Daishi’s Twitter – Round 10

Week 11 – 05/03/11 – 11/03/11

First things first. As everyone knows, Japan was hit with a major earthquake and tsunami on Friday, the most powerful they’ve ever recorded. Japan is the most earthquake and tsunami prepared country in the world, because they know that they will be hit by them. That’s part of living in Japan. But it doesn’t make dealing with the aftermath easier.

Right now, the entire country is recovering from the initial impacts and flooding, while still dealing with ongoing threats, like damaged nuclear power plants, rolling blackouts, and potentially thousands of missing and dead human beings.

This is not the place to go into detail, or try to examine, a national disaster, but there is relevant news. Like most everyone else in Japan, Daishi is talking about the quake.

There was a huge earthquake!

The office is a wreck!

We’re all safe, thank you for caring.

Fortunately for him, and the rest of Namco’s staff, Tokyo is far to the outer edge of the quake’s radius, and safe enough from flooding. What they experienced was relatively mild compared to the north of the country.

Which didn’t stop people from reacting to it:

The food is gone at the local supermarket. http://photozou.jp/photo/show/1228354/71439323

Thanks for all the messages. The shock was big in Tokyo too. Public transport stopped. People walked home or stayed the night in the office.

Never have I experienced such a disaster. We’re still getting small shakes, kind of worried about our office building. Back to work tomorrow

Admirable or insane, if Daishi and the rest of his team are planning to get back to work, so will I.

Which should I tune the game around? Online or offline experience? Tuning to the online creates a larger margin of error in the offline.

On the other hand, prioritizing offline leads to laggy online. Both have their goods and bads, so it comes down to which one to prioritize.

I often get request for less lag but it’s pretty complicated. Light travels 5,000km in the space of 1 frame (300,000,000÷60).

Assuming players are synched, (input is sent > reaches opponent > comes back) before the game finally begins to move.

In theory, the best case scenario will yield at least 2 frames of lag.

Since we know the physical limits of signal transfer, unless the game implements asynchronous online to absorb lag, there will always be lag

Async is often used in racing games, which require much less precision than fighting games.

Some people say “on and off are two different types of games”. Since I’m from the arcades I personally I like offline play better.

What we have here is a no-win situation.

As Daishi points out, online gaming is always reliant on sending and receiving information, and the speed at which you can do it has hard physical limits. It is not possible to play games online without lag, and as the distance between players increases, so does that lag. A player in North America isn’t going to have a reasonable time playing against someone in Japan. You can test it yourself by doing a speedtest and seeing what the delay is. Here’s a hint: in any game where it matters, anything over 80 ping is considered high, anything over 200 is virtually unplayable.

In fact, people on the west coast of North America can’t expect low-ping games against people on the east coast. You’d think that, since most of the play is online, east coast and west coast divides wouldn’t happen for FPS, but it’s the same deal; people in the east play on east coast servers, people in the west play on west coast servers, and they seldom bother to mix. It’s been that way since the 90s.

Japan doesn’t have much trouble with online games. It’s a tiny country with very good online infrastructure. Whatever special netcode options they implement will be for the rest of the world. And even the best kinds of server-side unlagged magic is only a band-aid for symptoms, because the problem is unsolvable.

I’ve used ggpo plenty of times. It’s fine enough for what it is, but to get working play over reasonable distances a lot of frames have to be sacrificed, which means sacrificing smooth play. Processing power is also a big factor, and it’s not like you can upgrade a console. It’s possible that current consoles wouldn’t support the kind of client-side lag reduction needed while keeping everything running smoothly. Plenty of online games already reduce graphics quality for online, but would players be willing to go without, say, their character customization options in order to get better online play? I doubt it.

BTW, thanks for everyone’s feedback regarding online/offline. I read every comment but there’s so many, I can’t reply to them all.

People in favor of offline said; “tournaments are more important”, “certain characters are weaker online”, “online is just an add-on”.

People in favor of online said, “home console specific games should focus on online”, “there’s no one to play against offline”.

“Making the experience exactly the same, both online and offline” is what everyone wants I guess. I appreciate everyone’s feedback!

Personally, I dislike playing online games through consoles, and I also dislike playing fighting games online, for reasons other than lag. I would shed no tears if the next Soulcalibur game didn’t have an online mode at all. But it will, and it will still be unplayable against anyone living more than than a thousand kilometres away.

I know that not everyone has people to play with offline, but I also know that most of them don’t even bother to look. There are resources in place, and if you don’t have an offline scene, then start one. They don’t conjure themselves out of thin air. Someone has to put in work and organize them.

If they do the unthinkable — if they try to balance the game with online play in mind, instead of offline — it will probably kill most offline competitive play before it has a chance to start.

I get many comments about Ivy’s looks RT @RainbowTaurus Will you make SC M-rated or make Ivy wear more? She wears almost nothing right now.

This one? http://p.twipple.jp/zJT4J @Chapter_10 I think that Ivy should get more clothes.. The pic of her that Mr. Harada showed a while ago

Thank you @JakajanTiamu I love how attractive SC girls look. I must confess it is what made me want to buy my first Soul Calibur game, SC2.

Does everyone agree? @YoshiCookie Please, please reduce all boob / cleavage size to Soul Calibur ONE levels. Boobs too big = bad. Change!!

Yeah, Ivy has big tits and she doesn’t wear much.

I think everyone should be more concerned that Cassandra is going boss-eyed. And that Mina keeps getting uglier costumes.

Filthierich Looking to take your SoulCalibur game to the next level? Check out the frame-data tutorial ! http://www.facebook.com/soulcalibur #SoulCalibur

This is the video.

Partisan is a swell guy, and learning about frame data carries over to all other fighting games. Worth watching.

I requested this Ivy design to Kawano-san during SC4. Inspired by Maetel from Galaxy Express 999?? http://p.twipple.jp/zJT4J

I guess there’s a bit of a resemblance. If Ivy ever gets that costume she definitely needs 2 hats.

Agreed. Online features should be created to liven up and develop the community. RT @Wasabijoyu:

The longest tweet I have ever seen! RT @Evallis: Serious fan play offline, casual fans don’t (cont) http://tl.gd/95c0n2

Now that’s something. Taking the interesting ideas from these posts, who wouldn’t love to see Namco use the online feature to interact and improve the offline community. Imagine if official tournament results and matches could be uploaded, or at the very least if people could use their own profiles and characters on other machines.

There are some obvious reasons why this will never happen, but it would still be nice.

It’s impossible to meet everyone’s desires because everyone has their own preference. But the more feedback I have, the better. @p51_hawa1:

Yes, keep asking Daishi questions, so that I have something to write about while we wait for real info.


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