GWJ Conference Call Episode 572

Divinity Original Sin 2, Reign, Destiny 2, Stellaris, Your Emails and More!

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This week Cory, Sean, and Micheal Zenke catch up on your emails and 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.

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Show credits

Music credits: 

XXV - Broke for Free - http://brokeforfree.com/ - 32:38

Add And - Broke for Free - http://brokeforfree.com/ - 51:46

Comments

Please excuse the lateness, Shawn is away, it is entirely my fault.

No worries

We discussed this in the Fortnite thread.

ranalin wrote:
JeremyK wrote:
Mermaidpirate wrote:

Played a game of the Royale today just to check it off, and I can see why the PUBG people would make some noise. I'm mostly in the "it's a version of your version of a thing that already existed", but there are a lot of similarities in FOBG that could have been made different, and aren't.

I'm not into it anyway, I just don't want to shoot other people in that particular world, and it would just make me irritated losing to the people that are good at shooters all the time.

Isn't Battle Royale just another game mode? Doesn't seem much different from every multiplayer game having TDM . Regardless PUBG didn't invent the concept. Heck the mode name is even the same as the japanes novel I read in my teens. I can't even say if that was even the first form of entertainment that used that concept.

The issue with BlueHole isn't the Battle Royale format. Like you mentioned it's been around for awhile (although Player Unknown is the one who made it famous with his ARMA mods and H1Z1). The issue is that they reference PUBG repeatedly in the advertisements without their permission and in game systems are almost straight lifted from PUBG.

polq37 wrote:

I think the issue is that BlueHole was a Unreal licencee and they spent a year or two working closely with Epic to figure out the whole technical architecture of how one actually builds a viable Battle Royale style game in the Unreal engine.

Meanwhile, Epic is working on a first person MOBA and a base building PvE game. Both thud horribly on release and Epic panics, leverages the technical debt paid by Bluehole, and releases a free version of a game that competes directly with what had been one of their flagship licencees.

If I had an idea for an innovative multiplayer game, or even a good refinement of some ideas in an underserved genre, I sure as hell wouldn't work with Epic after this.

Also don't consider these as a birth of a genre. There's been dozen of these type of games made already. There's even more ready or close to launch (discounting Fortnite). PUBG is a refinement of what came before it and why it's done so well.

00:03:42 Divinity: Original Sin 2
00:16:43 Reigns
00:18:40 Destiny 2
00:25:05 Stellaris: Stynthetic Dawn
00:33:41 When Games Copy Other Games
00:51:47 Your Emails

For me part of the magic of PUBG is that it combines the two current types of multiplayer shooter. There are games like Battlefield where you are exploring a large map, having diverse adventures and anticipating your first contact with the enemy (that's my kind of game) and the arena shooter where you are running into the enemy very quickly and regular fire fights guaranteed. With PUBG you get both.

I'm hoping this is the start of more games where the 'story' aspect of a match is appreciated and those periods of delightful tension where you aren't fighting other planes but you could be at any moment.

Can't wait for PUBG to finally trickle down to the PS4 .

In the discussion between the blossoming of a new genre vs outright theft, I think the most important part to look at is what new entries bring to the party. Do the subsequent games add anything substantial to the base of the design, or do they simply mimic it in a new skin?

Going back to the beginning of the FPS, remember that games like Wolf3D and Doom were actually only 2D games with a 3D perspective. You couldn't look up or down, maps were 2.5d with some height modifiers (no bridges or anything) and enemies were flat sprites that "turned" using the same tech that made Mario jump. Everything that kept to that level were ripoffs and "doomlikes".

It wasn't until games like Marathon added mouselook, and Quake added 3D models, and Unreal brought lighting effects, and System Shock brought mood and story, and Duke3D brought jetpacks that the genre evolved.

I'm not against Epic taking the "PUBG" design and doing something interesting with it. If it's essentially a rewrite in their own engine, though, it's bad and they should feel bad.

I was chosen for thread of the week! Achievement unlocked!

jdzappa wrote:

I was chosen for thread of the week! Achievement unlocked!

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/nV7E8wn.png)

Michael Zenke's explanation of why PUBG is fun, especially how it turns the action into a cinematic narrative, was a big "ah-ha" moment for me.

Probably because I also recently listened to the first segment of this podcast: http://www.kenandrobintalkaboutstuff...

Death spirals (or more positively, escalation mechanics) are great. They've been an element of tabletop RPGs since Call of Cthulhu, and they've grown even more popular with the narrative design trend that's spread out from the indie RPG scene. They push your actions toward an emotionally satisfying narrative arc (or slope?).

So it's interesting that this seems so new in electronic games. Are there other genres, or even other FPS game modes, that could be improved by the addition of an escalation mechanic? What else could electronic games borrow from tabletop?

P.S. I haven't played PUBG so I'm just running with what I've heard.

I've been looking at Stellaris (now I have a machine that can run such things.) I've been listening to episodes of three moves ahead, including the one on Stellaris, and my impression is, as you say, the game is more tuned to people who are new to these types of games rather than seasoned players. The later, due to their familiarity with such games and carefully honed administrative skills, ending up with vast tracts of space to micromanage while, presumably, deftly avoid the problems and conflicts that would undoubtedly spice up any play through of mine.

It also sounds like the DLC packs are filling out the game nicely.

I've been teetering on the edge of buying it but I think I'll take the plunge (next time there is a sale. At the moment Napoleon and I are trying to take over Europe and I've got this young upstarted called 'Attila' pestering me about giving him a hand. ) I have an aversion to buying games that I could have realistically predicted weren't my thing but sometimes it's worth chancing disappointment when the upside might be the discovery of a new game genre that you, against the odds, enjoy.

Here's my response to Bluehole:

"Sorry, I can't hear you over the whirling maelstrom of your own hypocrisy".

Seriously, they're getting pissed at someone else building on their idea? Take a good, hard look in the mirror, pal. Your entire game, from the ground up, is derivative as hell. It's barely a Japanese school uniform skin away from copyright infringement of Takami-san's novel, for crying out loud.

Take the last 20 years of videogames away, and Pubg wouldn't exist in any way, shape or form. I mean, dude got his start as a modder, which is, be definition, leveraging other people's work.

Jonman wrote:

Here's my response to Bluehole:

"Sorry, I can't hear you over the whirling maelstrom of your own hypocrisy".

Seriously, they're getting pissed at someone else building on their idea? Take a good, hard look in the mirror, pal. Your entire game, from the ground up, is derivative as hell. It's barely a Japanese school uniform skin away from copyright infringement of Takami-san's novel, for crying out loud.

Take the last 20 years of videogames away, and Pubg wouldn't exist in any way, shape or form. I mean, dude got his start as a modder, which is, be definition, leveraging other people's work.

Did you not read the posts above? What you're getting pissy over isn't the argument or their stand.

I think every episode needs to start with a "What are we drinking?" segment. Feels like a nice warm-up.

Higgledy wrote:

I've been looking at Stellaris (now I have a machine that can run such things.) I've been listening to episodes of three moves ahead, including the one on Stellaris, and my impression is, as you say, the game is more tuned to people who are new to these types of games rather than seasoned players. The later, due to their familiarity with such games and carefully honed administrative skills, ending up with vast tracts of space to micromanage while, presumably, deftly avoid the problems and conflicts that would undoubtedly spice up any play through of mine.

In my plays of Stellaris I find less time spent micromanaging than I do just speeding up the clock so I can rebuild my fleet for whatever the next military move is to further the empire. I wholly agree with Sean that the early game for Stellaris is fantastic--there is a great juggle between resources, exploration, military, and the early diplomatic tensions to have at least 0.5 Sands (TM) of enjoyment. Just prepare for some Cold War style diplomacy as the galaxy starts merging and army size grows.

Mixolyde wrote:

I think every episode needs to start with a "What are we drinking?" segment. Feels like a nice warm-up.

As a listener from Wisconsin who is always drinking either coffee or something alcoholic for my podcast, I support this segment.

For the record, I believe it was determined that the equivalent Hours to Sands ratios were as follows:

1 Metric Sands = 2000 Hours (A Literal Ton of Hours)
0.1 Sands = 200 Hours = 1 Decisands
0.01 Sands = 20 Hours = 1 Centisands
0.001 Sands = 2 Hours = 1 Millisands

Also, like Hertz, Sands is both the singular and plural nomenclature (eg, "I've played One Decisands of Destiny")

Feels like a solid entry for the Urban Dictionary or something.

Mixolyde wrote:

I think every episode needs to start with a "What are we drinking?" segment. Feels like a nice warm-up.

Please no. A discussion of what people are eating while recording audio should be the literal definition of "bad radio".

Jonman wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:

I think every episode needs to start with a "What are we drinking?" segment. Feels like a nice warm-up.

Please no. A discussion of what people are eating while recording audio should be the literal definition of "bad radio".

I take it you've never listened to The Dinner Party Download?

The first FPS I played was Chex Quest.

Stellaris' problem (to me) is that it really wants to turn from space 4x (which is pretty great) into EU4 in the mid-game and it just doesn't quite get there. The crises are meant to mitigate that at some point and they can be fantastic. But, since they are somewhat random, they can also be boring, depending on how the galaxy has shaken out.

I like Stellaris quite a bit and it has gotten better and better but it still has a ways to go. Which is fine, that's kind of what I signed up for when I got it.