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47 comments

  • BaraChat - January 4, 2012 7:57 p.m.

    I've got one for you guys, even if it's not entirely game-related : How could Elves (LoTR ones) possibly survive in the long-term if they're all immortals, eventually there'll be GAZILLIONS of them all over Valinor and Middle-Earth. There would be overpopulation problems, like food or hygiene. And thanks again for a great, funny read.
  • Andrew Groen - January 5, 2012 10:26 a.m.

    Thanks for the kudos, it's very much appreciated. I've often wondered about the birthrates of elves myself. I'm not really sure that they do procreate. I think they're just an immortal race, and whoever is alive is just alive. I don't think they have generations like we do.
  • 4fromK - January 9, 2012 6:24 p.m.

    They definitely have generations. Feanor, for one, had a father and sons, and his father had at least two different wives. (forgive me for not remembering their names, but its been a while since I read the Silmarillion). Also there are detailed family trees of the higher races of elves (ie, not the moriquendi) in the silmarillion. My nearest guess would be that world-weariness prevents them desiring procreation - There are many references to the elves becoming depressive (feanor's mother died from world weariness, after all of her lifeforce passed into Feanor, I believe), and the whole culture is kinda gloomy - looking at Elrond, Galadriel. This is supported by the fact that, as far as I am aware, most of the Calaquendi were born in the first age, and not many at all were born after the second age. There might be also some cultural or Biological reason for this decline in birthrate - perhaps it is frowned apon in elvish culture to have children later in life or perhaps they suffer from impotence. As a rule, very little is known about the baser biologies of elves, and the sexual culture is similarly mysterious (though likely they have compatible genitalia with humans -see Aragorn and Arwen, Beren and Luthien, etc). I would say basically elves are above the bestial desires that drives mankind to mate - they don't feel lust or not nearly as often as mankind - so therefore they only procreate when they desire a child, which, after all the woes that befell the race at the hands of Morgoth, was a desire they felt less and less over the years.
  • Andrew Groen - January 11, 2012 10:22 a.m.

    This is one of the best answers in the history of Ask GR Anything. I award you a gold star adorned with gold stars.
  • TwinHallow - January 4, 2012 7:38 p.m.

    I would say his stomach is like the Tardis in Doctor Who
  • MetaMoss - January 4, 2012 7:44 p.m.

    Dammit that was what I was gonna say! Kirby's stomach is definitely a pocket dimension. I guess something similar would be the Homunculus Gluttony in Fullmetal Alchemist (the manga and Brotherhood anime, not sure about the first anime)
  • Andrew Groen - January 5, 2012 12:52 p.m.

    These are both wonderful, wonderful answers.
  • TwinHallow - January 5, 2012 7:43 p.m.

    two of my favorite series
  • angelusdlion - January 4, 2012 7:33 p.m.

    Magic. Next question.
  • Dmancapri - January 4, 2012 6:57 p.m.

    As long as were making stuff up, why not try to explain this: How does jiggle physics work in video games?
  • Sinosaur - January 5, 2012 10:25 a.m.

    The same way as any other part of the physics engine: with a crap ton of code. More specifically, jiggle physics is usually used in reference to breasts so it works pretty terribly in most cases considering they generally seems to be modeled after hyperactive water balloons rather than any real body physics. The code itself exists to model real world physics (or a close enough to not break suspension of disbelief while still being manageable) onto interactions inside the game. Jiggle physics use the same part of this code as water does. How video game physics engines work in general is actually a pretty good question for this column.
  • aequitas13 - January 4, 2012 6:16 p.m.

    Dear GR.... what the crap is the status of Thief 4?! We got the logo at E3 a couple years back and nothing much since!
  • Sinosaur - January 5, 2012 10:05 a.m.

    The status is that game companies like to drop teasers way too early now (in my opinion). Since teasers get dropped years before the game is ready to come out, you're bound to be left with major gaps between new details. If all a company is willing to release is some sort of logo, then there's a fair chance they haven't got the actual game to a point where they feel it's close enough to a finished product to start showing things, and dependent on the development cycle they're using, it could be some time before it's ready, especially if there are unforeseen problems that put in delays. A quick search of GamesRadar shows a few Thief 4 stories showing up in 2011, but none of it is the sort of stuff I'd expect from a game that's planning to come out very soon.
  • Andrew Groen - January 5, 2012 10:31 a.m.

    I think it'd be interesting to do one of these columns on why game publishers start releasing information so incredibly early. Hard Reset was a really cool game that did the exact opposite. I'd be really interested to know how they did.
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - January 4, 2012 5:55 p.m.

    What makes the perfect game?
  • Sinosaur - January 5, 2012 9:51 a.m.

    That's a highly subjective question. For most people a perfect game is going to be whatever game suits their playstyle and interests the most, along with, perhaps, some little unexplainable 'it factor' that covers up what little flaws the person may find. Objectively? That's really hard because to figure out if something is objectively perfect you need to create a long list of qualities that something has to meet and check them off one at a time. One issue here is that the qualities are very different between different genres; you don't look for the same things in an RTS that you do in an FPS. And even then you have to get everyone to agree on what is objectively the points needed for whatever game that is.
  • Andrew Groen - January 5, 2012 10:36 a.m.

    You're the best, Sinosaur. I always like your explanations. You've got a good head on your shoulders. I actually do think it would be possible to objectively create a perfect game though. But I'd stress that I don't really classify "games" like Gears of War in the same category as Chess or StarCraft 2. Games that rely on story and characters (like GoW) are much more subjective since it all depends on whether certain elements resonate with you. However, games like Chess are just a set of rules that are open to interpretation. I think just about any game that pits two players against each other while removing luck, and any exploits could probably be defined as perfect (that's a lot harder than it sounds though.) I happen to think StarCraft 2 comes incredibly close to that marker, but I have a hard time thinking of any others.
  • Andrew Groen - January 5, 2012 10:37 a.m.

    I should clarify that I'm only talking about the multiplayer component when I talk about StarCraft 2. In the single-player it has much of the same subjectivity as any other game.
  • profile0000 - January 4, 2012 5:39 p.m.

    Excellent article. I got a few questions: How do developers and publishers split the revenue they make from selling a game? Also, how much does it cost to make an average 2-year development cycle game and how many sales does it need to make a profit?
  • Andrew Groen - January 5, 2012 10:38 a.m.

    Thank you! I'm not sure if I'll be able to answer that question though since the answer would be different for every game and every publisher/developer agreement. I'd personally really like to know though so I may try to get in touch with an analyst or somebody who can offer some averages.
  • Net_Bastard - January 4, 2012 5:30 p.m.

    What differs console hardware from a PC with the same specs?
  • Doctalen - January 4, 2012 4:59 p.m.

    How does a pokeball work? It is somehow able to convert mass to enough with no apparent power source. Also even after said conversion, there is still a chance for the Pokemon to escape. If an animal is converted surely it wouldn't have a conscious let alone have the able to re-convert it self into matter.

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