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

Yup, while it's nice to be able to allow people without voice chat to participate in chat rooms, the point is kind of moot when everyone has the ability to use voice.

It would certainly also be nice to have a larger friends list or have the lobby system be a feature of the Xbox 360 rather than of Halo, so I guess it would be fair to say "the 360's community implementation sucks now that someone has finally managed to trump it." However, for a single game lobby system you can't beat the one in Halo 3 without changing the features of the platform it is on.

Elite was an interesting game in its time, but I can't help think that a lot of the love was due to its early of use hidden line removal and procedural generation of the universe.

For me, the likes of the Homeworld series and EVE Online certainly provide many if not all of the features that made Elite fun; although that doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to whatever David can come up with for Elite 4.

Regarding playing older games on newer hardware and Julian's comment about booting into Windows 95, I've had a good deal of success with Microsoft's Virtual PC (which is free to download now). With it you can spin up a copy of Windows 95 and games from that era far more readily and simply than dual booting a machine, and it even has some of Shawn's speed control facilities; worth an experiment.

You can easily see every game everyone is playing.

You can do this from the community page? I know I get that with a list of friends, but GWJ Community > my friends list. Whenever I look at the community, I can see that members are in games, but I have to click on the individual icon to see what game they're playing. It's annoying because I lose that "at a glance" functionality I get on the other screens. Are you saying that there is a better way to view the community, because if so I am very interested.

On Remakes: Remakes only work for a game that is timeless. Much of what made earlier games so awesome was that they implemented something that had never been done before. However, looking at them from our current perspective makes them not all that special (The "Wolfenstien3d? Half Life 2 did it better" effect). RPG's in particular suffer from this. Gameplay that was considered emergent 10 or 20 years ago has been built upon and refined to the point that they seem simplistic now. Try an original Gold Box game or Wasteland, or Fallout or Baldur's Gate, and they're just not that great anymore.

On Space sims: The joystick-flavored genre is dead. I don't think single player will ever come back either, because it suffers from "Do this mission. Oh you died at the third waypoint? Start over." syndrome. Self contained single-player universes like those in Elite or Privateer or Escape Velocity aren't really coming back either, because it can be so much better in an MMO (aforementioned EVE). Sure, Space Rangers had it, but it's more of what you characterized as a "Derek Smart" game, only better implemented. I'm hoping that the new iteration of Jumpgate might be worth checking out.

Yay! You guys remembered to mention Thief when discussing lockpicking. I would consider the lockpicking in Thief an example of a good mini-game that adds to the game. In either iteration (it changed between 2 and 3), it's not the most compelling gameplay, but it enhances the experience. One, it adds tension because oftentimes someone is coming, making you sweat. Two, if a guard was on the other side of the door, they could hear the picking and discover you.

@Gaald: You're jumping class was set up by someone you know, but are there actually Stunt schools? I'm regularly asked what my plans are after I decide I'm finished with my current job. Tired and not wanting to answer honestly, I throw out Stuntman. The follow-up question is then, "How do you get into that?" I answer, "I don't know. There's probably some school or something." But if there really are schools, I smell a career change. Programmer : Stuntman -> Accountant : Liontamer

buzzvang wrote:
You can easily see every game everyone is playing.

You can do this from the community page? I know I get that with a list of friends, but GWJ Community > my friends list. Whenever I look at the community, I can see that members are in games, but I have to click on the individual icon to see what game they're playing. It's annoying because I lose that "at a glance" functionality I get on the other screens. Are you saying that there is a better way to view the community, because if so I am very interested.

Click on View current status of all members under the avatars on the group page and you get to this: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/GWJ/members

McChuck wrote:

@Gaald: You're jumping class was set up by someone you know, but are there actually Stunt schools? I'm regularly asked what my plans are after I decide I'm finished with my current job. Tired and not wanting to answer honestly, I throw out Stuntman. The follow-up question is then, "How do you get into that?" I answer, "I don't know. There's probably some school or something." But if there really are schools, I smell a career change. Programmer : Stuntman -> Accountant : Liontamer

Yes there are schools in surprise, surprise Los Angeles. I am not familiar with any of them although a friend took a stunt driving class in LA recently. I think there are classes in Seattle, and Vancouver. I am sure there are plenty of others but couldn't tell you which are good and which ones you should avoid. I have never been able to afford any of the classes so I haven't done much research. The thing about Stunts is it's very hard to break into, in fact the entire entertainment industry is that way. The special skill set and just the right level of crazy makes getting into stunts worse. Even if you have all the skills it's about who you know, getting in with the right people and being there for when opportunities pop up. It's not easy.

edit: I am not trying to say it isn't worth it. I certainly don't want to discourage anyone either, but acting and stunt work etc. is something you really have to want to do because it is really hard to make a decent living doing it. I have been trying to do this for a few years now and I still don't make a good enough living. It doesn't help that I am in such a small market but I made the decision to stay where I was and make a go of it and now I am trying to see it through. It helps that my family has been really supportive.

Gaald wrote:

The special skill set and just the right level of crazy ...

My resume -
Crazy: Just right
Special Skill: Built-in helmet

I'll let everyone take a whack with a bottle or chair at GenCon. It'll be fun.

EDIT: Also,I'm glad to hear someone else use the line about the well endowed puppy. The way I originally heard it and how I've always said it is "peters."

The easiest way to find out where all our users are from is either to check the server logs to to have them voluntarily add themselves to our Frappr Map. Might be best to mention it in the podcast though since not all listeners read these comments.

McChuck wrote:
Gaald wrote:

The special skill set and just the right level of crazy ...

My resume -
Crazy: Just right
Special Skill: Built-in helmet

I'll vouch for you, Jazz Hands!

I'd bet there's a stunt school around Chicago somewhere. I know there's a stunt driving school.

Failing that, I'm sure the mob could use someone willing to do dumb and dangerous stuff for them. I'm not saying you should send me a PM, but, you know...

On the podcast:
GH3 is the biggest party game out there if you don't have a Wii. It's derailed a number of board game parties I've held, just because someone sees the controller.

While I understand fishing ("How I mine fish?") in MMOs, WoW doesn't seem like the game I'd expect it to be so robust in. Maybe it's because it seems more RP than I expect, or maybe because it's so very opposed to the mindless grinding mentality I associate with WoW. Then again, I did things like that in UO, so I might just have a twisted view generally.

Pwning noobs in Gears of War:
While it might be a struggle on non-Gears & Beers nights, new players do seem to have a pretty good time when we're drinking and goofing off. I think there are only a handful of players who are consistently a dominating factor, while the rest of us are busier talking about something else, such as who is -- in fact -- "the man."

The deciding factor for me between buying GHIII or Rock Band was the songlist. I liked the GHIII list better, so that's what I bought.

Thanks to the Conference Call guys for making a fairly miserable morning just a bit less miserable. I spent one uncomfortable hour in a dentist chair having my very first root canal. Someone suggested I bring an iPod, so I ended up listening to the latest edition while the dentist tortured the bejesus out of me. Thanks for making them long enough to tide me over, as well!

I've been a bit negligent, as I am not really a podcast kind of guy. I enjoy the idea of them, but rarely do I actually listen to them. I had only heard a few snippets of the podcasts over the last year. But my brother, who I had mentioned GWJ to several times got me to give them a try. I had just noticed he started posting on here. When I asked him about it, he told me he had really just started listening to your podcast, and it drew him into the forum. I figured I should give the podcasts a more thourough listen, and I have been really impressed by them. Kudos!

I love the podcasts. I've gotten into them big time since my wife gave me the gift of a fatty Nano. I also listen to 1up Yours sometimes, along with own stream-recorded version of All Things Considered. The Conference Call is by far my favorite, though.

Funny thing, though. Not sure if anyone has listened to 1up Yours lately, but I think they listen to GWJ and they openly mocked you guys recently. They made some off-hand comment about the inanity of discussing what makes a good game. Hmmm...

Sounds like it's time for a TF2 showdown against them, too. Though, I don't entirely disagree.

DSGamer wrote:

Funny thing, though. Not sure if anyone has listened to 1up Yours lately, but I think they listen to GWJ and they openly mocked you guys recently. They made some off-hand comment about the inanity of discussing what makes a good game. Hmmm...

While I see their point, what I have really enjoyed about Conference Call is the conversation. There is no right answer, but listening to the discussion about what makes a game good is a great way to get a little more in-depth about games. I see it as a starting point that leads to more interesting topics. That says more about the hosts than the topic, though. Listening to a bunch of pubtards have the same discussion would drive me mad.

DSGamer wrote:

Funny thing, though. Not sure if anyone has listened to 1up Yours lately, but I think they listen to GWJ and they openly mocked you guys recently. They made some off-hand comment about the inanity of discussing what makes a good game. Hmmm...

That's not really fair. I mean, I have shown restraint in not mocking their VD thus far, why can't we have a quid pro quo? (Would that be "nihil pro nihilum"?)

If the worst thing that happens to me today is someone from 1up mocks me, then it's a great freakin' day!

And, they're not wrong. It wasn't our best topic ever.

Let me be the first one to say I don't believe 1up Yours is in a position to accuse another podcast of having inane discussions about gaming.

Okay, let's not start a turf war.

Listen to the podcast and judge for yourself. It "sounded" like a little dig at GWJ. I don't know. Let's not start a rumble here.

DSGamer wrote:

Okay, let's not start a turf war.

Listen to the podcast and judge for yourself. It "sounded" like a little dig at GWJ. I don't know. Let's not start a rumble here.

Oh no. Too late. After the fires of the great war between 1up and GWJ have finally stopped burning, you'll only have yourself to blame. Way to go, hotshot.

For the record, I think Garnett Lee is dreamy.

It's been a while since I listened to the 1up podcast and I would love to hear the episode in question? You remember which one it was DS?

Ackkk.. I don't remember. I went back looking and about 3 minutes into the 11/2 podcast they make an aside about talking about "a highbrow topic like are games an art form". But that wasn't the dicussion topic I thought they were taking a swipe at. I swear I heard it. Like I said, don't light the torches yet. It could be just me forgetting what the Conference Call topic that week was...

I listen to the 1Up show pretty routinely and I have no idea what you're talking about, if that helps

DSGamer wrote:

Okay, let's not start a turf war.

Listen to the podcast and judge for yourself. It "sounded" like a little dig at GWJ. I don't know. Let's not start a rumble here.

No, you started this and I'm going to finish it. It's going to be tough trolling every thread at the EGM forums to include something negative about a 1up editor, but that's the way it has to go. It's about time I was a rabid fanboy about something, what about GWJ?

WE'RE GOING TO WAR!

Quintin_Stone wrote:

WE'RE GOING TO WAR!

I just hope this is better written then Halo 3.

wordsmythe wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

WE'RE GOING TO WAR!

I just hope this is better written then Halo 3.

I literally laughed out loud. Hilarious.

I played the PC version of BioShock and I loved the hacking minigame, as well as the photography. Photography made me feel like some kind of daredevil nature documentarian, and whenever I saw a new device I looked forward to hacking it. I know of at least one other guy who really liked hacking, too. He has some serious Pipe Dreams nostalgia, so that's his excuse. I guess mine could be that I like water a lot.

Regarding GH3 and unlockable songs, you can in fact unlock every song for quick play mode by using a cheat code, which is what I did. I posted the code in the GH3 catch-all thread for those that were inclined to use it. I know it's not exactly an ideal solution, as many people won't ever know that the code even exists, but it is an option for those who can't/won't do co-op.