GWJ Conference Call Episode 209

Conference Call

Enslaved, F1 2010, Comic Jumper, Osmos, Castlevania: Lord of Shadows, StarCraft II Tournament, PC Loses Minerva's Den, HD Remakes, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn, Elysium, Cory and Rob Zacny tackle a bunch of smaller topics and talk about Cory's exeperience at a StarCraft II viewing party. Kinky.

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

Epilogue II - (Zoo) - workbench-music.com - 0:37:45
Serpents - (Zoo) - workbench-music.com - 1:05:36

Comments

Spoit wrote:

Tell me if I just missed it, but was there discussion about the kindle 3? I only noticed the talk about SC commentary and then the Bioshock DLC?

It didn't make the cut, unfortunately. I'll try and mention it next week.

Cory, as you may well know by now, I think you were spot on about how Enslaved sounds more on rails and automatic than the 2008 Prince of Persia did. Now, I only played the demo of Enslaved, but it's WAY easier traversing the areas because it's so automatic. No falling off ledges, missing jumps, etc.

However, I also found Enslaved much more interesting than POP because the jumping and climbing isn't exactly a central tenant to the gameplay. It's there, certainly, but climbing around and jumping is meant to be fast paced. In POP it's meant to be more puzzle-like and feel like exploration, which I think the 2008 POP failed at miserably. It was repetitive and boring. Enslaved's demo, at least, felt epic and interesting, though perhaps not as gratifying as it could have felt. But it also wasn't needlessly frustrating. More like a hyper Uncharted.

Again, only impressions from the demo.

How about this: if you're upset about "Minerva's Den" not being released on PC, go play your free copies of "The Sacrifice" for Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 or all the goodies in Team Fortress 2 that you don't get on the consoles, and then feel better. Different content showing up on different platforms is just how things work in gaming. It's not uncommon to see DLC for a game on the 360 that isn't available for that game on the PS3 and vice versa, and I don't see how this is any different.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

How about this: if you're upset about "Minerva's Den" not being released on PC, go play your free copies of "The Sacrifice" for Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 or all the goodies in Team Fortress 2 that you don't get on the consoles, and then feel better. Different content showing up on different platforms is just how things work in gaming. It's not uncommon to see DLC for a game on the 360 that isn't available for that game on the PS3 and vice versa, and I don't see how this is any different.

In fact there's a common factor there, Microsoft. Valve have said they would love to give the expansions away on 360 too, but MS won't let them.

For those who want a look at the LARPING culture I highly recommend Darkon and Monster Camp. Both are also available from Netflix although I don't think Darkon is available for streaming yet.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

It's not uncommon to see DLC for a game on the 360 that isn't available for that game on the PS3 and vice versa, and I don't see how this is any different.

The difference with Minerva's Den, though, is that the content that's being withheld isn't just an achievement-related trinket or an additional multiplayer map. The content in question here is narrative content that actually builds upon (and enhances) the core game, a story-driven campaign for a shooter that already trades heavily on its story.

I agree that it's certainly a similar problem to what you point out, but I think there's a pretty clear difference in scale here.

OzymandiasAV wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

It's not uncommon to see DLC for a game on the 360 that isn't available for that game on the PS3 and vice versa, and I don't see how this is any different.

The difference with Minerva's Den, though, is that the content that's being withheld isn't just an achievement-related trinket or an additional multiplayer map. The content in question here is narrative content that actually builds upon (and enhances) the core game, a story-heavy campaign for a shooter that trades heavily on its story.

I agree that it's certainly a similar problem to what you point out, but I think there's a pretty clear difference in scale here.

My larger point is that one of the truisms of gaming is that you'll never get to play everything. Each platform has a library of games available to it; some of those games overlap with other platforms, some of them don't. 2K choosing to not port over this piece of DLC because of timing and technical issues is just a smaller-scale version of Remedy/Microsoft deciding to can the PC version of Alan Wake or CD Projekt canceling their 360 port of The Witcher.

The assumption seems to be that getting "Minerva's Den" ready for release on the PC isn't like porting any other project over, and that's not the case. No one outside of 2K Marin knows how much work it would take to get that DLC ready for release on the PC, and that effort has to be weighed against expected gains. Just like any other cross-platform project of any size.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

2K choosing to not port over this piece of DLC because of timing and technical issues is just a smaller-scale version of Remedy/Microsoft deciding to can the PC version of Alan Wake or CD Projekt canceling their 360 port of The Witcher.

And, again, that difference in scale is important. This time, we've gone too far in the other direction.

Yes, the potential customers who were looking forward to those games on those respective platforms were disappointed when those ports were canceled, but it's much easier to rationalize the cancellation of an entire game on another system.

For DLC, I think it's a much tougher pill to swallow, especially in the case of a game like BioShock 2 that has already received one piece of cross-platform DLC (the Rapture Metro Map pack) for all three platforms.

The whole sales pitch behind DLC from a developer point of view is the ability to quickly create, deliver and monetize additional content for the existing player base. A large portion, if not all, of the the infrastructure, the core game framework for executing this content, is already in place, which leaves any potential customers to surmise that this is primarily a monetary decision. And though the management of 2K games is certainly within their right to make that call, it really raises the question: what kind of business plan is in place that paid DLC can't make money on the PC?

Scratched wrote:

In fact there's a common factor there, Microsoft. Valve have said they would love to give the expansions away on 360 too, but MS won't let them.

Sony had a requirement that all games released on the PS3 needed to have something additional(usually DLC) that was not on any other platform. That's the reason that the PS3 version of Batman: AA had the Joker room, but the 360 didn't.

Elysium wrote:

For the record, I have no idea where something like this would actually be watched, but I'd love to see TLO and IdrA taking on the Koreans.

The official site is gomtv.net. Without paying you can watch some of the videos in SD. I'd recommend FruitDealer's matches. He's everywhere at once with all the right answers and with questions his opponents often can't answer. He deserves his $85k, I'd say.

HuskyStarcraft has a lot of TLO matches on his youtube channel. Search for the thelittleone. Great commentary from Husky and always creative play from thelittleone.

OzymandiasAV wrote:

And, again, that difference in scale is important. This time, we've gone too far in the other direction.

Yes, the potential customers who were looking forward to those games on those respective platforms were disappointed when those ports were canceled, but it's much easier to rationalize the cancellation of an entire game on another system.

That's why I said that we don't have any idea how much work it would actually take to port the DLC to the PC. Yes, DLC leverages existing assets and the like and so is a smaller project than a full game, but with that comes a smaller team that might not have the time and resources to do the port. Sliding up and down the scale in project size, you'll always run into the same questions: how much time and effort would it take to port this? How much money do we stand to make from the port? Does that money justify the time and effort? So, this is a monetary decision, but all ports are monetary decisions.

It would be nice to think there were clever people at 2k thinking of these things and doing sums before starting a project. I don't see what data they have on PC profitability they have now that they wouldn't have had a few months ago. That might be a bit optimistic on the length of time Minerva's den has been in development though, it could have been started before BS2 shipped straight after the singleplayer portion was finished development.

They could have said "Minerva's Den is 360 only" and avoided most of the PR problems, announcing a PC/PS3 port later would buy them points.

I'm pretty sure Minerva's Den came out on PS3.

Scratched wrote:

It would be nice to think there were clever people at 2k thinking of these things and doing sums before starting a project. I don't see what data they have on PC profitability they have now that they wouldn't have had a few months ago.

You don't think that the sales figures for the Minerva's Den DLC on console mightn't be a pretty significant piece of data that they didn't have a few months ago?

I may earn the filthy skimmer badge, but Minerva's Den is out for the PS3.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your suggestions for Steam games. I will take you advice and await the sales.

I have been more interested in Steam lately as my wife has taken more of an interest in the Xbox of late. No, not to play games (which would be AWEsome!) but to stream Netflix. As she watches her romcoms, I have found my self on the PC.

Now, A new development: I just got the Droid Incredible (we were due for an upgrade, thank goodness). What are you top pics there, I wonder?

Thanks again, John.

I wish I was there at the Starcraft party.

Dyni wrote:

I'm so insanely jealous of that SC2 party story. I sat on my ass in my room by myself and watched it for hours (and loved it), but watching it with other people and beer sounds way more fun.

When all else fails, there's always a few of us on vent during these things. Feel free to join us so we can be antisocial together.

ok bastards - if you're going to recommend an incredible RPG experience in your podcast like Nehrim:at fates edge - at least provide a link in the show notes!!!!

http://www.moddb.com/mods/nehrim-at-...

Respectfully,
coppertopper

coppertopper wrote:

ok bastards - if you're going to recommend an incredible RPG experience in your podcast like Nehrim:at fates edge - at least provide a link in the show notes!!!!

http://www.moddb.com/mods/nehrim-at-...

Respectfully,
coppertopper

Thanks ... I was looking for that.

Not shaving? That's not a vacation, that's just six days out of seven every week.

I have been against 3D platform jumping ever since the Super Mario Brothers games went 3D. It was a neat gimmick back then, but platforms are best suited for 2D environments. Enslaved sees to recognize this as a problem and just eliminates that annoyance. I like that.

Wait, please explain how a hover-board is lame. I was under the impression that they are great, unless you are over water.

Wait, did Rob just pronounce it "Ah-nuh-may?" Oops.

I was skeptical of the Starcraft II watching until there was a mention of beer. Now it seems almost reasonable. I can hear in my head cries of "Oh come on, who uses Zerglings there!?! This is clearly a 'Lisk situation!"

Commentators are surely not disposable. Without Jim Nantz, I would barely even know what sort of sport I was watching on American's most watched network.

Having console-exclusive content for a first person shooter, which is a genre that plays best on the PC, is just rude. Especially on such a great series like Bioshock. I would happily pay for more content on the PC.

Nice to know I was not the only one who loved Republic Commando.

If you play any hand-held gaming system, you can never let that system leave that bathroom again. Poo particles can get airborne. I know, gross, right?

The PS3 at least comes out on top as the best looking system for an entertainment center. I could see my father using one as a blu-ray player. According to Home Theater magazine, the PS3 is a fantastic blu-ray player, ignoring the gaming side of things.

"How do you not buy everything that comes out?" Oh that's easy. I call her "wife." I wanna tell ya...

Do Bob Hope impressions work in the internet? Eh, probably not.

BNice wrote:

I wish I was there at the Starcraft party.

The trick is to fool all of your nongaming friends into coming! Though I think I'm going to tighten up to folks who know their StarCraft from here on out.