GWJ Conference Call Episode 346

Conference Call

Kerbal Space Program, Element4l, Tiny Barbarian DX, Metro Last Light, Xbox One, Cory's New Gig, An Interview With Denis Dyack and Shawn Jackson from Precursor Games about Shadow of The Eternals, Your Emails and More!

This week we announce Cory's new job with PC Gamer! We also have an interview with Denis Dyack and Shawn Jackson of Precursor Games about Shadow of the Eternals!

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
00.04.14 Kerbal Space Program
00.15.04 Element4l
00.18.39 Tiny Barbarian DX
00.19.39 Metro Last Light
00.23.02 Wein Handler
00.23.41 A shout-out for Neverwinter
00.26.05 Neptune's Pride v2
00.28.00 This week's topic: the Xbox One!
00.54.37 Your emails!
01.09.20 Interview with Dennis Dyack and Shawn Jackson from Precursor Games about Shadow of The Eternals

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Menu Music - Kerbal Space Program - https://kerbalspaceprogram.com/ - 27:30

Release Trailer Music - Element4l - http://i-illusions.com/element4l/ - 50:24

Teaser Trailer Music - Shadow of the Eternals - http://www.precursorgames.com/shadow... - 1:09:06

Comments

Congratulations, Cory!!! PC Gamer's lucky to have you! Glad to hear you'll still be doing the podcast, though.

"To understand this game, go research the Apollo 11 mission" That's pretty high praise!! I was intrigued about KSP, but now it's definitely on my radar. The courage/stupidity are just priceless! Let's admit it, sending rockets into space is just plain awesome. Plus kerbals are just cute.
Woot for Dune reference at the end of the first segment!!! "The tutorial is a killing word."

About the whole XBox One thing... Okay, so disclaimer: I'm a PC gamer, I've always played on a PC, never owned a single console in my life (although I wanted too as in my younger days I eyed the NES, and then the SNES, and the Sega Genesis, then the N64... you get the point).
Now that's out of the way, I just don't see the appeal of the XBox One. It doesn't seem all that innovative, and looks like more trouble than it's worth: the always on, the Kinect which needs to be plugged in all the time. And who watches live TV anymore? We all record so we can fast forward through the truckload of commercials, right?
Like Alan Cook, I don't have a PS3 (unlike Alan, I don't have an XBox), and the only thing that would tempt me to get a console would be the games (I really, really want to play Journey and Flower, Tokyo Jungle, perhaps the Uncharted games too). And the fact that the PS3 is a blu-ray player. At this point, having heard the PS4 and XBox One announcements, the only conclusion I've come to is: perhaps I should wait for a price drop on the PS3...
Finally, the name... I just don't get it... XBox, XBox 360 and... XBox One? Did we just rearrange numerical order while I was sleeping? Seems like there could've been better alternatives. Even XBox 720 would've felt natural (of course, that may be because we've been unofficially using that denomination for months now).
Again, I'm not a console player, so that definitely colors my view on the issue.

Completely agree on the Valve library. Mine's gotten pretty big in the last few years, even though it's probably not the largest around. But yes, I'm counting on Valve to let me keep playing these a few years down the line, and yes, I'd totally trade a few of those in if I could (I'm looking at you, GTA). That's only because when I started buying games online, I had very poor impulse control and went utterly cuckoo over those sales. It is nice to have those sales, though, I'll admit to that much.

Gaming time and being a completionist... Yeah, I have that problem too. I used to go for 100% completion, but now, once I'm done, I'm done (not a fan of the "money on the dresser" turn of phrase, but yeah, that's pretty much it). I have two explanations to that: diminished gaming time (full-time job and a family will do that to you) and a larger amount of games to play. Sales and holiday gift trading have bloated my backlog to an unreasonable, barely manageable size (at least for me).

Loved the whole "gaming vacation/Saturday morning gaming" conversation! The whole brain fried after work thing definitely comes into play and has an impact on which games I choose to play. Wish I had the energy to get up early on Saturdays, but my toddler is awake at 6 am ever - freakin' - day, so that's pretty much out of the question.

Saving the interview for later, but it's definitely something I'm interested in!! Still lovin' the podcast!!

And who watches live TV anymore? We all record so we can fast forward through the truckload of commercials, right?

That was my thought as well: why put so much effort into a feature that's going to become increasingly irrelevant? Perhaps it's a gateway thing - they get people used to using the XBox to watch TV, so as people switch to internet-based TV the XBox is the natural way to do it.

Precursor is on the show? Nice get.

And congrats to Cory. Please don't be the new Julian though.

Gratz Cory

Great show. The Xbox One looks old fashioned to me also. Possibly because I remember that style the first time around.

Can anyone point me at some great Kerbal space programme videos?

This guy is fun.

Games you've fallen deep into:

Skyrim - 140+ hours on ONE character on Xbox360, and now I'm already 15 hours into a second character on the PC (with all the delicious mods)

I'm with Cory, it seems like I've played each GTA game (since 3) at least twice to completion.

I've got Borderlands and Borderlands 2 sitting in my Steam account waiting for a second playthrough on a new platform.

Games you love but suck at:

Yup - I'm there with fighting games. I just don't have the time to devote to mastering those systems.

Jeb approves of your inclusion of Kerbal Space Program

IMAGE(http://cloud-2.steampowered.com/ugc/882983254848688784/D217562E88D6B1A66FCF3BFAAE0427E26CB21065/)

@Higgledy - If you're looking for good serious KSP videos check out the ones Scott Manley has done. He's a professional astronomer and does a lot of "real science" type stuff in KSP.

For more silly stuff, there's always Nerd^3

Eleima wrote:

Completely agree on the Valve library. Mine's gotten pretty big in the last few years, even though it's probably not the largest around. But yes, I'm counting on Valve to let me keep playing these a few years down the line, and yes, I'd totally trade a few of those in if I could (I'm looking at you, GTA). That's only because when I started buying games online, I had very poor impulse control and went utterly cuckoo over those sales. It is nice to have those sales, though, I'll admit to that much.

I'm loving my Steam library. Granted, from the moment I told myself a year ago "I'm going to (eventually) build a gaming PC!" I've been diving head-first into Humble Bundles and Indie Royales, so I've got a ton of games already loaded.

In some moments of weakness, I even picked up Borderlands 2 and Skyrim (ok, the whole Elder Scrolls pack) during crazy Steam sales, months before I even had a PC put together that could play them!

I welcome this being the direction that console gaming starts taking. If we can start seeing Steam-like deals on PSN and XBL, instead of the "well, I can get that game that came out 4 months ago for $20 on Steam/Amazon Gold Box sale, or $40+ for the disc on consoles..." situation that we have now, with more of the pie going to publishers and developers, I don't see that as a bad thing.

I will lament not being able to lend games, but if I can do something like on Kindle where I can "give up" my access to something for a set period of time to allow a friend to try it out, I'd be all for that.

Higgledy wrote:

Gratz Cory

Great show. The Xbox One looks old fashioned to me also. Possibly because I remember that style the first time around.

Can anyone point me at some great Kerbal space programme videos?

This guy is fun.

Really cool vid!!!!!

An acquaintance I follow on Twitter said people should stop crying about the lack of backwards compatibility, and that it's a new generation so "just deal with it". Which is the same response that Microsoft dude whose name I forget gave when people were objecting to an always-on console.

I can't help but feel there's a major disconnect, as well as disrespect towards the consumer. Microsoft seems to forget that without the consumer, they are nothing. They need the customer, not vice versa.

Of course, Sony had this perspective after the PS2, and what we learned is the customer is fickle. While we may not be the target demographic any longer, the target demographic is not so stupid and blind. Yes, there were Fratty Phils expecting to want a PS3 because the PS2 was da sh*t yo dawg mac daddy. Holla. But then they went to Xbox 360.

This is a repeat of 2005 and 2006 in more ways than one. MS and Sony have swapped places, and the "amazing technology" and celebrity endorsements of a new console are familiar and trite. I just wish Microsoft would remember who needs who, here.

-

I don't do it as frequently these days, partly because the morning is when I'm most energetic and productive, but that Saturday or Sunday morning spent where the first thing you do is hit the "power" button on your console...I really may as well be ten again. I love those rare mornings.

-

In regards to the "this generation's Half-Life" question, I find this to be just as tiresome as asking about gaming's "Citizen Kane". What drives these things to create such an impact specific to when they released. The age a lot of players were at the time, what kind of games were popular for them, etc. You could just as easily say "what is this generation's Final Fantasy 7", as anyone lacking a powerful PC would likely latch onto something like that, or Legend of Zelda.

More so, my feelings towards Half-Life's revered reputation is the same as that of Led Zepplin: no matter what it did to earn its legendary status at the time, most people wouldn't listen to music like that if it weren't for the reputation as being this amazing thing. Half-Life did a lot of awesome stuff, but it did a lot of awesome stuff specific to Western PC gaming at the time, particularly with first-person shooters. In fact, I'd argue that it simply evolved the first-person shooter, and in a way much more accessible than System Shock's archaic-even-for-its-time interface.

I wouldn't even try to make a comparison to this generation's "Super Mario Bros." Would it be Minecraft? Or Angry Birds? The answer is "neither, because gaming is too broad a thing these days to whittle down so simply".

While games like Dishonored and Bioshock and Bioshock: Infinite will be important, you can't really claim any of them are more culturally significant than any other. There are simply too many games out there, which means the pool of games that help formulate a young man or woman's expectations in their entertainment, or what teaches them what games can be, is going to be much more varied in the past.

I bet you if you were to take the GWJ community, divide it between members who primarily grew up on console and those who primarily grew up on PC, you'd find PC players would share many similar games, but they'd be very different from those who grew up on console (who may further be divided between things like SNES and Genesis). It won't be until the Xbox that you'll start to see cross-over, and then you reach this generation where Western games have had a much greater presence on consoles.

I then bet if you were to ask those people how happy they were with their portable devices, you'd find those happiest with the DS and 3DS grew up primarily with consoles.

This is just a guess, but it wouldn't surprise me if you'd get such statistics from any gaming community, really. Hence why these sorts of questions irritate me, because now imagine what our children will be discussing twenty years from now, when my niece is 28 and Rabbit's son is 29 or so. Mobile games, Facebook games, console games, PC games, indie games, all of them so much more varied and broad than when any of us grew up.

Such comparisons just don't work anymore.

I feel like everyone (in general, not in this comment thread) is missing the point in the used games discussion. People don't want used games. They want cheaper games. That's why we don't have a problem with Steam, because they bring the cheap games. The reason we don't trust Microsoft to more-or-less eliminate used games is because we don't have faith that they'll have any incentive to find another way (through sales, or what-have-you) to get cheap games to people in a way that feels more-than-fair like the way Steam does it.

I found these two interviews to be informative...sort of. There's some good info, some double speak and some unknowns. I guess I'm just not as sure that E3 will have as many answers as Shawn seems to think...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y508_...

http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2013/0...

Jake

Can somebody explain to me the Kotaku article surrounding Precursor? I don't feel like giving them a click.

I really enjoyed the interview and now I kinda wish I had money to kick in. It's sad to see how little money the kickstarter has gotten so far given how devoted the seem.

mrtomaytohead wrote:

Can somebody explain to me the Kotaku article surrounding Precursor? I don't feel like giving them a click.

I really enjoyed the interview and now I kinda wish I had money to kick in. It's sad to see how little money the kickstarter has gotten so far given how devoted the seem.

This'll give you some idea: http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/1...

Many congratulations go to Cory for gaining the auspicious role of managing editor at PC Gamer; well deserved sir!

I'd like also to comment on the interview with Denis Dyack, formerly of Silicon Knights. Putting it bluntly, I do not trust this man as far as I can throw him. He has blathered on and on about things he seems to know little about, not unlike a politian come to think of it. Now that he has the temerity to start up a Kickstarter campaign for a 'spiritual successor' to Eternal Darkness he actually expects people to give money to him in 'good faith'. I'm sorry sir but that went away when I first experienced Too Human. Not a terrible game I grant you, but not the monument to the medium either. That title still lies with the likes of Halflife 2, the Bioshock games and Portal to name the ones that immediately spring to mind.

In essence Mr Dyack is 'all mouth and no trousers', which is a British expression that shouldn't need much by way of definition. This interview did much to reinforce my opinion of him and I for one shall not be placing my hard earned cash against this Kickstarter.

benu302000 wrote:

I feel like everyone (in general, not in this comment thread) is missing the point in the used games discussion. People don't want used games. They want cheaper games. That's why we don't have a problem with Steam, because they bring the cheap games.

This is obvious. And I'm an idiot for not directly making this connection. Seriously, we often chase our own tale on issues like this and fail to get to the heart of the matter. We don't want used games. We want a way to go grab a game thats a few weeks old for a few bucks less, or a game that's 5 months old for $20. And you're right, steam does it.

Doesn't solve the rental issue, but I have a feeling it will someday.

Congrats Cory! I've let my subscription lapse, but will now be re-subscribing. Also glad you're not leaving the Conference Call. Will you be joining in on their podcast as well?

I'm also an early-morning gamer. I never made the connection to Saturday morning cartoons before - but it's perfect.

Thanks for another great show all.

Congrats Cory! If you don't turn into the next Rabbit, maybe you can be the next Tom Francis instead and make a game after a few years? (Coincidentally, Gunpoint comes out the day you start O_o)

Also, please don't sack Cobbett's weekly Crapshoot or the Reinstall series on the website. Absolutely loving those features.

PaladinTom wrote:

Congrats Cory! I've let my subscription lapse, but will now be re-subscribing.

I've been meaning to subscribe to the digital version for a long time. I just can't determine if I should get the EU or US edition, as I like the writing from a lot of the EU staff. What's the difference between the two versions?

EDIT: Kerbal sounds a lot like the heir apparent to the Maxis games of old. Still need to check it out.

EDIT2: Completely sympathize with the question about games/genres you love but can't bear to play. Love fighting and strategy games like Julian and Rob, just absolute garbage at them and it takes a good amount of prodding to get me to play them online. Yet I still buy them anyways (at least in the case of some strategy franchises). Also rhythm games, absolutely terrible and I can't ever get very far into them.

I don't know if MS is going to enable game rentals, but it doesn't seem tough to implement. Right now EA does a Season Pass that lets subscribers get the full version of most of the EA Sports games the Friday before release. Those games then deactivate when the full version is released the following Tuesday.

In this case, they are special versions. But how hard would it be to provide seven day codes for full versions of games? Since Gamefly has not sh*t a brick yet, I suppose there is something in the pipeline.

http://kotaku.com/will-xbox-one-ruin...

Is this, "What Went Wrong With Silicon Knights' X-Men: Destiny", the article we're supposed to know about to evaluate Dyack and Precursor? (My lack of trust in him is because of Too Human, as I pay no attention to X-Men stuff.) Also, there's supposed to be some kind of response to it from Precursor? Who's got the link to that?

As far as KSP videos go I am a fan of Robbaz:

(it's a little NSFW)

Neat KSP thing (via PC Gamer, for double-appropriateness)
Kerbal Space Program blasts into physics classroom as an end-of-year project

Hi, first time poster (been listening for a few months now).

Just wanted to thank Cory for the shout out about offline crafting in Neverwinter. I've been trying NW out (enjoying it greatly) and had no idea they had that character gateway so you can kick off crafting tasks. As someone who can't play very often, it's very nice to be able to progress at least a portion of your character offline... by kicking off tasks offline!

plavonica wrote:

(it's a little NSFW)

Sounds like he just started playing PC after a lifetime on XBL.

/had to stop listening after only 1 minute.

Tangle, awesome. Pure genius: rules for KSP competition in science classes.

rabbit wrote:
benu302000 wrote:

I feel like everyone (in general, not in this comment thread) is missing the point in the used games discussion. People don't want used games. They want cheaper games. That's why we don't have a problem with Steam, because they bring the cheap games.

This is obvious. And I'm an idiot for not directly making this connection. Seriously, we often chase our own tale on issues like this and fail to get to the heart of the matter. We don't want used games. We want a way to go grab a game thats a few weeks old for a few bucks less, or a game that's 5 months old for $20. And you're right, steam does it.

Doesn't solve the rental issue, but I have a feeling it will someday.

I also think, on the discussion of backwards compatibility, that the issue is much different than it was with XBOX->360...it's one thing not to support the former system's disc-based games, wholly another to not support the digital-only XBLA titles:-(

Okay, so I listened to the interview (yes, the whole thing), and really appreciated it. I was completely oblivious to the whole Kotaku article thing and what I read pretty much shocked me. From what I heard today, however, these guys (sorry, I meant Denis Dyack and Shawn Jackson) seem extremely passionate about the project, they genuinely give the impression that they're pouring their heart and soul into the game.
I'm not going to Kickstart it, unfortunately, as this is a genre I simply cannot play (seriously, it gives me the creeps and stress the heck out of me, I couldn't even finish Dead Space), but I truly, truly hope they reach their goal, for what it's worth. If anything, I learned lots about the Blood Countess today!!

Congrats Cory! I hope your new gig works out well.

I keep hearing about Kerbal Space program, so I downloaded the demo. It didn't go well, since I somehow broke the first tutorial. Then I tried going directly into the game, and couldn't figure out how to launch a ship. Somehow my Kerbal had an EVA on the landing pad. Finally, I tried the other ship, but I couldn't control it exactly either. I know it's operator error, but it's hard for me these days to get into a game I really have to learn.

I also agree with an earlier poster. Used games can go away if we finally get cheap games. In one sense, PS Plus is already like this - you get plenty of older games for not much money.

Am I the only one that went back and downloaded the infamous 1upYours Dyack interview just to hear him go crazy again?

MisterStatic wrote:
rabbit wrote:
benu302000 wrote:

I feel like everyone (in general, not in this comment thread) is missing the point in the used games discussion. People don't want used games. They want cheaper games. That's why we don't have a problem with Steam, because they bring the cheap games.

This is obvious. And I'm an idiot for not directly making this connection. Seriously, we often chase our own tale on issues like this and fail to get to the heart of the matter. We don't want used games. We want a way to go grab a game thats a few weeks old for a few bucks less, or a game that's 5 months old for $20. And you're right, steam does it.

Doesn't solve the rental issue, but I have a feeling it will someday.

I also think, on the discussion of backwards compatibility, that the issue is much different than it was with XBOX->360...it's one thing not to support the former system's disc-based games, wholly another to not support the digital-only XBLA titles:-(

Seriously. It makes me all the more thankful that I can transfer my WiiWare titles to my WiiU.

BC is also a major difference between iOS/PC and consoles, although it's not totally foolproof on PC. If you run x64 versions of Windows, you lose the ability to natively run 16-bit applications. That kills a number of titles from the Windows '95 era. DOS titles have similar issues. Fortunately, you have the luxury of things like Virtual Machines and DOSBox to work around these issues. Or you buy the GOG version during a sale.

Also, I think some older iOS titles eventually break down if the developer doesn't properly maintain them with newer OS updates.

ccesarano wrote:

I can't help but feel there's a major disconnect, as well as disrespect towards the consumer. Microsoft seems to forget that without the consumer, they are nothing. They need the customer, not vice versa.

I dont see this. In fact not even in the case of Sony which you mention later that they swapped places. Companies go where the money is or where they think it's going to be. They don't do these type of things in a vacuum. They do plenty of research and know exactly what consumer they're aiming for.

Personally i'm excited about the new console. It's including things i want and will get me using my console more because it's placing itself at just the right point on how my household consumes media. Plus im excited about the games that will be on it. Hell i even like the name.

It's not something I do a lot, but I'm sad that when I visit home, I'll no longer be able to trade games with my brother and talk to him about them. Really kinda bums me out since it's something we've done since he moved out for college almost 16 years ago.