GWJ Conference Call Episode 258

Conference Call


Dead Island, Men of War: Vietnam, Red Orchestra 2, How Coop Changes Single Player, Video Killed The Print Journalist?, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn and Elysium are joined by Russ Pitts to talk Dead Island, coop games, video killing the games journalist star and more!

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.

Sponsor

Tech Thing Daily
Game Thing Daily
Good Old Games

GWJ Donation Drive Prize Pool
Dead Island
Red Orchestra 2
Men of War: Vietnam
King of Dragon Pass

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Trailer Theme - Dead Island - http://www.deadislandgame.com/ - 22:27

Red Orchestra 2 Heroes of Stalingrad Theme - http://www.heroesofstalingrad.com/ - 55:02

Comments

More like podcast killed the print. I hardly ever read reviews unless I'm interested in what a podcaster will say about the game on the show.

Video content is pretty worthless to me. It takes too much time to consume relative to print, and delivers less information in the process. Further, it is not skimmable and is way too obvious in the workplace.

No death count?
But then how will I keep track of my kill:death ratio?!

I agree to an extent about Dead Island multiplayer being much less of an immersive experience and much more of a zombie killing romp; however, I didn't exactly find the single player all that engaging.

The whole game is sort of sold and marketed as emotional but when you play it, it's clearly more humor and fun focused (not that that's bad). In multiplayer I find the danger comes from the same area it does in singleplayer. You handle small groups of the walkers easily but when you get into the more dangerous areas with multiple infected, you get rushed and beat down. The red cross tents in the city are a good example of this. The way you end up killing zombies is far different though. Those small group of walkers in single player are taken care of through thought and strategy while in multiplayer they are just rushed and beat down.

After playing about 90% of the game multiplayer, I was wondering if I should have instead played singleplayer for the experience. Then I realized there's no real better "experience" with the actual story and play through, just on how you kill the zombies. There's some parts I played through that seem like they would be just frustrating in singleplayer.

Maybe I'm just heartless but all the times that they tried to make me feel bad for characters or get some sort of emotional interaction, it just felt so forced and ridiculous in the setting (a setting where that sort of thing SHOULD belong) I could care less about their plight or sorrow, just give me my quest reward. I think they tried to go for a contrast between the silly romp game and the emotional side to things but (for me) it just didn't work and had an opposite effect.

Also, Certis was just as much of a "yahoo" as the rest of us!

FedoraMcQuaid wrote:
No death count?
But then how will I keep track of my kill:death ratio?!

There's no k/d ration shown while in-match, however if you view your profile it does list a k/d ratio. The emphasis in-game is on capturing positions and winning maps, not killing people.

I defiantly do not want numbers flying off my zombies I wonder if thats an option like in Borderlands?

[/i]If print is dead why does my son send about 20K text messages a month?

I defiantly do not want numbers flying off my zombies I wonder if thats an option like in Borderlands?

Yep, you can turn numbers, health bars and levels off so they don't display. That's what I did!

One thing that came to mind on the issue of credits in Facebook games: the "real games" that were mentioned in the email typically have very clearly defined endpoints for contribution, which make attribution much easier to track...but social games are effectively a service that's continually tweaked and iterated upon throughout their lifetime. For games that are ongoing services, what milestones would you use for determining attribution? Do games that adopt similar models, such as MMOs, attribute credit based upon individual patches or do they only credit the personnel that was involved with the initial launch of the game?

Also, though I acknowledge the impact that video has had on our present-day media habits, I also question whether it's really poised for any further growth beyond where we are now. The "big elephant" in the room with video isn't YouTube but, rather, bandwidth; as the internet continues to grow into ubiquity, how many ISPs are going to adopt harsher bandwidth caps to keep their business profitable? What happens to online video if the corporate lobbyists get their way and legislation takes net neutrality out of the picture?

Ultimately, I usually tend to believe that media and its consumption leans much more strongly toward equilibrium, rather than runaway domination. If anything, I think that the emergence of tablets and e-reader platforms/software like Kindle could potentially lead to a "second wind" for print, if (or, more likely, when) cyclical publications can work out a sustainable distribution model for it.

Fletch lives!

Rat Boy wrote:
Fletch lives!

Long live the Fletch!

Certis wrote:
I defiantly do not want numbers flying off my zombies I wonder if thats an option like in Borderlands?

Yep, you can turn numbers, health bars and levels off so they don't display. That's what I did!

And I'm the type of guy that would turn all that on. I love seeing the numbers and bars in game. I say let my games be as game-y as possible!

OzymandiasAV wrote:
Ultimately, I usually tend to believe that media and its consumption leans much more strongly toward equilibrium, rather than runaway domination.

I more or less agree, though some media are in more direct competition than others. E.g., audio podcasts have replaced the car radio as what I listen to on my commute, while running errands, etc. -- contexts that video just doesn't work well in.

Nice show. I haven't finished listening yet, but I just wanted to mention real quick that the recent Google+ announcements with regards to Hangouts and the ability to broadcast seem truly innovative, and the kind of thing I'd like to see the Conference Call use, even if just for live shows occasionally. Assuming it works as they're currently advertising, you could have four guests in separate places and broadcast that conversation, including dynamically switching video feeds, to "The Masses."

It remains to be seen whether Google+ Hangouts will really work this way, but that's how I understand it. Just came to mind as I was listening.

ilduce,

We have already been experimenting with how Google+ might be used for the podcast. We're way ahead of you.

Elysium wrote:
ilduce,

We have already been experimenting with how Google+ might be used for the podcast. We're way ahead of you.

... Before it was cool.

Also, I propose that we not go with GWJ as a "mausoleum," but perhaps more as "retro throwback." We could emphasize that reviews are an artform, that written reviews carry a feel of authenticity that is lost in the conversion to video formats.

I'd also like to change my donation icon to gold Wayfarers.

Elysium wrote:
ilduce,

We have already been experimenting with how Google+ might be used for the podcast. We're way ahead of you.

Yessss, I'm sure that Google + experiment is being performed in the super secretive GWJer labs alongside other nefarious experiments such as:

The monetization potential of selling the last 20 minutes of each podcast as as DLC add ons
The maximum pre-decay potential of building a zombified GWJer workforce to generate commisions and build clickthru traffic
The global population impact of requiring GWJers to name their firstborn children Certios/Certisia, Elysiumo/Elysiumia

You call these 'experiments' I call them madness!

Wow, good timing with this topic.

I actually do web video professionally and I've been strongly considering getting in touch with some of the "up and coming" video game sites/blogs to produce content for them, so Russ' input on the subject was very welcome.

Elysium wrote:
ilduce,

We have already been experimenting with how Google+ might be used for the podcast. We're way ahead of you.

Glorious. Glad to hear it.

My Starcraft buddies and I have been using it in place of Skype now, as it's easy to open up a Hangout and, once someone else is ready to join the session, they just have to join rather than be called from within Skype by one of the people already on the call. The sound quality is great and the video options are nice for the pre-game. The only annoyance is that the session shuts down if you don't click on the Hangout window for an hour...

AndrewA wrote:
Video content is pretty worthless to me. It takes too much time to consume relative to print, and delivers less information in the process. Further, it is not skimmable and is way too obvious in the workplace.

I agree completely, although I suspect this marks us as old men of the gaming world. The few video reviews I've watched don't even seem to require the video reviewer. I'm also a little concerned that they place even more emphasis on graphics than is already the case. Maybe with some editing or the ability to jump to different defined sections of the video.

Irongut wrote:
Elysium wrote:
ilduce,

We have already been experimenting with how Google+ might be used for the podcast. We're way ahead of you.

Yessss, I'm sure that Google + experiment is being performed in the super secretive GWJer labs alongside other nefarious experiments such as:

The monetization potential of selling the last 20 minutes of each podcast as as DLC add ons
The maximum pre-decay potential of building a zombified GWJer workforce to generate commisions and build clickthru traffic
The global population impact of requiring GWJers to name their firstborn children Certios/Certisia, Elysiumo/Elysiumia

You call these 'experiments' I call them madness!

Get ready for Gamification With Jobs!

kazooka wrote:
AndrewA wrote:
Video content is pretty worthless to me. It takes too much time to consume relative to print, and delivers less information in the process. Further, it is not skimmable and is way too obvious in the workplace.

I agree completely, although I suspect this marks us as old men of the gaming world. The few video reviews I've watched don't even seem to require the video reviewer. I'm also a little concerned that they place even more emphasis on graphics than is already the case. Maybe with some editing or the ability to jump to different defined sections of the video.

Young guy of the gaming world here, I prefer printed articles for skimming. Honestly, when reading the news and such, I get annoyed if it's a video only report/article. Things like Total_Biscuit and Zero Punctuation are better in video form due simply because of the people doing them. For something to be video only it has to bring something extra to make me want to actually watch the whole thing (which you generally have to do for context).

Now if more podcasts would just have hotlinks to jump to each section *COUGH HINT COUGH*

FedoraMcQuaid wrote:
Things like Total_Biscuit and Zero Punctuation are better in video form due simply because of the people doing them. For something to be video only it has to bring something extra to make me want to actually watch the whole thing (which you generally have to do for context).

I love me some Zero Punctuation.... but I routinely fall months behind because I always feel like I can't spare the 2-3 minutes at work to watch an episode, even though I know it'll be awesome. And I'm not going to watch this stuff at home, because I have way more interesting/pressing things to do.

FedoraMcQuaid wrote:
Now if more podcasts would just have hotlinks to jump to each section *COUGH HINT COUGH*

Yes please! GWJ needs this feature!

kazooka wrote:
AndrewA wrote:
Video content is pretty worthless to me. It takes too much time to consume relative to print, and delivers less information in the process. Further, it is not skimmable and is way too obvious in the workplace.

I agree completely, although I suspect this marks us as old men of the gaming world. The few video reviews I've watched don't even seem to require the video reviewer. I'm also a little concerned that they place even more emphasis on graphics than is already the case. Maybe with some editing or the ability to jump to different defined sections of the video.

I like video content, personally, but I get it from GiantBomb, so I don't really need it from other sources. Basically, I don't think every gaming site needs it. I visit GWJ because of thoughtful articles and thoughtful discussions that I don't get anywhere else, so as long as they keep doing what they're doing, I'm happy.

That said, I think video provides the best way for me to get a feel for how a game works. The GiantBomb Quick Looks alone are helpful in letting me live vicariously through someone else to know if a game is worth picking up or not. Hearing a discussion about it or reading an article just doesn't give me the same information.

Rat Boy wrote:
Fletch lives!

Fletch Too?

I think the way to go to investigate video for the site may be "super-short looks." Like, shorter than Giant Bomb's Quick Looks. It would be way, way, way cool to be able to see rabbit's setups for a few minutes or Elysium cursing his way through his latest JRPG purchase mistake; or Lara gushing about Gay Hawke.

Doesn't really take much - a camera, one person, and some video-editing. It would largely be supplemental to the written thing, kind of like the way a photo supplements a written piece. Sometimes it's way easier to just show something rather than have to describe it in words.

I kind of use different media depending on the kind of information I want. I use videos and quick looks for info about a particular game I'm interested in, mainly because I can see the game and see how it all works right there before me. I don't have to read about how the author interprets the game.

I like reading articles that aren't necessarily about the game, but about someone's experiences with the game or about tactics and their approach to the game.

And I like my audio podcasts for finding out about all the latest gaming news and just the good conversation between the podcasters. My top 3 podcasts are this one, GiantBombcast and IGN's Gamescoop.

LarryC wrote:
I think the way to go to investigate video for the site may be "super-short looks." Like, shorter than Giant Bomb's Quick Looks. It would be way, way, way cool to be able to see rabbit's setups for a few minutes or Elysium cursing his way through his latest JRPG purchase mistake; or Lara gushing about Gay Hawke.

Doesn't really take much - a camera, one person, and some video-editing. It would largely be supplemental to the written thing, kind of like the way a photo supplements a written piece. Sometimes it's way easier to just show something rather than have to describe it in words.

I think they did that before. Cory was video reviewing some dancing game in which you were required to dance around like a crazy person... wait.... that wasn't a video review?

Heh.. of COURSE your podcast listeners are mostly going to prefer podcasts.

I've not yet listened to a single podcast, and just looked at the comments here out of idleness. I keep downloading the things, and then never have time to listen to them.

Reading is just so, SO much faster than audio or video. I can read an article in about a third of the time it would take to read aloud. I can skip around instantly by flicking my eyeballs, and read carefully to get careful nuance. These things are possible with audio, but cumbersome. I can scan for eye-catching words that might be interesting to me - that's impossible with audio.

If I see both a video and a transcript posted on a blog, I read the transcript.

I'm fine with you guys having your podcasts.. but don't for a moment think that it replaces articles. Writing and speaking are two very different media, and good for different things.

I'm better with Podcasts, it's much harder to watch a video at work than it is to listen to a podcast. I only have a handful of videos that I really watch, Zero Punctuation, Unskippable, LRR, Trifecta, ReasonTV, and Firewall. Most everything else I consume is print or podcasts.

I agree with the long time between consoles pushing people to PCs a bit. That's why I think Sony is actually going to release a 4th home console by the end of 2013... No idea what it'll have, but I think that Microsoft is going the path of "Fusion" chips in their next console, with the ATI GPU and PowerPC processors on the same die, leveraging the advances in PC hardware over the last 6 years.

You just convinced me to buy Red Orchestra. And you know what?
Some 60 seconds of one of you describing his experience was enough.
You should get paid by Steam and co.

If you guys add some sort of video, I'd cast my vote for a Siskel & Ebert At The Movies type format. Two guys in a home theater room, talking critically about the games (basically the way you do now) they are playing, and use the video to show key scenes that elucidate your points. Keep it concise, and jump down each others' throats once in awhile.

For me personally, podcasts beat print and video hands down, since i can do other stuff while listening to them. I need to be really interested in a game to read or watch something about it.

So thanks a lot.

Btw, the GWJCC was the first podcast i started listening to. Years ago I googled for "WoW solo". The link to the GWJ forums is still on the first result page