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[PATV] Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - Extra Credits Season 5, Ep. 7: Mailbag #5

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
edited October 2012 in The Penny Arcade Hub

image[PATV] Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - Extra Credits Season 5, Ep. 7: Mailbag #5

This week, we are reminded once again that Mailbags are a thing we do.
Come discuss this topic in the forums!

Read the full story here

Dog on


  • FamousWarriorFamousWarrior Registered User regular
    Can you do an episode on the use of fake traffic to promote a game like recently did? I don't think that the fake account problem is being talked about much. It needs more serious attention.

  • GreipurGreipur Registered User new member
    Speaking of asymmetrical play and giving the player's different information and roles. There's a few examples already using everyday hardware. Like America's Army where you always play as American soldiers hunting terrorists. Since it's a team based multiplayer game they didn't want you to kill fellow soldiers so they did a clever thing. The opposite side is shown as terrorists and you're always the Americans. And vice versa for the other team.

    A more meaningful example of different information I'd like to show is "Just Us". I know it could be seen as making it like an advert or just bragging since I was involved. But the project is discontinued and the group dissolved so I want to share it more as giving something to the development community and thought it fitting to spread it here. I gain very little for sharing it here.

    In any case you're three explorers on a distant planet and oxygen is scarce. It's an open world three player co-op game. Three characters with different roles exist. One that sees quicksand, one that sees oxygen deposits and one who keeps check of all the players reserves and can also harvest the deposits and distribute it to the others. The players have one screen each (we tried it on three laptops via LAN and for expo three stationary computers with three screens).

    You can download it here:

    I guess what I want to say is with all this is that you don't have to have futuristic gaming technology to create meaningful asymmetric play in how you present information. Although make it more commercially and end-user friendly perhaps. Since the prototype above would make for a poor product.

  • GreipurGreipur Registered User new member
    Sorry, the link above didn't work. Here's a new one: Us.rar

  • Aaron_OAaron_O Registered User regular
    I think that devs at EA have spent a lot of time doing hands-on firearms research for their games and, understandably, have become somewhat of a group of gun hobbyists themselves. Trying to link those two markets might have been a case of misguided enthusiasm.

  • ShadowenShadowen Snores in the morning LoserdomRegistered User regular
    Yay for meta questions!

    I also think the WiiU has potential, but it could be a real game-changer if they release a firmware update so more than one of the tablet controllers can be used at once (everything I've seen suggests only one at a time). Even with only one there are options, but if you can get two or more? yeahthatwouldbecool.jpg

  • aniforprezaniforprez Registered User regular
    @Shadowen The WiiU does actually support 2 tablets at a time but currently there are no games that support this feature since Nintendo was reluctant to do it. The rendering costs for one tablet were pretty high so doing it in 2 was not ideal. For this reason they told developers to develop for a single tablet. But later they made a few changes to the firmware which allowed faster rendering on multiple tablets so know it can support 2. But by that time most devs had simply made for a single tablet. We can expect multi-tablet games later.

  • Tss_fanTss_fan Registered User regular
    "Real soldiers know what holding a gun means, a real soldier understands the weight that comes with firing a weapon, most real soldiers spend every day hoping they wont have to use theirs"

    -thank you

  • WolvenSpectreWolvenSpectre Saskatchewan, CanadaRegistered User regular
    I somewhat disagree about your belief in the level of awkwardness it will cause.

    Yes there is the long running and true issue of the mobility in VR like how do you walk or not walk without breaking immersion. There have been attempts to get around that to make it so your character doesn't walk but sit/stand on something mobile.

    Also as a PC gamer I find it fairly facetious to use the example of winging your mouse off a desk and not being able to find finger placement on a keyboard just because you are unable to see them. Tell me, how often do you look at your mouse while playing a modern FPS. You may occasionally look down at your keyboard, but these disorientations will happen with or without the Occulus.

    Then again I may be biased as a touch typer who plays on a drawered keyboard and play ESDF layouts not WASD, so I also have those universal nubs on the home row to navigate by. Still every different game interface system has advantages and disadvantages, and unless the disadvantages break gameplay and no one "killer apps" the games and software that works with it to make it worth the investment, I don't see any issues for it to be a speciality device.

  • MonoMono Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Even with the DS, personally I found the dual screens quite gimmicky - most games don't use the bottom screen much; if they do it's mostly in trivial ways. I can only look at one screen at a time - with the other sitting in my peripheral vision being more or less "unintelligible". I rather they had one big screen, and displayed all relevant information with the extra space, rather than two small ones.

    With the WiiU, the cost of the controllers are going to be a major killer at $170 a pop. I don't see people buy all that many extra controllers if any at all. With only one controller it render asymmetrical gameplay moot. At that price point, why they didn't just use the 3DS as the fancy controller rather than the create a brand new one that is worthless out of range of the WiiU, I will never know.

    Sony is definitely pushing digital distribution or at least trying it out, as pointed out by a recent PAReport editorial. The problem is how to prevent retailers revolting - you still need them to move console hardware.

    Mono on
  • PaulCPaulC Registered User new member
    I think that was the only criticism I can embrace about the Wii U. Personally, I do think it's a ds but for the TV. It all depends on the development of games.

    I appreciate the opinions.

  • Comedy RefluxComedy Reflux Web creator FlandersRegistered User regular
    I can't wait to get together with a bunch of friends for a roleplay session on a WiiU. That is if my friends aren't too dinosaur to give it a chance.

    Back after a three year hiatus!
  • DevantDevant Registered User regular
    Best Episode So Far.

  • SandrockcstmSandrockcstm Registered User regular
    Just curious, why don't you guys want to beat up on EA? Is it some sort of developer's code of honor not to speak ill of a publisher? Cause in my opinion EA deserves every ounce of criticism, constructive and otherwise, they get.

  • SynraSynra Registered User regular
    Sandrockcstm, I think they try to avoid the subject of EA in particular, because EA has come up many times in past videos, as well as EA is a big target of hate from the gaming community for a number of big reasons. The EC guys don't want to fall into the trap of looking like they are just bashing EA again and again.

    These videos are very productive and informative, but they would lose some credibility if they came off as particularly bias against one company or another. That's why they are trying very hard to keep it civil and fair to everyone.

  • nadrewodnadrewod Registered User new member
    Sandrockcstm, they said that they don't want to beat up on EA "constantly". Most gamers know that EA has a lot of bad practices, but having every game news site out there get angry at EA for the same things doesn't solve anything. It makes EA seem like it hires only devils to work for them, and it draws attention away from the good things they do. If the company only hears people getting angry about the bad stuff, they won't know if there is anything they can do to save their image, and might just stick to the practices that earn them the most money.

  • rembrandtqeinsteinrembrandtqeinstein Registered User regular
    I'm excited about WiiU as a "family" gaming system. Because of the tablet interface multiple people can be in the same room doing the activity they like, instead of in different rooms. Even if they aren't interacting directly just the proximity is a big deal.

    I have kids now and they are getting to video game age, and this looks like a good console for them to "grow up" with just like I did with the 2600 and NES.

  • TravanTravan Registered User regular
    The EC crew giving EA's logo an Office Space-style beatdown is now my favorite image from the series.

    Gamertag- Travan7838

  • HunterIV4HunterIV4 Registered User regular
    @WolvenSpectre Yay for someone else using EDSF. I still haven't finished Mass Effect 3 because I can't rebind the 'T' key to reload and it's a pain to remap the hard keys.

    Also, while I agree real service members understand the weight of a weapon, as a Marine the only thought that I had when I saw that picture was "get your hand off the flash suppressor!" Rule #1: Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.

  • Jonesy8000Jonesy8000 Registered User new member
    "Most real soldiers spend every day hoping they won't have to use theirs [guns]."

    As a "real soldier" in the US Army Infantry, I can tell you that myself and many of the other "real soldiers" I knew were perfectly happy to use our weapons (never guns). Many of us sign up to use our weapons and experience combat. Please do not assume that you speak for all of us.

  • iab19iab19 Registered User regular
    Oh. My. GOSH!!! Animation! My eyes, MY EYES!!!

  • thatguy6917thatguy6917 Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    mail bag question - programming will be in the school system from first grade up. i want to learn programming but wont have money till this will be around the same time i get into college and they caught up
    i have books and such but i am afraid that by the time i get in those kids will either learn more then me from old books<teachers
    ...hopefully just me over thinking it but eh

    thatguy6917 on
  • TheSpyderTheSpyder Registered User regular
    honestly, i would be disgusted if we dont get a next gen console with far higher graphical fidelity than what we have now. A game like Arma 2 cannot be rendered on the puny GPU a xbox 360 has.

  • ZimondZimond Registered User regular
    @Jonesy8000 : You either don't get the point or you are just really a lunatic idiot who really wants to kill people. If so, i hope you get shot first.

  • FalxFalx Registered User regular
    Zimond wrote: »
    @Jonesy8000 : You either don't get the point or you are just really a lunatic idiot who really wants to kill people. If so, i hope you get shot first.

    Regardless of what he said, wishing death on another human being for being stupid is extremely fucked up of you.

  • PlacidCatPlacidCat Registered User new member
    Regarding OUYA, I get the idea that when making this video they hardly looked at the Kickstarter page. First off, the money was not to create a working prototype - they already had one. The Kickstarter seemed more to gague interest and to have "proof" of such interest when approaching backers for the project. Secondly, this is an Android-based console with a Tegra 3 chipset which already is outclassed by Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 on a number of fronts and most certainly won't measure up to the next gen console. Basically, this looks like a means of bringing one's favorite Android-based games to the TV with the possibility of more independent content. Like the Wii filled the "casual gamer" niche, this might just fill the "indie" niche.

    All this info I gathered in less than 10 minutes.

    If you guys are going to do a mailbag episode, could you please do a bit of looking before answering the email? It doesn't do your viewers any justice to make hasty opinions without apparently doing even basic research.

  • jlwiza1jlwiza1 Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    I think the Oculus Rift will change things, so long as gamers try it. Some of the arguments are a bit invalid, like the control scheme, If a developer knowingly programs mouse and keyboard input for the oculus they're dumb, thats like programing keyboard input for an iphone game, I think they're just going to use a game controller and the leaning. I mean how often do you look at your controller, if ever.
    Honestly I have the feeling its something that when you actually experience you feel the full depth of it, after seeing the reactions from people going in skeptical playing the games like doom which doesn't have the best graphics, and see them coming out genuinely shaken. there is definitely something there, I think the mix of that close up in your face 3d and ultra low latency is gonna be something that hardcore gamers are gonna freak out about, but it all depends if people try it. plus peripheral vision in a game and being able to turn so much quicker, are two crazy fps advantage when playing, people on oculus are gonna rip apart people playing traditional

    jlwiza1 on
  • WUAWUA Registered User regular
    I'll eat my hat if that stupid VR headset becomes even a successful novelty.

  • LaserwulfLaserwulf Registered User new member
    James, Daniel, Leelee: thank you so much for an accurate viewpoint on carrying a firearm. For 27 months I had an M16, M249, or M4 slung on my shoulder everywhere I went, except for in the shower (it was on a hook along with my towel), and it stops being cool -very- quickly. You hit the nail on the head; even years afterward, I'm grateful that I never had to fire it except at the qualification range.

    Don't get me wrong, I love me some BF and CoD, but there's so much more that goes into pulling a trigger in real life.

  • TinyThorTinyThor Registered User new member
    So true Laserwulf (and the Extra credit folks). Having used a firearm in combat I can say it can never (and should never) be projected into a game... Enjoying a War-sim (which I do from time to time) is easy, since the effects are limited to a simulator, but selling weapons in conjunction.... not a fan.

    Love the show, love the analytical view on games as a whole.

  • Rect PolaRect Pola Registered User regular
    What if they merged the Oculus Rift with a non-keyboard/mouse input? Controllers are made so you don't have to look at them. Next logical step: give this thing a Wii Remote/nunchuck set up. They can call it Wii Me for brand confusion and release the Wii Me Gauntlet with semi decent haptics mid-generation. It'll be so bad.

  • GuardianAngelGuardianAngel Registered User regular
    @PlacidCat, I don't think the overall answer was wrong. He said himself, high hopes - low expectations. You are still talking about a 100 dollars dropped into a system that runs games already available for phones, without the power to really upscale them to current gen consoles, and without the recognition of someone like Steam. If game companies get on board and start making exclusives that leverage the system, great! But at the same time how many companies are going to make exclusive games for the Ouya when phones and the major consoles have so much bigger audiences?

    The most likely scenario (which drives the low expectations feeling) is that the Ouya will be a nifty little hookup for people who want to play angry birds on their TV, but be completely killed by a simple cord/dongle that allows you to play your iPhone/Android games on your TV with the phone as a controller. I don't see a consistent market for phone-level games on the TV.

  • AnthanAnthan Registered User regular
    That point about the WiiU reminds me of Zelda: Four Swords. That game had some really radical multiplayer.

    You needed a Gameboy Advance as well as the Gamecube connector, however you were literally playing on 2 screens. In the Vs mode the main area was on the TV screen, however whenever you went into a cave or such you looked on your gameboy. It set up some hilarious moments which I'd want to re-live on a modern console any day.

  • therealXpgamer7therealXpgamer7 Registered User regular
    Hmm. Well Having used the Oculus Rift I'd have to say I hear what they're saying, but the idea behind it was making a headmount work, which it did. The mechanics side still has a lot to go before true VR. I also have to say that pre alpha motion tracking and 3D do NOT go well together for my mind. For the Wii U, I doubt it will be "Revolutionary" but Nintendo has strong support for their products and I trust them to explore the creative limits of the console... to a point. They don't like going TOO far out of their comfort zone game wise. And for the Ouya I think it'll be a glorified high power android device. In a few years the production price will make it decent enough, but the reasons to get a Ouya aren't proven yet. It's really up to developers making high enough quality games for it. Plus the whole Onlive thing may die out before the niche crowd devices like Ouya might bring it arrives. Bad for everyone. When you really think about all the advances, this is one of the biggest movements for gaming's future in a while. Much bigger now that there's less focus how graphically high quality everything is(Still got Star Wars 1313 and GTA V to look forward to on that front)

  • zingledotzingledot Registered User regular
    Yes, because as an avid PC gamer, I have a really hard time finding my keys or not flying my mouse off the desk.

  • DiagorasDiagoras Registered User new member
    I'm not entirely sure what the issue with the Medal of Honor sales were. They were all background checked and subject to relevant state and local regulation, right? Like regular sales?

    The comments about kids seems like a non-sequitur, as in many states parents can buy long guns for their kids (and do). Not to mention that if kids can't buy them, how would they sell to them? The comment about soldiers seemed like one too - civilian gun ownership is not military gun ownership. Hell, long guns (which are what I think was being sold) are mainly used for target shooting, hunting, and collecting rather than self-defense.

    I know Dan said he didn't want to make this about personal politics, but I don't see how it becomes an issue unless you involve personal politics.

  • GuardianAngelGuardianAngel Registered User regular
    @Diagoras, I think the way you stated your argument is exactly why it is a problem regardless of politics. No one under 18 (outside New England, where I believe it is 16) can legally own a gun. Even if we accept that parents will buy guns with the intention of teaching or eventually giving away that gun to their children, why should anyone be allowed to sell guns to children that cannot legally own them? Should cigarette and alcohol ads be allowed in games played by preteens? You can say that guns are not equivalent to cigaretts and alcohol, and you are right on some front, but all are dangerous and legally limited in who can purchase or own them. Keep in mind the M rating, even if enforced to its fullest, allows 17 year olds to purchase games - 17 year olds who are still too young to buy a gun. There is a direct conflict of audience and legality there.

    The other issue is context. A video game's overall purpose is to entertain, to create fun. FPS games, even Medal of Honor, do not teach proper respect for a gun or human life (something any pro-gun supporter would agree is of utmost importance). Therefore, the context in which a child is viewing gun ads is skewed toward fun and irresponsibility. Again, a direct conflict of interest. The ads are in place because it is an audience that may be primed to increase gun sales, which is totally understandable on a marketing level. But the overall introduction creates a conflict that spills outside supply and demand.

  • DiagorasDiagoras Registered User new member
    @GuardianAngel, that's my point. How can they be intending to market it to kids if kids aren't allowed to buy them? Guns aren't like alcohol, you're not going to fool the guy behind the counter and waltz out with an AR-15 using your fake ID.

    So it's pretty clear to me that the companies were advertising to older players, unless I've missed something here.

    I'm also confused about how the context is important. Yes, you're right that the use of a firearm in real life vs. an FPS is different. That's why many states have mandatory training requirements to apply for a CCW. But I'm at a loss how people who want to pick up a nice hunting rifle they saw after a game of MoH are going to be less responsible. That seems similar to me as the arguments that video games cause people to become violent - the idea that they'll use firearms less responsibly if they play shooters.

  • GuardianAngelGuardianAngel Registered User regular
    @Diagoras, the whole point is that they ARE marketing guns to children who cannot legally buy or own them. You can take the stance that the company is only marketing towards older gamers (which seems naive), or you can accept that the game and ads tie together to entice children to get their hands on guns (which is irresponsible at best). This isn't about getting a kid to go hunting with their dad like you or I probably have, it's about presenting ads directly next to the context of killing other human beings for fun.

    I don't want to get into the whole video game violence debate. Games don't make kids killers or sociopaths. But, I have a lot of friends that never grew up with guns (conversely I did - hunting and competitive shooting), and I know for a fact they don't respect or understand firearms as well as any owner should. Worse is that they do own guns now (remember, you don't need a CCW to keep something in your house and play with it). Much of it was directly from playing games (actual quote: "I just bought a desert eagle, level 43, bitches!). Sure, he's old enough to buy it, but I think anyone could recognize he's basically an accident waiting to happen. The problem is that actual ads like this, specifically presented in a video game, are only indoctrinating children younger and younger that guns are cool toys, not serious tools (incidentally, you see similar problems with cars/alcohol - both are fine, but both require a level of respect and responsibility not given enough).

  • zingledotzingledot Registered User regular
    I don't know about you, but I'm 29 and I've had toy guns that I shot at people since I was 5 years old. When I became an owner of a real gun, perhaps I didn't have respect for the tradition or some shit, - I compared it to video game guns and made jokes about it - but I knew you don't keep it loaded, you don't point it at people, and you don't shoot propane tanks. I doubt the 10 year olds of today playing MoH are any worse off than the 10 year olds of 20 years ago playing with fake guns.

  • lacusnesslacusness Registered User new member
    @zingledot "Yes, because as an avid PC gamer, I have a really hard time finding my keys or not flying my mouse off the desk."

    Yes I'm sure only avid PC gamers would want to play this. I'm sure little kids wouldn't want to play this.

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