Weekend Confirmed Episode 51

By Garnett Lee, Mar 11, 2011 12:00pm PST

Though they're missing PAX East, the Weekend Confirmed crew can't complain about the amazing SoCal weather, and Shacknews's Xav de Matos is up in Boston to cover the show. EGM's Sterling McGarvey joins Jeff and Garnett in the studio for this week's show. There's still plenty of leftovers from last week's GDC along with new releases to fill Whatcha Been Playin? The highlights include Fight Night Champions, Dragon Age 2, Lord of the Rings: War in the North, and Alice: Madness Returns. GDC panels and your comments on apologizing for Bulletstorm get the Warning going strong. And news in the Front Page includes several game announcements, sales records for Kinect and Pokemon, and cloud save game backups for the PS3.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 51: 03/11/2011

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If you're viewing this in the GameCenter application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 51 directly.

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 Part 1: Start: 00:00:00 End: 00:30:43

  • Whatcha' Been Playin Part 2: Start: 00:31:28 End: 00:58:20

  • The Warning: Start: 00:59:27 End: 01:33:28

  • Featured Music "Spirit" by Tabernacle MCz: 01:33:28 End: 01:36:46

  • Front Page news: Start: 01:36:46 End: 02:13:57

This week's featured music is the track "Spirit" by Tabernacle MCz. The Genesis for this new Aquarian Gospel comes in the name of Tabernacle MCz Featuring Panama Redd a.k.a Deacon Dwindle Ducketz, Shaheid known as Father "BreakYoSelf" Tithes, and the Apostle Born Allah alias Sweet Daddy Grace. These ministers of the Aquarian Gospel are backed by “The Get Dat Money Boyz Choir”, also called the Choir Boyz. You can keep up with them at Facebook, ReverbNation, BandCamp, and Twitter

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.

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Comments

  • Just something I've been wondering today regarding game design philosophy: Do you prefer that deveopers design the character(s) first and then build the world around them, or design and build the world first, followed by the insertion of characters that would fit the world?

    For the former, I see the classic games like Mario and Sonic being designed this way (hence a more iconic IP) and of recent, Unchartered where Nathan (and friends) show so much personality with the game basically playing the "everyman in extraordinary situations", God of War where so much of the focus revolves around Kratos' quest for vengeance, and Sam and Max for obvious reasons.

    On the other side, you have a lot more games that fit the "world before characters" design such as the whole Fallout series and the Elder scrolls series where your character is what YOU build them to be, but the world within the game really have that depth behind them, Bioshock and the Half-Life series where you essentially play the "faceless protagonist" but are given the opportunity to fully absorb the wonderment of the world and get a sense of the feeling the developers were trying to convey in the world, and Assassins Creed, where the world begun with the historical context, but the character you play is essentially an avatar representing you, visiting the past.

    Either seems to be valid, though for character design first, trends more towards a linear yet structured gaming, and for world first, a much more of an exploratory experience where you are encouraged to absorb the settings.

    Thoughts?

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 6 replies.

      • cont.....


        If your character had a deliberate affect on the game world, as in Duke Nukem Forever, where the game is constantly reacting to your presence and it's all about you and you play a protagonist that acts outside of the player's intentions, well, we still get the same result. The world interacts with the protagonist by confirming their impact on the world and the role you play in it. Either way, the world is always the device that confirms the character, whether faceless or not. A silent protagonist only means that other characters need to talk more to compensate for the missing expository. Assholes never stopped yelling at "Soap" McTavish in MW3 and there were times when Alex had to say shit for you because Gordon never spoke up, but damn she was waifu material, that one. :3

        Anyways. The construction in this manner doesn't seem relevant to the affect it has on the completed game. If you're going for a protagonist, personality or not, the game world invariably is the decider when it comes to your role and importance.

        We got awfully close to a character-only narrative in Heavy Rain, but even then the plot is what tied everything together, supported by the characters. In this case, the characters had their motivations and their intentions, but it was glued together out of necessity for the plot. If the killer never kidnapped "X: JASON", the plot didn't really exist for another set of characters. In this case, the characters act as the setting of the game world rather than purely characters.

        The Fallout games let the leash go far as hell, but in the end the game world and other characters are the thing that drives the game. Wandering around in the desert for too long in 2 nets you stagnation, where you can't progress the plot further. No matter how "open" they feel, you get reeled in eventually. Yeah, you could technically dick around forever in the wasteland, but that's an entirely different argument about whether the game designer's construction of the game is the REAL game or whether your personal experience with the game is what defines it's qualities. We'll assume for now that the designer's intention of a "beginning" and an "end" of the game is the true game in this case.

        Sure, it kinda feels like Mario's escapades are more character-driven, yet the fat fuck says a total of 10 different things in any given adventure, none of which are expository elements of the plot, just YIPEEs and WAHAAs. Mario's just as "faceless" as the protagonists like Gordon.

        In the end, the way the developer went about the construction of the game is irrelevant to whether it's more "character-centric" or "world-centric".

        But this is an interesting topic! Maybe it's more relevant to ask the significance and impact on a game based on how extraneous a character's interactions are? Are we taken along on a rollercoaster of plot or are we the dick-titted reason the world lives another day?