GWJ Conference Call Episode 41

Conference Call

World in Conflict, E3 Final Thoughts, PS3 Shenanigans, The Topic Contest Winner, Yor Emails and more!

Not only do we announce the winner of the Topic contest this week, we dive right in! We also discuss the phantom PS3 price drop, some E3 bits we missed and a bunch of emails including a new audio entry!

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.

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"Small Comfort" - Apoplexia (Benoit Casey) - 0:23:45
"George" (Benoit Casey) - 0:53:27
"Luna Machine" (Benoit Casey) 1:26:06

Comments

World in Conflict - Sounds fun as hell. I'll have to check it out for sure. It sounds a bit like the human side of Natural Selection.

Overlord - I thought the end was great. Really unpredictable and a great twist. I did keyboard/mouse the whole way through and loved it.

Sony PS3 Hub-bub - I'm still curious what Konami and SquareEnix think about this. They didn't like that the PS3 only got dropped to $499 and now with this stunt, they can't be happy. I'm still crossing my fingers for MGS4 and FF13 on the 360. *knock on wood*

Crysis - Still havn't looked into this. Totally will now.

Bioshock - I hope it sells well. It's a day one purchase for me at least on the PC. PC users have to wait 3 extra days? Laaaaaaaaaaame.

Contest - Grats to Cybertrick. Pick something good.

Hype - The best thing to work for me on hype is word of mouth. When I start hearing "Oh this game is awesome!" or "Oh you should totally play this with me!" I feel the need to be there. And I need to hear that from real people, not adds or people on the TV. People I know.

"Less is more" - I totally agree with this. The reason is because I'm such a hype whore. When I get that little tidbit, I feel I have to know more. Take the Cloverfield trailer before Transformers. Give me a little hint of what it is but keep me guessing and I will hunt down clues on every corner of the internet.

Alpha Consumers - Hahah "COME TO US YOU NEED US."

One thing about the AI and graphics and such: I don't think we'll see much of a change until this generation of gamers becomes the next generation. Gaming is still not taken as a serious artform and the first video gamers are just hitting middleage. When we get gamers in every generation, I can see a need for more advancements in other areas such as graphics.

Great show today! Great e-mails too.

Disappointing links in the show notes. Here's a wag of the finger.

IMAGE(http://www.destructoid.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/09/colbert.jpg)

World in Conflict
Crysis Not the video Gaald mentions, because who really wants to see that?

Yay.... I almost won...

You don't slowly fall out with a friend for sleeping with his girlfriend.

Hee hee, Appleton!

Sorry for the crow Rob, but I had to send that in (Matt = me). I agree, I thought that the PS3 was going to have massive failures. Now if they could just sell them??

I have found that I don't need the hype. I don't spend much on games that I tend to take less of a chance on games that I am not sure about. I am not the alpha consumer, but I am one that they tell about the game, so maybe I am not the target of the hype. I DID buy GOW on launch, and soon discovered that it wasn't really for me (MP, co-op campaign was awesome). Judging on that game's financial performance and continued success as the top xbl game tells me that it was not over hyped. I will agree that Halo3 is underhyped, mainly because there is inherent hype in the community. MS may feel that there is no need to hype it as much as other games. It is not hyped nearly as much as GOW or Crackdown, by people such as Major Nelson. I feel that I can put all three of those in the same category of AAA exclusives.

Sony hasn't sold enough PS3's to have a high failure rate. Mr. Jingles could crank out defect free PS3's at the rate they are being sold.

Ironically, I thought that Scott Bakula sounded like he was the only one who wasn't phoning it in with Star Trek Legacy. Game still sucked, though.

Sony hasn't sold enough PS3's to have a high failure rate. Mr. Jingles could crank out defect free PS3's at the rate they are being sold.

Not true. Failure rate is independent of sales. And, while we like to draw PS3 as a monumental failure it has sold considerable quantities, just not met expectations. Considering it was clear within weeks that the 360 had reliability issues, there is plenty of data points from which to draw failure rate conclusions about the PS3.

wordsmythe wrote:

Hee hee, Appleton!

Wha?

Rat Boy wrote:

Ironically, I thought that Scott Bakula sounded like he was the only one who wasn't phoning it in with Star Trek Legacy. Game still sucked, though.

I didn't get far enough to find out. Putting the disc back into the GameFly sleeve, I was almost afraid its suckage would spill out onto the carpet.

Odds are that your nasty rash was actually caused by WoW. Sorry to let you down.

I, too, liked the Brothers in Arms trailer. But then I'm not entirely burnt out on the WWII shooter front, believe it or not. I know I rag on MMOs and RTSes for being the same thing over and over, but I guess WWII is just intrinsically more compelling than the stuff that comes out in those other genres so often.

Haha, I'm an alpha consumer. Too bad I'm also a cheap ass who only runs his A/C to keep his 360 from overheating. To tell the truth, I'd say my ladyfriends are the true consumers of my income.

Piracy and protection: Another reason I like my 360.

And let's leave Scott Bakula alone. He has things hard enough as it is.

Zaphod wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

Hee hee, Appleton!

Wha?

Nothing, nevermind. It's just that my family is from your state, which also happens to be the main vacation destination for Chicago, where I'm from.

FIBs!

My topics were way better than talking about hype!

Especially topic #5.

Demiurge wrote:

Putting the disc back into the GameFly sleeve, I was almost afraid its suckage would spill out onto the carpet.

Suckage does not spill, it oozes. I hope you washed your hands.

Being a slacker and just now listening to the podcast. So a little late but better late than never for some.

World in Conflict is amazing and absolutely revolutionary in the RTS genre. When it comes to Real Time Tactical games (RTT) it is simply one of the best I have ever played. Especially with the multiple game modes that I have been able to play in the Closed and Open beta. There are a lot of thing you can play with. Oh BTW you will have issues if you have a bad connection ping because it will pretend that you can play then just cut you out. On the matter of secondary abilities your hotkeys are your friends. You must use the hotkeys for these attacks. Selecting, Clicking Icon and then click enemy unit honestly takes too long. I would give it a 9 out of 10 especially if the final release is even more polished.

Sony screws the gamers again. Nothing new there. At this point any positive spin on Sony announcements without solid proof of actual good will is completely naive. IMO Sony is like the darkness while SOE is the only glimmer of light carrying the name. Many will of course disagree with me.

So in the advice of the owners of GWJ, "Buy the 60GB PS3 now as soon as you can and do not wait for later versions.", is this correct? BTW there is limited instruction out there that I can find on upgrading PS3 HDD with a standard 2.5 HDD. http://www.slashgear.com/ps3-hard-dr...

Force Unleashed sounds like a pure rental. I don't know how many time you can play this game and not get extremely bored with it.

As for Crysis I think you guys really missed the entire point of what he was trying to show us. He was showing us the AI and how it even controls the animals in the game and not just the enemy units. It's a demonstration of how powerful the AI is. Certainly they maybe could have showed us a little more but honestly that was already shown on multiple previous videos. Combat we have seen and aliens also. There isn't much to see really. So like I said, the dev was attempting to prove that the AI was more powerful than your standard FPS game. I personally saw his point and was impressed. My 2 cents on that.

The Simpsons - 1989.

Mercenaries 2. Unless there is some miracle control system and something below the surface what I see, all I see is a sub par FPS type game. I honestly was not all that impressed with the videos I have seen of the game. *shrug* I'd rather go play BF2 or BF2 Mods instead of playing this game. Should people buy a game just for the sake of buying a new game? Eh. I think you guys should discuss more about why the game looks good and why it's special compared to the many other FPS games out there. Compare it to other FPS console games and also PC games and honestly see if it's next gen and anything special. Just my advice if you are going to even talk about a game at all, feel free to ignore it.

Bioshock I believe will do relatively well just because of the huge support it is getting from not only every single gaming media outfit out there but it also seems to have had a large fan base for a while now.

So the E3 you wanted is exactly what E3 was pre-2007 just minus about 30% of the clutter, 10 ft more clearance between existing booths, no booth babes and no bottom floor level filled with no name or minute companies. Also only media is invited so better sign up for that media pass.

If you do not have a lot of money then you real only possible major advertisement avenue is to have a kick ass web server, really cater a good website to the community and rely on viral marketing on the internet. Then place very important and key advertisements in only certain gaming magazines and attempting to get game interviews and reviews in said magazines. Really no different than the strategy might be for politicians being elected. Lots of leg work and lots of conventions just trying to peddle your wares.

WoW Expansion. I watched my friend play it for 30 min and thought to myself, "Yup, same game in new clothing. Nothing special to see here." and I never cared about it again. I played the damn game for about 2 years solid and I had no interest to start again. To each their own.

There are game series out there that started out as little name games with very little media and then blew up in popularity with the fans and only then did the media pick it up. Katamari Damacy is just one example of that. Moderate success in Japan and started out with only average media coverage. When the fans got a hold of it and it started to spread like wild fire then the media started to jump on the game even more.

Graphics is a huge part of any game in the modern day. Having subpar graphics is a negative point for most consumers these days. Mercenaries 2 is the most recent example in a game that might be good but visually looks PS2 in generation. It might not be a PS2 level game but it "looks" like one. Hence compared to all the other FPS games coming out it looks sub par even though it might not be.

... I'll have to edit this post later when I can finish the podcast. (-27:00)

Zaphod wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

Hee hee, Appleton!

Wha?

Nothing, nevermind. It's just that my family is from your state, which also happens to be the main vacation destination for Chicago, where I'm from.[/quote]

Yah, my family on my fathers side all live in Chicago. Was actually down there Saturday for my cousins wedding at the Newberry Library. I find it funny when people talk about locations around Appleton or father south as "up north". IMO you don't get "up north" till you pass Green Bay.

So the E3 you wanted is exactly what E3 was pre-2007 just minus about 30% of the clutter, 10 ft more clearance between existing booths, no booth babes and no bottom floor level filled with no name or minute companies. Also only media is invited so better sign up for that media pass.

I do want the bottom floor (Kentia Hall) with the no name companies, but other than that you've pretty much go it. You say it like it's a bad thing.

Katamari Damacy is just one example of that. Moderate success in Japan and started out with only average media coverage. When the fans got a hold of it and it started to spread like wild fire then the media started to jump on the game even more.

There will always be the Blair Witch Projects and My Big Fat Greek Weddings out there, because every good rule has exceptiongs, but there are far more System Shock 2s, Beyond Good And Evils, Psychonauts, etc. than there are Katamari Damacys.

Hey Guys,

Thanks for playing my question and giving your thoughts on AI/emergence vs. graphics/audio. Basically I heard validation of the costs being an issue, and the difficulty of convincing a producer to pour money into "a smarter experience".

I also liked the comment of "when graphics get as good as they're going to get", because I think there are a lot of sides to that issue. One is (of the hardcore enthusiast) that graphics will never be as good as they can be until we have that photorealistic virtual reality, a la "The Matrix".

I tend to believe that graphics have been good enough for some time.

Case in point, I have a Wii and an XBOX 360, both on an HD television set. I show a game like XBOX's "Oblivion" to my wife (whose last big game experience was Super Mario 3) and then compare it to Nintendo's "Zelda: Twilight Princess", and then I proceed to crow about the supposed graphical superiority of Microsoft's machine.

She just looks at me, nonplussed, and says she can't see a difference.

This is such a huge point, that in the eyes of someone who hasn't been following the graphics arms race, there really is no difference. Video game graphics are video game graphics. Yet my wife refuses to pick up an XBOX 360 controller because she's overwhelmed by the complexity of the controls, and asks me if it's possible to get the old Mario games for the Wii.

So for her, and I believe all the casual gamers out there, the graphics are really a non-issue. They just want to have fun with the games!

The frustrating thing for me is that the people who by in large have the power (read: money) to work out AI that lives and breathes are still "chasing the dragon" in regards to optimizing the visual aspects of their games at the expense of, dare I say, FUN.

Geeze, and I just wanted to write "Great show, keep up the good work!" Anyways, thanks again and I'm looking forward to many more great sessions!

-

Jack Nilssen, the Healthy Gamer

Elysium wrote:
So the E3 you wanted is exactly what E3 was pre-2007 just minus about 30% of the clutter, 10 ft more clearance between existing booths, no booth babes and no bottom floor level filled with no name or minute companies. Also only media is invited so better sign up for that media pass.

I do want the bottom floor (Kentia Hall) with the no name companies, but other than that you've pretty much go it. You say it like it's a bad thing.

Well I do like intimate conventions and have had my fair share of them however I also like a few really huge loud and crowded conventions that are exciting and filled with hype and energy. Would the Super Bowl be anything special if it wasn't for the huge amount of media coverage? Would the Sundance Film Festival be anything special if the media hadn't taken an interest in it? That's the way I look at E3. There are a whole heck of a lot of conventions out there that are smaller and more intimate where game companies can showcase their games at in a lower key atmosphere. It happens throughout the year. E3 however is something different. It's the mega convention super bowl of electronics gaming conventions. Anything less than super bowl level hype and excitement seems to just be a waste of time and space. It's the only convention of it's type and it happens only once a year.

I would like to see it continue in some similar state. Though I would impose a few limits to space needs to more than anything force the gaming industry to look into better presentation in smaller spaces. And I have nothing against booth babes, just put a cap of two babes max at any booth at any given time. Limit swag to certain items than can fit in certain size bags. If you want to give away huge items then hold drawings. There are a lot of regulations that can be put on the companies to not only make E3 less cluttered but also improve the quality of their presentations. So you still have the energy and the hype and the media coverage, it's just presented in a neater better package. What I saw at E3 this year was too reserved for my tastes. Also let the public back in again but set a max number of tickets to be sold. First get your media in and then it's first come first server for maybe 5000 more tickets and make them event tickets not daily. So if you want to come to E3 and not be media you have to shell out the bucks for a pass for all four days.

I guess I have a unique vision of conventions since I used to run conventions for an international club. After coordinating an international draw convention with close to 1000 attendance over four days periods you start to realize just how different large conventions are to small ones and what the appeal is to them. So many things to look at from convention space to hotel blocks, event times and management, distance to restaurants, the airport, public transportation, security and the list goes on and on. Having their convention in a warehouse that had a whole slew of hotels spread out around the area hosting and housing all the companies and such is a huge pain in the ass. Much much better to have a location that has huge convention space, separate into sections and has hotels nearby and large enough to house all company, convention staff and guests with constant shuttle services if needed. All presentations should be help in the main convention space building in smaller break out rooms. The only thing that should be going on a the hotels are specific company gatherings and parties. And those they have to set up themselves with the hotel they are staying at. They should not be under the convention banner with them and should sign their own hotel contracts for their own events in their hotels.

So while I appreciate that you guys would like to see a more intimate E3 I think that vision is a bit misplaced for that event. There are other events that suit that more intimate feel all over the country all the time. You might not get the large assortment of gaming companies that E3 has but you can't have your cake and eat it too in this case. These might be better for what you desire in a gaming convention.

Katamari Damacy is just one example of that. Moderate success in Japan and started out with only average media coverage. When the fans got a hold of it and it started to spread like wild fire then the media started to jump on the game even more.

There will always be the Blair Witch Projects and My Big Fat Greek Weddings out there, because every good rule has exceptions, but there are far more System Shock 2s, Beyond Good And Evils, Psychonauts, etc. than there are Katamari Damacys.

This is true. There are many games in the history of gaming that are very good and did not get the media they deserved. I just pointed that one out to show that what was said in the podcast is not true in all cases which was not stated all that clearly.

Good Show guys. I liked the more calm discussion on those topics.

Elysium wrote:

FIBs!

Just because you hokies can't drive the speed limit is no reason to get angry at us for passing you.

Zaphod wrote:
me wrote:
Zaphod wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

Hee hee, Appleton!

Wha?

Nothing, nevermind. It's just that my family is from your state, which also happens to be the main vacation destination for Chicago, where I'm from.

Yah, my family on my fathers side all live in Chicago. Was actually down there Saturday for my cousins wedding at the Newberry Library. I find it funny when people talk about locations around Appleton or father south as "up north". IMO you don't get "up north" till you pass Green Bay.

Yeah, we also call anything south of I-80 in Illinois "down south." Folks are... different down there. (Deliverance, anyone? :razz:)

Newberry, though, eh? That must have been a really nice wedding! Their used book sale is next week. I usually have to hail a cab to get my boxes of books home after that one.

PS3 emulation - someone said something along the lines of, "If you want to be sure your PS2 games will work, you need this console" refering to the soon to be unavailable PS3 model with hardware emulation.

Nope. What you need is to keep your PS2 for PS2 games, buy an XBox 360 for the next-gen, and wait another year or two for the PS3 to live or die.

buffcorephil wrote:

wait another year or two for the PS3 to live or die.

Ah, but to live is to die, isn't it?