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Greg Rice

Project Update 18: 1/3/14

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\I don't think there is a single movie that you can't download as a BD rip. So what exactly are they doing all that to their customers for?

Oh, it's not about piracy any more than internet censorship bills are about "protecting children". It's an excuse to let them implement it so the studios can do region lockout, which is all about price gouging. Things like not letting you skip the ads are 'nice', too.

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Oh, it's not about piracy any more than internet censorship bills are about "protecting children". It's an excuse to let them implement it so the studios can do region lockout, which is all about price gouging. Things like not letting you skip the ads are 'nice', too.

Well, region lockout is the one thing that was pretty hard to circumvent with DVDs already (at least later on). So if it was only that then I they went to extraordinary lengths to make the whole thing more airtight.

Honestly, I don't think I want to think too much about possible reasons beyond preventing piracy why they'd want to have a computer in my home that only they control. Would only make me paranoid. Suffice it to say that I think the people making the decisions here are very, very far removed from the realities of their medium. I think they worry more about how to close that nasty remaining analog gap between screen and retina than what they are doing to consumers and cinemas. The amount of work put into the whole issue is astonishing. If there were CEOs that passionate in other areas, I think we might already have saved the planet and defeated world hunger.

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I'm impressed at the anti blu-ray commitment. I have to say, I have a similarly principled idea that intangible digital products should be a lot cheaper than they generally are, but I am somewhat of a hypocrite in that I go ahead and buy digital goods all the time... I just complain about it. ;)

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I don't care about DRM, I get the content, so whatever. :)

Heh sure. Until your internet connection goes down in a storm or something and you're like "Oh whatever, that gives me time to finally play through .... oh. Wait."

Also, give people power and they will use it sooner or later. Power corrupts. Put a (narrowly averted) telescreen in thousands of homes and then hope Microsoft or someone with authority over Microsoft isn't gonna use it? Uhm yeah. Luckily we now all know better thanks to traitors and enemies to democracy or something.

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I don't care about DRM, I get the content, so whatever. :)

Heh sure. Until your internet connection goes down in a storm or something and you're like "Oh whatever, that gives me time to finally play through .... oh. Wait."

Also, give people power and they will use it sooner or later. Power corrupts. Put a (narrowly averted) telescreen in thousands of homes and then hope Microsoft or someone with authority over Microsoft isn't gonna use it? Uhm yeah. Luckily we now all know better thanks to traitors and enemies to democracy or something.

*Steam DRM, I should have been specific.

Because Steam games all work without internet.

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I'm impressed at the anti blu-ray commitment. I have to say, I have a similarly principled idea that intangible digital products should be a lot cheaper than they generally are, but I am somewhat of a hypocrite in that I go ahead and buy digital goods all the time... I just complain about it. ;)

Yeah, as I said, I'm using Steam myself. I do not buy games with some always-online kind of DRM though. Luckily, so many disasters happened with companies employing this kind of DRM and then thinking that dimensioning their servers for something like average load would be a good idea that this technology seems to be phasing out for now.

But to be honest, I have no idea why in some areas DRM goes so wild and in others it just doesn't happen. I mean music was a real nightmare for a while and now it's all MP3. The technically identical audiobooks however are only available in some crappy DRM container (This really goes to show their priorities BTW if they develop their own standard and put energy into the DRM container but don't think of putting some existing speech codec in there. I mean, seriously!). Ebooks? Nightmare. Movies? Nightmare. Games ... somewhere in between I guess.

I don't do ebooks either BTW but that's only partly due to the book burning 2.0 feature the Kindle employs and me not wanting to pay almost as much for an ebook as for a paperback even though the ebook lacks the feature of lending the book to a friend (Yeah I know there is a lending feature on Amazon. It's a joke.) and have a resolution that in a real book would cause me to call the publisher and tell them that their printing machine is broken and their QA department is having an orgy in the basement. More importantly, these single-purpose devices do not actually serve a single purpose. The only thing they should do is to display text. What they do is butcher the text and vomit it in my face. I mean, no automatic hyphenation, are you kidding me? That's like such a basic feature that I wouldn't even ask for it in a store if we didn't live in such a sick world with decades of Microsoft Word having polluted the typographic sensibilities of millions. Soft hyphens are a new feature, heeey! Too bad most books don't use them. Some readers have a flush left option to mitigate the catastrophe that is justified text without hyphenation. What I would expect is a justification algorithm that does some kind of global optimization on a paragraph level (I mean it's not like TeX could do that in the 70s or something and does amazing microtypography these days, no pressure) but I don't see that happening any time soon because that would require people who actually care about the product they sell. How did I even get here? Well I guess I just like ranting about such things ;) Didn't capitalism promise us consumers choice? Well, I guess the part where we can only choose between the devil and the deep blue sea must have been in the small print.

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I mean music was a real nightmare for a while and now it's all MP3.

The good places will offer you music in DRM-free FLAC. Bandcamp.com is probably a frontrunner in this regard: they require artists to upload uncompressed WAV files with a minimum quality of 16bit 44.1kHz, which then gets encoded on Bandcamp's end to a multitude of formats, including the popular mp3 and m4a, but also formats like ogg, and lossless FLAC and ALAC.

Most Humble Bundle and Weekly Sale offerings I've found offer game soundtracks in both FLAC and mp3, though Humble doesn't have the same minimum quality requirements, so some games will only offer mp3.

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The good places will offer you music in DRM-free FLAC. Bandcamp.com is probably a frontrunner in this regard: they require artists to upload uncompressed WAV files with a minimum quality of 16bit 44.1kHz, which then gets encoded on Bandcamp's end to a multitude of formats, including the popular mp3 and m4a, but also formats like ogg, and lossless FLAC and ALAC.

Most Humble Bundle and Weekly Sale offerings I've found offer game soundtracks in both FLAC and mp3, though Humble doesn't have the same minimum quality requirements, so some games will only offer mp3.

Thanks for those hints, I will definitely try to get music from those places first then :) MP3 was just a shorthand for "DRM-free, non-proprietary format" anyway. If you want to call that Fraunhofer concoction non-proprietary that is.

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MP3 was just a shorthand for "DRM-free, non-proprietary format" anyway. If you want to call that Fraunhofer concoction non-proprietary that is.
Yeah, it's not; it's patent-encumbered (Which is the reason why the music for In The Groove was encoded in ogg). Plus, with FLAC, you can always transcode to whatever format you need without worrying about sound quality, since you're not going from one lossy format to another (Of course, the artist could very well have simply decoded 128kbps mp3s to WAV and uploaded that to Bandcamp, but what person in their right mind would do such a thing?

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Act 1 really feels like a complete experience and has a nice natural stopping point. Playthroughs are also coming in at around 4-5 hours. So we probably could have just released this and called it a game. It's almost like you're getting a full game and then a sequel! I really encourage everyone to play act 1 when it hits.
Does this mean that the full game will take at least between 8-10 hours when Act Two releases? If so: Awesome :)

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wanttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

Calm yourself! You waited two years, you can wait two more!

..... days I mean.

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wanttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

Calm yourself! You waited two years, you can wait two more!

..... days I mean.

Has it really been that long?

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To beta, or not to beta.

That is the question.

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the bugs and glitches of unreleased software.

Or to wait until the final release.

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To beta, or not to beta.

That is the question.

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the bugs and glitches of unreleased software.

Or to wait until the final release.

This is indeed a good question. Will the bugs and glitches enhance or detract from the intended experience?

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I don't think I'd be able to wait if I tried. I'm having trouble waiting even until the part 1 release. I finally finished Psychonauts (and now have an aversion to bunnies), so I tried to play Monkey Island which I have had sitting around for ages, but the special edition is doing really weird things (there's "holes" in its attempts to paint over the classic graphics, which are really distracting, but I like the voices...)

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I don't think I'd be able to wait if I tried. I'm having trouble waiting even until the part 1 release. I finally finished Psychonauts (and now have an aversion to bunnies), so I tried to play Monkey Island which I have had sitting around for ages, but the special edition is doing really weird things (there's "holes" in its attempts to paint over the classic graphics, which are really distracting, but I like the voices...)

Play Monkey Island using ScummVM with the voices from your special edition. It's the best of both worlds. Google search for "Monkey Island Ultimate Talkie Edition" and you should find instructions. The same guy did the same thing for Monkey Island 2 and they're both equally awesome.

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It's 1/14, does anyone know what the announcement will be today? With all the hype I hope we get an episode or keys, and not just a date announcement.

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It's 1/14, does anyone know what the announcement will be today? With all the hype I hope we get an episode or keys, and not just a date announcement.

Well, in the time zone in which Double Fine is located it's ~1:50am on 1/13. If the announcement you're referring to is the one mentioned in the OP of this thread then the announcement should "explain in great detail what to expect with delivery of your Steam keys, bug reporting during the beta, what you can do to help with marketing, and what the plan is for the public release."

Though it hasn't been announced, I wouldn't be surprised if DF did some sort of live stream to celebrate the release of the Beta on 1/14.

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It's 1/14, does anyone know what the announcement will be today? With all the hype I hope we get an episode or keys, and not just a date announcement.

Very unlikely to be an episode, we already had one less than a month ago, although there could conceivably be a small video announcement.

Today we can expect instructions on how to retrieve our keys for Part 1 tomorrow, and also instructions about how much we are allowed to share about Broken Age before the official release date of part 1 (which is probably going to be later this month). I believe those instructions will include details of parts that we are and are not allowed to share on Youtube before the public release. I expect we'll also get instructions about how to report bugs, and what sort of issues they're looking to address with the time they have.

So, a whole bunch of instructions.

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There'll probably be a server crash as everyone tries to download at the same time, hahaha, although I'm not sure some 90,000 downloads would constitute those conditions. ;-)

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There'll probably be a server crash as everyone tries to download at the same time, hahaha, although I'm not sure some 90,000 downloads would constitute those conditions. ;-)

I think Steam handles other numbers during their sales.

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There'll probably be a server crash as everyone tries to download at the same time, hahaha, although I'm not sure some 90,000 downloads would constitute those conditions. ;-)

I think Steam handles other numbers during their sales.

IIRC, they blasted through 7m concurrent users in December.

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I don't think I'd be able to wait if I tried. I'm having trouble waiting even until the part 1 release. I finally finished Psychonauts (and now have an aversion to bunnies), so I tried to play Monkey Island which I have had sitting around for ages, but the special edition is doing really weird things (there's "holes" in its attempts to paint over the classic graphics, which are really distracting, but I like the voices...)

Play the old version. Is SO much better.

Better art style, better music, better voices.

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Eh, the music is really well done in both special editions. The voice direction didn't get the attention it deserved, but is passable, and the graphics I can take or leave, I thought they were lacking a bit in the first game and significantly improved but still not astounding in the second one. But the music, if I wanted to listen to the soundtrack nowadays I'd go for the Special Edition versions any day of the week, they all show fantastic attention to detail.

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The Ad Lib sound from the original is still better than the music from the SEs, although the latest music is better than what the other versions offer. The new art style of the SEs, especially Guybrush Threepwood, is out of the question and below a quality what LucasArts should dare to ship. I also enjoy the hassle free crossy handling of the small original game files via ScummVM over Steam/AppStore/... What speaks for the SEs are the dev quotes, the voice acting and maybe the hint system (simple but effective).

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