Modern archaeology is entering a paywalled Lovecraftian forum to access a 1929 edition of an Egypt travel guide

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Ok, so this isn’t some outrageous story about how some fuckwits think that copyright is forever, instead of just almost forever.

Instead it’s about how people hold the public domain hostage for their own purposes.


You can always try Infocom’s old game Infidel, although the graphics is a bit lacking. Totally lacking actually.


Baedecker’s Egypt, 8th edition. I have a copy of the 1985 reprint of the English translation. I don’t know where I bought it, nor why (though it was probably Call of Cthulhu related).


Damn, I’m old.


Such a waste. It’s not like Alyx is gonna see many players in VR, anyway…


I found it about this game project with this sad news. I highly recommend the podcast Something True that Fyfe writes and his partner on it Alex Ashby drolly recites. Each episode is short, educational and hugely entertaining.

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It’s also a story about the game industry and how innovative, small companies are routinely gobbled up, their staff farmed out to big budget remakes and sequels, and their IP never given the backing it could and should receive from its new corporate owners. This is why I got a degree in game design and never went into the game industry, sticking with computer tech support instead.


In the case of Valve they don’t tell employees what they should be working on, they let them pick or start projects that they’re interested in. Half Life would be such a thing that would excite any gamer and developer, so the former Campo Santo folks understandably were psyched to help in the upcoming VR title. On that level i totally get it and don’t have a problem with it, but Valve has been very complacent with their lack of game development so them gobbling up a respected small studio never sat well with me. I really hope their Valley of the Gods game sees the light of day.


In our current disneyfied case, it would need to be 1923-1924 or older to be public domain.

In a case where copyright wasn’t extended a million times including Sonny Bono’s may he lightly burn in hell copyright extension act, yes, this would be public domain.

I just realized, this game also features two black characters as the mains. Yourself in the first person, and nameless woman. Don’t know if that has anything to do with anything.

The nameless woman’s name is mentioned twice in this post. It’s Zora.


and then they fire all the people who don’t immediately fall in line after it becomes apparent that the Valve Employee Handbook is a recruitment tool with no resemblance to the reality of actually working there.


eh, missed it. thanks

Well, that’s how it works in theory, anyways - the propaganda. I was reading something from a former Valve employee who painted a rather different picture. What they said was that, in reality, people worked on projects that had the backing of key members of management, and ended up booted off games they wanted to work on and moved onto new projects based on what management priorities were. This is because, in order to stay employed there, your work has to have been deemed a significant contribution - and that determination is made by those members of management. So you could work on whatever you wanted to, but if it didn’t have one of the managers backing the project, you’d get laid off.

The “work on whatever strikes your fancy” idea sounded cool as a worker (but bad for getting things finished), but what’s actually going on sounds like the worst of all worlds. You don’t really get to work on what you want to, nor do things get necessarily get finished either because management priorities change. (Apparently Left for Dead 3, in an almost complete state, was suddenly abandoned because a manager wanted the team moved over to their project.) I always thought it would be nice to work at Valve, but after hearing from the former employee, I’d really rather not.

Yeah, the trend in AAA development has been to more and more complex games requiring more and more developers, so big development companies frequently need whole teams worth of new employees. The easiest way to do that is let some small studio do the hiring and snap up the whole studio at once. If the studio being bought has produced a good game, that’s essentially a job application portfolio - it indicates competence of the team, but it doesn’t mean the new owners care about the game itself. Since AAA has become so financially risky (and the publishers risk averse), everyone ends up working on sequels to the most successful games anyways, as those are the safest.

Assuming the smaller studio doesn’t get immediately subsumed by the parent, there can be culture differences between the two studios, and the parent company often doesn’t know quite how to manage the smaller one as a separate entity, so it’s not uncommon for it to be then shut down. Many people get confused when a big company like EA buys up a small studio and then quickly shuts it down - but the fact is, most of the smaller studio’s workers are still at EA, just moved to some other group.


I really want to play it, but at $1000 for a VR set + a gaming pc for roughly the same + not actually having enough space in my cramped apartment, I just don’t see it happening…

The Oculus Quest (or whatever the self contained unit is called) brings the price down substantially but I don’t know if that will run Alyx, ánd I’d really rather not give money to Facebook.

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And I was looking for a link to that long obsolete Baedeker Guide Egypt that seems to have vanished fromm the archives…

I hear speculation everywhere that it will first be used to push VR with a plan to migrate it to normal consoles and PCs later.

meanwhile if that is NOT the plan at the moment, they will quickly jump to do that if it makes ZERO dollars as a VR only game. (they’ll still give it a chance so there will be a delay)

I hear narratively it sets up more stories in the Half Life universe so even though its a midquel it will be must play for fans of the lore.

They’ve released an update whereby if you plug it into to your gaming computer with a long enough USB-C cable, you can use it as a tethered headset (at something like 80% resolution), but so far that only works with nVidia cards.

That sounds… like a bad setup? You would still need the expensive gaming pc, and then you end up with quite a janky setup?

Yes, but the Quest setups are about £3-400, so significantly cheaper.
And in my case, my flatmate has a Quest headset that I can borrow, so for me it’s basically free.

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