Microsoft Games General Thread

A forum for video games, new & retro, on consoles, computers, handheld & mobile. Also for tech talk, things like PC parts, phones etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
Skynet
Site Admin
Posts: 1606
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:54 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by Skynet » Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:15 am

ian wrote:
Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:33 pm
Gotta love Microsoft’s marketing team.
Announce things people hate, then either it works and they get why they wanted anyway, or they go for backflipping and making money off the praise for not doing the bad thing.

We’ll market it as NEW slurm, then when everyone hates it we’ll bring back slurm classic and make BILLIONS!
I watched that episode the other week :olol: Started again from the beginning

Hawq
Site Admin
Posts: 2632
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:45 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by Hawq » Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:55 am

Rare’s cancelled GoldenEye 007 remaster resurfaces

Back in the days of the Xbox Live Arcade, a team at Rare was working on a remaster for GoldenEye 007. The game was ultimately cancelled, but remnants of it still exist. Now, one person has managed to reveal the remaster in its entirety.

Over on YouTube, user ‘Graslu00’ uploaded a 2-hour long video, showing off the GoldenEye 007 remaster being played from beginning to end in 4K resolution and at 60 frames per second:


The game is running in an emulator to achieve the final resolution, so the game would not have looked this sharp on an Xbox 360. Rare developed the remaster back in 2007 but unfortunately, even with Microsoft’s assistance, copyright issues got in the way. Due to this, the game never got an official release.

Over the years. small chunks of footage have been released but this is the first time we’ve seen the full game from start to finish. It is an interesting look at another unreleased piece of gaming history.
source if only it had happened.
Oops didnt see the vid was in that other thread, ah well guess it dont matter that much

User avatar
melancholy
Global Mod
Posts: 1730
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:32 am
Location: Indiana

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by melancholy » Mon Feb 01, 2021 12:15 pm

I need to know the moment this leaks online. I must play this.

Hawq
Site Admin
Posts: 2632
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:45 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by Hawq » Tue Feb 02, 2021 6:03 am

I think the whole world needs to

User avatar
melancholy
Global Mod
Posts: 1730
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:32 am
Location: Indiana

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by melancholy » Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:11 am

So I've played a few stages so far, and good god, I wish this would have released. I just played Surface and the changes are incredible. Replacing the trees with fencing is a huge improvement, as you can now see the entire level completely unobstructed by anything. This was my favorite level as a kid, but I would sometimes get lost on where buildings are. This remake solves that completely. And I also enjoy some of the other quality-of-life improvements, like if you shoot a guard that had a keycard, but you forget to pick it up off the ground, an indicator will show you where the card is if you try to open a door that needs it. And having a dedicated button that toggles through your accessories instead of having to go through the menu is also nice.

Honestly, my only wish is that it didn't feel so beta. Not having the pause music when looking at your watch pains me every time. And the whole dossier menu is very rough looking and drops out the music half the time. Some of the textures have really bad seams, and the skybox on some levels are completely blank if you look straight up. I wonder if there is a build out there that addresses some of the shortcomings of this build. Or even better, if there are modders out there willing and able to finish the job. But even if this build is all we ever get, I'm still so, so happy to have it.

User avatar
pixel
Fighting Mongooses
Posts: 2709
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:09 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by pixel » Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:38 am

melancholy wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:11 am
I wonder if there is a build out there that addresses some of the shortcomings of this build. Or even better, if there are modders out there willing and able to finish the job. But even if this build is all we ever get, I'm still so, so happy to have it.
That's what I'm hoping for too "thumbsup Someone should be able to mod this version, or create a decompilation of the original code for posterity. The things we've seen with projects like Mario 64 and Slippi are next level stuff when it comes to keeping these older fifth and sixth-generation games running great on new hardware.

Hawq
Site Admin
Posts: 2632
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:45 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by Hawq » Tue Feb 09, 2021 5:50 am

“90 bugs left”: Rare devs talk about the nearly completed Goldeneye 007 remake

At Ars Technica, our love of classic shooter video games usually revolves around the PC, but it's hard to talk about that golden age of shooters without talking about Goldeneye 007. Rare's first shooter for the N64 was an astounding technical achievement in 1997, and many of its innovations still hold up nearly 25 years later... but that's only part of its modern mystique.

Unlike many classic '80s and '90s games, Goldeneye 007 never got a formal re-release on newer game systems. But it nearly happened. I've spent years reporting on leaks about an Xbox 360 remaster, helmed primarily by original studio Rare, which was nearly completed and then canceled. Last week, those years of teases exploded when a near-final beta dated August 2007 leaked—playable from start to finish on Xbox 360 hardware and emulators.

In light of the latest leak, I spoke via email to two of the Goldeneye 007 remaster project's eight original team members, artist Ross Bury and programmer Mark Edmonds, to fill in as many gaps as they could remember 14 years later. I tracked those names in part because they're not credited in the leaked game's normal credits sequence, but rather are visible when looking at any in-game computer terminals. When pressed about his involvement, Bury began his first email with two modest answers: "Not sure that there's too much to tell," and "I'm pretty sure I'm no longer under an NDA regarding it."
“We wanted to stay true to the original”

For starters, the story—as these two devs tell it—has none of the drama you might expect from "remake of the N64's second-biggest game." The project began in either late 2006 or early 2007 as a "small team" before growing to eight staffers in all "with no help from outside Rare in the making of it," the duo says. What's more, Rare's devs began the work before clearing their plans with the game's massive laundry list of rights holders, including Nintendo (the original publisher on N64), Activision (who had secured the film series' game rights at the time), and MGM/OEM (the film series' overseers).

"It started as a 'let's start and try this' while we get approval," Edmonds says. "I'm sure it must have come partly from Ken [Lobb, longtime Rare and Xbox producer], since he was procuring games for Xbox, was well-connected with Rare and [studio co-founder] Chris Stamper, and well-connected with Nintendo from when he worked there."

Seemingly sheltered from the hustle to secure those rights, the team moved forward with a modest plan: to build off the N64's existing source code and art assets, which Rare had saved in their entirety, and "keep the game exactly the same as the original, but with newer graphics and networking," Edmonds says. He claims there was no plan to increase the game's scope with additions like refreshed music or tweaked AI: "Changes like that would have required a larger team, and much more testing! Plus, we wanted to stay true to the original."

On the coding front, Edmonds recalls porting the N64 game's C code to C++, then modifying the interface to Xbox 360's low-level libraries: "The idea was to keep the code as close as possible to the original, and compile it as it was where possible." Where things got interesting was the addition of a "swap graphics" button. Any time a player tapped that button, the game's new Xbox engine would bolt new models and textures on top of the N64 version's geometry, collisions, movement, and "joint and skinning" systems, then increase the in-game resolution and remove an N64-like anti-aliasing filter. Tap the button again, and the game would go back to the original resolution, textures, and base geometry.

It would be another four years after the project's 2007 cancellation before anyone tried this on Xbox 360 again, in the form of 2011's Halo CE: Anniversary. And the results are quite impressive as the first version of this trick on 360 hardware.

Playing through the leaked GE360 beta, it's apparent how and where this system applied, which Bury and Edmonds clarify. Levels' distant backgrounds can bolt new geometry like mountain ranges onto the older, simpler versions, while various parts of characters, particularly the number of polygons dedicated to faces, can be swapped in and out with higher-resolution textures attached. But the ways joints come together and animate is identical, even if you furiously tap the "new graphics" button over and over. Some objects, like weapons and Bond's hands, were rebuilt with new geometry and textures; others, particularly vehicles, buildings, and wooden crates, couldn't be overhauled any further than texture updates without breaking the original code base.

Updated character models and faces were handled by Sergey Rakhmanov, who Bury says "had a great pipeline to work through in-game characters quickly. For main characters, I believe he just used his skills to improve their look from his source library and Internet reference, certainly nothing official to use." In other words: Remade faces were built from scratch without official MGM/OEM documentation. With the exception of Natalya's updated "boxy" head, they look quite impressive, especially as made by (apparently) only one artist.
“They didn’t check with the one guy who mattered”

As the project went on, Edmonds and Bury point to a moment—exactly when, they can't recall—when their bosses gave the GE360 team a green light. "We were told everyone had approved it," Edmonds says. The rights were all cleared, with no condition that anybody had to work on a version for a Nintendo console or any other requirements. That was all the team needed to hear to continue work on the Xbox 360 version.

Later, the eight devs on the project learned the truth about negotiations... when GE360 was unceremoniously canceled.

"When it was put to Nintendo, everyone there approved it," Bury says. "Except they didn't check with the one guy who mattered." Bury then clarifies who that person was: former Nintendo Chairman Hiroshi Yamauchi, who had vacated the post by 2007 but was still Nintendo's largest Japanese shareholder.

[Update, 11:15 a.m.: Since this article's publication, Bury and Edmonds have chimed in to correct a huge point: The Nintendo executive who spiked the project was not Yamauchi, due to his no longer officially working at Nintendo, but rather some other Nintendo executive, whose name was left a mystery to the Rare development team. "Mark corrected me on that as it wasn’t actually him since he had left, but someone else high up," Bury writes via email.]

"I believe I was told his response went along the lines of, 'There is no way a Nintendo game is coming out on a Microsoft console,'" Bury adds. (If you're wondering how some of Rare's N64 games eventually wound up on Xbox consoles, remember: Rare took many of its older games' rights with it to Microsoft, but not all of them. 2005's Conker: Live and Reloaded was the first example.)

Neither Edmonds nor Bury has particular insights on the evolution of Nintendo, Rare, and Microsoft's combined rights relationship, having both left Rare years ago. When pressed about a leaked mini-documentary from 2014, which hinted to Goldeneye 007 almost landing on Xbox One via the Rare Replay anthology, Bury shrugs his shoulders. "I am assuming that all the information and quotes around rights negotiations on the 'Net are from this time period, as previous to that, [the Nintendo boss]'s orders trumped everything," he says. (This includes loud rumors that MGM and OEM's handling of Bond video games evolved over the years to place serious restrictions on the license in games, many of which have never been confirmed.)

"You can never say never, but I think you would have more chance of seeing it [release on Xbox consoles] by changing everything in the game," Bury adds. "Maybe a Halo Master Chief-based game."

"So far as I know, I can't see it happening, unless Microsoft buys Nintendo," Edmonds says.
“Is growing up possible for gamers?”

This cancellation notice came at the tail end of development, with Edmonds and Bury remarking that the game was painfully close to going "gold." They estimate the remaining bug count hovering around 90 bugs as per QA testing at the time. (If you're unfamiliar, that's a very, very low number of bugs for a game on the verge of shipping.)

Having peeked at the leaked GE360 version, Bury and Edmonds can tell that a "more final" version of GE360 had cleaned up a few issues found in the leaked build. The more-final build "has several new art assets that aren't in this version, such as vehicles, and I had been working on the front end and a replacement for the 'folders' [menu] interface," Bury says, while Edmonds points to some "pink polygon" issues that had been cleared up.

"I don't believe you will ever see that [more-final] version," Bury says.

Additionally, the leaked version lacks fully fledged Xbox Live network play. The GE360 team's three programmers had all come from Perfect Dark Zero, Edmonds says, which helped them hit the ground running on that basic implementation. That freed them up to come up with a feature we've otherwise never seen in a console shooter with online play. I'll let Edmonds wax nostalgic here:

When we started working on Goldeneye XBLA, our thoughts were to keep the game as close to the original as possible for fans of it, but to enhance what we could. And one obvious thing that was available on XBLA that wasn’t on Nintendo 64 was networking via Xbox Live. Since we were already going to have splitscreen multiplayer, and the multiplayer gameplay was already designed to work in that situation, it seemed obvious to also allow splitscreen multiplayer when networked!

The great thing is, it would have allowed groups of friends who in the '90s had gone round to each other’s houses and huddled around a single TV, but had now maybe “grown up” (is that possible for gamers?), got jobs in other parts of the country/world and moved apart, to re-experience the same fun times from the past, but now over the Internet.

Most games now will never do split-screen at all, just because of the technical requirements. E.g. can you imagine trying to convince a whole team of artists and animators that their graphics will look better in one-quarter of the screen and at a quarter of the quality (in order to run fast enough)? Plus, who on earth would play a video game these days with someone else even in the same room, let alone on the same console ;) Obviously playing multiplayer over the Internet is much better... or is it!

On a technical front, Edmonds points out that this gimmick, of sharing a split-screen view with everyone in a match, was only a matter of tracking four players' positions, weapons, and bullet tracks, which is hardly more than a networked game is already tracking. Sure enough, I've already seen players of the leaked beta use modded and debugged Xbox 360 consoles to connect online and play via "shared splitscreen" mode, as tunneled through its "system link" mode and Xlink Kai tunneling software. It's not as simple as connecting to your friends on normal Xbox Live, but until the universe bends to our Goldeneye-loving will, this is likely the best we're gonna get.
“It’s good to see it out there”

Neither dev I spoke to knew of any particular secrets or Easter eggs tucked into the project. If anything, the devs had more work to do fully removing faces of any real-life people no longer working at Rare (particularly David Doak, who wound up having a minor role in the game as the character "Dr. Doak"), instead of sneaking in secret characters or other hidden nuggets. Edmonds says he's watched video streams of the leaked remake, where he has noticed faces he'd forgotten about being in the game, particularly longtime Rare QA/testing lead Huw Ward. "He has been instrumental at Rare for a long time, even if he likes to stay in the shadows," Edmonds says.

"We were too busy laughing and shooting at our own faces in the game to consider [adding] ex-Nintendo or Microsoft execs," Bury adds. "Maybe we would have thought about adding those things in time, had we continued with the project."

The only true "addition" to the game, beyond online networking, is three single-player campaign regions (Dam, Frigate, and Depot) to multiplayer, which weren't available for N64 split-screen play. "We probably added the extra regions because we could, now that the frame rates were higher," Edmonds says. (If you still haven't seen it, the GE360 leak runs at a smooth 60fps in all modes, as opposed to the often sluggish performance on N64.)

When asked about the leak, both former devs are all smiles. "It's good to see it out there," Bury says. "It brings back some good memories." Edmonds says nearly the same thing: "Nice that people can actually see the work we put in! So many games in development just get canned and never seen again..." They're unsure of the leak's origins, pointing back to Ars' own reporting about the Xbox 360's "Partnernet" service as a likely leaking point: "It definitely wasn't the team leaking it at that point," Bury says.

Neither has any insight about the eventual Xbox 360 version of Perfect Dark, the N64 game that followed Goldeneye's footsteps, other than guessing that longtime Microsoft collaborator 4J Studios was "sent all the source and assets" from the N64 game.

While both are long gone from Rare, each dev I spoke to is in the thick of large, new projects. Bury is currently working on "the latest game in the Dead Island franchise" at Dambuster Studios. (You may better know Dambuster as Free Radical Studios, which was founded by ex-Rare devs and brought us the Timesplitters series in the '00s as a spiritual successor to Goldeneye. And, cough, cough, Dambuster's corporate parents recently snatched the Timesplitters' series rights. I'm just saying.) Edmonds, meanwhile, is "working with Chris Tilston [another GE360 team member] for a new Smilegate studio in Barcelona, which is working on an 'open-world game with combat' (exciting!)." Both devs mention that their employers are actively recruiting.
One-handed thoughts
How the <em>Goldeneye 007</em> XB360 remake would have controlled. This controller config interface has a few errors, like the Y button not being marked correctly. Joystick configurations can be swapped, but face buttons cannot be remapped.
Enlarge / How the Goldeneye 007 XB360 remake would have controlled. This controller config interface has a few errors, like the Y button not being marked correctly. Joystick configurations can be swapped, but face buttons cannot be remapped.
Image

As far as closing thoughts, each offered their own thoughts on the 1997 game's legacy. Edmonds describes working on the original game's control suite:

The biggest thing obviously is how shooter controls have changed on consoles in the last 24 years. With the original Goldeneye, there was only a single stick on the gamepad, and I remember our goals with that at the time were twofold: provide some default controls that would be familiar to anyone who played Mario 64, and also allow the player to move around and shoot one-handed. We were basically making up the controls ourselves as no one had made a shooter with a stick before. Things have moved on a long way since then—so the controls are very dated now. I can’t remember what they were like on the XBLA version, but hopefully slightly better at least! [Editor's note: Yes, they're much improved, better resembling games like Halo and Call of Duty.] However, what the controls lack for sophisticated modern-day gamers, I’d suggest that a one-handed system (with plenty of auto-aim) is actually more usable by non-gamers (rather than having to master dual sticks), so, not all bad.

Bury talks more about fans' continued love of the 1997 original:

I find it incredible that people are still so excited over it, and other games like PD64. People can get so animated when they start to talk about those games they used to play. I guess I am the same over '80s era machines like the Commodore 64, with the guys who wrote the games and music on those are like legends to me now. It must be a touch of everything: right game, right time, and an age group grown up and looking back, although I hear that still a lot of younger gamers are into it, but would have to ask them why they are. Maybe one day the excitement will die out, although I hope not.
source

Hawq
Site Admin
Posts: 2632
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:45 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by Hawq » Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:56 pm


User avatar
Dr. Zoidberg
Site Admin
Posts: 16942
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:33 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:48 pm




Microsoft claimed that it would be bringing 2x frame-rate boosts for select back-compat titles, running on Xbox Series X|S consoles! Watch Dogs 2, Far Cry 4, New Super Lucky's Tale, UFC 4 and Sniper Elite 4 are the first games to receive the upgrade - and John and Rich have tested them all.

User avatar
pixel
Fighting Mongooses
Posts: 2709
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:09 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by pixel » Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:31 pm


User avatar
Dr. Zoidberg
Site Admin
Posts: 16942
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:33 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:52 pm

:olol:

Hawq
Site Admin
Posts: 2632
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:45 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by Hawq » Sat Feb 27, 2021 6:47 am


User avatar
Dr. Zoidberg
Site Admin
Posts: 16942
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:33 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:52 pm


User avatar
Dr. Zoidberg
Site Admin
Posts: 16942
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:33 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Fri Mar 12, 2021 1:49 pm










User avatar
Dr. Zoidberg
Site Admin
Posts: 16942
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:33 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Sat Mar 13, 2021 3:57 pm



Image


User avatar
pixel
Fighting Mongooses
Posts: 2709
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:09 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by pixel » Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:00 am


User avatar
Dr. Zoidberg
Site Admin
Posts: 16942
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:33 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:52 pm

The FPS boost for Dishonored: Definitive Edition, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition, Fallout 4, Fallout 76 and Prey is now out.

https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2021/03/15/ ... fps-boost/

User avatar
ian
Null Dream Team
Posts: 2456
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:36 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by ian » Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:08 pm

So after a busy few days I go to jump on my shiny new one x and it has a fucking update?
Why.. ITS END OF LIFE?! I only updated it to setup like a month ago!

I want to play a 20 year old game and 4 year old game... by the time it finished I had given up and played my PS4 instead.

I am now so angry I won’t use my now updated Xbox for a week or 2, at which point there will be another fucking update for no reason and the whole bullshit cycle will begin again.

if I could, I’d buy a ps5 just to spite Microsoft, not that I want ANOTHER DEVICE that needs updates, but at least Sony can go several fucking seconds without needing to fucking update shit.

I have precious little time Microsoft, just let me play a god damn game.
If I should Die Hard Arcade before I Alan Wake.
PREY the Lords of Lore my Soul Calibur to Take
-Two Interactive.

User avatar
Dr. Zoidberg
Site Admin
Posts: 16942
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:33 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Thu Mar 18, 2021 8:37 pm


Hawq
Site Admin
Posts: 2632
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:45 am

Re: Microsoft Games General Thread

Post by Hawq » Sun Mar 21, 2021 5:16 am


Post Reply