As Irrational swims with the fishes, so can you

Subject: General Tech | April 2, 2014 - 06:27 PM |
Tagged: bioshock infinite, burial at sea, irrational

One hopes that by now you have managed to free the 40-some gigabytes of storage required to install Bioshock Infinite so that you can play the recently released second Episode of Burial at Sea.  Many have chose to wait to touch Episode 1 until the second instalment was released as Valve has developed a tendency to wait a bit between their releases.  If you have been too busy playing Goat Simulator and have not yet played through the release you can tease yourself with the trailer below.  If you have played it, Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN's recent Wot I Think is worth reading through as they give a well thought out look at Irrational's last product.

"You’ll hear no politics from me, though by God it’s tempting to correlate Burial At Sea Part 2′s status as a swansong for two BioShock universes with the recent, shock closure of Irrational. Whatever else there is to both tales, at least this concluding DLC for BioShock Infinite reverses the sense of decline we’ve seen since the original BioShock."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Irrational Games Implodes with Controlled Demolition

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | February 19, 2014 - 06:15 PM |
Tagged: bioshock infinite

The team behind the original BioShock and Bioshock: Infinite decided to call it quits. After seventeen years, depending on where you start counting, the company dissolved to form another, much smaller studio. Only about fifteen employees will transition to the new team. The rest are provided financial support, given a bit of time to develop their portfolios, and can attend a recruitment day to be interviewed by other studios and publishers. They may also be offered employment elsewhere in Take-Two Interactive.

bioshock_infinite_sp.jpg

The studio formed by the handful of remaining employees will look to develop games based on narrative, which is definitely their strength. Each game will be distributed digitally and Take-Two will continue to be their parent company.

While any job loss is terrible, I am interested in the future project. BioShock: Infinite sold millions of copies but I wonder if its size ultimately caused it harm. It was pretty and full of detail, at the expense of requiring a large team. The game had a story which respected your intelligence, you may not understand it and that was okay, but I have little confidence that it was anywhere close to the team's original vision. From budget constraints to the religious beliefs of development staff, we already know about several aspects of the game that changed significantly. Even Elizabeth, according to earlier statements from Ken Levine, was on the bubble because of her AI's complexity. I can imagine how difficult it is to resist those changes when seeing man-hour budgets. I cannot, however, imagine BioShock: Infinite without Elizabeth. A smaller team might help them concentrate their effort where it matters and keep artistic vision from becoming too dilute.

As for BioShock? The second part of the Burial at Sea DLC is said to wrap up the entire franchise. 2K will retain the license if they want to release sequels or spin-offs. I doubt Ken Levine will have anything more to do with it, however.

BioShock goes epically episodic

Subject: General Tech | July 31, 2013 - 03:52 PM |
Tagged: bioshock infinite, clash in the clouds, burial at sea, dlc, episode 3

The BioShock Infinite DLC which was released yesterday may not intrigue all players as it is mostly Challenge based, gifting you with a variety of in game achievements for completing certain takedowns and combos though the addition of new maps could well attract many.  It is the upcoming Burial At Sea which is attracting attention as it takes place on that fateful New Years Eve which began the decline of Rapture into which we were dropped into during the original game. Instead of the in game clues which told the story of the fall of the underwater utopia of Rapture you will get to play through the actual events as Booker Dewitt, Private Eye.  Hopefully they will not follow the Valve School of Episode releases and we will see releases on a tight schedule.  Check out both trailers at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN or click below to see the teaser for Burial at Sea.

"So, as guessed by people paying attention to Ken Levine last night, there’s to be BioShock: Infinite DLC. What a surprise. What’s more of a surprise is that one bit is out today. That is Clash In The Clouds, and is a bunch of challenges. Below you’ve got a trailer for that, and a teaser for something called Burial At Sea, which will be a new campaign set in Rapture"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Come fly the unfriendly skies of Columbia

Subject: General Tech | April 17, 2013 - 06:13 PM |
Tagged: gaming, bioshock infinite

As is their wont, [H]ard|OCP focuses on performance when reviewing the game, leaving examination of the game its self to sites dedicated to that type of content.  The half dozen contestants represent the top 3 single GPU cards from NVIDIA and AMD and the drivers used were released this March.  The game is DX11 through and through but tesselation is conspicuosly absent as is MSAA, only FXAA is available; even when enabled at the driver level they saw no differences.  Both companies cards could play the game at 1080p with all settings maxed out but for higher resolutions we saw NVIDIA's performance pull ahead somewhat.  Check out the image quality of BioShock Infinite in the full review.

H_Settings.jpg

"BioShock Infinite is here, delivering a colorful and dynamic world with the help of a customized Unreal Engine 3. BioShock Infinite has an improved PC gaming experience, we will test this game's performance among 8 video card configurations, and look at image quality of this immersive and colorful new game."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Podcast #245 - Frame Rating, Ivy Bridge-E, Oculus Rift and more!

Subject: General Tech | April 4, 2013 - 03:39 PM |
Tagged: podcast, oculus rift, Ivy Bridge-E, gtx 700M, GTX 670 Mini, giveaway, frame rating, bioshock infinite

PC Perspective Podcast #245 - 04/04/2013

Join us this week as we discuss more Frame Rating, Ivy Bridge-E, Oculus Rift and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:18:58

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. 1:05:45 Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
    1. Allyn: iBackupBot
  4. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  5. Closing/outro
 

 

PCPer Live! Bioshock Infinite Game Stream - Win Games and Graphics Cards from AMD!

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 2, 2013 - 07:50 PM |
Tagged: video, tahiti, radeon, never settle reloaded, live, crysis, bioshock infinite, amd

UPDATE: If you missed the live stream...sorry, better luck next time!  However, you can still view the on-demand version below to see the Bioshock Infinite game play!

On April 2nd on the PC Perspective Live! page we will be streaming some game action of Bioshock Infinite.  Easily the most well received and reviewed game of the year, I am probably more excited to play this game than other we have stream to date!

We will be teaming up with AMD once again to provide a fun and exciting PCPer Game Stream that includes game demonstrations and of course, prizes and game keys for those that watch the event LIVE! 

bioshock1.jpg

Bioshock Infinite Game Stream

5pm PT / 8pm ET - April 2nd

PC Perspective Live! Page

Warning: this one will DEFINITELY have mature language and content!!

The stream will be sponsored by AMD and its Never Settle Reloaded game bundles which we previously told you about.  Depending on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series GPU that you buy, you could get some amazing free games including:

  • Radeon HD 7900 Series
    • FREE Crysis 3
    • FREE Bioshock Infinite
  • Radeon HD 7800 Series
    • FREE Bioshock Infinite
    • FREE Tomb Raider
  • Radeon HD 7900 CrossFire Set
    • FREE Crysis 3
    • FREE Bioshock Infinite
    • FREE Tomb Raider
    • FREE Far Cry 3
    • FREE Hitman: Absolution
    • FREE Sleeping Dogs

nsr_matrix.jpg

AMD's Robert Hallock (@Thracks on twitter) will be joining us via Skype to talk about the game's technology, performance considerations as well as helping me with some co-op gaming!

Of course, just to sweeten the deal a bit we have some prizes lined up for those of you that participate in our Bioshock Infinite Game Stream:

  • 1 x Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 OC 2GB card
  • 1 x MSI Radeon HD 7870 2GB card
  • 3 x Combo codes for both Tomb Raider AND Bioshock Infinite

gboc.png

Pretty nice, huh?  All you have to do to win is be present on the PC Perspective Live! Page during the event as we will announce both the content/sweepstakes method AND the winners!

Stop in on April 2nd for some PC gaming fun!!

bioshock2.jpg

Of Pinkertons, Comstock, the Songbird and Columbia

Subject: General Tech | March 27, 2013 - 02:42 PM |
Tagged: gaming, bioshock infinite

After the long wait, BioShock: Infinite is here, not as a sequel but carrying forward some of the atmosphere of the first two out of the water and into the clouds.  The reviews are positive, both in terms of game play and story line, as you can see by Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN's preview of the game here.  That particular article is spoiler free, not revealing any secrets that those following the release already know, but you can also venture into spoiler territory if you wish as they have already published some feedback about subplots they would have liked to see fleshed out more.  For those jsut about to start playing they offer some tweaks to improve your experience, including the all important FOV hack, as well as a Konami-ish code to unlock sadistic mode immediately.

bintro2.jpg

"BioShock: Infinite is a new first-person shooter from Irrational, creators of BioShock, System Shock 2 and SWAT 4. It’s set on a flying city in 1912, where racism and religious fundamentalism dictate society. You’re up there, wielding guns and magic, to bring someone the girl and wipe away the debt. Here’s what I thought, spoiler-free."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Get more out of Columbia with the all new GeForce 314.22 driver

Subject: General Tech | March 25, 2013 - 01:30 PM |
Tagged: bioshock infinite, geforce, GeForce 314.22, nvidia, gaming

Official_cover_art_for_Bioshock_Infinite.jpg

BioShock Infinite launches tomorrow and promises to be an exciting third installment to the award-winning franchise.

GeForce gamers today can get ready for a great Day 1 experience with BioShock Infinite by upgrading to our new GeForce 314.22 Game Ready drivers. These drivers are Microsoft WHQL-certified and available for download on GeForce.com.

Our software engineers have been working with Irrational Games over the past two years to optimize BioShock Infinite for GeForce users and, as a result, these drivers offer game-changing performance increases of up to 41 percent.

Also, with a single click in GeForce Experience, gamers can optimize the image quality in BioShock Infinite and have it instantly tuned to the capability of their PC’s hardware.

GeForce 314.22 drivers also offer several other significant performance increases in other current games. For more details, refer to the release highlights on the driver download pages and read the GeForce driver article on GeForce.com.

GeForce 314.22 Highlights

  • Delivers GeForce Game Ready experience for BioShock Infinite:
    • Up to 41% faster performance
    • Optimal game settings with GeForce Experience
    • Microsoft WHQL-certified
  • Increases gaming performance in other popular titles:
    • Up to 60% faster in Tomb Raider
    • Up to 23% faster in Sniper Elite V2
    • Up to 13% faster in Sleeping Dogs
  • Adds new SLI and 3D Vision profiles for upcoming games.

logo_geforce.png

Source: NVIDIA

The NYT Claims BioShock: Infinite Had an Irrational Budget... Ken Levine Responds with Satire

Subject: General Tech | March 23, 2013 - 04:25 PM |
Tagged: bioshock infinite

So The New York Times wrote an editorial about Irrational Games to lead-off the upcoming release of Bioshock: Infinite. The piece is fairly typical, describing co-founder Ken Levine along with the very nondescript studios nestled away within Quincy, Massachusetts. The piece focused on how much the team cares for their game Bioshock: Infinite...

... and then it speculated a quantity for how much they cared, citing unnamed analysts.

bioshock_infinite_sp.jpg

Of course this could not help but become a minor controversy like just about everything else surrounding Bioshock: Infinite these days. The piece reported a budget that was "upward of $100 million", excluding marketing which could add an extra $100 million to that figure. Naturally, $200 million dollar stories began to spring up online.

This prompted a tweet-based response from Ken Levine, because who needs a PR firm when you got Twitter? Anyway, the man has a sarcastic sense of humor and this is no different.

While funny, this is not actually a denial. Games are quite expensive to produce and can be very expensive to market. Sure, the NYT figure is still probably an overshoot even if you were to zealously round up, but I would still hesitate to mock.

Bioshock Infinite Season Pass: Thinking Inside the Box

Subject: General Tech | February 26, 2013 - 02:54 AM |
Tagged: 2K, bioshock, bioshock infinite

So it was announced just a couple of days ago that Bioshock Infinite will be boosted with three pieces of expansion DLC. What will they be? Who knows! Rest assured, the marketers have declared there will be “new stories, characters, abilities, and weapons.”

Phew! I was worried that I would only get a soundtrack or something... wait, no I wasn't.

bioshock_infinite_sp.jpg

Give me more money, or I cut you.

Publishers, these days, have been looking for new methods to increase the price of games and prevent their discs from being resold on the used market. We seem to be escaping the dark era where single-player games were condemned as fiscal black holes from which your capital would never be seen again. The view was that a solo experience would be completed before they finished monitoring their sales figures and the used market would eat the rest of their sales curve. The solution clearly was to toss even more capital at those games to tack on a multiplayer component that no-one played and make the loss look really bad on paper and further justify your fears of used sales and piracy.

And really we are part of the problem as consumers when we expect the $50 or $60 price-point. Of course, we expect that price-point because we have been conditioned to expecting that value fairly across-the-board. We have begun to see games, mostly indie titles, come in at lower launch prices in particular with digital distribution platforms.

The biggest problem is this: publishers do not need to find the largest value customers would pay for their content; publishers need to find the largest product of any given price and its corresponding probability of purchase for all potential buyers. On Steam you see this explode with sales where a moderate price reduction yields a massive sales increase with even a halo effect when the price returns to its norm.

So what about Bioshock?

In this case, honestly, the game will probably be worth more than its $60 price tag when speaking from a development effort versus the risk in finding its audience standpoint. As such, the publisher will add some attach rate of slightly extra content for a moderate price addition. This is one more example of how members of the industry continue to avoid risks. In this case, they want to spread the risk out over multiple products.

At least they didn't, you know -- be Irrational (heh heh heh), and toss that development money going after the used sales boogyman. At least they will get the money they expect.