GWJ Conference Call Episode 26

Conference Call

Beyond The Red Line, Guitar Hero 2 Whores, Download Content And Game Extension, Games For Windows Live and more!

What happens to otherwise reasonable people when a new plastic guitar, nerd points and a chance to spend more money are presented? Things get crazy-go-nuts! We also delve into download content and what it does for a game's success over the long run and what's coming in the future. Also, Microsoft doesn't seem to know what's going on with Games For Windows Live!

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 send in your contest entry, email [email protected]! Deadline is April 21st.

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.

Sponsor
Liongames.com

The Links
Beyond The Red Line
Guitar Hero 2
Gametap

Thread of the Week 2: GFW Lambastes Microsoft about Live - souldaddy

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"Small Comfort" - Apoplexia (Benoit Casey) - 0:21:14
"The Neverwhere" - Apoplexia (Benoit Casey) - 0:43:49
"Impeller" Ian Dorsch - 0:58:02

Comments

My Comments: Ale and Whores Edition
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Rockband
Vocalization will probably run similar to that Karaoke Revolution game.

GH Tactics
I'm a stander, myself. I even get a little bounce in my stance on Killing in the Name. My kids are still laughing at me.

Beyond the Red Line
Don't you have a system that could launch the space shuttle?

And whoever it was who got to play everything
You suck. Seriously. I got to play some DS while cooking dinner tonight and that's been it.

Ugh on the 12-year-olds.

Downloadable Doohickies
My son has the horse armor. He did extra chores to earn it, too. If you provide something that is a reasonable price, people will buy. If you don't have much content in it, then no price is reasonable. Which I guess equates to free.

Shivering Isles plus The Knights of the Nine was just two points cards. It really wasn't a problem.

Maybe if you all had to do extra chores to get your purchases you'd have better online self control.

Mythos
Have any of you played Maplestory? Believe me, it's viable. They've got over 50 million players online world-wide. It's not like there isn't a farkin' shop in every village in the town in Diablo. And it works the same way here. And yes there is a way to earn things. It's been there and done that and is making more money than I care to think about for Nexon.

Games for Windows
Peter Moore has his head up his arse? wow. News.

Brussists!
Great line.

Contest
Dude, I'm workin' on it. Sheesh.

Beyond the Red Line
Don't you have a system that could launch the space shuttle?

AMD 2500+
1 gig of ram
9800 pro

As far as comps go my system is on the low end of the spectrum these days. Hopefully not for long.

So now that the pricing for the Guitar Hero II DLC is out, how are you feeling about it?

$6.25 for three songs released on the PS2. $2.08 per song that they've already played on the PS2. Yeah, they'll buy it. I would say it's well within the upper range of what seemed to be acceptable as a per song cost. Personally, I think it's pushing it a fair bit, but I know most hardcore players will get plenty of use out of a song they like.

I just had a thought. The fricking leaderboard is going to push people to buy every song released, more songs = more points! Devious.

About BSG - If my memory isn't completely fooling me right now, I got the analogue throttle working on my sidewinder joystick somehow.. It's gotta be somewhere in the options (not on my pc right now or else I'd look it up)
It was working, but not perfectly though.. I think the game had a problem when I wanted to match speed

I was expecting $2.95/song so this is fine with me.

Certis wrote:

I just had a thought. The fricking leaderboard is going to push people to buy every song released, more songs = more points! Devious.

Good god! No kidding!

I would have preferred a bit more bulking up -- 10 songs for 12 bucks or something ...

rabbit wrote:

I would have bought whatever they put up -- 10 songs for one of my children ...

Fixed.

you're a bad bad man.

It seems to be pretty much 2 bucks a song which is around where I thought they were going to be in fact almost 50 cents lower. While I would like to see the price even lower than that it isn't horrible.

It seems to me that Microsoft is turning the XBox 360 into a cellular economy. Cell phone companies have 3 consumer-unfriendly practices that I can't stand: #1) closed systems #2) traps to prevent customers from leaving, and #3) pricing based on the maximum amount customers are willing to pay without causing them to set the country on fire.

I hate #3 the most. It's not that I don't understand the basics of business and profit, I dislike the attitude to automatically push anything and everything to its limits. Will customers pay $1 per song? Then charge $1.50. Will they pay $2? Then charge $3. On and on. What this creates is a creeping, lingering distrust between a business and its customers.

Am I still the only one that chuckles when Certis does the sponsor slogan?

RE: Freespace/BSG, it's my understanding that most throttles can be configured to recognize certain positions that can be mapped to specific keys, which can then be mapped to the % speed bindings. So you can get your throttle working, it'll just make 10% jumps.

Vrikk wrote:

Am I still the only one that chuckles when Certis does the sponsor slogan?

I bet Tony chuckles... all the way to the bank!

Try mapping the A and Z keys to the throttle to get it to work in BtRL.

I totally sing along to the songs as I play. Possum Kingdom is one of those songs I pretty much can't stop myself from singing when I hear it on the radio, let alone when i'm playing along.

I alternate between sitting and standing, but mostly because it's too small for me to hold comfortably in my lap. (Fat Bottomed Girls reference?) I've only played through Jessica, though.

Rat Boy wrote:

Try mapping the A and Z keys to the throttle to get it to work in BtRL.

When I tried this in Battlefield it made it so pushing the throttle forward was like pushing A, and pulling it back was like pushing Z. In other words, if I stopped moving the throttle it would go neutral. Not terribly useful.

LobsterMobster wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:

Try mapping the A and Z keys to the throttle to get it to work in BtRL.

When I tried this in Battlefield it made it so pushing the throttle forward was like pushing A, and pulling it back was like pushing Z. In other words, if I stopped moving the throttle it would go neutral. Not terribly useful.

But it does work that way in FS2. Battlefield has a throttle axis you can map, if I remember right.

Rabbit have you ever tracked your game purchases? In my case, I'm glad I did. I stopped estimating what I was spending and reigned it in when I was overspending.
I'm not sure if you were including game hardware in your $1000/year estimate, but even if you weren't, I'd guess you're well over that figure. Especially with your "Ooh shiny" complex.

In fact, you should probably just send some more money to gametap, they're probably saving you money.

Gaald wrote:
Beyond the Red Line
Don't you have a system that could launch the space shuttle?

AMD 2500+
1 gig of ram
9800 pro

As far as comps go my system is on the low end of the spectrum these days. Hopefully not for long.

Compared to my best box, that would launch the space shuttle. But I see what you mean.

I think MS should let developers/publishers decide how they want to price their extra content over Live. Of course MS is the publisher for Gears too.

LIke Epic said giving away content helps sell the original game and provides incentive for gamers to keep the game and not trade it in. IT also builds up goodwill and strengthens brand names. MS will benefit from this as well as Epic in the form of less used games out there and more new copies sold.

LIve isn't proof that a good microtransaction system is key to charging for content. IT's proof that a monopoly over the distribution system for content means you'll be able to force the nickel & diming for extra said content.

Wow, they release song packs for 500 points and people go nuts. There is already an online petition concerning the pricing.

Scaphism wrote:

I'm not sure if you were including game hardware in your $1000/year estimate, but even if you weren't, I'd guess you're well over that figure. Especially with your "Ooh shiny" complex.

Ouch man, where's the love? I game so you don't have to! Or something.

Seriously, I know for a fact exactly how much money I spend on video games themselves TO THE PENNY because every penny of it ends up on my taxes. Without hardware, $1,000 year isn't too far off, unless you add boardgaming and travel into it (Gencon costs me twice that all by its lonesome).

Hardware's iffy. From mid 2005 to mid 2006 I did OK. Then I bought a 360 and upgraded my PC. Oi.

rabbit wrote:
Scaphism wrote:

I'm not sure if you were including game hardware in your $1000/year estimate, but even if you weren't, I'd guess you're well over that figure. Especially with your "Ooh shiny" complex.

Ouch man, where's the love? I game so you don't have to! Or something.

Seriously, I know for a fact exactly how much money I spend on video games themselves TO THE PENNY because every penny of it ends up on my taxes. Without hardware, $1,000 year isn't too far off, unless you add boardgaming and travel into it (Gencon costs me twice that all by its lonesome).

Hardware's iffy. From mid 2005 to mid 2006 I did OK. Then I bought a 360 and upgraded my PC. Oi.

Much love Rabbit, much love.
I just called you out on it since you were the only one brave enough to bring it up during the Conference Call. And you do keep mentioning how quickly you move from one game to the next.

Hardware can be a real killer, it tends to be expensive and comes in bursts. I think travel has to get its own category - it might get tagged as "game-related" but its a separate expense.

rabbit wrote:

...unless you add boardgaming and travel into it (Gencon costs me twice that all by its lonesome).

Oh hey! Total tangent, but that twigged my brain: Been thinking of picking up Hive but not sure it's worth the $30. Have you played it?

souldaddy wrote:

It seems to me that Microsoft is turning the XBox 360 into a cellular economy. Cell phone companies have 3 consumer-unfriendly practices that I can't stand: #1) closed systems #2) traps to prevent customers from leaving, and #3) pricing based on the maximum amount customers are willing to pay without causing them to set the country on fire.

I hate #3 the most. It's not that I don't understand the basics of business and profit, I dislike the attitude to automatically push anything and everything to its limits. Will customers pay $1 per song? Then charge $1.50. Will they pay $2? Then charge $3. On and on. What this creates is a creeping, lingering distrust between a business and its customers.

The man directly responsible for early termination fee's and yearly contracts for cell phones sits in the office next to mine... you want me to punch him for you?

TheGameguru wrote:

The man directly responsible for early termination fee's and yearly contracts for cell phones sits in the office next to mine... you want me to punch him for you?

Slice his nuts off and kill his cat.

Trachalio wrote:
rabbit wrote:

...unless you add boardgaming and travel into it (Gencon costs me twice that all by its lonesome).

Oh hey! Total tangent, but that twigged my brain: Been thinking of picking up Hive but not sure it's worth the $30. Have you played it?

Hive's pretty cool, I've played it a few times with a friend who has it. If you are in a situation that you need 2 player games it would be well worth it, but if that only occurs 1-2 times a year then I'd probably say no. There is lots of replay value in it, which is real nice.

Zaque wrote:
Trachalio wrote:
rabbit wrote:

...unless you add boardgaming and travel into it (Gencon costs me twice that all by its lonesome).

Oh hey! Total tangent, but that twigged my brain: Been thinking of picking up Hive but not sure it's worth the $30. Have you played it?

Hive's pretty cool, I've played it a few times with a friend who has it. If you are in a situation that you need 2 player games it would be well worth it, but if that only occurs 1-2 times a year then I'd probably say no. There is lots of replay value in it, which is real nice.

I've been itching to buy a new board game lately and it's a three way tie between Hive, Robo Rally, and Ticket to Ride. Hive, being the cheapest of the 3 certainly makes my wallet happier but Robo Rally is so much fun!

Certis regarding that mission. I don't know if you've beat it yet or not, but having 3 harvesters off the bat makes a huge difference. Build up a large force of infantry and take over the city... You are garissoning the buildings before trying to move the construction yard in right? Use those features!