GWJ Conference Call Episode 22

Conference Call

Bullet Witch, Worms, GRAW 2, PS3's Home, Little Big Planet, GDC Post Mortem, Tons Of Your Emails, Diamonds in The Rough and more!

Today on the Conference Call we go deep on all things GDC, including Peter Molyneux's dog, Mario Galaxies and a whole lot more. We also have new emails, the thread of the week and some of our diamonds in the rough. Don't forget the haiku contest runs until Saturday, March 17th. Win a copy of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 for the Xbox 360 thanks to Liongames.com!

Want to support the show? Hit the Digg link just above (it's fast and easy to register) or review us on iTunes! 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.

To enter the haiku contest, send your entry to [email protected] along with your forum name! (Deadline is March 17th)

Sponsor
Liongames.com

The Links
Bullet Witch
GRAW 2
Worms
Home and Little Big Planet
Anachronox Machinima

Thread of the Week: Diamonds in the Rough/games that need more love - Trachalio

  • 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

"Dc 3000" Thievery Corporation The Wired CD - 0:19:53
"Relaxation Spa Treatment" Dan The Automator The Wired CD - 1:03:29

Comments

If my ancient Greek is correct it's pronounced "Tra kay leo". At least, that's how I've been saying it for the past decade and a bit so I hope it's right. Thanks for the props!

Thanks to this show I will now be even more eager to play Fable 2. Like others, I try not to listen to the crazy man due to his failed promises.

Call of Juarez is coming the the 360? Sweet as hell.

I actually tooled around with the demo a bit last fall when I bought my new Mac Pro and fiddled with dual booting. It looked like a game I would love to death, but alas, PC gaming just isn't my bag and I haven't felt compelled to fire my computer up in Windows mode in months. Given all that long winded and pointless background information, I am stoked to hear that the game will be headed to the 360 sometime soon. Any word on a time frame for that release?

Actually the Hockey game from microsoft had potential, they did quite a few things right in there. It's just too bad they gave up on it after one try.
BTW is there going to be a links game for the 360 ?

BTW is there going to be a links game for the 360 ?

Don't count on it.

The writing between the lines a few years back was that in order to convince EA to start making their sports games use Xbox Live, Microsoft agreed to stop making sports games that would compete with EA's franchises. Links would be in direct competition with the Tiger Woods franchise, so at least for the forseeable future you will almost certainly not be seeing it on the Xbox platform.

Take2 (or was it 2K Games) has the rights to Links, Amped and Top Spin, since Microsoft sold the company who makes them.

Certis wrote:

Take2 (or was it 2K Games) has the rights to Links, Amped and Top Spin, since Microsoft sold the company who makes them.

Ah, I forgot about that. Well, golf fans can go ahead and get their hopes up.

Here is the content of my email:

On the last episode of the Conference Call, the team had an intense debate about the current and future role of games journalism and its many faults. In attempt to keep this fast and friendly, here are some quick points I'd like to discuss.

-When the community and other news outlets mention forms of game news that they consider "poor" or "unprofessional", we can all pretty much agree that we're discussing Kotaku and run-of-the-mill indie blogs that drive traffic solely through stealing and/or linking stories from real newsbreakers. But keep in mind, that as much as we may disdain them, they can not be blamed for the actions any more than a smut-peddler can be blamed for selling furry porn. It's the job of the quality outlets to inform gamers as to why they should seek more in-depth analysis and news.

-Another issue we face is how things labeled as "news" are not technically news. Someone making a WoW birthday cake should not be categorized in the same area as a new studio being founded or shareholders taking over Take-Two Interactive. (BTW, I personally found that story as uber interesting.) To solve this categorization issue, the news aggregation sites simply need to have clearly defined categories. If Kotaku had two seperate sections and feeds for "Fan Love" and "Industry Issues", then boom shackalacka, problem is partially solved.

-Speaking of the Take-Two shareholder story, I think one thing the game industry lacks is keen business writers who also serve as games journalist. There have been multiple instances where stories related to business issues have not been covered clearly. On an episode of the 1Up Yours podcast, none of the speakers were familiar enough with the stock issues and how gaming stocks trade to give any real insight into them. And when a string of game publishers faced stock option problems, coverage was limited. Simply put, we don't have many analysts who work for the gaming press, rather than Reuters or a place like Morgan Stanley (where Michael Pachter, the premiere game business analyst, does a good job).

-There are distinct resource limitations for smaller sites, even moderately large news outlets to get breaking stories, forcing all major announcements to come from a small circle of major sites/publications or at public conferences like E3 or GDC. This can not be easily solved, as the reasons a publisher will save information for the most exposure means they must stick with the trusted distribution channels.

-Ultimately, the gaming press serves one purpose: To improve gaming through reporting and inquiry. If an inspirational or deep article in a publication like The Escapist expands the thinking range of a new game developer to push for a breakthrough design, causing the next major revolution in gaming, then we need more well thought out stories. However, if more consumers are purchasing games because they saw an interesting cake related to WoW on Kotaku, then give the consumers more of what they want, because their money could possibly go to allowing Activision to finance more creative projects, which is always welcome in the gaming world. Whatever helps produce better games is where we as game journalists need to pursue.

Thanks for reading,
Logan "GameSource" Frederick

If there is any justice in the world, I'll get to play a new Links game and once again get Swampy drunk enough to sing on Live.

Worms killed my 360.

-- That's "fled", guys. This is "fleed".

-- Thanks for the Bullet Witch snark there. Let me answer that question about how do you see the gunrod on the back of the package and buy it? Well, there's a busty chick in a naughty schoolgirl outfit carrying it low and gesturing at the camera with her chest. For a certain part of the audience, that's a no brainer. If you really want to feel like you need a shower, you should take a wander through Gamespot's message board topic on this game.

-- Anyone remember "Microsoft Bob"? Shudder. Home just looks like Bob to me. With all that that implies ....

-- Fable 2 is going to be an interesting thing. I note he's not mentioning the pregnancy thing anymore. I don't think the dog is going to be that much on the evil points. Even bad guys take care of their frickin' dog. I like the concept of getting rid of some of the immersion killing stuff like the mini-map, but then I'm not in need of more reinforcement of my anthromorphization habits. And honestly, this is Peter Molyneaux. If he said that the sky was blue I'd probably wait until he actually shipped the atmosphere before making a final judgement.

-- Super Mario Galaxy; I don't know. But I do know betting against Mario has never been a good fiduciary decision.

-- Blue Dragon is going to be a watershed for good or ill. I've always wanted to see what the Square guys could do with other hardware. If they can make Crystal Chronicles on that asthmatic-gerbil-powered Gamecube, just imagine what they could do with something with some cojones? They had to leave and start their own company to do it, but this and Lost Oddysee is where the rubber meets the road. Plus we've got a return to the cute style of jRPG that many fans of the early Final Fantasy series are still in mourning about. Personally, I can't wait.

-- Good God yes please get rid of Friend Codes. I'd rather not screen keyboard a CD key just to add a Friend. And while you're at it, a LAN adapter that isn't bass-ackwards would be nice.

-- Done is a defined entity. It's stable. No BSOD. It gives accurate output. At least hit ZBR before you send it out the door.

I don't know why games get away with this. I work in the software industry at my Daily Planet job. If I shipped a core feature in that state I would deserve the 75,000 pissed off Southern lawyers that would be on the phone after my arse. And I would certainly not be pissed off at someone pointing that out.

It's not just bugs. Slipping is another major issue. Assasin's Creed's little schedule jump last month sent me into a realm of pissed off I haven't been in since they slipped Kingdom Hearts II for the third time FOUR DAYS before it was supposed to have shipped and we'd planned my daughters' birthday party around it.

We've been building games for a long time now, guys. It's not like there's no body of scheduling and estimating knowledge out there you can use to make good plans.

I feel an article coming on.....

Shark gun = Armed and Dangerous.

edit:
IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v317/TheRealEdwin/cookie.gif)

The rabbit hate -- man, it never ends (grin).

There was an F-bomb in there. My ears burn, they burn! I'm no F-bomb prude damnit but it just seemed freaking outta place. Don't let the PS3 hate darken your soul, let it go, just let it go....

I am glad someone spoke up about PS Home, questioning it. Home doesnt impress me at all. I keep imagining that interface applied to all the idiocy we ignore in MMORPG chat channels. I hadnt even thought of the captive marketing audience, which should've been the first thing on my mind.

Ha ha, I noticed the Ffff*ck in there too. I don't mind them at all, but it did seem uncharacteristic. The hate grows strong ^_^

I agree with mostly everything, but I haven't finished listening to it. Now that a few days have passed, Home looks extremely gimmicky and I'll probably not use it that much when I get a PS3.

Little Big Planet still looks great, I'm just wary that it's the guy from Rag Doll Kung Fu, because that game sucked.

Irongut wrote:

There was an F-bomb in there. My ears burn, they burn! I'm no F-bomb prude damnit but it just seemed freaking outta place.

There was at least two or three, actually. All from the same source (not that I'm pointing any fingers or anything).

There's an fbomb almost every show, where have you guys been since GWJ Radio?

I'm gonna start dropping F-bombs. Listen to this: Fart you, fart head

The PS3 has still failed to impress me, it is not like it would be hard just show me GAMES.

dhelor wrote:
Irongut wrote:

There was an F-bomb in there. My ears burn, they burn! I'm no F-bomb prude damnit but it just seemed freaking outta place.

There was at least two or three, actually. All from the same source (not that I'm pointing any fingers or anything). :D

*blinks*

Man there have been a few F-bombs in a few episodes and you guys are only catching it now? I guess this episode did have several. Hmmmm.

f*ck you for agreeing with them, Borges!

I blame 60 hour work weeks and Demi pouring haterade in my ear. And Rob, I blame Rob in general. I'll try and clean up my act, but I promise nothing, you prudes.

Certis wrote:

I blame 60 hour work weeks and Demi pouring haterade in my ear. And Rob, I blame Rob in general. I'll try and clean up my act, but I promise nothing, you prudes.

Promise to curse more often.

Edwin wrote:
Certis wrote:

I blame 60 hour work weeks and Demi pouring haterade in my ear. And Rob, I blame Rob in general. I'll try and clean up my act, but I promise nothing, you prudes.

Promise to curse more often.

That can certainly be arranged.

Home and Little Big Planet will not get me to buy a PS3. Maybe next year...
Xbox had Halo
Xbox360 was the only next gen console for a year
Wii has new control and is cheap
PS3 has Resistance: Fall of Man.... for 700 bucks with game?

Quit beating on Rabbit when hes not there to fight back!

Certis wrote:

I blame 60 hour work weeks and Demi pouring haterade in my ear. And Rob, I blame Rob in general. I'll try and clean up my act, but I promise nothing, you prudes.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I love it when you talk dirty

Certis wrote:

I blame 60 hour work weeks and Demi pouring haterade in my ear.

Does haterade directly into the ear burn as much as I've heard it does? You figure so because it's a citric acid, but I wanted to be sure.

f*cking great call again.

Thanks for reading out my email guys. Great conference call again. Though you kinda missed the point of my email which was that when i was fihgting on the "weaker" or nerfed side it was a challenge to play and beat known superior enemies.

It was satisfying.

Also, i mentioned the camaraderie formed between the people i played with on a regular basis. Oh and you pronounced my username correctly (which i appreciate), don't let the other two (can't tell you all apart! I know who you are for the first 15 minutes, but then your voices all kind of mingle togther and i forget who's speaking - except for Cory.

Here's the email:

I heard you mentioned Planetside in the conference call this week. It was mentioned that often two stronger sides might gang up on the third weaker side.
In my experience of playing this game over the course of a year or so (broken up into two six month stretches – one at the release of PS and the other about a year and a half in) it was just this aspect that kept the game fresh.

The first time I played as Vanu and if anyone has any experience with PS they will know that Vanu were initially very strong and then quite quickly gimped – with the rate of degradation of the weapon's power over range being changed overnight after complaining (rightly so) from the other two factions. This led to a large number of players leaving Vanu on my server and joining the NC (New Conglomerate) and TR (Terran Republic). We were the weakest faction in numbers and the weakest in weapons – but we held out. You know why? Camaraderie.

It's one of the things I find missing in MMOG's. While there is natural camaraderie in MMOG's because people meet in guilds and talk, in PS there is the enforced camaraderie of your entire faction. Think of the attitudes of real world veterans who have fought in wars. They are an incredibly tight-knit group and that's what we became. I had my clan – and I think that to play PS on your own (while possible) is pointless – but I also had my faction, my army.

When I left planetside (due to burn out) I rejoined a while later as New Conglomerate. The change in faction made a big difference as each one plays differently. There had been many updates including the lacklustre Core Combat expansion – which added a lot to the overall strategy on land, but underneath the land it was pretty pointless. The main thing that amazed me was the introduction of the (mentioned) command ranks – all of a sudden we had a proper command structure. I'm sure at the beginning there were people who abused the power and didn't really want it, but by the time I had rejoined we had designated "star" generals who each had different levels of power and who each (at any given time) would play a different role. For example there was usually one "supreme commander" for each continent who organised reinforcements, pronged attacks and overall tactics and who was supposed to cooperate with other commanders on other continents and lower commanders who oversaw each battle front.

I think this emergent game play is unique to planetside and I don't think it's been demonstrated in any other MMOG or larger game (except on a smaller level like chrome hounds). I think it's why co-op is so appreciated. Any thoughts on this?

Though you kinda missed the point of my email which was that when i was fihgting on the "weaker" or nerfed side it was a challenge to play and beat known superior enemies.

Yeah, I did miss that then.

Guys, keep in mind that we've got to reduce the email down to a few sentences, so these long long long long [...] later that same day [...] long long long long emails will lose much in the translation.