitzing and rating-point 'achievements'. That to many may be enjoyable. Fair enough. But it doesn't necessarily appeal to others, myself included. One other point worth noting. The AA franchise is 'owned' in the management sense, with an obligatory, and reasonable measure of personal sense in the organization, by the Army's Recruiting Command. Any debates or discussions, pro's or con's, about its technical applicability in secondary roles as an internal training tool does not diminish the fact that it has been highly successful in supporting a significant long term improvement in Army PR and recruitment, its primary role. Secondly, in perhaps an unanticipated side-benefit, it has successfully proven that non-traditional or entertainment products can be valuable and effective tools for various tasks and requirements.
  22. shinRaiden

    USA Politics Thread - *No gun debate*

    The Articles of Confederation of the pre-Union independent states, widely viewed as a failure by most historians, had at its foundation the principle that the States retained net power over the associative National body. Secondly, there was no effective means by which the national body could resolve debts incurred by the Continental Congress and inherited by the new national body. As a result of this lack of interstate framework, and compounded by decentralized Foreign affairs representation, the Constitutional Committee met to establish a viable and self-sustaining Federal government. Initially, the only forms of revenue allowed under Constitutional authority were those explicitly tied to interstate commerce and foreign customs. While stringent, this provision was financially sufficient as the new Federal Government was able to resolve the outstanding debts and actually at one point was completely eliminated under the Jackson administration. Ironically, the historical context of President Jackson's domestic economic policy is an interesting study for illustrating the substantial and regular historical precedent for which 'loose money' policy combined with real estate speculation in particular, with the corresponding rise and falls, has repeatedly and predictably occurred throughout US history. In summary, a cursory overview of US history will show that approximately every 30 years with only rare exceptions, the US has experienced a significant bubble 'pop' with varying severity based on the over-extension of credit leading to compounded speculation. Throughout the 1800's, the US experienced a series of recessions triggered by the previously listed reasons, and compounded by domestic or foreign entanglements, and sometimes combined with natural environmental rebalancing. President Jackson's policy, regardless of the debates over the objectives and motivation, would have resulted in a single change that could well have significantly reduced the severity of and turmoil caused by subsequent recessions, as well as potentially moderating the economic imbalances that contributed to the Civil War. If the 2nd National Bank had been fully established, with sufficient authority to mandate a single national currency, the immediate credit discount problems caused by banks producing their own currency (comparable to less-regulated modern commercial credit) could have been reduced significantly. However, there were and remain significant constitutional questions about the appropriateness of a Federal Bank, regardless of the benefits of a standardized currency. The significant recession in the 1890's fueled by the new availability of substantially more liquid capital than in previous cycles, resulted in a popular shift against fixed currencies which were believed by the public to have been ineffective at resolving the inter-currency discounting problem, savings reliability, and currency availability. Significantly however, technology now existed to allow unregulated speculation and communication of general public sentiment, but also noticeably had not been used to resolve the underlying problems. This shift in public sentiment led to the popularization of the Federal-Commercial institutions established prior to the Great Depression. With the new system, the mantra was that there would be more money in the system, being sponsored by the government it would be more reliable, and thus the Great Ship Titanic wouldn't go down again like the Panic of 1890, the first recession widely communicated by telecommunications and print media. However, ironically yet predictably, history repeated itself again. This time, with even more liquidity, the system only had further to fall. The 'solution', yet again, was an increased Federalization of domestic economic affairs (as opposed to policy), and the 'fortuitous good luck' of building a massive and lucrative industrial backbone in a few short war-time years. The skewed demographics of that economic surge, combined with other historical demographic anomolies, resulted in essentially 'skipping' an otherwise expected 1950's significant recession, but the late 70's caught its turn in time. Now we're seeing a big 'pop' as a result of reactionary policy established to 'never repeat' the 1970's recession. In theory, it 'worked' through the 80's and 90's though the various Junk Bond and S&L crisis's in particular, should have been ample reminder that the policies if unchecked would result in catastrophe. Once again, we find ourselves nationally in a frenzied 'panic', and the pundits (who ironically are the ones with the most to lose) loudly advocate the policy of increased Federalization, step for step in line with the questionable policies of their predecessors. That's not to say that all of the prior post-recession policy changes had net negative results. The establishment of a common currency, the separation in principle of banking credit and speculative financial activities have had substantial net benefits to the nation as a whole. Historically, the common notion is that with sufficient liquid capital, troubles can be slid past, and business can go on as usual and pretend nothing is wrong. In the past, when global economics were such that the US could bury the rest of the planet with capital and laugh it off, perhaps it was possible. Perhaps in the past when there was a substantially higher percentage of the GDP from industrial and agriculture sources, historically self-sufficient commercial sectors, it might have been possible. Now with the re-balancing of global economics, combined with shifts towards non-commodity service-based industries, we've got an entirely different unknown. Revenue requirements as a natural result of proto-inflationary policy based on liquid credit require an ever-increasing growth of 'Revenue'. But what, in this modern day and era, constitutes 'revenue'? Increasingly, it has like historical predecessors, lost any association with 'real' currency, and become just wild, meaningless numbers. Obligations, of whatever form, whether they be to suppliers, future populations rightfully apprehensive about trends towards Soylent Green production, debt holders, or whatever, represent real obligations that can not be fed by mere revenue. Inflating the system does not resolve any of these problems, rather, in the classical Chicago system of established patronage, it buys political power necessary to postpone the inevitable. Money will not due when bread is required. It's been over a hundred years since the US last experienced significant domestic unrest in response to the largely unwarranted failure of their livelihood due to the outright and deliberate shenanigans of those responsible for the protection and guidance of the nation. -edit- Just for historical reference, here's William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech given in 1896.
  23. @soul_assassin: My only comment is one is not better than the other, they're just different. Regarding graphics, we figured out pretty early on that there were two main drawbacks to adding normal and specular maps: * - Increased system requirements * - Increased development time The only immediate benefit is that objects so modeled look prettier. If customers require that, then of course it can be contracted. However, when VBS2 was launched, similar to the ArmA discussions here, many military customers had to run VBS2 on VBS1 spec hardware for some time, and immediate system upgrades were not an option. Secondly, various applications of VBS2, such as the aircrewmen trainer, use lower-fidelity system components. For example, the emagin z800 headsets seen in the AVRS media have a published spec of 800x600. They are effective in their use, but normal and specular maps would be completely wasted in those contexts. As for scripting, yes it's true that ArmA content may in various cases have more intricate scripted systems for individual content items than VBS2 variants, eg the RKSL announcements for example. However, that's based on a different design approach taken by the different designers. BIS in OFP and ArmA tends to put their scripted systems into scenarios. Community addon makers implement content-specific systems. BIA prefers to implement integrated backend systems like a tightly managed super-mod. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages, one's not 'better' than the other, just different. Of course you might see something that might be prettier or might have more features in ArmA as opposed to VBS2. That doesn't mean however that the VBS2 customers aren't getting a fair contract, or that they're not satisfied with what's been delivered. For me, the nerd I am, tbh I could care less about more shiny. When someone points at a screen and says That to me is awesome. Or when VBS2 creates a new capability, like being able to turn actual incident reports into instructional content within 96 hours of the actual incident, that to me is epic. (Link here)
  24. Feature, not a bug. By implementing simple generic engine commands and then making all the features and stuff in scripts, it gives you more flexibility, not less. Of course that doesn't help if you can't be bothered to even demand that life hand itself to you on a gilded platter.
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