GWJ Conference Call Episode 236

Conference Call


NHL 11 Pro Mode, FEAR Re-Visited, Portal, DJ Hero 2, The Portal 2 ARG & What It Means, Your Emails and more!

This week Cory, Elysium, Allen Cook and Rob Zacny dissect the Portal 2 ARG and what it all means.

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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Portal 2 ARG Wiki

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Portal 2 trailer - http://www.thinkwithportals.com/ - 0:33:29

Portal 2 - Investment Opportunity - http://www.thinkwithportals.com/ - 0:57:25

Comments

wordsmythe wrote:

That said, indie games are a morally superior form of gaming.

You smug bearded hipster!

SuperDave wrote:

I'm of the mindset that single-player balancing is going to be a growing trend, but I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I saw this and pondered about it myself. Maybe the changes are good, maybe they're bad, but I don't understand what's in it for them. Reviewers aren't going to go back and revisit the game now that the hunting revolver's rate of fire went up.

DP

All I know if that somehow, the week before it was released, my favorite podcast was talking about Portal 2 in the Games You can Play Right Now segment, (even though you couldn't play it right then), devoted the entire topic segment to it, and then brought it up again during emails (I think). It also had a thread here that went crazy with comments to the point I had to look and see what the hubub was about. Of course the thread for the podcast has even led to more Portal 2 talk.

And lo and behold, I bought Portal 2 for my daughter for Easter. It was probably going to be a game I waited on, because it would get cheap soon. But the hype got me, and I jumped in. Plus, my daughter adored the first one, and I knew it would be a big hit (It was.)

So if folks wanted to spend time talking about how terrible the ARG was instead of participating, I think you made Valve's day. It was kind of the plan.

And the folks that participated seemed to have a blast, and the good will led to even more first day sales. It seemed like a big win for everybody. It's especially nice becasue in the end, it really is a fun little game. Still probably not worth the big $60 price I paid, but still a good value.

I'm not sure what the problem is. If you didn't like the ARG, all you had to do was not play it, right? It's not like Valve said, "If you hate this ARG, would please write and talk about it a ton so we can generate even more interest!"

Or did they?

*Edit* I just looked to see how this episode ranked in forum posts compared to past shows. At 62, it's a significant bump form the 30-40 posts they usually get. But then I saw there was a show with 115 posts.

Yep. It was the Dead Island and offensive marketing show. We truly are sheep.

RoutineMachine wrote:
SuperDave wrote:

I'm of the mindset that single-player balancing is going to be a growing trend, but I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I saw this and pondered about it myself. Maybe the changes are good, maybe they're bad, but I don't understand what's in it for them. Reviewers aren't going to go back and revisit the game now that the hunting revolver's rate of fire went up.

Well, it doesn't generate as much customer goodwill as getting the balance right in the first place, but it does generate some. And that translates into a higher probability that that customer will buy the next game, and recommend both this game and the next to their friends.

The power of customer goodwill and word-of-mouth to generate future revenue should not be underestimated.

Do you really think that reviews are the reason that some people will blindly buy anything that Valve or Blizzard makes?

Hans

hidannik wrote:
RoutineMachine wrote:
SuperDave wrote:

I'm of the mindset that single-player balancing is going to be a growing trend, but I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I saw this and pondered about it myself. Maybe the changes are good, maybe they're bad, but I don't understand what's in it for them. Reviewers aren't going to go back and revisit the game now that the hunting revolver's rate of fire went up.

Well, it doesn't generate as much customer goodwill as getting the balance right in the first place, but it does generate some. And that translates into a higher probability that that customer will buy the next game, and recommend both this game and the next to their friends.

The power of customer goodwill and word-of-mouth to generate future revenue should not be underestimated.

Do you really think that reviews are the reason that some people will blindly buy anything that Valve or Blizzard makes?

Hans

The thing I find encouraging is that it's an Obsidian game that they've had the opportunity to fix up after their characteristic buggy launch. I love what Obsidian do, but their games are always kicked out the door early, and they're never given the funding after release to fix it up (KotOR2, Alpha Protocol). Even though they're working on other projects at the same time, this proves to me that at some level Obsidian want to do quality releases, when they could just leave it for dead in a ditch as I'm sure many publishers and developers would (even when their CEO dodges the question about the quality of their game and what they're doing to improve it).

bombsfall wrote:

Holy crap. Was that Yanni : Live At The Acropolis before the emails?

It totally was!

I guess Valve must have licensed that track for one of the Portal 2 promos, which is somehow deeply hilarious to me. One way or another, I never thought I'd hear Yanni in the conference call.

hidannik wrote:

The power of customer goodwill and word-of-mouth to generate future revenue should not be underestimated.

Do you really think that reviews are the reason that some people will blindly buy anything that Valve or Blizzard makes?

I did neglect the customer goodwill aspect, because I also found it hard to imagine anybody would decide to revisit a 6 month old game due to a bit of balance tweaking, (though it perplexed me so much that it made me consider going back to it.) Also, the way the game is structured, one always has alternatives if a gun feels imperfectly balanced.

But you did make me think about future releases, and I realized that they probably plan on releasing more DLC for the game, and they'll have another chance to get people to write about the way the game feels. So they get another chance to influence customers there.

RoutineMachine wrote:
hidannik wrote:

The power of customer goodwill and word-of-mouth to generate future revenue should not be underestimated.

Do you really think that reviews are the reason that some people will blindly buy anything that Valve or Blizzard makes?

I did neglect the customer goodwill aspect, because I also found it hard to imagine anybody would decide to revisit a 6 month old game due to a bit of balance tweaking, (though it perplexed me so much that it made me consider going back to it.) Also, the way the game is structured, one always has alternatives if a gun feels imperfectly balanced.

But you did make me think about future releases, and I realized that they probably plan on releasing more DLC for the game, and they'll have another chance to get people to write about the way the game feels. So they get another chance to influence customers there.

And, too, not everyone is buying the game at launch. Customers who purchase the game six months down the line will be getting a patched, balanced version that will leave a better impression.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

And, too, not everyone is buying the game at launch. Customers who purchase the game six months down the line will be getting a patched, balanced version that will leave a better impression.

I actually looked at New Vegas on the shelf today, considered it for second then decided not to get what I'm pretty sure is still a buggy mess. I think the damage is done, tbh.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

That said, indie games are a morally superior form of gaming.

You smug bearded hipster!

And between Fringe Busters and review copies of games, I can claim that I play games you've probably never heard of, and that I played the games you have heard of before they were cool.

Now excuse me while I ride my bike in traffic while sporting a messenger bag that's practically bedazzled in pins.

wordsmythe wrote:

Now excuse me while I ride my bike in traffic while sporting a messenger bag that's practically bedazzled in pins.

...Hey wait, I do that. Well, not so much on the pins. And I'm in spandex.

I'm not a hipster, damnit!

Minarchist wrote:

I'm not a hipster, damnit!

Yeah, the spandex pretty much kills any chance you have of even getting in the same neighborhood as cool.

Hooray!

Also, don't you live in Kentucky? Do you live there ironically, or perhaps as an embedded anthropologist?

No, I grew up in Kentucky. I've lived in Nashville TN for the last...twelve years? Holy crap.

Oh right. I guess those count as different places.

Hey, I can buy a 2900 sq ft house for $240k. So

IMAGE(http://icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/funny-pictures-cat-makes-a-raspberry-at-you1.jpg)

You could find cheaper than that.
IMAGE(http://sparklingophelias.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/allthisllbeyours2.jpg)

What, the curtains?

wordsmythe wrote:

Also, don't you live in Kentucky? Do you live there ironically, or perhaps as an embedded anthropologist?

How about your face is an anthropologist

I love you, Cookie, but your insistance on living in Kentucky still baffles me.