GWJ Conference Call Episode 308

Conference Call

Mark of The Ninja, Card Hunter, The Walking Dead Episode 3, Rock Band Blitz, Madden 13, Guild Wars 2, The Financial State of The Gaming Industry, The Launch of the 2012 Donation Drive, Your Emails and more!

The State of The Game Industry. The big picture. Where do the big publishers stand these days? What does the future hold? We also set the stage for our 2012 donation drive!

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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Audible

Chairman_Mao's Timestamps
00.01.51 Card Hunter
00.08.01 Mark of the Ninja
00.17.12 Rock Band Blitz
00.22.18 Madden 2013
00.26.17 Orcs Must Die 2 DLC
00.29.18 Walking Dead III
00.30.46 Michael Zenke talks Guild Wars 2
00.55.11 This week's topic: The State of the Gaming Industry!
01.20.04 2012 Donation Drive--changes, listen up!
01.26.15 Your Emails!

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Adjusting to Reality - (b-sides) - workbench-music.com - 54:41

Soulsight - (b-sides) - workbench-music.com - 1:19:37

Comments

RE: Rock Band Blitz cramping Sean's hands...

You can futz with the controls in the options menu to make the button layout more similar to Frequency/Amplitude. That is, the LB and RB buttons are used to play the notes, while the thumbstick shift tracks.

I find it a lot more responsive, and a lot less crampy. Although not entirely un-crampy for frenetic tracks (yes, Iron Maiden, I'm looking at you).

Damn fine show, gents. This was one of the most entertaining CCs of recent memory.

I'm tempted to relisten to the topic and email sections, but I really should get some work done today.

MeatMan wrote:

Damn fine show, gents. This was one of the most entertaining CCs of recent memory.

I'm tempted to relisten to the topic and email sections, but I really should get some work done today.

Ditto.

Spoiler:

The squirrel comment was hilarious and somewhat poignant at the same time. I hope things will go positive for you man.

Been looking forward to Mark of the Ninja since it was announced. Pure stealth, feel like a ninja, great story by Chris Dahlen—Certis now done hyped it up good.

Also, hopefully my 1200 MSP will do something to boost the Vancouver games industry. And that's a hefty US$17.57, thanks MS for never adjusting MSP to match the dollar since 2005.

Posting as I listen...

Thanks for the great answers to the last reader email. My daughter just reached two months old yesterday, and yes the gaming is thin. Her second week, while I was on vacation, she would nap all day in a bouncy chair, and I played so much Skyrim. Unapologetically. Now she won't nap in the day without being held, but she is technically "sleeping through the night" (five hours), so I catch an hour of video games every couple of evenings.

There are rare and grateful moments, like an overnighter at the in-laws' where, with no shortage of eager arms, half a Descent campaign was successfully undertaken. Otherwise there's a solo game of Objective: Kiev on the coffee table that's been on turn two for three days now. That sort of thing.

The Baby Bjorn, bought on the advice of Goodjers in old threads, has been an absolutely essential baby accessory—in all sorts of situations, but not least for standing in front of the TV playing Xbox, or sitting on the yoga ball in front of the computer. I'm surviving.

I haven't stopped buying games of course. I mean, Mark of the Ninja, Dishonored, NFS Most Wanted, F1 2012, Forza Horizon, these didn't suddenly become less appealing. And I look forward to 2015, when I'll get to play them!

I almost forgot to post a picture of nurse Elysium.

IMAGE(http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/2394/nursesean.png)

Gravey wrote:

The Baby Bjorn, bought on the advice of Goodjers in old threads, has been an absolutely essential baby accessory—in all sorts of situations, but not least for standing in front of the TV playing Xbox, or sitting on the yoga ball in front of the computer. I'm surviving.

OMG, this! I spent so much freaking time with the kids in a Bjorn bouncing either standing or on a Yoga ball playing games. Combine with a pair of headsets and that little fracker (cough, I mean, bundle of joy) can be wailing their little head off and you can still finish your Tribes map.

Great discussion about the financial state of the gaming industry, except it could've been much, much longer!

I know you mentioned that stock prices aren't a particularly credible indicator of a company's financial health, but this is especially true when comparing today's prices with those of five years ago, because you're straddling the crisis that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Most of EA's drop in market value happened in a matter of months, from September to December 2008. EA's stock price had been suspiciously inflated after doubling in value in 2003.

Still, I dread the day when all games are made according to what stock holders (and Mass Effect fanboys) want instead of what games designers actually want to make.

Really loved this weeks cc. Just loved the energy and the emails at the end really just finished it off perfectly.

Also as a gaming dad, definitely have to reiterate how important bedtime is for the kids. Seriously, once they're in bed, that's the best time to game!

Gravey wrote:

Thanks for the great answers to the last reader email. My daughter just reached two months old yesterday, and yes the gaming is thin. Her second week, while I was on vacation, she would nap all day in a bouncy chair, and I played so much Skyrim. Unapologetically. Now she won't nap in the day without being held, but she is technically "sleeping through the night" (five hours), so I catch an hour of video games every couple of evenings.

Our first child is due in less than two months, which means three weeks of paternity leave coming up, so I've actually been looking forward to getting some extra gaming time in while the baby's napping during those three weeks. In the long term, however, with a life comprising baby + relationship + dog + exercise + work, it's kind of hard to see where gaming will fit in. And I generally only play engrossing, story-driven games.

Priorities, eh? Adulthood, eh? Sigh.

00.30.46 Michael Zenke talks Guild Wars 2

Got my wish!

*Downloads*

Chairman_Mao's Timestamps

Tell us the truth, this is why we need a donation drive, isn't it?

I could run faster than a Centaur!

I'm not seeing Mark of the Ninja on XBL. Could this be a Canadian thing?

Jayhawker wrote:

I'm not seeing Mark of the Ninja on XBL. Could this be a Canadian thing?

No, it actually comes out tomorrow (Sept. 7).

Gravey wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

I'm not seeing Mark of the Ninja on XBL. Could this be a Canadian thing?

No, it actually comes out tomorrow (Sept. 7).

Go figure, Microsoft changes their release date just for this. Jerks.

Certis wrote:
Gravey wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

I'm not seeing Mark of the Ninja on XBL. Could this be a Canadian thing?

No, it actually comes out tomorrow (Sept. 7).

Go figure, Microsoft changes their release date just for this. Jerks.

No kidding. My Season Ticket Early Release for NHL 13 comes tomorrow. MotN could get lost by the time I get back to it.

Really glad to hear such good things about Mark of the Ninja. I love stealth gameplay done right.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
00.30.46 Michael Zenke talks Guild Wars 2

Got my wish!

*Downloads*

I don't know what to say to this. Other than I am the worst wish-granting fairy ever, but aim to please where I can.

Michael Zenke wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:
00.30.46 Michael Zenke talks Guild Wars 2

Got my wish!

*Downloads*

I don't know what to say to this. Other than I am the worst wish-granting fairy ever, but aim to please where I can. :)

Well, you've been very enthusiastic about GW2 since its announcement, so I've wanted to hear what you had to say.

Also, if one keeps one's wishes moderate they're more likely to come true.

Certis wrote:
Gravey wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

I'm not seeing Mark of the Ninja on XBL. Could this be a Canadian thing?

No, it actually comes out tomorrow (Sept. 7).

Go figure, Microsoft changes their release date just for this. Jerks.

Giant Bomb (Well, Brad) has indicated he really wants to talk about it but cannot until release. Which is Friday. Way to break embargo.

I really don't know if it applies to you. Just knew Brad seemed excited to talk about it but couldn't. Mentioned in I Love Mondays video and podcast.

I believe it's called "bargo bustin'".

The developer who provided us a code said don't worry about it since we don't post written reviews. They only want embargoes on the written stuff so when reviews go up, people can get excited and buy the game right away.

We don't break NDAs or embargoes around here. Not like we're going to be rolling in extra ad dollars

Okay, okay, I will still buy Mark of the Ninja tomorrow...

And donate to GWJ...

And buy my wife birthday presents...

Michael Zenke wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:
00.30.46 Michael Zenke talks Guild Wars 2

Got my wish!

*Downloads*

I don't know what to say to this. Other than I am the worst wish-granting fairy ever, but aim to please where I can. :)

I'll settle for someone to be wildly enthusiastic about how I pronounce "bowls."

Been listening for a long time but realized I didn't have an account here. Oops. Time to fix that!

It's funny to hear adventures of other gamer fathers as my gaming time has been in a state of flux with a 2 year old and a 4 month old. I tend to game more on the PS3 as I can hold our baby and a controller. Not as easy to do with a mouse/keyboard.

You guys also made me want to buy Guild Wars 2 immediately. The rewards for exploration (both XP and impressive vistas) speeks directly to my interests.

Keep up the good work!

You guys probably hit the Industry problems on the head with the discussion of managing increasing complexity. My own company, a government contractor, went from its largest contract being half a billion dollars with a few hundred people to its largest contract being three times as large money wise with about 16,000 people. The increase in complexity and required management skills, organizational technology (using technology in its widest meaning here), and IT resources has been very difficult for us.

That kind of transition is painful, and lends itself to throwing people at problems, which is expensive, instead of developing systems, management or otherwise, to handle problems. Indeed, the change tends to be inefficient and expensive as a whole, but those that can make the jump, really come out heads and shoulders over the competition.

That is why we will not see the end of the AAA game. There is too much money at stake for developers not to create the management infrastructure to facilitate cost-effective production of games.

Tried trial of Mark of the Ninja and immediately bought it. It just FEELS good.

One of the emails mentioned To the Moon, which was a game I had heard about on the periphery for a long time. I saw on Reddit today that the game just showed up on Steam for less than $10. You can also pay a few bucks more for the soundtrack, which is supposed to be pretty awesome.

Further enabling, per the Wikipedia article:

In GameSpot's 2011 Game of the Year awards, To the Moon was given the "Best Story" award, which was won against Catherine, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Portal 2, and Xenoblade Chronicles. which were also voted in the same category. To the Moon was also nominated in the categories of "Best Music", "Most Memorable Moment", "Best Writing/Dialogue", "Best Ending", and "Song of the Year". It was also the highest user-rated PC game of 2011 at Metacritic.

It's comforting to know that I'm not the only father that slams the bed time hammer down at 8pm just so I can avoid coitus to lay with a good game.