LP Update/Comment Thread

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Re: LP Update/Comment Thread

Postby IskatuMesk » Thu May 24, 2012 4:21 pm

Greetings, comrades.

With some time passed since GoW3's release, seems right time for an update.

I have been unstable for the longest time and unable to focus on work for the longest time. This trend continues, with the last week and a half seeing no progress on anything. I'm about 2/3 way through Exigo and have held off recording because I know I can't make a good cast. Editing has not started for it, because, simply said, I am too bored and tired to edit video right now.

I still want to finished Hunted, if anything, to close off the other work that remains finished. Because of my instability and inability to predict what I'll do, I'm considering The Ball completely backburned, much like Dante's Inferno and Killzone 3. The BW video remains dormant, but it seems possible I will make an effort to test my theory in fixing it when I get more time and HD space. I don't know when that will be. But I have not forgotten about it.

Currently I am sorting through my video media and sending all of my LP material from the last 2 years to the new external, finding my crudely titled developer videos, XXE episodes, etc. I am cleaning up the workplace that has been a mess for quite a long time. If I find anything noteworthy I'll make it available.

I cleaned up the youtube account over the last few months of some old or outdated videos I had uploaded for whatever reason because I felt they reflected poorly on various projects. One such video I privatized was the mangled 2042 intro video I made a long time back. I've attempted many times to make a replacement video, as recent as a few days ago, but I still have no means to record it. Camtasia deftly corrupted two hours of video then just as it has every other time.

Future projects remain in constant flux. I won't be LP'ing Diablo 3 or HoTS, so that's two big names off my list of eventual to-do's. Darksiders 2 seems to have been delayed rather significantly, leaving most of summer void. I posted a list sometime back of major considerations, and I'll probably be sticking to it, potentially starting DMC or Demons' Souls in the next few weeks (once my drives are cleaned of Exigo). While I've considered making a jump to a few Vintage titles, such as SNES and NES, I figured I'll save those after I get through my current modern workload so I don't need to exchange hardware or playing mechanics so much. I'll put on a better show as a player if the stuff I play remains relatively consistent. Currently, with Exigo, that's not been possible due to hard drive limitations. Thus, my play has suffered.

Well. There's not much else to say.

Lav made note of making an LP website sometime back, which I'm sure I mentioned. I'm pretty sure that's never going to happen. In fact, I've given consideration to ceasing video production with Exigo.
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Re: LP Update/Comment Thread

Postby Mucky » Thu May 24, 2012 9:15 pm

BW VIDEOS

ლ(ಠ益ಠლ

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Re: LP Update/Comment Thread

Postby IskatuMesk » Fri May 25, 2012 4:19 pm

I made an effort to re-record the problematic BW recording and it just lagged/hitched a lot. So my idea won't work for that.

Well, now I am not sure what to do.
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Re: LP Update/Comment Thread

Postby EVWeb » Mon May 28, 2012 1:23 am

LP Earth 2140, nuff' said.

j/k, I would like to see an LP of Future Cop though.

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Re: LP Update/Comment Thread

Postby Falchion » Mon May 28, 2012 4:15 am

EVWeb wrote:LP Earth 2140, nuff' said.

j/k, I would like to see an LP of Future Cop though.


No, that one I wouldn't recommend. FC: LAPD is too simple, too easy and too basical for any interest on Mesk's part. The only redeeming quality is it's decent voice acting and soundtrack and that's about it, because, if you compare it to the demo (I played it!), the demo is WAY more complete, with cutscenes and triggers, than the original release.

Mesk would be better off on more complete stuff like Batman: Arkham Asylum/City or Lollipop Chainsaw, as I suggested on his channel.
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Re: LP Update/Comment Thread

Postby mark_009_vn » Mon May 28, 2012 8:12 am

I would recommend him try the Xenus series (also known as Boiling Point in the West). I swear to god, this is one of the best FPS RPG I known. Very intricate and complex game, lot's of interactions, the world is actually alive where NPCs, as well as factions, do their own business independently from the player....

The game literally is Far Cry 2 on 69 different types of male enhancements, and the original game is released 3 years before Far Cry 2. It's pretty amusing, you can take missions to drive a bus, getting shot in the legs make you limb, learn how to drive a tank, becoming a drug addict, help an old lady across the street, getting drunk, driving cars while drunk, cars uses fuel so you have to stop by at gas stations, getting chased by helicopters, kill helicopters by throwing grenades at them,... and even encountering giant spiders!

The game have what Mesk called "active map concept", albeit simplistic in design. There are 6 factions in the game, from individual bases they spawn dudes which travels and dynamically combat each other, gaining territories as they move along, depending on the factions you choose to work with, this could be either beneficial or bad to you. While it is not completely "active", it done it's job in not making the game's flat out boring, it's always funny seeing dudes flail around randomly looking for enemies, then got ran over by an NPC car and you looted all his stuff, then his buddies went out talking to me like nothing happened (NPCs can actually stir up conversations regardless of the player's actions)... yep, pretty much sums up the game world right there.

Usually talking to people is a good talent. Even minor NPCs can give you information hinting various mechanics in the game, like asking about hotels or gas stations, this is pivotal seeing the lack of tutorials except for the annoying hints popping on and off. More important NPCs have much more complex dialog system, you can ask for information for a given price, (you can even smack talk people to pay less for information), you can ask for quests, you can ask for special services, like getting a cocktail or a beer, or to repair your reputations. Overall, the dialog systems are more well though out than most RPGs these days, they have alot of variety, there are many answers to choose for a single question, whose good and bad sides in choosing usually are not so obvious.

Give it a try, either the original Boiling Point or the sequel Xenus 2: White Gold. It's buggy as cocks but believe me, you won't be disappointed.
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Re: LP Update/Comment Thread

Postby IskatuMesk » Mon May 28, 2012 11:34 am

When I said I didn't know what to do I was in reference to the BW video. There's a sizable chunk of recordings that I can't do anything with because lagarith is very unfriendly to edit and re-encoding it to a friendly format is not working out. I tried to simply fraps it but that doesn't work since lagarith also doesn't like being watched.

I already have an LP list a mile high and it's questionable if I will even get a sizable chunk of it done this year or not.
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Re: LP Update/Comment Thread

Postby IskatuMesk » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:56 pm

Thanks to the heroic efforts of x3ICEx, and some copy pasta from Lav, the forum now supports embedded spoilers. Thus, the LP thread is now more organized with content spoilered so you can easily scroll through titles/logos without all of the related text.

Also, I am nearly done re-encoding all of Hunted for verification. However, the files are still coming out rather large, with some pieces around 2.5gb without audio for around 1:30 hours. Due to this I will attempt to make a micro encode set for this production. That said, Laczos makes for excellent resize quality.

Also, as I said on my blog, I am experimenting with dxtory with the intentions of replacing fraps for LP recordings due to the ability to edit individual audio channels. This will mean audio balance will be much stronger for all productions as opposed to very difficult to control. Fraps has yet to enable its audio in separate channels, making things needlessly difficult for me in productions like Exigo whose volume is very problematic.

EDIT - TEST RESULTS PHASE 1

With the purpose of fielding dxtory as a replacement for fraps I've run a series of preliminary tests. The first test set was with Skyrim and the second with WoW. I often included background activity as per my current workload (encoding) to increase the performance stress.

My findings were as follows;

Formats other than dxtory's codec are not viable. I tried various Blackmagic formats that came with my card software, Camtasia's, and others. Either they're too big or bug out.

The GPU processing option that dxtory normally uses is very unreliable and in WoW causes reproduceable bugs of severe nature, like desyncing in encoded videos, visual glitches, and strange issues I can only account to majorly fucked up headers or something. Thus, one must always force CPU processing. The performance hit is non-existent from doing so. Videos mangled in such a manner are unrecoverable. Let's hope this is the only cause of such a bug.

Recording and taking a screenshot at the same time resulted in crashing both dxtory and WoW.

Dxtory's codec is lossless and the quality setting is colorspace related. On low quality it produces very good quality with Skyrim with filesizes slightly larger than fraps.

Dxtory's audio does not seem to desync across performance-heavy tests in Skyrim and WoW in 30 minute intervals.

Dxtory reads audio data VERY differently from fraps. Fraps direct record from windows results in very bloated volumes and is incredibly difficult to control. Dxtory seems to read "real" volumes from games. WoW @ 20% master and 15% or so ingame, which I can barely hear (to hear vent), is inaudible in dxtory's audio streams, with 70 master/20% normal needing volume adjusting settings on my headphones/speakers and dxtory audio stream at around 50%. I also had to set it to record the Wave device from my sound card since windows audio was already maxed out. Further tests required.

Reducing the size by 50% doesn't seem very clean.

Dxtory video codec is unsupported by most render modes in MPC, but works with megui/vegas. Very weird and seems very hackish. Not a big problem, just an annoyance.

Phase 2, a much larger test, awaits free time and drive space.
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Re: LP Update/Comment Thread

Postby IskatuMesk » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:34 am

Tests regarding dxtory have brought into question its reliability in producing stable video. I've run into a few glitches and can only assume they are as a result of dxtory itself or, more likely, its incredibly hackish codec. As such, it doesn't make a suitable replacement for fraps.

It can't hook virtualdub anyways so I can't use it for consoles in the first place.

This means a much more aggressive approach to handling the nonstop audio volume issues. I need some way to accurately predict volume levels, and nothing I've done to date is working out properly.

Exigo verification continues at a slow pace.

/edit

Exigo progress continues. After the first segment, which is fairly bad volume balance-wise, the audio for Exigo isn't too bad. This will be one of my longer productions for sure. I'm still not even done recording.

/update June 11

Exigo is done recording and 1/3 verified.
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Re: LP Update/Comment Thread

Postby IskatuMesk » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:30 am

Lethargy has made the exceptional length of Exigo editing more and more difficult, but I am past the halfway point now.

The audio for the Fallen campaign was much of a disaster as I expected to be. Segment 13 in particular suffers from bad volume balancing. This occurred due to the constant changes in my seating and desk arrangements (due to the direction of my voice in relation to the mic's position), the game's unpredictable audio, and above all the fact I didn't test more thoroughly because I didn't think it was going to be that big of an issue. For this segment I used my most intensive compressor which restored the volume of my voice a bit but also disturbed the game's audio a bit as well.

Overall, Exigo exceeds 30 hours in length and will reach probably around 20-25 segments ranging from 1 hour to 3 hours a piece. The casting quality is about average so far.

Because the hard drive space has not been freed from Exigo no further efforts have been made other than the completion of the Exigo Special video that will be released alongside the LP.

I plan to do Demon's Souls and Dark Souls as my next games. It is likely that their efforts will cross over Darksiders 2's release, which I'll save for after their completion.

I apologize for the incredible slowness but it seems I will probably not be recovering from the lethargy/depression of late 2011 any time soon.
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Re: LP Update/Comment Thread

Postby IskatuMesk » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:59 am

I am finally getting close to being done with Exigo. I estimate another 3-4 segments remain to be verified. As a result, I've begun uploading the production and I suspect my next update post will be its release. However, I have no timeline for this estimation. If you're lucky, a week. At the rate things have been going, longer yet.

With the agonizing length of Exigo's production there is of course a few quirks to note. The first is that I chose to make the initial segments shorter and thus smaller filesize with the exception of Segment 1 which I believe uses old settings. Then, after a point, the segments average 2 hours and sometimes 3 hours. Due to Exigo's low resolution and color intensity, it compressed very well with revised settings after segment 1 and the size should be rather good.

Segments 1 and I believe 13 both have mangled audio. My voice is very quiet. Not completely inaudible but definitely not acceptable. Segment 13 uses a very strong compressor to try to compensate for this. The result is higher base and sometimes mangly sound. After that my seating arranged and stuff changed and I did another series of tests and nailed a far better balance, and the remainder of the LP is pretty much as good as it could get. Exigo was a very challenging game to balance for because its volumes were all over the place.

I tried to play Exigo when I wasn't tired and thus could put on a better cast, and I think overall this was a fairly good cast as a result.

After Exigo is completed I will begin Hunted. I believe I already re-encoded just about everything and all it will be now is compressing and verifying. I know there's stuff I need to fix but I don't know where it is. I am fairly, but not 100%, confident I have avoided mkvmerge bugs with Exigo. Upon Exigo's completion I will also likely immediately begin recording Demons' Souls. But I am not sure, as I have a lot of other shit to do and there is simply not enough time in the day. Not enough I am capable of working on stuff, anyways.

Since I have no doubt I'll be dealing with Demon/Dark souls during Darksiders II's release, that will get pushed to when I am done the other two games. After that I may give Dragonshard or whatever it was a shot.

If I can get Darksiders II done this year I'll consider that a triumph. It is truly an impossible task to defeat lethargy.

/edit

Verification for Exigo is complete. Release will be soon.
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Re: LP Update/Comment Thread

Postby IskatuMesk » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:45 am

Armies of Exigo is now available! This 36 hour adventure suffered from aforementioned difficulties but overall was a reasonable stretch of work that is now behind me.

As always, if the videos seem to have an issue, let me know. There's one part I did cut (it's super obvious where and why I cut it), but the rest should hopefully have no problems unless I missed an mkvmerge bug.
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Re: LP Update/Comment Thread

Postby IskatuMesk » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:09 pm

I'm about ~16 hours into Demon's Souls and I can tell you it will be longer than Exigo. The cast I think will be as strong as Exigo's strongest if not stronger. I've been taking a break from videos but have a few things lined up to work on that I'll probably begin soon.

In four days I'll be 25. I guess I'll probably begin working then.
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Re: LP Update/Comment Thread

Postby IskatuMesk » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:07 pm

Important Notice

All FTP LP files are currently offline because the LP folder has mysteriously disappeared.
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Re: LP Update/Comment Thread

Postby Falchion » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:06 pm

Before I leave, I recommend you play Rising Kingdoms. Well, I've only started, but I assure you the Darkling music is somewhat... interesting.

If you've got the free time, of course.
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