Twenty Sided @ PAX Part 2

By Shamus
on Sep 9, 2010
Filed under:
Video Games

Here is the second half of our conversation about what Josh & Mumbles saw at PAX.

Hello, person from the future. This space used to have an embed from the video hosting site Viddler. The video is gone now. If you want to find out why and laugh at Viddler in the process, you can read the entire silly story for yourself.

At any rate, the video is gone. Sorry. On the upside, we're gradually re-posting these old videos to YouTube. Check the Spoiler Warning page to see the full index.

I managed to forget to turn off my push-to-talk sound, which means there are faint beeps in the background. And the segment ran way long. And I sidetracked us in a few spots. Which, as the host, is the opposite of my job. Ah well. If we did these more often, I’d get good at them.

Spoiler Warning should return next week.

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20201Feeling chatty? There are 41 comments.

From the Archives:

  1. Gale says:

    Goddammit. I guess I know what I’m doing today, then.

    • KremlinLaptop says:

      Plus all those Spoiler Warning episodes, game dialogue and all…

      Yeah, I’ve done some transcribing. How and why you’re doing this out of the kindness of your heart is beyond my understanding, kudos though.

      • Gale says:

        If you’ve done some transcribing before, then you know why I hate Viddler so much right now. Really annoying for this kind of thing. That two-second gap between clicking “pause” or “play” and it actually doing what you’re telling it to? Starts to grate on your nerves, after a while.

        If I end to do anything like this again, I’m going to ask if I can just be sent the damn audio file, instead of messing around waiting for Viddler to buffer after I accidentally close the tab for the second time…

    • Teldurn says:

      You know you have no real obligation to transcribe this, right?

      But thank you anyway, out of (what we assume is) the sheer kindness of your heart (unless Shamus, Josh, and Mumbles have cut you in on some sort of backend deal if you transcribe stuff for them). >_>

  2. Kevin J. says:

    I was just about to post that I hoped you would step up again, Gale (can’t get the vid and would rather read it anyway)- thank you so much!

  3. Simon says:

    Ahh. I am so hyped for Portal 2 now.

    Also this has got me more interested in Tera, seeing as I am basically like Mumbles when it comes to MMO’s, not really being interested in them, prefering more action based gameplay.

    P.S What was that game you played over the Dragon Age preview?

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Bees.My god.
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_otnpTYg-M04/SO9qKYRdmcI/AAAAAAAAAOM/Em72916uV94/s320/beeweapon.jpg

    And I know what valves three major announcements were:
    1)We wont be releasing episode 3 this year.
    2)We dont know when we will release it.
    3)When we decide on the date to release it,we will tell you right away.

    So I have two games to look forward to now:Portal and tera.Could this really be the first mmo to drag me in?I both hope and dread that.

  5. Pickly says:

    Valve MMO:

    I actually had a vague idea of how this might work after reading the “Team fortress 2 is a stealth padory” section is this article:

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WMG/TeamFortress2

    and the Left 4 Dead section of this one:

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fridge/VideoGames

    (of course, the guesses might actually be way off the mark, but coming up with ideas is still fun. :) )

    I could imagine a similar sort of idea with a generic fantasy MMO, using different sorts of character classes to represent different sorts of players.

    Bards, or bard like classes, would represent the more social players, and have lots of skills, or at least voice responses/dialogue, involving lots of group events, random talking, etc.

    Hunters/Rangers/etc. would do the same for the map explorer types.

    Some sort of hybrid class to represent the “try out all characters” type of people.

    Warriors for the “Rush in and attack” players

    Stealth characters for the gankers/griefer/PvP types.

    Some sort of enchanter character to represent the players who have ot get all the achievements (or, at least, whichever type of class seems to represent the obsessive, perfectionist type of people who enjoys this wort of thing.)

    The setting would probably be some generic “Giant monster of doom and minions threaten the world” storyline. Standard (currently) MMO mechanics would be used, with each class boiled down into 10-15 representative skills, than carefully balanced.

  6. Internet Kraken says:

    I guess in Tera there’s an inverse relationship between how much clothes female characters are wearing and how powerful they are. Tera doesn’t actually look bad, but I can’t really be interested in it since my current MMO interests belong to Guild Wars 2, and I find it impossible to be interested in 2 MMO games at once (mainly because of the amount of time you have to invest into them). However, it does look pretty good. I like the design for a lot of the monsters and characters, excluding the aforementioned stripper armor.

    But am I the only one who thinks the idea behind Epic Mickey is dumb? I just think taking these light-hearted characters and throwing them into some dark, gritty game is silly. I just don’t see the appeal.

  7. Jep jep says:

    I had grown on the thought that Old Republic would be the next new MMO I’d play, but looks like I might have to reconsider. I’m not sure if it was just Mumbles hyping about it, but Tera sure sounds like something I’d want to play, and it’s an MMO no less. Guess I’ll be keeping my eye on it for the future.

    Portal 2 and New Vegas were the ones here I was actually curious though. Wasn’t really that much new, but the multiplayer description for Portal 2 was kinda interesting to say the least. Speaking of Valve Time: http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Valve_Time

    Josh’s New Vegas experience was hilarious. Here’s hoping the game will deliver on the writing too.

  8. X2-Eliah says:

    It’s really odd to hear the good stuff about Tera and see the, well, awful videos that have a magnification/distortion focus on certain parts.

    Also, thanks for the DA2 info.

  9. SatansBestBuddy says:

    Watched up until you brought up Portal 2, then paused cause I’m on a media blackout for Portal 2 and until I get it in my hands I’m not reading or listening to anything about it.

    Now… how far ahead do I skip so only miss that part of the show?

  10. Irridium says:

    About Valve’s 3 surprises. They didn’t say they would announces them at PAX, but “in the near future” which could mean anything if you bring Valve Time into the mix.

  11. FatPope says:

    Sex and fire, now there’s a new genre in the making!

  12. eri says:

    I really enjoyed Dragon Age’s combat. It’s a bit wonky in some ways, but honestly, once you know how to build characters the right way, even nightmare difficulty is mostly a breeze except for a few difficult boss fights (and taking the idea route from a story perspective means going through the hardest parts at lower levels). I do definitely think that the story was lacklustre (but great lore and characters), and there is a bit too much in the way of dungeon crawling, but I much prefer it to the “shoot first, think later” approach that has come to embody Mass Effect.

    That’s why I’m so afraid of Dragon Age 2. I know graphics were an issue on consoles, but the PC version, aside from being a little brown, looked just fine, and was actually quite beautiful at times. Certainly not up to the best standards of the industry, but the visuals were functional and distinctive, and that’s enough for me. The combat was not an issue because I went in knowing what to expect – tactically deep pause-and-play combat with a decidedly old-school flair. Outside of marketing, it was never really presented as an action game, and I never, ever got the sense that it tried to be half-action, half-turn-based. It’s much more like a faster-paced Neverwinter Nights, I think. The story was flimsy, not because of the universe or the characters, but because they chose to focus on a boring “evil monsters invade the world” arc that was both unoriginal and uneventful. More twists and turns would have solved that issue, or a more interesting villain, not a “story within a story” reworking.

    In any case, I’m concerned about Dragon Age 2 because it sounds like they are solving “problems” which didn’t really exist in Dragon Age, or at least not in any significant capacity. It was meant to be a quality throwback CRPG with some new interface updates to make it easier to play, high difficulty and deep combat included, and now they have decided to take the Mass Effect 2 route of “more action, more style”. I don’t play RPGs to “feel like a badass”, BioWare. If you want to make action games, fine, go ahead, do it, you guys started out with a mech game after all. But don’t lie to your fans about what your games are. Every single interview, forum post etc. I have read from BioWare has been full of half-answers and weasel words, no hard answers, which sets off warning bells in my head that they their goal is to make an action game and sell it as an RPG.

    I don’t even buy the argument that you have to appeal to a mainstream audience in order to be successful, either. Games are expensive and you have to appeal to larger audiences? Boo fucking hoo, then manage your budgets better and work within limitations. A “niche” CRPG could easily sell a million or two copies if word about it got around and it really catered to fans of the genre instead of action players, and it would be profitable if you simply dispensed with bloated development costs, massive marketing campaigns, bling-mapping and celebrity voice-actors. I would be the first to buy a copy if I knew I would be getting high-quality CRPG gameplay and not this bullshit “we’ll meet you halfway” fluff that has plagued the industry for the last ten years.

    Of course, I like Mass Effect and I like Knights of the Old Republic, and Jade Empire, and even Oblivion and Fallout 3 (when heavily modded, and when not talking to NPCs), and I am thankful they were made, but developers and publishers need to stop pretending they are making real RPGs when people like CD Projekt and Obsidian are doing a much more faithful job. I was hoping Dragon Age would be a return to form for CRPGs, and it was to some degree, but each time I hear something about Dragon Age 2 I feel more like it was the death knell, and will slowly become the oddball investor repellent that turn-based strategy games are today.

    • Tiberius Gracchus says:

      Right on the money, good sir. Thank you.

    • Shamus says:

      Something I noticed:

      They began Mass Effect as a roleplaying space opera. Then in part 2 they turned it into a cover shooter about a space marine.

      They began Dragon Age as a quasi-strategy roleplaying game, and now rumors point to it being more action-y. You can’t judge DA2 just yet, but it could be this is part of an overall strategy.

      • Taellosse says:

        A strategy of what? Roping in RPG enthusiasts for a series and then betraying them by making all the sequels into games they aren’t as interested in? I don’t understand how that could be a method of achieving anything worthwhile.

        The thing I’m worried about is that the transformation of ME2, and the possible changes to DA2, are indicative of the dreaded EA factor. ME2 was a good game. It wasn’t as good as its predecessor, but it was still pretty good (borderline nonsensical and sparse main storyline notwithstanding). If DA2 follows the same trend (I LOVED DA:O. Awakening was okay, though not amazing), that is a worrying thing. EA has a really bad track record when it comes to buying up good development houses and then sucking all the life out of them. I’d be really sad if, despite their protestations to the contrary, they’re doing that to Bioware as well, who have failed to make a game I disliked since Baldur’s Gate.

        That said, DA2 is months away. I intend to withhold final judgment until I have it in my grubby little hands. I don’t necessarily mind a stronger action component to combat, or even the inability to play a non-human (much) if the story is strong.

        • Shamus says:

          “A strategy of what? Roping in RPG enthusiasts for a series and then betraying them by making all the sequels into games they aren’t as interested in?”

          Pretty much.

          Maybe they are (incorrectly) thinking we won’t mind? I dunno.

      • X2-Eliah says:

        Perhaps, but look at it from their perspective: They make the space opera, and get a forum full of complaints about how exploration sucks and there isn’t enough action and shooting isn’t like in a shooter.

        They release an RPG and get reviews and complaints about how it is graphically dated and slow and not ‘awesome’ enough.

        And they know that going that route will give them more revenue. Why shouldn’t they do that?

    • Irridium says:

      Thats what I’ve been saying, only not as well.

      DA:O Sold very well. On all platforms. The only real complaints were that the console controls, while nice, needed a bit of work. And the console graphics weren’t too hot. And class imbalance. But thats about it. Well there was also the “non-voiced PC”, but honestly that didn’t bother me at all. Better to imagine my own voice instead of potential bad voice acting.

      Thats about it, but it seems they’re, like you said, solving problems that aren’t really there. Its just a different way of doing things, and thats not a problem that needs fixing, we need more different ways of doing things. This stops games from all feeling “samey”.

      • Internet Kraken says:

        I think there are advantages to having a nonvoiced player character, so I don’t think they should be viewed as a bad thing in RPGs like Dragon Age. Plus there aren’t any of those pointless debates about the male or female voice actor being better.

  13. PurePareidolia says:

    The three surprises weren’t for Pax – they’d be revealed int he next 12 months.
    I’m calling:
    1) Episode 3 (a Safe bet by now I think)
    2) Defense of the Ancients (Well they copyrighted DoTA, so what else will it be?)
    3) Something else. I have no idea what. Maybe biometrics related?

  14. Taellosse says:

    I only just now had a chance to actually watch this.

    I feel compelled to point out in response to all the “cleavage” comments placed in the video (I can’t be bothered to make an account at Viddler, or Vimeo, or whatever), that technically, none of those were actually cleavage shots. Half-naked boobies, absolutely. But in order to have cleavage, you’ve got to have the breasts pressed together, and all the outfits those ladies are sporting don’t do that. Frankly, there’s not enough material to pull breasts together into cleavage in a lot of cases. ;-)

    Also, responding to FatTony, who said he thought an Asian developer’s idea of westernization is to have blondes with huge chests running around everywhere: I gather you haven’t watched a lot of anime? That’s the kind of thing they make for domestic consumption. Okay, not just blondes–they’re also fond of green, blue, purple, and pink hair. I think it would be more accurate to say that women with huge chests is just the game industry’s–regardless of nationality–idea of what sells.

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