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Offline Gaming Steve

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Episode 14 Posted
« on: June 06, 2005, 09:34:32 pm »
Here it is, part two of my interview with gaming legend Will Wright where we talk more about Spore. In addition to the interview I also cover:
  • Sony ships 90 milllllllllion PS2s.
  • Microsoft just loves losing money on the Xobx.
  • Anti-game bill nearly law.
  • Nintendogs causes DS sales to soar.
  • Blizzard keeps on banning.
  • GameTalk: How to get a job in the game industry.
  • SporeTalk: Part two of my interview with Will Wright (Warning: This is pretty hard to understand, but the transcript will be up shortly).
  • In-depth review of Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones for the GameBoy Advance.
  • RetroReview: Conker's Bad Fur Day for the Nintendo 64.
  • “Name That Game!” contest winner from last week and a new clip.
  • Plus some more random thoughts on the future of PC gaming.

Get the podcast from this page (87 minutes): Gaming Steve Episode 14.

To enter the "Name that Game!" contest to write me an email with the name of the game and the platform at: game@gamingsteve.com

You can also subscribe to the weekly podcast.


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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2005, 09:36:25 pm »
Listening now, tempted to skip to spore talk, but this other stuff is pretty nifty, waiting for the game industry getting intoness.

Offline Gauphastus

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2005, 01:54:23 am »
I posted a long comment, kind of. I just got back from my work, which only recently started up again. I'm hurting...
Heavy plant labor is rough after a summer of sitting around doing nothing.

But other than all that...
..."Monroe, my savior." with science fictiony blips, and creepy music in the background.
What in the hell is that...??? I swear that sounds so very familiar but I just can't catch it.
And now I have to wait a week to find out. I'm going to go nuts.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2005, 02:22:40 am by Gauphastus »
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Offline DevilMachine

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2005, 02:16:59 am »
Yay!
listening to it now.

that 'oceanworld' picture, where did you get it from steve?

Offline Cool AN

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2005, 06:47:50 am »
YAY!

Quote from: /lurk
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Offline Gaming Steve

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2005, 07:10:35 am »
Yay!
listening to it now.

that 'oceanworld' picture, where did you get it from steve?

It was on the wall. If you look at the picture of me and Will you can see it over our heads.
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Offline bselig

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2005, 09:15:50 am »
That picture is pretty awesome.

On PC vs. consoles:  now that we have hard drives, all we need is mouse/keyboard support and a few companies willing to take the risk with some deep strategy games and I'd never upgrade my PC again.  Sadly it appears Microsoft and Sony are reluctant to allow that for whatever reason.

Offline Zealousy

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2005, 09:24:07 am »
Nice! Downloading it now. 8)
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Offline Gandysampras

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2005, 09:25:06 am »
Sooooo glad the waits over, but now ive gotta wait for the transcript! Ah well, i can make about 70% of it out so i guess i can wait!

Offline Sturek

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2005, 09:50:14 am »
Great Podcast as always :D
I agree with you about the future of PC Gaming....
I used to play with consoles when I was like 12 but stopped soon.
The PC had more games that were really interesting and I LOVE the small LAN partys we have around here....

But recently, there has been no game that really excited me...I was into Far Cry quite a bit, but when it came out, I played for about 2-3 hours and never touched it again...just disappointing
Since Far Cry I only bought 3 games...The Sims 2 for my girlfriend ;), Trackmania and Trackmania Sunrise....not even Half-Life 2 ! I just didn't care for those games or hated certain aspects ( I am on dial-up and Steam completely ruins every single Valve game for me  >:( )
I'd love to try WoW/Guild Wars but can't afford it (WoW) and I think both games won't really work on dial-up :(
Spore and Fallout 3 are really exciting, but they seem to be sooo far away......besides those...there's nothing....

Soo long story short, I bought a DS and LOVE it esp The Minish Cap (bought it because Steve liked it so much and he was soooo right. Thank you Steve !)

I am going to buy a Revolution and I think I'll switch to a Mac as soon as possible (meaning in 2 or 3 years :D)
The only thing I am going to miss are those LAN partys but I won't miss the games but the people and just the whole atmosphere.....
Life, don't talk to me about life.
                 -Marvin, the paranoid android

Offline s0lidmetal

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2005, 10:50:34 am »
@ 8:45 you called it the Nintendo PSP  :P

Offline Dmd

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2005, 11:01:29 am »
I caught that nintendo PSP too haha, it made me think for a second.

Offline Gaming Steve

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2005, 11:25:32 am »
@ 8:45 you called it the Nintendo PSP  :P

Yeah, I do things like that a lot it seems. Too many names which are so similar. PSP, PS2, PS3, DS, it is hard to say the right thing all the time. But everyone seems to enjoy it when I make a mistake! ;D So maybe I make those "mistakes" on purpose?!?
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Offline syphonbyte

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2005, 11:35:02 am »
"And today Halo-Life 3 was announced for the PS360 to wide acclaim..."

From what I can tell the podcast is pretty good, but I only have 20% downloaded... :P

Offline Cool AN

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2005, 12:14:01 pm »
Steve you do know that Strategy games make up 43% (or more can't remember) of the pc gaming sales in the US alone? And they are much bigger in Europe and Korea.

Also Microsoft is putting more money into windows gaming and they say they are just as committed to the PC as the X-box (360), I don't really like Microsoft but hey they have Ensemble Studios and BigHugeGames so I am not complaning.

PC's, like you said are also basicly a free market some of my favourit games are from small devolpers that don't have the funds to make for the consoles but they still make great games.

Quote from: /lurk
PALM: Oh face, come closer. I've needed your touch since I heard that fundamentalist Christians were being stupid again.
FACE: Not again! Quickly Palm, come to me!

Offline Gaming Steve

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2005, 01:19:33 pm »
Steve you do know that Strategy games make up 43% (or more can't remember) of the pc gaming sales in the US alone? And they are much bigger in Europe and Korea.

Also Microsoft is putting more money into windows gaming and they say they are just as committed to the PC as the X-box (360), I don't really like Microsoft but hey they have Ensemble Studios and BigHugeGames so I am not complaning.

PC's, like you said are also basicly a free market some of my favourit games are from small devolpers that don't have the funds to make for the consoles but they still make great games.

Yeah, strategy games make up a huge portion of PC gaming now, as do FPS and MMORPGs. It's just sad to see more and more genres move from the PC to the console as I don't think that moving to the console means "better". Hard-core RPG games, especially the last few years, were always home on the PC. But with Bioware officially working on only consoles (or nearly only consoles) in the near future I think it's going to be awhile before we see any more hard-core RPGs on the PC.

And, of course, just how many strategy games/MMORPGs/RTSs/FPSs can you play over and over again on your PC? The PC is slowly becoming pinned into a corner and if you want to play other genres of games you will have to buy a console system, which I don't think is necessarily a good thing.
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Offline Cool AN

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2005, 01:24:50 pm »
Steve you do know that Strategy games make up 43% (or more can't remember) of the pc gaming sales in the US alone? And they are much bigger in Europe and Korea.

Also Microsoft is putting more money into windows gaming and they say they are just as committed to the PC as the X-box (360), I don't really like Microsoft but hey they have Ensemble Studios and BigHugeGames so I am not complaning.

PC's, like you said are also basicly a free market some of my favourit games are from small devolpers that don't have the funds to make for the consoles but they still make great games.

Yeah, strategy games make up a huge portion of PC gaming now, as do FPS and MMORPGs. It's just sad to see more and more genres move from the PC to the console as I don't think that moving to the console means "better". Hard-core RPG games, especially the last few years, were always home on the PC. But with Bioware officially working on only consoles (or nearly only consoles) in the near future I think it's going to be awhile before we see any more hard-core RPGs on the PC.

And, of course, just how many strategy games/MMORPGs/RTSs/FPSs can you play over and over again on your PC? The PC is slowly becoming pinned into a corner and if you want to play other genres of games you will have to buy a console system, which I don't think is necessarily a good thing.

26% is FPS if I remember correctly but yeah a lot of games are becoming a lot alike except of course not Laser Dolphin that game is pretty unique of course that doesn't make it good.

(I was wait to post that game for so long)

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Offline Oviraptor

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2005, 07:39:06 pm »
The problem is a lot of the best PC games are ones that can't be duplicated, Sims, Spore, RTS, etc. So unless they come up with an ever expanding list of genres, most games will be "upgrades" of older successful games, Sims --> Sims2, etc. Just my thoughts, agree or disagree.

Offline syphonbyte

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2005, 07:47:24 am »
Well, if the market ever moves into Virtual Reality stuff like it was supposed to about 10 years ago, I have a feeling PCs will probably be the first ones to support it, if only for the release of Windows VR whenever it happens.

Anyhow, like Steve said in the Podcast, it's easier to program for PCs than for Consoles. Heck, it's nearly impossible for your average joe programmer to do any sort of stuff with a console; that's why there's all the freeware and shareware games on PCs, something consoles most likely won't have for a very long time. Also, PC games get way more mods than consoles. Both of these things are because of the ease of PC programming (compared to console programming). D'oh! I can't remember where I was going with this, so I guess I'll finish up later.

Offline HoodSide

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2005, 12:51:34 pm »
This is what was proved....
That it was hard for YOU to get into the game industry. Granted, it's surely difficult, but you are a little off when you say it's easier to get into a feature film. It not hard to be a film extra at all, especially if you live in California. Now to star in a feature film, I would venture to guess that is harder.



So you worked 9AM-3PM....so you worked 6 hours a day for 7 days a week. Now I wouldn't want to work every day either, but 6 hour days are hardly something to "wahhh wahhh" about.

Just my thoughts.

Offline kthx

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2005, 01:23:10 pm »
The problem with PC gaming is that for the end user, the entry costs (both in knowledge and hardware) are too high. Furthermore, this is a hole the industry has dug itself into by growing too quickly and pandering to the tastes of an obsessive minority.

That's a pretty rough charge I sling at the PC gaming industry, but consider the following. The only way to keep up with the pace of PC gaming (e.g. to be on the cutting edge) is to have the latest hardware. The only cost-effective way (unless you're obscenely rich and can afford a new Dimension XPS every few months) is to build your own PC. A quick overview of what I like to call the Halo demographic, which is roughly defiend as people who took up gaming because they heard it was cool, reveals that they have little to no PC experience beyond, say, browsing the internet or typing a paper. They can buy a console which will be in good working order for three to five years and be done with it. No hassle.

Meanwhile, apparently the PC games industry has climbed an especially lofty ivory tower. System requirements on the newest games, compared to the kinds of systems you tend to see out in the world are insane. Not everybody has a l33t h4xx0r gaming rig (like I would claim that I do). Case in point: Doom 3, a game that despite the fact that everything seems to be laminated should have immense appeal. What average consumer in their right mind will buy Doom 3 if they get the slightest impression that it'll run like crap on their PC? Rather, the consumer is more likely to go buy a console shooter or platformer because they know that it's gonna work to a certain standard.  When I look at my peers, I see a market ruled by the economics and security of console hardware. Not to say that PC fanatics don't exist, but they are in the overwhelmingly extreme minority.

Don't get me wrong, I love my PC and I love toying with it. However, if the PC games industry wants to survive in the face of consoles, especially these next gen. behemoths, they'll either need to push to bring hardware costs down or really push development towards making games that scale across all manner of hardware.  I think there's a lot of innovation in the PC gaming industry and I'd argue that there are many genres where it's a superior platform, but I also think that the industry's putting itself at risk of being destroyed by its own hubris.
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Offline Gaming Steve

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2005, 01:23:56 pm »
So you worked 9AM-3PM....so you worked 6 hours a day for 7 days a week. Now I wouldn't want to work every day either, but 6 hour days are hardly something to "wahhh wahhh" about.

Just my thoughts.

That was a mistake. I meant to say that I worked from 9am to 3am, 7 days a week.
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Offline Tarious

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2005, 02:09:53 pm »
just listened to it.

Not surprise much that microsoft was losing money on the x-box. Me and some friends were talking once and were saying that if any consule would drop out of the market first it'd be x-box.

The problem with pc gaming in my opinion is that u have to constantly upgrade ur pcs graphic cards, ram, memory, ect just to be able to play the games compared to buying a consule every 4-5 years.

Offline s0lidmetal

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2005, 08:24:40 pm »
So you worked 9AM-3PM....so you worked 6 hours a day for 7 days a week. Now I wouldn't want to work every day either, but 6 hour days are hardly something to "wahhh wahhh" about.

Just my thoughts.

That was a mistake. I meant to say that I worked from 9am to 3am, 7 days a week.

I made the same assumption HodSide did when I first listened but then I listened again and I was like woh!  Programmers are really dedicated to this they must really love this kind of stuff.  I know I am passionate about programming myself so I know what it feels like, actually I'm writing some code now instead of studying for my finals tomorrow  :P

Offline Gaming Steve

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2005, 08:52:56 pm »
Something very important to keep in mind about those hours … remember, I was working for myself at my own company. Hence, I was working those hours half because I had to and half because I sort of wanted to (well, not that I wanted to really, but I didn't mind that much). And my programmers and designers rarely, if ever, worked late nights and never on the weekends. I made it a point to make sure that everyone had a great time at work and really enjoyed their job (I didn't have a single person leave the company the first five years it was in business and the people who left most of them went back to school).

But working at a company where the hours are "normal" is extremely rare in the gaming industry. I can into long details as to why this is but the "simple reason" is that the people who often become the managers for the various teams were the "best" programmers or designers and then promoted to a position of management. However just because you were a great programmer doesn't make you a great manager, and often you will be a very poor manager (again for reasons that would take up way too much space). So these poor managers run the project incorrectly from the start, and it continues to get worse and worse and the only way to fix it is to add more hours to the project (but not more time). So people end up working long hours to make up time that they lost due to poor planning.

The simple secret is that you need to hire project managers and producers who actually have extensive experience managing and producing large complex projects. When I would hire project managers we would usually have to go through no less than 500-1000 resumes and sometimes have as many as 50 interviews to fill just a single position. That is how important that position is. They are the key to your success and keeping a project on-time and within budget.

Ah, I can go on and on about this topic. I think I'll continue this discussion on the next podcast...
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Offline Cobra

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2005, 10:22:35 pm »
Hey Steve thanx for doing CBFD for your classic game review I love that game my friend is actully borrowing that from me at the moment I still remember buying that game from the local EB (I still actully have the receipt in my wallet) It is a shame the game wasn't a huge success I think the fact the game was released at the end of the 64 lifespan where everyone was saving for next-gen consols didnt help it much everyone I know who played that game loved it and no one can deny that the song of the great mighty poo was the highest point.

(I am such a wh*re for Rare games.)

Offline syphonbyte

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2005, 07:40:20 am »
It is rather unfortunate that the best programmers and artists and so on get promoted to management positions, both for the reasons Steve outlined and also because the company doesn't get to use their skills as much on projects any more. It seems like a really odd system to me.

Offline s0lidmetal

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2005, 02:33:02 pm »
It just makes me appreciate games that much more after knowing this.

Offline bselig

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2005, 02:48:09 pm »
Thanks for the transcript.  That bit with the molding gravity/spacetime to impact star formation sounds both incredibly awesome as well as comical overkill.

Offline syphonbyte

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Re: Episode 14 Posted
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2005, 09:09:27 am »
It just makes me appreciate games that much more after knowing this.

Yeah, I got made at CGW for saying "Give me 10 monkeys and an hour and I'll make this game" or something like that. It wasn't a good game at all, but if I had worked on that game I'd be pretty mad at them for saying that.