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(Kickstarter)   Neal Stephenson has a kickstarter video. He wants to create a RL two handed longsword to be used first in PC Arena Dueling game. It's quite a video from the man who invented the world we now inhabit   (kickstarter.com ) divider line
    More: Amusing, motion control, martial artists, first world countries  
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3868 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 Jun 2012 at 5:00 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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mhd
2012-06-09 05:06:47 PM  
Lightning Bolt! Lightning Bolt! Lightning Bolt! Zornhaw! Zornhaw! Zornhaw!
 
2012-06-09 05:09:25 PM  
Music
Movies
Microcode (software)
High-speed pizza delivery
 
2012-06-09 05:10:11 PM  
Already done.
zeldawii.files.wordpress.com

/and unless he figures out how to resolve the weight of a weapon vs weight of a control vs frequency of your swings...its going to utlimately end up just like it too
 
2012-06-09 05:14:41 PM  
The System of the World Trilogy was nothing but just-so-stories populated with a constellation, nay, a galaxy of Marty Stu characters.
 
2012-06-09 05:16:37 PM  
It can't work. How do you block? In the game your sword will be stopped by your opponent, and in real life it will have just ploughed straight through your TV.
 
2012-06-09 05:17:39 PM  

theorellior: The System of the World Trilogy was nothing but just-so-stories populated with a constellation, nay, a galaxy of Marty Stu characters.


Thanks. Saves me the trouble of reading them!
 
2012-06-09 05:25:21 PM  
He wants to create a RL two handed longsword to be used first in PC Arena Dueling game.

But first, here's five pages about square waves as illustrated by ants and sidewalks.
 
2012-06-09 05:26:02 PM  

skodabunny: It can't work. How do you block? In the game your sword will be stopped by your opponent, and in real life it will have just ploughed straight through your TV.


Gyroscopes!
 
2012-06-09 05:29:49 PM  

BroVinny: Thanks. Saves me the trouble of reading them!


Another pocket review: Anathem is what happens when you talk to Brian Eno about the Long Now Foundation, and then construct a narrative where you start with a mildly-implausible Socratic deduction, which leads to a more-implausible Socratic deduction, which leads to a wildly-implausible Socratic deduction, etc., etc., each of which drives the plot until you end up with characters being shot out of cannons into space.
 
2012-06-09 05:31:54 PM  

skodabunny: It can't work. How do you block? In the game your sword will be stopped by your opponent, and in real life it will have just ploughed straight through your TV.


I have a kickstarter for a holodeck that should solve these problems. Just don't ever dial up Moriarty. He causes trouble.
 
mhd
2012-06-09 05:32:31 PM  

skodabunny: It can't work. How do you block? In the game your sword will be stopped by your opponent, and in real life it will have just ploughed straight through your TV.


How do you execute the wrestling moves so common in the instruction manuals? There will be some trade offs, just like gun controllers without recoil. Apparently the funding is for the research, though, so it's not like they have a complete, finished idea and just need some bucks to manufacture it. Maybe they'll start out with a game & controller where blocking is just less frequent. I'm a bit behind on my Internet Tough Guy Magazine reading, but wouldn't some basic kenjitsu apply? No half-swording = no blade needed (can balance it properly without it), more evasion and foot work than blocking. Also, probably more fanbois than WMA styles.

I need to move into a bigger apartment with a higher ceiling, once they come out with the Zweihänder version.
 
2012-06-09 05:36:40 PM  
"Ninety-nine percent of everything that goes on in most Christian churches has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual religion. Intelligent people all notice this sooner or later, and they conclude that the entire one hundred percent is bullshiat, which is why atheism is connected with being intelligent in people's minds."
 
2012-06-09 05:39:18 PM  
The fun of playing at swords isn't merely swinging a piece of plastic around. And despite what Mr. Stephenson wants to raise half a million bucks for, swordplay games don't suck because we're missing the adherence to medieval swordplay manuals.

The whole reason kids play with sticks is all about the primal, tactile feedback you get when they clash together, and the opportunity to smash the everloving crap out of each other. Sorry, Geeks, there won't be a good lightsaber game in your lifetime that doesn't require someone to stand right next to you. And at that point, you don't need the game in the first place.

This kickstarter, like so many others, is going to end with one disappointed project organizer, or legions of disappointed funders.
 
2012-06-09 05:43:58 PM  
I just want a weekend in the sword fighting warehouse. How much for that?
 
2012-06-09 05:58:31 PM  

Amper: Sorry, Geeks, there won't be a good lightsaber game in your lifetime that doesn't require someone to stand right next to you


Hmm, I'd say you could get a decent light-saber game. Depending on how you define it, I'd argue we've had a few already- the control in Jedi Knight:II was incredibly fluid, especially for its era.

What you're not going to get is a medieval warfare simulator with realistic sword mechanics. And honestly, I'm not sure that's something we need, anyway. Join the SCA for that.
 
mhd
2012-06-09 06:11:44 PM  

Amper: The whole reason kids play with sticks is all about the primal, tactile feedback you get when they clash together, and the opportunity to smash the everloving crap out of each other. Sorry, Geeks, there won't be a good lightsaber game in your lifetime that doesn't require someone to stand right next to you.


Just like we all went from cops & robbers to paintball, and FPS games were a pretty short-lived fad?

There's a pretty broad continuum of physicality for almost any activity. Shooting stuff or football are prime examples, martial arts themselves go from forever alone katas to full contact, with many a step in between. Heck, no real contact, game rules, no real weapons? That sounds an awful lot like Olympic fencing...
 
2012-06-09 06:16:07 PM  
Im 99% certain that the guy hammering on the crowbar is Gabe Newell. Can someone confirm this for me?
 
2012-06-09 06:35:29 PM  
You had me at Neil Stephenson. SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
 
2012-06-09 06:37:48 PM  
I like the idea and the end vision, but I'm not so sure how doable it is in a practical sense. Honestly, am still looking forward more to the Shadowrun game and SpaceVenture game. At least those have an idea where they're going, and the people capable of pulling it off.
 
2012-06-09 07:02:58 PM  

Honest Bender: You had me at Neil Stephenson. SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!


YES
 
2012-06-09 07:13:25 PM  
www.nickutopia.com

Why would an airbender care about sword fighting?
 
2012-06-09 07:49:41 PM  

Honest Bender: You had me at Neil Stephenson. SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!


Yep
 
2012-06-09 07:51:07 PM  
Well gotta hand it to him.

At least he has a better business plan than Curt Shilling!
 
2012-06-09 08:00:38 PM  

theorellior: Another pocket review: Anathem is what happens when you talk to Brian Eno about the Long Now Foundation, and then construct a narrative where you start with a mildly-implausible Socratic deduction, which leads to a more-implausible Socratic deduction, which leads to a wildly-implausible Socratic deduction, etc., etc., each of which drives the plot until you end up with characters being shot out of cannons into space.


But I liked the part with the cannons!

In all seriousness, I'll give him credit for this, with Anathem: he did a pretty good job of writing a novel where the great majority of characters are, by necessity of the plot, much smarter than he himself is. And I don't mean "more knowledgeable about neoplatonism," because he had all the time in the world to research the content. I mean, he did a good job of depicting the thought processes of people who think incredibly clearly and quickly. (Or at least, it seemed plausible to a dummy like me.)

Usually when authors have to write super-geniuses, they avoid giving you any idea what the character is actually thinking. They just come up with the right answer and all the other characters stand around oohing and ahhing.
 
2012-06-09 08:02:07 PM  

skodabunny: It can't work. How do you block? In the game your sword will be stopped by your opponent, and in real life it will have just ploughed straight through your TV.


Oh, you broke your TV with the giant-ass sword Neal Stephenson sold you? Guess you might as well curl up with a nice 1,100-page novel to pass the time.
 
2012-06-09 08:12:39 PM  

semiotix: characters are, by necessity of the plot, much smarter than he himself is.


Yes, but none of them were as smart as he thinks he is, so I'm sure it was easier for him.

I really like reading Neal Stephenson, but I don't really like Neal Stephenson, if that makes any sense.

mhd: Shooting stuff or football are prime examples


But shooting stuff and football are incredibly abstracted away by the game mechanics. The purpose of this project is to create a sword-fighting game that isn't abstracted away from its details. That's a pretty silly goal, if you think about it. You can make compelling sword-fighting games, but I don't think motion control is the way to do it, any more than motion control is the way to develop a first person shooter (the Wii has some decent shooting games, but they're nothing like an FPS, and the limitations of the system require limitations in the game design- see MP3).

That's the real problem. I could see a great future in someone designing a physics model and kinematics model for realistic swordplay, and then build a game out of fighting in a way that requires the player to think about stances and movement as they swing their blades around, even perhaps mapping their controller movements into some of the moves of the fighter.

But to tie that to motion control just breaks the entire abstraction.
 
2012-06-09 08:14:48 PM  
That bald-headed fark should throw his own money into it instead of begging on the internet
 
2012-06-09 08:16:56 PM  

theorellior: The System of the World Trilogy was nothing but just-so-stories populated with a constellation, nay, a galaxy of Marty Stu characters.


System of the World is the title of the third book, the trilogy is referred to as the Baroque Cycle, and one of the main characters is Half-Cocked Jack is an illiterate with syphilis, has questionable morality, and is far from the one dimensional Marty Stu stereotype as you are suggesting. You've managed to get the name of the trilogy wrong, claim different point of views that intersect along a narrative as just-so-stories, and misunderstand the term Mary Sue/Marty Stu. That's a lot for just one sentence, congrats.

I want to see this succeed just to see the amount of lawsuits that come from people farking their houses up when they smash shiat by accident with the sword.
 
2012-06-09 08:31:06 PM  
If I had any money to give him, I'd ask him to shut up and take it.
 
2012-06-09 08:38:15 PM  

theorellior: The System of the World Trilogy was nothing but just-so-stories populated with a constellation, nay, a galaxy of Marty Stu characters.


I loved those books but I think you have to be just enough of a history geek to enjoy it but not such a purist that you cant deal with the occasional liberties it takes. Its really the story of our modern monetary system with lots of sex and ruffled shirts.
 
2012-06-09 08:39:29 PM  

semiotix: skodabunny: It can't work. How do you block? In the game your sword will be stopped by your opponent, and in real life it will have just ploughed straight through your TV.

Oh, you broke your TV with the giant-ass sword Neal Stephenson sold you? Guess you might as well curl up with a nice 1,100-page novel to pass the time.


Oh snap - someone just got reamde!
 
2012-06-09 08:40:11 PM  

semiotix: theorellior: Another pocket review: Anathem is what happens when you talk to Brian Eno about the Long Now Foundation, and then construct a narrative where you start with a mildly-implausible Socratic deduction, which leads to a more-implausible Socratic deduction, which leads to a wildly-implausible Socratic deduction, etc., etc., each of which drives the plot until you end up with characters being shot out of cannons into space.

But I liked the part with the cannons!

In all seriousness, I'll give him credit for this, with Anathem: he did a pretty good job of writing a novel where the great majority of characters are, by necessity of the plot, much smarter than he himself is. And I don't mean "more knowledgeable about neoplatonism," because he had all the time in the world to research the content. I mean, he did a good job of depicting the thought processes of people who think incredibly clearly and quickly. (Or at least, it seemed plausible to a dummy like me.)

Usually when authors have to write super-geniuses, they avoid giving you any idea what the character is actually thinking. They just come up with the right answer and all the other characters stand around oohing and ahhing.


Anathem is a thinly disguised rant against the horrors of grad school. I was in grad school when I read it so it was very therapeutic. The ending was weak but his endings always are.
 
2012-06-09 08:42:20 PM  

TravisBickle62: That bald-headed fark should throw his own money into it instead of begging on the internet


Let me guess - you dont work in financial planning do you.

No intelligent person puts all their money into something like this. I would assume hes put some in but it would be folly to try to fund it all on his own. But Im guessing you just dont like him for some reason or you wouldnt be so rude.
 
2012-06-09 08:44:10 PM  

Lumbar Puncture: System of the World is the title of the third book, the trilogy is referred to as the Baroque Cycle, and one of the main characters is Half-Cocked Jack is an illiterate with syphilis, has questionable morality, and is far from the one dimensional Marty Stu stereotype as you are suggesting. You've managed to get the name of the trilogy wrong, claim different point of views that intersect along a narrative as just-so-stories, and misunderstand the term Mary Sue/Marty Stu. That's a lot for just one sentence, congrats.


Well, forgive me for forgetting the title of a crappy trilogy that could have been condensed into one book. Half-Cocked Jack was one of the many, many facets of Marty-Stuism that Stephenson wrote into that pile. I would say that Waterhouse would be the actual embodiement of the author in character form, but every other major character had elements of wish fulfillment writ large. And just-so-stories can involve myriads of viewpoints if the only reason for their existence is to lead the reader into a faux-Socratic dialogue in which a particularly droll bit of historical revisionism gets trotted out as logically-derived fact. There were interesting nuggets hidden here and there, but it really wasn't worth the effort to mine them out. When an author feels that he can resort to bullshiat etymologies akin to "the rule of thumb" being the width of the stick you can beat your wife with, then the game's over.

The last book that Stephenson wrote that didn't completely fall apart under his prolix bombast was probably Cryptonomicon, and that just barely. It's too bad he's been so successful, because the man dearly needs an editor. Everything up to Cryptonomicon was fast-paced interesting stuff, but after reading Anathem, enough was enough.
 
2012-06-09 08:51:50 PM  

theorellior: It's too bad he's been so successful, because the man dearly needs an editor.


This is very true. Even REAMDE, which was very tight by Stephenson standards, could have dropped about 200 pages without losing anything important. He did a pair of political thrillers with a co-author that were actually pretty decent, if a little too "Not Tom Clancy, but an incredible simulation!"
 
2012-06-09 08:53:13 PM  

quickdraw: semiotix: theorellior: Another pocket review: Anathem is what happens when you talk to Brian Eno about the Long Now Foundation, and then construct a narrative where you start with a mildly-implausible Socratic deduction, which leads to a more-implausible Socratic deduction, which leads to a wildly-implausible Socratic deduction, etc., etc., each of which drives the plot until you end up with characters being shot out of cannons into space.

But I liked the part with the cannons!

In all seriousness, I'll give him credit for this, with Anathem: he did a pretty good job of writing a novel where the great majority of characters are, by necessity of the plot, much smarter than he himself is. And I don't mean "more knowledgeable about neoplatonism," because he had all the time in the world to research the content. I mean, he did a good job of depicting the thought processes of people who think incredibly clearly and quickly. (Or at least, it seemed plausible to a dummy like me.)

Usually when authors have to write super-geniuses, they avoid giving you any idea what the character is actually thinking. They just come up with the right answer and all the other characters stand around oohing and ahhing.

Anathem is a thinly disguised rant against the horrors of grad school. I was in grad school when I read it so it was very therapeutic. The ending was weak but his endings always are.


Reamde actually has some kind of ending, unlike his other books where he just kind of stops writing.

/good friend of mine actually threw Snow Crash at me when he was done with it
 
2012-06-09 08:57:02 PM  

TheMadDefenestrator: /good friend of mine actually threw Snow Crash at me when he was done with it


And that's the story of your FARK name?
 
2012-06-09 09:00:50 PM  

quickdraw: Anathem is a thinly disguised rant against the horrors of grad school. I was in grad school when I read it so it was very therapeutic. The ending was weak but his endings always are.


My grad school career was just like Anathem, including the ending.
For reference, here's the cover of my graduation program:

www.movieposter.com
 
2012-06-09 09:01:53 PM  

RoyBatty: TheMadDefenestrator: /good friend of mine actually threw Snow Crash at me when he was done with it

And that's the story of your FARK name?


good story, but my Fark name predates my buddy returning that book to me
 
2012-06-09 09:02:47 PM  

quickdraw: I loved those books but I think you have to be just enough of a history geek to enjoy it but not such a purist that you cant deal with the occasional liberties it takes. Its really the story of our modern monetary system with lots of sex and ruffled shirts.


Yeah, I know. The thing that got me was that everyone talked, acted and had the same names as everyone in Cryptonomicon. It was like, so there's no one else in European history that did anything but this incestual bunch of snarky douches? It just got too much for me.
 
2012-06-09 09:02:53 PM  
I like Neal, but that's seriously the worst Kickstarter rewards line up I've ever seen. A PDF? A poster at $250? Eh... no thanks.

After reading the rewards, I kind of wonder if it's a sarcastic Kickstarter. With Neal you never know.
 
2012-06-09 09:05:23 PM  

Branch Dravidian: My grad school career was just like Anathem, including the ending.
For reference, here's the cover of my graduation program:


Yes, I did LOL.
 
2012-06-09 09:08:49 PM  
I liked Snow Crash before it got all boring.
 
2012-06-09 09:12:02 PM  
The best part of this is listening to my husband try to explain cyberpunk to our teenage daughter....
 
2012-06-09 09:56:49 PM  

Tube: He wants to create a RL two handed longsword to be used first in PC Arena Dueling game.

But first, here's five pages about square waves as illustrated by ants and sidewalks.


I can see my work here is done.
 
2012-06-09 10:02:59 PM  

Inconceivable!: I liked Snow Crash before it got all boring.


I was part of a book club that read both Snow Crash and Neuromancer.
I was the only one who liked Neuromancer more. Everyone else loved Snow Crash because 'Its got a girl as the lead character!' and 'I liked that part with the super strong japanese guy!' and 'Vagina needle!~1'

Also, nobody knew who the fark L. Ron Hubbard was.
 
2012-06-09 10:03:45 PM  
I got about half way through his letter, where he says 'swords are fun, games don't do them justice, I want a more complicated scheme'. And quit. We've seen all that before, and it always ends with an ugly mess no one really enjoys.

I now have two questions: Does anyone know of any way to find, and get enrolled in, some type of weapon based combatative sport? I'm more interested in either small knife/blade fighting, or 2-handed longswords of the type he describes. Let's just say looking for this stuff in Dallas yields, at best, some creepy over the top 'defense system' gym type places that look as legit as 'Bobs house of sword training and pig feet'.

Second: Has he written anything recently that wasn't the Baroque (or similar) cycle? I liked his cyber stuff, but the historical fiction was just insanely dull and boring.
 
2012-06-09 10:11:38 PM  

kroonermanblack: I now have two questions: Does anyone know of any way to find, and get enrolled in, some type of weapon based combatative sport? I'm more interested in either small knife/blade fighting, or 2-handed longswords of the type he describes. Let's just say looking for this stuff in Dallas yields, at best, some creepy over the top 'defense system' gym type places that look as legit as 'Bobs house of sword training and pig feet'.


For small knife/blade fighting, try looking at Eskrima.
 
2012-06-09 10:14:33 PM  

t3knomanser: Hmm, I'd say you could get a decent light-saber game. Depending on how you define it, I'd argue we've had a few already- the control in Jedi Knight:II was incredibly fluid, especially for its era.


I guess I was a little vague, I meant that with regards to motion-control swordfighting. With the Kinect and Wii around, all I ever hear is "Why hasn't Lucas made a good motion-control light saber game?"

mhd: Just like we all went from cops & robbers to paintball, and FPS games were a pretty short-lived fad?


Your example is progressive, each of those improves on the concept of pretending you're a bad-ass soldier. Motion-controlled swordfighting, compared to swinging a stick at your friend's head, is several steps back.

mhd: Heck, no real contact, game rules, no real weapons? That sounds an awful lot like Olympic fencing...


Sure, this system could fill a role as a tool for those who are truly interested in the art and want to play around with a non-contact technical aid. But it's not going to work too well as a dueling game and will probably be financially infeasible without that. Gaming isn't about the athletic precision of kendo or fencing, most people just want to dream they're Obi-Wan. Just check out Tony Hawk's "Ride", the skateboarding game that lets you... stand on a fake skateboard. Those who don't already possess that skill get to grapple with an unfamiliar and unforgiving system, and those that do would probably rather do it without the hassle of trying to please some piece of software's exacting input recognition routine.

As to the lack of physical feedback: You can flail around in front of your TV like Star Wars Kid all you want, but it's not going to be as satisfying if you have to stifle your enthusiasm and hold back all your swings, just to keep yourself in-line with the game's definition of your avatar instead of doing what you really wanted to. That makes a pretty big dent in the reasons we play games in the first place: Immersion and escapism.

People can get pulled out of the experience when a few hundred milliseconds of network latency throws off their marksmanship in a shooter. Even assuming someone invents a perfect motion system that wastes no time in recognition and processing, a tactile-less swordplay system still doesn't even reach that. What about the second or two it takes you to realize that you missed Darth Vader's head, when he stuck his blade in the way at the last moment? He's already run you right up the middle because the computer player recovered from its block before you even knew you were stopped. Player versus player would be even worse, with the delays compounded between them.

First, you have to take stock of what happened in the absence of physical feedback, by quickly checking the screen, figuring out any differences, and reconciling what doesn't conform to your expectations. Then add in the time you lost while you continued carrying through even though your avatar stopped. Plus, you've got more space to move through to recover, since you're now stooped over at the middle instead of having your shoulders up where the block took place. You're going to have to compensate for players out of position with their avatars after an attack, yet make the system generous enough to tolerate rapid chaining actions like feints, counterattacks, and combination strikes.

I'd love to be proven wrong but until something changes in motion control, all we can expect from the system is an erratic, latency-ridden slapfight.
 
2012-06-09 10:18:33 PM  
img.skitch.com

/Just started Snow Crash
//Hated Cryptonomicon, but constantly recommend people to read it
 
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