Conference Call

GWJ Conference Call Episode 438

Hand of Fate, Homeworld Remastered, Kingdom Hearts 2.5, Grim Fandango, Mashing Up Game Design, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn and Julian are joined by Lara Crigger to talk about her new podcast, genre mashups and more!

To contact us, email [email protected]s.com! Send us your thoughts on the show, pressing issues you want to talk about or whatever else is on your mind. You can even send a 30 second audio question or comment (MP3 format please) if you're so inclined.

Fish Tuxedo

Thread Of The Week:
A Genie Appears

Chairman_Mao's Timestamps

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Show credits

Music credits: 

No Regard - Echoside - http://echosidetracks.bandcamp.com/ - 31:34

Jazz - Echoside - http://echosidetracks.bandcamp.com/ - 45:39

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Comments

This was one of the better podcasts, I really enjoyed it. Julian's enthusiasm for a game is infectious. One thing though, in the interest of gender equality can we please drop, at least around here, the term "sausage fest" for an all guy event? I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds the term a bit iffy when the kids are around.

I dunno, maybe call it a Meat Circus or something

Running Man wrote:

I dunno, maybe call it a Meat Circus or something ;)

While I don't actually have an issue with "sausage fest", I super double plus endorse switching to "Meat Circus".

Zudz wrote:
Running Man wrote:

I dunno, maybe call it a Meat Circus or something ;)

While I don't actually have an issue with "sausage fest", I super double plus endorse switching to "Meat Circus".

I like Banana Hammock myself.

"Did you hear that last podcast? It was a total Banana Hammock."

In the discussion about religion and gaming, it sounds like I had a very different take on Bastion's ending than either Julian or Lara...

Spoiler:

I didn't see an decision between saving the world or destroying it, but between accepting and rejecting change. The options as I saw it were to bring back the old world -- complete with the resentments that destroyed it -- or to try to learn from the painful lessons of the Calamity and start building something new.

The fact that I started the game while preparing to move to a place I'd never been to start a new job on short notice, and finished it a little while after the move, probably affected my interpretation a bit.

But if anything, I read the final decision in terms closer to Buddhist thought than Christian. I'm not at all sure that the "restoration" ending would have led to anything but continuing a cycle of suffering.

Maybe I'll go back and listen to the spoiler section again.

Running Man wrote:

I dunno, maybe call it a Meat Circus or something ;)

So, basically, liken a group of men to something with a reputation for being tedious and off-putting? DONE.

KaterinLHC wrote:
Running Man wrote:

I dunno, maybe call it a Meat Circus or something ;)

So, basically, liken a group of men to something with a reputation for being tedious and off-putting? DONE.

Am I the only person that thinks of a horrifically gory circus featuring the worst clowns that have ever clowned? Tiny clown car of death where a never-ending flood of blood ejects alongside the friggin' Silent Hill meets Clock Tower meets Stephen King meets Rob Zombie jesters of mutilation and disease.

Sausage Festival just makes me think of fat Germans in lederhosen.

ccesarano wrote:
KaterinLHC wrote:
Running Man wrote:

I dunno, maybe call it a Meat Circus or something ;)

So, basically, liken a group of men to something with a reputation for being tedious and off-putting? DONE.

Am I the only person that thinks of a horrifically gory circus featuring the worst clowns that have ever clowned? Tiny clown car of death where a never-ending flood of blood ejects alongside the friggin' Silent Hill meets Clock Tower meets Stephen King meets Rob Zombie jesters of mutilation and disease.

Yeah, it's just you. I think of a steak wearing a clown nose trying to do a flip. Kind of like I am Toast, but meatier.

misplacedbravado wrote:

In the discussion about religion and gaming, it sounds like I had a very different take on Bastion's ending than either Julian or Lara...

Spoiler:

I didn't see an decision between saving the world or destroying it, but between accepting and rejecting change. The options as I saw it were to bring back the old world -- complete with the resentments that destroyed it -- or to try to learn from the painful lessons of the Calamity and start building something new.

The fact that I started the game while preparing to move to a place I'd never been to start a new job on short notice, and finished it a little while after the move, probably affected my interpretation a bit.

But if anything, I read the final decision in terms closer to Buddhist thought than Christian. I'm not at all sure that the "restoration" ending would have led to anything but continuing a cycle of suffering.

Maybe I'll go back and listen to the spoiler section again.

My take was pretty much the same as yours only with the thought that...

Spoiler:

if you tried to do it over the Calamity would happen again and thus nothing would be gained. It is almost a story reason to explain the New Game+ mode and I actually used it as an excuse to play through the game twice in a row :)

Rykin wrote:

My take was pretty much the same as yours only with the thought that...

Spoiler:

if you tried to do it over the Calamity would happen again and thus nothing would be gained. It is almost a story reason to explain the New Game+ mode and I actually used it as an excuse to play through the game twice in a row :)

I remember having the same thought as your spoiler, so...

Spoiler:

the first time I played I set everything back. Then I played again and didn't. I remember the narrator has a kind of deja vu moment at the beginning of the New Game+. I remember thinking that was awesome.

KaterinLHC wrote:
Running Man wrote:

I dunno, maybe call it a Meat Circus or something ;)

So, basically, liken a group of men to something with a reputation for being tedious and off-putting? DONE.

Somebody stole my mood ring, so I'm not sure how I feel about that...

Super interesting thoughts on Bastion. I'll admit that when I first played it, I was totally oblivious to all that it was alluding too, and I kinda played it straight up as is. My hope and my reasoning behind my choice at the time:

Spoiler:

I was hoping for a second chance, so I picked the option to go back. I was also sad for all the people who'd died and weren't directly responsible for the Calamity. I hoped that things would be different. What I didn't realize is that the same causes will yield the same consequences. Now though... It's only been four years since then but I feel less naive, not as young. If I played it today, I'd go forward with the hand I was dealt. Learn from past mistakes and go forward, bearing the scars of what had come to pass.

I laughed quite hard at the image of hours and hours of Crypt of the Necrodancer because you could play it holding a baby. I was pretty disappointed it wasn't actual dance-pad baby rocking, but was just one-handed.

However, if I have another baby, I'm totally making sure I get a copy. A fine addition to my favorite one-handed game, One Finger Death Punch.

Running Man wrote:

I dunno, maybe call it a Meat Circus or something ;)

Meat circus sounds more womanly to me. With meat flaps and everything.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

Really fantastic episode! Lara is awesome, and the topic was compelling. I immediately thought of Quest For Glory, which married Adventure Game mechanics to basic RPG mechanics in a wholly satisfying and unqiue way. That particular combination felt so good and so right that I'm amazed it hasn't been replicated or iterated on much past the Quest for Glory series.

My understanding is that it's really hard to pull off that type of game off as you're effectively designing an RPG and an Adventure game. Unfortunately both those genres kinda went into hibernation on PC around the time Sierra folded, so we haven't really seen much in the way of new games in that style until very recently. In addition to Heroine's Quest and Quest for Infamy which were released last year, we should be getting Mage's Initiation this year which is made by the same team that did the VGA remake of Quest for Glory II.

I've been dying to play Heroine's Quest which seems to use the same mechanics (but with a focus on a female protagonist instead of QfG's default male) but alas it is Windows only. One of these days I'll have a non-Mac gaming PC...

Poking around Crystal Shard's forums it looks like Linux/Mac builds were planned but they had some logistical snafus. Someone seems to have stepped up to the plate to provide a version of Adventure Game Studio (the engine they use) for Linux since the person who was originally going to handle the port + testing had real life get in the way. However, looking at the AGS forums it looks like there's not any official support for OSX with the runtime but Humble hacked it up enough to get Wadjet Eye's games running on OSX but it doesn't look like that fork has been merged back into the main project

Curiously, Quest for Infamy works on OSX as long as you get it from Humble or GOG (Steam lists it as Win/Linux only) so I'm wondering if Phoenix Online was able to get them hooked up with the Humble or GOG folks to produce the OSX build. Or they're using a Wine wrapper maybe?

Rykin wrote:

Can we start getting a link to the thread of the week in the show notes please?

Here is this weeks for anyone else having trouble finding it:

A Genie Appears...

Fixed!

Thanks for posting the link down here in comments. And sorry for being behind on podcasts.

misplacedbravado wrote:

In the discussion about religion and gaming, it sounds like I had a very different take on Bastion's ending than either Julian or Lara...

Spoiler:

I didn't see an decision between saving the world or destroying it, but between accepting and rejecting change. The options as I saw it were to bring back the old world -- complete with the resentments that destroyed it -- or to try to learn from the painful lessons of the Calamity and start building something new.

The fact that I started the game while preparing to move to a place I'd never been to start a new job on short notice, and finished it a little while after the move, probably affected my interpretation a bit.

But if anything, I read the final decision in terms closer to Buddhist thought than Christian. I'm not at all sure that the "restoration" ending would have led to anything but continuing a cycle of suffering.

That was my view, too.

But then, regarding my religion influencing my gameplay, I also don't feel like my religious background explicitly factors in to how I play within a game—that is, of course it does, but it's mediated by the fact that I get pretty far into role-playing, so I'm much more interested in a Dalish perspective on Andraste's Ashes than I am interested in mapping Andraste's Ashes to the True Cross, or Exalted Marches to ... (Northern?) Crusades? Roman conquest of Frankish Gaul?

If anything, my penchant to role-play as characters who are markedly different from myself leads (I hope) to a better empathy for the experiences of people who don't share my real-life background.

That all said, I pardon the heck out of people in Skyhold, so maybe my granola-leftist Christianity is bleeding through.

I can't speak for Julian, but I know I was a little glib in our discussion of Bastion. It's been years since I played it last and in the heat of the discussion, I couldn't quite remember exactly how the game played out, only that we both had very strong feelings about which ending we picked. You can listen to our thoughts on it in the Bastion spoiler episode. I stand by the thoughts I expressed on the ending there.

Your interpretation is perfectly valid as far as I can recall, Kat. I just remember having a different one.