Sicarius

Completion rates

Logo of KotakuAchievements are very useful. Otherwise Kotaku would’ve had nothing to report on Tuesday besides their strange Mass Effect-Week-Stuff. I still don’t really get why now (I think because the final DLC for Mass Effect 3 comes out in the near future but your guess is as good as mine) but I’ve to admit: It’s a very good idea! All those „sentimental“ stories from the editors under which the readers can (and will) indulge in their own memories of the series? Ingenious! And of course they repost every review not just for the major games but also all the DLCs they ever published. A perfect way to recycle old content nobody would otherwise give a shit about any more. And of course all of it content (at least until now) fills the page without the need of putting much effort into it. But perhaps the in-depth retrospectives and analysis reports are still to come who knows or, even better, who really cares?

But I wanted to touch on another story published by Kotaku: Half the People Who Got BioShock Infinite on Steam Have Finished It. Not True for That Walking Dead Shooter. The headline basically says it all. He could’ve made it a bit longer I guess but even Kotaku needs their news to contain a bit of actually content sometimes (not always). Okay, enough with the sarcasm. Yes, Kotaku is from my point of view getting worse every day (who thought of that shitty new layout and, even worse, making „Recommended posts“ the default view?!) and I especially hate their newfound love for animated GIFs but I’m still reading it so it can’t be too bad, can it? Well, since I also read Jezebel and Gawker I’m not really qualified to respond to that question :smile: .

Completion rates

In the report Stephen Totilo notes that 49,9% of all BioShock: Infinite PC-Players got the final achievement in the game (Tin Soldier) and as such have actually finished the game. Definitely an impressive number considering other reports over the years which indicated a much much lower percentage of completion. Remember the story of why the original ending to Eye of the Beholder sucked huge balls (just a wall of text)? Because the publisher argued that only a small percentage would ever see it so they could just phone it in. Even Square Enix said before the release of Hitman: Absolution that only 20% of the players (both PC and console) will ever finish the game. But it seems like even they were wrong: At least on steam 36,2% have the final achievement „A personal contract“. So it seems at least PC-users are more inclined to finish a game. Totilo also notes that Tomb Raider is sitting at 50,0%, Aliens: Colonial Marines at 42,7% and The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct 27,1% which is, considering the quality of the game, still not too shabby.

So it’s definitely interesting to see those high numbers (and seeing someone actually having the idea to look them up). Especially considering huge percentage of players (most of the time 10% or even more) who haven’t finished the tutorial and as such don’t even have the first achievement. And yes, I do have quite a few games myself where I’m one of those people. So many games, so little time. You know that First World Problem. Still developers really love to work with this kind of data and letting it influence the design of the next game by asking the very important question „Why don’t those people play beyond a certain point?“. And I think that’s good. If you see the trend that an unusual high number of players e.g. don’t get the achievement for beating the third boss they can look at it and hopefully come the right conclusions which does not just bring about a patch to make the boss easier. I’m looking at you Blizzard :smile: .

The next step

Now of course I would even be more interested in seeing a comparison between the completion rate of PC gamers and console gamers. Sadly as far as I know there’s no real stats page who counts all of the users. All of the trackers I know only track the users registered on their site which of course is only a very small fraction of gamers.

I would even go so far and argue that those who register for such sites are specifically out to get as many achievements as possible and as such should have an unusual high completion rate. And of course no one could track the high number of people who aren’t online and as such don’t even submit achievement data to an online profile. Perhaps if the rumors are true and Microsoft actually makes the next Xbox require an Always-on-connection there will be a service like that. Of course then they would never ever be able to sell 76 million units (current worldwide sales number for the Xbox 360) but that’s a different story for another time.

See you Monday!

I told you this was a bad idea!(1) I’ll try anything once.(2) There is no failure expect in no longer trying.(3) If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong. (4) I’m never wrong. I once thought I was wrong, turns out, I was mistaken. (5) The time is always right to do what is right.(6) The client is not always right.(7) It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.(7) In criticism I will be bold, and as sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me.(9) Prepare for unforeseen consequences. (10) Would you kindly? (11) Yes, my Master. (12) It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.(13) There are two ways of doing this. My way, or the he’s a dead motherfucker way. You pick.(14) Pikachu, I choose you!(15) No, you won’t!(16) I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply all my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.(17) I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.(18) I am the law!(19) A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.(20) I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.(21) My education was dismal. I went to a series of schools for mentally disturbed teachers.(22) What! You too? I thought I was the only one.(23) Welcome to the real world.(24) My God, it’s full of stars!(25) And that’s the world in a nutshell, an appropriate receptacle.(26) The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape…(27) The sign of an intelligent people is their ability to control emotions by the application of reason.(28) No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in with it.(29) I dreamt I was a moron…(30) I’m sorry, were you waiting for me to give a damn?(31) Yes, and I had pimples so badly it used to make me so shy. I used not to look at myself. I’d hide my face in the dark, I wouldn’t want to look in the mirror and my father teased me and I just hated it and I cried every day.(32) Ma, cry me a river, build a bridge and GET OVER IT!(33) Objection!(34) Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome.(35) Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything.(36) I eat resistance for breakfast!(37) Enter that room, insect, and it will become your grave.(38) Today is a good day to die.(39) Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.(40) The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.(41) You have died of dysentery.(42) Snake? SNAAAAAAAAKE!!!(43) He’s dead, Jim.(44)

(01) Pumbaa in The Lion King
(02) Lyrics from „I’ll Try Anything Once“ by The Strokes
(03) Elbert Green Hubbard (American editor, publisher and writer)
(04) Unknown Source
(05) Unknown Source
(06) Martin Luther King Jr. (American clergyman, activist and prominent leader)
(07) Enzo Ferrari (Italian race car driver and entrepreneur)
(08) Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi (Prominent figure of Indian independence movement)
(09) Edgar Allan Poe (American author, poet, editor and literary critic)
(10) G-Man to Alyx in Half-Life 2: Episode Two
(11) Atlas to the player in BioShock
(12) Darth Vader to Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars: Episode VI – the Return of the Jedi
(13) Old man to Link in The Legend of Zelda
(14) The Boss to Conker in Conker’s Bad Fur Day
(15) Ash in Pokémon
(16) Jim Moriaty to Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock
(17) Augustine „Og“ Mandino II (American author)
(18) Abraham Lincoln (16th American president)
(19) Judge Dredd in Judge Dredd
(20) Henry Louis Mencken (American journalist, essayist and a bunch of other stuff)
(21) Mark Twain (American author)
(22) Woody Allen (American director)
(23) Clive Staples Lewis (Irish novelist)
(24) Morpheus to Neo in The Matrix
(25) Bowman in the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey
(26) Stan Dunn (Profession unknown)
(27) Pablo Picasso (Spanish painter)
(28) Marya Mannes (American author)
(29) Fernando Pessoa (Portuguese poet)
(30) Squall Leonheart in Final Fantasy VIII
(31) Ryudo in Grandia II
(32) Michael Joseph Jackson (American recording artist)
(33) Jay-Z (American rapper)
(34) Phoenix Wright in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
(35) Samuel Johnson (English author)
(36) George Lois (American art director)
(37) Sam in Serious Sam II
(38) SHODAN in System Shock
(39) Worf in Star Trek: First Contact
(40) Rawlings in Clive Barker’s Jericho
(41) George Orwell (English novelist)
(42) Message in The Oregon Trail
(43) Colonel Campbell to Snake in Metal Gear Solid
(44) Leonard H. McCoy in Star Trek: The Original Series

Sicarius

…and you can quote me on that!

It’s a Me, Mario!(1) Welcome to my world, insect.(2) Nothing more than a little shrimp-like animal, standing on its head in a limestone house and kicking food into its mouth.(3) Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you what you are.(4) To be, or not to be.(5) Everything that has a beginning has an end.(6) Perhaps if we saw what was ahead of us, and glimpsed the crimes, follies, and misfortunes that would befall us later on, we would all stay in our mother’s wombs, and there would be nobody in the world but a great number of very fat, very irritated women.(7) We can pick the game, Niko Bellic, but we cannot change the rules.(8) Evil always finds a way.(9) But I don’t want to walk among mad people.(10) Madness…? This is Sparta!(11) We met a long time ago in Sparta. Before the war.(12) War. War never changes.(13) The more things change, the more they are the same.(14) Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.(15) Power, sex. Sex, Power. They both come down to one thing – fucking others.(16) Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question. „Yes“ is the answer.(17) Noooooo.(18) Can’t you do better than that! I’ve seen worms move faster. (19) In a perfect world you should already be dead!(20) A man chooses, a slave obeys.(21) The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall. Freedom and slavery are mental states.(22) Freedom’s just another word for people finding out you’re useless.(23) Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.(24) I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.(25) I fight for the users.(26) Too Bad! You are gonna die!(27) Give me names, I’ll give you blood.(28) 50.000 people used to live here… Now it’s a ghost town.(29) I’ll be back.(30) Don’t make a girl a promise if you know you can’t keep it.(31) The Enrichment Center promises to always provide a safe testing environment. In dangerous testing environments, the Enrichment Center promises to always provide useful advice. For instance: the floor here will kill you. Try to avoid it.(32) Yeah, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.(33) Among the blind, the squinter rules.(34) And now, the end is here.(35)

(01) Mario in Super Mario 64
(02) SHODAN in System Shock 2
(03) Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz
(04) Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in his book Physiologie du Gout
(05) Hamlet in William Shakespear’s Hamlet
(06) The Oracle in The Matrix Revolutions
(07) Lemony Sniecket in his novel A Series of Unfortunate Events – Book 13: The End
(08) Dimitri Rascalov in Grand Theft Auto IV
(09) Gnarl in Overlord II
(10) Alice in Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
(11) King Leonidas in 300
(12) Xena in Xena: Warrior Princess (Season 1, Episode 12)
(13) Ron Perlman in Fallout
(14) Alphonse Karr in Aristophanes‘ The Wasps
(15) Albert Einstein
(16) Geralt in The Witcher
(17) Swami X
(18) Darth Vader in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
(19) Farmer in Outlaws
(20) Duke Nukem in Duke Nukem 3D
(21) Andrew Ryan in BioShock
(22) Mahatma Ghandi
(23) Dilbert in Freedom’s Just Another Word for People Finding Out You’re Useless
(24) Pablo Picasso
(25) Bill Gates
(26) Tron in TRON: Legacy
(27) Gabriel in Swordfish
(28) Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad in Assassin’s Creed
(29) Ramirez in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
(30) The Terminator in The Terminator
(31) Cortana in Halo 2
(32) GLaDOS in Portal
(33) Sam in Serious Sam: The Second Encounter
(34) Gerard Didier Erasmus
(35) Frank Sinatra in his song My Way

Sicarius

English Words

Greetings Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to another exciting episode of the webmaster’s bi-weekly ramblings on this Monday, August the 9th. Today the webmaster will talk about Tool-assisted Speedruns (TAS), Quake Live and probably not much else. There may be a hint of StarCraft II: World of Liberty, but we cannot promise you anything. But enough of the introduction – Bagdadsoftware is proud to present: the Webmaster!

*clap, clap, clap*

Driving a game to its limit“ – that’s the title of the tenth and final (for now) part of my almost as famous as my Westwood-article Speedrun-special over at GamersGlobal. Fitting of course, as it is an interview with no other than Andrés „adelikat“ Delikat. With more than 70 Tool-assisted Speedrun-records and five years of experience he’s not only the main developer of the NES-Emulator FCEUX – the most important and TAS-friendly out there for this system! -, he’s also the main administrator of the central location for everything about TAS: TASVideos. I guess only Bisqwit, the original founder of TASVideos, knows more about TAS than Andrés which made for quite an interesting and unnatural long interview. And still so many questions remain unanswered. Especially the whole feud-thing between Unassisted Speedrunners and TAS would be worth its own article although it has cooled down a bit since 2004. Perhaps next year I’ll get both sides in one (chat-)room and truly do something, no other magazine has done before. Although I guess now that my idea is public, someone out there will probably snatch it and don’t give me credit for it…damn!

At least I can rest assured for the moment that no other magazine – German or international – has taken such an in-depth look into the subject and hopefully I introduced new faces to the scene thanks to it. Of course some magazines did actually try to cover the subject over the years. But at least the German ones failed miserably in my opinion. They mostly thought the whole topic was only worth a stupid click-gallery to increase page views. How wrong they are…

Oh by the way: For everyone who doesn’t know squat about German, the original and very raw English version of the interview can be found here on Bagdadsoftware.

There are of course other topics I want to cover so extensive. One is „Music in Games“. No surprise here for our regular readers of course. Still I’ve so many ideas for it and want to talk to so many famous people in order to show how much work and love goes into a good soundtrack and how high the quality of the products out there is. Essentially I want to show the readers why it’s worth supporting and bring them to stop turning it off and instead play Britney Spears in the background. Again, regular readers already know that. It’s not as if I hadn’t talked about it yet, didn’t already make a Top18-list or wouldn’t give a NOCA each year to the best soundtrack of the year. So hopefully, I’ll have the time to expand on that and create another, insightful special.

For now I’m still pretty occupied with the third version of my Starcraft 2 Mehrspieler-Kompendium which has to go live before QuakeCon 2010 starts at the end of the week. Didn’t help me much in my match against Jörg Langer though. Still lost against him, increasing his score to 2:1 (Blood Bowl – Jörg Langer, The Settlers 7 – me, StarCraft II – Jörg Langer) in the all-time ranking. Took him a long time to win however. He could’ve finished it right after my first attack failed but he didn’t seize the moment and didn’t make the push. So it dragged on a bit. But who cares. Lost is still lost :).

Perhaps match 4 will take place in Quake Live which, completely surprising to everyone, finally left the beta-status last Friday. There are now those who complain that there are two subscription-options (Premium and Pro) available which ruin the game and everything in their opinion. Those guys (and girls) are idiots! Even if you don’t pay, the amount of game you get for your non-existing buck is still greater than anything else browser-based out there. Hell, even Battlefield Heroes has way less free content – and there you have to pay much more to get the additional stuff! You still have access to the friends list, you still can join a clan, you still can play in more than 40 arenas in five game-modes and you still have access to match-making including the extensive statistics. Basically you get all the stuff which was already there in beta and kept me playing the last year not to mention that Quake III Arena never left my hard-drive since 1999 until Quake Live came around which had even less features. And that little bit of advertising before each game is more than tolerable. So quit bitching and go fragging! Or do what I did: go Pro! It’s more than worth it…

*clap, clap*

Thanks Webmaster! And that’s it for today folks. We hope you enjoyed the show and come again! Good night.

In 24 Stunden wird die Welt untergehen. Warum? Weil dann die Server von StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty live gehen. Ihr solltet also mit der verbleibenden Zeit so viel sinnvolles wie möglich anfangen. Mein Vorschlag: Hört euch die neue Folge des Podcasts an ->

Wenn es eine Konsole gibt, die nicht nur hier auf Bagdadsoftware zu kurz kommt, dann ist es wohl die Nintendo Wii. Vollkommen unverdient, wie ich finde, obwohl ich gar keine besitze. Deshalb habe ich mir mal wieder Philipp geschnappt. Als Wii-Spieletester kann er sich schließlich zu Recht als Experte auf diesem Gebiet bezeichnen. In der aktuellen Folge rede ich mit ihm fast 45 Minuten lang über die Entwicklung der Wii seit ihrer Veröffentlichung, analysiere mit ihm ihre Stärke und Schwächen und lasse ihn natürlich auch ein paar Kaufempfehlung abseits von Mario, Zelda & Co. aussprechen, um euch zu einem Kauf zu überreden. Ob wir das tatsächlich schaffen, weiß ich nicht. Aber ihr hört den Podcast selbstverständlich wie immer auf eigene Gefahr. Wir sind nicht dafür verantwortlich, wenn ihr nach dem Genuss einen starken Drang verspürt, der euch in die Wii-Ecke des nächstgelegenen Online- oder Offlineshops führt.
Abseits vom Podcast, ging gestern auch der neunte Teil meines umfangreichen Speedrun-Specials online. Dieses Mal habe ich mich mit Thomas „Lord_Tom“ Seufert unterhalten, der zusammen mit TASer Mijitsu den aktuellen TAS-Rekord in Super Mario Bros. 3 hält. Ein sehr interessantes und aufschlussreiches Gespräch, wenn ich das so sagen darf. Und der Run selbst ist sowieso Kult. Warum das so ist, erfahrt ihr natürlich auch im Interview. Nächstes Wochenende, wenn endlich der ganze StarCraft II-Hype abgeklungen ist, wird voraussichtlich der zehnte und vorerst letzte Teil des Specials online gehen.

For our foreign visitors: The interview with Thomas „Lord_Tom“ Seufert is also available here on Bagdadsoftware in its original, English form but of course not with such a nice-looking layout.

In diesem Zusammenhang auch noch einmal ein Dank an JakillSlavik, der dieses Mal wieder das Teaserbild zum Artikel gebastelt hat. Geht am besten rüber zu seinem deviantART-Profil und „favet“ das Bild. Verdient hat es das schließlich!

Am Donnerstag wird euch an dieser Stelle hingegen Rondrer begrüßen, da auch ich vor lauter StarCraft II keine Zeit haben werde einen zu verfassen. Mich lest ihr stattdessen drüben bei GamersGlobal. Nun verabschiede ich mich aber für heute mit den Details zur 24. Folge:

Zu Wort kommen: Christoph „Sicarius“ Hofmann und Philipp „Knurrunkulus“ Spilker.

Technische Daten: 44:31 min lang; 96kbit Qualität; 30,57 MB groß; Aufnahme mit Skype und Pamela for Skype; Editierung mit Adobe Soundbooth CS4

Musikcredits nach Reihenfolge:
Brian Conrad, Sue Kasper, Justin McCormick – SimCity 2000 – Track 47 (Komplett)
Brian Conrad, Sue Kasper, Justin McCormick – SimCity 2000 – Track 31 (Auszug)
Frank Klepacki – The Legend of Kyrandia – Pool Of Sorrow (Komplett)

Weiterführende Links:
Generation BLOG – Philipps persönlicher Blog

Wie im Podcast erwähnt, erscheint Folge 25 des Podcasts am 23. August und wird selbstverständlich die gamescom 2010 zum Thema haben. Da wir die Folge zudem direkt vor Ort aufzeichnen, habt ihr vielleicht sogar die Chance mal kurz reinzuschreien. Wann und wo wir die Aufnahme in Köln machen, werde ich natürlich kurzfristig hier bekannt geben.

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