Electron Dance
28Aug/12Off

Seven People, One Podcast

Pippin Barr, AJ, Gregg B, Ed Key, Doug Wilson, Shaun Green, Joel Goodwin

This week I present an eclectic podcast assembled from material left over from the Cat's Away conversations. Forty minutes with seven different voices, containing a diverse selection of topics. Did you consider the parallels between the board game Space Alert and Johann Sebastian Joust? Is the fashionable "indie is punk" metaphor overrated?

Click onwards if you are interested...

Contents

  • Doug Wilson: Indie gaming isn't sticking up for co-located play
  • Ed Key: Watching a child play at IndieCade reveals that even Proteus has accessibility problems
  • Gregg B: Not all is well with co-op play in Blendo Games' Atom Zombie Smasher
  • Shaun Green: The indie punk metaphor is broken
  • Pippin Barr: Could unorthodox game success be turned into cash dollars?
  • Ed Key: Proteus is a game, yes
  • AJ: Changing the end of Mass Effect 3 is nothing compared to "fixing" Dark Souls
  • Pippin Barr: The fear of long projects
  • Gregg B: R-Type 3.141592653589793238469 (Nifflas & Nurykabe, 2009) is ridiculous
  • Doug Wilson: Why board game Space Alert is just like Johann Sebastian Joust
  • Pippin Barr: Limits, not freedom, are the key to creativity

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Comments (12) Trackbacks (2)
  1. Oh God, I had forgotten about how much I ranted about Dark Souls. Have you tried the PC port?

    Really liked the standing up for Co-Op play, it is my favourite way to play any game.

  2. I haven’t played Dark Souls yet. Or even purchased. Not encouraged by the usual “shitty console port” grumblings but I will probably attempt it at some point. I really have to do Mass Effect first, like I bloody promised.

    I liked your Dark Souls rant, though. And I think you only swear once in that bit.

  3. It is true that the port is not great in terms of things that it should support but doesn’t. I am just amazed that there is one as From Software don’t make PC games.

    As for swearing, yeah I am prone to that a lot. Getting a section that long with only one ‘Fuck’ in there is pretty impressive for me.

  4. The initial PC release of Dark Souls seems more like a symbolic gesture from… er… out of From Software. If people with zero experience in PC releases can at least provide the same experience console owners get, no one else has an excuse for staying off of it.

  5. Hey Beamie, my last console port was Saints Row 2 which was really tough due to the terrible graphics implementation. Anything looking vaguely cool meant I was playing in Stutter City. (I think that was a CD Projekt port?)

    I think it’s still possible to totally break a game during the PC port process. And worrying because that’s how companies line up and say “well, you see, it didn’t sell anything on that platform” to justify lack of PC investment. After rampant piracy, of course.

  6. The Saints Row 2 port is virtually unplayable, not sure Dark Souls is on the same level as that. I have just heard people complaining about it running at 30fps and it being locked to 720p.

    To be fair From Software have never made a PC game, they are a Japanese company that have focused entirely on console games. I don’t think they have an agenda against piracy or the like, I think they simply don’t have any experience with making a PC game.

  7. I don’t know if “they have no experience” is a good enough excuse, really. I mean, you’ve made a super-successful game and a new platform is pretty hungry for it. So you then release something which “does the job” and don’t seek out decent PC programming experience to do it right? They wouldn’t build a console game without experience – but they’re happy to do it for the PC?

    They’re not idiots over there. My gut feel is that they made a business decision to just get the thing out the door without too much re-architecting as they probably weren’t sure if it would sell well. They limited the project budget to something they felt was acceptable. I don’t see malice or agenda here, just a lack of conviction that the port would make money.

    Saying that, my concern is that such self-inflicted failures are picked up across the industry as anecdotes to cite about the difficulty of the PC platform. Ubisoft weigh in with the worst DRM known to man which alienated a lot of customers – and then complain low sales => piracy is incredibly high to justify a decision to go free to play. I’d much rather corner the game companies into understanding the PC is not “dead” and neither is it the pit of piracy (both views seem contradictory to say the least).

    Console ports are political and bad ports have repercussions.

  8. You should get a PS3! It has good Dark Souls and also has Sound Shapes.

  9. You’re right on all counts- I just think it’s nice to see a Japanese game company at least step out of its boundaries when they didn’t especially have to. Despite multitudinous requests, Rockstar decided to keep Red Dead Redemption on the consoles, as a comparison.

  10. @Switchbreak– I took your recommendation to the Electron Dance Board of Directors and I’m afraid to say they voted 1-to-0 against acquiring a PS3.

    @BeamSplashX– I know, it’s just that… I hate to feel that PC players are made to beg for the attention and then it’s all big smiles for the most broken of ports.

  11. I was going to make a longer comment about how I disagree as to the logic of why they should have done a ‘better’ job but I don’t have time (lunch break etc).

    I love this:

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-08-31-bethesda-struggling-with-dawnguard-on-ps3-this-is-not-a-problem-were-positive-we-can-solve

    As indicates a ‘damned if you do, and damned if you don’t’ if you look at the comments thread. Bethesda have said they can’t do it as it wouldn’t be good content and they are getting lynched anyway.

  12. I would say, though, that plenty of distrust and bad faith has been created by AAA publishers over the years. “Porting to PC is quite troublesome” preventing a joint launch leading to massive shipping delays of… four days. “Alan Wake is better suited for the console” after it was originally showcased as a PC multi-core extravaganza and then, after all this, still comes home to PC. Here’s another: does anyone know what is going on with Prey 2? And I still get mad about Halo 2 being a Vista-exclusive which I guess wiped out any chances of Halo 3 coming to PC (not that I’m convinced we’re really missing out).

    Marketeers often use convincing soundbites to cover reality. If the consuming public doesn’t always believe them when they say “something can’t be done” then I’m not going to point the finger at the consumer for being unable to pick up on what is truth and what is falsehood. Better to rage away hoping that it’s false. For all the consumer entitlement issues, it is somewhat a problem our corporate overlords have created themselves. They made their bed.

    Maybe we should have a console-type certification process for console ports… but we’d probably not get anything then.

    Oh my God. I seemed to have turned into a ranting cynic. Your podcast has rubbed off on me, BC =)