GWJ Conference Call Episode 240

Conference Call

Brink, Age of Empires Online Beta, Mortal Kombat, Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword, Harbingers of Things to Come? Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn, Elysium, Cory and Rob Zacny tackle a bunch of games and whether or not they're harbingers of things to come. Or it's an game doldrums intervention for Shawn.

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
Game Thing Daily
Good Old Games

Brink
Age of Empires Online
Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
Mount and Blade: Warband
Mortal Kombat

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Mount & Blade: With Fire & Sword - Battle theme - http://www.taleworlds.com/ - 0:33:25

Age of Empires Online - Victory theme - http://ageofempiresonline.com/ - 0:49:26

Comments

There seems to be no transition music. That really weirded me out at first.

Whoops! We'll get that fixed post-haste.

bnpederson wrote:

There seems to be no transition music. That really weirded me out at first.

My fault, me no can function file renaming.

Fixed file should be up by morning at the latest.

Man, I always end up downloading you guys to listen to on my paper run, Thursday afternoons (tomorrow here). You're a part of my schedule, be proud!

Or don't, because it's not like I have much else going on

Oh good, push the Conference Call out by the Tuesday deadline whether it's ready or not. You can just patch it after it goes live.

I did find the lack of transition music rather... disconcerting.

/sunglasses

YEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH

The thing I hate about Steam is that when a game which isn't from one of the big publishers is broken/doesn't work I am basically screwed.

Music is in!

I, for one, welcome our new Android overlord. Someone that can speak the truth without having to feel strangled by his black turtleneck if he speaks against Apple. Cory really needs to realize that a smartphone isn't always about mobile gaming. To him, maybe, but not for everyone.

I had the first and second iPhone, and then moved away from AT&T to Verizon where I enjoyed the original Motorola Droid. Earlier this year through a friend I was able to freely upgrade to an HTC Incredible and have been very happy. Just like the first few years of iOS saw very little uptake until the App Store blew up, I think we're at the point now where Android is a very solid alternative that more and more companies are pushing towards. Case in point: there's even a GamersWithJobs app for it!

It really sounds like Cory still envisions what Android was around this time last year — an up and coming mobile OS looking to, but not yet, rival iOS. I think the comparison now is much more solid, and while I agree that both camps have their pros and cons, to give Android bad marks all around because of a lack of games is like complaining that every Apple device has to be tethered to a computer. These are things people tend to know or are easy to accept because the device they choose, if it makes them happy, is worth whatever trade-off of inconvenience they have to deal with.

The Wager characterised as game for hipsters that you've 'probably never heard of' Now I'm cool.

... please. Send us money

Seriously, I think the rise of indies is the best thing to happen this generation, and I think partly it's due to indies now having a lot of platforms to get their games out, but also just going to show that the medium is going through a time where people are really starting to explore what you can do with it, and everyone wants to take part.

I think this is having a positive influence on mainstream games too. While often I worry that there's not enough variety in the sorts of big-name games I'm playing, I'm seeing constant glimmers of promise. I have to admire how confidently, say, Portal 2 plays to the strengths of the medium. I can't help but be excited by the prospect that a game like LA Noire can be released by a big studio. It's easy to worry that there's no room for such a thing in the market, and regardless of how it turns out when I play it, it makes me hopeful that we might finally be getting to a point where big studios are once again willing to take risks.

Then again, it might be too early to say that there's a new golden age coming. But in either case, it's rare that the year comes to a close and I can honestly say I'm disappointed. Even in less-good years, it seems that we're presented with an embarrassment of riches.

I have a 3GS and am waiting to see what Apple announces next month. I am leaning towards getting the Samsung Galaxy S 2. I want a bigger screen and I don't think Uncle Steve will allow it.

Happy birthday, Sean. U R old.

"Certis wants more motion controls" is what the topic should've been called. Or "Certis needs to play more games set in space." Or "Certis needs more kinky Cory sex with donkeys."

I'm totally burned out on most games and genres. I'm with SurprisedMan that I think access and exposure to indies is the best thing to happen to us whales (to use, I believe, a Bill Abner word). I'm not really interested in most console releases anymore. Sure, I picked up The Show this year as it had been a couple years since I bought it, and prefer my racing games on console, but action adventure and third and first person shooters are not where I'm putting my money. Even when the price drop below $30, I'm not going to buy Homefront. Why? They just aren't interesting to me right now. I've been there, done that. I'm seeking two things: novelty and/or good storytelling. And indies keep giving me that novelty. Storytelling is becoming harder to find for me as I tire of the Bioware model, but there are still games that push this forward.

My two favorite games from this console generation are Demon's Souls and Alpha Protocol. Both flawed (AP moreso), but both completely unique in many ways. Other than that I can list off a bazillion indie titles I'm digging (this week alone I purchased Space Pirates and Zombies and Terraria). (And BFBC2. That's the odd man out at this point, but the mp is just too good.)

Do I have gaming fatigue? To a certain degree, but I'm still interested in what's coming out, much as I'm still interested in music and movies. I don't buy Pearl Jam albums anymore and I don't buy Call of Duty games. We move on, we grow. We just hope the industries continue to move with us.

harrisben wrote:

The thing I hate about Steam is that when a game which isn't from one of the big publishers is broken/doesn't work I am basically screwed.

I fail to see how that's any different than without Steam. And many of the smaller games do get fixed, and fixed automatically thanks to Steam. It's not like you can't contact the developer now that you bought a Steam copy of the game.

Here's Julian's article about religion: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/105/...

trueheart78 wrote:

I, for one, welcome our new Android overlord. Someone that can speak the truth without having to feel strangled by his black turtleneck if he speaks against Apple. Cory really needs to realize that a smartphone isn't always about mobile gaming. To him, maybe, but not for everyone.

Well, we're a gaming podcast. If we were a mobile phone podcast I'd understand. And I did say he can probably make phone calls now, right? Lord knows I can't.

My brother came out to visit a few weeks ago and brought his brand new HTC Thunderbolt. Beautiful screen, lightning fast LTE speeds. He had three games. One was Angry Birds.

Should that matter for someone looking for a great phone? Maybe not. But from the perspective of a guy yapping into a microphone about games, it's worth noting that there are far fewer games in the various Android-focused marketplaces.

My immediate reaction to Cory's Android hate was to stand up and defend the platform (which would have been awkward while driving), but the gaming situation does seem a bit lacking. I've had fun playing Majesty, Steambirds, Toki Tori and Flight Control, but I can't help but feel that I'm missing something.

Then I break out the DS, play a little Zelda and remember that I haven't dropped a call since I got my Droid X.

Demiurge wrote:

Maybe not. But from the perspective of a guy yapping into a microphone about games, it's worth noting that there are far fewer games in the various Android-focused marketplaces.

There's a boatload of games, it's just that 90% of them are made by junior-high students who can't draw.

Speaking of religion in games, anybody else keeping up with El Shaddai? Japanese game based on the apocryphal Book of Enoch, made by some of the dudes who worked on Okami. It looks... interesting. Dunno if it'll be good or not, but it definitely falls into that category of the weird extreme flavor that us jaded fanatics are looking for. (See, delurking to bring in a topical double-whammy. BAM.)

nivek wrote:

Then I break out the DS, play a little Zelda and remember that I haven't dropped a call since I got my Droid X.

*applause* Well played.

Corey makes a good point, but if I switch over to Android I will do my iOS gaming on my iPad.

nivek wrote:

My immediate reaction to Cory's Android hate was to stand up and defend the platform (which would have been awkward while driving), but the gaming situation does seem a bit lacking. I've had fun playing Majesty, Steambirds, Toki Tori and Flight Control, but I can't help but feel that I'm missing something.

Then I break out the DS, play a little Zelda and remember that I haven't dropped a call since I got my Droid X.

I agree. I'm quite happy with my Droid 2, and it's absolutely perfect for what I use it for (Phone calls, web, and podcasts.) I have 3 games for it, but I find that I never play games on it because I'd rather read books on Aldiko and play games on my PSP Go and DSiXL. I used to have a PalmOS unit that had plenty of games, but I rarely played them because there was no Dpad nor proper buttons and only a touch screen. I prefer real buttons.

That said, Spectral Souls and Angry Birds on the Android aren't bad games. Spectral Souls uses the keyboard on my droid 2 just fine. But I think ultimately I'd rather be playing Ys, LoH: Trails in the Sky, or Radiant Historia on the PSP/DS instead.

Where x = number if games I will play in my life, y = number of games on Android and z = number of games on iPhone, x < y < z.

Edit: and this is coming from someone who is currently developing an iOS game, before you lump me in the Android camp. Actually comparing all of my phones as gaming platforms, my old Windows Mobile phone gave me the best experience since someone made this really loving port of X-Com for that platform that never got released for the other better phones.

cosmonaut.zero wrote:

Speaking of religion in games, anybody else keeping up with El Shaddai? Japanese game based on the apocryphal Book of Enoch, made by some of the dudes who worked on Okami. It looks... interesting. Dunno if it'll be good or not, but it definitely falls into that category of the weird extreme flavor that us jaded fanatics are looking for. (See, delurking to bring in a topical double-whammy. BAM.)

Seriously? That's one interesting book to pull material from. Dear lord, you play as Enoch. Lol. Not what I was expecting.

(Apparently the lead was a character designer on Okami and DMC. I wouldn't really assume that means the game will be have some higher pedigree of gameplay because of that. Regardless, I like the art direction.)

Switchbreak wrote:

Where x = number if games I will play in my life, y = number of games on Android and z = number of games on iPhone, x < y < z.

Edit: and this is coming from someone who is currently developing an iOS game, before you lump me in the Android camp.

Good point. Considering the number of games I've actually played in the past 12 months (10? 20, maybe?), I shouldn't be complaining.

BTW note to Rob. You can register your Men of War Assault Squad on Steam even if you got it from Gamersgate. Just key in your multiplayer key in Steam and voila. You'll need to redownload the game again though through Steam.

Switchbreak wrote:

Where x = number if games I will play in my life, y = number of games on Android and z = number of games on iPhone, x < y < z.

True enough, but the app store has more games on it than the sum number of games this entire community will play in their lives. If we put in a qualifier of games actually worth your time, the numbers on both platforms drop dramatically and become more than manageable with the iPhone winning comfortably, at least for now.

I've honestly found my iPhone gaming dropping to nil since I got an iPad. Any iOS game I want to play is better played on the iPad, and I use my phone for music and podcasts.

That said, it's an important point to bring up. Most of the people I know who are happy with Android phones just don't care about games on them.

Games on the Android App Market that I care about:

Angry Birds (and related content)
Fruit Ninja
Game Dev Story
Majesty
Air Control
Chess
Sudoku
Zenonia 2
Tank Hero
Airport Mania
Radiant
Glowpuzzle
Uniwar
Tetris
Galcon
Tap Tap Revenge
SkyForce
Text Twist 2
Cars, Dora, Disney Jigsaw Puzzles

And I've run out of space on my SD card. I really need to buy a bigger one.

My point here is that while the Android game market is somewhat smaller than the Apple App Market, once the absolute number of playable games exceeds 20, I don't really feel a whole lot of difference outside of a few specific games exclusive to the App Store (Plants vs. Zombies!).

Bah, someone else already yoinked Tanglebones on twitter, thus tanglebonitis

The big counterargument for Android gaming is all the emulation - gameboy, nes, snes, etc

I seem to be in a similar position to Certis at the moment regarding my attitude to games. I'm excited as hell about The Witcher 2, waiting on a slow delivery that arrives today, but there's nothing else that's getting me excited.

The militaristic scripted shooter wore out for me at CoD4 and I haven't touched one since and most other shooters are uninteresting unless on a sale. Honestly, I think the hype train for most other games is burning me out too. I was super hyped about Portal 2, but I have to buy on disc so when I couldn't find it in a store and needed to wait the train passed me by, I really don't care now.

I was excited for ME3, but now that's delayed I will probably get Deus Ex, but more out of curiosity than excitement. Other than that 2011 is looking totally empty, it's like all the releases people are anticipating are invisible.

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'Alpha gamers?' Wasn't the term being used a while ago 'executive gamer?' I quite like that one.