Conference Call

GWJ Conference Call Episode 73

More Sins, Iron Dukes, Special Guest Michael "Zonk" Zenke From GDC!, Developers Go Hog Wild, Emails and more!

This week Michael Zenke fills us in on his GDC experience. We talk about all the latest from the convention and get the inside scoop on why MMO developers seem to be on the verge of an all out cage match. We also have an awesome audio email!

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

"Cosmos" - (Workbench) - - 0:14:07
"Crocodile Tears" - Zoo (Workbench) - - 0:53:46


buzzvang wrote:
Gaald wrote:

I don't even know who Shodan is

He actually says that?

Danjo Olivaw wrote:
buzzvang wrote:
Gaald wrote:

I don't even know who Shodan is

He actually says that? :|

Yes I did, you got a problem with that?

Yes I did, you got a problem with that?

I think I speak for everyone when I say: Yes!

Don't worry, Gaald. Even though I knew who Shodan was, I haven't played System Shock or System Shock 2 either.

The Sins of a Solar Empire segment was awesome. Anyone thrash the Poo? (I won't mention the other off-named planet out of respect.)

Another quite compelling podcast guys. The geeks and I have been arguing over it between our day jobs. I announced the death of PC gaming one night and for some reason they went berserk.

You see I am buying a new PC and with all these consoles hanging around my apartment why would anyone want to buy a high-end PC for gaming? I can just buy a cheaper model and simply word process my stories on it as it was originally intended. My theory is that I can then leave the casual gaming to a dedicated platform with no immediate-future upgrades. So of course I am catching hell. Thank you!

Great line in the podcast.

"Developers are spending way too much money on trying to get the best graphics out there and not enough money on trying to get the best game out there."

I think the problem with PC Gaming is not enough people know how to keep a moderately clean, well-maintained system.

This feels like a reverse of the situation, and goes against the numbers. The number of people who can and will learn enough to be 'well-maintained' is a shrinking percentage of total computer users. Remember, it's not something you learn once. New OS, new hardware, new patch, new game, new drivers, read forums, call customer service, chat with your buddies... it's endless. So, ok, IT professionals don't mind it, but 'PC Gamers' now includes everyone from 8 to 80 years old, ancient hardware running a 15 year old OS to aluminum towers running dual everything with the minutely patches. Lets be honest, the popularity of computer maintenance is somewhere between hand-crafting fly fishing lures and amateur sports car tuning. If you doubt this, go count magazines at the bookstore.

I assume the PC Alliance is the attempt to short circuit some of this. Make an open, transparent, reference framework that can fast path anyone with any interest in PC gaming to a happy spot. How you do this inside of the MS playground is a big mystery to me, since push comes to shove they can jiggle Direct X around and everyone else will have to dance. Now, if they were going to come up with a software reference as well as a hardware reference, perhaps one that could be locked up in a virtual machine so it would stay stable enough, then I'd believe we were headed somewhere new with PC gaming.