GWJ Conference Call Episode 93

Conference Call

Alone in The Dark, iPhone Games Galore, Civilization Revolution, Flagship Troubles, The Ultimate Email Show and more!

This week I completely forget to mention that our Games You Can Play Now sponsor was submitted by Higgledy. Sorry dude. For those of you who wanted a longer cast, we've got you covered thanks to a metric ton of great emails!

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.

Civilization Revolution
Alone in The Dark
Flagship Sunk
rabbit's iPhone Games Wrap

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks
"PodunkStump" Ian Dorsch - 0:40:43

Comments

Elysium wrote:

That _is_ what I was trying to get across. My only excuse is that we recorded on Sunday. Nothing good comes from Sundays.

Except antiques roadshow.

Ah, but you've forgotten, where he has the power hear in the digital realm but unfathomable feebleness in meatspace, my cyber-ineptitude is mitigated by my sizable frame and dominating presence here in reality. Also, while my beard is not a factor in online functions, it dominates men of lesser standing here in the real world. We are a formidable duo.

Did someone say my name? I am formidable.

I think it was edited because he simply did not understand what it meant. If he wants to give a synopsis or modify this post that is his choice. 'It' referring to my previous post, and I'm sure we know who [the royal] 'he' is.

Either the Wii Fit was partially programmed by Dr. Phil or it thinks Certis' wife is a bitch and is too much of a wimpy peripheral to come out and say it.

Rat Boy wrote:

Either the Wii Fit was partially programmed by Dr. Phil or it thinks Certis' wife is a bitch and is too much of a wimpy peripheral to come out and say it.

It's giving rise to a new phenomenon: being WiiWhipped (or FitWhipped).

t0W wrote:

I think it was edited because he simply did not understand what it meant. If he wants to give a synopsis or modify this post that is his choice. 'It' referring to my previous post, and I'm sure we know who [the royal] 'he' is.

Your masochism continues impetuous one.

Isn't that the entire point.

I think the late nineties on the PC were the golden age, really. Purely because it was the last time you could still have relatively small teams making titles aimed at a mass market, with top-notch production values. So you got absolutely bonkers stuff like Sacrifice, that would never, ever get a green light with the ginormous budgets of today, because all they needed was a core team of eight to make it.

I agree with the intrepid podcasters regarding Portal, the difficulty is perfect, I think the days of gamers enjoying getting kicked in the 'nads are for the most part over, thankfully.

I don't see who, except for a minority of players, would be served by making an experience that would lead to a large number of players rage-quitting.

That's what user created maps are for.

The user created maps do have some weird difficulty curves. Usually it's not so much the solution to the puzzle as the fine motor skills needed for execution.

Duoae wrote:
Elysium wrote:

We are a formidable duo.

Did someone say my name? I am formidable. :cool:

Does that mean we'll see you at GenCon?

Nyles wrote:

The user created maps do have some weird difficulty curves. Usually it's not so much the solution to the puzzle as the fine motor skills needed for execution.

So exactly what gamers who enjoy getting kicked in the 'nads would like

interstate78 wrote:

I guess in the end, I think I'm more willing than the average person to overlook a few flaws because I find the game's innovations and unforgettable scenes rewarding enough.

I am amazed, nea, horrified that after 20 years of video gaming I still hear the tired old rational that excuses programmers from doing a complete and competent job.

Arguments can be made for the difficulties of programming across platforms. Disagreements will ensue over the weighing of cost over content, of profit and timeliness over customer complaints. Virtual riots break out in online forums where each poster pounds their virtual chest in angst over their frustration or puffs their electronic pecs and announces how their system worked just fine.

I don't know about you all, but I'm tired of plunking down money for programming which does not function properly. We all rail at Microsoft over the issues with Windows. Many have made the migration to Linux as a result.

Maybe if people take a stand and refuse to buy this crap then the people who count the pennies will start to take notice and do something about it.

I love (get those brews ready) "Bioshock". I built a total system in order to play it. After over a year and after utilizing every hint, e-mail from tech support and obscure forum posting help - it still crashes almost constantly.

Try "Alone in the Dark" by ATARI - are you kidding me??!!!

Duoae wrote:

- Laughing out loud at games. There are two problems here. First is the fact that i think that games do drama better than comedy. Second is the fact that because we are social creatures we tend to only laugh and emote when in the presence of other people. I rarely laugh when watching 'funny' clips, TV series etc. on my own but am much more likely to do so when other people are present. It's a social mechanism for interacting and displaying your emotions at the time. Try it, it's so much easier to laugh with other people and you find yourself laughing at things you don't when alone. (*Watch the 'funny' first and then watch it again with people present.)

Depends on personality. I laugh when I'm alone if something's funny. On the other hand, I know some people who laugh at stuff not funny or even intended to be funny, as some kind of social filler or bonding agent. Not uproarious laughter, but like a chuckle for no reason other than they seem to think it's some kind of social necessity.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
Nyles wrote:

The user created maps do have some weird difficulty curves. Usually it's not so much the solution to the puzzle as the fine motor skills needed for execution.

So exactly what gamers who enjoy getting kicked in the 'nads would like :D

Personally, I don't like the feeling of knowing a solution but not being able to pull it off, but that's not my most hated game emotion. I get really angry when a game makes it clear that an earlier decision has made my current situation impossible to fix. Anything that doesn't kill me but makes me have to reload is BS. That's something that shows up all the time in user maps, for various reasons.

wordsmythe wrote:
Duoae wrote:
Elysium wrote:

We are a formidable duo.

Did someone say my name? I am formidable. :cool:

Does that mean we'll see you at GenCon?

No, but i'm now on Xbox Live

I have hit lv 42 in Conan... my god, the fun just starts going away after 40. The quests get harder, the game gets buggier (that may be the patches) and the content is less existent.

Deadend - I'm sure others will disagree with you, but I don't. I was hardcore on it till 40, and then it just sort of went flat for me. 35 actually.

I'm the Portal hater, although I don't actually hate it. I was just disappointed with it.

And I wasn't suggesting that the game should've kicked players in the nads or caused rage quits (Mr. Devil :P) - I just wanted puzzles that required thinking.

I drew the comparison to Half-Life 2's puzzles because they're used there as momentary breaks. They're specifically designed to not be hard, because the game is a shooter. If you've got someone running and gunning and blowing crap up and all of a sudden they're stopped by a puzzle so hard that they can't pass it, then the player is going to lose interest. So whenever you come across a puzzle in HL2, it's specifically engineered to be easily solved. All you need are a pair of eyes to take in the myriad of clues, and a pair of hands to work the mouse and keyboard (or analog sticks, whichever you prefer).

And it felt to me like most of Portal - which is not a high octane shooter, but a puzzle game - was created in exactly the same way. Walk into room, see tons of clues, and within thirty seconds say "Aha, I've got it!" I never really felt good about solving the puzzles because the only difficult thing about them was some of the trickier jumps. The one exception was Test Chamber 18, which took me like forty minutes to solve, and I loved every second of it. I didn't get frustrated, I didn't ragequit, I didn't bang my head into the wall - I enjoyed thinking about how to solve that puzzle. I enjoyed experimenting. And when my experiments failed, I enjoyed taking what I'd learned and thinking about it some more.

I'm not saying Portal should have been the Ninja Gaiden/Halo-On-Legendary/Through-the-Fire-and-Flames-on-Expert of puzzle games - I'm saying that it seemed to me like it was a puzzle game that really didn't require much thinking. There was way too much handholding. In many of the chambers, they taught you how to do a trick with the portals, then asked you to do that trick again. So you do it, and you win. There's no satisfaction there. It's like teaching someone that 2 plus 2 equals 4, then asking them "What's 2 plus 2?"

The best parts of the game were the ones where simply taking the things you'd been taught wasn't enough - you had to think about how to apply them in new ways. When that happened, Portal was great, but it didn't happen very often.

I take it you have all of the Portal achievements then?

You should try the user created game of the Portal flash version map-pack for the full game (not in flash, a recreation of the flash game's maps). It is much more challenging, even has a good story XD. http://portalmaps.wecreatestuff.com/

chirs3 wrote:

And I wasn't suggesting that the game should've kicked players in the nads or caused rage quits (Mr. Devil :P) - I just wanted puzzles that required thinking.

Oh, I know you didn't, I was exaggerating. But for me Portal's difficulty was great, many of the puzzles were super simple and only 2 or 3 gave me any pause, but considering that the puzzle was the mechanic for the narrative, not the purpose of the game it made sense.

I think that a lot of the reason for Portal's popularity is the fact that people went in expecting a puzzle game, but ended up getting something so much more complete. And there are advanced puzzles and user-created puzzles for those who need more of a challenge.

t0W wrote:

I take it you have all of the Portal achievements then?

You should try the user created game of the Portal flash version map-pack for the full game (not in flash, a recreation of the flash game's maps). It is much more challenging, even has a good story XD. http://portalmaps.wecreatestuff.com/

Almost all of them. I haven't medaled in every single time/step/number-of-portals challenge yet, so the only three I'm missing are the Basic Science/Rocket Science/Aperture Science ones. And I loved those advanced versions of the test chambers - just wish there was more like that in the regular game.

At the moment, I've only got the 360 Orange Box, so I have to wait for Still Alive to get the flash-conversion map pack. Harumph.

Oh, I see, you're one of those people.

Basic science isn't hard, but I'm sure it is harder with a gp than kb

Bragging rights: http://steamcommunity.com/id/general...

I think that a lot of the reason for Portal's popularity is the fact that people went in expecting a puzzle game, but ended up getting something so much more complete. And there are advanced puzzles and user-created puzzles for those who need more of a challenge.

Bingo. It's always more fun to be pleasantly surprised.

t0W wrote:

Bragging rights: http://steamcommunity.com/id/general...

What impresses me most is that you detached all the security cameras from the walls. That's dedication.

Nyles wrote:
t0W wrote:

Bragging rights: http://steamcommunity.com/id/general...

What impresses me most is that you detached all the security cameras from the walls. That's dedication.

Meh, that one is easy. Some of those other achievements aren't, though.

I, for one, would certainly like to see more puzzles that remind me of Gabriel Knight III.

nsmike wrote:
Nyles wrote:
t0W wrote:

Bragging rights: http://steamcommunity.com/id/general...

What impresses me most is that you detached all the security cameras from the walls. That's dedication.

Meh, that one is easy. Some of those other achievements aren't, though.

Easy, but it requires a special kind of OCD.

wordsmythe wrote:

I, for one, would certainly like to see more puzzles that remind me of Gabriel Knight III.

I assume you mean Le Serpent Rouge and not the cat hair puzzle.

wordsmythe wrote:

I, for one, would certainly like to see more puzzles that remind me of Gabriel Knight III.

IMAGE(http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/6794/gk3puzzlell6.th.jpg)

When's your birthday? I'll send it over

Duoae wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

I, for one, would certainly like to see more puzzles that remind me of Gabriel Knight III.

IMAGE(http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/6794/gk3puzzlell6.th.jpg)

When's your birthday? I'll send it over ;)

No, no, no! Those puzzle pieces all obviously fit together in an understandable way, which is far too easy. Maybe if you flipped all the pieces over and had me wear a blindfold it might be challenging enough.

Pizza Fusion works best for me.