Weekend Confirmed Episode 35

By Garnett Lee, Nov 19, 2010 12:20pm PST

Thanksgiving might be a week away but the new release feast is in full swing. After a couple of quick follow ups to last week's Black Ops coverage, Garnett, Brian, and Jeff serve up Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, 007: Blood Stone, and Donkey Kong Country Returns as the main dishes in Whatcha' Been Playin? The reactionary commentary of ESPN's 1st and Ten cast in response to Kobe's appearance in the Black Ops ads starts off the Warning. Your thoughts on shooter fatigue, urgency without a ticking clock, and more take the conversation right up to the Front Page. October's NPD sales numbers and Bizarre Creation's uncertain future headline a full slate of news.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 35 - 11/19/2010

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Weekend Confirmed comes in four segments to make it easy to listen to in segments or all at once. Here's the timing for this week's episode:

Whatcha' Been Playin: Start: 00:00:00 End: 00:31:07

Whatcha' Been Playin and Cannata-ford a New Game: Start: 00:32:10 End: 01:03:58

The Warning: Start: 01:05:08 End: 01:37:16

Music Break featuring "Never Get 2 See U Again": 01:37:16 End: 01:40:30

The Front Page: Start: 01:40:30 End: 02:11:14

NFL 'Tailgate': Start: 02:12:15 End: 02:20:42

Music Break this week features "Never Get 2 See U Again" by Beta. Chris Contreras aka Beta is an emcee and aspiring filmmaker hailing from Southern California. The Hip Hop culture and movies have made a huge impact in his life, and to his work. Beta is also an avid gamer. "Never Get 2 See U Again" is a collaboration between Beta and his brother Brandon Menace (who is currently in the military stationed in Japan). He has known and worked with Tak/Ribkat from the acclaimed groups Fort Minor and Styles of Beyond, for many years. For more from Beta, keep up with him on Soundcloud, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest single, Small Town Hero on iTunes. Check out more, including the Super Mega Worm mix and other mash-ups on his ReverbNation page or Facebook page.

Jeff can also be seen on The Totally Rad Show. They've gone daily so there's a new segment to watch every day of the week!

Our Official Facebook Weekend Confirmed Page is coming along now so add us to your Facebook routine. We'll be keeping you up with the latest on the show there as well.

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  • Urgency Without Fail: How to make a game Urgent without Cliché

    I enjoyed this episode, but had to stop to help Jeff out making his point. I feel, like Jeff, that Clocks/Timers are not required to create urgency; instead, they are crutches to assist developers when another part of their game is not holding up. Why do I think this? I'll give you three examples from three of the best games ever made to demonstrate how to create urgency without the crutch of a timer. Finally I'll show how to do a building explosion/destruction (as Brian mentioned) without using a countdown.
    -- In reply

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 6 replies.

    • Example 1: Half-Life 2: Episode 2
      TLDR version: Our Mutual Friend Strider/Hunter Attack
      In HL2 EP2, you are faced with a progressive and staged attack by Strider/Hunter groups looking to attack the base before the launch of a rocket. The entire event is incredibly intense with a great sense of urgency as you face an attack on multiple fronts, with enemies progressively headed towards the base. Should they reach it and destroy the gate, you will fail. There is no timer (Valve does not allow extraneous UI elements so there is no way to make a timer without having a voice announce it). Instead they decided to craft an event that is urgent by excellent use of their AI and creative scripting.

      Example 2: ICO
      Every fight features an urgent juggle between defense of Yorda and attacking the shadow minions. In the later levels they combine puzzle solving while juggling the fight to add even more urgency. In addition the bridge scene (near the end of the game) is emotionally intense and gives the player rising stress as the game implies that Yorda is being attacked and corrupted for every moment she is separated from Ico.

      Example 3: World of WarfCraft ICC Raids (Professor Putricide and Valithria, et al.)
      TLDR: Boss fights that involve no timers (aka an enrage timer) but use game mechanics to create urgency
      For every expansion Blizzard shows how they are one of the best developers to ever tackle an MMO. For the end of Wrath of the Lich King they pushed their game systems as far as they could go to create complex and involved fights that avoided the common tank and spank mechanisms.
      Valithria Dreamwaker: This fight does not involve a boss. Instead the 'boss' is hurt and the raid's objective is to heal her to full. The urgency is created by the waves of enemies that spawn, with each wave growing steadily more difficult. At a certain point it will be impossible to progress so the stress rises with each healing phase until either success or failure.
      Professor Putricide: Putricide during phase 3 tosses bottles of ooze upon the ground. They steadily expand to take over the room. He has to be completely killed (and the ooze avoided) before the entire room is covered in ooze and everyone dies. Urgency without a timer

      Final Example: Building Explosion/Destruction without a Timer
      TLDR version: Staged events clearly define the roll of the player with a clear indication of each stage shown visibly
      Disaster Report, despite being a very flawed game, is an excellent example of staged building destruction that goes without the need for a timer. Instead the players are exposed to a building that steadily falls apart with the safe areas clearly shown. This allows the players to feel a great deal of urgency in moving to the next safe area, while avoiding the use of a timer. Instead the destruction is staged so that player knows how much time is left purely by visual feedback.