GWJ Conference Call Episode 393

Conference Call

Tons of Games From PAX, Film Noir in Gaming, Special Guest Kate Craig From Fullbright Company, Your Emails and more!

This week the fantastic Kate Craig joins the crew to talk about the Film Noir genre in gaming and lots more!

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
00.03.00 Dark Souls II
00.04.19 Below
00.09.36 Wealth of Nations
00.10.00 Evolve
00.14:57 Orcs Must Die Unchained
00.17.10 Diablo III PS4 expansion
00.17.42 Warlords of Draynor (WoW expansion)
00.22.20 Red Dragon
00.23.25 War of the Vikings
00.25.33 Night in the Woods
00.26.11 Monument Valley
00.28.44 The YoG
00.31.15 Curse of the Necrodancer
00.31.40 Deadrock Divide
00.34.01 Trials Fusion
00.35.31 Oculus Rift experience
00.38.58 This week's topic: Film noir in gaming!
01.01.25 Your emails!

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Hella - Broke for Free - http://brokeforfree.com/ - 38:25

Covered In Oil - Broke for Free - http://brokeforfree.com/ - 1:00:51

Comments

Something must have bothered our favorite podcaster.
Max Payne is about as noir as it gets - but he had to bitch and moan about the game being too noir - I don't know - sounded weird to listen to him. Maybe because the game was developed in Finland and thats not american enough.
But a few seconds later he calls the post-war survival games Metroid and Stalker Noir?!?!? Come on... please...
You know what - I give up - Dark Souls is NOIR it even has Dark in its title!!!!

Kate Craig!

I'm only about half way through, but I'm super excited Kate is on the podcast this week! It is nice to hear some female voices on GWJ over the past two episodes - I hope that trend continues!

Gamers with jobs, brought to you by the letter 'F' for Frenetic

Fun show, +1 on Kate being a great guest!

Cory, I played Deja Vu on my uncle's old Mac Plus, back in the days when it had just come out. Hell of a game, though I couldn't figure out how to progress too far in it.

Noir tropes in games go back before graphic adventures, though - Infocom had a batch of detective games that were fairly steeped in them:
Deadline, The Witness, etc..

There was a tropical/noir hybrid text MMO in the early 90s, Modus Operandi.

Echochrome not Echophone

Also, the author's name of that Polygon opinion piece was Ben Cousins not Ben Kuchera: http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/9/5597...

After such a turbulent week of work I did not need this week's conf call's help in confusing my brain any more on what day of the week and month it is. As of right now I am reasonably confident today is the 48th of Cucumber, 1945.... am I close?

Sean, I think y'all already hit on why the Metro games have a noir vibe: the setting/location is such a strong character in the story. I'd add that most noir locations tend to feel really oppressive, and STALKER has that in spades.

inspiringsn wrote:

Echochrome not Echophone

Also, the author's name of that Polygon opinion piece was Ben Cousins not Ben Kuchera: http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/9/5597...

Welp. I'm stupid. Thanks for correcting that, and apologies for getting it massively wrong.

Thanks all! Also rrrrats, I played Dominique Pamplemousse literally hours before the podcast and didn't even mention it.

Huff.

I realized I'd gotten echochrome wrong halfway through the show, but didn't stop to do midcourse correction.

Love the mention of Deja-Vu. I had totally forgotten about that game (har har), and it was actually one of the most important early games I played in that it was my first adventure game, my first 'adult' game, and my first text-heavy game. I actually still have it in the drawer next to me - I think I eventually picked it up when the family video store went out of business. I played the NES version.

Looking back I was probably a bit young for the violence/noir components (I was eight when it came out), but working my way through the puzzles was one of the first times a game gave me a genuine sense of accomplishment. Thanks for the memory!

One thing that I think gets overlooked in the discussion of noir is the influence of the Hays code. While film noir is often spoken of as being about antiheroes and morally compromised protagonists, the production code ensured that the guys left standing at the end were ultimately "good" guys. There's something of a Greek tragedy air of predestination to what happens in those classic films, because you know the bad guys are not going to get away with it, they are definitely going to get what's coming to them etc. (see second paragraph here).

I have not played Gone Home, but I have enjoyed watching some pro gamers playing it. Well done Kate on a superb game. More please !
Film Noir was actually one of my subjects at college, here are a couple of my fave Noir movies that I think are worth a mention.
The Matrix (and Bound for that matter) - the high camera angles looking down (especially staircases), the black check pattern floors.
Angel Heart - Mickey Rourke just nails the deadbeat, chain smoking PI. The crusty, smoke stained office with window blinds, and frosted glass on the door.
Totally agree that it is such a great genre for an artistic director to dip into to set the mood, and works so well in both sci-fi and horror/suspense games.
Great show as always, even though you made me check the date was wrong.

It was great having Kate on this week's show! Having Elena on the panel at PAX/last week's episode followed by Kate is just tremendously awesome.

Also, it was nice getting away from the "usual" discussions and into a specific theme.

Cory mentioned a game he saw at PAX East, but I wanted to bring up one that I saw that wasn't mentioned - Pixel Noir (Kickstarter link). These guys launched their project on Friday of PAX, and had a playable alpha down in the expo hall that looked pretty well done. Reminds me a bunch of the SNES Shadowrun game, with the isometric view and how you interact with the world. They're also trying to push the envelope when it comes to development - every pledge gets two copies of the game, one on PC/console, and one for your smartphone/tablet, and the plan is to create a "cloud save" feature to share game saves between your devices. So you could play for a bit on the PC, and then pick up where you left off on your smartphone.

This was a fun episode to listen to. Thanks for getting Kate on as a guest.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

I'm only about half way through, but I'm super excited Kate is on the podcast this week! It is nice to hear some female voices on GWJ over the past two episodes - I hope that trend continues!

Bring back Lara!

shoptroll wrote:

This was a fun episode to listen to. Thanks for getting Kate on as a guest.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

I'm only about half way through, but I'm super excited Kate is on the podcast this week! It is nice to hear some female voices on GWJ over the past two episodes - I hope that trend continues!

Bring back Lara!

+1 to both!

MeatMan wrote:
shoptroll wrote:

This was a fun episode to listen to. Thanks for getting Kate on as a guest.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

I'm only about half way through, but I'm super excited Kate is on the podcast this week! It is nice to hear some female voices on GWJ over the past two episodes - I hope that trend continues!

Bring back Lara!

+1 to both!

I wasn't in any official discussions, should there have been any such discussions, but I believe Lara's allowed to come back if and when she has the time and desire to come back.

Relevant to the topic, Third Eye Crime by Moonshot Studios, formed by ex-Bungie devs, is out on iOS 6+ devices.

If I owned such a device I'd probably get it, and it's also a Noir game.

wordsmythe wrote:
MeatMan wrote:
shoptroll wrote:

This was a fun episode to listen to. Thanks for getting Kate on as a guest.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

I'm only about half way through, but I'm super excited Kate is on the podcast this week! It is nice to hear some female voices on GWJ over the past two episodes - I hope that trend continues!

Bring back Lara!

+1 to both!

I wasn't in any official discussions, should there have been any such discussions, but I believe Lara's allowed to come back if and when she has the time and desire to come back.

As someone who didn't discover GWJ until after Lara, this comment makes me wonder - was there some sort of drama with her departure? Was it friendly? Just curious - I hope I haven't asked an awkward question.

EDIT - I'm pretty sure I asked an awkward question. I'll be int he corner, my shoe halfway down my throat.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
MeatMan wrote:
shoptroll wrote:

This was a fun episode to listen to. Thanks for getting Kate on as a guest.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

I'm only about half way through, but I'm super excited Kate is on the podcast this week! It is nice to hear some female voices on GWJ over the past two episodes - I hope that trend continues!

Bring back Lara!

+1 to both!

I wasn't in any official discussions, should there have been any such discussions, but I believe Lara's allowed to come back if and when she has the time and desire to come back.

As someone who didn't discover GWJ until after Lara, this comment makes me wonder - was there some sort of drama with her departure? Was it friendly? Just curious - I hope I haven't asked an awkward question.

EDIT - I'm pretty sure I asked an awkward question. I'll be int he corner, my shoe halfway down my throat.

I don't think there was any drama. Last time people asked about Lara I think the response was that she really hasn't been doing a lot of gaming lately. Or something to that effect.

Weird. No drama or anything like that. We're pals, we hang out and stuff. Lara just isn't super into gaming these days. She's always welcome! Why? She's the best.

[Removes foot from mouth.]

That's good to hear! I like it when there is no drama and people just act like adults (perhaps I should move to Canada?)

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

(perhaps I should move to Canada?)

Just move upstate. I hear they have Tim Horton's near the lakes. That's close enough to being in Canada, eh?

Certis wrote:

Weird. No drama or anything like that. We're pals, we hang out and stuff. Lara just isn't super into gaming these days. She's always welcome! Why? She's the best.

When does Dragon Age Inquisition come out?

shoptroll wrote:
TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

(perhaps I should move to Canada?)

Just move upstate. I hear they have Tim Horton's near the lakes. That's close enough to being in Canada, eh?

We've even got them in Manhattan now

Engineers have TWO types of turrets in Planetside 2!

Does Who Framed Roger Rabbit? count for noir?
He asked hopefully.

It was such a treat to have Kate on as a guest! More voices! More opinions!

Some oddball suggestions for gaming noir from days of yore: The Tex Murphy adventures, and Manhunter series.

RolandofGilead wrote:

Does Who Framed Roger Rabbit? count for noir?
He asked hopefully.

I totally does. I remember in one of the interviews for Burial At Sea they mentioned it was one of Irrational's sources for nailing the look and feel of that DLC.

EDIT:

Aristophan wrote:

Some oddball suggestions for gaming noir from days of yore: The Tex Murphy adventures, and Manhunter series.

And there's also a little thing called Discworld Noir while we're at it