GWJ Conference Call Episode 288

Conference Call

Legend of Grimrock, FEZ, Firefall, Amoebattle, Tribes: Ascend, The Games of PAX East, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn, Elysium, Allen, Cory and Julian look back on PAX East and some of the games they saw.

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.

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FEZ
Firefall
Legend of Grimrock
Amoebattle
Tribes Ascend
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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Long Trailer music - Fez - http://polytroncorporation.com/61-2 - 0:28:06

The Prettiest Weed - Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery (Jim Guthrie) - http://www.swordandsworcery.com/ - 54:06

Comments

This week's rundown, courtesy of Old Wang's Gelatinous Pill Capsules, now 100% chromium free!

Games we're playing right now
00.01.40 Legend of Grimrock
00.11.34 FEZ
00.17.49 AmoeBattle
00.20.49 Firefall
00.25.23 Tribes: Ascend

Topic: PAX East
00.29.27 XCom
00.34.05 Torchlight 2
00.37.13 Assassin's Creed 3
00.38.13 Natural Selection 2
00.41.55 Monaco
00.43.44 AirMech
00.45.11 Borderlands 2
00.45.31 Spec Ops: The Line
00.47.18 PAX experience takeaways
00.48.04 Watching Julian try Steel Battalion on the Kinect
00.53.56 Final PAX highlights

Your emails
00.54.33

Chairman_Mao wrote:

00.45.11 Borderlands 2
00.45.31 Spec Ops: The Line

I guess we weren't the only ones who decided to skip BL2's monstrous line and watch it from the hallway before drawing the conclusion of "yup, that sure is some Borderlands right there"?

Good transition music again this week!

The topic of that last email is interesting, I think, but the Bioware stuff is far too chaste to really test the boundaries as far as farming out one's image for virtual romantic interaction. But at heart isn't it just an acting/modeling role where the performance is shaped after an initial capture? The difference between a love scene here and one in a film being the inclusion of your avatar, and your corresponding level of identification, of course.

It wouldn't shock me if, say, Saints Row 4 featured the ability to have graphic relations with a face-scanned Lindsay Lohan, but that wouldn't be much sadder or more exploitative than any of her other choices in the past five years. Plus, ew.

In the way that the New Yorker piece on Jennifer Hale was interesting though, I'd be curious to know the thoughts of some of these in-game face models. Whoever served as the template for Ashley Willams probably sat in a chair for an hour one day, and now there's a legion of role players who feel some odd connection to her visage, in a way that's bound to be slightly different than the usual celebrity crush. The uncanny valley dissonance some feel towards the Strahovski or Chobot characters is lessened since she's an unknown entity, and it almost makes it easier to project upon that "relationship."

Or maybe it's just like that billboard model you walk by every day. Brave new (and confusing) world.

Another solid Free-to-Play model which lets non-paying players have great access and still generates lots of revenue for the dev is the World of Tank model.

I'm so sad about Steel Battalion Kinect. This is what I was afraid of.

Tanglebones wrote:

Minor informational comment: Monaco's score is also composed by Austin Wintory, of Journey fame :)

That game cannot release soon enough.

Listening now. I believe RPS had an interview/article with Phil Fish during the GameCity Festival in the UK and it sounds like Fez will hit other platforms once the exclusivity agreement with XBLA ends.

Based on the app store screens Amoebattle has a Nintendo DS style aesthetics which is really pleasing to me. Will have to give that a try.

Has anything been said about the fate of the XCom FPS? It was a bit of a shock to see 2K running closed theaters for both XCom and Civ 5's expansion, after some of the comments from 2K's management last year.

Thank you for reading my question! However, I'm sad to hear that there's less places paying for good writing especially in print

Carmedil wrote:

Another solid Free-to-Play model which lets non-paying players have great access and still generates lots of revenue for the dev is the World of Tank model.

I might be biased after playing it for almost 7 years, but Kingdom of Loathing does a really good job as well. They allow non-paying players to get the portals dropped from donation familiars through the game economy, in addition to allowing trading of donation exclusive items with regular currency. On the flip side, I haven't heard very much good about EA's approach to F2P with people like Bill Harris going so far as to label it "screwmium".

The experience that was described in the email sounds very similar to my response to Tiny Tower. I really did not get how people could speak positively about that game when it was constantly asking for my money to speed the game up to somewhat of a reasonable experience.

Minor informational comment: Monaco's score is also composed by Austin Wintory, of Journey fame

Edit: slides from Austin Wintory's GDC presentation on Monaco and Journey:
http://gdcvault.com/play/1015342/Jou...

Woo! Shoutout on the podcast!

*is chuffed*

For all those who didn't see the links to the pics in the PAX East 2012 thread, here is links to all the pictures I took.

Day 1:
https://plus.google.com/photos/11721...

Day 2 (Including Slap and Tickle):
https://plus.google.com/photos/11721...

GWJ Slap & Tickle only:
https://plus.google.com/photos/11721...

Day 3:
https://plus.google.com/photos/11721...

I also have the RAW's of all those pics, so if people want any, lemme know.

Here are my wife's Pax photos (and photos of one of our cats):
https://plus.google.com/photos/10034...

Cool, my first email ever sent in to a podcast made it:) albeit a " creepy" email. I`m not concerned about what other Mass Effect players get up to with the reporter in the privacy of their loungerooms, I was more thinking about what was going on in the game producers/Chobot`s mind and where this celebrity cameo stuff might lead.
Face mapping/ultra realistic animations could tie really well to cross media releases- say a James Bond "movie" comes out- a movie and a game, one and the same , same story, the movie is the "canon" story where you just watch it (think mass effect story mode with no choices) and then the game is the same body of work...but with your choices/actions/gameplay. Its quite a few years off I guess.

Glad you guys went and checked out Firefall and are in the beta. And as Elysium is experiencing, this is a true beta. Sorry to hear you can't get it to load. They just dropped another of their weekly patches so go check it out.

Also, the devs have stated a number of times, there is no official launch date for the game. They will go into open beta at some point and eventually just drop the beta tag, google style.

RE: Legend of Grimrock on IPad

Ask and ye shall....

http://toucharcade.com/2012/04/18/mu...

Brownypoints wrote:

Cool, my first email ever sent in to a podcast made it:) albeit a " creepy" email. I`m not concerned about what other Mass Effect players get up to with the reporter in the privacy of their loungerooms, I was more thinking about what was going on in the game producers/Chobot`s mind and where this celebrity cameo stuff might lead.

My guess....There are probably already many, many poor lonely males fapping to pictures/video of Cho. The fact that their computer character gets to do her probably, for her, adds very little to the creepy vibe she probably gets from a lot of her fans.

Welcome to the fapping seedy underbelly of gaming, folks.

Brownypoints wrote:

Face mapping/ultra realistic animations could tie really well to cross media releases- say a James Bond "movie" comes out- a movie and a game, one and the same , same story, the movie is the "canon" story where you just watch it (think mass effect story mode with no choices) and then the game is the same body of work...but with your choices/actions/gameplay. Its quite a few years off I guess.

I feel like this is what Shiny was trying to do with Enter the Matrix, at least conceptually.

I think the major roadblock to what you describe is that most of the license rights holders don't provide a large enough budget for game devs to make a "real" game, mostly due to the fact that games fall under the "merch" umbrella. It's very rare to see something like Arkham Asylum or even War for Cybertron where the developers are given nearly free reign to do what they want with the license.

When I heard your response to the "angry gamers" email I was reminded of a story I just heard on a Model Railroading podcast. One of the guests worked designing models, and finally left that job when he started receiving phone threats, at home, over his design. Any hobby can attract fringe elements.
I almost took the day off to go to PAX, I wish I had.
Great show, as always.

I don't know if we say it enough, everyone, but thanks for listening and commenting. Means a lot.

LarryC wrote:

Welcome to the fapping seedy underbelly of gaming, folks.

Demiurge wrote:

I don't know if we say it enough, everyone, but thanks for listening and commenting. Means a lot.

Mm hm.

Eh, I'll take it.

Wait I didn't mean--

Demiurge wrote:

Eh, I'll take it.

Wait I didn't mean--

IMAGE(http://folk.ntnu.no/fuglseth/SpockFascinating.jpg)