GWJ Conference Call Episode 68

Conference Call

Audiosurf, Turok, Red Ocean, Pontifications on Portal, Game Of The Year Is Silly, Your Emails and more!

In a very special episode this week, Shawn is exposed for the douche bag that he is. Hey wait, that's me! Shawn is revealed to be an infinitely wise, compassionate and brave individual holding fast against the tides of popular opinion. And a jerk.

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

"One Big Holiday" My Morning Jacket The Wired CD - 0:30:53
"Terra" - Chico Correa & Electronic Band - 0:54:55

Comments

ShynDarkly wins the thread

For me Portal deserves "best of the year" (no matter how silly the title might be) not necessarily because its a better game than lots of the other good ones this year, but because its everything I wanted to see in a full-scale game in the future.
Intelligent gameplay, innovative, cute story, intelligent writing, fun and all that which has been mentioned endlessly.
Even if Portal itself was maybe wasnt big enough to compare wih some of the longer games this year, it lights bright over all those other games,as an example of how gaming should be more than good graphics, big guns (although you could argue the gun is pretty big), violence and whatever.
Portal just strike down with fresh and innovative gameplay, as a "casual-gaming goes hardcore". If Portal can end up as a proof that gamers want a great experience rather than a quantitative amount of content, then it deserves game of the year for that alone.

For me game of the year shouldnt necessarily be the best game as such (Because there is obviously lots of good games each year which are all great for various reasons), but rather the one which influenced gaming and gamers most. And Portal is the example of how a game can also be. How you can accomplish pretty much, through rather simple gameplay means. It just yells "Big isnt always better".
Whereas a game like Bioshock, as I see it, is "just" a great version of the games you see hundreds of already.

Here's something just for Certis - I was checking out the Audiosurf site and scrolled down to the "most popular songs" list and saw this:

10 portal: still alive

Muwahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

The whole concept of giving names to inanimate objects is alien to me. I've never felt the impulse. But then I don't have an emotional connection to my cars. My automotive emotional gamut runs from neutral if they're working all the way to hatred if they're not.

The trick that the current crop of games developers haven't worked out yet is that letting the gamer use their imagination is much more effective than merely showing them something. In the film realm, Se7en remains one of the most brutal movies ever made (which still retains its power) but there is barely any onscreen violence in it. The earcutting scene in Reservoir Dogs is renowned as being nasty but you don't actually see it happen. The shark in Jaws and the alien in Alien is most scary when you can't see it, and don't know where it is. I can't think offhand of a film which is especially erotic but that you don't see anything, but there must be one. Just because they now can show you all this stuff in computer games, it doesn't mean that doing so is the most effective way to convey the story or the emotions in the story. The notorious sex scenes Mass Effect are fairly sensitively directed. They're certainly not prurient (though their direction felt a bit cliched to me), and are probably more erotic than, say, a Hentai game would be.

It occurs to me that the next step would be the addition of film directing/editing talent into the design aspects of computer games. And I don't mean John Woo, I mean a director with some sense of emotional depth. I don't know what Ang Lee's Stranglehold would have looked like, but it probably would have been more interesting.

Here's something just for Certis - I was checking out the Audiosurf site and scrolled down to the "most popular songs" list and saw this:
Quote:
10 portal: still alive
Muwahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

This was a triumph!

Elysium wrote:
Here's something just for Certis - I was checking out the Audiosurf site and scrolled down to the "most popular songs" list and saw this:
Quote:
10 portal: still alive
Muwahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

This was a triumph!

HUGE SUCCESS.

I'm going to make a note of it.

I picked Portal because it gave me the best overall experience. It's a mix of a lot of things, including gameplay, humor, visual design. I don't need to defend it as my choice of game of the year because such a vote is not only based on purely subjective experience, but we each get to define our own criteria for the vote. Not only were your experiences with the game different than mine, Certis, but so were your criteria, I imagine.

I can't help feeling like you're still berating people for their voting and while that may not be your intent, that's how it's been coming across the past couple of podcasts.

I can't help feeling like you're still berating people for their voting and while that may not be your intent, that's how it's been coming across the past couple of podcasts.

I don't see it that way, and I think that's exactly the point you were making. Certis is either a)expressing his honest, earnest opinion or b)playing devil's advocate. Either way, there wouldn't be much to talk about on Portal if everyone just said "Oh my god, best. game. evar! Next segment!"

And if Certis and Elysium dip their taped fists in honey and glass to give us a better show, all I can say is The Bearded One needs to pick up the Wolf moniker and give us a good(bad) howl once in a while.

Keep up the great shows, guys, it's the highlight of my week aside from family time.

Just a minor correction and bit of a blurb about Bionic Commando Rearmed, since you guys didn't seem to be too clear on it. The co-op is almost definitely NOT going to be online, but rather on the same machine only. Also, Bionic Commando was one of the most innovative games of its time, and it HAS held up with time. The XBLA version has basically fixed all the minor details from the original and added new abilities.

In addition, there is a 3d, spiderman-y looking full new game coming in the near future, and the XBLA game will have an unlockable which allows you to reskin the main character for the new sequel.

Love the show!

duckilama wrote:

...expressing his honest, earnest opinion...

That's how I view it, and my little prod in the earlier post was 100% in jest, and from a design standpoint, he's right on the money - Galaxy was a superbly designed game; for me it just had less of an emotional impact, partly I suspect because superb design is what I've come to expect from Miyamoto et al.

Keep up the great shows, guys, it's the highlight of my week aside from family time.

Damn, we have more work to do!

I can't help feeling like you're still berating people for their voting and while that may not be your intent, that's how it's been coming across the past couple of podcasts.
Certis is either a)expressing his honest, earnest opinion or b)playing devil's advocate. Either way, there wouldn't be much to talk about on Portal if everyone just said "Oh my god, best. game. evar! Next segment!"

It's an honest opinion, we're usually upfront if someone is playing devil's advocate for a given topic. I certainly wouldn't blast a false opinion out there just to get a rise out of people. Like Ducki said, the intent isn't to berate people or try to elevate my own ego. The goal is to be honest with our community and do so in an entertaining way. I won't claim to get it right every time, but my disagreeing with Elysium, let alone a large cross section of our readers, is so rare that I was reveling in it. Maybe more than I should have been, who knows.

If I remember correctly, by the way, I voted for Bioshock as #1 and Portal as #2.

Is that OK... master?

It's an honest opinion, we're usually upfront if someone is playing devil's advocate for a given topic.

I assume you guys are giving your honest opinions, that's part of what makes this site what it is....
I was just leaving the possibility open.

Ya know, I would pay $40 for a shorter version of BioShock without the boring filler parts (collecting bottles of water...).

Please, games industry, you're shooting yourself in the damn foot by making your games unnecessarily long. Maybe you'll win over kids who believe that longer means better, but for us older gamers with our own money to spend, we know better.

I just thought I'd mention as well about Ratchet & Clank: It will never become multiplatform because its owned by Sony. Insomniac Games is an independent studio yes but they work as a "developer for hire" for Sony and everything they've made for them has been Sony's IP. I don't think Insomniac actually owns any of the games they've made.