Weekend Confirmed Episode 41: New Year's Eve Special

By Garnett Lee, Dec 31, 2010 9:00am PST For this New Year's Eve 2010 show--the second of our two holiday specials--Shane Bettenhausen joins Garnett, Brian, and Jeff for one final 2010 recap and then a lengthy gaze into the crystal ball to see what may lie ahead in 2011. We catch up some with what Shane's been playing with friends back home from music games like Dance Central and Rock Band to developing thumb blisters at Super Street Fighter IV ... oh, and, uh, Sonic IV. Your responses from our SModcastle live show seed the conversations in the second segment with topics like why we really want to get our hands on the Nintendo 3DS. In the second half of the show all attention turns to 2011--the games, the trends, and, of course, predictions!

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 41 - 12/31/2010

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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: 00:30:24

Whatcha' Been Playin (cont) and the Warning: 00:31:28 End: 01:01:43

2010 Wrap-up and 2011 predictions: 01:02:45 End: 01:32:02

Featured Music "Shake Shake Boom Boom" by Those Crosstown Rivals: 01:32:02 End: 01:35:08

2011 predictions (cont): Start: 01:35:08 End: 02:13:08

In the Featured Music segment this week it's Lexington, KY based Those Crosstown Rivals with "Shake Shake Boom Boom" from their album The Day After Yesterday available now on iTunes, Amazon, and cdbaby. Show them some love if you like what you hear! Keep up with Those Crosstown Rivals on their Reverb Nation page, Facebook page, and Twitter.

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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  • Last night I finally got around to watching the King's Speech. Amazing movie.

    It got me thinking...

    The King's Speech is a full, satisfying story that keeps your gripped from beginning to end, and it does it without firing a shot. There are no action sequences, no shoot-outs, no car chases, and no monsters.

    Can there ever be a videogame, where from beginning to end, all you do is talk to people. Where the challenge doesn't come from aiming a gun, or taking out enemies, but actually trying to figure out various character's personality, motivations, biases, weaknesses and 'win' conversations to get the information you need, or get somebody to do something you want?

    Mass Effect, while still relatively rudimentary, does a great job of making conversing an ACTIVE pursuit instead of a passive one. Trying to figure characters out, anticipate how they'll respond to different conversational tactics, made conversations as fun for me as the combat. I talked to everybody I could, just for the 'game' of navigating those conversations.

    I think more developers and publishers need to look at how to make these kind of interactions active, engaging and powerful.

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 4 replies.

    • There was this one Indie PC game a few years ago called Facade, I don't remember the website, but I know it's still up, and I think you can still download the game for free.

      Anyway, they tried to do more or less what you're describing here. It's a first person game where some old friends invite you to their apartment, and you arrive to find them in the middle of a fight, their marriage quite possibly in the middle of breaking down. There's a point and click interface for interacting with certain objects, and a text parser for conversation.

      Unfortunately, you need to really, really suspend your disbelief in order to make it work. The parser doesn't bother to tell you when it doesn't recognize words, and the two characters will stare at you blankly while you try to find things to say that they might understand.

      And that, I think, is the problem with a game like this. Even though this game is a few years old, I don't think we've advanced technologically enough to cover the complexities of conversation, and even the slightest slip up can toss you straight into the uncanny valley. After seeing Milo demoed at Ted Talks, I'm convinced that this was the reason they axed the project.

      The best we can do right now are games with a lot of options of predetermined dialogue, kind of like those games from Japan where you try to get laid. I guess there's potential in trying something in that format, but with more serious subject matter, but I don't know how far you could take that idea before it gets redundant.