GWJ Conference Call Episode 685

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Superliminal, Steam Remote Play, Ultimate Chicken Horse, Character Creators, Your Emails, and More!

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Cory, Amanda, Julian, and special guest Karla Andrich talk about Character Creators.

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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00:01:07 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
00:13:33 Superliminal
00:22:20 Untitled Goose Game
00:24:26 Steam Remote Play
00:30:13 Ultimate Chicken Horse
00:32:43 Character Creators
00:52:13 Your Emails

Wow Cory. Tell is how you REALLY feel!

Great podcast episode, such a delight to listen to. So amazing to have Karla back, she tackles the issues we all want or need to hear, and I really appreciated that she was willing to bring those up (this is specifically about the character creation discussion).

"Walls are bullsh*t" would be an interesting way to go through real life.

Hi there!

I wanted to offer a suggestion - I hope very much this doesn't come across as "complainy" but is actually constructive:

When you discuss a new game or product, could you give a 20 second overview on what it is you are talking about before you get into the details? I know you try to do this, but sometimes I think you forget?

Example from this podcast:
- Steam Remote Play: Until Cory chimed in and clarified what Remote Play actually is, it was quite difficult to understand exactly what wasn't working in Amanda's experience.

Examples from previous podcasts:
- Sometimes you will state the name of a game and immediately start talking about some detail like the control scheme. It's hard to follow along if you have never heard about the game before so a quick introduction to what the game is about and what you actually do in the game would be super useful.

Anyone else think when Karla was talking about purging old stuff, "Aw, poor Shawn"?

lunchbox12682 wrote:

Anyone else think when Karla was talking about purging old stuff, "Aw, poor Shawn"?

Not really, no.
Regardless of relationships, we **do** seem to amass an incredible amount of stuff.

lunchbox12682 wrote:

Anyone else think when Karla was talking about purging old stuff, "Aw, poor Shawn"?

Don't worry about Shawn's stuff, I believe she was talking about stuff from her old business. Also Shawn totally let me borrow some of his stuff

I even offered to play all his games for him while he's away so they won't go neglected!

Me: Character creators are overrated.

Also me: I sure played a lot of The Sims 4 this year.

Also also me: I'm still looking for the right shade of red for my character's shirt in Astral Chain.

Really loved Karlas ideas and input. Its the first time I listened to an episode with her.

It is great to have someone openly discuss issues of social equity and representation (which you all do, from time to time, but not that in depth).

Also now I want to play an RPG where anti-ableism is the whole point. What a great idea that is.

So yeah, thanks!

I totally feel your pain on the "explain stuff" front, and I keep trying to get better at this. I think we should be making it just SOP to say "League of Legends: the dominant DOTA-dervied MOBA for PCs that really defined the space for a lot of people." or stuff like that. Obviously more important with less mainstream games, but you get the idea.

Or rather, I get the idea. Noted.

Marzipan wrote:

Good, constructive criticism.

Thank you! I appreciate the care in your message. It's good to recognize and head off slipping into casual mode mid-conversation.

At the risk of chiming in late (anybody else get a massive backlog of podcasts when they get snowed in and don't commute?) I've been considering a counterpoint to Cory's take on the email regarding game performance and port quality factoring into "game of the year" type discussions. In that I think his take misses an important mark.

Cory is right about games being cultural products. But they are also technological ones as well. Games as an artistic medium is a place where technology and culture merge, I'd argue more than any other. Games are experienced as software, and created by collaboration between artists and engineers. Both sides have to put in the work. If a game is an artistic work of brilliance, yet comes riddled with platform-specific technical problems, players' experiences will be incomplete. The art will have a different meaning.

Yes, as Amanda said, making games is really hard, and porting games to multiple platforms is hard. But some developers are doing it better than others, and deserve to be lauded for that. And those that miss the mark should get called out.

To some extent, this is already happening, because technical issues tend to be pervasive and impact journalists as much as everyday players. Fallout: New Vegas, for example, often comes up in "Best RPGs of All Time" lists, but tends to come with a conditional along the lines of "this was an incredible game _if_ you could get it to work." As another example, Deus Ex: Invisible War had the same brilliant storytelling and character development that made the original one of the greatest games of all time, but when it launched on PC it did not even support mouse use in menus. It was widely panned for its dire case of "consolitis." Fast forward several years, and when SquareEnix was rebooting the franchise for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, they contracted a third party just to get the PC UI right. They absolutely nailed it. Not coincidentally, critical reception of the game was _not_ conditional upon platform of choice.

I don't feel like this is a case of entitlement. It actually gives me a great swell of hope and pride, as an engineer with no artistic capabilities to speak of, to think that I could contribute something valuable to this medium if given the chance, because there is just so much hard technical work to be done. The corner cases bugs are endless; we vow to end them all.