GWJ Conference Call Episode 353

Conference Call

Civ V: Brave New World, 400 Days (Walking Dead), Cube World, Project Zomboid, Viscera Cleanup Detail, Surgeon Simulator 2013, Robot Vacuum Simulator, Playing Mundane Games, Your Emails and More!

This week we talk about playing the mundane.

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
00.01.34 This week's community member sponsor: Jesse Goodman!
00.02.51 The Walking Dead: 400 Days DLC
00.05.03 Last of Us
00.08.56 Civ 5: Brave New World
00.16.40 Steam Sale Carnage - Fairy Solitaire style
00.18.39 Mars: War Logs
00.19.34 Roller Coaster Tycoon 3
00.22.01 Viscera Cleanup Detail
00.25.25 Cube World alpha
00.28.19 Project Zomboid
00.29.56 Robot Vacuum Simulator 2013
00.31.05 Rocksmith for PC
00.34.38 This week's topic: Why do we do such mundane stuff in games so much?!
00.53.41 Your emails!

  • Subscribe with iTunes
  • Subscribe with RSS
  • Subscribe with Yahoo!
Download the official apps
  • Download the GWJ Conference Call app for Android
  • Download the GWJ Conference Call app for Android

Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

The Great - Broke for Free - http://brokeforfree.com/ - 34:05

Nothing Like Captain Crunch - Broke for Free - http://brokeforfree.com/ - 53:12

Comments

Viscera cleanup ftw ! \o/

It's going to be interesting to hear The Last of Us spoiler section and your reaction to the rest of the game Rabbit.

I must have spent tens of hours in Fable 2 chopping wood and banging away at that sword. To the point that my only recollections of the game are these minigames and following a glowing trail of fairy dust through the woods.

Project Zomboid?! Holy crap I forgot about that game. I had a bit of fun with that about a year and a half ago. I might have to check it out and see how that's coming along

Definitely looking forward to the spoiler section on the Last of Us!

Steam sale this time around did indeed bring on the carnage, just take a stroll in the dedicated threadon the forums here. We're gifting left and right with no end in sight! I haven't gotten a single game for myself (been gifting exclusively, figured the pile is already big enough), bu
Also, if you guys don't want trading cards, why not sell them? Or give them to GWJ who actually collect them (again, dedicated thread right here in the forums).

Agree with the assessment on Faerie Solitaire and Fairway Solitaire. Those are some pretty solid card games!!

About the topic, mundane tasks in games. I do have a limit, and that's why I didn't like Surgeon Simulator 2013. The controls are so clunky and frustrating, I gave up on it. I just can't do it. Too hard, too complicated, too frustrating!!
I know people are tired of FPS and wanton murder, but there are just so many other games out there that aren't tedious and mundane. To the Moon is a great example. Mark of the Ninja is awesome, and you can play it without killing anyone (or at least, very, very few people). There are some story driven games out there that dispense with the slaying without killing the fun!

Regarding the email Cory in Rochester sent in... Yeah, I get it. I could've written that email too. I still play those games, watch those movies (I cry at the beginning of Tangled because the pregnant Queen gets sick, for crying out loud!). I think it was Julian who said it can work well if it's done well, and I agree. Although every now and then, a game or series will hit a little too close to home and I'll need to take a break or a step back. One scene I remember in particular was in The Walking Dead series, season two, the group is looking for supplies in abandoned cars and one character comes across a bloody car seat. I just lost it. My son was 6 months at the time.

Really enjoyed the talk about building versus buying off the shelf. Options are rather limited in my neck of the woods, so I build my own, but I get that not everyone wants to do that. The Help Me Build my PC thread here on GWJ is always super helpful. However, if anything, buying off the shelf will avoid little mishaps like not putting all the motherboard's mounts... ^_^

I don't think I'd ever heard bleeping on the show before... Hehe. See you guys next week!

I used to enjoy collecting herbs in WoW. Possibly more than anything else in the game.

I'd get up early and tour around Loch Modan picking herbs and trying to stay out of the aggro range of bears and crocolisks. The sun would be just above the rather angular, grey horizon and the birds would be singing. I had very little competition as the accepted wisdom in those days was that you should take any profession except herbalism.

When I quit WoW it was a the activity I missed the most and I've never found a gathering mechanic to match it. I suspect that the secret ingredient was a game full of other people adventuring, visiting instances and buying my herbs and potions for a tidy sum.

When it comes to games I pine for that don't exist. I'd go for a herb gathering game in a heart beat if it could recapture the feel of the herbalism in WoW.

Listening to this podcast reminded me of baking bread in Ultima 7. Getting water, getting flower, mixing it, putting it in the oven. Rinse and repeat. I did that a lot...

Re. Rocksmith:

I use the Fender Squier (the "real" MIDI electric guitar that works with Rock Band 3) and although it's pretty crappy, it works fine with Rocksmith.

I've read elsewhere that the Monoprice electric guitars are perfectly adequate for beginners and can be had for $90.

Mister Sands, I must tell you: EURO TRUCK SIMULATOR 2 IS MORE THAN DRIVING A TRUCK!

It's also a kind of Kairosoft-ish business sim, with a sort of quazi-RPG progression system and unlocks for the player character.

You guys! YOU HAVE TO PLAY IT!!!!! We have a 28 page thread on ETS2, you know it's got to be awesome!

Not quite watching grass grow, but close enough:
Watching Paint Dry

Mister Sands, I must tell you: EURO TRUCK SIMULATOR 2 IS MORE THAN DRIVING A TRUCK!

Is it?

...

is it?

Also, just listened to the "prebuilt" computer segment. I bought my new laptop off of Pro-Star. They're a little outfit in California, but their customer service and tech support is fantastic. They aren't a big player and they did a good job on my pretty high end laptop. And with a lot of bang and options for the buck.

Shawn sounds very excited about wielding a mop in space in the intro... I think someone needs to make him a Roger Wilco costume

EDIT: Or maybe Alan would be more appropriate.

EDIT: Really liked the discussion of the "mundane" games. I hadn't actually considered Animal Crossing as belonging to this category, but I'm also surprised no one brought up The Sims especially when Sean mentioned Minecraft as the most popular example.

I also think it's worth pointing out that some of the games mentioned like Surgeon Simulator 2013 are supposed to be quasi-parodies of things like Train Simulator 2013 (that game with the ludicrous amount of $20 DLC packs on Steam). Although in a way, it feels like maybe things have looped back around where the parodies are no longer parodies?

Also also, Desert Bus for Hope probably has a lot to do with the increased awareness/popularity of these types of games. Along with sites like Rock, Paper, Shotgun and PC Gamer reviewing/advocating these experiences because as Sean/Alan pointed out it's just nice to do something other than Murderous Rampage Simulator 2014. I fully believe having a wide spectrum of things in the medium is a good thing, and it makes me happy to see part of this community and podcast believes in that as well.

Tangentially, I think it's really cool that we're seeing a growth of "commercially viable" games coming out of game jams now. Surgeon Simulator, McPixel and Receiver have all seen a fair bit more coverage due to appearing on Steam and their sales.

Eleima wrote:

I do have a limit, and that's why I didn't like Surgeon Simulator 2013. The controls are so clunky and frustrating, I gave up on it. I just can't do it. Too hard, too complicated, too frustrating!!

I think it's intentionally supposed to be awkward to control like QWOP.

I don't think I'd ever heard bleeping on the show before... Hehe. See you guys next week!

The censor noise is always funny. Although Jonathan missed a spot

maverickz wrote:

Listening to this podcast reminded me of baking bread in Ultima 7. Getting water, getting flower, mixing it, putting it in the oven. Rinse and repeat. I did that a lot...

Did you ever use blood in your recipe?

shoptroll wrote:

Did you ever use blood in your recipe?

No one was supposed to know!

One thing I forgot: part of the popularity of some of the mundane games like Animal Crossing, Minecraft, and The Sims is that they allow a large degree of self-expression and displays of creativity by their users.

maverickz wrote:
shoptroll wrote:

Did you ever use blood in your recipe?

No one was supposed to know!

I'm never accepting baked goods from you, ever.

Sick of shooting people? Dear Esther is on sale...

Wait, Last of Us spoiler section....did I miss something?

I agree that Surgeon Simulator 2013 is intentionally funny, and if you aren't seeing that when you play you are missing the point.

Most mundane game I've played! who else had one of these when they were young.
IMAGE(https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ1m-ZTHJSjCX8A5r_f1yXVB_HaBDHzZMi5ExP-_HknhF0ctQws8g)

RooneyFan wrote:

Wait, Last of Us spoiler section....did I miss something?

It hasn't happened yet but there are plans to do one soon.

Giftzwerg76 wrote:

Sick of shooting people? Dear Esther is on sale...

You shoot demons* in Dear Esther.

* Metaphorical demons. And you shoot them metaphorically.

anyone know the name of the game they mentioned about avoiding eye contact on the subway?

jobin13: I believe it might be Metro: http://www.mazapan.se/games/metro.php

I have not personally hit that download link and can't verify it is safe but had a chance to play at least a version a while back.

Rahmen wrote:

jobin13: I believe it might be Metro: http://www.mazapan.se/games/metro.php

I have not personally hit that download link and can't verify it is safe but had a chance to play at least a version a while back.

Thanks!!!

jobin13 wrote:

anyone know the name of the game they mentioned about avoiding eye contact on the subway?

I don't know but I play that game all the time on BART.

shoptroll wrote:

The censor noise is always funny.

Not for me. It's f*cking annoying. That's why almost every alarm clock ever made uses a very similar sound.

A long time ago, the local morning radio show used a dog bark as the censor sound when they aired prank calls made by one of the crew (John "Bad Dog" McCormack, RIP). Now that was a funny censor sound.

Also, I loved the post-credits ending.

Spoiler:

"He's not bleepin' out sh*t!"

This whole episode of bleeps felt like viscera clean up. Great show though guys, I know my zen game is euro truck sim 2, its a nice game to sit back and play while I catch up on podcast or top gear etc. When I wanna play while I consume, ya know that first world problem.

Elysium wrote:
Mister Sands, I must tell you: EURO TRUCK SIMULATOR 2 IS MORE THAN DRIVING A TRUCK!

Is it?

...

is it?

YES IT IS, you get to own your own trucking business, custimize the trucks, have drivers that earn you money, etc. Its great, AND there is euro online radio built in so you can be a fake brit!

Papers Please is cool and super mundane.

"A Dystopian Document Thriller.

The communist state of Arstotzka has ended a 6-year war with neighboring Kolechia and reclaimed its rightful half of the border town, Grestin.

Your job as immigration inspector is to control the flow of people entering the Arstotzkan side of Grestin from Kolechia. Among the throngs of immigrants and visitors looking for work are hidden smugglers, spies, and terrorists. Using only the documents provided by travelers and the Ministry of Admission's primitive inspect, search, and fingerprint systems you must decide who can enter Arstotzka and who will be turned away or arrested."

Its an interesting game that leaves you feeling very conflicted.

burks04 wrote:

Most mundane game I've played! who else had one of these when they were young.
IMAGE(https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ1m-ZTHJSjCX8A5r_f1yXVB_HaBDHzZMi5ExP-_HknhF0ctQws8g)

Oh dear God. o_O I'd forgotten about those. I had one as a child, and it got so bad that my parents had to take it away, remove the batteries and toss it in the family safe. I think I may have cried.

My mundane story is from being a tailor on a PVP server in Dark Age of Camelot. My guild didn't have a master tailor, so I rolled a wizard. On PVP servers in DAoC, you had to be a certain level before you could be openly attacked, and I made sure to stay a few levels below that cut-off (think it was level 10? Maybe 5?).

I would sit, in the corner of one of the out of the way towns, next to a merchant, and just spend nights crafting to grind levels.

Every so often, a higher level rogue would try to gank me. That was always funny, because I couldn't be attacked by other players yet.

I put in way too many hours to level that guy to master tailor, and never really did anything with him. And he was my second master tailor - because I had already leveled one up on the PvE server that my guild started on.