GWJ Conference Call Episode 178

Conference Call

Toy Soldiers, Darksiders, Heavy Rain, Games Marketing For Fun & Profit, An Interview With Irrational Games' Collin Moore, Your Emails and more!

This week the crew looks back on Valve's latest Portal 2 marketing (or was it?!) scheme and how it fits in with the industry at large. Cory also sits down with Collin Moore, the community manager for Irrational Games! 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

"Beautiful Women" (Secret Mountain) - www.sans-concept.com - 0:28:05
"Atlantis" - Sketchbook (Pneuman) - http://blag.linuxgamers.net - 1:04:56

Comments

Laura might not always be right, but she certainly knows more about Final Fantasy! Another great show guys.

I'm having deja vu. Wasn't that question about gaming knowledge coloring your gaming experience answered a week or two ago?

Really enjoyed hearing the marketing talk though. I hated, hated, hated EA's marketing for Dante's Inferno. Way overdone and too self-aware to be entertaining. Part of the problem was also that the marketing had no narrative; it was a lame attempt to parrot the intellectual arrangement of The Divine Comedy. The first couple of 'sin' marketing gags paid off with their shock value I guess, but once it was clear they were just going through the sins one at a time, I lost interest. No arc, no climax, no interesting reveal. Bleh.

On the graphics card, are you sure you installed the correct 64bit graphics driver. It's unfortunate but you could have just got a bad card. Not all 8800GTS are made equal, it's same for CPU's. The manufacturing process doesn't make perfect exact specifications of CPU's or GC's.

I prefer XFX for nvidia cards.

Mao, I also got deja vu with that question. Do you listen the (new) idle thumbs podcast or RPS? I think it might have been on on of those last week, exact same wording. I think it was the RPS one now that I think about it more.

I absolutely understand Laura. I have children and it was physically painful to watch the scene when the boy ran away in the mall, I decided there and then to never play that game.
Edit: Talking about Heavy Rain of course.

barbex wrote:

I absolutely understand Laura. I have children and it was physically painful to watch the scene when the boy ran away in the mall, I decided there and then to never play that game.
Edit: Talking about Heavy Rain of course.

Me three.

I have 2 children and I had no problem with Heavy Rain, the children did not felt real and also I don't care about other children (:-) sorry for the joke. I think to design believable children is really, really tough. I attended a painting class and my teacher told me that painting children or babys is the most difficult thing, because one wrong brush stroke and the portrait does not feel natural. So if you have uncanny valley with adult characters, well you can double that problem with child characters... makes sense?

Rob was quite literally blown away by Heavy Rain. God rest his soul. *moment of silence*

I was quite literally blown away by the last few minutes of the show. Criticizing the Final Fantasy series because "every game plays the same?" If only there was a word out there, some term that we could use to describe a subset of media that shares similar characteristics.

I think the Portal thing was more a marketing effort for Valve, *as a company*, than for Portal. How many comparisons have you seen in the last couple days between Valve and Ubiosoft or Activision? IN a time where big game companies are coming out as basically evil, Valve is generating *gigantic* amounts of goodwill.

"I was quite literally blown away."

No you weren't. Please don't use "literally" to mean, "well, not LITERALLY, but with great emphasis." "Literally" means "this is not hyperbole, I am talking about something that actually happened." It's a really useful word and every time someone uses it to mean its antonym it becomes less useful.

Snaggle-Toof wrote:

Rob was quite literally blown away by Heavy Rain. God rest his soul. *moment of silence*

And they never. Found him. Again.

I quite literally shat myself.

I literally guffawed when Rob said that and none of the writers said a peep. Literally.

Lara didn't say bitches at the end!! I literally feel robbed. Like she stole my lunch money. And now I can't have my delicious, nutritious lunch. Or dessert. Bitches!!

Certis wrote:

I literally guffawed when Rob said that and none of the writers said a peep. Literally.

I think Julian was too busy "practically" creaming his pants over Portal 2 to notice.

LobsterMobster wrote:

"I was quite literally blown away."

No you weren't. Please don't use "literally" to mean, "well, not LITERALLY, but with great emphasis." "Literally" means "this is not hyperbole, I am talking about something that actually happened." It's a really useful word and every time someone uses it to mean its antonym it becomes less useful.

It's been used that way since the 1860s (according to the OED). You lost this battle a long time ago.

Perhaps Ozy was literally too shocked by what he heard to use words properly.

Rat Boy wrote:
Certis wrote:

I literally guffawed when Rob said that and none of the writers said a peep. Literally.

I think Julian was too busy "practically" creaming his pants over Portal 2 to notice.

I love the line of thinking this sentence sent me down. What are the practical applications of creaming your pants? Insect repellent? If you're hunting might it attract prey?

We do have a decent amount of 360 players of Bad Company 2. There's a list here that has a lot of us.

(But I'm tempted to double dip and pick up the PC version as well)

I gotta say I cringed every time one of the members said Portal was retconned recently for the ARG. Retconning implies that they changed the establish facts, and all valve did was extend past what was in the original game. It seems like a minor distinction, but there is a huge difference in the spirit of what was done and what you've labeled it as.

Retconning is usually a byproduct of sloppy writing or people going back to a story that was never meant to be revisited. Neither of which could be said about Portal, because it left distinct impressions that there was more to be had, and we knew right away that they were working on a sequel.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

Perhaps Ozy was literally too shocked by what he heard to use words properly.

Yes. You might even say it was ironic.

Forbin wrote:

I gotta say I cringed every time one of the members said Portal was retconned recently for the ARG. Retconning implies that they changed the establish facts, and all valve did was extend past what was in the original game. It seems like a minor distinction, but there is a huge difference in the spirit of what was done and what you've labeled it as.

Retconning is usually a byproduct of sloppy writing or people going back to a story that was never meant to be revisited. Neither of which could be said about Portal, because it left distinct impressions that there was more to be had, and we knew right away that they were working on a sequel.

Retcon stands for "retroactive continuity." Adding radios to the original Portal and modifying its ending adds retroactive continuity with the sequel. They added story hooks for a sequel to a game that didn't have those same hooks before. It's less sloppy than the retconning you'll get in, say, a comic book series, but it is retconning.

OzymandiasAV wrote:
SpacePPoliceman wrote:

Perhaps Ozy was literally too shocked by what he heard to use words properly.

Yes. You might even say it was ironic.

Do you think?

OzymandiasAV wrote:
SpacePPoliceman wrote:

Perhaps Ozy was literally too shocked by what he heard to use words properly.

Yes. You might even say it was ironic.

I mean, just sayin'.

Certis wrote:

I literally guffawed when Rob said that and none of the writers said a peep. Literally.

Hey, I saved my frothy rage for later in the show, when it was actually important. Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy XII equivalent, indeed! Troglodytes!

I know! Rob called me last night "So ... how's Final Fantasy XIII. How's the combat?"

I tried to explain, but he just kept shouting "It's all the same! It's all the same! Lara was trying to tell me it's different, but it's still the same!"

It's like saying FPS or RTS games are all the same, I guess it's only relevant if you don't like the genre and you're hoping for something that breaks the mold. I'm pretty pleased with it, so far.

F4T C4T wrote:

Mao, I also got deja vu with that question. Do you listen the (new) idle thumbs podcast or RPS? I think it might have been on on of those last week, exact same wording. I think it was the RPS one now that I think about it more.

Yeah I think I heared it on the same show. I think this reader even took some of the Thumbs answers and incorporated them into his question as well. This is getting very incestuous.

Retcon stands for "retroactive continuity." Adding radios to the original Portal and modifying its ending adds retroactive continuity with the sequel. They added story hooks for a sequel to a game that didn't have those same hooks before. It's less sloppy than the retconning you'll get in, say, a comic book series, but it is retconning.

Note the retroactive part. This is just plain continuity, the game did not add anything in the existing timeline of the original game. Bioshock 2 is a good example of additive retroactive continuity.

Forbin wrote:

Note the retroactive part. This is just plain continuity, the game did not add anything in the existing timeline of the original game.

I would disagree. Even though the changes made to the ending of the game occur after the content of the original ending, it's still a fundamental change to the original ending. In my opinion, there's a clear difference between a possibility of future continuity -- the original ending to Portal didn't really have any narrative obligations to a sequel -- and an explicit addition to the original continuity of the original.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Do you think?

Yeah, I really do think!

Spoiler:

IT'S LIKE RAAAAAAAAAY-EEE-YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN
ON YOUR WEDDIIIIIING DAY

As the resident JRPG hater, I'm actually enjoying FFXIII so far. I am quite literally not usually annoyed by it.

If you want a Final Fantasy like something found in I-VII then go play the one you prefer. There is no excuse nowadays as they've all been re-released on various platforms. You can even get emulators and ROMs to play I-VI in EN or JP.

Lara didn't have enough time to explain but I think that by her saying not to be fooled by the name that there is recognition that it isn't a series of sequels but rather an evolution. That said, it was a slow evolution up until VII and then it starts to get exponentially different with each iteration. I look forward to the wild new ideas with each release.