GWJ Conference Call Episode 198

Conference Call

Limbo, Alien Swarm, Dr. Who - The Adventure Game, Dragon Quest IX, Your Emails and more!

This week Cory, Julian, Allen and Lara tackle the email sack and beat it to death with sticks. If you want to submit a question or comment call in to our voicemail line at (612) 284-4563. This podcast brought to you by TweetMTG!

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!

Sponsor
TweetMTG!

CastMedium
Good Old Games

GWJ Store!

  • Subscribe with iTunes
  • Subscribe with RSS
  • Subscribe with Yahoo!
Download the official apps
  • Download the GWJ Conference Call app for Android
  • Download the GWJ Conference Call app for Android

Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Comments

trichy wrote:

On a different note, I want to go to a bar with Lara, load her up on scotch, and watch her put half a dozen bikers in the hospital for saying that the DS is for pansies.

You know I would. Nobody knocks the hot pink DS.

The DS really is my platform of choice these days. And it all comes back to the fact that I can close that top whenever I want: in the middle of a dungeon, or a puzzle -- even in the middle of a battle.

I wish I'd thought to mention this on the show, but this convenience is part of the reason I think DQIX works so well on the DS. Plotwise, it's just as long as DQVIII, and it's even more complex in terms of alchemy, treasures, sidequests, etc. And yet, it doesn't bother me, because I know I don't have to backtrack out of a dungeon or to a town in order to find a save point so I can quit. I can just close the clamshell, and boom -- it's waiting for me whenever I get back to it.

That's gotten me playing DQIX in short bursts -- five minutes here, ten minutes there -- which I think is the only method I'll ever want to play RPGs again. I find the DS's flexibility really removes all the slog from RPGs, or at least makes it easier to deal with.

I still don't understand the rage about Kotick saying he wanted to take the fun out of making games. There already was a lot less fun than a lot of people imagine there, and I don't see anyone too enraged about other entertainment products coming off an assembly line.

psu_13 wrote:

I agree that overall the 360 controller is a better shape and size, especially for shooters.

We're all aware that everyone has different hands here, right?

wordsmythe wrote:

We're all aware that everyone has different hands here, right?

Sure. I just meant "on average", or at least "on average in the opinion of the average person who plays a lot of shooters on consoles."

Don't take anything I say as a declarative universal. Except that the Xbox 360 d-pad sucks.

Shoal07 wrote:

Was it just me, or did someone turn up the gain on the podcast? I might have to drive home with the top down to really test it.

Yeah, the new producer is mixing some elements quite a bit hotter than they used to be, particularly the music. In general I think it's an improvement. I know Rob had good reasons for mixing the music at a lower level relative to the voices, but the new approach brings the production of the GWJCC more in line with the way it's generally done in radio. It's a small touch, but it feels a bit more professional to me.

wordsmythe wrote:

I still don't understand the rage about Kotick saying he wanted to take the fun out of making games. There already was a lot less fun than a lot of people imagine there, and I don't see anyone too enraged about other entertainment products coming off an assembly line.

This is very true, as much as he came off as an asshole for that statement the fact is games are a business and there's large amounts of that work that just isn't really that fun. I think there's actually some perverse incentives going on here, "Hey, it's fun!" becomes an excuse for lower pay, longer hours and oversized workloads. Because "Hey, it's fun!" so people don't feel like they have a right to complain and demand better. And bosses think "Hey, it's fun!" so they throw on another project or milestone because they don't stop and think whether or not they really need to. Why shouldn't they make them do it? "Hey, it's fun!"

psu_13 wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

We're all aware that everyone has different hands here, right?

Sure. I just meant "on average", or at least "on average in the opinion of the average person who plays a lot of shooters on consoles."

Where, I assume, "the average person who plays a lot of shooters on consoles" means "this average person who plays a lot of shooters on consoles."

Not disagreeing, just knowing that there's quite the wide range of hands here.

PyromanFO wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

I still don't understand the rage about Kotick saying he wanted to take the fun out of making games. There already was a lot less fun than a lot of people imagine there, and I don't see anyone too enraged about other entertainment products coming off an assembly line.

This is very true, as much as he came off as an asshole for that statement the fact is games are a business and there's large amounts of that work that just isn't really that fun. I think there's actually some perverse incentives going on here, "Hey, it's fun!" becomes an excuse for lower pay, longer hours and oversized workloads. Because "Hey, it's fun!" so people don't feel like they have a right to complain and demand better. And bosses think "Hey, it's fun!" so they throw on another project or milestone because they don't stop and think whether or not they really need to. Why shouldn't they make them do it? "Hey, it's fun!"

Yes. I think the sooner we get over this illusion, the better we'll all be.

Lara, I love you tons, but for Galifrey's sake, do not try to sing the Doctor Who theme again.

Rat Boy wrote:

Lara, I love you tons, but for Galifrey's sake, do not try to sing the Doctor Who theme again.

Oh c'mon -- I didn't do any it worse than this guy.

KaterinLHC wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:

Lara, I love you tons, but for Galifrey's sake, do not try to sing the Doctor Who theme again.

Oh c'mon -- I didn't do any it worse than this guy.

Objection withdrawn. And I'll let the Wookie thing slide, too.

HA! I totally pulled out the Space Hulk comparison for my podcast as well!

I actually have very fond memories of the old DOS game, and often still recite the names of the Space Marines' names in the intonation from that game. "MATHIAS!" "pluuuuuvious"

KaterinLHC wrote:

I wish I'd thought to mention this on the show, but this convenience is part of the reason I think DQIX works so well on the DS. Plotwise, it's just as long as DQVIII, and it's even more complex in terms of alchemy, treasures, sidequests, etc. And yet, it doesn't bother me, because I know I don't have to backtrack out of a dungeon or to a town in order to find a save point so I can quit. I can just close the clamshell, and boom -- it's waiting for me whenever I get back to it.

That's gotten me playing DQIX in short bursts -- five minutes here, ten minutes there -- which I think is the only method I'll ever want to play RPGs again. I find the DS's flexibility really removes all the slog from RPGs, or at least makes it easier to deal with.

I think this is the best thing the DS did for portable gaming, more important than the dual screens or touch controls: it made it like reading a book. If I'm reading a book and I realize it's time for me to go do something, I don't frantically search around for a save point. If I've brought a book with me to work and it's time for a fifteen-minute break, I don't wonder whether that's enough time to make enough progress to be worth pulling it out. I just read, and then close it up when I'm done.

Hi Lara!

Allen sounds very west coast to me. Kind of a subtly lispy surfer guy. He reminds me a little bit of comedian Daniel Tosh.

It's cute when people pronounce Mario as "Mary Oh." Dialects are endearing.

Limbo is a game that I did not play, but watched my roommate play and found it to be very entertaining. The visual style is fantastic, and the things you come across (dead people who aren't quite dead, dead people who are very dead, giant spiders) are just creepy enough to leave a lasting impression. Way to go Lara for somehow finding a way to connect Limbo to The Neverending Story.

By the way, if any of us GWJ fans ever think we have what it takes to do a gaming podcast only because we are huge fans of games, listen closely to the cast of this show. Not only do they have lots of things to say, but they know how to express all of their ideas very well. The GWJ podcast exemplifies the (at times questionable) term "well spoken."

The old Dr. Who theme song always freaked me out. Forward slash shudder!

I am still playing Dragon Quest VIII. I will finish it one day. I promise. "Beating the sh*t out of slimes and being awesome." That sounds like a motto for LIFE!

Lara, Bioshock IS important, because I was sad when I killed a Big Daddy. It made me a sad panda.

Modern Warfare 2 was one of those games that everyone played and everyone said I should buy. I read the reviews, wasn't too impressed, and skipped it. It sounded neat, but not for 60 dollars for the Windows version.

Wookie Lara is funny stuff. More please.

"They are UPS for unicorn sh*t and rainbows." Holy crap, call Valve, we have found their new slogan! That was classic. By the way, I like the "quiet laughing" Lara was suffering from in the background as she tried to catch her breath.

The idea of getting OnLive in order to skip setting up a PC basically elimates one of the best parts of being a PC gamer: building your own system. I hate to sound like an elitist prick (but I am, so I do) but even when a PC build goes wrong, it's still fun and educational every time. Not to mention the deep sense of manly self-satisfaction that only comes from using something you built. I feel the same way about the tote-bag I made in middle school in Home Economics.

The last time I threw a controller with playing Ninja Gaiden on the NES when I was a kid. I would like to public apologize to my little brother for hitting him in the face with that plastic brick of destruction.

The older I get, the less tolerant I get for bullsh*t challenges in games. If I die a couple times before getting it, sure that's totally fine. If I die a dozen times, f*ck you game, we're done. If I check the FAQ and the game doesn't do what the FAQ tells me it's supposed to do, I'm out. This happened with the first God of War, Heavenly Sword, Torchlight and Afro Samuri and I don't regret it. I'm 33 years old and I just have too many other games to play. I hope it doesn't happen in Darksiders.

Yay, I am so glad Lara was on the podcast this week. I must say I like when someone is off the show so Lara can be on. Probably because I relate so much with Lara's gaming tastes.

For some reason l lost all sense of reason and didn't preorder Dragon Quest IX. I have played nearly every title in the series and my first RPG was the original Dragon Warrior for the NES. And yes, I know the history of why the name had to be "Warrior" and not "Quest" for the series' early US releases. After hearing Lara talk about how much like VIII it was and how much easier it was to approach, I bought it.

One question I have though is where does Lara go when she's not on the podcast. I believe you always say where everyone else is if they are not there, but I can't recall anyone saying where Lara is when she's not on. My current theory is she is vacationing in the land of awesome sipping scotch while practicing wookie speak with her husband she dressed up like Dr. Who and smacks around slimes when she gets bored.

Thanks for the awesome podcasting guys and gals!

Blondish83 wrote:

One question I have though is where does Lara go when she's not on the podcast. I believe you always say where everyone else is if they are not there, but I can't recall anyone saying where Lara is when she's not on. My current theory is she is vacationing in the land of awesome sipping scotch while practicing wookie speak with her husband she dressed up like Dr. Who and smacks around slimes when she gets bored.

Sounds accurate from what I've heard.

KaterinLHC wrote:
Maq wrote:

I tend to start my boycotts with the big stuff: Banks who fund military coups and arms dealing; oil companies; industrialized agriculture. You know, stuff that actually affects people I haven't met.

Why does boycotting something that affects people you don't know take precedence over boycotting something that affects you personally? No snark, just wondering.

I'm a communist. The needs of the many, and all that.

My point being I've got a finite stock of rage for businesses and there's enough horrible things to vent it at without adding Kotick to the list.

burntham77 wrote:

The older I get, the less tolerant I get for bullsh*t challenges in games. If I die a couple times before getting it, sure that's totally fine. If I die a dozen times, f*ck you game, we're done. If I check the FAQ and the game doesn't do what the FAQ tells me it's supposed to do, I'm out. This happened with the first God of War, Heavenly Sword, Torchlight and Afro Samuri and I don't regret it. I'm 33 years old and I just have too many other games to play. I hope it doesn't happen in Darksiders.

Seconded. I play games for fun, not to prove myself to anyone.

Darksiders shouldn't be much of a problem in that vein. One or two of the boss battles are kind of annoying, but usually that was my own fault (ie: I wasn't seeing something that I needed to win, or I was playing too aggressive)

Regarding FAQs, if I read a FAQ trying to figure out how to do X, and the FAQ writers all just write "Then do X and move on to Y and Z" it really irritates me.

Blondish83 wrote:

My current theory is she is vacationing in the land of awesome sipping scotch while practicing wookie speak with her husband she dressed up like Dr. Who and smacks around slimes when she gets bored.

And don't forget listening to Rush!

After hearing Lara talk about how much like VIII it was and how much easier it was to approach, I bought it.

What do you think so far?

GameFAQS has seriously improved my completion rate in games. Instead of working myself into frustrated rage and walking away I don't hesitate to download a FAQ after I've failed something 2 or 3 times.

I'm a communist. The needs of the many, and all that.

If that's so, then do the often horrible labor practices of the games industry make you adjust your buying habits? (They do for me, actually.) Or the sourcing of console components (Google "coltan" and "playstation 2")?

I'm just trying to suss out a scenario in which you might find a gaming-related boycott worthwhile. We tend to dismiss boycotts of entertainment-related companies, since they're not as critical to daily life in the same way that, say, streetcars or restaurants are. But I don't think that's strictly fair, and in some ways, your buying habits make even more of a difference in the non-essentials market than they do in the staples markets.

As I've said before, I believe we as consumers have a strong responsibility to vote with our wallets; and regardless of what anyone else thinks, if you don't like the way a company runs its business, then you have an obligation to not buy its products. Call it a personal boycott, if you want. I just call it being a responsible capitalist.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

Darksiders shouldn't be much of a problem in that vein. One or two of the boss battles are kind of annoying, but usually that was my own fault (ie: I wasn't seeing something that I needed to win, or I was playing too aggressive)

I am getting that sense from Darksiders, that any screw ups that happen are really just my fault. The only boss that put up a serious challenge so far was The Jailer (the big guy with cylindrical cages on him). Other than that, the game has been great, and really makes the heart container in my chest fill up all four red segments.

On a side note, to those that fast forward through any part of the process, I can only say: How dare you.

Just actually listened to the show. Didn't realize our producer had left quite so much stumbling debauchery tagged on to the end.

Clearly nobody else thinks the idea of Robert Smith singing this, in avatar form, in Stormwind, is as funny as I do:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWJlB...

rabbit wrote:

Just actually listened to the show. Didn't realize our producer had left quite so much stumbling debauchery tagged on to the end.

Yeah, those were long, hilarious out-takes. Hopefully the WoW4Cure dude didn't listen.

rabbit wrote:

Clearly nobody else thinks the idea of Robert Smith singing this, in avatar form, in Stormwind, is as funny as I do:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWJlB...

And I laughed.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

GameFAQS has seriously improved my completion rate in games. Instead of working myself into frustrated rage and walking away I don't hesitate to download a FAQ after I've failed something 2 or 3 times.

Exactly. I used to feel that my credibility was on the line after not being able to complete part of a game; now I just check the collective wisdom of the internet for what I couldn't figure out myself.

Regarding "that Portal level" mentioned in the show, I actually got dizzy when playing through it, as I let myself fall back and forth while lining up the shot. Then I tried the challenge map for that level...oof.

Polliwog wrote:

Exactly. I used to feel that my credibility was on the line after not being able to complete part of a game; now I just check the collective wisdom of the internet for what I couldn't figure out myself.

Yeah, I used to feel the same, then one day I realised that I was buying games and not finishing them because I wasn't willing to play them the 'wrong' way. At about the same time I started playing games on easier settings.

Some games are there to challenge me (Dragon Age, Starcraft) others to entertain (Prince of Persia, Dead Space).

KaterinLHC wrote:
I'm a communist. The needs of the many, and all that.

If that's so, then do the often horrible labor practices of the games industry make you adjust your buying habits? (They do for me, actually.) Or the sourcing of console components (Google "coltan" and "playstation 2")?

Absolutely it factors in. Coltan's a major ethical concern in all technology purchases (I've been watching the "green phone" issue with interest). I didn't say "don't vote with your wallet". My point was that sometimes it's easier to get more annoyed with the CEO who's badmouthing your hobby than it is to get angry with, for example, the companies and regulatory practices which dumped countless tonnes of oil into the ocean, or who financed coups in sub-saharan Africa, or who perpetuate cycles of addiction in poor communities, or who critically threaten biodiversity through factory farming practices.

On the grand scale of "people who should absolutely not get my business" I find Activision ranks pretty far down the list.

I know it's not mutually exclusive to hate the lot, but sometimes we hobbists can get pretty het up about stuff that doesn't really matter. Kotick's a bit of a dick. Dicks will run studios that produce art we like. It happens.

I have to say, I really enjoy drunken Lara. Also, hearing her whisky-fueled aggression against the filthy males on the shows reminded me of Dylan Moran's splendid bit on the effects of alcohol

Dylan Moran on whisky wrote:

It turns you into two people: one of you's very nice, you'll go up to complete strangers and say, "Come in, come in, sit down, for God's sake, have something. Have my bed." And then you'll go up to people you've known and loved all your life and say, "Get the f*ck out of my house. Go on, get out! And leave a tip!"

I'd also like to request she get wasted on gin next.

Internet-high-five to Allen for talking about Myth. Such a great series*.

*Well, 1 & 2 anyway. 3 was a bit of a stinker.

muttonchop wrote:

Internet-high-five to Allen for talking about Myth. Such a great series*.

*Well, 1 & 2 anyway. 3 was a bit of a stinker.

3 was fan fiction unfortunately. Bungie had moved on by that point and they sold the property to Take Two, which let another developer (who came from the Myth fan community) take a shot at it. Better than farming it out to the lowest bidder but it just didn't have the magic from the first two games.

KaterinLHC wrote:
Blondish83 wrote:

My current theory is she is vacationing in the land of awesome sipping scotch while practicing wookie speak with her husband she dressed up like Dr. Who and smacks around slimes when she gets bored.

And don't forget listening to Rush!

After hearing Lara talk about how much like VIII it was and how much easier it was to approach, I bought it.

What do you think so far?

I Amazoned it because of a discount I had, so I'm waiting on shipping time. Wish my Tardis was working.

Big thanks for mentioning the Myth series! I loved those games. Myth 1 and 2 were such great games, hard, but so great. The ending of Myth 1 is stil etched in my memory.

I luckily still have my original disks of it and reistalled it on my osX mac. You can play it still!

I really wish Bungie would bring that series back. I loved the tactics of it and that you didn't have to do any resource management at all, just troop management and formations. Brilliant.

Bring it back Bungie! You can do it! please?

"Make a hole!"