GWJ Conference Call Episode 57

Conference Call

Jumping Off Buildings, Guitar Hero 3, Mini-Games In Big Games, Rock Band, Game Remakes, A Texas Flood, Your Emails and more!

This week Rob reveals some disturbing tendencies that have his mother very worried. The crew also talks about mini-games and their impact on AAA titles, Rock Band key parties and a lot of emails from Texas! 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

"PodunkStump" Ian Dorsch - 0:15:43
"Texas Flood" - Guitar Hero - As Made famous by Stevie Ray Vaughan - 0:40:3

Comments

Our new file host (libsyn) is down at the moment, so the show is hosted on the rabbit cave for now.

So here are some of the pictures I said I would post about my day of falling. Hope you all enjoyed the show! All the pictures are from separate jumps but man they go well together.

I think I can fly!
IMAGE(http://www.gorgeousborges.net/file%20downloads/Rob2b.jpg)

Uh oh, maybe not!
IMAGE(http://www.gorgeousborges.net/file%20downloads/Rob3b.jpg)

Where did the bag go!
IMAGE(http://www.gorgeousborges.net/file%20downloads/Rob5b.jpg)

Ahhhhh, there it is.
IMAGE(http://www.gorgeousborges.net/file%20downloads/Rob6b.jpg)

Hmmmm, that was fun!
IMAGE(http://www.gorgeousborges.net/file%20downloads/Rob7b.jpg)

Weeeeee!
IMAGE(http://www.gorgeousborges.net/file%20downloads/Rob1b.jpg)

What a day.
IMAGE(http://www.gorgeousborges.net/file%20downloads/Tower4.jpg)

Just to inform you about voice in Rock Band, I've heard that you will be able to sing in the online mode but no-one else will hear your voice.

You guys keep talking about the hacking game in Bioshock... you know, if you put enough time into it you eventually gain the ability to hack certain things automatically, for free. Like if you take enough pictures of security drones you can just walk up to them and take control of them (if they're stunned).

Awesome shots Gaald!! That looks terrifying and fun all at the same time.

The card and racing minigames in KOTOR1/2 was quite good imo, most of the time they werent required (mostly for sidequests, and especially as a way to get more money). The games also had a crappy "space fighting" minigame between the "acts" though, which was both required and boring.

Nice shots too

A TF2 match against Gameflood would be a ton of fun.

Ultimadark wrote:

Just to inform you about voice in Rock Band, I've heard that you will be able to sing in the online mode but no-one else will hear your voice.

I know I've read this before, but I haven't been able to find where. You got a link?

Ultimadark wrote:

Just to inform you about voice in Rock Band, I've heard that you will be able to sing in the online mode but no-one else will hear your voice.

It's like space, where no one can hear you scream.

Ultimadark wrote:

Just to inform you about voice in Rock Band, I've heard that you will be able to sing in the online mode but no-one else will hear your voice.

Thank god.

Sorry Rabbit, but I need to call shenanigans on you here. There are many, many valid complaints that can be leveled against Halo 3, and even if I don't agree with them I can certainly understand them. However, the lobby system that they have implemented is better and more functional than anything else in any other game, period.

Period.

Sure, it could be done better (theoretically speaking, anything could be improved upon), but it hasn't been done yet.

Rob and Cory, I don't shun you for not having played Twilight Princess. In my opinion, it's in the running for the weakest Zelda game in the series. Fortunately it's Zelda so it's still awesome regardless.

On quick time events: The only games I can remember playing that had quick time events are Shenmue 1/2, God of War 1/2, and Resident Evil 4. I totally see how they can get stale, but I haven't experienced enough of them to spread the hate like Certis.

Clearly this begs the question: if Rob jumps off a building, do the other follow?

Gaald, that looks hella fun!

Save the snark for the playground, please. - Certis

I know I've read this before, but I haven't been able to find where. You got a link?

This weeks 1up show had a good Rock Band segment where they mention that you can't hear the person singing online. Lots of other good stuff concerning their various positive and negative reactions to the game.

zeroKFE wrote:

Sorry Rabbit, but I need to call shenanigans on you here. There are many, many valid complaints that can be leveled against Halo 3, and even if I don't agree with them I can certainly understand them. However, the lobby system that they have implemented is better and more functional than anything else in any other game, period.
Period.

I've been spoiled by steam community. The ability to gather folks adhoc and split off into smaller games etc., I agree Halo3 is better than most, but the point I was trying to make (this probably didn't come across) is that "even Halo3's lobby system sucks." As in, even this one, which works, isn't as good as it SHOULD be.

How far in advance do you guys tape the show? I sent an e-mail yesterday morning, but I guess that was cutting it too close (I hadn't listened to the last podcast until yesterday), or you had enough e-mails about Guitar Hero 3 already.

They record on the weekend prior, so your best bet is to get an e-mail off to them by Friday, I think.
Maybe with the new influx of mail coming from below the Mason Dixon line, the earlier the better!

JediK809 wrote:

How far in advance do you guys tape the show? I sent an e-mail yesterday morning, but I guess that was cutting it too close (I hadn't listened to the last podcast until yesterday), or you had enough e-mails about Guitar Hero 3 already.

We tend to record on Saturday evenings. We read and appreciate all emails though, they're like our precious children

Yes, and we beat them when they misbehave on a moments notice.

rabbit wrote:

Yes, and we beat them when they misbehave on a moments notice.

I beat them whenever possibly. Keeps them in line!

Rat Boy wrote:

Clearly this begs the question: if Rob jumps off a building, do the other follow?

Hell. No.

zeroKFE wrote:

Sorry Rabbit, but I need to call shenanigans on you here. There are many, many valid complaints that can be leveled against Halo 3, and even if I don't agree with them I can certainly understand them. However, the lobby system that they have implemented is better and more functional than anything else in any other game, period.

I second the shenanigans. I know Steam is better, blah blah blah.

Problem is, Steam doesn't play on my 360. If the Halo 3 lobby were implemented across XBox Live in some manner I'd be a happy camper. It's really good. It doesn't work across games. That's a drag. Jumping in and out of conversations on the 360 in general is a drag. But overall the Halo 3 lobby is gold compared to anything else done on a console.

I think you've got the wrong idea about Elite.

The gameplay was as follows: a flying bit in space, and then you dock at an icosahedral space station with a rotating letterbox docking port and do some trading. The openendedness of the game stemmed from the sheer number of systems you could warp to. Each system was procedurally generated from single seed and this generated an economy type, an inhabitant type, a name and so on. Different economies controlled which trading goods were cheaper or pricier. You never change your ship, and your trading success funds better and better gear for the ship.

That was it.

Which wasn't to say that it wasn't of the very highest calibre, especially considering how long ago it came out, but it sounds like you have acquired an unrealistic impression of the game.

DudleySmith wrote:

I think you've got the wrong idea about Elite.

The gameplay was as follows: a flying bit in space, and then you dock at an icosahedral space station with a rotating letterbox docking port and do some trading. The openendedness of the game stemmed from the sheer number of systems you could warp to. Each system was procedurally generated from single seed and this generated an economy type, an inhabitant type, a name and so on. Different economies controlled which trading goods were cheaper or pricier. You never change your ship, and your trading success funds better and better gear for the ship.

That was it.

Part of the marvel of it was that on that old Commodore 64's tiny bit of memory it had dozens or even hundreds of stars per galaxy, and then buying a galactic warp drive let you jump to I think 7 more galaxies of similar size? Ever buy a trumble?

SpaceTrader for Palm OS 4 or later captures the Elite spirit as well. I had that on my PDA back when I had one.

The best BEST reimplementation of Elite in a single player game is by far X2: The Threat, and by extension X3: Reunion which I haven't played yet and given the colossal depth of X2 may never get around to playing. The big upside to X2 is that you can get it dirt cheap now (I see it on the bargain rack for USD$10 at Target) and should play on most PCs. I once tried it on a Thinkpad T30 laptop and it worked. Plus it's gorgeous at higher resolutions. My old NVidia GeForce 6600 card runs it pretty well at 1280x1024.

There is so much to do or not do in the game that it really captures the Elite spirit.

The UI is tough to get used to, but unlike the second-best space sim in the form of the downloadable Space Rangers 2, it's in full 3D and not intentionally funny. The terrible story and alien names in X2 are downright laughable, but I try not to pay too much attention to them while trading to build credits, upgrade ships, build factories, program trade routes, and when I get bored of that I go pirate hunting and maybe score a new ship to press into service if they surrender in time.

After I tire of X2 I'm thinking my next big space game fix will probably be EVE Online, just as the fine folks in the podcast suggested.

I completely agree with the whole "earn portions of the game" ridiculousness. For me, it's the Warioware titles, including the last Wii version. You can't even play multiplayer until you complete the single-player campaign, which of course guarantees that when you have a bunch of people over, it guarantees that while everyone is getting used to the controls but the game, the host has already mastered it.

At least we rarely have that horrible trend in older games, where you had to play the game a second time on the unlocked harder difficulty if you actually wanted the true ending sequence.

DSGamer wrote:
zeroKFE wrote:

Sorry Rabbit, but I need to call shenanigans on you here. There are many, many valid complaints that can be leveled against Halo 3, and even if I don't agree with them I can certainly understand them. However, the lobby system that they have implemented is better and more functional than anything else in any other game, period.

I second the shenanigans. I know Steam is better, blah blah blah.

Problem is, Steam doesn't play on my 360. If the Halo 3 lobby were implemented across XBox Live in some manner I'd be a happy camper. It's really good. It doesn't work across games. That's a drag. Jumping in and out of conversations on the 360 in general is a drag. But overall the Halo 3 lobby is gold compared to anything else done on a console.

I don't understand what's so great about Steam Community really. The calendar is nice, but other than that I don't understand what it's features have over Halo's lobby system. Can someone enlighten me here?

You can easily see every game everyone is playing.
You can open chat windows with/any all of them voice enabled or not.
You can collect people in a common chat room voice enabled or not.
You can easily hop between servers/games/gametypes just by playing follow the leader
You can see 400 people within a community, not 100 people you happened to remember to type in.
You can do all of this for multiple community groups

Yes, I'm a wicked fanboy when it comes to Steam Community.

I stand chastised on the Halo3 thing, and vow to spend some more time in Halo3 multiplayer enjoying its goodness.

rabbit wrote:

You can easily see every game everyone is playing.
You can open chat windows with/any all of them voice enabled or not.
You can collect people in a common chat room voice enabled or not.
You can easily hop between servers/games/gametypes just by playing follow the leader
You can see 400 people within a community, not 100 people you happened to remember to type in.
You can do all of this for multiple community groups

Yes, I'm a wicked fanboy when it comes to Steam Community.

I stand chastised on the Halo3 thing, and vow to spend some more time in Halo3 multiplayer enjoying its goodness.

You can do everything but going between different games in Halo's lobby system. Plus, everyone has voice chat so you don't have to worry about "voice enabled". And the community thing isn't as strong, there's a GWJ clan but it's harder to see what they're all doing at one time.

Plus Halo's lobby interface is tons better than Steam Community. Steam Community is frequently obtuse as to what you're looking at and how you're supposed to do anything, Halo is all intuitive and easy as pie to do pretty much anything. Limiting yourself to a controller helps.