GWJ Conference Call Episode 331

Conference Call

Fire Emblem Awakening, Neverwinter Online Beta, A Toddler on Proteus, Antichamber, A New Reading From Graham Rowat, Emails and Even More of Your Emails and ... more!

This week Allen and Shawn are joined by Charlie Hall to celebrate his new gig at Polygon. We also get caught up on some emails!

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.

Chairman_Mao's Timestamps
00.01.36 Neverwinter Online Beta
00.06.19 Path of Exile and concerns about the rise of microtransactions
00.12.59 Fire Emblem Awakening
00.18.24 Antichamber
00.22.06 Pyroman's MAME cabinet
00.25.23 Proteus
00.28.19 Farcry 3
00.30.49 The Witcher 2
00.35.09 This week's sponsor: Choremonster!
00.36.04 Graham Rowat reads Double Teaming the Dead
00.43.54 Your emails

Double Teaming The Dead
Neverwinter Online
Fire Emblem
Proteus
Antichamber

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Waking Up - Dexter Britain -http://freemusicarchive.org/music/De... - 36:06

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Comments

Raspberry Pi for a MAME cabinet. What a brilliant idea.

Congrats on the new gig Charlie! Really liked your contributions to Ars last year, glad to hear you're moving on up to a full-time position

Exclusive Neverwinter screens! (seriously, someone on staff has to be old enough to do a now vs. then feature, right?)

osmosisch wrote:

I have to say I'm a bit confused about your microtransactions accusation of Path of Exile given that in-game I wouldn't even be able to tell you where to find a button for them. If it's there, they are very discreet about it at least.

Big green dollar sign, bottom right. It jumped out at me right away. Like I said, they do it right as far as what they're selling.

PS: Not really an accusation, a fact.

On the topic of SimCity micro-transactions... There was a leaked manual which references an in-game store (unfortunately, EA pulled the document from Scribd). In addition, given they injected a micro-transaction store into The Sims 2 and The Sims 3, it was pretty much inevitable.

I have to say I'm a bit confused about your microtransactions accusation of Path of Exile given that in-game I wouldn't even be able to tell you where to find a button for them. If it's there, they are very discreet about it at least.

e: aha! Found it

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/zDDf6tj.jpg)

Certis wrote:
osmosisch wrote:

I have to say I'm a bit confused about your microtransactions accusation of Path of Exile given that in-game I wouldn't even be able to tell you where to find a button for them. If it's there, they are very discreet about it at least.

Big green dollar sign, bottom right. It jumped out at me right away. Like I said, they do it right as far as what they're selling.

PS: Not really an accusation, a fact. ;)

Yeah, sorry, I edited my message with a screenshot. The reason I got confused is that I'm a bit colourblind and the bright-greenness is lost on me.

As far as the 'accusation' part, I was just sad to hear you start out by panning (or so it seemed at first) a game that is doing so much so right, just because they're using the f2p model. But that got corrected further in anyway.

I was glad to hear more chit chat about micro-transactions in games. This is something that has bothered me since first hearing about DLC back in the day. I've always worried about Pubs taking advantage and using DLC/Micro's as a way to suck money out of the consumer by somehow altering the game to coax the player into buying their content. Basically breaking the immersion that is provided by the game. It's kinda scary to see a passion of mine since I was 4-5 head this direction.

I have to admit I squirmed too. Path of Exile has been so upfront about their financial model of Ethical Microtransactions AND they've completely delivered (at this point) with a self funded free to play game that gives the player a very deep experience. I've been in since the start and it's a great game. Grinding Gears seems to be a really upfront company also. So different from spending 60 bucks on Dead Space and then having the developer there with their hand out asking for more.

Anyway, I'm glad the green dollar sign was granted some conditional forgiveness as the discussion progressed. Most of us are employed in places that regularly send out invoices with dollar signs on them so it shouldn't be that shocking to have the developer ask for some kind of reimbursement for their service

I'd love to hear more discussion on what we all tolerate or expect from a a free to play game since the whole model is part of our landscape whether we like it or not. To me PoE is about as perfect as it can get. I proudly pound the undead with my royal blue king frog by my side.

Thank you guys for talking about small Indie games and Steam games I would never know about! I've really enjoyed playing these games that most people will never know about, is that weird? It's like just for super gaming cool kids.

I hate micro-transactions in games, Give me the option to pick it up for 1-10 bucks and I'm in! Give me only crappy micro-transactions and I won't pay for it just because I'm so annoyed they want 99 cents for pieces with no end price! Makes no sense to me but someone is buying this crap.

I've played a little of Dungeon Fighter Online and I think they also have a button leading right to store. I don't know what categories you can buy, but quite a few of those avatars were well and truly pimped out. It was pretty beautiful if you like 2D pixel art.

Every time Graham is on the show, I feel I've switched to Masterpiece Theater. Well done sir.

Jazz is not universal.

I really liked the reading of Cory's article Double Teaming the Dead*. I find Rowat's voice more suiting for Sean Sands articles. I think it's just because his pacing is so different from the way Cory talks when he's on the conference call.

Good job Alan Cook and Charlie Hall too, it's fun to hear from the 'B-Team.' Congratulations on joining Polygon Mr. Hall, I look forward to your articles.

*A phrase I will never image-search without safe-search.

Aristophan wrote:

Every time Graham is on the show, I feel I've switched to Masterpiece Theater.

Next year's funding drive had better have a reward tier to choose an article for him to perform...

shoptroll wrote:
Aristophan wrote:

Every time Graham is on the show, I feel I've switched to Masterpiece Theater.

Next year's funding drive had better have a reward tier to choose an article for him to perform...

Every $100 is a new article.

$5,000 to do rabbit's sparkle ponies opus

S0LIDARITY wrote:

I really liked the reading of Cory's article Double Teaming the Dead*. I find Rowat's voice more suiting for Sean Sands articles. I think it's just because his pacing is so different from the way Cory talks when he's on the conference call.

Good job Alan Cook and Charlie Hall too, it's fun to hear from the 'B-Team.' Congratulations on joining Polygon Mr. Hall, I look forward to your articles.

*A phrase I will never image-search without safe-search.

Yeah I felt exactly the same way about the readings. I imagine that Guybrush Threepwood's voice would be perfect for Cory's articles, however.

For what it's worth: there's an open source implementation of XNA 4 called MonoGame which supports multiple platforms beyond the original Microsoft product set. The cross-platform release of Wizorb apparently used it for porting beyond the original XBLIG game.

I thought the idea of a WiiU version of a D&D game sounded pretty frigging spectacular. The DM with the tablet could have a lot more than just hidden information with them, they could have a whole interface to dynamically structure events in a dungeon while people are playing through it. Is this dungeon getting a little boring, well why don't I introduce this particular NPC to the proceedings or some scripted event, maybe I'll just dump a flood of enemies on them.

Mind you, I have no experience with pen and paper RPGs, and frankly I don't want any. I play videogames and not pen and paper and simply have no interest in messing with all of that. But distill that idea into a compelling multiplayer couch cooperative experience, damn I am way interested.

I don't know why you guys rather glibly turned your nose up at it, sounds like an awesome idea to me.

MojoBox wrote:

I don't know why you guys rather glibly turned your nose up at it, sounds like an awesome idea to me.

Probably because if you have enough people in one place to play such a thing, you'd be better served just playing actual D&D. All the Wii-U implementation of such an activity would do is to restrict the DM.

Valmorian wrote:
MojoBox wrote:

I don't know why you guys rather glibly turned your nose up at it, sounds like an awesome idea to me.

Probably because if you have enough people in one place to play such a thing, you'd be better served just playing actual D&D. All the Wii-U implementation of such an activity would do is to restrict the DM.

So I'm totally behind asymetrical gameplay, ala the "chase" minigame in Nintendo Land, but PA already covered the D&D thing.

IMAGE(http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/i-H43Rv38/0/950x10000/i-H43Rv38-950x10000.jpg)

McIrishJihad wrote:

So I'm totally behind asymetrical gameplay, ala the "chase" minigame in Nintendo Land, but PA already covered the D&D thing.

IMAGE(http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/i-H43Rv38/0/950x10000/i-H43Rv38-950x10000.jpg)

I would be surprised if Paradox isn't working out a way to get Dungeonland on the system. The Dungeon Maestro mode is practically begging to be on the Wii U.

Charlie Hall is a troll.

Re: Wii U coverage.

There's reporting on factual issues, like the slow loading times for the menus, the stupid Wii->Wii U transfer stuff, and the actual sales numbers. Those have been pretty negative, overall, but perfectly fair. Most places are doing that.

Then there's this:

"Facing Wii U Software Slump, Nintendo Fires it's Vaporware Cannons"

According to Chris Kohler, every single game Nintendo announced in January's Nintendo Direct presentation is vaporware.

Including the ones that were first unveiled that day.

And we're not talking about some random blogger. We're talking about one of the bigger games journalists around.

HockeyJohnston wrote:

Charlie Hall is a troll.

?

cube wrote:

According to Chris Kohler, every single game Nintendo announced in January's Nintendo Direct presentation is vaporware.

Including the ones that were first unveiled that day.

And we're not talking about some random blogger. We're talking about one of the bigger games journalists around.

To be fair, he wrote a follow-up editorial saying that it's an issue he has with the rest of the industry as well (and he made that clear on Twitter following the Nintendo article publication). He also completely agreed that E3 is vaporware central by his criteria. Like I said in the Wii U thread, I think this will continue with Nintendo, as they shift to using semi-monthly Nintendo Direct streams instead of quarterly press summits/demos, because it's very easy to be a doubting Thomas when you can't poke your fingers in the proverbial holes.

I still don't disagree it was a low-blow with a very loaded term, but there is some truth that instead of announcing new titles coming in the next few weeks/months we got a lot of promises of stuff that's coming at the end of the year hoping to get people to buy now instead of waiting (which is why Polygon penned that absurd comparison to Kickstarter pitch videos).

Certis wrote:
HockeyJohnston wrote:

Charlie Hall is a troll.

?

There may be truth here. Charlie, like classical trolls of Norse folklore, is a creature larger than the average man and lives in the frozen hinterland, removed from civilization.

I've found Google Hangout to be the best medium for online versions of Tabletop RPGing. RubbEd's gotten together a couple of games of Fiasco now that have run beautifully.

Certis wrote:
HockeyJohnston wrote:

Charlie Hall is a troll.

?

Okay, now he's officially a member of the Gaming Press.

Certis wrote:
HockeyJohnston wrote:

Charlie Hall is a troll.

?

Hahaha. Come here and gimme a hug.

This must be my payback for calling someone a bully here many moons ago. Glad we got that out of the way.

You can turn off the "grunting" in Fire Emblem in the menus, FYI.

Also to nitpick it's Sumia not Sofia, and there is indeed DLC available. Some are fan-service map packs and some are specifically labeled as experience-rich or good for money-making.