GWJ Conference Call Episode 76

Conference Call

Hot Army of Two Blind Dates, NHL 08, Super Smash Bros Wii, Professor Layton, The GWJ Wild Online Kingdom, Blair Fraser From Ironclad Games Talks Sins of a Solar Empire, Future Patches & Expansions And Making It In The PC Industry, Your Emails and more!

This week Blair Fraser joins us to talk all about Sins of a Solar Empire, the PC RTS that is taking the community by storm. We talk about the latest patch and what we can expect from future downloads. Oh, what's that you say? Exclusive news about a new expansion? Go oooooon. *steeples fingers* We also have a great new feature from momgamer!

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

"Anxious Tedium" - Ouranos OST (Tom Quinn) - www.citadel-studios.com - 1:16:33

Comments

Congratulations Elysium!

Congrats Elysium!

Long 9 months ? More like long 20 years.

I know what it can be like on a long deployment, well sorta mine was only 6 months. Anyway I was so bored I bought a b/w gameboy from the px, and 2 games. Tetris, and some james bond movie game. It sucked, so all I played for 6 months was Tetris cause the px never got any more games in. Day in day out for me was 12 on radio duty playing tetris trying to make the high score. Then leave the gameboy for the next 2(sgt and a pfc) to try and beat my scores. Rinse and repeat.

So I'm down with donating all the games I have collecting dust if it can make someone's time over there somewhat enjoyable, less boring, or even allow some stress venting.

So you use Cogent for your podcast upload as well? (Seems to be that media.libsyn site, cant load it at all)
This is getting annoying. Havent been able to reach any Ziff Davis related site for a week, and a bunch of podcasts not related to them, which for some reason all seems to be using Cogent.

http://gigaom.com/2008/03/14/the-tel...

Failure of the internet :/

I just started listening and I don't understand the hate for Subspace Emissary. I really liked it. IMAGE(http://i.somethingawful.com/forumsystem/emoticons/emot-colbert.gif)

Blair Fraser knows Bill Bailey! Blair Fraser knows Bill Bailey!

Shadout wrote:

So you use Cogent for your podcast upload as well? (Seems to be that media.libsyn site, cant load it at all)
This is getting annoying. Havent been able to reach any Ziff Davis related site for a week, and a bunch of podcasts not related to them, which for some reason all seems to be using Cogent.

http://gigaom.com/2008/03/14/the-tel...

Failure of the internet :/

Doesn't seem to be currently available at iTunes as well. I get some kind of 'internal server error' when trying to download it to my machine.

Oh noes!

Can't download conference call as of 7:30 am CST. Damn libsyn to hell, rabbitcave for life.

Congrats Elysium!

Regarding your point on Army of Two, you don't have to start the whole game from scratch every time, you just have to start at the point that is the earliest for both players. If a friend completes the tutorial level and then wants to go online, we can start a game at the start of the next level quite happily. I don't get why this is a problem, sure you potentially have to go through the levels again if you team up with someone who isn't as far along as you but if I was a new player I certainly wouldn't want to start half way through the game without knowing the story or background.

Okay, granted, the story and background sucks so maybe that shouldn't be as important as it is but still, I would want to do things in order so I don't see the big issue with this.

On the subject of InstantAction, believe me when I say you are unlikely to ever play this game at work. Yes it's a small, easy to setup plugin but it does utilise the power of your machine, including any 3D acceleration. I tried running it on my 'semi-gaming' laptop (it runs Hearts of Iron 2 and Galciv, keeps me sane on long trips). Whichever game it was I was playing (the one with the brains in tanks) was unplayable due to such horrifically jerky framerates. Unless you are lucky enough to have a decent 3D card in your machine at work I don't think it's going to happen.

That said...it is still in beta and the platform really shows a lot of promise. Hopefully they will iron out the performance issues and there will finally be enough people to play a game of Tribes with once they release that! (why does no one play Vengeance anymore? It was so much fun!)

Congrats Elysium! Think of a geeky and awful name!

Coming to Smash Bros.'s defense, the storyline is supposed to seem like bad fan fiction. You know the Smash Bros. icon, the segmented circle? It represents the sun filtering through a windowframe; the first Smash Bros. was about a kid playing with action figures. They seem to have taken it in a different direction with Melee (no plot) and Brawl (alternate universe?), but you can always tell yourself that it's still some kid mashing plastic figures together going "ka-psshhhh!"

Ultimately, you're not supposed to find the plot compelling and interesting, though if you take some HUGE leaps and stick with it it actually gets pretty interesting in the end.

My biggest problem with the single player is that the game engine is designed for quick, one-off fights, not platforming. When you lose a life it's a pretty big deal but it's really easy to fall and die or get knocked off the screen by a turtle or something.

Anyone still having download issues? Seems ok now.

Congrats on the new china farmer, Elysium and Elysia. Way to inseminate.

Great job on the Wild Kingdom, momgamer. The response to the initial mating call was fantastic.

Certis wrote:

Anyone still having download issues? Seems ok now.

Still a no-go for me. Getting Internal Server Error - 500 for direct DL and it just doesn't show up on Itunes.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Coming to Smash Bros.'s defense, the storyline is supposed to seem like bad fan fiction. You know the Smash Bros. icon, the segmented circle? It represents the sun filtering through a windowframe; the first Smash Bros. was about a kid playing with action figures. They seem to have taken it in a different direction with Melee (no plot) and Brawl (alternate universe?), but you can always tell yourself that it's still some kid mashing plastic figures together going "ka-psshhhh!"

I have the feeling that the single player story mode is really just another way to unlock stuff. It's not really that much more than that, especially considering that it takes upwards of 100+ multiplayer matches to get certain characters(I think a couple take 300!). The 7 or 8 hours I invested in the single player story(while it was pretty much crap) was definitely faster than playing all those matches against the computer.

sithcundman wrote:
Certis wrote:

Anyone still having download issues? Seems ok now.

Still a no-go for me. Getting Internal Server Error - 500 for direct DL and it just doesn't show up on Itunes.

It showed up on iTunes for me, but wouldn't download. Tried downloading from the site directly. First time it failed. Second time it worked.

I picked it up from iTunes no problem.

Awesome clip Momgamer!

Couldn't get it from iTunes the first time, but after I closed and restarted iTunes, it worked fine.

I had no issues in downloading from here, and I have to say I rather enjoyed the cast even though Blair Fraser was struggling really to talk. Fair play to him! (And when he mentioned Bill Bailey, I blinked! Didn't realise that he had a huge international presence!)

I had no idea what Sins was about, so this was helpful about talking about the game, next payday will mean a copy wings its way across the pond.

PS. Momgamer, nice work! Look forward to the next episode, will Richard Attenburgh make an appearance talking about the strange species you encounter?

Incipient Houseape
Congratulations! Keep me posted as to whether pink knitted thingies or blue knitted thingies are in order.

Sins of a Solar Empire Interview
Congratulations on your success Blair, and keep it up! I really enjoyed hearing you talk about the challenges of dealing with online multiplayer and doing big work with a very small team. It's not just gamers who rawk the table. At my old job the fooseball table was considered key; it was listed in the budget as an ergonomic support.

Wild Kingdom
Thanks guys. I'm not sure that's what I was hoping for as a take-away, though. We enjoyed doing it, and we're working on the next episode.

Donating Games to the Troops
Is Cheapassgamer the same guy you're referring to donating games to? He's got a thread started here.

I'll definately second the endorsements that people overseas want games. My son the Ranger heads for Wherever (I'm not allowed to know where) next week, and we're working on getting his stuff together and it will most definately include games. Ditto for his best friend in the Navy who just got shipped out for seven months.

Jut as good advice, here is a link to some advice about what you are and are not allowed to mail to the troops. There are some rules, and they're not quite what you might think.

Halo 3
Where's SuperSpork?

I'm 43 minutes in and you're discussing the pirates in Sins. Here's my issue with the pirates: the countdown timer is a lie. If you're going to have a countdown timer, make it actually BE the timer. Don't sit and flash at 00:00 for 30 seconds because it's really frustrating. When it hits zero, cut off the bounty and be done with it. To address sniping (especially by computers who can instantaneously bump a bounty), increment the timer by 5 seconds when someone increases a bounty if it's below 1 minute.

Congrats Ely!

Momgamer, that was priceless. I was in tears, and was struggling hard not to laugh out loud in the middle of my office. I probably need to stop listening to these while I'm working.

Very good show this week guys.

I'm 43 minutes in and you're discussing the pirates in Sins. Here's my issue with the pirates: the countdown timer is a lie. If you're going to have a countdown timer, make it actually BE the timer. Don't sit and flash at 00:00 for 30 seconds because it's really frustrating. When it hits zero, cut off the bounty and be done with it. To address sniping (especially by computers who can instantaneously bump a bounty), increment the timer by 5 seconds when someone increases a bounty if it's below 1 minute.

You're not kidding, Q. The moment the timer hits zero, I'm opening the window and bumping up my bid everytime I get sniped, regardless of whatever else is going on. Kind of irritating, but it's certainly not a game killer.

Where in the podcast did he talk about the lack of Single Player campaigns? I think I missed that part.

Good Conf Call all! I was real interested in the section about the game Sins of a Solar Empire! Thanks to Mr. Fraser for takhing time to come out, we should get him or other key members of Ironclad to come on the show. (I also got a mention on the podcast! Thanks Rabbit!)

Mom Gamer good spot as well.

As far as instant action I play it at home as well for when I have a few minutes to blow (wife getting ready etc...) and I find Think Tanks a good idea but the scoring is kinda wacky! But as stated marble blast is great! If anyone needs an invite just pm me, well of course if you need an invite now a days. Too bad my corporate masters decided on getting me a computer at my work that does not have a decent video card to roll it .

buzzvang wrote:
I'm 43 minutes in and you're discussing the pirates in Sins. Here's my issue with the pirates: the countdown timer is a lie. If you're going to have a countdown timer, make it actually BE the timer. Don't sit and flash at 00:00 for 30 seconds because it's really frustrating. When it hits zero, cut off the bounty and be done with it. To address sniping (especially by computers who can instantaneously bump a bounty), increment the timer by 5 seconds when someone increases a bounty if it's below 1 minute.

You're not kidding, Q. The moment the timer hits zero, I'm opening the window and bumping up my bid everytime I get sniped, regardless of whatever else is going on. Kind of irritating, but it's certainly not a game killer.

Where in the podcast did he talk about the lack of Single Player campaigns? I think I missed that part.

It's in the e-mail section about 1 hour 25 minutes in, and is a response to the e-mails about how games are trending towards the anti hero instead of the classic white hat.

buzzvang wrote:
I'm 43 minutes in and you're discussing the pirates in Sins. Here's my issue with the pirates: the countdown timer is a lie. If you're going to have a countdown timer, make it actually BE the timer. Don't sit and flash at 00:00 for 30 seconds because it's really frustrating. When it hits zero, cut off the bounty and be done with it. To address sniping (especially by computers who can instantaneously bump a bounty), increment the timer by 5 seconds when someone increases a bounty if it's below 1 minute.

You're not kidding, Q. The moment the timer hits zero, I'm opening the window and bumping up my bid everytime I get sniped, regardless of whatever else is going on. Kind of irritating, but it's certainly not a game killer.

Where in the podcast did he talk about the lack of Single Player campaigns? I think I missed that part.

The reason why Quintins suggestion will not work is if you added a few seconds every time someone would add bounty then you can delay the pirates forever! I think the reason why the timer is a lie is so that people do drop everything and try to snipe, it gives you a chance to move units when you know people will be staring at the pirate screen.

I think the pirates are fine, but their ships late game need to get a bump in power because after a point all my planets can hold their own against pirates and I only send in a cap ship if I need to level them otherwise I ignore it. Like if I drop 10k on bounty on a person then the pirates should get a capital ship to be used in the attack. Say a pirate lord going out for the bounty? Maybe even have all surviving ships from other raids go with the current raid, currently they just raid and then fly back to the pirate base, sometimes you get like 100+ pirate heavy cruisers floating in that system. It would be cool if they would come along so the late game raids would be truely epic in scale, maybe linking these epic raids with a minimum bounty limit?

It's in the e-mail section about 1 hour 25 minutes in, and is a response to the e-mails about how games are trending towards the anti hero instead of the classic white hat.

I am a filthy, filthy podcast skimmer! I finished the interview portion and didn't go any further. In my defense, my 4G iPod went into the crapper a couple of weeks ago, so I've lost my Conf Call fix during the commute. I don't typically listen at work because I can't pay enough attn at the time. This was an interesting enough subject that I said screw it and listened anyway. My apologies.

Pharacon wrote:

The reason why Quintins suggestion will not work is if you added a few seconds every time someone would add bounty then you can delay the pirates forever! I think the reason why the timer is a lie is so that people do drop everything and try to snipe, it gives you a chance to move units when you know people will be staring at the pirate screen.

That's a fair point. However, that would get hideously expensive for anyone trying it. Certainly the pirates wouldn't mind. Plus AI players never need to drop anything to snipe.

Elysium should have wrote:

I have made it with a woman. Inform the men.

Damn! You're right!

IMAGE(http://www.boston-legal.org/25-squid/images/25-boston-legal-squid-abc-donnydenny-debate.jpg)

Denny Crane!
Donny Crane!
Denny Crane!
DONNY Crane!
DENNY CRANE!

Sorry, been on a Boston Legal bender this week.

Also, I just noticed that the podcast made Blue's News today. I don't know what the capacity of your host is but that could be why it was getting hammered so hard. You guys are gettin' famous.