It’s April 1st, and tradition holds that I should deck the site out in silly images or somesuch. I didn’t have time for that this week, so a header image with nonsensical round dice will have to do. Also, let this serve as a friendly reminder to read the internet carefully today.
PAX East happened this past weekend. If I’d been doing my job, then I would have watched the show on Twitch and reported back with the highlights. Instead I watched the Gearbox show where they showed off Borderlands 3, and then ignored everything else.
I’ve wanted to go to PAX for the last couple of years, but I didn’t want to drive 600 miles (each way) in a car that was clearly in its twilight years. (And flying is just too dang expensive.) We have a reliable car now, and my new gig at the Escapist means I might be able to finagle a couple of press passes. So PAX East 2020 is a real possibility.
If any of you attended the show this year, please tell me your impressions. I don’t care if your story is, “I fell asleep in the car for 8 hours instead of entering the convention center.” I’d just like to hear some first-hand accounts from people who aren’t journalists.
Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.
00:00 Borderlands 3
Here is the article I mentioned where I discussed why I was worried about the state of Borderlands 3. I think the show assuaged most of my concerns, although I’m still expecting the story / comedy to be a mess. Games writing is hard, comedy is harder, and the key talent that gave Borderlands 2 its personality is long gone. I’ll admit it’s possible for a new writer to nail it, the deck is stacked against them.
14:49 Risk of Rain 2
25:25 Playing Prison Architect “Wrong”
33:41 Mailbag: Reviewer Skill
Should game critics be good at the games they review? I ask this not as an attempt to gate keep but because I am in two minds about it. This seemed relevant to me with the recent release of games like Kingdom Hearts 3, DMC5 and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
On one hand the obvious answer would be yes because they have to be good in order to sufficiently review said game. On the other hand the vast majority of audiences would also probably not be good at the game and thus the review would be closer to their experience if it was reviewed by someone who was also not good at the game.
49:03 Mailbag: Apple Arcade
Apple just announced a cross platform game subscription service. Major selling points appear to be cross platform, lots of exclusives, no in-app purchases, and offline play. If I understood the announcement correctly, they functionally just became one of the worlds largest game publishers. What do you think of this? If Apple waved money at you, would you make a game exclusively for their service?
57:43 Mailbag: LOTR – Gollum
So, Daedalic Entertainment just announced “The Lord of the Rings – Gollum”, a narrative adventure set in Middle Earth and starring everyone’s favorite corrupted hobbit. It will be based on the books rather than the films.
I don’t know if you’ve ever played a Daedalic game (such as “Deponia”), but they’re graphic adventures (more on the line of Lucasarts games than of Telltale’s), with no combat and focused on puzzles and story.
As someone who complained about the Shadow of Mordor/War games for being too focused on violence, is this the kind of game you’d like to see based on Tolkien’s universe? Or would you prefer to see other genres?
1:01:02 Mailbag: Patreon Changes
Hello diecast team
A soon-to-be creator informed me that Patreon will change a few things. He said:
“Patreon have just announced that they are making changes soon, which will change the way creators are charged to use the platform. However, when the changes are rolled out, creators with current Patreon accounts will not be affected.”
The last change led Shamus and Rutskarn write a rant about it. Are the new changes any better? Do they really don’t affect you as long-time creators?
I really do appreciate everyone who supports my Patreon.
The Plot-Driven Door
You know how videogames sometimes do that thing where it's preposterously hard to go through a simple door? This one is really bad.
Grand Theft Railroad
Grand Theft Auto is a lousy, cheating jerk of a game.
PC Gaming Golden Age
It's not a legend. It was real. There was a time before DLC. Before DRM. Before crappy ports. It was glorious.
The Gradient of Plot Holes
Most stories have plot holes. The failure isn't that they exist, it's when you notice them while immersed in the story.
The Best of 2014
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2014.