Posts tagged video
Left 4 Dead, Valve’s next big game, is coming on November 18 with the demo infecting players on sometime before the release. HalfLife2.net got ahold of the system requirements from Doug Lombardi, the Valve marketing man.
- OS: Windows Vista, XP or 2000
- CPU: 3.0 GHz P4, Dual Core 2.0 or AMD64X2 (or higher)
- RAM: 1 GB for XP / 2GB for Vista
- Disc drive: DVD-ROM Drive
- Hard drive: At least 7.5 GB of free space
- Video: Direct X 9 compatible video card (Video card must be 256 MB or more and should be a DirectX 9-compatible with support for pixel shader 2.0)
- Sound: Direct X9.0c compatible sound card
The only potential worry is the need for a 256 MB video card, as many people still run games with a 128 MB card, although you really should have upgraded to something better by now.
Team Fortress 2 runs on the Source Engine, the well-known game engine created by Valve, which also runs other games like Half Life 2 and Counter Strike: Source. The Source Engine is very customizable, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular. I have come up with some great tips to make the Source Engine run great on your computer and look great at the same time.
Preparing Your Computer
First off, if you don’t have the latest drivers from either ATI or nVidia (depending on your video card), downloading the latest drivers almost always helps with game performance. Just with the latest nVidia driver update, I’ve noticed about a 5-10 FPS gain from an original 40-45 FPS in TF2.
Once you are sure that you are running on the latest drivers and you are still experiencing any stuttering in-game, TweakGuides has a few recommendations on how to fix it. If you are missing any in-game textures, you can scan your TF2′s contents and have Steam replace any missing files just by right-clicking the game in Steam, clicking “Properties”, going to the “Local Files” tab, and clicking on “Verify integrity of game cache.”
Now that your computer is ready to run the game, let’s get into messing with the game settings.
Game Audio Settings
If you have absolutely terrible performance in-game, reduce the speaker quality to low and mono (single speaker) output. For the most part though, messing with the audio settings won’t really hurt your performance.
As a quick rule of thumb, the higher the resolution gets, TF2 will begin looking significantly better, but will take a noticeable performance drop, so it’s up to you to figure out what resolution works best on your computer. Again, TweakGuides has a ton of detailed information on the “Advanced” settings. One recommendation from me though is to keep the textures on as high as setting as you can, because they don’t have much impact on performance and really help make the game look good on lower settings.
Also, Hackosis highlights how to make Team Fortress 2 run on “Ultra High” settings, which really runs Team Fortress 2 on the highest settings that you can go. Here are a couple comparison screenshots:
If you have any other tips to run Team Fortress 2 to the max, feel free to leave a comment below.
A scout runs and jumps while inside the spawn, jamming himself in the door, and preventing it from opening. The rest of his team looks at him strangely, waiting for him to move. Then a pyro asks, “Is he glitched, or just being a douchebag?”. A medic answers, “I think it’s a little of column A, a little of column B.”
They call themselves Team Roomba. A group of gamers who take it upon themselves to make the game a little more difficult for everyone who happens to be on the same team as them, with frankly hilarious results. Team Roomba is a clan in Team Fortress 2 who devoted themselves to griefing (i.e. making everyone’s lives miserable), and filming it. I wouldn’t recommend clicking the link to their site. It’s just another display of their offbeat sense of humor, but at the same time hilarious.
Team Roomba stands out from the griefing crowd by replacing simple voice spamming with much more creative approaches to the noble art. Engineers building turrets under the map and killing the enemies from complete safety? Brilliant. Jamming the doors on teammates and making them answer trivia questions to open it? Hilarious. Team Roomba has also done griefing Insurgency, though its not the same high quality work as they did on Team Fortress 2. All in all, I’d highly recommend you watch any of their griefing videos. It’s quality fun for everyone not involved.
Some games were just never meant to be. Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing is one such game. Here is a quote from the game box:
You are able to race your modified Rig on one of 5 different tracks for the ultimate driving rush as you crush the competition and set a new track record!
The lack of tracks and features that this sentence (and game) is lacking is only made incredibly worse by running the game on the worst engine ever designed by man. Collision detection and realistic gravity are some of the things that never had the time to make it into the game. Here is a gameplay video, and be warned: It’s hilarious.
According to Metacritic, a website that collects reviews from multiple sources and adds their collective score together, Big Rigs is the worst rated game of time, scoring an 8 out of 100. The only reason you’ll even want to look into this game is for some of the funniest videos you’ll ever see on Youtube.
At this point in time, finding your way around town has been limited to using a program like Google Maps, searching for the place you are looking for, and getting directions there. However, Enkin is going to revolutionize how we use our GPS systems. With Enkin, you can instantly change between the standard sattelite view and a “live” view. The live view takes advantage of mobile devices built-in camera, allowing users to view find where they are going in 3D. The live view displays the name of your desination(s) and how far away you are from them, which makes it really easy to get to where you want to go. The creators of Enkin made a video showing off all of the great features in Enkin:
You probably noticed that the creators said that they entered Enkin into the Google Android project, and even though Enkin didn’t make it into the Top 50 Android Apps, Google personally contacted the makers of Enkin to discuss the “future of Enkin.” Hopefully Enkin will be on our Google-powered phones sooner rather than later.
Looking for an RPG that skips over the whole “talking with NPC’s” and “following a deep plot” and takes you straight into the combat part? If so, Warrior Epic is your new favorite game. An MMO designed to be played with up to 4 other people at a time doing quests and PvP matches, Warrior Epic promises to be the RPG that combat lovers will flock to. However, the game is currently in closed beta status, so you only have a mediocre chance of getting to play it before everyone else.
Lucky for you, I have 20 closed beta account keys, and I’m making it really easy to get them. All you have to do is:
- create an account on The Pxl Lab (this blog),
- create an account at the Warrior Epic site,
- then post a comment on this article with the name of your WE account.
That’s all there is to it! You can see a trailer for Warrior Epic below, otherwise hurry to get your free closed beta account!
Each year, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) hires many 13-16 year olds to go shopping. They aren’t just shopping for anything though; these teens are out to buy products that have Parental Advisory Labels, or PAL’s. Specifically, they’re attempting to buy R-Rated movie tickets and DVD’s, PAL’d CD’s, and M-Rated video games.
As you can see by looking at the graph to the left, the sales of M-Rated games to minors has drastically decreased in the past couple years, from 69% being able to purchase the games to 20%. This means that video game retailers are paying closer attention to minors without parents trying to buy M-Rated content.
The FTC doesn’t just stop at grand totals, they track which stores allow the minors to buy the games. If you’d look at the table below, you can see, in order of percentage of sales, the stores that sell M-Rated video games to minors.
Just remember kids, if you want to buy an M-Rated game, bring your mom, dad, or guardian with you to the store so you don’t look like an idiot.