Tag Archives: Gaming

The One With Dills

On this scientifically amazing episode of The College Gamers Podcast: Dills joins us today to talk about video games! Blizzard announced when we are getting Demon Hunters and Mike is pumped. The developers of Sea of Thieves show off their game and explain what we will be doing. Elder Scrolls: Legends has now entered public Beta. Will this be a Hearthstone killer? (Hint: No) No Man’s Sky is getting a small delay for PC players. Rockstar has something cooking and we discuss what we would like to see. We talk about some major changes coming to Civ 6. StarCraft might be getting an HD remake. What games are we talking about. A lot of off topic conversation. And more! On this episode of The College Gamers Podcast!

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Dumb Ideas #1: Give Me A Modulor Console

Buying hardware for a console player is a different experience than hardware shopping for a PC player. For most console players, the choice of hardware is narrowed down to two options. The announcement of the Xbox One S, Scorpio, and Neo has complicated this question but, simplified, a console player really just needs to select Xbox or Playstation. A PC gamer always has the option to buy a rebuilt rig but that can be expensive. For the cheapest and most customizable option, PC Gamers build their own rigs. This includes choosing parts, checking compatibility, as well as making sure everything fits. But, this allows gamers to choose where they want to put their money. Consoles could go the same style but it would take a complete overall of the way console developers build their brand.

Consoles are basically dedicated PC’s for gaming. The only difference is that consoles have very standardized hardware and software. Instead of selling console gamers an entire box, allow third parties to sell hardware parts. To simplify the consoles, companies could break down the consoles into 4 parts: The CPU, the graphic cards, the motherboard + memory, and the case. AMD already supplies the Xbox One and PlayStation with CPUs. The next iteration of consoles could be designed to use PC graphic cards. Microsoft and Sony would sell rights to companies for creating hardware. Rather than buying a new console every few years, allowing players to upgrade individual parts when they become outdated makes the transition to better technologies smoother and cheaper for the user. Consoles would be able to keep up with PC performance, rather than the console becoming more obsolete as the years pass between iteration.

Console makers would then focus have to give more attention to the operating system. Similar to how Windows and MacOS compete with one another. By focusing on the OS of the box, resources that were previously spent on hardware would now be free to add better features to the operating system. Console exclusives would instead become OS exclusives. Console makers would of course still sell pre-built consoles. Because the idea of plug and play never gets old and PC gaming is hard.

Would would you like to see changed in the console ecosystem? Leave a comment!

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Why Hearthstone’s Invite-A-Friend System is Broken

Last Month Hearthstone implemented an “Invite-A-Friend” system for the game. Players use a link to invite new players to play Hearthstone and the link used would bind the accounts together. For inviting one player and the invited player reaching level 20, the Original player would receive Morgle the Oracle, a (very awesome) Shaman class hero. A player gets a free card pack for each friend that reaches level 20 once the fifth friend reaches level 20. Hearthstone is a free to play card game that has been out for 2011. At this point in Hearthstone’s life, the amount of gamers that have not discovered Hearthstone is a very small number. Joining Hearthstone can seem like a daunting task. Hundreds of cards have been added through multiple expansions and it can be intimidating to try to collect them all, which is required to compete competitively. Many people may have the problem where none of their friends are interested in Hearthstone (like myself). Many Hearthstone players will probably resort to using a second personal email to create a new account and grind their way to level 20 for Morgle.

Blizzard could keep players around by incentivizing friends who are linked to play with each other. Once a player reaches a certain level, such as 20 or 30, let friends earn quest credit by playing friends. Limit this to one quest a week or unlimited quests for a limited amount of time. The level requirement and the time limit put on these perks would reduce the amount of fraudulent accounts created.

Every plan has its own set of flaws while at the same time requiring a good enough incentive for players to go through the trouble of talking friends and family into playing.

Have an idea of how to the invite-a-friend system should work? Leave a comment!

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What does Virtual Reality Need to Succeed

For the past year Virtual Reality, or VR for short, has been a very hot topic within the gaming community.  It has been an especially popular topic for PC hardware providers such as AMD and Nvidia. VR headsets have to hit a frame rate of 90 frames per second minimum or the user can suffer from motion sickness and no one wants that. Great graphics at that frame rate can require serious hardware. A year ago, a VR computer could cost around $1000, not counting the six hundred to eight hundred dollar headset. In the past 3 months AMD and Nvidia have both released VR ready graphics cards that were cheap and promised high end card performance. AMD released the RX 480 that promised performance rivalling the R9 series  but for only $200 dollars.

In the community of VR, hardware is a topic that comes up often and is one of the bigger prerequisites for VR. However, the argument of this post is that VR will stay in the realm of enthusiasts until it is embraced by major studios. Steam has a section dedicated to VR games full of games that look like tons of fun. A majority of these games are small and based around the HTC Vive, which requires the player to move around a space. For VR to elevate from enthusiasts to a serious video game platform major studio needs to make their games compatible with VR. However, HTC Vive-”move around the room” style VR will not be the VR that takes off for the masses.

tweedievr

 

At E3 this year, Bethesda showed off Fallout 4 in VR. But these open world games would shine with an Oculus Rift-sit down style VR because they have large open world environments, walking around/teleporting around would get old and can be clunky for larger environments. Now would also be a good moment to mention that, like myself, not everyone has a 15ft by 15ft room laying around for a VR experience. VR is still a new technology for gamers and the stand up and move around experience is the most exciting for us right now, but the sit down VR is what will break into the main-stream for gamers.

Have a comment? Contact me at bluecowradio@gmail.com!

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The College Gamers Podcast (feat Cami) Ep 53

On this absurdly organized episode of The College Gamers Podcast: Cami joins me this week while Taft is out. We are holding our first contest ever! Mike is super excited for next week! Pokemon GO is everywhere. Oh my gosh guys. Seriously. I am catching Pokemon as I write this. World of Warcraft is getting a new silencing policy for trolls. Fallout Shelter is coming to PC and brings new quests with it. Blizzard announces a new character for Overwatch and it looks AWESOME! What are we playing? And more on this episode of The College Gamers Podcast!

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PC Gaming is hard

Recently, I was browsing the interwebs in search of a memory upgrade for my gaming rig. I have upgraded parts in the past, graphics card, CPU, even my motherboard. I would stand proudly and say none of them went as planned. When I say that PC Gaming has one hell of a learning curve I am not lying. For those of us, like myself, that do not have a friend that has already gone through the stresses of upgrading or building a rig, doing it ourselves is full of unexpected and not so pleasant surprises. As I was browsing memory for my rig, I had to check that the frequency was compatible with my motherboard. Was the voltage too high? Was it the correct type of memory? Could my motherboard overclock it if I wanted to? This is when I realized a simple truth: PC Gaming is, in fact, hard.

Now, do not get me wrong. For those of us that demand the highest performance for the very best experience, PC Gaming is the only option. It is more flexible than console gaming. You can upgrade individual parts as often as you like, and trust me, there is no cap to the amount of money one can spend on PC gaming rigs. This is because PC gaming is a black hole of money. You can always buy a graphics card that is a slightly better or a CPU that is a bit faster. Hell, you can throw money at all the storage you want. In half a year, it is all obsolete anyway. The newest, bestest, shiniest, fastest, coolest thing is always around the corner. Now, as you spend more money on the super gaming rig of your dreams, the price to performance increase slowly dwindles. Most modern video games only utilize four cores at a time so spending $2000 on a 10 core CPU really won’t get you that much of an approvement. Unless you are developing games, video processing, or password hashing, you really don’t need a super CPU. Oh, but those sweet sweet bragging rights.  

Compatibility can be a harsh mistress. Luckly for those of us that have not quite aquired the talent, there are helpful websites like pcpartpicker.com that only matches parts that are compatible. However, I always take these websites with a grain of salt. I still have a liquid CPU cooler on my dresser from half a year ago because everything told me it would fit. Unfortunately, I have a weird tower that places the power supply at the top.

Sometimes I do envy console gaming. The safety of buying a game and knowing it will work must be nice. But I demand better performance than consoles cannot deliver. Risk it for the biscuit.
I, personally, love PC gaming. After all the stress and research is done it can be fun and satisfying.