GWJ Conference Call Episode 224

Conference Call

Little Big Planet 2, DC Universe Online, Neptune's Pride, Minecraft Update, Your Twitter Questions (our LIGHTNING ROUND), Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn, Julian, Elysium and Rob tackle your hard hitting Twitter questions!

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

Little Big Planet 2
Neptune's Pride
DC Universe Online
The Invisible Eyeball Game Mechanics Post

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Still Alive - Portal/Minecraft - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG9SP... - 32:32

Birthday Cake - Lucky Ghost - http://luckyghost.com/ - 56:48

Comments

About halfway through the show, and Elysium just mentioned he had been replaying Mass Effect 1 and 2. Even though I replayed ME1 right before playing through ME2 when it came out a year ago, I felt the need to go back and re-replay both games now, so I restarted ME1 this past weekend. The difference this time is that I'm playing as a total renegade FemShep, whereas before I played as a MaleShep making mostly the same choices that my actual self would make, so a mix of paragon and renegade, but mostly paragon. So far, I'm about half done with ME1, and even though (so far) I'm not getting a very different experience as renegade FemShep, I'm still enjoying it, because I really enjoy the overarching ME story and world. I expect more of a difference while replaying ME2 as renegade FemShep.

P.S. Mass Effect 3 can't get here soon enough.

(our LIGHTENING ROUND)

I hope that misspelling was intentional.

I have to agree with the opinions on MMO funding, regarding lifetime subscriptions and how companies will try the traditional funding of a full priced box + sub before going F2P. I can't blame companies for trying, as they've got bills to pay and aren't charities operating for our entertainment, but it seems rational from a player perspective to be cynical about MMO payment schemes now.

Is "LIGHTENING" how they spell it in Canada? The proper English spelling is "LIGHTNING," methinks.

Maybe after I actually listen to the podcast, this will be explained. Later today!

I blame exhaustion, a failed spellchecker and ... hell, let's blame Elysium too.

I was wondering because you spelled it the same on Twitter, I thought it was deliberate.

Check out Astro Empires if you want a simple, long term strategy game that is weirdly addictive. I played it for a couple years, it's solid in it's simplicity.

Great show again though bashing the LBP controls drives me nuts. The physics and the feeling of things having weight is what makes the game great. The controls feel very natural in the context of the world of LBP and once you stop fighting the physics you get the hang of it quite fast. It really isn't that hard and I have the million points on Tower of Woop to prove it!

Ocelot wrote:

Great show again though bashing the LBP controls drives me nuts. The physics and the feeling of things having weight is what makes the game great. The controls feel very natural in the context of the world of LBP and once you stop fighting the physics you get the hang of it quite fast. It really isn't that hard and I have the million points on Tower of Woop to prove it! :)

It's not hard so much as it's spastic. Every time I fire off a grappling hook or make a leap off some kind of moving object, it behaves in different ways and the end result (where I land, how I swing) is a bit random. When I jump in Kirby, I have a pretty good idea of where my jump is going to land me because it has a mechanical consistency to it.

It's not so much that LPB2 is broken, I just don't think the technical gamer in me appreciates the random nature of the physics when you're trying to accomplish a goal and the actions on the screen don't match your intentions. No doubt hours of practice will reduce that as you narrow down what's likely to happen in a given jump and adjust accordingly, but if I'm frustrated and annoyed getting there, I probably won't bother.

Certis wrote:

I blame exhaustion, a failed spellchecker and ... hell, let's blame Elysium too.

I would blame Elysium if he was Canadian. Though, he's from the Canada of America (read: Minnesota), so that's close enough.

Yay! I was the question about outside media/webcomics. I was mainly thinking in the context of MMOs, which are already trying to tell multiple huge stories. WoW has its gazillion novelizations; every once in a while, I'll pop onto a wiki site to figure out why I should care about a particular character that's being presented t ome as important.

Sick song choice there for the second break. Checking out Lucky Ghost now.

I love the chiptune that played in the 2nd break too! Great stuff

Certis wrote:

No doubt hours of practice will reduce that as you narrow down what's likely to happen in a given jump and adjust accordingly, but if I'm frustrated and annoyed getting there, I probably won't bother.

Granted it takes time getting used to the way LBP controls and I did play the demo quite a bit before the release so I was already in the groove so to speak. However LBP2 - as did LBP - starts off very easily so by the time precision is actually needed, one should feel adequately skilled in the platforming. As you said, with practice you can be extremely precise with it and 9 out of 10 times I know exactly what I did wrong. Its a balance between the physics of the world and the controls and I think MM has nailed it.

Certis wrote:
Ocelot wrote:

Great show again though bashing the LBP controls drives me nuts. The physics and the feeling of things having weight is what makes the game great. The controls feel very natural in the context of the world of LBP and once you stop fighting the physics you get the hang of it quite fast. It really isn't that hard and I have the million points on Tower of Woop to prove it! :)

It's not hard so much as it's spastic. Every time I fire off a grappling hook or make a leap off some kind of moving object, it behaves in different ways and the end result (where I land, how I swing) is a bit random. When I jump in Kirby, I have a pretty good idea of where my jump is going to land me because it has a mechanical consistency to it.

It's not so much that LPB2 is broken, I just don't think the technical gamer in me appreciates the random nature of the physics when you're trying to accomplish a goal and the actions on the screen don't match your intentions. No doubt hours of practice will reduce that as you narrow down what's likely to happen in a given jump and adjust accordingly, but if I'm frustrated and annoyed getting there, I probably won't bother.

I wouldn't say the physics are spastic so much as so tuned to minutia that's not apparent to those not in the know as to be incomprehensible while the game never tells you anything about it. In other words, the developers are screaming you are doing it wrong when they failed to properly showcase their game mechanics. Someone on the LBP2 thread linked a video of how to use the grappling hook, and I was surprise by what that person could do with it. I haven't played since I watched it, but I imagine if I could get the timing, things would be much better. Still those stupid sponge point things rotate too fast for the too slow and lightweight sackboy.

garion333 wrote:

Sick song choice there for the second break. Checking out Lucky Ghost now.

Thanks! That track is on the new album 'Sex Griddle' which releases Monday Feb. 1st as a free download. I'll post a link to it when it drops!

ilduce620 wrote:
Certis wrote:

I blame exhaustion, a failed spellchecker and ... hell, let's blame Elysium too.

I would blame Elysium if he were Canadian. Though, he's from the Canada of America (read: Minnesota), so that's close enough.

If we're in the correcting mood, I might as well join in.

Glad to hear some DCUO talk... it's my first-ever MMO, and I'm really enjoying it. Mix of mentor options, body types, weapons, powers, and branching trees within those powers makes for a fun, fun, character creator. It may be all I play until L.A. Noire comes out.

Slumberland wrote:
garion333 wrote:

Sick song choice there for the second break. Checking out Lucky Ghost now.

Thanks! That track is on the new album 'Sex Griddle' which releases Monday Feb. 1st as a free download. I'll post a link to it when it drops!

That's your band? Sweet. Had no idea. Just thought you'd seen every movie on the planet, but noooo, you're into music as well.

Gah, another week when one of my letters doesn't make the cut!

(too be fair I have only sent in 2-3 over the years)

Now that I've actually listened to the show (and a great one, as always...), I had a question. Have you checked out the LittleBigPlanet 2 website, http://lpb.me? I heard Jeff Gerstmann talking about it on this week's Giant Bombcast and he thought that the most innovative thing about the game was the website.

If you haven't tried it, they link you up with your PSN account and allow you to browse through community levels from your web browser, and then you can queue them up to access from your PS3 in the game. You can look at and write reviews as well.

I don't have the game yet, but I intend on getting it soon. I absolutely loved the first one, but the community levels were difficult to find. This will probably solve my problem! You should check it out and report on it on next week's episode!

SallyNasty wrote:

Gah, another week when one of my letters doesn't make the cut!

Probably not sassy enough.

'I just like to shoot some dudes.' Certis games for the same reason I do. Shoot dudes, stab dudes in the neck, I'm easy to please.

Regarding comment on strategy games for iDevices and smartphones, I definitely do see more appeal to that type of game on a hand held device because it's a more relaxed setting than perched in front of your PC, and turn-based games are well suited to pick up and play, and sudden drop if you get a call or get to your destination.

I'm also sure you can run decent AI on a smartphone's hardware. Decent AI ran on sub 1Ghz PCs once.

The main barrier I think would be that the game needs to be easily memorable when you get back to it. If I drop a Civ 4 game for a day or two I've usually forgotten what I was doing when I get back.

Nice Podcast, guys!

I am with you Elysium on the idea of replaying Mass Effect 1 (before my playthrough of 2). Those two games are fused together in my mind, so I feel like I'd be missing something if I started playing 2 without doing 1 first. It's really going to be a time sink in a year or two when I decide I want to replay Mass Effect 3 and can't start a replay before finishing the first two.

My dread (and that's such a strong word) for 1 is the side quests. I know I don't have to do them, but I can already hear the OCD voice in my head whispering you can do just this one...and then maybe that one...and don't you want to get all the mineral survey points.... For 2, I might need to search the forums for the post about modifying an .ini file for the survey minerals.

Unfortunately, I can not start this playthrough just yet, cause I have to finish The Witcher first. I'm close, though. Somewhere in Act V.

Interesting comments on Neptune's Pride. I'm now officially intrigued!

I'm replaying The Witcher now to prepare for The Witcher 2, mostly to have better choices, not the ones I accidentally made first time around. (accidentally sided with the Ku Klux Klan, but Yaevin is less annoying in Polish so I don't find him quite as distasteful)

Once I've done The Witcher 2, I think I may take a new character on a complete ME runthrough.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

I'm replaying The Witcher now to prepare for The Witcher 2, mostly to have better choices, not the ones I accidentally made first time around. (accidentally sided with the Ku Klux Klan, but Yaevin is less annoying in Polish so I don't find him quite as distasteful)

Once I've done The Witcher 2, I think I may take a new character on a complete ME runthrough.

Are we secretly related? Or are you tapped into a readout from my brain?

Yeah, I've been trying to go neutral for my Witcher playthrough. Both sides annoy me at times, but I like Sigfried more than Yaevin...was sad when he wouldn't talk to me after the events at the bank.

LOL @ Nintendo has a lot to learn about the portable market. How oblivious can you be to how many millions and millions the DS has sold? Are the controls on IPhone games still terrible? Yup.

renegade24 wrote:

LOL @ Nintendo has a lot to learn about the portable market. How oblivious can you be to how many millions and millions the DS has sold? Are the controls on IPhone games still terrible? Yup.

I'm not sure if there's any heat in the DS vs iPhone fight.

Sonic is an interesting case when it comes to long lasting franchises. Since the Dreamcast days (when I last played one,) every game in the franchise seems to have been a misfire.

Here are the sales numbers.

Sonic mobile sold 8 million. Sonic and Mario at the Olympics sold 5 million but then that game had Mario in it :P.

I wonder if the Sonic can be equated to one of those silent movie actors who were great with no sound but just didn't work when you heard them speak. The basic game play worked in 2D and can't be/ hasn't been made to work well in 3D. You would think a fast, 3D platformer wouldn't be beyond the wit of man. Perhaps Sega have focused too much on adding extraneous elements to the game play rather than concentrating on solving the basic problem.

ilduce620 wrote:

Now that I've actually listened to the show (and a great one, as always...), I had a question. Have you checked out the LittleBigPlanet 2 website, http://lpb.me? I heard Jeff Gerstmann talking about it on this week's Giant Bombcast and he thought that the most innovative thing about the game was the website.

If you haven't tried it, they link you up with your PSN account and allow you to browse through community levels from your web browser, and then you can queue them up to access from your PS3 in the game. You can look at and write reviews as well.

The thing is, that's a crutch for the in-game level browsing being poor. I think the same thing about the Xbox marketplace

I'm not feeling any hype around the 3DS, so my feeling is that Nintendo is actually planning to launch it soft, present its software as store demos, and then gauge how hard they're going to push it based on initial reactions to 3D gaming proofs of concept.

In that sense, Nintendo is being very timid and not at all aggressive. The iPod/iPhone may eventually eat a significant part of their market share, but their markets are not coterminus - there is some competition, but some things only an iPhone can do, and some things only a DS can do.

mwdowns wrote:

Are we secretly related? Or are you tapped into a readout from my brain?

Yeah, I've been trying to go neutral for my Witcher playthrough. Both sides annoy me at times, but I like Sigfried more than Yaevin...was sad when he wouldn't talk to me after the events at the bank.

O.O

That is a little freaky, but I suspect that was by design. Put the nicer guy as the face of the raging racist faction and put a superior schmuck as the face of the 'noble' freedom fighters.

I played neutral until the point of no return, when the neutral choice left me in a tough situation, so I opted for the Order for an easier fight, but there was no recovery from there. without going back several saves, and I decided to stick with my choices.

I also feel that, as a 'not entirely' human character, if Geralt is forced to a choice he would probably lean towards the Scoi'atel. Despite his conflict with the Elves in the Last Wish.

LarryC wrote:

I'm not feeling any hype around the 3DS, so my feeling is that Nintendo is actually planning to launch it soft, present its software as store demos, and then gauge how hard they're going to push it based on initial reactions to 3D gaming proofs of concept.

In that sense, Nintendo is being very timid and not at all aggressive. The iPod/iPhone may eventually eat a significant part of their market share, but their markets are not coterminus - there is some competition, but some things only an iPhone can do, and some things only a DS can do.

I suspect you are close to the reality.

I don't think the 3DS needs a big launch, hence the price. The DS Lite and DSi already have the low end of the market cornered. The 3DS is probably something of a halo model initially, and as you say, a proof of concept.