GWJ Conference Call Episode 259

Conference Call

Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Forever Omen - Gears of War 3 - http://gearsofwar.xbox.com - 40:32

Adjusting to Reality - http://sgxmusic.com/ - 53:43

Comments

The Painkiller associations to Hard Reset are not just coincidental. The dev team is partially made up of ex-People Can Fly members.

Companies trying to seel something sometimes use the word "old-school" to excuse or cover up weaknesses in a product's design or graphics, or other things of that nature. We shouldn't be blind to when they're doing this.

That said, I appreciate old-school design when they adhere and satisfy to old school gaming sensibilities. I was never a fan of Sonic, but I am and continue to be a fan of 2D Mario platforming, and while both Galaxies are about as cutting edge as platforming goes these days, SMB Wii was just fun old-school sensibility 2D platforming - like extra levels of Super Mario Brothers 3, which is always welcome in my house.

Old school gameplay refers to gameplay that's hard, brutal, and challenge-oriented. Some arcade cabinets have only limited content, which is why they were made to be brutally hard, but the introduction of widespread SuperFamiCom gaming (NES to you Yankees) in the 80s meant that using this as an excuse for low content was no longer acceptable. Many of the most outstanding (and most infamous) games of the NES had both a decent amount of content, and a steep difficulty curve.

For instance, there's a fair amount of talk about the original Super Mario Brothers is a "short" game, since you could speed-run through in a matter of minutes, but you could only do that by skipping literally entire worlds of content. You were beating the challenge, but you were not playing through all the game's content to do it.

Likewise, even a perfect run of Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden 2 would take hours of flawless gameplay performance.

There's a bunch of games that recall old school gaming sensibilities, since those gamers haven't died yet, and they would like to play those kinds of games. Also, the nature of that sort of enjoyment is human - it only makes sense that it would never die out. Aside from Demon's Souls, and the obvious Dwarf Fortress, old school sensibility games are not that hard to find - of course JRPGs haven't changed much from they've been since the 80s (not entirely a fair comment), there's brawlers like Castle Crashers, technical 2D brawlers like Muramasa, bullet hell schmups like the latest R-type, and of course, arguably the greatest throwback of all - Street Fighter IV!

Zacny is my new favourite for pronouncing the word "niche" correctly

LarryC wrote:

Companies trying to seel something sometimes use the word "old-school" to excuse or cover up weaknesses in a product's design or graphics, or other things of that nature. We shouldn't be blind to when they're doing this.

I think there's a lot of this going around, with other terms as well (Indie, PC oriented, etc) as though anything using certain descriptors is an instant buy for some people. I'm aware it's just marketing which can often be misleading or economical with the truth, or it's just to get people's attention, but I can't help thinking they're doing themselves a disservice in some cases, and in the worst cases could lead to a making a lasting negative reaction to the term they've used if their game is bad, so it spoils it for everyone.

Who's Shaw?

Man, I can't stand Tom Chick. I think that guy just likes the backlash from his reviews, and here I am contributing. I read his review, and it reeks of bias of someone who just doesn't like the Gears series. Good journalism? Not.

I for one love the Gears franchise, and am glad they didn't try and reinvent the wheel. Can't wait to play it.

Julian, there are plenty of FFB wheels on the market right now. As Rob said in the CC, braking is the most important thing in simracing. The wheel/pedal sets on the market offer great options for pedals. Fanatec uses a load cell to better simulate brake pressure. Thrustmaster uses some heavy springs to give the brake some feel. This is actually an exciting time for wheel peripherals because Fanatec is about to release a whole new line of wheels through their partnership with Forza 4. So what are the options right now and in the near future if people want a good wheel? I'll list these from low-end to med-high end (I am not talking about ECCI and FREX which are priced well above consumer level:

Logitech DFGT
Logitech G27
Fanatec GT2(multiplatform) or GT3V2(no 360 support)
Fanatec CSR
Thrustmaster T500 also T500 F1 add-on
Fanatec CSR Elite
Fanatec CSW (no 360 support)

Here at Fanatec's site, click "Product" to see the wheel descriptions.

Fanatec wheels are sold separately from pedals. The Clubsport pedals they sell are the best piece of sim hardware I own. These use the load cell for the brake and are built like a rock.
Here is a chart for the Fanatec wheels

A good option for the new simracer is to buy a DFGT and since the pedals suck, get the Clubsport pedals. This is a PC-only solution but it is a good one.

Here are my recommendations for each platform:

PC: T500 wheel or CSR Elite with Clubsport pedals.
360: GT2 or CSR or CSR Elite wheel with Clubsport pedals
PS3: G27 or T500

Concave wrote:

Zacny is my new favourite for pronouncing the word "niche" correctly ;)

Let's just hop off the prescriptivist wagon, shall we?

Hey guys, I wanted to buy a t-shirt, but your link to the store is broken or the site is down.

Fix it, fix it, fix it! Fix it, fix it, fix it!

wordsmythe wrote:
Concave wrote:

Zacny is my new favourite for pronouncing the word "niche" correctly ;)

Let's just hop off the prescriptivist wagon, shall we?

Look, stay on the prescriptivist wagon or expect to get run over by it!

On the topic of games with handicaps (from the listener question portion of the show), I think Shadowrun took a decent stab at making this happen. The game is played in best-of-eleven sets. As one team wins more rounds, they get handicapped (I think they called it "karma"), where it would take more shots to kill the other team and make them more easily killed, and the losing team would get extra cash to buy better weapons and attributes for the next round. Of course, when the losing team starts to catch up, the karma starts to balance out again. Although it doesn't completely eliminate the possibility of a dominating 6-0 win, it does make such instances more rare, and it means a skill-inferior team actually gets to play a couple rounds where they can make some progress and have some fun.

The handicapping only happens within the context of a match (everything is reset for the next match), so it's a far cry from the more persistent stats you were talking about. It is one of the reasons I hated Call of Duty multiplayer -- the more experienced players got to use better weapons and perks that, as a gamer with a job and limited "free time" for playing, took me weeks to even get a chance to use. It's also one reason I prefer Halo's system, where the greater experience points amount to strictly cosmetic changes.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Who's Shaw?

A Canadian Internet Service Provider

PaladinTom wrote:

Hey guys, I wanted to buy a t-shirt, but your link to the store is broken or the site is down.

Fix it, fix it, fix it! Fix it, fix it, fix it!

That run of shirts is over. We may do something with a new company later, but for now the swag bin will remain dorment.

You let ISPs host the show? I'll let Comcast and Time Warner know. I hear they've been interested.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

You let ISPs host the show? I'll let Comcast and Time Warner know. I hear they've been interested.

Show is hosted by Libsyn. I'm running a GWJ game server in my house on my Shaw connection.

Certis wrote:

That run of shirts is over. We may do something with a new company later, but for now the swag bin will remain dorment.

Shawn, what is the link to order the International GWJer Day shirts then? You mentioned there'd be a link in the show notes.

Thanks!

Certis wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

You let ISPs host the show? I'll let Comcast and Time Warner know. I hear they've been interested.

Show is hosted by Libsyn. I'm running a GWJ game server in my house on my Shaw connection.

The OP wrote:

This week [color=RED]Shaw[/COLOR], Julian and Rob Zacny talk about what makes for a good "throw back" game.

Doh.

PaladinTom wrote:
Certis wrote:

That run of shirts is over. We may do something with a new company later, but for now the swag bin will remain dorment.

Shawn, what is the link to order the International GWJer Day shirts then? You mentioned there'd be a link in the show notes.

Thanks!

I'm on a real tear today. Wow. http://igwjd11.spreadshirt.com/

Don't look at me; it's my day off.

Concave wrote:

Zacny is my new favourite for pronouncing the word "niche" correctly ;)

"Nitch" and "neesh" are both correct, but "nitch" is the primary pronunciation. I said "neesh" for years until I learned that, then I started saying "nitch" just to keep would-be pronunciation sticklers on their toes.

Since 'niche' is actually a french word, I'm pretty sure 'neesh' is the primary pronunciation, if you want to be right, that is. 'Nitch' is an Americanization.

Take it up with Webster, holmes.

Bottle wrote:

Take it up with Webster, holmes. :P

M-W.com gives both as acceptable pronunciations.

OED lists "neesh" a the primary pronunciation in the UK, "nitch" as the primary pronunciation in the US.

Well, while I made the rookie mistake of initiating a language debate on the internet (never a good idea), I'm glad that everybody was right in the end.

Bottle wrote:

Well, while I made the rookie mistake of initiating a language debate on the internet (never a good idea), I'm glad that everybody was right in the end.

There are places where you can get away with it. On GWJ, you'd better do your homework first.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

OED lists "neesh" a the primary pronunciation in the UK, "nitch" as the primary pronunciation in the US.

So, based on the superior version of the language, the "neesh" pronunciation is correct. I'm glad we sorted that out.

MisterStatic wrote:

Julian, there are plenty of FFB wheels on the market right now. As Rob said in the CC, braking is the most important thing in simracing. The wheel/pedal sets on the market offer great options for pedals. Fanatec uses a load cell to better simulate brake pressure. Thrustmaster uses some heavy springs to give the brake some feel. This is actually an exciting time for wheel peripherals because Fanatec is about to release a whole new line of wheels through their partnership with Forza 4. So what are the options right now and in the near future if people want a good wheel? I'll list these from low-end to med-high end (I am not talking about ECCI and FREX which are priced well above consumer level:

Logitech DFGT
Logitech G27
Fanatec GT2(multiplatform) or GT3V2(no 360 support)
Fanatec CSR
Thrustmaster T500 also T500 F1 add-on
Fanatec CSR Elite
Fanatec CSW (no 360 support)

Here at Fanatec's site, click "Product" to see the wheel descriptions.

Fanatec wheels are sold separately from pedals. The Clubsport pedals they sell are the best piece of sim hardware I own. These use the load cell for the brake and are built like a rock.
Here is a chart for the Fanatec wheels

A good option for the new simracer is to buy a DFGT and since the pedals suck, get the Clubsport pedals. This is a PC-only solution but it is a good one.

Here are my recommendations for each platform:

PC: T500 wheel or CSR Elite with Clubsport pedals.
360: GT2 or CSR or CSR Elite wheel with Clubsport pedals
PS3: G27 or T500

stop scaring away the people the people with the expencive stuff, and that goes to the CC too. Logitech digital force GT with stock pedals @ 120$ is good enough for 98% of the gaming/driving population unless you're on the 360. then you're screwed becuse the MS wheel and Logitech FX are crap (small rim, bad FF, only ~240-270° of rotation, no sequential shifter) and you have to fork out 250-300$ for a Fanatecs GT2 / new Forza wheel.

the momo that Julian mentioned was probably the limited edition Logitech Red Momo Force made in 2004 and is still considered by some to be the best wheel for formula/open wheeler sims on the PC. the normal black one you can get for something like 40-50$ used.

My favorite throwback:
IMAGE(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_bNCu7HAalLI/Sz4tM5ML3zI/AAAAAAAAF8c/pPDBD3rZYX8/s400/Pepsi-Throwback-80s.03.jpg)