GWJ Conference Call Episode 204

Conference Call

Dragon Age 2, LittleBigPlanet 2, Hoard, Spy Party, Bastion, NBA JAM, Games in 3D, Steel Battalion, Mortal Kombat, Our Show Live From PAX 2010! and more!

This week Shawn, Elysium, Cory and Julian record the show live at PAX in front of an audience of amazing GWJ community members. Momgamer also sets us straight on the importance of PAX.

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

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

I'm not sure of all the 3D methods around, but wouldn't it work just the same as a normal game, if your framerate goes down, it appears less smooth. I don't have a 3D setup so what follows is just guesswork.

I can see some problems depending on the method.
If you had shutter glasses synchronised to the monitor refresh (I don't think it's specific to 120Hz, just that each eye sees refresh rate / 2) then the 3D effect needs to keep the right frame projected at the right time. Either you keep it running at vsync or you have to do strange things with how regular the frames are rendered to keep it in sync with the glasses

Running in sync : RLRLRLRLRLRLRLRLRL Pairs of frames (half): RL--RL--RL--RL--RL Evenly spaced (< half): R--L--R--L--R--L--R

For methods using either alternating lines of polarity (full resolution rendered, half vertical resolution seen by each eye) with alternating lines being seen by either eye, then frame rate shouldn't matter to the 3D effect, and a method that syncs the glasses to the frames rendered by switching the blacked out lens every other frame should be fine too.

Yes, the REFRESH of your monitor has nothing whatsoever to do with how many FPS your graphics hardware is chunking out. Most LCDs in laptops don't even have variable refresh rates.

I really should educate myself on 3D from good sources, rather than back of the envelope guessing and hear-say, but I find it hard to get excited about something when I hear there's such a range of implementation quality in games and movies.

Yeah I was thinking a bit narrowly.

If the shutters on the glasses can respond adequately and the different sets of graphical data can be synchronised then the refresh rate won't matter as much.

I also forgot about V-sync, so something similar could be applied to make sure left and right are synched.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

If there is a place where glasses on 3D makes sense for gaming, it's on the PC. One person looking at a relatively small screen and controlling the action for their own benefit makes it workable. I'm not completely convinced, but I do see the possibility of it working.

I already wear glasses, and will probably have specialized glasses for computer work before too long. The last thing I want is a pair of stupid 3D glasses that I need to wear on top of the ones I already wear. They are annoying enough at the movies. Bah!

Rat Boy wrote:

It means candy!

Well, obviously.

Just got to the part where momgamer (is that right?) called me on my Minecraft demolitions expertise! All I can say is it's better to blow up the bottom of the world than the top!

LobsterMobster wrote:

Just got to the part where momgamer (is that right?) called me on my Minecraft demolitions expertise! All I can say is it's better to blow up the bottom of the world than the top! :D

Or set fire to the top. Apparently that's a bad thing.

The problem i had with WoW in 3D was the cursor and the UI. They remain on a plane above the gameplay graphics, and required me to shift my depth of field to acquire them in focus. This was almost immediately headache inducing, and just killed it for me.

jonnypolite wrote:

The problem i had with WoW in 3D was the cursor and the UI. They remain on a plane above the gameplay graphics, and required me to shift my depth of field to acquire them in focus. This was almost immediately headache inducing, and just killed it for me.

I heard/read that complaint elsewhere too. I think developers need to stop thinking of HUDs and interfaces as 2D overlays existing in the plane of the display screen, but as Dead Space style augmented reality interfaces existing in the world.

I just listened to the podcast and was wondering if the hosts could define what they mean by running into douchebags. Were you talking about people being stand-offish, getting into verbal arguments, cutting in line? Or were you talking about some of the developers, press and gaming industry stars acting like prima donnas? I will say that some of this is quite frankly is Seattle culture. I used to work the other big Seattle Labor Day event - Bumbershoot - and I saw douchey behavior that's far and away worse than anything I've seen at PAX. I'm talking about concert-goers cursing out staff, people regularly cutting line, drunken idiots, and of course the ever popular throwing objects at bands on stage. Below the Seattle "nice" there's this undercurrent of passive aggressiveness that just sometimes explodes.

Of course it could also just be that you get a lot of socially inept geeks in one place and you're going to have a few bad apples. (I'm a self-defining socially inept geek btw)

momgamer wrote:

Coolness just found!

The guy you mentioned with the ZX Spectrum has a blog and has posted a nice writeup about what it took to get the thing up and running here in the US at PAX. Take a look at this!

Good find!

Finding a Speccy up there was one of the highlights of my PAX. Sure, I've got hundreds of Speccy games sitting on my hard drive along with an emulator, but there's nothing like getting 5 digits on a real rubber keyboard, not to mention the delicious anticipation of waiting for/if a tape to load.

jdzappa wrote:

I just listened to the podcast and was wondering if the hosts could define what they mean by running into douchebags. Were you talking about people being stand-offish, getting into verbal arguments, cutting in line? Or were you talking about some of the developers, press and gaming industry stars acting like prima donnas? I will say that some of this is quite frankly is Seattle culture. I used to work the other big Seattle Labor Day event - Bumbershoot - and I saw douchey behavior that's far and away worse than anything I've seen at PAX. I'm talking about concert-goers cursing out staff, people regularly cutting line, drunken idiots, and of course the ever popular throwing objects at bands on stage. Below the Seattle "nice" there's this undercurrent of passive aggressiveness that just sometimes explodes.

Of course it could also just be that you get a lot of socially inept geeks in one place and you're going to have a few bad apples. (I'm a self-defining socially inept geek btw)

Yep. And the more people you put into a place, the higher the chance of coming across some douchebags. It's a smaller-scale representation of the douche to non-douche ratio that exists in the public at large, as well.

I didn't run across any bona fide douchebuckets that really stood out to me at PAX, but then again, I was a lone female roaming and shmoozing anything in a 10ft radius in the community areas, so I may have had a neutralizing effect in my immediate, docile area. I also avoided chatting up hot cosplayers or roaming packs of teens because of all the showboating and haughtiness usually associated with them.

I hate to get all (because 30's the new 20 and I don't quite deserve to use it), but...

There were a lot of younger people there. I don't notice it until I realize I'm being hit on by someone who was born after I hit puberty. I hate to generalize because I know there's plenty of down to earth young folks out there, but some young people, especially when socially awkward and surrounded by their peers, who will turn up the douchenozzle to 11 in an attempt to prove their coolness. I didn't see too much of that, but I may have donned some pretty hefty blinders to gloss over that stuff in order to maintain a high level of silver lining and levity throughout.

When I look at someone 15-20 years my junior acting cocky and think "These damn kids don't have no respect for nothing!" before I realize that I too was one of those assholes and part of the process of becoming a decent human being is time, practice, and realizing that sometimes, I am the idiot. I try to hope that some of these people just haven't gotten there yet. However...

This area in the pacific northwest, in general, has never really been all that great at socializing or social awareness. Sure, there's always exceptions. It just takes a lot of delicate work to get people out of their shells around here. I have lots of theories on the Seattle Chill I could go on about at length, but I don't think the prolific gaming and tech industry in the area really does much to disprove it with professions that appeal to introversion and long hours spent before glowing screens, either.

Amoebic wrote:

I have lots of theories on the Seattle Chill I could go on about at length,

I'd be interested to hear those theories sometime.

I'm still amused that there is such a recognised phenomenom as the Seattle Chill. Seattlites are jubilantly outgoing compared to your standard Englishman in his natural environment.

Jonman wrote:
Amoebic wrote:

I have lots of theories on the Seattle Chill I could go on about at length,

I'd be interested to hear those theories sometime.

I'm still amused that there is such a recognised phenomenom as the Seattle Chill. Seattlites are jubilantly outgoing compared to your standard Englishman in his natural environment.

Yes but my experience living in England is the locals will warm up to you after a few pints at the pub. Lots of drinking = instant friends. Or bar brawls.

I'll need to find the article, but there's a hilarious piece by one of the better known Seattle writers about things you shouldn't do in Seattle. One of those things is try to be overly friendly or invite your neighbors over for dinner.

The gist of the article is that Seattle:

1. Has a lot of introverts (see Ameobic's comments)
2. There's a sense of this being the Western frontier, where people pretty much keep to themselves
3. Seattle has a large Scandinavian and East Asian communities. Both regions have cultures that frown on being outgoing or overly friendly.

Keep in mind I'm from the South, which is well known for its hospitality unless your Mexican, Muslim, or gay.

Jonman wrote:
Amoebic wrote:

I have lots of theories on the Seattle Chill I could go on about at length,

I'd be interested to hear those theories sometime.

I'm still amused that there is such a recognised phenomenom as the Seattle Chill. Seattlites are jubilantly outgoing compared to your standard Englishman in his natural environment.

I guess it's a matter of perspective. We really should talk about our experiences over some games and such sometime (With Kat!), I'm not sure another pontificate wall-of-text from me about where we live is where the direction of this thread should go. I will go as far to say that I do subscribe to some of the ideas people have about it regarding urbanization styles and geography.

I noticed that some comments were on the usefulness / viability of the 3d shutter phenomenon. Some other game related podcasts, which I suppose I won't mention here, have stated that the possibility exists to do full screen, split screen. Like, instead of showing one set of images to one eye and one set of images to the other eye; show one set of images to one player, and the other set of images to the other player.

That is a solution which I find more interesting than 3d.

I have to imagine that a 3d setup is much like the 3d movie trend now. Having taken my son to a 3d movie, I became quickly underwhelmed by the effect. For the first ten minutes, you think, "hey that's kind of cool" Then you quickly forget about it until they "pull a stunt" specifically to remind you that it's a 3d movie. I guess these will either become status quo, or they'll become the lens flare of the 3d graphics industry.

Katy wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

If there is a place where glasses on 3D makes sense for gaming, it's on the PC. One person looking at a relatively small screen and controlling the action for their own benefit makes it workable. I'm not completely convinced, but I do see the possibility of it working.

I already wear glasses, and will probably have specialized glasses for computer work before too long. The last thing I want is a pair of stupid 3D glasses that I need to wear on top of the ones I already wear. They are annoying enough at the movies. Bah!

Rat Boy wrote:

It means candy!

Well, obviously.

Bionic eyes. The only true answer.

God, it's embarrassing to hear my drunk-ass self laughing... but not too embarrassing.

This was a joy to be part of. Thanks so much for opening it up to us geekmonsters. By the way, I finally wrote a little story about my Archon experience. Playing in that little tourney was an awesome supplement to enjoying my son's company all day Saturday.

Seconded Items:

3D works in Civilization 4. Seriously. It's the only place that I saw 3D working completely hitchless. Beyond that, NVIDIA's 3D is the best I saw. Console based 3D is just an Advil consumer and jaggy.

We're in year seven of PAX. The douchebag quotient always increases with professional success. Experiences with said douchbags tend to consume more attention than the other twenty people that are nice, polite geeks, and therefore do nothing to solicit attention.

Best smelling PAX ever! Seriously. Way to go on hygiene!

jdzappa wrote:
Jonman wrote:
Amoebic wrote:

I have lots of theories on the Seattle Chill I could go on about at length,

I'd be interested to hear those theories sometime.

I'm still amused that there is such a recognised phenomenom as the Seattle Chill. Seattlites are jubilantly outgoing compared to your standard Englishman in his natural environment.

Yes but my experience living in England is the locals will warm up to you after a few pints at the pub. Lots of drinking = instant friends. Or bar brawls.

I'll need to find the article, but there's a hilarious piece by one of the better known Seattle writers about things you shouldn't do in Seattle. One of those things is try to be overly friendly or invite your neighbors over for dinner.

The gist of the article is that Seattle:

1. Has a lot of introverts (see Ameobic's comments)
2. There's a sense of this being the Western frontier, where people pretty much keep to themselves
3. Seattle has a large Scandinavian and East Asian communities. Both regions have cultures that frown on being outgoing or overly friendly.

Keep in mind I'm from the South, which is well known for its hospitality unless your Mexican, Muslim, or gay.

Scandinavians are plenty friendly--just don't presume to talk about feelings or anything.

It's seriously nice to listen to a podcast "recorded in front of a live studio audience" and not have the audio sound like complete garbage. I guess you recorded in someone's living room (Jonman-- did I get that right?) which I'm sure is a better place for it than a crowded auditorium. I've suffered through a LOT of scratchy, echoey PAX podcasts lately so this one was a treat. I listen to podcasts at work where there's always a lot of activity going on around me, and having to crank my mp3 player to max volume and kill my ears just to follow the conversation is a pain.

hbi2k wrote:

It's seriously nice to listen to a podcast "recorded in front of a live studio audience" and not have the audio sound like complete garbage.

Seriously, with as loud as it was in the kitchen/dining room that we were all packed into and recording in, I was blown away by the sound quality with the finished product. Every time the room laughed it sounded like a whitewash from where we were sitting and there were people chatting in the back of the room a good amount of the time. Bravo Jonathan, and kudos to you guys for doing it right.

A lot of the thanks goes to rabbit for bringing along his 400 pound podcast kit. Made life much, much easier!

docbadwrench wrote:

By the way, I finally wrote a little story about my Archon experience. Playing in that little tourney was an awesome supplement to enjoying my son's company all day Saturday.

Is there a thread around here somewhere about the Archon remake? Archon was one of my favorite C64 games, and I'd like to know more about revisiting it.

misplacedbravado wrote:
docbadwrench wrote:

By the way, I finally wrote a little story about my Archon experience. Playing in that little tourney was an awesome supplement to enjoying my son's company all day Saturday.

Is there a thread around here somewhere about the Archon remake? Archon was one of my favorite C64 games, and I'd like to know more about revisiting it.

+1
rah rah Archon.

Thank for the sound props - I did indeed haul a 50 pound sound case to Seattle with real mics, phones, mixer and distro amplifier just for the occasion, so I'm very happy someone noticed! For all you audio nuts: I cannot recommend the berringer 12 track USB mixer strongly enough. It did all the hard work.

Late to the listening party, but I just wanted to say that I'm glad someone else out there doesn't care about Duke Nukem. I've been seeing a lot of excitement elsewhere on the webs and was starting to think I may be broken.

rabbit wrote:

Thank for the sound props - I did indeed haul a 50 pound sound case to Seattle with real mics, phones, mixer and distro amplifier just for the occasion, so I'm very happy someone noticed! For all you audio nuts: I cannot recommend the berringer 12 track USB mixer strongly enough. It did all the hard work.

Got to be careful carrying around a heavy case of equipment while you travel. If the authorities find it they might think it's... the bomb?

Maybe it speaks to my immaturity, but I am pretty excited about Duke. It just looks like some good old shallow shooter fun. Also, the idea of the strippers not have pixelated boobs is appealing.

The best thing about the little games is that they can take brilliant concepts (Castle Crashers, Limbo) and make a game out of them stays focused on the concept. They don't feel the need to pad the game with fluff or filler, because the games are cheap.

I love Dragon Age so much, I want to marry it.

"I suck at games." That is a dirty little secret of a lot of adult gamers I think. We play for love, not sport.

Mickey losing a friend? I am crying already.

Martin Riggs would NEVER put up with non-lethal weapons!

Note: The word "woot" is never meant to be spoken out loud. However, shouting "woo" is acceptable.

A Ducktales game? Wow, I think I just plotzed.

A Seattle hipster is defined as "A person who lives anywhere on the west coast who makes you want to punch them in the face." At least, that is what I am going with until I hear something better.

Defining "hipster" is a time-honored game in which the players take terms creating increasingly lengthy and nuanced definitions while avoiding including themselves in those definitions.