GWJ Conference Call Episode 367

Conference Call

Beyond Two Souls, Oculus Rift Eyes On, Magicka: Wizard Wars, Rocksmith 2014, Kerbal Space Program Careers, Extra Solar, Hatoful Boyfriend, Stanley Parable, The Wolf Among Us, Your Emails and More!

It's a full crew this week as we talk so many games we don't even have time for a topic!

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
00.01.04 Donation Drive Results!
00.04.15 Hatoful Boyfriend
00.10.43 Rocksmith 2013
00.19.59 Stanley Parable
00.24.30 Oculus Rift
00.38.41 Beyond: Two Souls
00.46.18 Extrasolar
00.50.17 The Wolf Among Us
00.57.53 Empire
01.02.08 2014 Football Strategist??
01.05.03 Terraria
01.07.43 Kerbal Space Program
01.12.21 Magicka: Wizard War
01.23.13 Your emails!

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Lonely Organ - Broke for Free - http://brokeforfree.com/ - 38:15

Building the Sun - Broke for Free - http://brokeforfree.com/ - 1:22:38

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Comments

OK - No Julian. Last year, we did not "cheat" to get you to write about sparkleponies. As the person who ended up managing the donations for that, I know people coughed up additional ducats to inflict that particular brand of awesome on you.

Are we seeing Hatoful cosplay in the near future?

I can't help but feel like you're a bunch of old people thinking the Occulus Rift is just too different from the way things have been done for 30 years.

I say that as someone in their 30's, so it's meant as tongue-in-cheek, but also maybe they should teach you to walk before you run. FPS? I know people who get sick from a normal screen. Dragon simulator? Sounds cool, but where's the bowling simulator? I realize this is a dev kit, but it sounds like it could use something more akin to a Wii Sports where you aren't asked to do too much while still learning the ropes.

So, perhaps Cory should spend some more time with the Rift on before trying to 'fully' experience it. Moot point now that he took it back, but outside of them fixing people's experiences on a software level it may take people a while to adjust.

garion333 wrote:

I can't help but feel like you're a bunch of old people thinking the Occulus Rift is just too different from the way things have been done for 30 years.

I say that as someone in their 30's, so it's meant as tongue-in-cheek, but also maybe they should teach you to walk before you run. FPS? I know people who get sick from a normal screen. Dragon simulator? Sounds cool, but where's the bowling simulator? I realize this is a dev kit, but it sounds like it could use something more akin to a Wii Sports where you aren't asked to do too much while still learning the ropes.

So, perhaps Cory should spend some more time with the Rift on before trying to 'fully' experience it. Moot point now that he took it back, but outside of them fixing people's experiences on a software level it may take people a while to adjust.

I honestly expect the Oculus devs will fix the majority of the motion sickness issues -- LIke I said on the show, the CEO gets queasy from the current setup, too, but they think they're close to solving the problem. It's *amazing* tech, and I think it's only going to get better.

But I never, ever throw up. So it really freaked me out. And my story on the show is a representation of that.

If I sounded like an old cranky man on the show, so be it. I don't feel i'm either old or cranky, and I'm really excited for the commercial version to come out for everyone. But I'm personally not ready to experience every video game this way. Simple as that.

OK, I know people always ask for this, but is there any way we can contribute if we forgot to do so during the fund drive proper? I mean, it sounds like you bent the rules once already...

Honestly I don't care about any rewards, I just somehow managed to let it slip my mind and don't want to be That Guy. I listened to last week's GWJCC way later than usual and didn't get the final reminder about the deadline until it was too late

And re: the Rift. Here's a thing you can do with it. And you should!

HedgeWizard wrote:

OK - No Julian. Last year, we did not "cheat" to get you to write about sparkleponies. As the person who ended up managing the donations for that, I know people coughed up additional ducats to inflict that particular brand of awesome on you.

OK, fair enough. And lets be clear, I SO APPRECIATE all the support for the site.

OK, I know people always ask for this, but is there any way we can contribute if we forgot to do so during the fund drive proper? I mean, it sounds like you bent the rules once already...

Honestly I don't care about any rewards, I just somehow managed to let it slip my mind and don't want to be That Guy. I listened to last week's GWJCC way later than usual and didn't get the final reminder about the deadline until it was too late

We're pretty firm on once the drive is over, we don't take donations.

Best way to contribute and support now is be a good member of the community and take the money you might have spent on us and help someone out when they really need it.

I ordered my Rift a while ago and am eagerly awaiting its rival, so it was with some trepidation that I listed to your review of the Rift. I though it was a a well-told story, but I'm still looking forward to trying out my dev-kit. What the story really told me was that I will absolutely have to do some prep work before I go full on with the Rift.

I'm going to start small and work and some of the very easy (and free) Rift demo programs out there. I'll do some of the stuff that you don't move around in first; like that game who all you do is hold down a keyboard while stuff attacks you.

And heck, I'll take a Dramamine right before I start too. Yea, that's prep work for a "game" but from what I've read your "VR Legs" get better with time so it's smart to give yourself a break in the beginning.

I could be talking out my ass (I frequently do) but I suspect a lot of the nausea that people experience is the difference between what your eyes and your inner ear are telling you. Your eyes tell your brain that you turned, or that you're moving (because they don't have any other static references like the lamp on the desk cory mentioned) - but your inner ear (and your butt in your chair, feet on the floor) is saying "Nope!"

I am not sure how they can adjust for that - which isn't to say it's an insurmountable problem - but one that I'd think is very difficult to address when your eyes are fully immersed.

jrralls wrote:

I ordered my Rift a while ago and am eagerly awaiting its rival, so it was with some trepidation that I listed to your review of the Rift. I though it was a a well-told story, but I'm still looking forward to trying out my dev-kit. What the story really told me was that I will absolutely have to do some prep work before I go full on with the Rift.

I'm going to start small and work and some of the very easy (and free) Rift demo programs out there. I'll do some of the stuff that you don't move around in first; like that game who all you do is hold down a keyboard while stuff attacks you.

And heck, I'll take a Dramamine right before I start too. Yea, that's prep work for a "game" but from what I've read your "VR Legs" get better with time so it's smart to give yourself a break in the beginning.

Let us know what you think when your dev kit comes in. I honestly don't think I'm in the majority re: motion sickness, and frankly, the tech is amazing. I'd love to hear your impressions.

I've also heard that the HL2 implementation is especially rough as far as motion sickness goes. So yes, I'm going to try the Rift again.

Great podcast this week!! Super glad the donation drive was such a smashing success.

I will say one thing... I was listening to the first segment and to Julian describing his experience with Hatoful Boyfriend, and... Good grief, I was both laughing and saying "goodness, I'm sorry!" XD Then I remember that I have other people to blame for inflicting this atrocity, gmulert, Graham, mudbunny, Dryden, troubleshot, shoptroll, Zaque and so many others.
And most importantly, the radio play is going to happen, and that was just too awesome not to rally for.

Judging by Cory's feedback, the Occulus Rift does NOT look like something for me. I got nauseated playing Amnesia, for crying out loud! Simply sitting unmoving at my computer! And like Julian, I like to be able to turn away from the screen in an instant if RL needs my attention. Garion, if that makes me old even though I haven't hit 30 just yet, then so be it!
I'm with Hedge Wizard on the inner ear thing, because the inner ear is not just for balance. The semicircular canals help us be aware of our position and movement in space (all three dimension) at all times. If the eyes detect movement and the inner ear doesn't, that's when the brain pretty much goes "DOES NOT COMPUTE" and then unpleasant stuff happens like nausea and vomiting. I'm not sure exactly why most of us are usually okay when playing on a screen, but my theory is that we still retain some immobile points of reference in our field of vision (the desk, the speakers, the wall, whatever). Not so when using an Occulus Rift which will encompass the entire field of vision and fool your eyes completely.

Regarding Rob's email on early access, I'm kinda in the same boat. The Pile of Shame/Backlog is such that I tend to move on from one game to the next and don't move back in an effort to cull said pile. I'm definitely not a fan of early access, as I like to get to a game once it's polished and done. I, too, won't go back to a game, even if there's a big update or patch. The latest example of that which comes to mind is Mark of the Ninja which was updated to a "Special Edition", and which was awesome when I played it. But I still can't bring myself to go back to it. Because I have so many other games waiting to be played (77 according to Backloggery, worth about 7 weeks, 5 days and 8 hours of uninterrupted gaming - better get a move on).

For anyone wanting to try the FABLES comic book series, don't be put off if you read the first graphic novel and it doesn't grab you. Someone on the iFanboy podcast recommended people start with book 4 March of the Wooden soldiers. I did that, after reading book one and not getting into the characters, and I've been hooked ever since. It's a fantastic series.

Obviously some may love those first three books but, for me, the series takes off at book 4 and it is a reasonable starting point in terms of understanding what is going on.

RPS on using the Rift with ETS2.

I really believe the Rift will be most natural in sim games where your avatar is bolted into a piece of machinery and your act of physically looking around is mapped 1:1 to your avatar looking around the cockpit. Then, you don't have to control your avatar's body directly using any other control scheme, and the experience is much more directly analogous.

I really wonder if the stuff Cory describes would be present (or at least as apparent) in flight / driving sims.

I'm totally in the camp of I don't want all these early games because I'll grow tired of them before they're actually done and probably will not go back. I'm actually having trouble getting back into Terraria for basically the same reason. When I first played it, I finished all the bosses off and got the top equipment and then stopped. There have been 2 content updates since then and I've put in maybe 2-3 hours in that time, trying to get back into it. As for an early access game I've tried, there's Castle Story which was basically a broken tech demo when they released the alpha to Kickstarter backers. I haven't bothered with it since, partly because I don't want to see it until it is done. I also haven't backed any other KS campaigns because of that and not having any spare cash to even buy finished games in the last year or 2.

Didn't you guys do that email about weapon limitations that focused on Red Faction in an earlier episode? Like months ago, too.

Magicka pvp? I'm in! Does it keep the humor of the regular game?

My stance on early access is weird.

I signed up for the Infinite Crisis beta, but have never logged in. Signed up for Card Hunter beta, and didn't start playing until it released. I had known about Minecraft for a long time before finally buying in after 1.4 was released.

I kickstarted Planetary Annihilation at a level that got me Alpha access, and I played half a game before getting bored.

But I also dropped $25 on Kerbal (and bought a bunch of copies when it went on sale for others), and find myself going back every release to play with things.

It seems to be pure luck how susceptible you are to VR sickness. The second night with my dev kit I spent 3 hours in Half-Life 2 without any perceptible nausea. I was even drinking wine the whole time. The hardest part was finding the wine glass in physical space without spilling it, since I didn't want to break immersion :). The only thing that feels weirder than putting on the Rift is taking it off again.

EDIT: s/only the/only thing/

Demiurge wrote:

If I sounded like an old cranky man on the show, so be it. I don't feel i'm either old or cranky ... .

For whatever it's worth, Cory is one of my mental avatars for "kids these days," even if we're about the same age. Mostly this is because he's significantly more hip and with it than I am (whatever "it" is).

Elysium wrote:

Best way to contribute and support now is be a good member of the community and take the money you might have spent on us and help someone out when they really need it.

This is one of the best things about GWJ. There are needy gamers out there! Go forth and give!

Jarpy wrote:

I was even drinking wine the whole time. The hardest part was finding the wine glass in physical space without spilling it, since I didn't want to break immersion :).

Solution: Duct tape the booze to your hand.

Certis (or at least, I think it was Certis) pretty much nailed it when he talked about how early access can be done well or done poorly. If the core elements of the game are there, and they're fun on their own, then I think early access is ultimately a good thing. Being part of the early community around a game can be very rewarding, even outside the game itself. Circumstance is important though. A company needs to communicate clearly where they are and how the early access will function.

My gut is that the community around an individual game is going to grow more and more important as time passes. Crowdfunding enables that, and early access is a frequent reward tier (almost mandatory, it seems, at this point.) I don't see it as a trend that is going away.

I feel like InExile has been doing a great job with communicating, and the way they're handling the community around the beta access for Wasteland 2.

Higgledy wrote:

For anyone wanting to try the FABLES comic book series, don't be put off if you read the first graphic novel and it doesn't grab you. Someone on the iFanboy podcast recommended people start with book 4 March of the Wooden soldiers. I did that, after reading book one and not getting into the characters, and I've been hooked ever since. It's a fantastic series.

Obviously some may love those first three books but, for me, the series takes off at book 4 and it is a reasonable starting point in terms of understanding what is going on.

I love the Fable series. That being said, I agree that the first book is not very strong. It sets up the characters, but it is not too interesting. Honestly, what got me hooked was the second book Animal Farm. If you are interested, I'd suggest checking out the first two from your local library.

I just want to point out that when Julian mentioned the relevance of a fax machine I pondered what a 'facts machine' was for a good 60 seconds before I remembered the 6-7 times I had to fax something.

Two comments.

First, when talking about the importance of console exclusives (and lack thereof) I thought about the WiiU. Basically every Nintendo property is a Nintendo console exclusive and that hasn't helped the WiiU that much, has it?

As for Early Access, I just see it as another point on the line that stretches from Kickstarter on one end to the first big patch that fixes all the bugs after release on the other. At least with Early Access you know you'll get something for your money even if it's a mess. Think of it as being similar to Kickstarter except you're getting in at a later stage in the process.

As someone who has more than a few Early Access games the quality there does vary greatly. Kerbal Space Program is probably the shining example (I've got released games with less polish) but there are plenty of others that are just piles of bugs at the moment. On the other other hand I have had several conversations with the developers of a few who are listening to feedback and responding so there's that.

On the other other other hand, yeah, it's essentially paying to be a beta tester. I can why that would be a negative for some people.

Listening to Julian discuss Pidgeon Dating was like an early Christmas present. If there's ever, somehow, a collection of "best of the Conference Call", that's gotta be number one on there.

Regarding two-weapon limitations, I understand why people want to blame Halo, but I feel it is more accurate to blame whoever it is that wants to imitate Halo without understanding why it works. Hell, I think Bungie even lost track of why it works, hence why they keep including ammo stations.

The first Halo had a very specialized set of weapons, and the experimental player would learn quite fast that Covenant weapons were a lot more useful against Covenant than human weapons. With the exception of the magnum head-shotting Grunts or Jackals, the plasma rifle and pistol made short work of any type of enemy shield, and the needler was pretty much an instant-death machine against Elites. Playing on harder difficulties, it comes in handy that these weapons are everywhere as otherwise you'd run out of ammo, and that need to scavenge the battlefield is kind of built in. Yes, you'll have to ditch your human assault rifle at some point, and when you do, you'll discover how much more effective Covenant weapons are...

...until you encounter the Flood.

Of course, this is all moot once you play on Normal difficulty, and in some cases even Heroic.

So why would Red Faction: Guerilla choose two weapons? Because "it's the thing to do", or perhaps they didn't think using the D-Pad for a Half-Life 2 style weapon selection would be a good idea. I don't know, I just know it's not the fault of Halo, but the fault of developers, designers, or business men that have no clue what they're talking about.

Just look at Duke Nukem Forever as a perfect example of imitating trends without understanding the surrounding mechanics. Spray-and-pray bullet sponges that rush head first towards you relentlessly, yet they limit you to two weapons with limited ammunition and regenerating health that only works if the A.I. is designed to duck for cover themselves.

That's not the fault of Halo or Call of Duty, but a really bad gameplay designer that doesn't know what s/he is doing.

We have the stretch goal for next year's donation!
Playing Amnesia while wearing the Oculus Rift!

Pro Strategy Football 2013 is awesome - that is all

We have the $1,000,000 stretch goal for next year's donation!
Playing Amnesia while wearing the Oculus Rift!

Fixed.

RolandofGilead wrote:

We have the stretch goal for next year's donation!
Playing Amnesia while wearing the Oculus Rift!

In the words of Kirk Hamilton's rather excellent review of Machine for pigs.

In its early goings, the horror game Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is defined by a single word: Nope.

re:

Why grim just works in video games?

Um, Mario, Rayman, and nope I'm done.
I think you all are forgetting about all the forgettable, and terrible grim games because you know better by now to avoid them.

RolandofGilead wrote:

We have the stretch goal for next year's donation!
Playing Amnesia while wearing the Oculus Rift!

Dreadhalls might be even better. At least Amnesia doesn't have Weeping Angels style monsters.