I'm still alive! Also, GDC
posted on 2015 Mar 08
Here's a reboot of my blog, this time using Ruby on Rails, which is pretty cool. I look forward to doing more stuff with Ruby.
My blog kind of died off not long after I started because I didn't actually have things to blog about, I guess. That has changed, though.
Two days ago marked the end of GDC 2015. Valve did some cool announcements there. Let me go through all five of them and tell you what I think. (No, I didn't really care about anything else at GDC - not that I even know who else attended.)
This is pretty cool. I think it takes away an argument for console games. The reason I think console gaming is still a thing, other than marketing, is the fact that if you want to play some games with friends at your house, you don't really bring your gaming rigs. That's a LAN party, which requires a little more effort than just visiting a friend's place. You want to go there without really bringing anything, sit back, play some games, and leave a while later. That's what consoles are for, in my opinion.
Steam Link obsoletes that argument. Provided it works fine with the average network/gaming PC, it's a pretty direct replacement for consoles. You can just play your PC games on your TV, in the living room, from your couch. Now we just need more PC splitscreen coop games, and less console exclusives. (I'm not ignoring you, Nintendo, start adapting. Hire some more folks and start bringing out your games on PC. Imagine Smash Bros. on 4K or 120fps, or maybe even both!)
Even if you're not a fan of PC gaming, you can still be one using this gaming PC disguised as a console! Seriously though, Steam Machines are exactly that. They run SteamOS which is really just a Linux distribution that boots straight into Big Picture. Or at least that's what I've heard. You can basically have all the pros of PC gaming, AND the pros of console gaming! Just like the Steam Link!
I'm not sure what to think about this. I liked the initial concept of the two trackpads, a touchscreen, and an unconventional button layout, because of its originality. It wasn't just a black x360 controller, it was something different. What changed that? Was it actually proved to be less than ideal after extensive testing? Was it because nearly everyone was afraid of how the buttons were all weird and that it had no analog stick? I was looking forward to how game designers would make use of the touchscreen. It's something the Wii U makes good use of, or so I've heard.
I'm probably going to get one, anyway. I still like the idea of having trackpads instead of/in addition to analog sticks.
Source 2 will be amazing. We don't know much about it yet, but what we do know is that Valve takes Half-Life seriously. The first two installments were way ahead of the others at the times they were released. Heck, we're still playing games based on an engine from 2004. That's 11 years ago! Granted, it has been updated quite a bit, but it's still the same base. Granted, Valve might have been slacking with their games lately, but maybe that's because they're focussing their attention on their next game. Who knows. Anyway, I have faith in Valve that Half-Life 3 will be something amazing.
Speaking of Half-Life 3, I feel like this might finally be the year. To be more precise, I believe this year's November might finally be the month. It's just perfect. It would really boost the Steam Machines, and Source 2 + Steam VR + Steam Machines/Link might introduce a new era of gaming. One that's not polluted by corrupt and greedy entities such as EA. I believe.
Finally, virtual reality. I'm hyped for this. I am really hyped for this. I have tried an Oculus Rift (DK2) once, on a laptop. It was good. I can only imagine how the consumer version, or the HTC RE Vive, will work on a proper gaming desktop. I also own a Google Cardboard which is, for its low (~$15) price, a pretty fun toy. It's got a very low field of view, but it's pretty fun if you don't have a proper HMD.
Anyway, I'm hyped for the future. I'm probably going to be using VR a lot, not only as consumer, but also as programmer, to make not only games, but other things, too. For example, I've got some ideas for a virtual desktop. (Imagine working with infinite screen space!)
This is barely even the beginning.