Conference Call

GWJ Conference Call Episode 133

Left 4 Dead: Survival, Demigod, Red Faction: Guerrilla, The Origins of Peggle on WoW, theHunter, PopCap Creative Director & Co-Founder Jason Kapalka, A Chance to Win The Dishwasher!, Your Emails and more!

We're very pleased to be joined by PopCap's own Jason Kapalka this week! Bejeweled, Peggle, Zuma and the upcoming Plants Vs. Zombies are just some of the many brain-eating games brought to us by PopCap. We delve into how Peggle ended up in WoW, PopCap's MMO death pool, the possibility of a PopCap RPG, strategic partnerships and a whole lot more. There's also a chance to win a code for The Dishwasher on Xbox Live thanks to DrJonez! Finally, if you'd like to fill out our GWJ Conference Call Survey we'd appreciate it! 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

"Washaway" (Ian Dorsch) - 0:26:49
"Carving Away Stone" (Ian Dorsch) - 1:03:40


Mixolyde wrote:

You heard it here first: PopCap brings Roguelikes to main stream with: Behacked! Netiquarium? Zumcrawl?

I got nothing, except that a popcap dungeon-crawler that could be played in 30 minute stretches would be awesome.

I can get behind this.

DualPicks wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:

You heard it here first: PopCap brings Roguelikes to main stream with: Behacked! Netiquarium? Zumcrawl?

I got nothing, except that a popcap dungeon-crawler that could be played in 30 minute stretches would be awesome.

I can get behind this.

Something like the Monster's Den games on Kongregate, but not quite as deep or long perhaps.

I haven't listened to the podcast yet (downloading it now!), but I'm happy The Hunter is on the list again.

I'm not a hunter in real life, and never would have played a hunting game if y'all hadn't talked about it for 2 straight podcasts. After trying The Hunter last Friday, solely due to your excitement about the game, I've had my most enjoyable week of gaming in a very long time, and I can't wait to hear what you had to say this week.

Forget casual gaming. I'm stalking deer! This is Serious Business

I'm really enjoying Dungeon Crawl Talk Soup. Would never have heard of it without the 'cast. I'm a little stunned I heard of it from a guy from PopCap (great guest btw).

That was a great show...and you guys reigned it in admirably with the mention of a "giant meaty tube" slapped across your iPhone. I, however, did not.

This was a fantastic episode. I loved the peek behind the curtain regarding the PopCap WoW addons. Great show and great interview!

Great podcast. Even better than usual! And it was fascinating to listen to Mr. Kapalka's views on things. I've always loved Bookworm, and have both the Bejewelled and Peggle addons for WoW. Hearing the story of how they originated definitely gave me more of an appreciation of what they do. Thanks as always to everyone involved in bringing the podcast to us!

HaciendaSquish wrote:

He also created The Cradle in Thief: Deadly Shadows. That is what changed my mind about Bioshock 2.

Do you have any idea how long I stood outside that door at the top of those winding stairs?



I really liked this podcast.My whole family,including my non-gaming wife,plays the heck out of Peggle.At one point i was ranked #31 on the xbox leaderboards.That's right,# 31 out of,I'm guessing here,... millions.I coulda been a contender.My family started playing on my tag and I plummeted.Ah well,the glory was fleeting but satisfying.

I'm glad I'm not the only one that would welcome the talk of older games. I've got so many games in my backlog that older stuff (1 year ago or more) is really all I play these days. As it is, I have trouble mustering up the enthusiasm for the latest hotness, given the vastness of my Pile of Shame. Ever thought about having a "Classic Games Only" week on the podcast?

That said: I can not wait for Plants vs. Zombies. This totally looks like my kind of game.

LOVED the Jason Kapalka interview. PopCap's one of my fave developers, both in terms of product and modus operandi; I feel like they somehow managed to take casual gaming--which used to be (and largely still is) a cesspit of shoddily-made, IQ-lowering timewasters--and give the sector a little respectability and class. Jason's a smart guy, and had some pretty perceptive things to say (e.g., his comment about hardcore gamers like us being the real niche). I hope he comes back on the show again soon!

Minarchist wrote:

Lobster's legitimate question about hardcore/casual aside, I think it's nice when you have guests on for the entire show, i.e. Zonk or Kapalka, than for just a single segment. It's cool to get their opinions for new games they're playing, e-mails, etc. especially during slower release weeks. :)


LobsterMobster wrote:

By the way, guys, I'm glad you don't insert WoW into the conversation as much as you used to.

...Frikkin iPhone. ;)

I'm amazed the podcast survived the release of the the WoW iPhone App.

Enjoyed the show, whilst playing through PvZ at the moment, I can't help but think about how many "serious" gamers might be turned off by the overtly low res cartoon graphics (that admittedly do lend the game its "charm" and artistic style). Imagine if you will a more dark and gritty implementation, still with stylised art, but less colourful, loony and throwaway. Perhaps take the art style of a game such as Disciples for instance, or for the wargamer sub in Allies vs Axis (with Sunflowers being supply trucks, and peashooters Artillery guns, and walnuts entrenched soldier fortifications) and then the game may cross more boundaries and not be taken as a cutesy casual game. As it is, I think the game has a lot of depth, yet it presents its depth as frivolity almost. I feel, boiling down the mechanic and tweaking it for real time but abstracted conflict in more "mature" settings would elevate it in the global strategy community. It seems as an all round gamer (with a job, family and responsiblities), who delves into casual abstractions (sometimes distractions) as much as console stalwarts and nitpicking niche strategy titles, I yearn for more credible casual titles, condensed quicker play credible games that have great game mechanics, but don't need the rainbow of primary palette nor the cutesy artistic reworkings to appeal to the so called "casual space".

I'd also like to praise the GWJCC because of the brief musical interludes between sections, not many podcasts do this, and I for one really enjoy the ambient break it gives you, so you have time to process and think about your stand on the ideas and discussions you've heard. Some might see them as interupting the flow of the show, but I think it gives more value to the pacing of the show, simply because you get a breather, a time for your own mental machinations.. its almost a time for you to have space to participate in the discussion, checking your own opinion, before you move onto another subject.

I'll hum a musical interlude here for the folks reading this to digest what I've said..

And now, keep up the good work GWJ.

Its interesting to hear about Jason's infrequent return to rogue-likes, I'd like to see popcap delve into the more casual roleplaying rogue-like, something like Fastcrawl

I think there really is a middle ground that is very much underserved between blinky fat gemmed casual games and head scratchy deep full blown time needy games.. we need a swift delivery of credible games that hit the spot for gamers with too many responsiblities on their plates but with enough gaming savvy to know they want a bit more than just the candy frosted delights in the current casual quagmire.