GWJ Conference Call Episode 140

Conference Call

Prototype, Tiger Woods 10 (Wii), Sims 3, AAA Blockbuster Games, Your Emails and more!

This week Cory Banks is in the captain's seat as he steers the show through the treacherous waters of AAA blockbuster games. Also, Sean Sands uses saucy language to make his point! 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

"PodunkStump" (Ian Dorsch) - 0:37:01
"Los Pistoleros" (Ian Dorsch) - 1:04:27

Comments

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Saucy!

I don't use a laptop so this question may sound stupid but is disc space still that much of an issue? On my last pc i would always be managing what I had installed but on my current PC which is coming up 2 1/2 years old it has never been an issue.

I think vista is defintely better than xp but only worth the money if you need to buy a new OS. If you have xp it works so why uprade. I installed windows 7 a month ago and it is basically vista with better PR. Maybe there is something going on in the background that is great but performance across the board feels the same and the minor changes I have noticed to the UI are more often annoying than good.

I would have thought starcraft 2 and diablo 3 would have to be game events that are on the horizon.

superslug wrote:

I don't use a laptop so this question may sound stupid but is disc space still that much of an issue?

For MacBook Pros, I'd assume it is. Otherwise, I can't see why Banks would have gone into that rant. Technology is way ahead of single-digit GB differences nowadays.

I would have thought starcraft 2 and diablo 3 would have to be game events that are on the horizon.

I would agree although it doesn't seem the podcasters are too hot on Starcraft. Personally I think the announcement was a big event with nice 20 minute gameplay footage and they had another good followup when they revealed details of the Terrans, but since then it's been a slow trickle with few events hyping the game. However I expect the marketing to go into overdrive after BlizzCon. However I wouldn't expect Diablo 3 until next year at the earliest. Sure Blizzard is defined by WoW now but people forget that they were a hugely popular developer even before that.

Also I think Bioware's upcoming games deserve some scrutiny. There's the dubious Marilyn Manson Dragon Age trailers, the rocking Mass Effect 2 trailer, and the incredible TOR cinematic trailer. If The Old Republic's release is not a huge event I will be surprised.

I agree that the word on starcraft 2 has been quiet for a while now but I figured that was just to let everyone calm down after the 3 games announcement and to make sure there was some impact when the release date is announced. I also agree that diablo 3 is a fair way off but I am excited for that more than i will be for any other sequel.

FenixStryk wrote:
superslug wrote:

I don't use a laptop so this question may sound stupid but is disc space still that much of an issue?

For MacBook Pros, I'd assume it is. Otherwise, I can't see why Banks would have gone into that rant. Technology is way ahead of single-digit GB differences nowadays.

It's probably more of an issue for Macs because Windows is on a second partition, so every GB you give to Windows is lost to your OSX partition.

Hey, unicorns and rainbows could prove to be lucrative commodities with the economy going the way it is.

I used to love used game stores because they were a fantastic place to find old games that I loved when I was younger. Of course, with most of those games starting to get re-released as downloads now, that no longer matters as much, so I'm slowly starting to move in the direction of supporting digital downloads. I think part of me still prefers to have the physical disk as a security option, but the way Steam and Impulse allows you to download anything you've bought from them for free, that preference is slowly fading away.

Great show guys!

Im really surprised in the blockbuster/AAA section that in the list 'Star Wars; The Old Republic' wasn't mentioned.

I can't wait ... I've already picked my character, and started building a guild website.

Yeah I know 'Fanboy'

Wow - the show was somehow sooo much better this week

Great show guys. Why all the prototype hate? Rob - who told you it sucked? Do you read the forums? Also, why all the plotline hate? I haven't made it too far (I just got the ability to unlock the whip) but the way the story is delivered (devouring people) and the cutscenes/flashes I think is really good - and different, dare I say unique? Sure, it's generic, but they ALL are - atleast its delivery is something new, and done well IMO.

Mex wrote:

First!

Fixed that for you.

Random thoughts on a rainy, sleepy morning:

0) I've always wanted to say this: Podunk, your music is awesome, I love it when your music is in the podcast. When I hear it coming up for a break, I always crank it (I'm in my car, usually, while listening). I never skip the opening or closing music like I do on other podcasts (as I type this, it seems stupid, but really isn't - the other stuff is boring, the opening and closing are still great after all these listens). Just good, good stuff.

1) Demi, good job in the captain's chair. I think it's interesting how people's presentation changes when they are hosting. It seems like whoever is doing it subsumes some of their normal personality in order to drive the show forward. For example, I see Cory as kind of a contrarian on the show usually, but today he was in a placating, keep-the-trains-moving-on-time sort of role, which doesn't allow for a lot of contarianism. When both rabbit and Elysium hosted recently, their personalities changed as well. Not bad, mind you, just interesting. It might be interesting (although probably never happen) to have Certis on but not as host, just to see him with his hair down if you will.

2) Echo Shoal, I don't get the Prototype hate either, maybe it's because it's the latest in a string of similar games (RFG, Infamous) and people are tired of the concept?

3) One thing a lot of the AAA titles mentioned in the discussion have in common: sequels. It seems like a lot of the AAA titles are sequels, using the podcasts definition of AAA (reaching beyond gaming, being an "event"). A lot of what I would consider to be AAA titles (Bioshock or Assassin's Creed, for example), really didn't reach beyond the gamer crowd into the mainstream like, say, a GT4 did, because the "masses" did not have any context to draw from. Anyway, just an observation.

4) The discussion of Ultima VII plus Elysium's article on it have made me want to find my discs and reinstall. This game changed what was possible in a Western RPG and did things that are still not being done. the first time I went to Cove and saw litter (litter!) defiling Brittania created a palpable response that few games have ever elicited from me. The ambiguous morality of the Guardian, the cult of the Avatar, all just stuff that hasn't been seen before or sense. And Elysium's observation about the layering of the story is spot on - this is one of the best examples of narrative in a video game that I can think of.

Awesome job as host Cory, good work

I'm surprised Diablo III didn't get a mention under blockbuster games, I'm certainly looking forward to that a huge amount and I know moist of my gaming group will be frothing over it.

RE: Vista and XP discussion, I tried so hard to like Vista, really I did, but even after SP1 the performance was still terrible (I'm not using a Macbook Pro though, just a normal PC). The randomness was what got me, bizarre disk activity for no reason whatsoever leading to horrific framerate drops. No thanks, I'll stick with an OS that works

If you don't mind waiting a few months I think digital rental of games can be much more prevalent and used than the disc rentals. Of course this only works on open platforms, (PC), the gametap is the most known system at the moment, in the US fat least, but in Europe there's lots of different companys, metaboli, the current owner of gametap, being the biggest. Not every company is on board and because you depend on the publisher being willing to join the system it can't work like gamefly and other systems. But on the other hand there is the opportunity to get some more money on part of the publishers. The system can work like dvd's usally work now, the games are released exclusive for sale and after a period of time appear on the rental systems.

Wow, a Thomas Covenant reference. Random, but welcome.

Shoal07 wrote:

Wow - the show was somehow sooo much better this week ;)

Indeed, and I think it's because of what Nightmare mentioned...

Nightmare wrote:

1) Demi, good job in the captain's chair. I think it's interesting how people's presentation changes when they are hosting. It seems like whoever is doing it subsumes some of their normal personality in order to drive the show forward. For example, I see Cory as kind of a contrarian on the show usually, but today he was in a placating, keep-the-trains-moving-on-time sort of role, which doesn't allow for a lot of contarianism. When both rabbit and Elysium hosted recently, their personalities changed as well. Not bad, mind you, just interesting.

First, let me join in by saying to Cory: great job hosting the show!

Nightmare's comment reminded me of how much more I enjoyed the show when Elysium recently hosted. Just having a different person as host allows them to put a bit of their personal flavor on the show, which makes it that much more interesting. I would go so far as to suggest that this become a regular thing, meaning let someone other than Certis host the show once a month or so, just to shake things up.

Another reason I enjoyed this CC so much is that the topics "clicked" with me more than usual, not to mention that the discussions regarding those topics were very good, which, again, is the norm, but this week seemed even more so.

It might be interesting (although probably never happen) to have Certis on but not as host, just to see him with his hair down if you will.

/seconded

Corey gave lots of technical information about a Windows install and Mr. Sands dropped a DS9 reference. If you like, I can send you some cellophane for your glasses.

Great conference call this week, gang.

The Starcraft and Diablo sequels were probably not mentioned because no-one knows exactly which horizon they're on. It's like saying "I'm going to die, I just don't know when", but less morbid.

Now, while I enjoy listening to each of the crew I suspect the reason this weeks show seemed better was only because it was a bit different to what we've become used to. It's a credit to the guys that they're able to adjust accordingly and remain entertaining.

Windows 7 isn't the knight in shining armour you all may think it is, unless you're referring to the perception Microsoft are pushing. It's only marginally superior to Vista, but if you're currently running XP and have recent-to-current hardware you would be mad not to upgrade. Migrating from XP to Vista is hard for some people but the real challenge lies in going back once you're used to Vista, which I've been forced to do at work because a vendor's software still isn't compatible. I yearn for the responsiveness of Vista... yearn!

As for Cory's rant on Vista, it somehow doesn't seem right to shift blame from his inadequate hard drive size to Vista. Those of the Apple cult will use any reasoning to avoid speaking ill of their deity, but I'm sure we're all familiar with situations where blame is shifted elsewhere to divert attention from particular *ahem* inadequacies

harrisben wrote:

As for Cory's rant on Vista, it somehow doesn't seem right to shift blame from his inadequate hard drive size to Vista. Those of the Apple cult will use any reasoning to avoid speaking ill of their deity, but I'm sure we're all familiar with situations where blame is shifted elsewhere to divert attention from particular *ahem* inadequacies

I have a 500gb Seagate in my Santa Rosa Macbook Pro. Would you care to tell me that mine isn't big enough again?

Shoal07 wrote:

Great show guys. Why all the prototype hate?

I plan on revisiting Prototype. My opinion on the game shifted after we recorded.

Demiurge wrote:

I have a 500gb Seagate in my Santa Rosa Macbook Pro.

Big boy! Photographic proof required

Demiurge wrote:
Shoal07 wrote:

Great show guys. Why all the prototype hate?

I plan on revisiting Prototype. My opinion on the game shifted after we recorded.

I will enjoy hearing your new perceptions in the prototype thread once you have them

MeatMan wrote:
Shoal07 wrote:

Wow - the show was somehow sooo much better this week ;)

Indeed, and I think it's because of what Nightmare mentioned...

Nightmare wrote:

Another reason I enjoyed this CC so much is that the topics "clicked" with me more than usual

Voicemail sent for next week! You all didn't talk about the big DS game (in my opinion) from E3. For shame.

Im really surprised in the blockbuster/AAA section that in the list 'Star Wars; The Old Republic' wasn't mentioned.

I was going to mention this, but Cory was el jefe in the bossman's chair and he kept it moving along before I could take the discussion in an elaborate personal tangent.

Voicemail sent for next week! You all didn't talk about the big DS game (in my opinion) from E3. For shame.

My Kegel Exercise Coach?

I think that Halo: ODST will suffer most for its title. I'm not familiar with the Halo universe, but the "ODST" portion of that title doesn't make a lot of sense. I know that it's an acronym, but do most people? It's a bit cryptic and does nothing to convey how this title is different from a normal Halo game while also making it clear that it's not Halo 4.

Elysium wrote:
Voicemail sent for next week! You all didn't talk about the big DS game (in my opinion) from E3. For shame.

My Kegel Exercise Coach?

Zelda: Spirit Tracks, I think. It'll sell bunches, if nothing else.

Demiurge wrote:
harrisben wrote:

As for Cory's rant on Vista, it somehow doesn't seem right to shift blame from his inadequate hard drive size to Vista. Those of the Apple cult will use any reasoning to avoid speaking ill of their deity, but I'm sure we're all familiar with situations where blame is shifted elsewhere to divert attention from particular *ahem* inadequacies

I have a 500gb Seagate in my Santa Rosa Macbook Pro. Would you care to tell me that mine isn't big enough again? ;)

You have a 500gb hard drive and you're upset about a 15gb installation? Okay, I can see that, but you really went off about it.

Don't get me wrong, I'd never install Vista on my laptop, but that's because I have 60gb of space. Anyway . . .

I'm only halfway through the podcast but I wanted to mention that the music for GWJ podcast is excellent. Best audio track for an audio podcast I listen to.

By the way, one thing I have to mention that bothers me when anyone other than Certis host. The segment at the top of the show is called "Games You Can Play Right Now". It's a small thing, but I like the name and I want to hear you say it. Next time, say the name.

garion333 wrote:

You have a 500gb hard drive and you're upset about a 15gb installation? Okay, I can see that, but you really went off about it.

Don't get me wrong, I'd never install Vista on my laptop, but that's because I have 60gb of space. Anyway . . .

For reference, my Vista partition is ~90 gigs. I keep a *lot* of data on the main partition.

Consider also that the install for Empire: Total War is around 12 gigs.

I'm not going to defend my rant or anything. If people want to put on Vista, go ahead. Lord knows it feels nice to run a newer operating system. But there are significant reasons to stick with XP for a Boot Camp install and the one I always run with is install space.

The other side of the coin, and why I probably got uppity over the email, is the notion that Mac users aren't technical enough to understand stuff like this. A bunch of us aren't, sure. But some of us are. I had a guy approach me recently to help me out with some Windows performance issues I'd complained about on the show, and he acted like I had no idea what a driver was. So I get a little touchy.

Not one person has posted about Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project. Really? Come on, people!

Latrine wrote:

By the way, one thing I have to mention that bothers me when anyone other than Certis host. The segment at the top of the show is called "Games You Can Play Right Now". It's a small thing, but I like the name and I want to hear you say it. Next time, say the name.

It's not, actually. Our show notes (Yes, Shawn gives us notes, BEFORE the show. Now you know how the sausage is made.) calls the first segment, "Games You Can Play Now." The "Right" part is Shawn getting super-excited about telling us all about the games he played over the week.

Well obviously Shawn has to change the show notes to match reality. He almost always says "Games You Can Play Right Now". The fact that he always says it that way is why it's been ingrained it into my brain matter.

Better customer service from the online services? I would absolutely agree on Stardock and Impulse because that's a core company value for them but have you guys tried to deal with Steam support? It is an absolute joke. It takes days to get a response on support tickets sometimes. Certain titles like Silent Hunter IV still don't run properly when first installed from Steam unless you go through a huge rigamaroll workaround that someone in their forums had to come up with. Some titles like ArmA still don't get patches for the Steam versions. Valve says this is the publisher's fault but sorry guys, you control the distribution platform, you absolutely have the power and responsibility to ensure those games are supported as well as the boxed versions that cost the same amount. They also absolutely refuse refunds, even when a game doesn't run on a system that exceeds requirements and the developer has given up on helping you. If you try to ask for a refund, they run behind their EULA and go "See! See! We warned you!" That's no better than GameStop. GameStop's excuse (and it is one I don't accept) is that they won't take back PC games because of piracy. That's not supposed to be a problem on Steam (or at least a lot less of one) so refusing refunds proves what the policy is really about, publishers not taking responsibility for broken product.

I once bought Company of Heroes Opposing Fronts on Steam which they claim will plug in to the retail version of the base game which I have. It also did work for Stylez. It didn't work for me. The games wouldn't see each other and the crossover content was cut off. I talked to THQ, tried to get help in numerous forums and no one could figure it out. I told Valve I wanted a refund so I could buy the retail version and they refused. It was only after raising a huge fuss and threatening to call my credit card company that they agreed to do it "Just this once." This is how they treated a customer who had in excess of $600 worth of purchases on their account and never so much as asked for help once before that day. When I tried to return Crysis Warhead because they didn't reveal the SecuROM activation system present in it ahead of time (even though it was reported the Steam version didn't have it), I was also refused, even though the product was misrepresented.

Don't get me wrong, I love Valve games and overall, I use Steam a lot and think it is a great service. I also agree with Sean that as digital distribution becomes the norm, I think we will see an overall slide in customer service from those companies that don't make it a core value like Stardock. But service is still pretty lousy from most of the major players already and its clear that they are trying to retain the same "no returns under any circumstances" policy that has been used to avoid standing behind your product. I suspect a lot of this is due to pressure from the publishers whose product they need to sell but it still isn't consumer friendly at all.

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