GWJ Conference Call Episode 544

GWJ presence at Pax East, Zelda: Breath of The Wild, Nintendo Switch, Stardew Valley, Path of Exile, Black Wake, Worldbuilding, Your Emails and More!

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This week Elysium, Amanda, Julian, and Allen unofficially report on Pax East and talk about what makes worldbuilding work.

To contact us, email [email protected]withjobs.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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00:03:05 Stardew Valley
00:07:00 Pax East
00:09:28 Nintendo Switch
00:13:50 Zelda: Breath of The Wild
00:18:30 Night in the Woods
00:25:30 Black Wake
00:32:04 Worldbuilding
00:48:00 Your Emails

A big, giant THANK YOU to The Game King for the shout-out!

The download link points to last week's episode, FYI.

Math wrote:

The download link points to last week's episode, FYI.

Fixed, apologies. Shawn is away and I took on posting duties for a couple of weeks. Look for upcoming exciting mistakes in the March 22 show post!

If I played a very old game in my youth I can enjoy it today, but if I didn't I have a very difficult time enjoying it

I'm playing Zelda on the Wiiu and I was enjoying it until I reached the Kokoriko village, and the framerate drops like in half. It's a shame these games have to live in these powerless machines, instead of playing it on a PC or a better console.
Don't know if the Switch have the same issue.

Also you forgot to add the link for the Take This KS.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...

kabutor wrote:

I'm playing Zelda on the Wiiu and I was enjoying it until I reached the Kokoriko village, and the framerate drops like in half. It's a shame these games have to live in these powerless machines, instead of playing it on a PC or a better console.
Don't know if the Switch have the same issue.

Also you forgot to add the link for the Take This KS.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...

I haven't had any problems with it on the switch.

kabutor wrote:

Also you forgot to add the link for the Take This KS.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...

Thank you for the reminder!

Black Wake sounds like so much fun. I think I'm going to check it out. Thanks Amoebic for the enthusiastic recommendation.

Black Wake sounds a lot like Guns of Icarus with fewer blimps.

I would suggest Guild Wars 2 as an MMO that has an above-average story.

A game where time passes and I can miss events sounds horrifying! It would cause me stress thinking about what I was missing when not playing the game... I get enough of that kind of stress with real life!!

Here is my strategy for managing my backlog: never pay full price for a game, and try to wait until it is at least half-price. Most games have such a long tail now that you don't really run the risk of not having anyone to play with (if there is even a multiplayer component), plus you know you're not likely to run into unpatched bugs by that point. That means waiting a while for the Tier A (really gotta play 'em) games, which leaves plenty of room for the other games (Tier B - kinda wanna play 'em). If a Tier B game sits on your list for more than a year, you probably don't really want to play it that much - otherwise you would have prioritized it higher by then...

I think a key aspect of effective world-building is tying the doling out of information and lore to story and character. It is easy (and flat) to just put a bunch of history books around or hit the player with lore dumps that are purely lore dumps and nothing else.

One of the things I love about Horizon: Zero Dawn is that though it contains some sequences that can be described as lore dumps, those scenes are always a lot more than pure exposition. The opening movie is the most obvious example, it isn't just a scene where Rost monologues at a baby - there's action happening. There's a journey with an initially ambiguous purpose. We're getting cues about character and relationship - not just lore and history.

Additionally, even as it outlines the basics of the world, it stays rooted in mystery. You know this child is an orphan but not why. You learn quickly Rost is an outcast, but not the reason. As it gives you information it also introduces questions you might want answered. And this pattern continues throughout. We get more information, but with each new piece of the puzzle we are presented with more questions and ambiguity, which drives our desire to learn more about the world.

dewalist wrote:

A game where time passes and I can miss events sounds horrifying! It would cause me stress thinking about what I was missing when not playing the game... I get enough of that kind of stress with real life!!

I almost didn't buy State of Decay because it simulates resources getting used up between play sessions. Then I eventually did get it, only to be put off instead by the gruesome detail of the death scenes.

Quite a few years before that, there was a game that I lost while I wasn't playing it. I can't remember the name, but it was a Sims knockoff set on a tropical island, and time passing whether you played or not was its big gimmick. I tried the demo, and the second time I sat down to play it, found that everybody had starved to death!

Can we get a link to the thread of the week here too?

Wouldn't the downside to playing a console game anywhere is blowing through said console game a lot faster?

jrralls wrote:
kabutor wrote:

I'm playing Zelda on the Wiiu and I was enjoying it until I reached the Kokoriko village, and the framerate drops like in half. It's a shame these games have to live in these powerless machines, instead of playing it on a PC or a better console.
Don't know if the Switch have the same issue.

Also you forgot to add the link for the Take This KS.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...

I haven't had any problems with it on the switch.

TBH, I've not had many problems on WiiU, either. Kokoriko seems fine for me. Very occasionally in the heat of battle or a lot of explosions I'll get a very quick drop to single digit frames (especially when using the WiiU pad's screen) but in general it's been pretty good. That said, I don't particularly care whether a thing runs in 30 or 60 frames or whatever in general anyway.

Rat Boy wrote:

Wouldn't the downside to playing a console game anywhere is blowing through said console game a lot faster?

Depends upon your life situation really. Plenty of gamers have time but no money, and plenty have money but no time.

For me personally, finding time to game is the biggest issue so the Switch and BOTE is a dream system/game because I can play it for five minutes here or five minutes there and feel like im making progress on the game.

Pyroman's Five Nights at Freddy's example in the world-building chat really rang true to me.

My daughter has never played a game but, through some of her favourite Youtubers, has somehow absorbed the complicated backstory for Springtrap, Chica and the rest. She was reciting it to me and I was like, "Are you making this up?"

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

Can we get a link to the thread of the week here too?

Worlds You'd Like to See in Modern Games

Great episode a couple things, the music could be toned down about 50% and so many "uhh's" and "umms" were said, don't want to single anyone out but maybe put together the words a bit better in the future.

Starman3482 wrote:

Great episode a couple things, the music could be toned down about 50% and so many "uhh's" and "umms" were said, don't want to single anyone out but maybe put together the words a bit better in the future.

Then, goodness gracious, don't ever listen to any of the shows that I've been on! You could buy me some parachute pants, because I'm M.C. Stammer!

doubtingthomas396 wrote:
Starman3482 wrote:

Great episode a couple things, the music could be toned down about 50% and so many "uhh's" and "umms" were said, don't want to single anyone out but maybe put together the words a bit better in the future.

Then, goodness gracious, don't ever listen to any of the shows that I've been on! You could buy me some parachute pants, because I'm M.C. Stammer!

I'm, uhh, not going to, umm, touch that one.

Hrdina wrote:

I'm, uhh, not going to, umm, touch that one.

(loud music drowning out whatever I might be trying to say)

For me the world building in the Guild Wars games is excellent. Both have a strong sense of place that is highlighted by the time jumps.

In the original there is an event called the Searing after the newbie area which is basically a fiery apocalypse. After the Searing you revisit areas you've been to before and it's powerfully melancholy.

In GW2 I started as a Charr, the enemy race from the originals, and it was quite astonishing to realise the great wall I was exploring and climbing was the very same wall in the same location from the first game. There are many locations and ruins you visit that you've seen before 250 years in the past of the game. And there are central characters you encounter as ghosts who were your allies previously.

Even beyond the carry over between the games the zones are very strongly identified and feel logical and natural. The starting cities are reflections of the species who created them and they feel like real places.

The game structure also makes you pay attention to the zones. You get rewarded for map completion, so going around and doing every quest and exploring every nook and cranny means that you really come to grips with the subtleties of the world ArenaNet has built for you.

Starman3482 wrote:

Great episode. A couple things: the music could be toned down about 50%, and so many "uhh's" and "umms" were said. I don't want to single anyone out, but maybe put together the words a bit better in the future.

Hello, roger that on the feedback! Thanks for listening.

Thanks for the well wishes for my surgery in the podcast, it meant a lot to me.
No complications with the surgery and recovery is going well!

2 for 1!

kabutor wrote:

I'm playing Zelda on the Wiiu and I was enjoying it until I reached the Kokoriko village, and the framerate drops like in half. It's a shame these games have to live in these powerless machines, instead of playing it on a PC or a better console.
Don't know if the Switch have the same issue.

Starman3482 wrote:

Great episode a couple things, the music could be toned down about 50% and so many "uhh's" and "umms" were said, don't want to single anyone out but maybe put together the words a bit better in the future.

IMAGE(http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/5e/5e5d0b6b67d19af42e15e026a8eaa95dc82d4c0880638b61995c3cf9d0d114bc.jpg)

Dewalist and MrDeVil have already mentioned the Guild Wars games, and I'd like to chime in as well, particularly regarding GW2. I've spent over a thousand hours in that MMO, that world is rich. It does suffer from a bit of permanence which is inevitable with a MMO, but stuff happens: outposts get attacked, travelers go through asura gates to visit distant lands, worker hammer away on scaffolding.
Granted, I'm totally biased, because it's my favorite MMO of all time, but it's my favorite specifically because of it's wonderful worldbuilding (heck, I even read those GW2 inspired novels).

Totally dissolved into giggles when Sean asked Allen how he was liking Zelda on the Switch. Keep doing what you're doing, folks.