GWJ Conference Call Episode Twelve

Conference Call

A Surprise Announcement!, The Microsoft Racing Wheel, The Final Word On Neverwinter 2, Zelda, Sexy Hot Online Chess, A Delicious Topic Buffet and more!

Rested and ready for action, we have a special announcement! Rob talks about the Microsoft gaming wheel, Julian looks to the future, Shawn challenges you all to start finishing your games and we all wax philosophical about why we play. Emails, the Thread of the Week and stick ball!

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
Neverwinter Nights 2
Zelda: Twilight Princess
Madden Wii
Red Hot Pawn
Boardgames Online

Thread of the Week: Why do you really play? (wordsmythe)

  • Subscribe with iTunes
  • Subscribe with RSS
  • Subscribe with Yahoo!
Download the official apps
  • Download the GWJ Conference Call app for Android
  • Download the GWJ Conference Call app for Android

Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"Small Comfort" - Apoplexia (Benoit Casey) - 0:24:09
"Terra" - Chico Correa & Electronic Band - 0:48:18
"Impeller" - Ian Dorsch - 1:04:05

Comments

What's the special announcement? I'm lazy.

There are two other 360 specific racing wheels. One is from Mad Catz and the other is from Joytech.

I actually bought the Joytech one which was an awful decision. It's terrible. I later had an opportunity to use the Mad Catz one (which is actually a 360 version of a multiplatform wheel they'd already made) which was also far less than satisfying.

I really fought with myself over the new wheel but decided it wasn't worth it until, as you guys said on the show, that until Forza 2 hits store shelves it won't be worthwhile.

Woot!

That is all.

On replacement 360s and previously purchased content, I think you forgot to discuss one other important point around the full versions of downloaded content and the current DRM. Its not enough to just have the original purchasers ID logged into the 360 to play, that ID also has to be connected to LIVE while playing.. or the download defaults back to trial mode. This scenario could affect any parent with younger children who in an offline gamerprofile. I'm sure there are other scenarios too. So, unless you rectify the situation by calling MS, if you were to not renew LIVE or to lose access to it, you have also lost access to the full versions of the XBLA games you purchased due to the replacement console.

Wow, I was surprised at the interpretation that downloadable content was intended to be limited to one user on the same 360. I imagine a scenario like Star Wars Battlefront II, where I purchased the downloadable content (extra maps) for my son and I to play co-op. In order to play split-screen co-op with a map pack, you might've needed to purchase the map pack for each user on the same console. That alone would kill digital expansion packs for me.

I went through the MS support process of re-purchasing content via a silver account and credit so my sons could have full access to some of the XBLA games I had purchased. It was pretty painless. The process in place works but just seems inefficient, like there should be some a step in the console servicing process they could remap your purchases to your new system serial number via a single field in a back-end system. No question that there is a process in place that works, it could be better though.

I really enjoy your conference calls and am excited to hear they are going weekly

Good news... great show... awesome!

You guys are so damn fascinating I can't concentrate on my work.

A challenge to finish games that I haven't?

Well... I've beat the Dawn of War campaign (don't have the expansions), playing through Zelda, playing through Gears of War, and haven't started Resident Evil 4. You can't technically beat Wii Sports, and not including the 7 or so VC games I've downloaded (most of them are side-scrollers).. I've technically not put an unfinished game on the shelf.

So I'm good! That's all I own.

P.S. - I did a little house cleaning once I panicked when I lost my job 2 weeks before Christmas. So yes, I did sell off a lot of games, but thankfully I still have the funds I reaped from it to rebuy what I want.

Regarding the special anouncement: Excellent news.

Regarding finishing games: It's like we were separated at birth, Certis. I couldn't have more similar feelings and habits regarding playing games. In fact, it scares the hell out of me when I look back and think that in the last two weeks I completed a fifty hour game. Edit: I just got to discussion of why we play games, and this is getting a tad creepy, man. Get out of my mind!

Regarding XBLM DRM: Gaald is 100% correct.

Regarding board game to video game conversions: Bring that sh*t on, and put it on Xbox Live. I love board and card games, but I need people to play with.

I want to play chess but I suck at it. Instead I play Go.

Hell, I didn't need god mode to finish NWN2 and I still thought it sucked and the slideshow was a slap-in-the-face.

Edwin wrote:

I want to play chess but I suck at it. Instead I play Go.

I like to cook hamburgers, but I suck at it, so instead I cook filet mignon.

I can't win a game of Go against the easiest level of any computer system.

I suck at Go too but since Go is so complex I have a built in excuse.

I'm interested in seeing the list of completed games stack versus those in the to play stack.

zeroKFE wrote:

Regarding board game to video game conversions: Bring that sh*t on, and put it on Xbox Live. I love board and card games, but I need people to play with.

I am all over Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne.

I would love to see Lunch Money implemented on 360, but I, too, am waiting for Settlers of Catan to be launched. Ticket to Ride via 360 would be sah-weet as well.

"But your life has meaning because you have kids."

...:drink:

PS: I totally win the week. My life now also has meaning.

Edwin wrote:

I want to play chess but I suck at it. Instead I play Go.

Cool, I tried playing Go online a while back after watching part of the "Hikaru no Go" anime series. Needless to say I gave up after hours of tutorials that didn't even completely clarify all the rules. I might give it another try along with chess.

Other than that great show and the special announcement is great news!

"Alaskan Sparrow"!? Here's your sparrow:
http://www.explorenorth.com/library/...
http://www.bookexcursions.com/images...

Finishing games: I can't help you there. I finish games mostly because I gave up sleeping years ago. Honestly. My younger son doesn't sleep much, and I learned long ago if he don't sleep I don't sleep. Once I'm done with my Daily Planet job, Gamerdad, Zaydoe, and etc I basically play 3 to four hours a night while intermittently saying, "Young Man! Go back to bed or else!" I also think it helps that I am on my own so I don't have a SO to have issues with it. The only thing I only have hanging out right now is the last boss in FFXIII, and from there we hit Avatar: The Last Airbender for the Wii which we just picked up last night.

Purchased content: I need to look into that thread again I guess. We have multiple accounts with multiple download stuff. We ran into that when we replaced my console the first time with Oblivion on my son's account, and all we had to do was re-download the content from Live and it didn't charge me for that. I didn't call even, we just did it. So you're saying this has gotten worse since last July?

The assertion that the "mainstream" user isn't going to see this is a bad call, though. Mainstream gamers - families who buy the thing to be their family center in the living room - are a growing demographic for the 360. They're the ones who are hitting this problem. And unfortunately they are the ones least likely to handle it well. I can't imagine someone's not working frantically on a firmware fix for this down in the bowels over at Willows somewhere.

Think I'm nuts on this? Note the recent focus by MS on "family issues" and the parental controls. And what hardcore-centric console maker in their right mind would ship Feeding Frenzy and UNO? That's not the meat you toss to a pack of slavering 17-year-old males who cut their teeth on Doom and Quake and Halo. That's what you toss at their mom and their little siblings. Yes, Halo 3 is going to be awesome and sell bunchteen million copies, but CSI has a hundred times that much of an audience. Get that working and it's one more tentacle into all those living rooms.

They're not dumb enough not to see how many people do not have their hardware yet, and they've finally figured out the only way to get to them is to ship them this type of stuff, and do it in a way that your Mom can run it. That's what they're trying to aim at it. They're not aiming all that well yet, but once these ranging shots along the infrastructure are out of the way over the next year or so it's going to be interesting to see just how hard it hits.

Online Board Games: Sure Settlers is going to rawk the free world. But then you have heinous crap like Risk and Axis and Allies for the PC. There have been great boardgame interpretations out there, but I've been burnt before. IMHO, you're running a risk worse than buying a license game coming out of a Michael Bey movie. I'm not suggesting whoever is doing this is bad, but if you get one these out of a crap developer who doesn't understand the core dynamic and just starts smearing graphical lipstick on that pig in the hope that you'll kiss it you're sunk.

Balloon pervert?! Am I too young for this?

Thread of the Week: Woot! I had actually seen this thread for once! And I commented in there so I won't bore you again. Though I do want to say, I definately game as a crutch. There's very little socially/ethically acceptable I can do at 3am on a Tuesday without pissing off my neighbors or leaving the kids alone. So it's better I'm peeling the hide off a Grub. Call that a feature, if you wish.

Going weekly: GREAT!

I'm with you Momgamer. Rabbit almost had me fuming that this was somehow an acceptable practice. It's rediculous to expect multiple accounts on the same Xbox to have to repurchase the same content, and obviously Microsoft thinks so too. The real issue here is that the failure rate on the damn things is absolutely atrocious, as our own poll has shown. At least we're all in agreement there

/edit

Just wanted to mention great news on going weekly. I'll try and record some wonderful musings to send your way.

Aw shucks, I went to shamelessly Digg the podcast, and some of you beat me to it. You guys are the best! Digg!

Regarding finishing games: It's like we were separated at birth, Certis. I couldn't have more similar feelings and habits regarding playing games. In fact, it scares the hell out of me when I look back and think that in the last two weeks I completed a fifty hour game. Edit: I just got to discussion of why we play games, and this is getting a tad creepy, man. Get out of my mind!

Now I know what Luna sees in you ... me.

I completely thought I made that up, those birds get everywhere don't they?

Balloon pervert?! Am I too young for this?

Apparently I am, even Google didn't help. I think rabbit is making things up or he's invented his own fetish.

Weekly... in my wildest "dreams" I could not have expected such luxury. I may never listen to live radio again.

In regard to finishing a game, the only one I have on my shelf is Jagged Alliance 2... and I don't have another year to play that. Guild Wars either. Drat... I may have to buy Rainbow Six afterall.

Unless... I could just finish my outstanding quests in Oblivion. There's The Collector, A Venerable Vintage... and something about a mace if I recall. Does that count?

Why do I play games? I'm gonna have to cogitate on that a while...

Also, the AX 360s... I cannot thank you enough for the recommendation. They are the only way I can play now.

Certis wrote:
Regarding finishing games: It's like we were separated at birth, Certis. I couldn't have more similar feelings and habits regarding playing games. In fact, it scares the hell out of me when I look back and think that in the last two weeks I completed a fifty hour game. Edit: I just got to discussion of why we play games, and this is getting a tad creepy, man. Get out of my mind!

Now I know what Luna sees in you ... me. :hump:

I don't even know how to respond to that. Dirty bird.

Balloon Perverts: Man, you all live in caves.

Ticket to Ride: The days of wonder version online is near-perfect, if you ever want a game, look me up.

rabbit wrote:

Ticket to Ride: The days of wonder version online is near-perfect, if you ever want a game, look me up.

It really is the best online translation of a popular boardgame that I know of. It'd still be nice to have the XBox live functionality surrounding it, though.

I completely thought I made that up, those birds get everywhere don't they?

You do know those are bald eagles. Right? And I have some more festive variations on names for them. You get a different perspective on them when you live where they are pests rather than scarce.

And you should see the mosquitos......

Just finished this episode, easily my favorite one to date. Spirited discussions, plus you talked a lot about your personal interests and reasons for being a gamer. Overall, not a wasted moment.

I haven't heard any audio questions yet, is that right?

I haven't heard any audio questions yet, is that right?

We had a couple of audio e-mails. They were pretty fun.

rabbit wrote:

Balloon Perverts: Man, you all live in caves.

At least it's wise because from what I've found it seems that those perverts are... em, you wouldn't really want to hear this. Really.

On The Announcement: Fantastic news! This podcast is one of the ones I look most forward to listening to in my work car during the week. Great I can hear it more often.

On Finishing Games: I've taken a very similar approach to Certis. I only focus on one single player game at a time and am not letting myself move on until I either finish it or just can't stand it anymore. The disadvantage to that is lately, I've had games piling up faster than I can beat them. However, that's mostly because a lot of stuff Ir eally wanted to play came out at once lately and I suspect over the next few months, it'll be a bit of a dry spell for me and I'll get to work on them some more.

On Xbox Live Marketplace: I apologize for the rant this is probably going to be. Rabbit, you're an awesome guy and I love playing Gears with you, but you are dead wrong on this one. Whatever the reasons for why Microsoft chose to setup the initial licensing of Xbox Live Marketplace content, they did and that's their problem, not ours. 360 consoles are failing at a staggering rate (why do you think they recently extended the warranty?) and imposing severe restrictions on content you paid for because of their poorly designed equipment is no one's problem but Microsoft. It's also important to note that what happens is that the one tag that retains the content license has to stay signed into Xbox Live at all times to access it after system replacement. What are people who still have to pay by the hour for broadband (i.e. most of Europe) supposed to do? Believe me, I've been through this "workaround" and it is not just as easy as calling support. I went through several outsourced reps who couldn't speak proper English, had to go through two supervisors before I even found someone who understood the problem and then after being told it would take 5 days to get my codes for the silver account, it actually took over 30 days. Not only that, but two of the times I called back, my ticket had been closed without explanation and a new one had to be created, starting the process all over again. Look at the thread on the Xbox forums and you'll see dozens of people who went through the same thing. That is 100% unacceptable. The phone reps can tell what titles you own, when you bought them, what you paid for them, even when you played them last but they can't change the serial number they are bound to? Nonsense! If you make the content available to everyone on the console when it is purchased, then your obligation is that from then on. If my first two 360s didn't fail, there'd be no problem but they did and that's not my responsibility. Nintendo has already stated that they plan to introduce a system with the Wii Virtual Console that will allow you to tie your purchases to your My Nintendo account and will allow you easy reauthorization after warranty service or other console replacement. From what I hear, the PS3 also has an "iTunes" style de-autorize system that allows you to change where the content is bound in the event of unforeseen circumstances. If they can do it, so can Microsoft. If Microsoft can't or won't, then everyone who has spent money on XBLM is entitled to a full refund in my opinion. Sorry to sound hostile but I'm very passionate about this issue.

Board Game Adaptations: I agree that this could be very cool. I was never a big board game guy, but have taken a bit more interest in them lately and never even heard of most of these games until they got electronic adaptations. I'm looking forward to giving some of these a try.

Balloon Perverts: Dear lord NOOOOOO!

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

Bunch of evil truths about Live

Yeah I was thinking of your trials throughout that podcast.

Regarding finishing games though: You have a terrible habit of picking up a plethora (cornucopia even) of games at any given time. I swear sometimes you've got more shrink-wrapped copies than our local EB