GWJ Conference Call Episode 201

Conference Call


Scott Pilgrim The Game, Mafia 2 Demo, StarCraft II Spoiler Section, Part Two of Our Interview With Ken Levine About Bioshock Infinite, Audio Congrats From Our Pals, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn, Elysium, Cory, Julian and Rob look back on 200 episodes! We also run part 2 of our interview with Ken Levine about Bioshock Infinite.

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

Comments

Do you need me to send you a summary? Just gimme a sec to figure out how to format it.

Can you guys start using "consnatchtatory" instead of "compelling?" Compelling is a good word! Stop compulsion abuse!

LobsterMobster wrote:
Can you guys start using "consnatchtatory" instead of "compelling?" Compelling is a good word! Stop compulsion abuse!
I find your argument compelling and visceral.

Sway wrote:
Thought of that. Didn't know how much re-mapping of keys I'd have to do, or if I'd have to unplug / replug every time I got into and out of a car. I guess I was just surprised to hear Sean say the driving controls felt good on the PC. I was a wreck when I got in that car, literally.

Maybe I should just switch to all turn-based games. This real-time sh*t is for the birds.

This is what Just Cause 2 did better than any other game I've seen. It implemented automatic on the fly switching between 360 controller and Mouse & Keyboard, even to the point that on screen button prompts change the instant you touch a controller button, or click the mouse. Made the game so much more enjoyable to be able to use analog steering and acceleration and then jump to aiming with a mouse.

In regards to the Starcraft II spoiler section:

Spoiler:
Tychus is motivated by the "kill switch" in his armor, not for love of Mengsk so he wouldn't go out of his way to protect Mengsk or Mengsk's interests unless ordered. It is possible that his only order was to kill Kerrigan and not to risk anything on any action before that. Hell, he probably enjoyed screwing over Mengsk.

The part that doesn't make sense to me is Tychus's resistance. He keeps trying to convince Raynor to cut and run, and not to take what he saw as suicide missions. If Raynor had done anything OTHER than what he did, Tychus never would have had a clear shot at Kerrigan. Ever. Definitely not in a position where she was a vulnerable human(oid?) who was too weak to stand.

Even that's not the biggest problem, though. Mengsk could not possibly have known what Raynor was going to do at the time he let Tychus out. In fact, not even Raynor seemed to at that point.

In other words, if Mengsk planted Tychus specifically to kill Kerrigan, he was not only anticipating a highly unlikely course of events but one that would be irrational to even believe possible.

LobsterMobster wrote:
In regards to the Starcraft II spoiler section:
Spoiler:
Or he was insurance

Congrats on over 200 episodes, I've really enjoyed listening. I moved recently, which had me feeling stressed and lonely; popping on this conference call while I unpacked settled me right down. I didn't mind the "navel gazing" as it summed up why I look forward to each week's conference call.

Nice work, and thanks for turning out a quality product each week!

LobsterMobster wrote:
In regards to the Starcraft II spoiler section:

Spoiler:
Tychus is motivated by the "kill switch" in his armor, not for love of Mengsk so he wouldn't go out of his way to protect Mengsk or Mengsk's interests unless ordered. It is possible that his only order was to kill Kerrigan and not to risk anything on any action before that. Hell, he probably enjoyed screwing over Mengsk.

The part that doesn't make sense to me is Tychus's resistance. He keeps trying to convince Raynor to cut and run, and not to take what he saw as suicide missions. If Raynor had done anything OTHER than what he did, Tychus never would have had a clear shot at Kerrigan. Ever. Definitely not in a position where she was a vulnerable human(oid?) who was too weak to stand.

Even that's not the biggest problem, though. Mengsk could not possibly have known what Raynor was going to do at the time he let Tychus out. In fact, not even Raynor seemed to at that point.

In other words, if Mengsk planted Tychus specifically to kill Kerrigan, he was not only anticipating a highly unlikely course of events but one that would be irrational to even believe possible.

Scratched wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:
In regards to the Starcraft II spoiler section:
Spoiler:
Or he was insurance

Spoiler:
I took it as Tychus, being an ex-partner and old friend to Raynor, was released as a sleeper agent, to be used at a critical opportunity. Mengsk was likely waiting for a chance to destroy the rebellion, but later chose to "spend" Tychus on killing Kerrigan when it came up.

I have no idea why he didn't "activate" him during any other time, maybe because he feared Tychus might balk at a direct order to kill Raynor, or other situations that would get Tychus killed anyway.

Spoiler:
One thing that would be good to know is a timeline, when did Mobius/Mengsk learn about the artifact fragments, when did Kerrigan learn, when was Tychus released? Fitting those pieces together would help figuring out the causes and effects

Certis wrote:
Hassasain wrote:
I just beat StarCraft 2 last night, and I did not like the way it ended, or the last mission. I did not feel like I "earned" victory. It just seemed like a Kobeyashi Maru with a divine intervention, and a predictable close...anyone else feel that way?

I failed that mission like six times, so I think there was plenty of skill required to hold on for long enough.

Hint:

Spoiler:
Take out the Nydus worms in the mission before. Rely on your airpower to hold the Zerg back. Vikings with ranged upgrades do wonders against enemy air units.

Scratched wrote:
Spoiler:
One thing that would be good to know is a timeline, when did Mobius/Mengsk learn about the artifact fragments, when did Kerrigan learn, when was Tychus released? Fitting those pieces together would help figuring out the causes and effects

Spoiler:
Seriously, I'd be surprised if it doesn't turn out Mengsk knew what he was sending Tychus to do all along, and I can't imagine that Tychus would have been saying all those things to discourage Raynor if he wasn't clued in.

Re Starcraft

Spoiler:
Maybe Tychus was trying to dissuade Raynor from going after Kerrigan to prevent the inevitable showdown.

If he's never in the position to kill her, then he can't be expected to.

Great show you guys! I've been a listener for almost 2 years and I don't think I ever missed a show. My wife who is not a big gamer also became a listener of your guys' podcast. Now, we tune in every Sunday morning. It's sorta became our thing I guess I think you guys make the best podcast out there. Great job and I'm looking forward to another 200 episodes.

Is there thread were we sign up for PAX get together? I looked but couldn't find anything. Cheers.

qcalebq wrote:

Is there thread were we sign up for PAX get together? I looked but couldn't find anything. Cheers.

It is right here. Sweet, more Goodjers representin.'

PyromanFO wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
doubtingthomas396 wrote:
I like Levine's ability to not answer Rabbit's question about his position on the philosophy of Columbia. (Yes, other people have espoused an expansionist philosophy of American power, but do you agree with them?) Bravo.

He keeps talking about "having something to say." There's your answer. Why go to such trouble to say something you don't agree with?

Do you think there's a chance he'll say it via the game instead of via a pre-release interview? Just maybe?

But aren't all opinions simple and direct enough that you can just reduce them to an interview bullet-point and be done with it? I thought all opinions about any topic were strictly for/against sound bytes.

Of course it's too early to tell what the game says, and the game will speak for itself. Just like the first Bioshock spoke for itself when it basically said "this is what a world created by limited government types would look like**. Do you want to live in it?"

Based on the interview, it sounds like Levine's next project is to show us a world created by expansionist America-first types. I doubt it will be anywhere anyone would want to be either.

This isn't to say I won't play the game, or enjoy it. But there does seem to be a pattern here; the villains in all of the Bioshock games, even the ones Levine didn't work on, play out like charicatures of the American conservative movement (Capitalism, Religion, and now America-First expansionism types).

Which isn't surprising, given 2K's home base. And again, I'll still be buying and playing Bioshock Infinite-- unless it turns out to be an MMO, in which case I don't have the monthly fees in the budget.

**The sci-fi elements are almost irrelevant; If Rapture had been built in the real world on the surface instead of under the ocean, and Adam and Eve replaced with weapons and psychotropic drugs, the whole thing would seem less fantastical and more like what-if commentary.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:
This isn't to say I won't play the game, or enjoy it. But there does seem to be a pattern here; the villains in all of the Bioshock games, even the ones Levine didn't work on, play out like charicatures of the American conservative movement (Capitalism, Religion, and now America-First expansionism types).

I feel like I missed something. Who was the religious bugbear?

Anyway, I think Levine's M.O. has been to focus on a intellectual and political movement that was gaining traction and take it to the extreme (much like the countervailing rhetoric does, but in a less serious way). I'd say that if leftist movements were more coherent and recognizable, Ken would probably be interested in those, too. (Then again, anarcho-socialism seems already a fairly common baseline of a lot of games.)

Of course it's too early to tell what the game says, and the game will speak for itself. Just like the first Bioshock spoke for itself when it basically said "this is what a world created by limited government types would look like**. Do you want to live in it?"
First off, he's railing against Objectivist libertarians, not the conservative movement in general. I'm not sure how you could mistake the two, Andrew Ryan is a pretty clear play on Ayn Rand. The philosophy of Bioshock's characters has nothing to do with "limited government" but anarcho capitalism. So I find the thread between the two as a giant anti-conservative conspiracy pretty thin. Especially because it seems Infinite is going after American Exceptionalism, the kind of people who espouse American Exceptionalism are directly opposed to Objectivists. And while an artists background certainly counts in interpreting the piece, as someone from KY I generally don't like assuming someone's political beliefs based on where they live.

But I think what sets Bioshock apart from almost any other game (and it's face it, most movies) is that the subject matter is portrayed sympathetically. Andrew Ryan isn't an evil hate-filled monster who wants to drown all the kittens you've ever loved. He's an idealist, and it's a utopia gone wrong story. The idea that the game was written specifically to say "Objectivists and Conservatives are wrong" is a gross oversimplification. It's very sympathetic to his philosophy, but finds that trying to implement a utopia based on that philosophy failed. He's said this in interviews several times, that his major statement is the failure of utopian thinking.

To say that both games represent a secret anti-conservative conspiracy, if you like only read the Bostonite code, man, strikes me a fairly dubious argument.

congrats on reaching 200 episodes! I've been listening to the Conference Call on and off since the battle of background music stuff with the Drunken Gamers happened (I tried to organize a friendly exhibition between the TF2 faithful here at GWJ and those non-PC loving bastards at what was then Team Fremont). I don't post here as often as I'd like, but with me going back to college starting in a few days ... maybe I can put those breaks between classes to good use.

Stylez wrote:
For Lara albeit a podcast too late:

IMAGE(http://imgur.com/NBclY.jpg)

Oh that joke will never be too late.

wordsmythe wrote:
I feel like I missed something. Who was the religious bugbear?

I think he's talking about Sophia Lamb from Bioshock 2 with her cult-like Family.

Merle Dandridge! What a great voice. Alyx is still my favorite female game character, because she has so much going for her. Great personality, tough as nails, but fragile at times. Her sexiness is understated, and yet very much there. I like how her relationship with Gordon develops during the action (much like the relationship between Han and Leia), instead of cutting away to some cheesy romance cut scenes.

The people with the super duper Starcraft keyboard skills should use their abilities for something useful, like disarming bombs and saving the world, and not for killing mere mortals like me in multi-player.

Mafia II is easily a must-buy.

It is nice to hear that I was not the only person who lost track of what character I was controlling in Castle Crashers.

I have a question about the term "Slap N Tickle".... Really?

I love when a guy with an already nerdy-sounding voice tries to do an impression of a nerd. It makes me smile.

Exercise is a great way to remind yourself why gaming is great.

RE: Inverted axis/non-inverted axis

I think of it as controlling a head through which I see the world, like a puppeteer. If I want to look down, I will push the top of the head forward so that it looks down and vice-versa.

benu302000 wrote:
"Now quit looking at my ass."

SHE KNOWS!

Ha ha ha!!! Yep.