By Shamus Posted Monday Sep 6, 2010

Filed under: Nerd Culture 31 comments

Huge thanks goes to reader Gale, who typed out the transcript of our entire 40+ minute PAX interview. If you can’t watch the video, then here is what you missed:

S: Hey everybody, I’m Shamus. I’m here with Josh and Mumbles who are actually at PAX, and I’m going to be asking them about the cool stuff they’ve seen. Say hi, guys.

J: Hey guys, what’s up.

M: Hi.

S: Alright, now this is exciting. I’ve always wanted to go to PAX, but I’ve never been able to. Maybe I’ll go to PAX East.

J: You’ve been talking about going to PAX East.

S: I know.

M: I haven’t been before, either. I’ve been to other conventions, but never to PAX.

S: How does it actually stack up?

M: I’ve been to Comicon, and PAX is a lot more friendly than that. It feels more like a community, than a kind of showcase. I think that’s one of the best things about PAX, and it reminds me of how Comicon felt before it got super commercial, and had a bunch of people from TV shows going on it that had nothing to do with comic books.

J: Before Comicon became Geek-con.

M: Right.

S: Ok, let’s talk about the games you guys have seen. You’ve seen some Star Wars stuff, The Old Republic and Force Unleashed?

J: Yes, as I mentioned in my Day 1 post, they have a dual booth over in the corner, at the far end of the convention centre.

S: But that’s odd, because it’s a few different companies.

J: Yeah, I guess it was just Lucasarts, because Bioware has a bunch of other stuff on the other side of the floor. So I guess it was just Lucasarts saying “Hey, we want you to have The Old Republic with the rest of the Star Wars stuff”.

S: So how was The Old Republic?

J: Uh… Yeah, The Old Republic… Was not so good.

S: That’s not the answer I was looking for!

J: Oh, right, “it was awesome”, yeah. No, to be honest, it was not awesome. The impression I got from that demo was that they were showing it well before they had planned to, or were really ready to. Apparently, it was also at Gamescom, and I hadn’t even heard about that until read about it yesterday. There’s been like, no media coverage of it, at all, which is strange. But the gameplay itself… It’s OK. I mean, they have the lower levels, but the lower levels of an MMO is never a good place to get a good idea of what the actual game is all about, because you have no skills, and everything is really easy. But the real problem that I saw with the demo, was that… Well, I played through it, and for good portions of what I played, I had, like, absurd framerate drops. At one point, it froze up for two seconds. And this is a fifteen minute demo of the starter planet.

S: And on an Alienware Machine?

J: Yeah. And it was not smooth at all, so…

S: Well, could you excuse that by saying that they’re really reaching with the graphics, and maybe that’ll come into line later? And that the graphics are like, Crysis-level amazing?

J: Well…The environments look really nice. I mean, Korriban… We got to play the Sith Warrior, because that was the shortest line. We were like, “Hey, let’s just stand here, where there are only like two people waiting to play this game.”

S: You had different lines for different classes?

J: Yeah. We might go back there and try some other classes today, but the one we checked out starts on Korriban – which was in both Kotor 1 and Kotor 2 – and the environments looked really nice, there were some pretty long draw distances. Which I suppose could have been part of the performance problem, because the enviroment was pretty detailed. I’m still not a fan of the characters. Anything that has to do with the characters, I hate, as far as art style goes. I don’t like the Clone Wars movie style. Like, character proportions…

S: Like everybody looks like plastic toys?

J: Yeah. And there was some swordfighting, in the demo â€" you didn’t have a lightsaber, you had a practice sword, but there were some other dudes who had swords. They had talked a lot about how “Everyone will block, and the fighting animations will look totally awesome”, but I didn’t really feel anything like that, in the demo. And when you’re getting shot, it’s not an exciting gunfight, you’re just soaking up blaster bolts, it doesn’t look “realistic” at all. It doesn’t feel that visceral. And the combat is basically World of Warcraft style, “here is a toolbar with all your skills on it, watch them for cooldown”. Y’know, when you’re just waiting for cooldown timers to pass, and you’re just using the skills when they’re available. When they had the Star Wars presentation in the main theatre, they even talked about how the game would have “visceral combat” that would “make you feel heroic”, but it’s just World of Warcraft.

M: With lightsabers.

J: I mean, that’s not terrible, you could probably do worse, but it’s not amazing. And compared to the other games that where there, that we checked out, the other MMOs â€" in particular, Guild Wars 2 and TERA â€" it was pretty lacking, in terms of combat.

S. And the other important thing, is that this game needs to be amazing. We’ve been talking about how much this game costs. It is insanely expensive, it’s taking a long time, and if they want to turn a profit, they need this game to be incredible.

J: Yeah.

M: The other thing is, they’re really proud of how each scene is dailogued-out, and spoken by actual actors. But at that early stage, we were just being given the usual usual starter quests. “Go kill some bugs, bring me back their legs”. And it’s just not interesting to hear someone say. I don’t want to have to sit and listen to someone telling me to go and kill a giant bug. I found myself trying to find a way to skip through it, because I was already getting bored.

J: Yeah, for some absurd reason, they had the subtitles off, so you couldn’t even hear the dailogue, for the most part. You had headphones, but the sound wouldn’t go up high enough for me to hear, over all the stuff that was happening on the floor. And at one point, I came to this NPC that gave me this quest to go kill X amount of guys, and there were like five dailogue tree options for accepting this bread and butter quest. In any other MMO, you’d be able to walk up to them, see “go kill X amount of monsters” in green at the bottom of the long string of text , and just hit “I accept”, and just go and do it. In The Old Republic, there didn’t seem to be a way to skip any of the dailogue.

S: You have to sit there and have a conversation with this guy about how he needs you to go and kill these space bugs for him?

J: Yeah, I don’t know if they just wanted you to experience the dailogue system, and they’ll add the ability to skip it later, but…

M: It doesn’t matter, though. If you’re trying to show how creative your game is, how different it is, don’t show us a quest that we’ve seen thousands of times before, in so many other games.

S: And then make us talk about it, in real time, where we can barely hear what’s being said, fully voice-acted, when we’re not going to care. Yeah, that is unfortunate. Alright, so that’s not so good, how’s The Force Unleashed 2?

J: Awesome.

S: That is not the answer I expected. Well, why is that? I don’t think any of us thought The Force Unleashed was… It was a good game, sure, but I don’t think any of us thought it was awesome.

J: No, it was not an awesome game.

M: No, definitely not. I played it on the Wii, and it was tiring.

S: Awesome on the Wii? This is getting stranger and stranger.

M: Well, the really cool thing about The Force Unleashed 2 is the multiplayer. It’s basically like Super Smash Bros, except with Darth Vader and Boba Fett. And you can pit them against each other, in the Death Star, where the giant laser is… And it was so much fun. I mean, it might just be a Smash Bros rip-off, but how many times can you say you’ve played Darth Vader having a fight to the death with Boba Fett? I mean, that alone is pretty fun.

J: Yeah, it was much better than the token multiplayer they had in TFU 1.

S: So, your impressions are based solely on the multiplayer?

J: Well, we haven’t played any of the single player, but when we went to the Star Wars presentation, they had a gameplay demo. It looks sort of like TFU 1, except way more polished, and way more creative.

M: And less QTEs!

J: Yeah, we didn’t see any QTEs. So if you liked TFU 1 for the fact that you could just run around as a Jedi, and just destroy everything, they have really ramped that up in TFU 2.

M: There was a part where he was fighting a huge robot, and the robot shot a missile at him. He caught the missile, turned it around, and shoved it back, and it made this huge explosion. It was a lot of fun. I think the point of this game, is just to have all these different powers at your disposal, and knowing that you’re going over the top with them.

S: Right, you forgive it, as long as it’s cool and fun.

M: And that’s what it looks like! It looks really cool, and really fun.

S: So when he threw that missile back, it wasn’t a QTE?

J: No, he caught the missile with a force power, and he held it in the air, and threw it back.

S: Nice. OK, so The Old Republic, looks kind of rough, kind of old, but how’s Guild Wars 2?

J: Guild Wars 2 is pretty damn awesome. I don’t think Mumbles has actually gotten a chance to play it yet. Yesterday, we were running around the hall so much, and trying to fit everything around panels, and there was so much stuff we had to go see at certain times, that we didn’t have a a chance to just wait in lines to play things. So we didn’t get a chance to play GW2 much. But what I’ve seen of Guild Wars is pretty sweet. A lot of the old GW conventions have been updated, you still have the sort of card-game style skillbar, where you can only have eight skills (or in the case of GW2, ten skills) on your bar at a time, and you can switch those out whenever you want to. But they’ve messed around with that. The first five skills on your ten-skill skillbar are determined by what kind of weapon you have equipped. So a warrior wielding a sword and an axe will have three sword skills and two axe skills, which will be completely different from a warrior wielding a sword and a shield, or an axe and a shield, which will also be different from a ranger wielding a sword and an axe.

S: Does it feel like an MMO, where you hit “axe skill 1” and it goes on cooldown, and you sit there and do the animation for axe skill 1, or does it look like what they’ve been showing to us, where it seems like you’re playing an action game?

J: There’s a degree of, say, “This skill goes on cooldown, now I want to use these skills until this skill comes back”, but there’s also a lot more… Like, I found that I was watching the screen a lot more than I was watching my skillbar, because you can dodge projectiles in that game, and if you double-tap any of the movement keys, you can roll in that direction, which takes up energy, and allows you to dodge stuff. So if someone’s running at you with a sword, and is about to swing, you can double-tap S and roll backwards. So there’s certainly a degree of “action game” to it, while still preserving the MMORPG skill system.

S: That sounds really interesting. But Mumbles didn’t get a chance to play it?

M: No. I tried to play it, at the Nvidia booth, where you can play in 3D on three different screens. Nobody knows about it, or if people know about it they don’t wait for it, so usually the line’s pretty short. So we went over there, and just as I was about to play, this huge mob showed up to get free swag. It was like a zombie-apocalypse. So many people reaching their hands out, for the stuff, and screaming… It was awful.

J: Yeah, the play station â€" not the console, but the station at which you play games at the Nvidia booth â€" is right next to their desk, and they have their employees standing on the desk, yelling things, trying to get the crowd all riled up, so it was pretty crazy. And we were right there in the middle.

S: Wow. Now wait, you said you played it in 3D â€" we are running long on all these segments, we’re never going to talk about all these games â€" but you got to play it in 3D on three different screens? Please explain that to me, because I am baffled.

J: It was… It was 3D glasses, stereoscopic 3D, on three monitors lined up next to each other.

S: Oh, I see.

J: Which is actually less cool that it sounds, because I tried to open the inventory window, and it opened way over on the very far left of the left screen, which is hard to get your cursor over to interact with, and the loot window was way over on the far right side of the right screen… So I would recommend not playing the game fullscreen on three different monitors, because you’ll probably drive yourself crazy. I’d never actually experienced stereoscopic 3D before, last time I saw anything in 3D, it was like… A Spy Kids movie, back in 2003, or something.

S: And that was with the red and blue glasses.

J: Yeah, that was with red and blue glasses. These are the new stuff. And I’ve always been kind of sceptical about it, but it was pretty cool, 3D Guild Wars. I would definitely be interested in seeing how much it would cost, to get the 3D glasses and set that up, now that I’ve tried it.

S: Interesting. Ok, and how was TERA? Somebody from TERA actually left a comment on the site, and invited you guys over to their booth, so how was it over there? Did they give you free stuff?

J: Yeah, we walked over there, and met up with with Jason, and he was pretty cool. A bit of backstory, here, we had been a little bit worried about going over there, because… Well, first of all, it’s a South Korean MMO, and up until now, I’d been thinking “Oh, it’s just going to be like Aeon, right?” It’s not. It’s much better than that. And also…

S: It’s more Western?

J: Yeah, what they’ve got, it was explained to me, is that…

M: It’s more fun.

J: Hah, yeah, it’s more fun. They’ve got two dev teams, one of them is the South Korean guys â€" it’s not even out in South Korea, yet â€" and they’re working closely with the US dev team. And the US dev team has been allowed a wide range of freedom, to mess the game, and change, like, the levelling curve…

S: So that it goes up, eventually?

J: I was actually talking to the lead producer, he was running us through the demo. He wanted the game to be able to be completed through story and quests, and that kind of thing, and not like a South Korean MMO, where you get to level 30, and then you’re just doing grind quests for 20 hours a day for a week, so you can get to level 31.

S: Right.

M: We had seen a video on Youtube, a presentation of it from Gamescom, and basically it was one of the guys showing it. He said that one of the features of this game was, if you have a female character, you can look up her skirt when she runs. And I found that super offensive. I mean, I have no problem with skimpy outfits, I could care less, but if someone who’s making the game, or someone who’s part of the company making the game, says that they’re excited that the game allows you to look up a girl’s skirt (and it’s not Duke Nukem) then that’s going to be a problem.

S: Right, that’s what the game is going to be known for. “‘I played TERA,’ ‘Oh, you played the looking-up-girls’-skirts game, I remember that!'”

M: Exactly. I was super hesitant about it, because of that. I wasn’t exactly planning on ever checking out the game after I’d seen that, but when I asked them about it, none of them agreed with that guy. Apparently he got a really stern talking to, and it was just one guy’s opinion, just one thing this guy had gotten from the game.

J: Yeah.

M: I mean, the game is made in Asia, and all the character models are made over there, so it’s not like they could’ve said “Oh, this is not appropriate”, or “This is offensive”. As long as the entire company, or the majority of the company isn’t excited about it, and doesn’t think that’s the best part of their game, then I don’t find it offensive. On top of that, the gameplay was a lot of fun for me, so… With them saying that they didn’t agree with this guy, and the game itself actually being a lot of fun, it was a really great surprise how good it was.

S: It’s sort of like… Before WoW came out, if someone has made a demo of, “OK, I wanna show you what’s going on, what’s good about World of Warcraft. See, when you’re a night elf, you can take off all your clothes, and run around in your underwear”, and that’s all they showed, you’d be put off by it.

M: Mm.

J: Yeah, it’s exactly like that. The game is not like some kind of, veiled, softcore hentai game, or something, or anything like that. It’s actually a lot of fun. The combat is actually the most action-game like of any of the MMOs I saw there. Moreso than Guild Wars, even. Basically, there’s no targeting. You aim with a reticule in the middle of the screen, and you swing you sword, and your sword has a certain, very visible arc to it, where the sword goes. And if it hits any of the mobs that you’re fighting, then you do damage, and if it doesn’t, then… So you have to actually aim your attack.

S: I love that idea.

M: Me too. I get really bored by typical MMO combat. To me, what’s the point of just clicking on stuff, and just waiting to do the damage, and not being able to dodge attacks, even when you’re trying to run around? I got to play the warrior profession, which was this little dog-raccoon thing, who was small, and had this sword. He just bounces around the field, killing a bunch of people which quick attacks, and dodging about. That’s how I like to play games, and that’s why I liked it so much – they took a really simple class, the warrior, and made it really interesting and versatile.

J: So yeah, TERA, really fun. My most surprising game of this show by far.

M: Yeah.

S: Alright, tell me about… I know nothing about this game, I did not hear this word spoken before you mentioned it. What is Monaco?

J: Oh, Monaco is pretty fun.

M: It’s an indie game. You have four people on your team, and you have different classes, like a tech-guy, or the muscle. You break into places, you do a mission, and then you have to escape. There’s guards, and dogs, and security lights… The visuals are just pixelated, it’s really basic.

J: Yeah, it’s like it’s top-down, and it’s got this weird, really cool sort of colourful, retro art style.

S: Like 8-bit?

J: Well, part of it is 8-bit, part of it is more pristine, but all the character models are 8-bit, like these top-down representations of guys, that kind of resemble people, or boxes, I’m not quite sure which… The mission that we did, we broke in to some kind of building, and got an item, or an artifact, I don’t know what it was. And then we had to escape to a car. It was hilarious, and chaotic…

S: Is this co-op? Or PVP, or…?

M: Yeah, it’s… We were sitting on this couch, with two other guys who knew how to play. And they put it on hard, even though it was the first time we were playing this game. We were running around, trying not to get shot by the guards, or attacked by the dogs… And we had a crowd behind us, it was really high-energy. It’s been a long time since I played a game with a group of people in the room. I do a lot of online play, but it gets more and more exciting the more that people get into it, and start cheering you on. It was a lot of fun.

S: And they had a couch to sit on, which I understand is really, really important at PAX, because there’s nowhere else to sit.

J: Yeah, not very many seats, at PAX.

M: The problem with the couch, was… There were people leaning over, to look at the screen, and… Normally I’m a tall person, so I don’t usually inflict bodily harm on people with my arms. Normally. But I got really excited when I got through a level, so I did a fist-pump, and I backhand-punched this guy in the face.

S: Awesome. That’s…

M: And I didn’t get sued! It was pretty bad. I’m glad I didn’t do any serious damage to him, but… I always wanted to punch someone in the face while playing a videogame…

S: So, awesome. I wish that was a feature in the game.

M: “Back-fist someone?”

S: They could do that with the Kinect! It could scan you punching someone in the face, and incorporate that into the gameplay.

M: And then use the actors which they usually do for the Kinect, which is the old people, and the soccer moms…

J: We actually saw people playing with Kinect, and it looked ridiculous. It was like, “We don’t really want to try that, because I don’t want to look really stupid in a floor full of people”.

S: Yeah. I am hearing that Kinect is actually more fun than we suspected. It was the LoadingReadyRun guys, they were playing on it, and said that it was really fun, but…

J: We actually saw them in line. We’ve been seeing a lot of people that I recognise, and it’s kind of weird, there’s always been this kind of disconnect… I see these people all the time, in internet videos, but seeing them in person is like, “Woah, wait a minute, this is not something someone recorded”.

S: What about… Spy Party?

J: I didn’t actually get a chance to look very much, at that game, so Mumbles will…

M: We haven’t been able to play it, but basically, it’s a two player game, where one person is a sniper, who’s on a balcony across from where a party is being held, and that’s where the spy is. The other player has to pretend to be an AI, and blend in with the other computer-run characters. You’re given a mission, like steal a statue, or plant a bug, and the sniper has to kill you before you carry it out. And so, the whole game is about acting like an NPC, it’s really interesting.

S: So, what, do you get stuck on a doorframe and don’t move?

M: Right, exactly! Or just circle around in the same place.

S: So wait, is it really just a two-player game?

M: Yeah, I think that’s why it’s going to be difficult to market. Because, from my understanding, you can also be another member of the party, and not be the spy, and try to throw the sniper off, or something like that…

S: Try to get yourself shot?

M: Right, try to get yourself shot… Really, it’s a two-player game, because you can’t play it against the computer. The whole point is to identify a real person amidst a bunch of AI, so…

S: It’s an interesting idea, but I see how it would be a tough sell, to turn it into a game. It sounds more like an experiment.

M: Yeah, that’s the thing. It’s just a cool idea.

J: I mean, the art style, it’s N64-level, very polygonal…

M: Worse than that.

J: I’m reminded of playing Mission: Impossible on the N64. I don’t know if that’s deliberate, or just placeholder…

S: Interesting.

M: It’s still in development.

S: There are a lot of games that have retro style. I wonder if this is finally how they’re trying to get dev costs under control. “Oh no, it’s retro. It’s not crappy, its retro.”

J: I do like retro.

M: It’s in style, gamers love retro stuff.

S: How about Dead Rising 2?

M: I got to play that, and… The first Dead Rising game cured me of my fear of zombies. I used to be really afraid of them, and the ability to just run around with silly items and kill zombies completely destroyed that for me. The second game doesn’t have the main character from the first game in it. It’s this guy who’s trying to clear his name, and he has to keep his daughter from turning into a zombie, because she’s been bitten… But the real thing that shines about it, is that you can craft items together to make creative weapons. Like, a teddy bear that has an SMG, or a bat with nails in it. My favorite weapon, though, was the wheelchair, because catch a zombie in it, and it’ll attack guys for you while you push the wheelchair. It was so much fun.

S: Crazy.

M: And it was really intuitive, too. You get swarmed a lot, so if you’re fighting someone in front of you, and realise there’s a zombie behind you, the game knows that if you push back, you wanna hit the guy behind you. You don’t want to do some sort of awkward turnaround, like a lot of games do.

S: You don’t want to back into him.

M: Right, exactly.

S: That’s a really good idea. That’s one of the chief annoyances, especially when you don’t have a mouse, so you can’t whip around, you’ve got to turn around with the thumbstick, and you suddenly feel like you’re driving a forklift, while this guy nibbles on your back. That is a really good idea.

M: Exactly. I played it on the PC, and… Is the first Dead Rising game on the PC? I don’t think so…

J: No, it’s not. I would have it, if it was.

M: But it’s fine, it’s a perfectly good port, it’s not awkward at all. I really expected it to be awkward, but it’s not.

J: Not like Saints Row 2.

M: Right. Or Grand Theft Auto.

S: So the big one I know a lot of people are waiting to hear about, is Civ 5. Although, is there anything new to say about this game? I mean, hex grids and no doom stacks we know about…

J: I was actually playing Civ 5 while Mumbles was playing Dead Rising 2. I got to play it in 3D, which was actually a bad idea. I mean, I can’t see what’s going on in 3D, it’s weird. With the way stereoscopic 3D works, when you put on the glasses, objects don’t pop out of the screen, it looks like it’s all three-dimensional inside. But the menu items are not in 3D, so all the menu items were all right on top of the screen, while everything else was deep inside… And that got weird, because I would move my cursor onto one of the menu items, and it would hop up onto the menu, and that was a little off-putting. I mean, I guess you could get used to it, but stereoscopic 3D makes the game darker, so that was kind of…

S: Yeah, of all the games to have in stereoscopic 3D… It’s not like you’re rushing over the landscape, or diving between buildings, or any kind of action. You’re not even turning your head! You’re looking at basically a really fancy isometric view.

J: Yeah. It’s a great big board game. But Civ 5 is fun. I am a very very big Civ fan, but I’m also one of those guys that liked to play Panzer General, so when I heard that Civ 5 was going to hex-based, with one-unit-per-tile wargames-style positioning, I got really excited. And I haven’t really gotten a chance to check how that works, because when you’re playing at a big, crowded convention, there’s always a feeling like, “oh, is there anyone behind me who really wants to play”.

M: Yeah.

J: And Civ 5 is one of those games, where you need to play it for ten hours, without a break. But it is pretty fun, the user interface is much nicer than Civ 4. Anyone who’s played Civ 4 knows how convoluted that interface could get sometimes… It no longer drags you around, like the last game did, when you started a new turn and your production had finished, and your research had finished, and it made you choose what to produce right then. You couldn’t say, “OK, I want to go over here and check out other stuff, I need to manage this war first, and then I’ll choose production”. Now it just has little pop-ups at the bottom, to tell you, “Hey, you need to choose production, and you need to choose your research”.

S: That is exactly what I’ve always wanted them to do. I hate that, when the game dictates what you’ve got to think about and when. I mean, the enemy will take a turn, you’ll watch it play out, he’s attacking you, and you know what you need to do next. You’ve watched the battle play out, you know what’s going on, you’ve got it in mind, but whoops! Now you’ve got to sit and do ten minutes of city management, and then come back to the battle, thinking “What the hell was I going to do?”

J: Yeah, exactly.

S: I’m the human being! I’m the one who gets to decide when we make decisions. The computer doesn’t get distracted, but I do! So that is really nice.

M: It’s also really friendly to new players. I’m pretty new to Civilization in general, I only started played with Josh and Randy just recently, because they asked me to. And so, for me, it was really nice to see how it’ll take you through stuff. When I was playing, I wanted to fight as much stuff as I could, just to see what it was like. So when I went after these bandits, and the game was like “Nonono, you really don’t want to do that. You really, REALLY don’t want to do that.” And I was like, “Ok, game. I trust you.” “Maybe you should just wait a turn.” “Ok, I’ll do that! Thanks, game.”

S: Cool. So, we’ve got… How much more time do you guys have to talk?

J: Well, we should probably get going here, pretty soon.

M: Yeah.

S: Alright, well, tell me about this Marvel MMO. I didn’t even know they were showing that. I can’t believe they’re showing Marvel, and they’re not showing DC Universe Online.

J: Well, I mean, part of it is, the MMO is based off of a TV show, I guess? I guess Mumbles knows more about this than I do.
M: It’s based off a really, really funny Saturday morning cartoon. It’s kind of cherub looking? The characters don’t look like how they’re depicted in the comic books, they look like kiddie show cartoon versions.

J: Almost like, Japanese-style, super-deformed…

S: Oh my goodness, I think my kids read a comic book… I think they read this very comic book, I saw it for the first time yesterday, it was really odd.

M: It’s very popular. They were allowed some creative control over how they wanted the Marvel characters to look… So even though Marvel okayed all of them, they gave them pretty wide berth over what they were allowed to do in terms of making the characters, and I found that interesting, because I’m a total comic book nerd. It’s definitely geared towards kids, but then there’s Deadpool in it, which is kind of a risqué character for anyone who knows who that is!

J: Deadpool is my hero.

S: A chibi Deadpool. That makes me want to see this game.

M: Right? I got a little look at the combat, it looks very colourful, it looks like it’s going to be fun, I actually got into the beta testing for it.

J: Well, we signed up, I don’t know if we actually got keys straight up.

M: He made it seem like we got keys. He kept asking if we wanted more keys for it. We got one for everyone except Randy.

S: So you can make your own character? I don’t know if we’re just going to have a hundred Iron Men running around, right?

M: Oh, no. I think you get to make your own character, and then there’s a lot of interaction with Marvel… The thing is, with Marvel comics, it makes sense that, one day, you’re hanging out with the human torch, and then next day, you’re hanging out with Spiderman. It’s how the comic book world kind of works. It’s not really like that with DC Universe, that was why I had a problem with it. But this one makes sense, especially if kids are encouraged to play, “I’m going to do a mission now and help out Spiderman”, “I’m going to do a mission now and help out the Fantastic Four”. I think it’s cute, I think it looks fun… I mean, it’s not groundbreaking, but it’s fun.

S: What age group are they aiming for? Is it fifteen-year-olds, or ten-year-olds…?

J: Yeah, it looks like twelve-year-olds, maybe?

S: Have they cut down on a lot of text? Usually when they aim lower, they cut down on how much reading you have to do.

M: They were definitely pushing for, “Look how cool the combat is, look how cool it is to be a superhero”, kind of thing. I really don’t think that they’re going to have any complex text quests, or anything like that. It’s definitely not going to be, Old Republic, where you have to make serious choices, that affects whether or not you’re…

S: You’re going to kill this guy’s ten space rats.

M: Exactly!

S: That is really exciting. I had a few games here that I wanted to talk about, maybe we’ll get a chance to talk about them later, or write about them later, but I don’t want you guys to miss your show.

J: Yeah, we’ve still got another day of PAX to go, so maybe we’ll end up doing another one of these.

S: And I know you guys are in a hurry to get down there, and get started standing in line.

J: Exactly.

M: Yeah…

S: Alright, well, thanks guys!

M: Thank you.

J: Thanks, Shamus.

S: Have fun!


From The Archives:

31 thoughts on “Twenty Sided @ PAX TRANSCRIPT

  1. Mumbles says:

    I say super a lot, don’t I? Curse you, California!!!

    1. MrWhales says:

      super-fornia… i had to, sorry.

    2. Gale says:

      I wouldn’t worry, you don’t say “super” nearly as much as Josh says “like”. Guy uses that word more than he breathes.

    3. Psithief says:

      And now you know why game reviewers have scripts.

      1. Rutskarn says:

        I don’t think I have a word-motif. My thing’s more the suite of jokes that curdle milk.

        1. Irridium says:

          You have a pun-motive. And we both deeply love and deeply hate you for it.

    4. (LK) says:

      Everything here is just so super!

  2. Joshua says:

    If it’s the Marvel Superhero Squad MMO, then I’m pretty sure that you’re not going to be creating your own characters, because they’ve decided that kids want to play Spiderman or the the Hulk. There will be unlockable versions of the characters, like different armor for Iron Man, ’cause kids are all about collecting. They seem to have strong opinions of kids are like this, or kids don’t want to do that, and to have tightly focused the game on that. IIRC, communication w/other players will be restricted to canned phrases and emotes.

  3. eri says:

    You know, I’m really, really impressed that Gale took the time to write this out. I know someone was asking but didn’t think anyone would step up to tackle it. Good on you for that.

    1. KremlinLaptop says:

      Indeed, I’ve written transcripts for podcasts that were only 15-20 minutes long and that was PAINFUL beyond belief; how in the world s/he did the whole forty odd minutes I’ll never know.

      Brilliant job though.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Glad this got transcribed. I don’t watch videos or listen to audio usually… I was able to read this in 5-10 minutes instead of spending 40 minutes listening to it.

  5. MrWhales says:

    Wow thats dedication. Thanks Gale..

  6. Irridium says:

    Damn, I wonder how long this took. Great job Gale.

    And here’s what I picked out from this:

    Old Republic is sadly disappointing, Civ 5 is awesome(YAY!), I may have to check out Tera now.

  7. Another Scott says:

    I wanted to check back on some things that were said during the video. Coming back to this was a nice surprise, in came in really handy.

    Thanks a lot Gale!

  8. Irridium says:

    Also, Josh and Mumbles, I’m guessing you both missed The Witness?

    Its basically Jonathan Blow’s(creator of Braid) next game, and was hiding right next to the Monaco and SpyParty booths.

  9. ccesarano says:

    I usually imagine it takes less time to hear words than read them, but this was much shorter than the video said it was. Very much appreciated.

    Tera might actually be an MMO after my own heart if it’s got combat that, well, is fun.

  10. vukodlak says:

    Any glimpse of New Vegas? I know I can see for myself in a month or so, but I have high hopes, and Obsidian has been known to muck them up somewhat…

  11. Leslee says:

    Not sure why Josh & Mumbles were having framerate issues while playing SWTOR. Either the computer it was running on was not configured properly, or there was something wrong with the connection to Bioware’s servers.

    It’s unfortunate that whoever set up the demo didn’t turn on the subtitles. They are available in the Preferences.

    Any quest in SWTOR that is a generic “kill X number of things” is a bonus quest and is optional. The main class quests are part of an ongoing storyline and are considerably more “heroic” in nature.

    All dialogue in the game can be skipped through by hitting the space bar.

    It’s unfortunate that Josh & Mumbles didn’t have the best first impression of SWTOR. Sounds like the demo wasn’t set up well.


    1. Irridium says:

      I hate to do this but, source?

      If that is true, I will be very, very happy.

      1. Shamus says:

        She is the source. She works at BioWare. :)

        Thinking on the slowdown issue some more – which I thought was REALLY odd – I’m betting that once the machines were set up, someone opened up the settings and just cranked all the visuals to 11. They probably saw “Alienware” on the front of the machine and figured the normal rules of time and space wouldn’t apply. The game has been shown before and we haven’t heard about horrible slowdowns, so I’m betting this is an aberration.

        All conjecture, naturally.

        1. Irridium says:


          Well, in that case I’m a very, very happy person :D
          So yeah, looks like I’m happy about this game again, knowing now that these types of quests are optional. Shame the demo wasn’t at its best though.

        2. Jonathan says:

          *Insert generic Baldur’s Gate 3 request here*

        3. Pickly says:

          She works at bioware, huh…

          (Begins evil grinning)

          Now I know who to start bugging about some cheaper accounts and free XP items. :)

    2. Randy Johnson says:

      It is also unfortunate that I was unable to make it to PAX. In our group, Josh is the one leaning away from SWTOR, Mumbles seems rather moderate, and I am the one drinking the Kool-Aid on the SWTOR forums every day. I have played Star Wars Galaxies for all 7 years of it’s life, and that game is terrible. About the only reason I play it is because it is Star Wars.

      Kotor is hands down my favorite RPG of all time, but is marred by the fact that it is single player. I, personally, am going into SWTOR with the expectation of a multiplayerish Kotor. Also, PVP!!!!!1!!!11! Long story short, if Josh posts to much hate, it is just going to incite me to write up a bunch of articles about why SWTOR is going to be awesome, and spam Shamus’ email with them until he posts one.

  12. mewse says:

    And since we’ve had a clarification from someone associated with The Old Republic…

    On behalf of the Wii development team from the original Force Unleashed, we’re sorry if anyone found the game particularly tiring. Chalk it up to us being perhaps a touch overenthusiastic about getting to make a light sabre game using motion controls. :)

    (We actually tried to compensate for the exertion involved in motion controls; In an effort to combat muscle fatigue, we made the light sabre about three times more powerful in the Wii version of the game than in any of the other versions, in order to limit the amount of swinging required.)

    1. Randy Johnson says:

      All of my friends are talking about how awesome the multiplayer is. I didn’t get the first one because I don’t like single player, but Star Wars Super Smash Bros?! Sign me up!

    2. Enjolras says:

      I figured you were just doing your part to make gamers less fat.

  13. TehShrike says:

    Props to Gale! Also, about Spy Party…

    I stumbled on a post about the game a while back. I was very interested, and I’ve been following the developer’s blog since then.

    Some good posts to check out would be his development philosophy, or the one titled “Game development is tedious, let’s go shopping!

    I’ve been really looking forward to the game since I read about it in Destructoid.

  14. rabs says:

    Thanks a lot for the transcript Gale !
    I didn’t watch the video because it’s too long, but reading the transcript was nice.

  15. Turbosloth says:

    Just wanted to make one of my very occasional trips to the comment section to add to the general “Gale is awesome and deserves much cred” sentiment going around. Truly epic stuff.

    Working my way through the backlog of he site now as I haven’t had an internet connection for nearly a year until Monday, but I wish I’d been around to say this when there was more chance of Gale actually reading it…

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