GWJ Conference Call Episode 369

Conference Call

Battlefield 4, Batman: Arkham Origins, Eldritch, Typing of The Dead: Overkill, Sir You Are Being Hunted, Rocksmith 2014 From the Newbie Perspective, Annualized Franchises, Your Emails and More!

This week Cory, Allen, Elysium and Shawn talk a bunch of games and annual franchises.

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

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Caught in the Beat - Broke for Free - http://brokeforfree.com/ - 45:36

At the Count - Broke for Free - http://brokeforfree.com/ - 1:02:58

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Comments

Higgledy wrote:
tetranomad wrote:

How about a Batman - Hello Kitty crossover?

"Hello Kitty-woman" perhaps?

Batman vs Hello Kitty should be the first DLC.

(I have a mental image of a slightly grubby Hello Kitty chuckling to herself while surrounded by massive goons sporting Hello Kitty face paint and pink bows in their hair.)

So Professor Genki?

Not the same thing at all

I had to poke my head in hear and say the "DTF/Down to Fun" thing left me in stitches.

Cheers,
Carl

I noticed the botched intro, even before it was pointed out.
I would have let it go, but Certis used "DTF" on Twitter today, which is inexcusable.

I think my beef with the annualized franchises is that they often rehash the same thing without giving it something different or exciting. In many ways, it's asking gamers to pay for the game they already have, just to keep playing it. I don't think this is a formula that would work for too many games.

For gameplay-focused experiences, I think this works well with games that more sporty, as the CC discusses, or for games that are consumed and then never played again, such as find-object or time management games. For narrative-focused games, I think this works well to deliver additional chapters to a story with tiny, incremental upgrades to the mechanics. Japanese AVNs sold like hotcakes every year in Japan in the waning years of the PSP, adding life to an aging system.

Games have to decide which path they need to take if the developers or the publisher wants to annualize it. They can't stride down the middle of the road. They will be squished. Like grape.

Demiurge wrote:
Aeoringas wrote:

I do have a gripe over how you managed to talk about annualised games yet skipped over the biggest selling sports one, which is FIFA.

I had some people reach out to me on Twitter about this, too. The fact is, we don't play FIFA. It's just not on my radar, even though my UK counterparts go nuts for it. Chalk it up to cultural differences, I guess.

We're actually the same way about CoD (Ghosts will be my first one since the original, believe it or not). Just not our scene.

What I like about the FIFA games is that I'm removed enough from the day-to-day of the sport that I don't mind playing last year's iteration. I've been thinking of picking an older copy up secondhand, actually.

Flintheart Glomgold wrote:

Batman would without a doubt be the most popular of the series; but the 3D world style can be presented with other characters. To be clear I'm not suggesting a Batman: Arkham Coast City staring Green Arrow - I'm proposing that whatever engine they are using for the Arham games can be used for other DC characters.

In this way they can release a game every year then reserve the "Batman" games for when they introduce a new engine as he is the most popular DC character.

I agree. And Green Arrow is a good example, because his character contrasts with Batman so well. You could just have the occasional appearance by Batman, while that engine should be able to handle Green Arrows abilities well.

To the email about the "value" of games and whether you've ever felt ripped off by one that you've purchased - I think we're missing an important nuance - the balance of two limited resources in most people's lives: time and money.

For some people, they have limited time but excess money. For others, they have excess time but limited cash. Some lucky few have both excess cash and time while other poor souls have not enough hours in a day and a tight budget.

Given that games take both of these resources, the value that you get from games is going to vary wildly depending on where you fall on that spectrum. Personally, I find myself short on time but with some extra cash I can spend on gaming every month. Therefore, a $60 game with a six hour campaign that's loads of fun is great. It effectively used my limited resource (time) to deliver value. For others, something like FFX13 - where it takes 20 hours for the game to really get going - is going to be a much better value proposition as it is maximizing their limited resource - cash.

As with most things in life, I'm oversimplifying but I think it's an important distinction that I don't hear talked about very often. It's touched on briefly as I believe Certis (?) mentions feeling ripped off by a game that he didn't even pay for as it wasted a precious resource - his time.

You bring up an interesting point, Trashie.

I've been wondering how those kinds of factors do and should play in to judging a game (or anything I suppose).

A lot of the games I have I got on sales, from Humble Bundles, and as gifts. I'm spending very little money on them. When I think about a game like Bastion, which I enjoyed quite a bit and got in a Humble Bundle, it occurs to me that I almost certainly wouldn't have paid $14.99 for it. Even knowing now that I enjoyed it, I wouldn't pay that much for it. The same (even more so) goes for Dead Island.

My impulse is to say that, when judging a game's merits, the monetary cost shouldn't be considered, because it is extraneous to the thing itself. But, it certainly does affect people's judgement.

Time taken is certainly a factor internal to the game (how long the game-play and story can hold up before they become exhausted) but your right about the external pressure that time represents.

OFF TOPIC:
I'm new here guys (Hi!) and I was wondering why the quote tag isn't working for me. Does that have to do with being a "Coffee Grinder" or is something wrong on my end?

Ludens, everyone starts at Coffee Grinder, and your first few posts have limited BBCode functionality. I know it sucks, but it's to prevent spam posts (like those above IN THIS VERY THREAD) from being effective.

Hang around, hit about 10 posts, and all those things will magically start working.

Nice name, Ludens!

You're spot on, Trashie. The idea that a game should take up more of my time if I pay more makes me think I'll never want to pay more than $5 for a game.

Trashie wrote:

To the email about the "value" of games and whether you've ever felt ripped off by one that you've purchased - I think we're missing an important nuance - the balance of two limited resources in most people's lives: time and money.

For some people, they have limited time but excess money. For others, they have excess time but limited cash. Some lucky few have both excess cash and time while other poor souls have not enough hours in a day and a tight budget.

Given that games take both of these resources, the value that you get from games is going to vary wildly depending on where you fall on that spectrum. Personally, I find myself short on time but with some extra cash I can spend on gaming every month. Therefore, a $60 game with a six hour campaign that's loads of fun is great. It effectively used my limited resource (time) to deliver value. For others, something like FFX13 - where it takes 20 hours for the game to really get going - is going to be a much better value proposition as it is maximizing their limited resource - cash.

As with most things in life, I'm oversimplifying but I think it's an important distinction that I don't hear talked about very often. It's touched on briefly as I believe Certis (?) mentions feeling ripped off by a game that he didn't even pay for as it wasted a precious resource - his time.

Great observations Trashie. I've definitely been in the little money and tons of time camp for a long time and couldn't see why anyone would want to push for less game for their money. That balance in my life is now changing and I'm starting to see why some great, shorter experiences might have value.

I was also raised (as many of us were, I guess) by parents who lived through the war and lived off hardly any money and very strange off cuts of 'meat.' They are incredibly careful with their finances and implanted in me a strong moral imperative not to waste money. That's why I feel terrible if I buy a game and don't finish it and why it is very difficult for me to buy a game at a certain price when I know it would cost me half that if only I could wait a few weeks/months.

Just thought the Typing of the Dead aficionados might like to know they released a "Shakespeare" DLC. Typing out "Wherefore art thou Romeo" to shoot zombies sounds like quite the task!