GWJ Conference Call Episode 110

Conference Call

Wrath of The Witchlysium, Resistance 2, End War, Mirror's Edge, Gears of War 2, An Interview With Bethesda's Pete Hines, Your Emails and more!

This week Julian Murdoch and Michael Zenke lob softballs across the plate for Pete Hines to knock out of the park. We also cover a crazy amount of games, your emails and some new listener submitted audio bits.

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 Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"The Way Your Journey Ends" Tom Quinn - http://www.citadel-studios.com - 0:36:42
"Long Midnight" (Benoit Casey) - http://outtobrunch.blogspot.com - 1:11:03
"Coldstream the Greatest" (Duoae) - www.eggmen.co.uk - 1:42:53

Comments

Gaald wrote:
Mordiceius wrote:

Wow, now I'm terribly curious what that word was.

Someone has already posted a link, in this thread, to a home theater system that uses the word as a name.

Wow, I completely missed that.

Duoae wrote:

Wow thanks for the compliments guys..... but it really is bad. It's just one of those things. You do something and think, eh, it's okay and then come back to it and realise just how crap it really is. Though i suppose it is supposed to be jokey (that's not normally the way i sing or play)

Sway wrote:

Great song! The Internet is my brassiere too!

I did toy with using that word but i figured it made even less sense so i made it brazier (as in a torch type thing - symbolism for him 'spreading the light').

Dude - the song is awesome no matter what you say. It really made my day. Thanks for making it and thanks to Rob for putting it on the podcast.

Plus, you should have left the mystery of the Internet brassiere alone - it may not have made any sense, but it fit in perfectly for some reason. I think, in a way, the Internet is everyone's brassiere.

LobsterMobster wrote:

I can't help but notice that the "phasing" aspect that apparently made Lich King's story so awesome is the same thing Guild Wars has used throughout the entire game across all three campaigns to tell rather epic stories.

Phasing is a little different from the way GW uses instances/districts.

With phasing, players are in the same instance, but their game client gives them a different view of the world depending on what quests they have completed.

It's an interesting approach. Bad Mojo tells me it isn't a new technique, but it's certainly a technique that could be used more often by games of this genre. It works well in the Death Knight starting area.

Not to toot my own horn, but here's a write up I did explaining world phasing: World Phasing and You

Nightmare wrote:

Dude - the song is awesome no matter what you say. It really made my day. Thanks for making it and thanks to Rob for putting it on the podcast.

Plus, you should have left the mystery of the Internet brassiere alone - it may not have made any sense, but it fit in perfectly for some reason. I think, in a way, the Internet is everyone's brassiere.

Wow, thanks Nightmare! I don't know what to say.... though i think, in a way the internet is everyone's brassiere. It's certainly very supportive - if not always comfortable

Duoae wrote:

Wow, thanks Nightmare! I don't know what to say.... though i think, in a way the internet is everyone's brassiere. It's certainly very supportive - if not always comfortable ;)

Yeah, don't mistake my wise-ass remark for any slight on the song or the lyric. I knew it was brazier, but you coined an awesome new catch phrase that is sweeping the me by storm. Also, the Internet contains breasts.

jlaakso wrote:

Regarding the sequels thing, it's simply necessary. Making original IP is very hard, costly and risky, making sequels is less risky. I imagine that EA would have known they would see their sales go down initially but expect some gems (new franchises) to rise from what they're doing currently and reap the benefits in the future. Still, it is depressing to see them take such a hit for embracing new games.

In a sense, I get Activision's direction here. It's not like they're looking down on original IP, but rather that they want it to be expandable. It does strike me as weird that Ghostbusters wouldn't be ripe for expansion, though.

But there's a point where brand fatigue begins to set in and that's where simply milking established IPs comes in. If you have a selection of games that come out regularly, at full price, with little difference between them, there is little incentive to pick up the latest edition of something. I think this is part of the reason why the sales of Guitar Hero World Tour have been incredibly lackluster; the series has had six releases in three years.

Movie studios seem to be working through this same situation but I think are doing a better job of balancing franchise movies against new movies, although the analogy isn't a perfect fit.

Gaald wrote:
Mordiceius wrote:

Wow, now I'm terribly curious what that word was.

Someone has already posted a link, in this thread, to a home theater system that uses the word as a name.

And they're Canadian too Gaald! Isn't it awesome?

Sway wrote:
Duoae wrote:

Wow, thanks Nightmare! I don't know what to say.... though i think, in a way the internet is everyone's brassiere. It's certainly very supportive - if not always comfortable ;)

Yeah, don't mistake my wise-ass remark for any slight on the song or the lyric. I knew it was brazier, but you coined an awesome new catch phrase that is sweeping the me by storm. Also, the Internet contains breasts.

Just think.... if i had gone ahead and used that line instead of changing it i could have been a meme.

I love having a number of games on the go so I can switch depending on my mood. I needed a new shooter and was tossing up between Deadspace and Resistance 2. I finally went with Resistance 2.

A couple of hours into the campaign and I was regretting it. This is not say it isn't a competent game but if you have played the first one it is more of the same and the graphics have not been improved at all. Do developers talk to each other because when I reached a fifties town I once again heard fifties music playing and appeals from the president, all present in Fallout 3.

Also having knee high fences and gaps between objects that you cannot walk through or jump over really irritates me. If you are going to have locked doors (I have high powered weapons and cannot get through a door WTF) at least have a sound bite that has you attempting to open it. I know it's knick picking but this is the sort of stuff I thought would dissapear with the power of next gen consoles. If you are going to herd the player along a linear path you need to find clever ways to disquise it. It is the accumulation of small fineses that make a great game.

Also as the father of a 5 year daughter it irriates me no end that these games have no option of playing through as a woman, all games should have this option I believe (not that I am gonna let my 5 year old play this game but if she was older).

Anyway tired of the campaigh I thought I would try coop mode as I had heard good things. Well talk about FREAKING AWESOME. Running around huge maps with I think its eight others, completing missions with over the top gun battles while levelling your character and no lag, talk about FUN. It's brilliant, so much so I think I will find it hard to even finnish the campaign. I just hope they keep expanding the coop with more maps and equipment and again they must allow you character to be a female. Playing along side stubble covered soldiers called Nicole is just weird.

as an RPG fan with a PS3 I like to here a review of Eternal Sonata and Valkyrie Chronicals. I highly recommend Disgaea 3, but would recomend those new to the series try out the DS version first. Also I'd like to here your opinions of both your favourite and least favourite gaming websites and magazines.

Nice work on the song there Duoae! You are making momma proud today!

Also I am looking forward to what everyone thinks about WOW next week. I still haven't gone past the start area for the death knight. Forgive me but left 4 dead is too nice to let it sit in the corner!!

You know, I don't want to crap on the parade, but that whole dynamically adaptive dialog thing - that's not going to be so good as you think. While it would certainly be possible, that's not a trivial bit of work. What you'd likely end up with is a bucket full of conversation packets that would be audio-stitched together to form some kind of conversation, which could work, but unless done really, really well will end up sounding like you cut up an audio book, shook up the tape slicings, and then tried to stitch it all back together with electrical tape. Making a good "scene" out of that, while not impossible, is more challenging than I think you're giving it credit for. I'm not a game programmer (strictly business for me), but what I remember from my college studies in the general area tells me that this is not a trivial problem.

I'm also forced to wonder how in the chuffing hell you repeat a snippet of text you need to hear again because your worthless old-man brain has gone and forgotten precisely which brand of jewel encrusted dog collar you're supposed to be fetching, but I'm assuming that you'd have some sort of note-taking system.

Oh, and the whole voice recognition, talking to a computer thing? That's right out. I would suggest that will be LESS immersive than dialog trees - there's nothing that feels more stilted and awkward than trying to communicate verbally with a machine. EndWar just barely works, and it uses an extremely limited vocabulary and scope of conversation. Getting that to games? I can't even conceive of that happening within the next twenty years.

Julian - how could you!

Ziff Davis CEO Considering Shuttering Print Version Of EGM

Must you kill all the gaming magazines?!

The bleeped word... wasn't there a Confed destroyer in Wing Commander Privateer that went by that classification?

Speaking of space simulations, I'm worried that the implementation of Coldstream's dialogue idea would turn out like those awful, awful conversations like in Freelancer. Really terrible.

"You must be new here. We don't run this place, but we have an understanding with the people who do."

Cinematic, yes. Free-flowing? Sort of, maybe the first time you hear the conversation. Then it became painfully obvious that it was the same exact conversation over and over and over, with new keywords inserted here and there.

That isn't to say that such a system can't be implemented properly, but that it would take a lot of work to make the conversations sound like something other than 1. fully-scripted cutscenes, 2. Mab Libs, or 3. random Oblivion-esque non-sequitur small-talk.

Alternately, I like the system used in Sam & Max Hit the Road and Bladerunner, where you picked an attitude/approach and the game auto-magically filled in the dialogue. I guess Mass Effect kind of did this too, with the benefit that it allows the characters to say things that sound like real conversations, rather than just parroting "Name Job Bye" over and over.

That said, how awesome would it be if they could take the old LucasArts iMuse dynamic music system and apply it to dialogue instead? It could be like the "A Pirate I Was Meant To Be" song from Curse of Monkey Island without the music.

- Alan

Great show...and I am one of those people who gets this con-call on his Zune...its a good mp3 player...and it just got 3 new games as of the last software update.

I would have to say...I am one of those people who have had very little experience with WoW. I played a 14 day demo at one point prior to Burning Crusade..and that is all. Reason, I just don't agree with the business model. I personally don't agree with having to pay 50-60 dollars for a game that I have to pay an additional 15 dollars a month to play. Now, if I had unlimited funds and no family and plenty of time in the world, I might reconsider since the 14 days worth I did play was pretty damn awesome.

Rob: SoaSE. PRE-ORDER IT.

Duh!

Good points on the complexity of using voice recognition. It may be a while off before it can be implimented well but it will come. I personally think when we can talk to the NPC's in a way that's natural it will be a huge jump in the immersive feel of games. Obviously you will notebook so you can read the dialog when necessary. Even in multitplayer games or FPS, if they could impliment the use of microphones so the sound actually comes from the player character rather than overarching garbled noise. Eventually I imagine they will be able to get you characters lips to follow your speech. Anyway I love speculating on what may and will be possible. Stuff may be way off in the future but there will be many bridges on the way which will incrimentally improve the gameplay.

I also like games which pays attention the small stuff. Why not have the character unfold a map when looking at a map. It should be skippable, but this small stuff just adds to the immersion. Bioshock's cluttered beautiful levels made it a joy to play and made you want to explore every part of that world.

Resistance 2 Multiplayer rocks, the campaign is improving as I've gone along, its very polished but nothing new. What I loved about Prey what the way it totally disorientated you, had no idea where you were and what was going on, its surprised you again and again. I also like puzzels in my shooters. But the Multiplayer in Resistance 2 make this game more than worth it.

One thing I really don't like in Fallout 3 is having to repair the equipment. I just think it adds an unnnecessay grind factor and stuff seems to break down way to quickly. I would prefer to simply have euipment in various states of repair so you when you come across the brand new shotgun its a great find. In this game a week later and this gun already useless this is not even realism let alone fun gameplay. Also the map system is pretty weak and still find myself getting lost wasting lots of time in random battles trying to find a way to the next quest point. While you dont want to be led by the nose I hate getting repeatedly lost.

Terrific show guys I am a new listerner and loving it.

docbadwrench wrote:

Rabbit, you can only post that clarification to such a big word if you are wearing a tweed jacket and holding a polished mahogany pipe; please obey the law.

Shut your elitist mouth before I have to get all populist on this thread.

I'll do you better than that, I'll hang up my tweed jacket. I can't battle with populists.

docbadwrench wrote:

I'll do you better than that, I'll hang up my tweed jacket. I can't battle with populists. :)

Just be thankful I'm sober.