GWJ Conference Call Episode 36

Conference Call

The Second Lap of Forza 2, Red Star, Tenchu Z, An Interview With Bioshock Lead Designer Ken Levine, The State of PC Gaming, Thread of The Week and more!

Today we have a very special interview with Irrational's Ken Levine, the Lead Designer on Bioshock and special friend of the site. Why? Because I say so. We also talk about the PC gaming scene, hot game characters and a little bit about Alan Wake.

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
Forza 2
The Red Star
Bioshock
Del.icio.us Grab Bag o' Fun

Thread of the Week:
1) Game Characters: Which is Worse - Duoae

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"George" (Benoit Casey) - 0:33:13
"Los Pistoleros" Ian Dorsch - 0:56:40
"Impeller" Ian Dorsch - 1:20:37

Comments

Holy cow!! Is GWJ being noticed in high places or what!!

Downloading...

Badass.

Podunk wrote:

Badass.

Los Pistoleros kick your butt, los pistoleros kick your face, los pistoleros kick your ass into outer space!
Los pistoleros are badass, I know that.

Funny, I just got Demi's package today in the mail. Then I download this, and what do I hear?

"IT SUCKS ON THE PS2."

  • Dropping it while its hot
  • San Francisco Slap & Tickle II: The Revenge
  • Red Star (comic)
    The Red Star was originally scheduled for release for the PlayStation 2 in the fall of 2004. The first time that gamers could get their hands on the Red Star was in August 2004 on the Official PlayStation Magazine Demo, along with an XBOX demo. Soon later though, the maker of the game, Acclaim Studios went bankrupt. XS games and Jak of All Games picked up where Acclaim left off.
  • Re: Tenchu Z - From Software/MS published it, K2 LLC developed it. I got my copy on the way.

[u]Future PC games:[/u]

  • Hellgate London
  • Company of Heroes Opposing Fronts
  • Quake Wars
  • Crysis
  • Team Fortress 2
  • Portal
  • HL2: Ep2
  • Bioshock
  • StarCraft II. Someday.
  • The Witcher?
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Unreal Tournament 2007?
  • Empire Earth III?
  • Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Haze
  • Frontlines: Fuel of War
  • Fallout 3
  • World in Conflict
  • Tabula Rasa
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (Capcom is on Steam)
  • Spore
  • Re: CoH - Copies sold: , Dev team size:
  • Re: Elysium 2000 PC games: Dues Ex and The Operative: No One Lives Forever was on PS2. Unreal Tournament and Quake III was on Dreamcast and PS2. Sims is on every platform. Counter-Strike was on the Xbox as well.
  • Re: Shadowrun from Ken Levine: Mitch Gitelman was interviewed on Major Nelson's podcast and will argue deeply with you against it. Either way...
    IMAGE(http://img516.imageshack.us/img516/5958/ohsnapsw1.jpg)
  • Re: Gaald - IMAGE(http://static.last.fm/groupavatar_thumbnails/db2290ffdf312c65bc77ea0faff35b48.gif)
Vrikk wrote:

Funny, I just got Demi's package today in the mail.

Maybe you should switch to the "Sunset Wine of the Month" club instead.

All those additions you guys are creaming about in Tomb Raider Anniversary were in Legends, which is excellent. Play it.

Dang that old Red Star demo was sweet cooperatively. Live Arcade, please maybe?

Should PC gaming relegate itself to a hardcore niche? I hope not, because those would be games I'd like to play and I can't justify the cost.

Re: Elysium 2000 PC games: Dues Ex and The Operative: No One Lives Forever was on PS2. Unreal Tournament and Quake III was on Dreamcast and PS2. Sims is on every platform. Counter-Strike was on the Xbox as well.

Yes, but none of those were co-developed for the consoles, which, I think, is the pretty obvious point. In fact, that they got ported to the consoles, despite numerous problems, reinforces the point that 2000 was an amazing year for gaming.

Vrikk wrote:

Funny, I just got Demi's package today

It was good for me too, baby.

Then I download this, and what do I hear?

"IT SUCKS ON THE PS2."

:(

It didn't look good on my TV, man. How does it look on yours? If you are not satisfied with your purchase, please let me know so I can blame Certis in a timely fashion.

Elysium wrote:
Re: Elysium 2000 PC games: Dues Ex and The Operative: No One Lives Forever was on PS2. Unreal Tournament and Quake III was on Dreamcast and PS2. Sims is on every platform. Counter-Strike was on the Xbox as well.

Yes, but none of those were co-developed for the consoles, which, I think, is the pretty obvious point. In fact, that they got ported to the consoles, despite numerous problems, reinforces the point that 2000 was an amazing year for gaming.

There is a big distinction from what you said in the podcast of being made for a console and what you say here of being co-developed for both systems.

Starting at 56 minutes in you say "None of those titles were made for a console also" and then you give your exception of Quake 3. It's just a matter of what you consider the meaning of "made for a console".

I will say this, the point wasn't obvious enough for me to pick up, and I was paying close attention. I'd like to do more digging to see if those games were indeed ported over after the fact or if they were being made simultaneously. It may lean either way as both UT and Q3 were released almost 11 months to the day from their PC version on consoles.

It's just a matter of what you consider the meaning of "made for a console".

Oh God, I'm not going to get into a debate over semantics. You can take my word for what I meant or not.

If you get any evidence that those games were created from the ground up with console design philosophies in mind, then we'll have something to go on, but I think you can save yourself the trouble with Sims, CS and probably Deus Ex. Those games are quintessential PC games, known as PC games, and that I completely forgot their mediocre ports doesn't really make me think I missed much besides a little minutia.

I'm not arguing with you on that. Those games were PC designed and shoe horned onto consoles. I was arguing availability on consoles, which is what I thought you said. I was just curious about their designed philosophies after you mentioned it.

You should totally invite Ken Levine to appear as a guest of the show sometimes. He just volunteered!

Thread of the week again? Must think up another topic for the next podcast...

Unfortunately i'll have to listen to the podcast tonight after i get home from work... damn work. Why does it have to take all day?

It didn't look good on my TV, man. How does it look on yours? If you are not satisfied with your purchase, please let me know so I can blame Certis in a timely fashion.

Nah, it looks as good as a PS2 game can I'd imagine. But it's no Gears of War or Forza 2, dammit! BLAME CERTIS. It's all his fault!

Scaphism wrote:

Los Pistoleros kick your butt, los pistoleros kick your face, los pistoleros kick your ass into outer space!
Los pistoleros are badass, I know that.

4:53-4:57. Mr. Sands, I have to applaud you for this outburst - it should seem obvious for anyone who has thought for any lenght of time about how blizzard make their games, that a game does not need to be top of the line to sell big time. It merely needs to be not broken, fun and deep. Also, i do hope I am crediting the right "Shawn".

"DAAAYYYYTOOONAAA lets go away lets go away!"
"DAAAAYYTTOONNNAAA!"

worst music evar.

It will be hard to ditch pcgaming if there is Battlefield 3 next year.

I asked my Relic contact but they would spill the beans on copies sold.

Allie Henze wrote:

We can't release the number of copies sold, but the development team was anywhere from 30-60 people at different stages of production.

Wait, he likes being a psuedo-pretentious psuedo-intellectual, and he's not a goodjer regular already? Can you gun for front page without ever signing up?

I'll agree that Gears doesn't make me want to hit the gym or anything, but Fight Night Round 3 definitely does. I think it's in part because my character looks a lot like me, and because he's my height and weight. They make him look tougher than I am, but not by much, so it sort of hints at what I could/should be if I didn't skip exercise as often as I do.

Well I'm definetly downloading the new file once I get home tonight.
probably listen to it in the morning tomorrow as tonight is LOTRO night with my buddy

re: PC Gaming.

I personally dont think PC gaming is going to "die" but its certainly not in a good place right now. I look at the release lists and for the most part its titles that I'll more than likely purchase on my 360 or PS3 over the PC. To me the PC has become a place where I play MMORPG's and the occasional RTS for a few min or so.

Just looking at the "tone" of this website before the arrival of the Xbox this place was mostly a PC first Console second forum.. now its almost 100% Console. PC talk is pretty much limited to MMORPG's and the occasional Online Shooter.. but now that most of the Online Shooters are going Console Primary/PC secondary we're probably even going to see less and less of that.

I rarely see much RTS talk here.. which leads me to believe that RTS's are played for about a week or so then either played offline or hardly at all.

Casual PC gaming ?.. what happens when Gametap comes to Xbox Live next year?

I think the constant pushing of "extreme" hardware for PC gaming has really marginalized PC gaming.. when people start reading about the hype of the next big PC game its seemingly always about how "advanced" its graphics engine is and how "beefy" a PC you'll need to run it.

That being said.. Developers like Blizzard show that given enough talent and "freedom" there still is tons of money to be made in the PC gaming market.. its just ironically even more competitive than it used to be.. and not so much from traditional competition but the changing taste of your avg. video gamer and the increasingly niche atmosphere of PC gaming.

TheGameguru wrote:

.. what happens when Gametap comes to Xbox Live next year?

Are you just saying that hypothetically or is there rumors of this?

Irongut wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

.. what happens when Gametap comes to Xbox Live next year?

Are you just saying that hypothetically or is there rumors of this?

no Hypothetically.. in fact I seriously doubt something like Gametap makes any sense on Live.. I'm sorta just theorizing that more and more casual types of games existing on Live et. al.

I'm pretty sure the phrase 'slap & tickle' arose during a Halo Zombie Skate and I subsequently created the first get together thread with it when we got together in Rochester at DS and Katherin's place. Mmmmm...Sprinkle Star Sprites. Arovin's a jerk for treating me to that and then taking it away!
So you can pretty much blame/thank me for the use of 'slap & tickle.'

Before Frankie Said, "Relax..." Edition

Forza 2 is on my list. Please do not feed the gear-headed bears. And if you're too scared of hype, wait another two weeks and see who's still making lots of left turns.

Not Forza? Atelier Iris 3, the new Naruto, Biker Mice from Mars and Tenchu Z is what I've got waiting. Overlord is also on my list.

No Lara for me. Not even in the snow half-dressed.

There was a very old lady at my church who tried to tell us that playing Pacman was committing the sin of gluttony about a year or so ago. The pastor set her straight. I bet she'd freak out if she knew about this.

Tenchu Z - I like these games, but it's for the story. It felt a lot more like one of those old Silent Justice films than any other ninja game I've ever played. For good or ill. Ninja Gaiden is a super-hero game with chopsticks stabbed into it. And just because you guys can't restrain your competitive instincts doesn't mean the game has a problem. If they fixed that unholy simalcra of a camera that they had in Wrath of Heaven then it's worth every cent.

State of PC Gaming - The disconnect between what it takes to play games and what else people use PC's for is far stronger than I think you see. And I don't know who lost their temper, but I'm SOOOO with you on it and ditto with whoever looked up the 2000 list. We've had a couple real RTS's, but where are the real sims? I don't want Halo. I want Mechwarrior 5, go ram it. Where the hell is a real sequel to Red Baron? A REAL Wingcommander game?

Starcraft 2 is going to be a huge watershed here. I have been waiting for this game for a long time, and I'm not the only one. And if those system specs are up your ass somewhere, this is going to be a bumpy ride.

Ken Levine - Very cool.

Vista - not happening yet. Not for real software development, either.

Thread of the Week - I would so do this topic with you, but I want to do it head to head live. I have Skype, and after tomorrow morning you'll have fair warning as to what you're getting into.

And I don't know who lost their temper, but I'm SOOOO with you on it and ditto with whoever looked up the 2000 list. We've had a couple real RTS's, but where are the real sims? I don't want Halo. I want Mechwarrior 5, go ram it. Where the hell is a real sequel to Red Baron? A REAL Wingcommander game?

That was Elysium, on both counts. I love how our voices ring clear and different to me, but no one really knows who is who. I often have the same problem listening to other shows.

Thread of the Week - I would so do this topic with you, but I want to do it head to head live. I have Skype, and after tomorrow morning you'll have fair warning as to what you're getting into.

Yowza!

I just listened to the podcast, great one guys.

Sean (Shawn? Not sure which one) You said you just call me Dale? Did you know that my avatar's name is Dale?

Duoae wrote:

I just listened to the podcast, great one guys.

Sean (Shawn? Not sure which one) You said you just call me Dale? Did you know that my avatar's name is Dale?

:)

I did and I didn't. Awesome.