GWJ Conference Call Episode 394

Conference Call

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, Broforce, Fract OSC, Elder Scrolls Online, Distance, Enemy Starfighter, A One Game Future?, Your Emails and more!

This week Allen, Sean Sands, Julian and Shawn talk about what a one game future might look like.

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
00.02.36 Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
00.07.43 Oculus Rift
00.10.26 Broforce
00.16.54 Fract OSC
00.22.43 Enemy Starfighter
00.24.52 Hearthstone
00.26.01 Elder Scrolls Online
00.34.01 Distance
00.36.39 This week's topic: A One Game Future!
00.49.50 Your emails!

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Composer - SGX - http://sgxmusic.com/ - 36:07

Lo-fi - SGX - http://sgxmusic.com/ - 49:16

Comments

Hey Rabbit, wasn't able to find the Cosmos series of board games. Could I get a link to board game geek or somethin? Also a link to what this "sex" game is? sounds interesting...

EDIT: This is it I'm assuming. Thanks for the recomendation!

Every so often I feel like all my free time is occupied by consuming media, listening to podcasts to learn about media I could consume, have consumed or will never consume, posting on forums about media I've consumed, watching other people as they consume media or ordering media from Amazon.

Spending a weekend with my parents or with friends where I don't have access to my Mac or 360 can be a blessed relief some times. I'm going to make some room in my week for 'media free' activities even if I have to drive out and strand myself somewhere in Wales.

Great discussion about the "one game future." Right now, I actually feel that Minecraft is the closest we have to that one game. My kids log in, chat with friends, play FPS-style multiplayer on one server, then switch to building their own world with friends or go exploring a world someone else has created. People are creating all sorts of virtual worlds, not to mention computers, simulations, and real-world re-creations. Add an in-game web browser and a more persistent messaging system and you're not too far off from the kind of digital ecosystem we see in science fiction.

thinkklinck wrote:

Hey Rabbit, wasn't able to find the Cosmos series of board games. Could I get a link to board game geek or somethin? Also a link to what this "sex" game is? sounds interesting...

EDIT: This is it I'm assuming. Thanks for the recomendation!

You got the first part, can't help you with the last part.

I find it interesting that you guys brought up Facebook being a product created by a bunch of kids not interested in money, just doing something cool, and then didn't link that, perhaps, that's one of the reasons Zuckerberg bought Occulus Rift. It could be that he's interested in doing with virtual worlds what he did with Facebook, looking to branch out.

Pure speculation, of course, but wouldn't surprise me.

As for relaxation time, I remember being a kid without Internet and all the things I used to do. My one comfort is I never really finished anything as a kid, either. I started making some comic strip book collections, similar to how you'd have a book for Garfield or Calvin and Hobbes, but only one of them was narrative driven and rushed to a conclusion (then again, I was still figuring out proper storytelling). Even so, I tried to spend a lot of time creating.

Not so much anymore. I spend more time than ever consuming Internet content, and while a lot of it has opened my mine to a lot of alternative perspectives, I've spent less time working on my own creations. While you could argue I still generate a lot of content, I really, really miss making comics and such. It was a nice time to think, of course, but it was just a great way to express my desire to tell a story while practicing my art. Maybe I need to get back in the habit of having time set aside frequently for that.

What finally brings me out of lurking is this bit of Canadian music trivia:

"Lovers in a Dangerous Time", while covered by the Barenaked Ladies, is famously a Bruce Cockburn song, released as a single in 1984 from the album Stealing Fire. The second single from that record was the somewhat un-Bruce-like "If I Had a Rocket Launcher", a title one would think stands better odds of being shared with a video game.

The BNL recording of "Lovers..." is drawn from a Bruce Cockburn tribute album released in 1991.

Also: the game sounds cool. Hope to see it released soon.

VanCardboardbox wrote:

The second single from that record was the somewhat un-Bruce-like "If I Had a Rocket Launcher", a title one would think stands better odds of being shared with a video game.

There was a Marathon 2 level named after it. Or more precisely, there was a Marathon 2 level named "If I Had a Rocket Launcher, I'd Make Somebody Pay."

As I recall, getting to the rocket launcher in that level was ridiculously difficult.

To the emailer who asked about board games to get into. I suggest watching the Geek and Sundry Tabletop series on youtube. My wife and I picked out several board games watching that series.

It's entertaining and manages to give you a good idea of what the game will play like over the course of the show. There were games I thought I'd be excited about, and after watching decided against buying. Likewise there were games I thought I would care less about and picked up almost immediately after watching them play.

Welcome to the Rift, Certis.

A while back, I emailed the podcast with my dilemma: that the Rift had so diminished my experience of first-person games on flat screens, that I couldn't engage with them the same way afterwards.

Is this happening to others?

Rabbit, not sure if you caught my lore recommendation in the Skyrim thread ...

https://www.youtube.com/user/ShoddyCast/playlists?shelf_id=10&view=50&sort=dd
For anyone interested, ShoddyCast Lore for The Elder Scrolls is one of the most devoted, polished and technically brilliant series that I have had the pleasure of watching on YouTube.
This is really astounding work, and if like me, you have been so excited playing Elder Scrolls games that you have never gotten around to reading the books, then this is for you.
Detailed history of each race, each region, key historical figures, heroes, villains, the wars Gods and Deadra are all lovingly condensed and told in bite sized episodes, which I have chain viewed over the past two days.
Fans of The Elder Scrolls should watch this and share the love....but that is a story for another day.

rabbit wrote:
thinkklinck wrote:

Hey Rabbit, wasn't able to find the Cosmos series of board games. Could I get a link to board game geek or somethin? Also a link to what this "sex" game is? sounds interesting...

EDIT: This is it I'm assuming. Thanks for the recomendation!

You got the first part, can't help you with the last part.

Oh! The link was about Kosmos?

Whew. I didn't click it because that wasn't clear to me from the original post.

Please I need more Oculus Rift Crystal cove impressions? My fingers are literally hovering over the pre-order button.

Need more input from Certis and Demiurge here.

I was somewhat surprised Snow Crash didn't come up on the pod cast. I always thought that book gave a good approximation of what a VR-enabled web/gaming future might look like - online stores ironically converted to digital brick-and-mortar buildings, virtual representations of files as scrolls or business cards and game play elements accessible anywhere in the environment (like spontaneous sword fights in bars).

I think B Dog is right about the current front runner being Minecraft. There is often the discussion of "games" versus "systems" or "toys" on the pod cast, and I think that what we are looking for here is the place where these things really intersect. Give us a space where nothing is asked of us, but give us the means of making our own fun.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:
rabbit wrote:
thinkklinck wrote:

Hey Rabbit, wasn't able to find the Cosmos series of board games. Could I get a link to board game geek or somethin? Also a link to what this "sex" game is? sounds interesting...

EDIT: This is it I'm assuming. Thanks for the recomendation!

You got the first part, can't help you with the last part.

Oh! The link was about Kosmos?

Whew. I didn't click it because that wasn't clear to me from the original post.

I initially thought there was a board game about the Cosmos reboot. Then I realized after listening to the podcast they were taking about Kosmos the publisher. Big difference

Tried BroForce BroOp at PAX East and had a blast.

If one player is out of lives, the other player can rescue a hostage and the first player just pops in as that hostage. So you get the fun tension of your co-player needing to get to a spot to bring you back in so you can keep playing.

Plus, when the helicopter comes in at the end of each level after you plant your American flag, the helicopter leaves when the first person gets on. So, your BroOp player has to jump on with you, or you just fly off and leave him to explode.

So glad to hear some Enemy Starfighter (yay space games) love on the show, along with love for Broforce, which is just such an amazing little game.

I remember a long time ago there was this guy talking about how the future of web commerce was this kind of 3D world where website addresses had literal directions instead of URLs. I remember the guy's pitch revolved around the fact that people don't naturally remember URLs but could be counted on to remember "directions" to a place that centered on street names and landmarks.

Futurama touched on this in an early episode.

In both cases I remember wondering why anyone would want to pretend to drive a hundred virtual miles from one website to the next when they could just type an address and be there. It's not like we don't use telephones, how hard was it to remember www.gamerswithjobs.com?

As for the 1 game future, nothing horrifies me more than the prospect of all games being one game, because I just know that one game would probably end up being Call of Duty. Or FarmVille. Or Call of Duty: FarmVille. ("You were killed by SpawnCamperN00b. Connect to Facebook to ask your friends to gank him!"*)

On a related note, has anyone checked out Tabletop simulator? Seems like it would be a perfect fit for the Rift and a prime example of what the conference callers were talking about. Get together in a room with no set objectives but a bunch of stuff to play with. If they added avatar support so much the better, if you're into that sort of thing.

*alternate joke. "share your status to reduce your spawn time!"

Balthezor wrote:

Please I need more Oculus Rift Crystal cove impressions? My fingers are literally hovering over the pre-order button.

Need more input from Certis and Demiurge here. :)

It is the single most interesting technology in gaming right now. If you can afford it and don't want to wait for the consumer version (which, Oculus says, will be even better) then order one.

That said, while I'm now into how cool VR can be, it's still not at a point where *every game* I want to play should be VR. But man, DK2 is a huge step forward.

Higgledy wrote:

Every so often I feel like all my free time is occupied by consuming media, listening to podcasts to learn about media I could consume, have consumed or will never consume, posting on forums about media I've consumed, watching other people as they consume media or ordering media from Amazon.

Spending a weekend with my parents or with friends where I don't have access to my Mac or 360 can be a blessed relief some times. I'm going to make some room in my week for 'media free' activities even if I have to drive out and strand myself somewhere in Wales.

What I find I miss when I spend too much time receiving media is that I'm not creating and expressing my own thoughts as much, and when I do express thoughts, they're predominantly reactions to received ideas. Nothing wrong about learning, hearing others' thoughts, and responding, but I often feel like I'm not spending enough time on the thinking and processing, or in letting my brain really do its own thing. Reminds me of the meditation (grokking) in Stranger In A Strange Land, where the Martian is accustomed to taking significant amounts of time at the end of the day to process and come to terms with all he's been exposed to during the day.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

I remember a long time ago there was this guy talking about how the future of web commerce was this kind of 3D world where website addresses had literal directions instead of URLs. I remember the guy's pitch revolved around the fact that people don't naturally remember URLs but could be counted on to remember "directions" to a place that centered on street names and landmarks.

Futurama touched on this in an early episode.

In both cases I remember wondering why anyone would want to pretend to drive a hundred virtual miles from one website to the next when they could just type an address and be there. It's not like we don't use telephones, how hard was it to remember www.gamerswithjobs.com?

I want to come to the defense of Allen's suggestion that portals like XBL might fit the notion of the Metaverse from places like Snow Crash. I think it's important to remember that the metaverse as 3D environment was put forward partially as a way to describe virtual spaces in a way that was intelligible to mass-culture readers. And that "physical" space between virtual locations worked as a metaphor, but also was generally important as a dramatic crutch. Ultimately, I don't think a case can be successfully made that users want more friction in moving between addresses and different programs, but the metaphor of one platform where users fluidly move between locations and programs sounds to me to be very similar to something like XBL or, more accurately, an internet that's well populated by web-based SaaS options.

Demiurge wrote:
Balthezor wrote:

Please I need more Oculus Rift Crystal cove impressions? My fingers are literally hovering over the pre-order button.

Need more input from Certis and Demiurge here. :)

It is the single most interesting technology in gaming right now. If you can afford it and don't want to wait for the consumer version (which, Oculus says, will be even better) then order one.

That said, while I'm now into how cool VR can be, it's still not at a point where *every game* I want to play should be VR. But man, DK2 is a huge step forward.

Yep. I'd recommend waiting to anyone who isn't named Shawn Andrich. That guy is an idiot.

Demiurge wrote:
Balthezor wrote:

Please I need more Oculus Rift Crystal cove impressions? My fingers are literally hovering over the pre-order button.

Need more input from Certis and Demiurge here. :)

It is the single most interesting technology in gaming right now. If you can afford it and don't want to wait for the consumer version (which, Oculus says, will be even better) then order one.

That said, while I'm now into how cool VR can be, it's still not at a point where *every game* I want to play should be VR. But man, DK2 is a huge step forward.

Certis wrote:
Demiurge wrote:
Balthezor wrote:

Please I need more Oculus Rift Crystal cove impressions? My fingers are literally hovering over the pre-order button.

Need more input from Certis and Demiurge here. :)

It is the single most interesting technology in gaming right now. If you can afford it and don't want to wait for the consumer version (which, Oculus says, will be even better) then order one.

That said, while I'm now into how cool VR can be, it's still not at a point where *every game* I want to play should be VR. But man, DK2 is a huge step forward.

Yep. I'd recommend waiting to anyone who isn't named Shawn Andrich. That guy is an idiot.

My wallet is so screwed right now. Thanks for the input guys.

Question for Demiurge, the first dev kit came in a cool case with a handle, does the dev kit 2 come in a cool case as well?

wordsmythe wrote:
Higgledy wrote:

Every so often I feel like all my free time is occupied by consuming media, listening to podcasts to learn about media I could consume, have consumed or will never consume, posting on forums about media I've consumed, watching other people as they consume media or ordering media from Amazon.

Spending a weekend with my parents or with friends where I don't have access to my Mac or 360 can be a blessed relief some times. I'm going to make some room in my week for 'media free' activities even if I have to drive out and strand myself somewhere in Wales.

What I find I miss when I spend too much time receiving media is that I'm not creating and expressing my own thoughts as much, and when I do express thoughts, they're predominantly reactions to received ideas. Nothing wrong about learning, hearing others' thoughts, and responding, but I often feel like I'm not spending enough time on the thinking and processing, or in letting my brain really do its own thing. Reminds me of the meditation (grokking) in Stranger In A Strange Land, where the Martian is accustomed to taking significant amounts of time at the end of the day to process and come to terms with all he's been exposed to during the day.

Half the battle is being aware of the imbalance. It's so easy to automatically dig out something watch or play when there is unallocated time. I need to give myself other options. Fortunately my phone is anything but smart and I don't have a tablet so I can get away from my screens quite easily.

I decided to use my media addiction in the service of creativity. When I have downtime and I feel the need to plug in, I fire up a browser and read a programming tutorial (I'm teaching myself Unity to make this game I had an idea for ages ago).

Make it work for you and you own it, rather than letting it own you.

One of the cooler bits about TESO quests is that their kill 10 rats type quests are structured differently. You're told to go to this area and do this objective and just so happens there's 10 rats guarding that objective or containing parts to complete the objective.

Balthezor wrote:

Question for Demiurge, the first dev kit came in a cool case with a handle, does the dev kit 2 come in a cool case as well?

We haven't received one yet. I'm not even sure the first batch of DK2 units have shipped out. But I'd guess it'll have nice packaging.

Ok, so it's been called TESO and ESOL in this very thread.

Anyone else think that sounds like a Mortal Kombat character?

TESO ESOL! NOOB SAIBOT!

FIGHT!!!

The first thing the developer of an MMORPG must do is pick a catchy acronym.

The successful ones: EQ. WOW. LOTRO. Acronyms that are pronounceable, or at least trip lightly on the tongue.

The failures: AOC (too many vowels, awkward to say). COH (hard C or soft C?). H:L. (Would you know that meant Hellgate London?).

In fact, I suspect the commercial success of any major multiplayer franchise is in no small part due to the ability of the players to reduce the name to three syllables or less without sounding stupid (DOTA vs LOL)

To the emailer who asked about board games for couples, I recommend Lost Cities (also available for iOS) and Quarto. Both are played in minutes, are easy to learn, and have a respectable amount of depth.

Also, Ready Player One sucks. It's terrible prose whose only purpose is to serve as 80s nostalgia. A much better game-themed piece of fiction is Lucky Wander Boy.

I'd also recommend Bonnanza and Ticket to Ride as good starter board/card games for two players. If you can track down a box of Heroscape stuff, the original core set is a blast for two players.

And I realize it's fashionable to be down on Munchkin, but I still like it, even for two players.

Rabbit mentioned opening a random barrel in ESOL and finding an epic something or other inside and that now he has to open all barrels everywhere. I was out in Skyrim last night, after listening to the podcast, and my character happened to be near a lone barrel at the end of a snow shrouded pier. I'd only ever had apples, etc from the barrels up until that point but, maybe, I'd just not found one of those rare barrels that contained weapons or treasure. I approached the barrel, with a feeling of anticipation, and opened it. Inside I found 3 potatoes.