GWJ Conference Call Episode 520

Virginia, Clustertruck, Vanishing Realms Update (VR), Destiny: Rise of Iron, Spaceport Janitor, Extreme Forklift 2, Human Fall Flat, What Is The Secret Sauce of Successful Indie Games?, Your Emails and More!

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This week Shawn Andrich, Allen Cook, Amanda Knowlton, and special guest Greg Decker!

To contact us, email call@gamerswithjobs.com! Send us your thoughts on the show, pressing issues you want to talk about or whatever else is on your mind.

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Comments

hey, DT, I got your Twin Peaks reference, man. *fist bump*

Felix Threepaper wrote:

hey, DT, I got your Twin Peaks reference, man. *fist bump*

Thanks!

My biggest problems with cultural references are 1) I'm never sure how deep a cut is and 2) I keep forgetting that my cultural touchstones are far from universal.

I'm looking forward to listening this week so I can spend hours agonizing over how I could have done/said everything better.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:
Felix Threepaper wrote:

hey, DT, I got your Twin Peaks reference, man. *fist bump*

Thanks!

My biggest problems with cultural references are 1) I'm never sure how deep a cut is and 2) I keep forgetting that my cultural touchstones are far from universal.

I'm looking forward to listening this week so I can spend hours agonizing over how I could have done/said everything better. :)

I take your point, but you were referring to core Twin Peaks imagery .... pretty central to the whole show.

YOU GUYS FINALLY GOT GREG ON THERE!

YES!

I am excited for this episode.

Something about the perspective of Virginia made me so nauseous I had to bail after 10 minutes. Which, given how bored I also was by the 'gameplay', means I'm not going to bother again. And I can't even pass it along to a friend. The hazards of rolling the dice on a digital game.

I hope I earned that caps-lock.

Being on the show has been something of a dream of mine since I joined the site, and I'm thrilled to have been invited on. Maybe I'll learn how to not ramble so much on my own podcast.

Speaking of which, I also want to thank our illustrious host for plugging the Asynchronous Multiplayer Podcast. As soon as this week's conference call went live our number of downloads doubled.

Please bear with us. We're working the kinks out of the show (I'm learning audio production on the fly), and we're going to start soliciting listener emails soon.

Just got done listening to the main topic. I don't want to say "nostalgia" so much as "familiarity". I think ideas that are familiar will have an appeal in the indie scene. One of the reasons I was drawn to Toren was because the gameplay resembled a lot of games, old and new, that I enjoy. That familiarity allowed me to contextualize what the game would probably play like.

It's one of the reasons why I don't get as fired up for, say, Divinity, as I never played many (or any) of the old isometric PC RPG's when I was younger. They're unfamiliar, and so, yeah, I have no nostalgia for them, but I also have no basis of comparison. There's nothing I can think "Oh, I remember how it felt playing those games, so now I can be excited for this". I think by going retro, that simultaneously adds familiarity while simultaneously drawing out memories of a past time, so a combo of familiarity and nostalgia.

GameMaker's Tookit has a great breakdown of what Shovel Knight got right, some of which comes right from a blog by WayForward on Gamasutra (in fact, I highly recommend giving it a read, as it has a lot of nifty details on how the NES worked).

I think Undertale is partially familiarity and nostalgia, as the look and sound of the game is very much Eartbound Zero/Mother 1, something that any die-hard EarthBound fan in America would have been aware of. That was enough to draw a lot of interest within an enthusiast community. However, there's something else to consider.

My niece knows about Undertale because of Let's Plays. It's also how she discovered Five Nights at Freddy's. Let's Players are perhaps the best marketing tool of indie game makers, as they're the cheapest form of advertising you can afford with the furthest reach. From there, whole communities can spring out of the games, as they did with Minecraft, or the lore-focus of Five Nights at Freddy's (and believe me, for all last year my niece wouldn't shut up about the damn lore), or what your farm looks like in Stardew.

I think these are also important factors to consider in terms of what does and does not work in the indie realm.

Virginia had promise but ultimately fell down pretty hard. That "Crescendo" on the last day (as they described it on Crate and Crowbar) felt so rushed that it ultimately rendered everything pretty meaningless.

Vibe4it wrote:

Something about the perspective of Virginia made me so nauseous I had to bail after 10 minutes. Which, given how bored I also was by the 'gameplay', means I'm not going to bother again. And I can't even pass it along to a friend. The hazards of rolling the dice on a digital game.

They had the framerate locked at 30 in the default settings and for reasons that escaped me showed a warning if you tried to switch to 60 or unlimited. I have no idea why. Higher fps does help me with some of those issues in a few games so try that maybe?

No Steam refunds?

IMAGE(https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/11062697_10153167892552079_245344232828791720_n.jpg?oh=3c24290c2c8a893b154df7ba2f559a8d&oe=5863A477)

00:02:21 Virginia
00:12:40 Extreme Forklift 2
00:16:09 Clustertruck
00:20:32 Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor
00:30:37 Destiny: Rise of Iron
00:34:48 Vanishing Realms (VR)
00:38:22 Human Fall Flat
00:43:24 Boardgame Night
00:45:48 What Is The Secret Sauce of Successful Indie Games?
01:13:44 Your Emails

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

IMAGE(https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/11062697_10153167892552079_245344232828791720_n.jpg?oh=3c24290c2c8a893b154df7ba2f559a8d&oe=5863A477)

dlog!

Felix Threepaper wrote:
TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

IMAGE(https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/11062697_10153167892552079_245344232828791720_n.jpg?oh=3c24290c2c8a893b154df7ba2f559a8d&oe=5863A477)

dlog!

Lol!

Was it my imagination, or did Amanda audibly gasp when DT mentioned that he owned Rocket League (shortly before 1:02:00)? I was so waiting for her to invite him to Bottle Rockets.

And thumbs up for Rimworld. Has it become popular? Like Alan, I don't always follow that kind of thing. I had jumped on Rimworld before it was on Steam, so maybe getting on Steam gave it a big boost.

Things to go back and change:

Make a Chrono Trigger 2, direct sequel - with the Dream Team. As the hidden ending talked about.

I had another yesterday but I can't remember it...

Tyops wrote:

Virginia had promise but ultimately fell down pretty hard. That "Crescendo" on the last day (as they described it on Crate and Crowbar) felt so rushed that it ultimately rendered everything pretty meaningless.

Vibe4it wrote:

Something about the perspective of Virginia made me so nauseous I had to bail after 10 minutes. Which, given how bored I also was by the 'gameplay', means I'm not going to bother again. And I can't even pass it along to a friend. The hazards of rolling the dice on a digital game.

They had the framerate locked at 30 in the default settings and for reasons that escaped me showed a warning if you tried to switch to 60 or unlimited. I have no idea why. Higher fps does help me with some of those issues in a few games so try that maybe?

No Steam refunds?

My name is Vibe. I'm a console user.

Hi,

I heard about the curse group on boardgame arena from the conference call and tried to find it last night with no luck. (I installed curse and searched the BGA website)

Can someone give me some tips?

Thanks!

-Fuzzmaster

No mention of Stardew Valley!?

I may or may not have added Extreme Forklift 2 to my wishlist.

Also, yeah, Stardew Valley was a huge surprise. I think that was a perfect sauce of nostalgia, great game mechanics, great dev/community, and great timing.

I actually got confused as to whether the topic was what will make an Indie Game successful or What's an Indie Game that you were surprised how successful it was. I probably zoned out during a transition (says the guy who often skips over paragraphs while I'm reading with noticing)

Fuzzmaster wrote:

Hi,

I heard about the curse group on boardgame arena from the conference call and tried to find it last night with no luck. (I installed curse and searched the BGA website)

Can someone give me some tips?

Thanks!

-Fuzzmaster

What you're looking for are the various tabletop channels in the GWJ server on Curse.

Cathadan wrote:
Fuzzmaster wrote:

Hi,

I heard about the curse group on boardgame arena from the conference call and tried to find it last night with no luck. (I installed curse and searched the BGA website)

Can someone give me some tips?

Thanks!

-Fuzzmaster

What you're looking for are the various tabletop channels in the GWJ server on Curse.

Correct! Sorry I've been missing the last few sessions, it's been a crazy month.

1) DT sounds a lot like Troy Goodfellow.

2) A small thing, but there was something really weird with Amanda's track that was driving me slightly nuts. I think she has voice activation set really aggressively, or there's really heavy gating somewhere, because when she starts speaking the first part of a word is missing. It sounds like a cellphone cutting out.

3) As to why some Indie games take off and others don't I don't think you guys hit on the role of games media. A game that gets the attention of a specialist outlet like Rock Paper Shotgun is more likely to see some measure of success. Of course the other factors like art style, nostalgia or uniqueness will attract the attention of the media, but then they become major cheerleaders.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

2) A small thing, but there was something really weird with Amanda's track that was driving me slightly nuts. I think she has voice activation set really aggressively, or there's really heavy gating somewhere, because when she starts speaking the first part of a word is missing. It sounds like a cellphone cutting out.

It was not just you. I was going to come on here and encourage the group to spend some of that sweet sweet Patreon lucre to get Amanda a 21st century microphone. But I don't have much audio knowledge....maybe there's a setting tweak that can be fixed.

Greg is a fine fit for the show. It would be great to see him invited back soon.

I'm glad that soundtracks were mentioned as being a contributor to what can make an indie game really shine. Games like Monaco, Risk of Rain, FTL, Rebel Galaxy and Bastion all leap to mind as good examples.

Previous episodes I've done don't sound like that. I'll look into it, thanks!

Edit: Like I need much of a reason to upgrade my setup. Consider it... considered! I think I'd feel icky using patreon funds on equipment. However, rest easy knowing it pays for Jonathan, who has been patiently fielding all my questions.