Conference Call

GWJ Conference Call Episode 446

Assassin's Creed: Rogue, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, Dungeons 2, Ironcast, Bloodborne, Selling Mods on Steam, Your Emails and More!

This week Allen, Shawn, Julian and David Heron talk about Steam selling mods because that's still totally relevant!

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.

Fish Tuxedo

Thread of The Week

The Perfect Game to Play on The Toilet?

Chairman_Mao's Timestamps

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

eCommerce - BoxCat Games - https://boxcat.bandcamp.com/ - 36:30

Inspiration - BoxCat Games - https://boxcat.bandcamp.com/ - 1:11:12

Comments

Klei is indeed the Dutch word for 'clay', and the Dutch pronunciation of the 'ei' sound is akin to how the 'a' sounds in Bernie Sanders.

themoreyouknow.jpg

This week Allen, Shawn, Julian and David Heron talk about Steam selling mods because that's still totally relevant!

For a second there I thought David's family had taken over the podcast.

Shawn, you sounded so exasperated in the opening. Don't sweat it. This conversation is still relevant. Paid mods will indeed happen someday. It's just a matter of when.

My guess is the next Fallout.

Great show, as always.

Heard Certis describe the story in Assassins Creed Chronocles: everybody blows everything out of proportion and everything could be resolved with a 2 minute conversation.

So AC:CC is a Twitter simulator? Is that some kind of meta-commentary on how AC:Unity's social media experiments went?

Any excuse to post this:

Shawn, just looking to see if you can put that link up for the carpal tunnel wrist exercises that you mentioned? Just recently started suffering from this and anything extra that would help would be great. Wrist guards for sleeping with at night definitely help, but usually only when they are really sore.

Thanks

Oh yeah!

I laughed out loud when David said "maybe this is socialist, but... (Developers making money on their own work) is a great thing."

If someone red-baits you by accusing you of wanting to earn money for your own work, they need to read a book. Preferably more than one.

I thought the paid Skyrim mods were, on balance, a neat idea and I'm a little sad that Valve caved so easily to the heckler's veto. The only mod I've ever installed was the one that makes Fallout 3 work in Windows 8, and in retrospect I don't think I would have minded paying for the privilege of managing it in Steam directly instead of downloading it from some malware encrusted website that was linked from the steam forums.

Maybe they'll try again with Fallout 4.

Rocksmith 2014 still gets weekly updates. This week it was a Dethklok triple pack.

The problem, if you try to find any of the more recent DLC (and are on PC - no idea abot teh consoles), is Steam. For a while, it appears tghat Steam had a ~250 item limit for DLC. So, once Rocksmith 2014 hit that, new DLC did not get put on the DLC page. Also, it was sorted from oldest to newest so, even before then, you had to scroll all the way down to the bottom to find the new stuff.

Both oif these were fixed. For a little while at least. However, recently there has been no new DLC on the game's DLC page in the store; I think they hit a new limit or something. But DLC keeps coming out.

To find out what is released each week, you have to go to Ubisoft's Rocksmith 2014 page. It appears to be sorted by default from newest to oldest (at least it is for me). If it looks interesting, you have to use the search tool on Steam to get to the actual page to buy something. So, it's there, it just takes some more work.

But the DLC they have been releasing has been worth the work. Songs by The Cars, Thin Lizzy, Spinal Tap, Bush, and Anthrax are all recent DLC. And Dethklok (which I have no idea about).

Yeah, the DLC interface for RS2014 on Steam is terrible. There have been multiple occasions when a song pack is released and I'll be ready to fork over my money for it, but couldn't actually find it on Steam. I always expect to see it on the main Rocksmith 2014 Steam page, but nope. Sometimes it won't even show up on the DLC list, I have to spend a few minutes searching for it.

Also, in response to the email question about gaming while traveling for work: the plethora of Steam games available to play that would work on your company laptop is a great suggestion - if your company allows you to play Steam games on your company laptop. We are given pretty nice laptops for use while on travel, but it's against company policy to install any non-approved, non-business-related software, and Steam is definitely non-approved. I don't even have the admin rights to install software on my work laptop. Some of us really are relegated to the handheld/iOS option. XCom on the iPad got me through a particularly excruciating week in the California desert.

Like Boudreaux, I'm fascinated that people can play games on company laptops.

My company won't let us have admin rights on company computers. All software installations have to go through IT. Even work related stuff (like PCB design software or Adobe Acrobat) requires a help desk ticket.

Not that we could download a game if we could install it. All sites even tangentially related to entertainment are blocked-- I can even look at the news through VPN, let alone download the Steam client.

Sure, you could connect the laptop directly to your own network, but frankly I wouldn't trust the machines not to have tattler-ware in them. At that point it becomes an uncomfortable HR conversation about why I spent so much of the trip (which is, technically speaking, all company time-- hourly employees like to travel because they get to bill a full 24 hour day for every day they're not home) playing Magical Battle Festa.

On a sort-of related note: why does anyone need to spend 2-3 weekends per month on a plane in 2015? Has nobody heard of telephones? How about skype?

I can see if you're traveling for hands-on, technical jobs-- like equipment repair and makntenance-- but if you're a desk pogue like me I don't see why you should have to leave the office to talk to someone. Theoretically, you shouldn't even have to leave your house.

Honestly, I don't see the point in spending thousands of dollars on plane tickets and hotel rooms just to shake somebody's hand.

As someone who works from home MOST of the time, I agree, however I also think there's a very isolationist trend engengered by tech. I've coached countless writers that the single most important SKILL is making PHONE CALLS. Not emails. Not IMs. Phone calls. Recoring them. Transcribing them. Being good at actual talking to people.

The same is true for face to face interactions. People always ask how to get freelance clients. The answer is almost always 'facetime' -- someone who has physically met an editor or a corporate client will almost always get a gig ahead of someone who's just an email address. The more any part of your job involves sales or even just convincing people of things, the more important physical presence is. The companies with the highest sales-revenue margins are actually those who spend the most on travel for their sales team or have big enough sales teams to be local to clients.

Even something as mundane as writing a newspaper is actually BETTER if everyones in the same room. Yes, Bandcamp and such can fill a lot of voids, but we're human beings, animals who evolved as social creatures. Physical presence really matters.

In a very real way -- why would I bother bringing 40 of my friends ot my house twice a year? After all, I can play virtually any game we'll play better and faster online, with video.

Because it's better, that's why. (Old man rabbit yells at cloud!!!)

rabbit wrote:

Yes, Bandcamp and such can fill a lot of voids, but we're human beings, animals who evolved as social creatures. Physical presence really matters.

Did you mean Basecamp? And do a ton of people use that? I never heard of it until not too long ago.

The conference call still felt very relevant to me. Just because Valve backed off on the paid mod situation with Skyrim for now, it doesn't mean that they have completely abandoned the paid mod concept. It's more of a matter of when we will see this again, with which games, and with what tweaks made to the system.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

Heard Certis describe the story in Assassins Creed Chronocles: everybody blows everything out of proportion and everything could be resolved with a 2 minute conversation.

I am pretty sure he was talking about Assassins Creed: Rogue when he made that comment.

Beesem wrote:
doubtingthomas396 wrote:

Heard Certis describe the story in Assassins Creed Chronocles: everybody blows everything out of proportion and everything could be resolved with a 2 minute conversation.

I am pretty sure he was talking about Assassins Creed: Rogue when he made that comment.

You may be right. I've never played an AssCree game, so they're all kind of the same game to me.

Like Boudreaux and DoubtingThomas, I am also fascinated that this is allowed. I've been with 3 companies that gave travel laptops and all 3 were locked down tight. I couldn't even install textpad if I wanted to.

My advice to the emailer would be to (budget permitting) grab a personal gaming laptop along with a decent set of headphones for airport waits. You an take your gaming with you and have something for vacations, other trips or just for sitting on the porch on a nice summer day.

It's probably because I'm a software developer and I avoid big companies, but I've never had a work laptop that I didn't have root on. My work laptop usually has Minecraft and Crusader Kings II on it. We used to play Crash Landing at lunch, that was pretty awesome.

(One company I worked at installed Sophos's antivirus crap on our Macs, but never audited it after the machine was handed to the developer and everybody nuked it before they put anything sensitive, like SSH keys, on it.)

Beesem wrote:

(edited) The conference call still felt very relevant...It's more of a matter of when we will...see tweaks made to the system.

I agree. Without speaking to anybody, nor having any real first hand knowledge... My expert opinion is that it was pulled down not because a bunch of redditer's were mad, rather there was some compelling details that should be addressed. We will see it again. I don't think its a bad idea at all to offer somebody the opportunity to get paid for work they do.

Regarding the work laptop, it really depends on the company.

My last company actually had jobs that scanned every PC on the network and if they found any executable that wasn't on their "approved" list it would be remotely uninstalled. (They even killed things like Solitaire that came with Windows that they didn't want on there.) So if I (as a developer even) wanted a specific utility on my PC I had to get permission from Systems to install it (and explain why I needed it and why none of the approved tools would work).

My current company could care less. Of course, here we have an internal Slack channel devoted to gaming and a Steam box in the break room. We've even got WoW installed on one of the conference room PCs just so people can play on the big 50 inch monitors. I think they'd be surprised here if I didn't have Steam installed.