GWJ Conference Call Episode 119

Conference Call

Red Alert 3, Fable 2 DLC Pack, Crayon Physics, The Recession and The Gaming Industry, Your Emails, Voicemails and more!

This week we tackle the economy and how the recession may impact the gaming industry and the games we actually play. It's more interesting than it sounds, I promise! We also announce Sean Sands' next Horizon Broadening Game and discuss the ending of Gravity Bone. If you want to submit a question or comment call in to our voicemail line at (612) 284-4563!

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. You can also submit a question or comment call in to our voicemail line at (612) 284-4563!

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

"Small Comfort" - Apoplexia (Benoit Casey) - http://www.cerebrimusic.com - 0:36:40
"Luna Machine" (Benoit Casey) - http://www.cerebrimusic.com - 1:00:25

Comments

FenixStryk wrote:

2) The word "game" is a noun, not an adjective. As such, you should not use it as a descriptive term for games. =) You don't have to say "It was a game for the masses," when you can say "It was for the masses."

"Here comes a new challenger!"

Rabbit, even if I weren't taking a drink in honor of you saying "BioShock," you immediately followed it with the word "disintermediation," which is worth a whole glass. You didn't even hesitate before busting that one out. Bravo, sir.

Elysium wrote:

I'm pretty sure they can't just throw up their hands and abandon the holiday season. The issue was not scheduling, the issue was competitiveness, and let's be honest -- it's damn hard to launch new IPs in a season like the one we just saw.

I'm not saying there wasn't management errors, but I think you're on the wrong track here. Mirror's Edge just wouldn't have done the same business in February that it did last year, even if it did get eclipsed by a GOW2. The idea that a game like ME could have been successful outside the holiday season is a fallacy.

Yeah it's a tough call. It is said that the 10th place game in the holiday rush still does better than the best one in the summer. But you need realistic expectations, ME was not as good as most of the games that came out in Q4. If it was put there to grab extra income, so be it, but it shouldn't have been expected to top the charts.

Actually, you're making EA's point about the top 5 syndrome. The point being - yes, well recognized brands will continue to sell well, but the recession is hitting the middle of the road games. You can't look for the dip in the curve by examining the extremes.

Yeah the strength of the top does prove half his statement, but how different is it from 2007 and Halo 3. The top was strong last year too, doesn't mean it's causing the middle to suffer.

I hate to totally disagree again, but I'd argue the _exact_ opposite. Look for the Wii (low price point, broad appeal, casual market friendly, kid focused, softcore approach) to be the system that is totally unaffected by the downturn.

Yeah I don't think the Wii is going to fail or anything, but it'll definitely lose momentum. It's success is based off the mass market and their desire for a new toy. It's not expensive compared to other consoles, but I don't think it's market is the same. It's riding a huge bubble right now of hype and as people that don't care about games start counting their pennies they may be less likely to go buy a new console.

My prediction is that Wii Play falls off the NPDs by the end of this year.

An uncanny Ryan Scott laugh is located at 1:23:47.

Believe it.... or not!

wordsmythe wrote:
FenixStryk wrote:

2) The word "game" is a noun, not an adjective. As such, you should not use it as a descriptive term for games. =) You don't have to say "It was a game for the masses," when you can say "It was for the masses."

"Here comes a new challenger!"

I'm looking forward to this smackdown. It will be delicious.

It was mentioned in the economic discussion that EA went from making a boatload of money to making a little bit less of a boatload of money. They are actually in a much rougher spot. EA is going to end up in the red for the second straight year. They lost the lead in market share to Activision, and their stock this year is performing much worse than any of the major indexes (down almost 70%!).

Beyond the human suffering due to the layoffs, I think it is too bad because it is going to leave the impression that Activision had a better strategy in cranking up the sequel factory while EA which made some great strides towards creativity and invested in original IP but floundered commercially.

p.s. love the podcast. this is my first post; I'm another 1up refugee washing ashore.

MrShoop wrote:

p.s. love the podcast.

As a newbie, you'll soon learn that the Powers That Be expect much more salad tossing than this if you expect them to settle their gaze upon your mortal words...

Deadron wrote:
MrShoop wrote:

p.s. love the podcast.

As a newbie, you'll soon learn that the Powers That Be expect much more salad tossing than this if you expect them to settle their gaze upon your mortal words...

IMAGE(http://nopiece.com/images/toss_salad.gif) ??

FenixStryk wrote:

1) If you want to make it easier to distinguish who is who, say eachother's names more often. Radio Talk Shows usually do this. Try not to rely on the word "you." Speaking of word-reliance..

Radio talk shows will also spread out the speakers in the stereo image, so each speaker is panned a little bit left or right and the host is centred. This makes it much easier to identify who is talking. You guys should do this.

wordsmythe wrote:
FenixStryk wrote:

2) The word "game" is a noun, not an adjective. As such, you should not use it as a descriptive term for games. =) You don't have to say "It was a game for the masses," when you can say "It was for the masses."

"Here comes a new challenger!"

So when you say that someone's got game.... how does that work?

Seriously though, game is both an adjective and noun. Clearly if you 'game the system' it's an adjective.

Otherwise i'm guessing that you'd say we couldn't use the sentence: "It was a dress for the boys." It may be redundant in close conversation between two people but it's no less 'right' than leaving it out.

Irongut wrote:

Geez, you guys gotta stop massaging your overdeveloped 'grammary' glands.

This sentence is both worryingly scary and erotic at the same time....

o_O

wordsmythe wrote:
FenixStryk wrote:

2) The word "game" is a noun, not an adjective. As such, you should not use it as a descriptive term for games. =) You don't have to say "It was a game for the masses," when you can say "It was for the masses."

"Here comes a new challenger!"
:D

Geez, you guys gotta stop massaging your overdeveloped 'grammary' glands.

I believe we use game as an adjective any time we say something like:
It's game time!
Anyone wanna play L4D Expert. Hell yeah, I'm game for that.

Hunters use it all the time in describing their catch.
I thought that deer was gamey.

It can be used as a verb.
That guy is such an achievement whore. He really knows how to game the system.

Duoae wrote:

Clearly if you 'game the system' it's an adjective.

Verb. Thank you for playing.

Back to the question.

Consider: "Game design."

Adjective constructed as an open-form compound word (Noun adjunct). "Game" modifies "design." This is no different than "car" modifying "door" to make "car door."

All that said, while Fenix' comment sounds like grammar, it's really just construction choice. Certainly in the context of an article about "Gears of War" you could say "It was a game for the masses." However, in an article about violence in pop-culture, you could (and perhaps should say) things like "While Tarantino's film, "Reservoir Dogs," can me seen as niche, there's little doubt that "Gears of War" was a game for the masses."

Even then, "game" in this case is a noun, and "for the masses" is a prepositional phrase that compliments the noun. "It was a game" is perfectly nice little simple sentence.

My work here is done.

Irongut wrote:

Hell yeah, I'm game for that.

Sure, totally different meaning though.

rabbit wrote:
Duoae wrote:

Clearly if you 'game the system' it's an adjective.

Verb. Thank you for playing.

Yeah, you're right. I had a whole load of different stuff in there and i edited some out and forgot to correct that part. My point stands though - 'game' is not just a noun.

Thanks for being blunt.

Duoae wrote:

Thanks for being blunt.

That's me, Mr. Lead Pipe.

I love how everyone does my work for me. Makes me feel better about being busy with real work this week.

rabbit wrote:
Duoae wrote:

Thanks for being blunt.

That's me, Mr. Lead Pipe.

[Insert bad joke here.]

Certis wrote:

- I don't think I can ever be convinced that a mainstream game created for a wide variety of people would be well served in not having multiple layers of difficulty and options to make puzzles easier. Making a game too difficult without any recourse is no better than making it too easy is in my opinion. Puzzles are typically a fail state situation. You beat them and move on or you're stuck for good. Not giving the player a way to move forward if he/she just can't get it either through an optional hint or some other mechanism would be poor design. Period.

But don't gamefaqs.com and youtube.com serve the same purpose for puzzle games as "easy mode" serves for other games? Why does the designer have to if these resources are already available?
I agree with you on your other points, though.

wordsmythe wrote:
rabbit wrote:
Duoae wrote:

Thanks for being blunt.

That's me, Mr. Lead Pipe.

[Insert bad joke here.]

...down at the Ram Rod Club.

I bought SOASE Retail. I guess that makes me #2 in the world (after Rob).

But don't gamefaqs.com and youtube.com serve the same purpose for puzzle games as "easy mode" serves for other games? Why does the designer have to if these resources are already available?
I agree with you on your other points, though.

You don't see the difference or benefit to in-game options vs. surfing the internet? There are millions of people who don't know what Gamefaqs is and wouldn't even know where to look on Youtube.

Certis wrote:
But don't gamefaqs.com and youtube.com serve the same purpose for puzzle games as "easy mode" serves for other games? Why does the designer have to if these resources are already available?
I agree with you on your other points, though.

You don't see the difference or benefit to in-game options vs. surfing the internet? There are millions of people who don't know what Gamefaqs is and wouldn't even know where to look on Youtube.

Indeed, there's a huge difference between reading step-by-step instructions in a walkthrough and getting a small hint in game. Things like Uncharted's L2 hint system, which just directs your view in the general direction of the solution, could make a big difference for less-experienced gamers.

Zelos wrote:

Indeed, there's a huge difference between reading step-by-step instructions in a walkthrough and getting a small hint in game. Things like Uncharted's L2 hint system, which just directs your view in the general direction of the solution, could make a big difference for less-experienced gamers.

Or the Y button in gears of war?

rabbit wrote:
Zelos wrote:

Indeed, there's a huge difference between reading step-by-step instructions in a walkthrough and getting a small hint in game. Things like Uncharted's L2 hint system, which just directs your view in the general direction of the solution, could make a big difference for less-experienced gamers.

Or the Y button in gears of war?

It's bad enough I have to use Microsoft software at work, I refuse to let it intrude into my entertainment as well

Certis wrote:

You don't see the difference or benefit to in-game options vs. surfing the internet? There are millions of people who don't know what Gamefaqs is and wouldn't even know where to look on Youtube.

Sure - I just don't think these are the same millions of people who are playing hardcore puzzle games. I guess I've gotten to the point where surfing the internet has become integral as a tool to assist in my gaming experience.

Zelos wrote:

Indeed, there's a huge difference between reading step-by-step instructions in a walkthrough and getting a small hint in game.

I guess I don't see it that way - one way or another, I wasn't able to solve the puzzle on my own. I don't get any more satisfaction from solving it with a hint vs. a full solution - if we're talking about one specific puzzle. I guess that's just me, though.

The point of all of which to say - yes, it might be better to have hints or whatever in-game, or it might just lead to laziness and people getting help without giving the puzzles enough thought, defeating the purpose of the game. The bottom line is that there are resources available if you really need them, they're pretty accessible and can be puzzle specific, and I don't think it's a bad thing that they are removed from the game to remove the temptation to use them before you really need to.

Insectecutor wrote:
FenixStryk wrote:

1) If you want to make it easier to distinguish who is who, say eachother's names more often. Radio Talk Shows usually do this. Try not to rely on the word "you." Speaking of word-reliance..

Radio talk shows will also spread out the speakers in the stereo image, so each speaker is panned a little bit left or right and the host is centred. This makes it much easier to identify who is talking. You guys should do this.

I do pan Rabbit's voice and my voice. I leave both Certis and Elysium centered. Maybe I can pan the two of us a bit more.

Gaald wrote:

I do pan Rabbit's voice and my voice. I leave both Certis and Elysium centered. Maybe I can pan the two of us a bit more.

Please, just don't go too far, for us headphone listening folk who get annoyed at single ear input when it lasts a bit long. I'm guessing that's what you are trying to avoid though. I don't really even notice any stereo differences.

Yeah, and some of us don't hear the same out of both ears, either.

rabbit wrote:

Yeah, and some of us don't hear the same out of both ears, either.

May I suggest:
IMAGE(http://www.straightupsearch.com/archives/ear_horn.jpg)

rabbit wrote:

Yeah, and some of us don't hear the same out of both ears, either.

IMAGE(http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/3780/wl027xn6.jpg)