PlayStation Home: Serial Killer Edition

My Default Playstation Home Avatar
My Default Playstation Home Avatar

PlayStation Home came out not too long ago. Penny Arcade pretty much said what needs to be said about it, but I had to try it myself. Naturally the first thing you do is create your character from a randomized (I hope) default character.

To the left is the default character that I got.

Sony appears to be targeting the coveted 18-25 male Caucasian skinhead/serial killer demographic. I’m kind of surprised that they didn’t filter the default characters to avoid characters that appeared obviously threatening/defective. If this guy showed up at my front door, I’d call the cops.

Naturally, I ended up tweaking him to try and make him freakier, but honestly, what I ended up with was less terrifying. He resembled a creepy real life version of Robbie Rotten.

He stood out nicely compared to all the cookie cutter people on Home, but nobody really cared. In fact, it was hard to communicate with people or interact with the world at all. The loading times were ludicrous. The difference between last gen and this gen is that you can let things load in the background while you stare at the room you’re stuck in. Why would Sony spend millions of dollars and years of time on something like this?

Does anyone else get the feeling that big game projects don’t have fun on their agendas?

Web Service Explosion: Put Out The Fire With FriendFeed

How many web services do you use that have a section for linking into your other web services? I love having my internet presence linked together. But the number of links grows quickly. 10 services means 50 links that you have to maintain.

Most of these integrations are there just to post nice status messages from one place to another or provide a link to a profile. Why not use a central service like FriendFeed to handle the details? The FriendFeed API is almost there. If FriendFeed had better options for the API to push outwards, 90% of that service configuration box could go away.

Larrabuzz

A bunch of great papers related to Larrabee from Siggraph 08. Great perspective on parallel computing in general.

My read is that the GPU guys don’t have a clue. A lot of their talent has moved on. They’re focusing on maximizing flops without realizing that it isn’t always the flops that matter – it’s how you spend them. There’s for sure a market for teraflops of raw power, but LRB’s feature set maps so beautifully to rendering that I think the reduced performance is going to more than make up for it.

The trend in rendering is towards branch-heavy shaders doing random access. GPUs are fast when you’re doing branchless shaders with linear access patterns – but the trend is forcing them into the realm that Intel has been dominating for thirty years.

I guess we’ll see where things are in five years. But you can see which way I want things to go. ;)