GWJ Conference Call Episode 226

Conference Call

Dead Space 2, Little Big Planet 2, Trokia Games, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn and Elysium get a podcast in just under the wire. It's a short one, but only because we love you.

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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CastMedium
Good Old Games

Dead Space 2
Little Big Planet 2
Magicka

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Menu music - Fruit Ninja - http://www.fruitninja.com/ - 13:15

Comments

You sirs had me in stitches.

The S[ean]hawn's two man show was a terrific success.

PS-Wow I forgot about The Phantom. That's a great saga to tell.

Hey gang, thanks for reading my email:) It brought a much needed smile to my face (water pipe froze and burst outside my house this morning, making getting ready for work and packing the baby up lots of fun). Great show.

And yes - I am a dude.

I don't really think tutorials are disappearing so much as UI design is improving so you have to explain fewer elements of the game.

If you get shot and your screen goes red with blood, you know you've been hit with a bullet. You don't have to explain a "I've been hit" flashing icon to anybody.

iPad/iPhone games are really getting good about this, as the iOS platform has a low tolerance for ramp-up time. You kinda have to be able to load it up and play immediately.

I liked manuals more for all the back story they once provided, but I seldom looked at them to figure out controls other than special moves in Street Fighter II. Dungeon Master had an excellent manual that had a short story length back story leading up to the beginning of the game.

tanstaafl = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

It's usually pronounced tans taff full.

Hans

What, you don't have fourth-stringers to fill in spots?

hidannik wrote:

tanstaafl = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

It's usually pronounced tans taff full.

Hans

Thanks. I had just come in to say I pronounce it so it rhymes with "hands baffle" but I like yours better.

If a game is too hard for you to play, or if you only care about the story, then watch it on youtube. Or one of those "lets play" sites.

The constant dumbing down of games these days is actually quite annoying. I'm not hardcore, but I play games for a mix of things, some of that is the challenge. If there is no challenge, then where exactly is the fun?

Story only? Go read a book or watch a video.

Also, loved this weeks show.

If a game is too hard for you to play, or if you only care about the story, then watch it on youtube. Or one of those "lets play" sites.

The constant dumbing down of games these days is actually quite annoying. I'm not hardcore, but I play games for a mix of things, some of that is the challenge. If there is no challenge, then where exactly is the fun?

I get what you're saying -- completely disagree with it though I might -- but you certainly can't be saying that experiencing a great video game story is the same as experiencing a story in a book or *gulp* YouTube. One of the great things about video games is that it delivers stories in a completely different way!

Also, thanks

I think people mix up difficulty and 'dumbing down'.

I can see different people wanting to play through the same experience at different skill levels (I'd say picking an appropriate skill level for yourself, or good auto tuning of difficulty is important), however there needs to be some challenge to overcome, but balanced against allowing the player reasonably constant progress. Neither hitting your head against a brick wall or pushing through it like it was made of foam is satisfying.

As for dumbing down it seems a bad reaction on the part of some game designers when they can't make something work well, or an aspect of their game isn't properly understood or used by the end users, to remove it entirely. In relation to difficulty it seems sometimes whole gameplay features are removed at lower difficulty levels rather than being present in a weaker form, so the gameplay is intact but easier. For an example see Mass Effect2, in which at higher difficulties enemies have multiple layers of shielding, armour, etc. that each need a counter, but at lower difficulties only had plain health so it was dumbed down to just throwing bullets of any description at them.

PyromanFO wrote:

I don't really think tutorials are disappearing so much as UI design is improving so you have to explain fewer elements of the game.

If you get shot and your screen goes red with blood, you know you've been hit with a bullet. You don't have to explain a "I've been hit" flashing icon to anybody.

iPad/iPhone games are really getting good about this, as the iOS platform has a low tolerance for ramp-up time. You kinda have to be able to load it up and play immediately.

I think games are also getting better at seamlessly integrating the learning process into the first few hours of play so that you don't need a discrete "tutorial." It doesn't hurt that loading screens can be used to deliver information that would normally need to be introduced in a manual or tutorial, or even used to give you a practice mode sandbox to try out moves for yourself a la Bayonetta.

Forget small text. I attempted to play PC games on my HTPC for a little while with a wireless keyboard and mouse, but sitting on the couch at 7ft on my tiny 42" (I held of my laptop's 14" screen at arm's length and it just about perfectly covered it--is this 1993??) is as Elysium said, not a good position to play mouse n' keyboard controlled games, and sitting on a desk two feet from it I think I'd get motion sickness. I.e., it's just not worth it.

There is something reassuring about the GWJ crew saying they have not had time to play many games. I suppose that is why this place is called Gamers with Jobs. We love our games, but sometimes we just have better things to do.

If there is one thing I like in my games is a heavy amount of bam.

Why Fruit Ninja? Poor reading skills.

Speaking of those older RPGs, I was amazed at how pretty the Baldur's Gate games still look today, especially with the high-res mod.

DLC generally feels like a nice bonus, but it almost never feels like a necessity.

"Sitting at the office on a Saturday morning, a thought hit me." Poor career choice?

I see no problem with all games having difficulty levels. I bought the game, I want to see the ending. (You hear me Ninja Gaiden for the NES? You hear me glaring?)

"I game on a 60 inch plasma." The "woo hoo" reaction to that statement is priceless.

"His monocle probably just fell out of his eye and he spilled his tea." You guys have been taking your funny pills lately.

This is a behind-the-scenes question: Do you guys read in advance the e-mails that you're going to respond to on the podcast?

I was impressed by how quickly you had a response to the e-mail from the guy who said he played a game, disliked it, then played a sequel and loved it, and he asked if you'd ever had a similar experience. If I were on the podcast for that question, I think I would have gone, "Um, let me see if I can think of an example of that for me...", followed by 10 or more seconds of silence until something came to mind. But maybe I'm just not as quick on my feet as you guys.

JediK809 wrote:

This is a behind-the-scenes question: Do you guys read in advance the e-mails that you're going to respond to on the podcast?

I was impressed by how quickly you had a response to the e-mail from the guy who said he played a game, disliked it, then played a sequel and loved it, and he asked if you'd ever had a similar experience. If I were on the podcast for that question, I think I would have gone, "Um, let me see if I can think of an example of that for me...", followed by 10 or more seconds of silence until something came to mind. But maybe I'm just not as quick on my feet as you guys.

DON'T ANSWER, YOU'LL RUIN THE MAGIC!?!?!

Man, JediK809, next you'll be asking about Santa and the Tooth Fairy.

You know these recordings get edited, right? That's part of the whole CastMedium thing.

tanstaafl wrote:
hidannik wrote:

tanstaafl = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

It's usually pronounced tans taff full.

Hans

Thanks. I had just come in to say I pronounce it so it rhymes with "hands baffle" but I like yours better.

I usually go more with "lawn waffle."

wordsmythe wrote:

You know these recordings get edited, right? That's part of the whole CastMedium thing.

tanstaafl wrote:
hidannik wrote:

tanstaafl = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

It's usually pronounced tans taff full.

Hans

Thanks. I had just come in to say I pronounce it so it rhymes with "hands baffle" but I like yours better.

I usually go more with "lawn waffle."

That explains the dog in the avatar.

m0nk3yboy wrote:

DON'T ANSWER, YOU'LL RUIN THE MAGIC!?!?!

Man, JediK809, next you'll be asking about Santa and the Tooth Fairy.

Everyone knows those are real, duh! But yes, point taken; maybe it's a question best left unanswered. I was just curious.