GWJ Conference Call Episode 148

Conference Call

Batman: Arkham Asylum, IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey, Starcraft Watching, Wipeout Pure (The Purest), Special Guest and Love Developer Eskil Steenberg, The Future of Motion, Platforms & Tech, Your Emails and more!

This week we're joined by indie game developer Eskil Steenberg, maker of Love. It turns out the man behind such an enigmatic game has an interesting opinion on just about anything. 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

"Lo-Fi Attitude" (SGX) - www.sgxmusic.com - 0:34:05
"Garibaldi" - Ayco (Eiko Ishiwata) - www.eikoishiwata.com - 1:11:41

Comments

I've been watching a ton of SC matches too. I love it. I watched a bunch of Youtube video matches, but gomtv.net has the best ones. They're direct and good quality, instead of english commentary recorded on top of Korean commentary videos that were ripped.

I also watch other spectator ESports. It's always best when you can follow teams.

For those interested in more commentaries, Diggity (http://www.youtube.com/diggitysc), Moletrap (http://www.youtube.com/moletrap) and the VioleTAK account (http://www.youtube.com/user/violetak) are great sources. Plus, as PseudoKnight mentioned, the GomTV matches are great and done by a smart articulate commentator.

Hey, it's Eskil! This should be a good time.

Batman has disappointing combat--only hope is in variety of attacks--crappy voice acting (except for the Joker), lip-sync problems and unpleasant faces on every character besides the Joker. I also HATE games where the protagonist talks to himself to tell the player what to do next. I know the demo is probably overusing this so players can get a feel for what can be done in the game, but it really turns me off like my treacherous 3rd wife.

Yes! Always love (haha!) to here Eskil Steenberg talk about just about anything, he has a great take on game design philosophy that I think a lot of devs and publishers could learn from. Looking forward to listening to this.

Perfect guest to have on. I love watching StarCraft matches! GO BOXER!!!!

I'm about a third of the way through the show, and I'm really liking this guest. You guys should have him on MUCH more often.

EDIT: I just finished listening and I totally stand by my initial comment. Eskil sure does like to talk, but thankfully, he has a lot of interesting things to say. Plus he has a great sense of humor, so like I said, I would love (HA!) it if he were a guest more often. Besides the live show, this was my favorite CC in recent memory. Great job!

gomtv.net is the best place for korean starcraft with english commentary.

Great show! Liked the "industry talk" a lot.

On the social networking stuff: since I am someone who rarely plays online games, I don't have a big social network for online games, and I would have trouble putting together a posse if I wanted to game at any given time.

Facebook integration could actually make a huge difference for someone like me. If I could use my existing social network connections to find people playing the same games as me, I would have many more opportunities for online gaming.

In general, most of today's stand-alone social networks -- Steam, Twitter, etc. -- would be better as applications for a single (or any of several) social network(s), so that you didn't have to repeatedly friend the same people each time you want to share a new action with them. The obvious candidate is facebook, I guess. Google was or is working on something like this. This kind of thing may not be possible while everyone still wants to own the whole network, though.

sh*t, I had no idea how awesome Starcraft was.

I understand why some people don't get why you'd bother with a flight sim that has a 10-minute start-up sequence: I don't much care for that kind of thing, either. But in that Falcon 4.0 game that came out a while back, the in-game cockpit was modeled to perfectly resemble the cockpit of a real F-16. Not only that, but CH Products sold a throttle and joystick that were also identical to those of an F-16 in size and layout.

So while it's no substitute for actual flight time and it's extraordinarily unlikely you'd ever actually get a chance to USE such a talent, some people take pride in knowing how to fly an F-16.

In re Eskil's rant on GTA, Peggle and game scores/fun/etc.:

Should "we" adopt a review system similar to Pitchfork wherein they adjust album scores based on later works? Or, in this case, re-rate something based on later impressions?

I'm all for it.

I'm also all for game critique and not reviews, so scores are fairly pointless to me, but there is a fairly lacking amount of discussion about a game weeks or months after release outside of forums and podcasts. Is this endemic to gaming sites (by that I mean the Gamespot and 1ups of the world) because they exist to drive traffic their way and FIRST!!!! reviews do that while actual discussion doesn't? Or are forums the place these post mortem discussions are meant to be held?

I still don't buy the "X360 is the most expensive" argument. Yes, it's the most expensive if you also buy 6 years of Live. ...But why six years? What if you only pay for 1 year of Live? Or 10 years? Or maybe the PS3 is the most expensive if you also pay for electricity for 30 years on top of that. The Wii is the most expensive if you buy it with optional 90" plasma display. If you're talking lifetime costs you could say the console with the fewest games you want to buy is OBVIOUSLY the best investment because you'll have to buy fewer games.

Just sounds like the usual Sony marketing BS to say their console is better than the competition if you squint your eyes and spin around.

I also don't understand the arguments about the "hidden" costs of owning a console. Xbox Live Gold is an optional addition to the Xbox 360; it is no more required than a second controller, a hard drive, or a wireless network adapter. I've managed to have a 360 for over a year without having a Live Gold account. If you don't play online multiplayer games, you don't need it, and despite what some people might say, there's plenty of fun to be had from a 360 without ever playing online with other people. It's only a hidden cost for some players (I wouldn't even say "most").

To clarify the N'Gai/Natal issue, he has stated (as did the original article on Bitmob) that it may be his dreads and not necessarily the fact he's dark-skinned. (Microsoft points everyone to this video which clearly shows dark-skinned individuals having no problems.)

In one of the Out of the Game podcasts N'Gai goes into a little detail in which he believes it was just a bad demo and his dreads may have been a problem. Sorry I don't have a direct link to the episode, but it was fairly recent. Perhaps episode 8 or 9.

Anyway . . . .

Since Natal tracts movement in infrared, the visual spectrum of what us humans see is irrelevant.

Also?

Eskil Steenberg, maker of Love

The ladies must be excited

Over/Under on how long before Elysium's new Fallout 3 spiel gets mashed up?

Rat Boy wrote:

Over/Under on how long before Elysium's new Fallout 3 spiel gets mashed up?

Whoa, avatar change.

Anyway, the fact he's playing on the pc without mods is just stupid. He will become bored and realize mods are necessary to continue playing. Especially the nude textures. Mmmmmmm. Poorly rendered nudity.

I give it a week.

What's are the odds cause I may just throw some space bucks at this little wager . . . ?

No more than $150 on a video card? Amen.

I would like to offer an additional (admittedly personal) reason that this should be the case. I am on my third card for this system. The only thing keeping this current one running is that I've added a cooling solution and clean the thing frequently.

My recent PC woes have caused me to do some impromptu research. During that time I've learned the other dirty secret about videocards: that they often run much too hot relative to the other components in a PC (Cory, this relates to your comment asking "why is it any different").

I've found that non-video card components (aside from being broadly cheaper) tend to run cooler as related to their "comfort zone" temperature range. Add to that the fact that these things - like all electronic components - are worked heavily by the software, so their effective heat-range gets lower over time.

Video cards? More. Faster. Better. Hotter. I have a stack of about eight video cards from over the years, most of which kicked it far sooner than the other system components.

In addition to Eskil's wonderful comments highlighting why devs might hate the vid-card rat race, I offer this meager observation from the consumer's point of view. Poke holes as you see fit.

I find with video cards its all about finding the one card that seems to out perform it's price point. For example I bought an EVGA 8800 GTS when they first came out. I still have it in my system today and while I can't play all the new games on the highest settings everything still looks pretty dam nice at the settings I do have it on.

I'll probably upgrade some time soon, but when I do I will again look for that one card that seems to perform better than it's price point suggests.

Eskil Steenberg is great. I really appreciate his candor, which you get next to none of from the video game industry. I don't agree with everything he says, but I like to hear someone who is so enthusiastic about what they are saying.

skeletonframes wrote:

Eskil Steenberg is great. I really appreciate his candor, which you get next to none of from the video game industry. I don't agree with everything he says, but I like to hear someone who is so enthusiastic about what they are saying.

Yeah, it's a breath of fresh air to hear from a developer who has no boss.

I really liked the episode this week. Interesting talking points and a good guest. Can't ask for more.

Corona barely counts as beer; like the old saying goes, it's like sex in a canoe. It's as close to water as you can get.

Rat Boy wrote:

Corona barely counts as beer; like the old saying goes, it's like sex in a canoe. It's as close to water as you can get.

I thought I asked you to refrain from posting again until you fixed your avatar?

Oh wait, I was just suggesting I would not read your comments anymore.

I don't know that I completely buy the "no graphics cards over $150" argument. I would agree that paying over $300 is not necessary. I tend to stick with cards between $200 and $250 myself. I would also agree that almost any $150 graphics card would match the graphics capability of an Xbox 360. If I was only running my PC games at Xbox 360 resolutions, we could probably stop there.

I run my Xbox 360 at 720p (= 1280x720 = 921,600 pixels). It also supports 1080i, of course (= 1920x1080 = 2,073,600 pixels per "frame" = interlaced or 1920x540 = 1,036,800 pixels per cycle with two cycles in 1/30 of a second [i.e., 30 Hz]). 720p seems a bit smoother on the projector I have the Xbox 360 attached to.

That said, I run my PC with a 24" monitor at a 1920x1200 resolution (= 2,304,000 pixels or somewhat more than 1080p as opposed to 1080i). If I could afford it, I'd have one of the 30" monitors running a 2560 x 1600 resolution. I found it pretty amazing how much the larger monitors make the game more immersive. Assuming the Xbox 360 isn't replaced for another couple years, it's likely I will be using such a monitor on my PC. I don't think the Xbox 360 could really drive that.

14 dollars a month for 6 years! who is offer the 6 year no intrest loan? Never mind game costs.

Gotta disagree with Eskil,

When Netflix came out, people did leave video stores in droves, causing me to doubt all of his claims after that.

Axion22 wrote:

Gotta disagree with Eskil,

When Netflix came out, people did leave video stores in droves, causing me to doubt all of his claims after that.

To the point where Blockbuster is now on life support. They nearly collapsed at the beginning of this year, or end of 08 before they got a last minute cash injection.

Eskil seemed to be mostly talking out of his rear-end, I got to say.