GWJ Conference Call Episode Ten

Conference Call

Shawn's Lovely Wife Karla Spills The Beans About Zelda: The Twilight Princess, Shawn Plays Viva Piñata (Filled With Fun!), The Changing Face Of Industry Money Grubbing, Tons of Emails and more!

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In a very special tenth episode of the Conference Call, we trade in a broken Elysium for a brand new Karla. She gives us the full scoop on Zelda for the Wii and helps Shawn explain Viva Piñata to Julian. How companies are going to get more of your money, the thread of the week and a ton of emails are all here for you!

If anyone would like to submit some original music for the show, read on for a link to contact us! Also read on for show notes.

To contact us, email [email protected]! 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.

The Links
Zelda: Twilight Princess
Viva Piñata
Dwarf Fortress
News Stories On Microtransactions

Thread of the Week: I Am a Story Whore (Morrolan)

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"All That She Remembers" - Apoplexia (Benoit Casey) - 0:34:07
"The Neverwhere" - Apoplexia (Benoit Casey) - 1:01:52
"Impeller" - Ian Dorsch - 1:13:11

Comments

Extra note for Braehole, Rapala Trophy Fishing got a nasty 3.0 at IGN. I'd steer dad clear

Finding pieces of a dress reminded me of FFVII.

There's no such thing as a California accent! We talk normally; all of you talk funny!

Edit:

Also, you can change your cursor speed in Viva Pinata by clicking the left stick. Also, if you go to a notice and hit X you can see what the notice is about (ie, see the animals that are fighting).

Congratulations Zero, you passed our devious test. You prize is (not) in the mail!

Did someone slip a couple acid tabs into the group's waterbottles before the Viva Piñata segment?

Certis wrote:

Congratulations Zero, you passed our devious test. You prize is (not) in the mail!

What, I revealed myself to be a horribly obsessive nerd? I thought that would have been abundantly clear by now.

I admit it, I was stoned the whole time. I was eating Sour Pinata Candy and it went to my head. I blame Certis.

I think the SEGA CD "Car" game you guys were talking about was "Sewer Shark."

Also, a great example of a game with a great story and awful gameplay is Silent Hill 2.

No I remember sewer shark. This game was like cartoon FMV and you drove a red car. I remember one spot in particular that we couldn't get past for the longest time involved a big jump.

Hmm, don't remember that one I'm a'feared.

Remember Base Wars?

That was a fun game...

What were we talking about again?

Oh right. Dead on about killing Rabbit in Gears of War. My girlfriend takes some perverse glee in watching him get chainsawed. I'm not sure what it is about him

HAHA! Which half of this married couple said the following in this podcast?

(cue heavy amounts of guilt)

On my birthday you promised to make me cookies, and instead you played Zelda!

a) Certis
b) Brennil

Site idea (betcha don't get those very often) - post a dedicated link on the left for your thread of the week.

Brilliant.

Get right on that Certis, will ya?

Certis wrote:

Extra note for Braehole, Rapala Trophy Fishing got a nasty 3.0 at IGN. I'd steer dad clear ;)

Thanks Certis for checking on Rapala Trophy Fishing for me. My dad said he would come over and play a fishing game with me but I guess I'll have to wait for someone to put some real effort into making a playable game. Someday you guys will be able to catch big fish on line with me but not this Christmas.

There was a PlayStation 1 Bass fishing game that came with a little fishing pole that was really fun. I can't remember the name though.

Great show guys, Rabbit the dancing unicorn was funny.

souldaddy wrote:

Site idea (betcha don't get those very often) - post a dedicated link on the left for your thread of the week.

No more stuff on the left, it's too crowded as it is! Good idea, though.

I think you were right Certis on the Wii and what games will be picked up on it. I will only buy games on the Wii that have a unique game play element that is different from the norm. Everything else will be picked up on my Xbox360.

Yeah, as far as ports and "standard" games go, it's hard to imagine picking the Wii version unless they spend a lot of time nailing the controls down right.

Certis wrote:

Yeah, as far as ports and "standard" games go, it's hard to imagine picking the Wii version unless they spend a lot of time nailing the controls down right.

For this reason, I was really torn about CoD 3 and ended up leaving it off my Holiday wish list. On one hand I know the 360 version is gonna be beautiful, with unusually strong Live MP(talking team numbers), but on the other hand.. same old gameplay in SP. I was really thinking of the Wii version, the controls seem like enough to make it a whole new game. I dont see such huge difference in visuals on the gametrailers cross platform comparison, but I know I will notice it on an HDTV. There's so much gaming goodness right now, I ended up just leaving it off 'the list.'

I really enjoy these conference calls.
I few points I would've debated a bit include:
#1) I think install base and cost to develop will be a bigger factor than given credit as developers look back on their development investments. Gotta feel for any company who developed a PS3 launch title, seems like a lost battle. I think the impact will be less big budget games and longer development cycles. Maybe that equates to less bad game investments over time, but maybe it will result in even less innovation.

#2) I think microtransactions for additional content beyond the core of a game are good to expand play but a model where you pay little for a core of a game and then can buy additional episodes to expand play, both reminds me of shareware and also causes me concern. HL2 has got to be a 'leader' in this area and look how long it takes to churn out additional content. The additional content seems to remain a design document, and itself goes through pro-longed dev cycles. By the time its released, the market has often moved on. I think the consumer will more likely be charged full prices for half a game, and then get to expand it to what it might've been in friendlier consumer times. I think history shows that episodic content / expansion also end up dividing the very communities they target, look at BF2, GRAW communities examples or any other game where some folks buy the maps and others dont.

#3 Related to microtransactions: As a consumer, I appreciate the retail pressure/inventory space impact on game pricing that discount games over time. A little patience, will result in a much better bargain for the consumer as the retailers move boxes over the lifecycle of a product. I'm talking new, not used. Digital distribution doesnt exhibit this downward pricing pressure, at least I dont see it, there is no imperative to move inventory and discount prices to increase demand. I see that to balance the convenience of downloading, overall it is a loss to consumers, because part of the downward pressure of the market on pricing has been eliminated. It is rare to see a priced piece of microtransaction content become free, unless it is re-released as part of a platinum edition, or the community has begun moving away.

Anyways.. Thank you for a great episode again, it helps brighten my workday as I sit chained to my laptop.

Certis wrote:

Yeah, as far as ports and "standard" games go, it's hard to imagine picking the Wii version unless they spend a lot of time nailing the controls down right.

I would buy Tiger Woods Wii in a second. Fishing too. RTS games would be interesting, but the Wii doesn't have the power to run those. Baseball would be fun. I've heard that offense in Madden Wii is a lot of fun, if they ever figure out defense I'd actually get that.

And if they evar make a real lightsaber simulator, not this crap they have in Red Steel, I'd buy a Wii in a heartbeat.

So, is Escapist Radio dead? I thought you were on hiatus.

So, is Escapist Radio dead? I thought you were on hiatus.

Like a pheonix from the ashes, it was reborn GWJ radio. At least as far as I know.

I few points I would've debated a bit include:
#1) I think install base and cost to develop will be a bigger factor than given credit as developers look back on their development investments. Gotta feel for any company who developed a PS3 launch title, seems like a lost battle. I think the impact will be less big budget games and longer development cycles. Maybe that equates to less bad game investments over time, but maybe it will result in even less innovation.

I think the trend is going toward longer development cycles and bigger budgets, not sure why game budgets would shrink AND take longer to make.

How about developers who made Wii launch titles for Japan? Let's have a look at the numbers:

Wii Sports, which was not bundled in Japan, sold the most with 176,880 units. Wii Play sold 171,888 copies while The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess sold 145,068 copies, followed by WarioWare: Smooth Moves with 63,086. The only third-party game to break the top five was Tecmo's Super Swing Golf with 12,673 units sold, indicating that Nintendo remains the largest competitor to publishers trying to make headway on the new system.

You won't find me disagreeing that install base and development costs are huge factors in deciding what to develop for, but that's only part of the equation.

#2) I think microtransactions for additional content beyond the core of a game are good to expand play but a model where you pay little for a core of a game and then can buy additional episodes to expand play, both reminds me of shareware and also causes me concern. HL2 has got to be a 'leader' in this area and look how long it takes to churn out additional content. The additional content seems to remain a design document, and itself goes through pro-longed dev cycles. By the time its released, the market has often moved on. I think the consumer will more likely be charged full prices for half a game, and then get to expand it to what it might've been in friendlier consumer times. I think history shows that episodic content / expansion also end up dividing the very communities they target, look at BF2, GRAW communities examples or any other game where some folks buy the maps and others dont.

#3 Related to microtransactions: As a consumer, I appreciate the retail pressure/inventory space impact on game pricing that discount games over time. A little patience, will result in a much better bargain for the consumer as the retailers move boxes over the lifecycle of a product. I'm talking new, not used. Digital distribution doesnt exhibit this downward pricing pressure, at least I dont see it, there is no imperative to move inventory and discount prices to increase demand. I see that to balance the convenience of downloading, overall it is a loss to consumers, because part of the downward pressure of the market on pricing has been eliminated. It is rare to see a priced piece of microtransaction content become free, unless it is re-released as part of a platinum edition, or the community has begun moving away.

Both excellent points!

Stylez wrote:
So, is Escapist Radio dead? I thought you were on hiatus.

Like a pheonix from the ashes, it was reborn GWJ radio. At least as far as I know.

Russ has been so busy with day to day operations at the Escapist, it just hasn't come together. I'm really not sure what the future will hold right now. I was actually doing both shows on alternating weeks for a while there.

"I had to plant a monkey nut tree." - Certis

Even in context that's just freaking bizarre. Good job boys!

One question for Karla.

Are you considering buying Zelda Wind Waker?

If not, is it because you will have to play with a normal pad, and not the wiimote?

Im thinking myself, maybe its going to be too much Zelda.

kabutor wrote:

One question for Karla.

Are you considering buying Zelda Wind Waker?

If not, is it because you will have to play with a normal pad, and not the wiimote?

Im thinking myself, maybe its going to be too much Zelda.

Well, no. As much as I'm enjoying TP, I don't feel like I have enough room in my life for a full-on gaming habit. Games will remain a sometimes treat for me.

That and she rarely plays something if she watches me play it for too long first. If Karla shows any interest in something, I usually have to back off and let her at it

Gaald wrote:

No I remember sewer shark. This game was like cartoon FMV and you drove a red car. I remember one spot in particular that we couldn't get past for the longest time involved a big jump.

The game you are thinking of was Road Avenger. Here are some pictures.
I remember playing this, and being very frustrated with the big jump as well.

Yes that is exactly the game I was thinking of. Thanks Nimcosi!

Thanks, guys. BTW, Brennil has a great voice.