New Wasteland 2 Concept Art and Valve Explains the Hardware Job Opening

Posted: April 14, 2012 by Galvion in Gaming
Tags: , , , , , ,

Here is a new concept art for the highly anticipated Wasteland 2 (which was funded mostly by Kickstarter)

Robo-scorpion anyone?

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Also, Valve explained the job opening we spoke about yesterday in a blog post this morning. MAbrash went on to explain:

So what has my personal experience been?

As I said earlier, I knew little about how Valve worked when I started here, and my introduction to the company was not at all what I thought it would be. What I expected was that I’d be handed a substantial chunk of technical work to do – something like visibility determination in the Source engine, or fog of war calculation in DotA 2 (which I did in fact work on, but as a sideline – that was a fun bit of optimization that I’ll write about one of these days).

What I got instead was a few suggestions about areas people thought I might find it interesting to look at, and no direct guidance at all. The closest anyone came to giving me direction was when most of the Source engine team was working on Portal 2 optimization; I’ve done a lot of optimization, so I suggested to Jay Stelly that maybe I should work on Portal 2 as well. Jay said, “Yeah, you could do that, but we’ll get it shipped anyway.” After a couple of discussions like that, I realized that he was saying was that I should think about whether that was really the most valuable thing I could be doing – there were plenty of people who were skilled at optimizing the Source engine already working on Portal 2, so it would be more useful to think about what high-impact things I could do that no one else was doing. That, and conversations with various people around the company, kicked me into a different mode of thought, which eventually led me to a surprising place: wearable computing.

By “wearable computing” I mean mobile computing where both computer-generated graphics and the real world are seamlessly overlaid in your view; there is no separate display that you hold in your hands (think Terminator vision). The underlying trend as we’ve gone from desktops through laptops and notebooks to tablets is one of having computing available in more places, more of the time. The logical endpoint is computing everywhere, all the time – that is, wearable computing – and I have no doubt that 20 years from now that will be standard, probably through glasses or contacts, but for all I know through some kind of more direct neural connection. And I’m pretty confident that platform shift will happen a lot sooner than 20 years – almost certainly within 10, but quite likely as little as 3-5, because the key areas – input, processing/power/size, and output – that need to evolve to enable wearable computing are shaping up nicely, although there’s a lot still to be figured out.

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Comments
  1. This is actually becoming a reality though. A ‘wearable computer’ is actually within grasps reach. Valve’s not the first company to jump on this idea trend. In fact, Google’s already vastly ahead of them, but that doesn’t mean that I’m any less skeptical of the concept just because Google’s brand is on glasses. If you haven’t heard about it take a look, but if this is where Valve is headed I’ll be intrigued, but skeptical at the same time. I just don’t see any practical application for gaming via glasses. It’s highly unsafe, unless done in the safety of a home – and if the device is going to be meant to be portable well then they run so much risk of abuse and reckless behavior with the product.

    Here’s Google’s Glass idea to give you a taste of what Valve might be trying:

  2. The only positive upside I can see from this eyewear application is that it’ll perhaps provide mobility challenged individuals to communicate, explore, and interact with the world around them better. If the glasses are eye motion controlled [ only assuming based on the movement of the glasses in the video ] then one could assume that mobility impaired individuals could benefit from a pair of glasses like this to enhance the way they communicate with others in this world.

    I’m excited for the possibilities, but first these companies who are thinking about this need to show safety and caution when designing a product that’s going to be around our eyes and if it will impair our vision on a daily basis…

    • Galvion says:

      It’s a very awesome concept if you ask me. Especially with Google Glasses on the horizon too, who knows what awesome technology we’ll see. I for one, get motion sickness very easily, so perhaps this may not be for me. I do not know how this would work for that scenario.

      I appreciate the in-depth comment.

      -Galv

      • You’re welcome man. I’m glad to start discussion about applications like this. With all the talk of new hardware coming out on the console side of things – it would be nice to see other companies try and step in on the Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft turf and try and be the first one out of the gate with a true innovation.

        Most consoles today seem to have gotten stagnant in their idea pool, meaning they’re copying iterations of other consoles products – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Trends are good, if they make sales, but sad when they become more or less a gimmick to boost them. So, I’ll tend to vibe with Peter Molyneux on this one.

        While I am still a fan of controller based gaming, I’m sick to death of copy-cat control schemes. I would love to see some innovation and new freeform ideas come out of studios. I won’t ever ask for controllers to be taken away, but just that we ask companies to utilize the controllers and the human experience to it’s fullest potential when designing any product for the gaming market.

        Here’s to, hopefully, Valve’s future hardware success! Whatever it may be – if I get to look like Jordy La’Forge with whatever they’re building that’d be a plus too. 😀

      • Galvion says:

        Most of us here at LDG are PC gamers. That’s our main focus. However, I’m a jack of all trades gamer. I enjoy all platforms.

        But I personally agree with how you feel. But when it comes to controls, nothing beats a keyboard and mouse IMHO.

  3. Chaelura says:

    Ah yes, Geordi and his banana-clip eyepiece! Made me wonder what the prop budget was for that show 😉 Seriously though I would totally wear one.

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