GWJ Conference Call Episode 197

Conference Call

RUSE, Death Spank, NCAA 2011, Echalon Book II, Starcraft II, Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic, League of Legends Season One, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn, Elysium, Allen and Rob talk games, reaching back to comforting tropes and old mascots. 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

chandra - (b-sides) - workbench-music.com - 0:35:19
blink - (b-sides) - workbench-music.com - 0:51:02

Comments

Fun episode. The RUSE discussion, specifically, was really interesting; I'm definitely interested in checking out the game if/when it comes to consoles, especially if it brings motion control into the mix.

PyromanFO wrote:

DRM is one of my long-going struggles with purchasing games. I used to be pretty hardcore anti-DRM to the point that anything with online activation was completely out. I've gotten to more of a middle-ground place, though. My rule is that of all the companies that are on the market, reward the ones doing it better than everyone else (Steam, Stardock) and do not buy from the ones who are doing it worse than everyone else (Ubisoft). Put your money where you want the industry to go. Ubisoft is way worse than everybody else and if their sales don't pick up nobody is going to follow them there.

Absolutely. I know there was a bit of skepticism about "voting with your wallet" on an episode a while back but, even if that approach isn't immediately effective, it still feels better at the end of the day, just out of sheer principle.

carljetter wrote:

10 years in the future:
"We're playing Counterstrike. Dig out those keyboards if you can find them. If you can't find one there's a pretty good keyboard emulator for most vidcams."

Heh. I'm still not entirely convinced that the keyboard is going away anytime soon, but I've already had a pretty lengthy debate with Alan about that in this thread.

Rather than retread the same ground, I would simply point you to the iPhone app store, where Mega Man 2 is currently on sale for $0.99. (There's a free version out there as well.) Mega Man 2 is a game that requires precision, but it also uses simple digital controls; no requirements for measuring a analog level of granularity in movement input.

Play the game and judge the fidelity of its multi-touch controls for yourself.

+1 for EVE Online being a game I will never play, but am always happy to hear about. Which is also why I'm very interested in Dust 514 (because I'm a slack-jawed, console-tard Ritalin-deprived twit).

I'm also not very good at PC strategy games (see above???), but love hearing the talk surrounding them. I listen to Three Moves Ahead every week, despite the fact that I have never and probably will never play a single title they discuss.

So sackboy won't be around in 20 years? And as for games that get changed to deal with new hardware, I'm surprised Nintendo didn't come up as a whole. You want franchises? They're you're company!

Shack70 wrote:

if you simply take care of the things you buy they will last longer.

Unless you own a Xbox 360.

Shack70 wrote:

Great show guys! I would like to say that I think a laptop or any electronic device only lasting 2 years is completely unacceptable. You guys kind of hit on this, but if you simply take care of the things you buy they will last longer. If something is designed to fail after a certain amount of time then the real reason behind this is the manufacturer simply wants to sell you another item later in time. I understand electronics fail, but five years is a more acceptable amount of time. One brand of laptop I would never recommend to anyone is Toshiba. I've had three now and they all have problems with the power supply connection. My last 2 were ones I rescued from being thrown out, and was able to repair. I am hoping to get a new laptop this Christmas and I am looking at the Macbooks. I have always owned Windows PCs and I really think there is a little more quality control at Apple versus the junk they sell at Best Buy.

On the other hand, my SO has a 5+ year old Toshiba laptop that still runs fine, and my Toshiba netbook runs flawlessly, despite having dropped it numerous times by accidentally tripping over the power cable. A year later and the battery still holds a decent 5-6 hour charge. Anecdotal evidence FTW.

It may be better to look at you what you spend on computers as an annual cost, rather than a one time purchase. A few years ago, non-gaming laptops might have cost $2000 easily. So what if they lasted 3x longer, when you could be on your third $500-$600 laptop today, which has better system specs and a newer OS? Dell's massive and possibly criminal Optiplex frickup aside, I don't really see the problem here.

Great show, although I think the tropes in WoW are more compelling than those in Bioshock.

Spoiler:

Kidding, kidding!

Spoiler:

I'm sure that there's another one I'm missing, but I can't bring it to mind.

trueheart78 wrote:

So sackboy won't be around in 20 years?

Not bad. Didn't think of that. We'll see what happens, but Sackboys are definitely something I can see being around ... if the games get more popular, that is.

hbi2k wrote:

I can't speak for the guys, but as I recall what they were questioning in the previous show was the idea that one person's buying decision-- or even your typical Internet "boycott"-- will make any practical difference.

That was an aspect of the answer but not really intended in my question. The question is really about the cognitive between supporting companies and ideas which we loudly protest on forums and, in part, whether there should be less of this duality.

PyromanFO wrote:

If you do not want to be complicit in an activity that a publisher is doing, don't give them your money. But do not expect the CEO of the publisher to cry himself to sleep at night.

Maybe the fact that such a decision is unlikely to be felt by the company-- maybe this is what keeps gamers from committing to avoiding games/companies that cause them to wring their hands in public arenas.. I get this. But what surprises me is that gamers who loudly declare, for example, disgust for a CEO who brags about chasing the fun out of game development (etc.) would then rush to buy one of these franchise games-- I’m surprised that they don’t do this as a matter of conviction to their own concerns.

It’s the internet. I understand people don’t need to demonstrate any true convictions. I’m just surprised that more people aren’t consistent (measuring the rage you hear) just to satisfy more of their own strongly-worded opinions.

In other words, and probably said better. I’m surprised there isn’t more of this:

OzymandiasAV wrote:

I know there was a bit of skepticism about "voting with your wallet" on an episode a while back but, even if that approach isn't immediately effective, it still feels better at the end of the day, just out of sheer principle.

Also, great show this week and I echo that it was nice to hear Rob again.

Great episode, was a nice light fun one, and the out-takes were freaking hilarious.

RUSE breaks my freaking heart, I want to play that game so badly. *sigh*

Starcraft is sounding alluring, Elysium even makes playing multiplayer sound like fun. Can't pre-order until I know exactly what 'features' you lose by playing offline though. *sigh*

Seriously people, I want to give you my money, why are you refusing to take it?

doubtingthomas makes a good point, but I don't think that laptops are a 'durable' good anymore. They progress to fast they are practically becoming a consumable. Even paying more for a laptop won't get you better quality, it gets more features. Unless it's specifically a 'hardened' model.

And to be blunt, I don't think that an expensive laptop from 5 years ago holds a candle to my cheap laptop I bought in December last year, and that I may replace in the next 6 months.

I am intensely skeptical about the keyboard going anywhere. Barring some revolutionary jump forward in voice recognition technology such that the computer can convert not just your speech into text, but also understand from context where to put the punctuation and somehow figure out from your brain waves how you want things formatted, people are still going to need to type in twenty years. Keyboards may be able to fold up and fit in your pocket when not in use or connect wirelessly to an orbital server farm where the giga-core processors that run your software take advantage of the cold of space to run at peak efficiency, but as an input device, they'll be largely the same. And as long as everybody needs one anyway for typing up their TPS reports, someone will be making games that use them.

Kratos tennis!!!

Thank you post a video entertain me thread!

I think the world would be a much more awesome place if English people actually sounded like Allen's impression

Part Dick van Dyke, part Apu I think?

Kratos Kart Racing would be epic. Imagine the power-ups.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

Kratos Kart Racing would be epic. Imagine the power-ups.

On a similar note, a Gears Of War Kart Racing would be pretty sweet as well Blue chainsaws, red chainsaws, torque bows... man!

trueheart78 wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

Kratos Kart Racing would be epic. Imagine the power-ups.

On a similar note, a Gears Of War Kart Racing would be pretty sweet as well Blue chainsaws, red chainsaws, torque bows... man!

Things like that could be a fun side project for developers. Imagine a Gears Kart DLC pack. Use existing character models, add a few tracks and vehicles. Would be great.

Brings new meaning to [em]Gears [/em] of War.

a little late, but did you know that you can play Kratos in Hot Shots Golf for the PS3..? It is a downloadable character... wow.

Just saw this article that talks about the decline of favor for FPS games. Granted, it looks like their userbase is slanted.

I don't really have burnout as I keep a wide range of genres in my rotation and I am picky about what shooters I play so I don't play too many of them.

Ill buy RUSE without hesitation. I have Assassin creed 2 and Splinter cell, and have had 0 problems with either, beat both game.

I think this boycott is just stupid as heck. Your just hurting the guys how make the games.

wb Rob. The Sean's get out of line w/o you.

Falcon554 wrote:

Ill buy RUSE without hesitation. I have Assassin creed 2 and Splinter cell, and have had 0 problems with either, beat both game.

I think this boycott is just stupid as heck. Your just hurting the guys how make the games.

When's there's plenty of games on the market, many taking longer than I have to give to complete, I can bypass games that make decisions or go directions I don't agree with. I can remember when I really liked Ubisoft games too, back in the day.

Falcon554 wrote:

Ill buy RUSE without hesitation. I have Assassin creed 2 and Splinter cell, and have had 0 problems with either, beat both game.

I think this boycott is just stupid as heck. Your just hurting the guys how make the games.

Well you're hurting the developers who don't use Ubisoft DRM! And puppies! Won't someone think of the puppies?!?

I am seriously tired of the whole "every time you don't buy a game a developer cries" trope. Every single purchase decision you make "hurts" someone else in the market whose products you didn't buy. It's called capitalism.

Trope.

PyromanFO wrote:
Falcon554 wrote:

Ill buy RUSE without hesitation. I have Assassin creed 2 and Splinter cell, and have had 0 problems with either, beat both game.

I think this boycott is just stupid as heck. Your just hurting the guys how make the games.

Well you're hurting the developers who don't use Ubisoft DRM! And puppies! Won't someone think of the puppies?!?

I am seriously tired of the whole "every time you don't buy a game a developer cries" trope. Every single purchase decision you make "hurts" someone else in the market whose products you didn't buy. It's called capitalism.

Trope.

I find this argument... compelling.

Essentially the DRM forms part of the package you're buying, along with all the other factors you have to consider like do I like this type of game, how well will my computer run it, does it look pretty, is it well priced, and so on.

Despite people who claim games are something unique, they're goods you buy just like anything else, and you ask yourself similar questions when buying anything else. Do I like the look of that coat, do I like the taste of that sauce, is that car big enough to handle my gear, do I want treated timber. Everyone has their own set of requirements.

Well, Ubisoft, as evil as the DRM might be, have announced that Splinter Cell Conviction and Assassin's Creed 2 sneaking to Mac by September. Thoughts on whether DRM will be forced on Macs?

Out-takes were hilarious, the general production has been a lot better lately guys, the most fun bestest episodes are still Shawn vs. Sean. Alan did a good job.

Eschalon II is wonderful; it quietly marks how much old-school pc gaming is still living and capable and more complex vs. even the newest console games. I'm an huge fanboy of DQ (replayed DQ V twice) and was enamored with DQ9 but presently dropped it for the truer RPG experience of Eschalon II.

I'm really tempted to pull the trigger on Eschalon II. I've been having trouble with the idea of committing myself to an old-school CRPG. To be frank, I've been spoiled by modern UIs, but I just keep hearing such good things.

Elysium wrote:

I'm really tempted to pull the trigger on Eschalon II. I've been having trouble with the idea of committing myself to an old-school CRPG. To be frank, I've been spoiled by modern UIs, but I just keep hearing such good things.

/enabling on

They have a demo - have you tried that out?

/enabling off

Just try the demo, it starts right at the beginning of the game and you just pay to unlock and keep playing if you like it.

If one is interested in Eschalon should one start with Book I, or does it make sense to just jump straight into II?

MrDeVil909 wrote:

If one is interested in Eschalon should one start with Book I, or does it make sense to just jump straight into II?

From what I've read, book II has some improvements and they'll recap book one if you like. It's not essential to play it.