GWJ Conference Call Episode 30

Conference Call

Spider-Man 3, The Sam & Max Series Finale, Catan, An Interview With Big Huge Games' Brian Reynolds, Talking To Gamers, Threads, News and more!

We're very pleased to have Brian Reynolds, the CEO and lead designer at Big Huge Games on the show this week! Rise of Nations? Rise of Legends? Settlers of Catan on Xbox Live? Big new next-gen RPG? Yeah, that guy. Rob also gets to gush about his new PC, we talk about the new wave of gaming PR and much, much more!

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.

Sponsor
Liongames.com

The Links
Spider-Man 3
Sam & Max
Settlers of Catan
Big Huge Games
Toribash

Threads of the Week:
1) Splinter Cell Conviction Revealed - Rat Boy
2) Steam - New "Stuff" coming - Spunior
3) An open dialog on game dialogue - TheWanderer

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"One Big Holiday" My Morning Jacket The Wired CD - 0:33:29
"Small Comfort" - Apoplexia (Benoit Casey) - 0:51:10
"Terra" - Chico Correa & Electronic Band - 1:07:40

Comments

It seems Certis forgot to link to the new mouse I got. Here is my entire system.

E6420 Core 2 Duo
P5N32-Sli Premium/WiFi-AP
OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 800MHZ Platinum Rev II 2 Gig Dual Channel
EVGA Geforce 8800GTS 320MB
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 Hard drive x2
Pioneer Serial ATA 18X DVD-R DVR-212D
Antec Truepower Trio 650 Watt PSU
Antec Sonata II
Microsoft Habu

And of course the monitor I got a couple of months ago.
LG 226WA 22" LCD

Here are some pics. Yes I know, ugliest wallpaper ever!
IMAGE(http://www.gorgeousborges.net/file%20downloads/NewComp.jpg)

IMAGE(http://www.gorgeousborges.net/file%20downloads/Insidenewcomp.jpg)

Very jealous about the new system. Perhaps one day later this year I could join the new puter club. My old machine is topped out on upgrades piece mail. Hope one of you guys that actually has SoC board game gives the variation I sent to the email a try. Oh and rarely do any games really have good dialog. Script writers apparently want to work for TV Shows and Movies and not Games even though they are more interactive and need just as much good dialog as visual eye candy.

Edit add: Found a good article on PC Games and writing content of them.
http://arstechnica.com/articles/cult...

Gaald wrote:

Yes I know, ugliest wallpaper ever!

What? How can you see the wallpaper through the browser... or are you using a browser screenshot as..... Ooooooh.
Meatspace Wallpaper.

It looks pretty nifty! You should take a snapshot of it and arrange it so that your desktop background continues the pattern if you sit front and center!

The system looks very nice and I'm contemplating putting something similar together very soon.

Okay, I have coffee and listen to show now.

I didn't know IDgaf was a Dickensian street urchin.

Please sir, can I chainsaw some more?

Gaald, right there with you on the Gear's dialog. But upgrading your rig? Man, now I've got to upgrade mine. The 9500 pro just isn't kicking it like it used to.

Brian Reynolds!

You're building the dream, Certis! This week, Brian Reynolds, next week, Hilary Clinton!

*2nd time on this post as my computer ate my first attempt grrr*

LupusUmbrus and anyone who may have an AGP video card still. I have found that since I can not fully update everything I have to make it a nice PCI-E x16 based computer that I would just upgrade my video card to the best one I could find for an AGP slot.

Behold I found this and bought this and use this right now.

SAPPHIRE 100171L Radeon X1950PRO 512MB GDDR3 AGP 4X/8X HDCP Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102071

Thermaltake CL-G0086 Enter VGA Cooler - Retail
Which unfortunately does not look like it's on NewEgg anymore

The stock cooler on the card had some heating issues people said so I bought an after market cooler and it works just fine. 38-40 degrees C at idle and in the 60 range at load for a while. I consider that a win in my book for an air cooler.

It has increased my FPS greatly and the smoothness of my games. I play Company of Heroes at max rez and details and Vanguard at Balanced without any serious choppiness. Command and Conqueror 3 is maxed out just fine. Basic puter stats: 3.4Ghz Intel Prescott, 2 Gig Ram, 7200 RPM-HD so nothing uber or anything.

All in all it was a stop gap that lets me save money for later on this year for a brand new new system from case and everything inside. My girl then gets to inherit my current machine for her photo editing, web browsing and her yahoo games addiction.

Edit add: My Dream Machine if I can afford it:
Kilroy's Dream Machine 2007
https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/Wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=4489506&WishListTitle=New+Comp+2007

souldaddy wrote:

Brian Reynolds!

You're building the dream, Certis! This week, Brian Reynolds, next week, Burt Reynolds!

Fixed for more Awesome.

The robber: He's not mean, just misunderstood!

Catan emoticon-y things: So awesome. So much more awesome when playing Catan after Gears & Beers.

Catan expansions: They sound swell, but I'm hoping that if/when they come out I'll still be able to convince people to play without them.

Certis doesn't chainsaw you in the face. Certis likes to come from behind.

My impression of 1D: "Wellplayed wellplayed."

WoW: *yawn*

"HotSauceBoy"? Well, he put together some darn good games (such as Catan), so I'll cut him some slack.

I do think that folks on the internet could stand to be a little more... adult? This holds especially true when talking about their own business or when they -- officially or otherwise -- speak for others.

...Running a little long here, eh boys?

I played the first Splinter Cell. I bought Pandora, but didn't play it much. I think I then took a nap. I try to avoid literary quotes except in more intimate situations -- such as in strangling someone from behind. If a guard in Splinter Cell or Metal Gear would respond to noticing me with "How now, a rat?" I might just let him kill me. He'd deserve it for being so cool.

I think I launched Steam last... September?

Everyone likes Wandy! He actually kind of reminds me of Certis (he kind of looks like Certis' avatar and kind of has the same voice), but... better? Yeah, we'll just go with that.

I hear Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday are going to be replacing Uematsu and the like for future JRPGs.

The Gears of War dialogue was terrible. Any dialogue that sounds like it was written for Kurt Russell is bad. Film noir seems a good genre to look at for dialogue because it cared about dialogue. Action movies are built around ignoring things like writing, plot, and cerebral function above the level of invertibrates. Sure, the expectations for Gears were very low, but the dialogue did no better than to meet those expectations. It gets a B- in a remedial class.

Really bad game dialogue? Do sports game anouncers count?

I think part of the point of the thread and the articles linked in it is that even starting from a level without dialogue (Pac-Man, Joust, Pong, etc.), it's about time we pushed the envelope and expanded in this direction. It's, in fact, probably the area where the industry can most easily and cheaply improve the final product. Currently, we seem focused on the things that have the highest cost and relatively slim returns (I'm thinking about graphics here) -- at least in that great writing and dialogue are a large factor in what makes games timeless, while great graphics are dull within the year.

What kind of emails are you looking for? I can forward you some spam about some nice girls, if that's what you want.

Edwin wrote:

Hot Sauce Boy

Teh noob.

I'm sure Rabbit has already berated you for this, but the details you presented about the Cities and Knights expansion were a bit wrong. You can read more about it here, but basically the "warriors" thing that Gaald mentioned is actually part of Cities and Knights.

Regarding the question of whether or not it could be downloadable content, my guess would be not. It makes a number of changes to fundamental game mechanics that would require major interface changes, so my guess would be that if we ever see it on XBLA, it will be as a sequel. (I would LOVE to see that happen, though.)

The Seafarers expansion, however, could more easily be implemented as DLC for the existing game, since what it does is allow for a wide variety of board layouts, and the only real mechanic change is the addition of ship building. However, ships basically just function like roads over water tiles, so the amount of interface work needed would be quite minimal.

You know, why is it every time I hear my name called out in these podcasts, I wonder what the hell I did wrong?

The problem with Splinter Cell is the problem that killed X-Files... it's no longer about the theme, it's about the character. They shouldn't put Splinter Cell out to pasture, they should retire Sam.

Also, I have to agree with Gaald about the dialogue in Gears. It fit the mood and genre of the game, and it was well acted to boot. It's not Shakespeare, but it was exactly what the game called for.

zeroKFE wrote:

Also, I have to agree with Gaald about the dialogue in Gears. It fit the mood and genre of the game, and it was well acted to boot. It's not Shakespeare, but it was exactly what the game called for.

How can anyone hate on the sublime genius of the Cole Train? "The Cole Train is a smooth ride, baby!"

I really enjoyed the podcast. I am glad you guys mentioned the recent "bombs" that Brad Mcquaid has dropped on the Vanguard forums. Over the past few months he has been renowned for being uncharacteristically "candid" and forthcoming on the SOE forums. His recent post really is a great example of Devs speaking directly to the community. Regardless of whether you think Vanguard is a big "stinker" (which it is), it is refreshing to hear a Dev speak directly to the community in this manner...

http://forums.station.sony.com/vg/po...

I don't know much about "community" but I do know that David Jaffe is mostly an immature juvenile jerk.

This works OK for him in God of War, since the game is really just an immature juvenile power trip for a jerk.

It's not really all that valuable a life skill for other arenas though. I don't see any reason to really pay attention to what he has to say.

LobsterMobster wrote:

The problem with Splinter Cell is the problem that killed X-Files... it's no longer about the theme, it's about the character. They shouldn't put Splinter Cell out to pasture, they should retire Sam.

Throw in two ultimatums and you've nailed the perfect Splinter Cell recipe: No more Shanghai, and there must be at least two years between releases.

"It feels so good in the hand and the response is unbelievable"

Oh man... So hard to not OOCT...

Danjo Olivaw wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

The problem with Splinter Cell is the problem that killed X-Files... it's no longer about the theme, it's about the character. They shouldn't put Splinter Cell out to pasture, they should retire Sam.

Throw in two ultimatums and you've nailed the perfect Splinter Cell recipe: No more Shanghai, and there must be at least two years between releases.

I'd be interested in hearing what kind of input Tom Clancy had in this one, since allegedly all the games that carry his name have to go through him. He even tried to nix Sam Fischer's goggles in the original, since he felt that there wasn't a set of goggles in the real world that can do both night vision and thermal.

Elysium lies.. he has not "buckled down" in WoW. The man is the definition of alt-itis. I will quote him:

"How can you truly understand a quest until you've done it the sixth time"

No discipline. I am ashamed.

Rob's right about Gears BTW. The dialogue did fit perfectly with the game. No bullsh*t emo crap.

Stylez wrote:

Rob's right about Gears BTW. The dialogue did fit perfectly with the game. No bullsh*t emo crap.

I think my butt had better dialogue with my toilet this morning. It probably took about as long to make.

ender wrote:

I really enjoyed the podcast. I am glad you guys mentioned the recent "bombs" that Brad Mcquaid has dropped on the Vanguard forums. Over the past few months he has been renowned for being uncharacteristically "candid" and forthcoming on the SOE forums. His recent post really is a great example of Devs speaking directly to the community. Regardless of whether you think Vanguard is a big "stinker" (which it is), it is refreshing to hear a Dev speak directly to the community in this manner...

http://forums.station.sony.com/vg/po...

I read some of those forum posts.. my favorite was the fact that all Vanguard servers have a scheduled nightly "restart" O.o

Can you say memory leak?

I haven't listened yet - always Thursdays on the way to work, however, I'm excited that Big Huge Games is Brian Reynolds. I assume that he's the same guy that worked at Firaxis in the late 90's and designed/co-designed my favorite game ever - Gettysburg!

I can't wait to hear it!

TheGameguru wrote:

I read some of those forum posts.. my favorite was the fact that all Vanguard servers have a scheduled nightly "restart" O.o

Can you say memory leak?

Yup a huge one that they recently shored up with wood planks and bubblegum. On the weekends they don't restart the servers so the longest I've seen a server up for is about 72 hours.

Thanks for the love Demi. Your membership card is in the mail! The discussion on the thread was outstanding.

Gaald, your rig is sweet. I love that you have a total of four input devices and the equivalent of a turbo gauge mounted on your desktop. But seriously, who yacked on your wall? Clearly you've been quarantined to the basement by a higher authority.

I think I need a basement right now more than I need a new rig.

TheWanderer wrote:

Thanks for the love Demi. Your membership card is in the mail! The discussion on the thread was outstanding.

Butt pats all around! Yay inappropriate touching!

I thought the dialogue by Fenix and Dom were fine and more or less spot on. Baird was annoying but tolerable. Cole? Worse than Arnold in Commando. I couldn't get his dialogue past my suspension of disbelief.