Weekend Confirmed Episode 47

By Garnett Lee, Feb 11, 2011 2:40pm PST

Garnett jetted in early Friday morning from Las Vegas where he attended D.I.C.E., saw the Interactive Achievement Awards, and played Duke Nukem Forever. He joins Jeff, Jeff, and special guest Andrea Rene host of This Week in Video Games and Mahalo Video Games Today. Up first in Whatcha' Been Playin? the conversation includes Killzone 3, Mass Effect 2 on PS3, Stacking, and Hazard: the Journey of Life. A special edition of the Warning delves into some of the creative discussion points raised at D.I.C.E. sessions. And news on Battlefield 3, the Darkness 2, and major upheaval at Activision pack the Front Page to wrap it all up.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 47 - 02/11/2011

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And if you're on GameCenter, you can play the show here: Download Weekend Confirmed Episode 47.

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: 00:31:58

Whatcha' Been Playin? and Cannata-ford: 00:33:00 End: 01:05:33

The Warning: 01:06:40 End: 01:42:34

Featured Music Del Rio featuring Panama Redd with "Oxygen": 01:42:34 End: 01:45:40

The Front Page: Start: 01:45:40 End: 02:28:05

Featured music this week comes from our very own Del Rio. His first album, The Wait is Over, released this past Tuesday. On the show today is the track Oxygen featuring Panama Redd. And we've got a special deal to help celebrate the release. Buy the five tracks listed below on iTunes and Del Rio will send you the other six for free!


  • The Next Phase (Produced by Anon)

  • Move feat. M. Terrel, Mista Perkins, and Natalia

  • Wandering feat. Brian Mauleon

  • Can't Stop My Shine feat. X2

  • Pigeonholed (Produced by Gabe Dulek

Get for FREE:

  • Now I Understand

  • Love Silly Me (Produced by RNS)

  • Oxygen feat. Panama Redd

  • Dreaming feat. Charissa

  • Wait (Produced by RC)

  • Small Town Hero (Produced by RNS

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!

Remember to join the Official Facebook Weekend Confirmed Page and add us to your Facebook routine. We'll be keeping you up with the latest on the show there as well.

Click here to comment...


63 Threads | 338 Comments

  • I'm going to have to side with Jeff on the Angry Birds argument. Look, no matter where you stand, Angry Birds is just plain fun (to a lot of people anyway) and most importantly, it's a game that appealed to both the casual and "hardcore" audience.
    To discredit it just because it doesn't stand at a technical level is shallow and subconsciously puts us in that mindset of "Games must look great to pass the GOTY test" and sure it's a huge technical difference to lets say, Mass Effect 2 and you can liken the situation in movies where a short indie film winning the Oscars, but that shouldn't even matter in the first place.
    It's still a game and If it brings in the fun and gave an awarding experience to various groups of people, then it's proven itself already. Hell in an extreme case, if Zyanga somehow managed to make a great game on Facebook game that applied the same concepts and roped in the casual and "hardcore" alike then I wouldn't discredit that getting a GOTY either.

    Now my only problem is that if Angry Bird's had won, I would be confused. Because although fun, it was up against some really stiff competition. However keep in mind we were discussing whether or not Angry Birds deserved to be a GOTY nominee in the first place, not winning so pardon me if I sound a tad hypocritical.

    Now I have to bring up a question. That is, would anyone personally give a video game GOTY nomination to lets say, a technical, unique and original experience which wasn't really fun, but something in which no one has ever seen/played before? Or give it to something that was highly unoriginal, but truly fun and polished?

  • I don't know if anybody else saw this rumor, but I thought it would be worth discussing since it represents the other side of the coin on the whole Duke Nukem discussion.

    Rumor has it that the new XCOM games from 2K Games is getting some big changes. Obviously, the die-hard fans that have been slagging the new game from day one for being an FPS are making like the newly-liberated citizens of Egypt, dancing in the streets and whatnot. They're hoping the game is essentially getting canned and replaced with a turn-based strategy game.

    I was lucky enough to see the full 20 minute demo of XCOM at E3 last year, and speaking as somebody that LOVED the turn-based games, I liked what I saw. Yes, it was moved to the first-person perspective, and yes, a lot of the strategy had been streamlined.

    But I felt the base-building, mission-selecting, tech-advancing, and resource-management elements were all represented in an intelligent manner through the 'homebase' and mission objectives. Plus, the visual aesthetic and atmosphere were dead on. So whatever the changes are, I actually hope they aren't too drastic.

    My thoughts on this game are the same as my thoughts regarding Duke Nukem Forever. Game design is always evolving,and while an exact replica of the gameplay people enjoyed years ago sounds nice on a nostalgic level, I just don't think it works.

    And IMO it's idiotic for fans and press alike to claim that Duke Nukem will suffer because it is stuck in old-school game design, and then turn around and say that a first-person XCOM is a travesty and the franchise should go back to exactly the way it was a decade ago or more.

    You can recreate the spirit of previous experience with modern gameplay design. In fact, it's the only way to do those cherished game experiences proper justice.



  • I just had a thought, probably 3 weeks too late, but here it is anyway:

    I remember back in the early SNES days when my friends and I had just discovered Sim City. Every last one of us knew the million dollar code like the backs of our hands. I'm sure it was years, nearly a full decade, before I wound up actually playing the game the way it was meant to be played, where you're actually suppose to build your city and take long-term sustainability into consideration.

    Certainly, there's an audience out there who digs into the simulation aspects of a game like this, but for a lot of people, it's just not that interesting. At the time, as much as I loved the game, I didn't really appreciate it's depth, because that aspect of the game just wasn't all that interesting to me. I really enjoyed getting to design my own little city, but I didn't really want to deal with everything else that came with it.

    To some degree, I suspect that Minecraft - which I play on peaceful - is fulfilling that same desire for me nowadays.

    This, I suspect, is the attraction a lot of non-gamers have to Zynga's ______ville games. They get to be creative, design their little town, get their friends involved, and more importantly, show off their own town to their friends, all without ever getting bogged down by the deeper simulation aspects that they don't really want to have to deal with.

    I really don't want to get into the "is it a game?" discussion because I really don't care. I think they qualify as games, but in some ways, the niche they fill is more akin to a train set or model airplane.

  • The discussion on the Value of Avatar vs Facebook Account resonated with me, but in counter-point to where you guys were. For me, my online avatar (neé Loiosh) is the identity I prefer to use and care about the values of.

    In context this means that I place comparatively little value in 'real' friends (IRL friends known via Facebook) vs the online friends (defined as: fellow shackers, guild members and social friends I have that I know primarily online.) I do not game that often with RL friends (most of them do not play games); instead, I game with this fantastic Shack community, and thus I find the value of my Avatar and the interactions with my online friends with this Avatar are significantly more valuable to me than social gaming via Facebook.

  • I've gotta say, Andea's assertion that a "simple" game can't be considered a game of the year contender really got me worked up.

    Simplicity in any medium can be a sign of skill.

    As a musician, I'm never impressed by the bands that play the most notes. I'm impressed by the bands that are able to play the fewest notes, yet make a powerful piece of music.

    Yes, there is something truly impressive about a game as deep and complex as AC brotherhood or Mass Effect 2, especially when it comes all clicks.

    But that takes nothing away from a simple, elagent idea, masterfully exicuted.

    Angry Birds may or may not be a fair contender for Game of the Year. But I will say this: it captured more hours from me than Fable 3, Vanquish, Alan Wake, and a lot of other great games this year.

    Andrea's dismissal of a game, purely because it is 'simple', is a truly ignorant and closed-minded way to look at the medium.

  • Whoa, Weekend Confirmed the semantics edition. Lots of discussion of what constitutes this and what qualifies for that.
    Personally, I dislike the social network games because they wall-off content as part of their business scheme, content which you can only access either through payment, being part of a pyramid scheme, or selling your information on the internet - which is kind of iffy. Although bringing up WoW was an interesting point by Jeff - perhaps Facebook games disturb us because they blatantly use those same psychological hooks games have been using for years?. WoW already has an established audience, of course, but it bears the question - had Farmville been released earlier, would it have been the WoW killer?
    I found the discussion of what constitutes a "game" oddly reminiscent of the discussion of "What is an RPG" that cropped up a number of years back, as more and more games adopted "RPG elements". As I recall, that discussion was never really settled, either, although I've found my own answer I'm happy with. As other commenters have noted, most anything can be couched in terms of a game, but we can make a distinction between "gameified" activities and games. We can generally identify in these compounds what is the base material and what is the additive. Which brings up the question - if, as many game developers have noted, a lot of these Facebook actively devolve certain games, making them worse in order to fit in the mold, isn't this an indication that Facebook games might be a "gamification" of, for lack of a better term, "social networking"?

  • The subject of old game mechanics brought up in the DNF discussion made me think of my "old-school FPS" romp through Heretic. I remember a lot of people (myself included, to some extent) panning it as "fantasy-universe Doom", but I had a sort of "rediscovery" moment, which was admittedly helped by playing it in ZDoom in 1600 x 1200: http://the_archvile.shackspace.com/Heretic_20110123_233943.png

    The base mechanic for the progression restriction is doors locked by keys. This is the good old "key, door, exit" mechanic that was completely destroyed by the year 2000 as an "archaic game mechanic." This was back before people complained a ton about "monster closets" (we can thank Doom 3 for bringing that to the forefront by going more linear and using far less keycard-locked doors). But now when I'm playing through Heretic, it feels like a more interesting mechanic. At the start of the level, you have to figure out where you are, where you're going, and where the exit is. Many of the Heretic maps center around either a "fortress" or a "hub section", and you're usually looking for the next key to get into the "next highest secured level" of the map. Raven found some interesting ways to accomplish this, and even though there are plenty of "monster closets" near keys or important weapons / artifacts, it's less a case of "Boo, scared ya!" and more of "Hey, guess what kind of enemies are facing you now! Choose your weapon and FIGHT!" The weapons in Heretic had some interesting depth, between the ghost enemies (who would have "physical" projectiles pass straight through them, so you'd have to think about switching to a weapon that fires magic) and the Tome of Power (the Quad Damage before the Quad Damage existed, though it changed the characteristics, firing patterns, and sometimes ammo consumption of each of the weapons in interesting ways).

    This sort of goes back to the "FPS Map Design" graphic: http://www.multiplayergames.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/mapdesign.jpg . In the past few weeks, I had more fun "storming the fortresses" of Heretic and Hexen ( http://the_archvile.shackspace.com/Hexen_20110114_211712.png ) than I did "running the gauntlet" of more recent linear cinematic FPS games.