Weekend Confirmed 86 - Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3, Saints Row the Third

By Garnett Lee, Nov 11, 2011 11:11am PST

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Modern Warfare 3 arrived this week and the Weekend Confirmed crew takes a little break from playing them to share their stories from the games. Wouldn't you know, a cold bug seems to be sweeping through the offices as well, laying out Xav and sapping Garnett. He carries on, though, joined by Jeff and Christian because the show must go on. And boy does it. Saints Row the Third also got into the mix of what we've been playing and we take a look at whether it's odd to play portable games from the comforts of our couch and what we learned about Mass Effect 3 from the beta that briefly leaked out on Live. As always, we wrap it all up with Finishing Moves and our football Tailgate.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 86: 11/11/2011

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If you're viewing this in the GameFly application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 86 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:

    Show Breakdown:

    Round 1 00:00:00 to 00:23:43

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:24:16 to 00:47:07

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 00:48:06 to 01:14:17

    Featured Music Break: 01:14:17 to 01:17:00 Cool Party Guys, 'Stanky'

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:17:00 to 01:52:22

    NFL Tailgate 01:53:05to 01:59:47

Billy Bonnell and Greg Santos are part of the sketch comedy group Cool Party Guys which also features Christian Spicer. The song was produced by a guy who has worked with Lonely Island and some top 40 rappers. The video was directed and edited by none other than Mega 64's own Derrick Acosta.

Watch the video on YouTube

Buy 'Stanky' on iTunes

Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest Album, The Wait is Over on iTunes. Check out more, including the Super Mega Worm mix and other mash-ups on his ReverbNation page or Facebook page, and follow him on twitter delriomusic.

Jeff Cannata 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!

Follow the Weekend Confirmed hosts on Twitter, too! Garnett Lee @GarnettLee, Jeff Cannata @jeffcannata, and Xav de Matos @xav.

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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  • I'm always very surprised when gaming journalists ask, "is there more headroom for the visuals?" OF COURSE THERE IS! If you need proof look to Pixar, ILM, and WETA Digital. There will always be bottlenecks in regards to creating real time interactive content with the visual fidelity that those production/VFX houses push out, but that doesn't mean we should stop trying. We are not even close to the road of diminishing returns.Graphics have much improving to do.

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 4 replies.

    • There's a difference between what those production/VFX houses put out and what applies to the visuals in videogaming. For the production/VFX houses, I have no doubt that they have to undergo huge system upgrades inorder to process and power some of the graphics they try to run, much like videogame developers. However the difference is that for the production/VFX houses, once all the visual 'pop' is created and done, it is essentially recorded and played along with the edited footage, thus the overall film (file size) remains relatively tiny compared to the raw computing and processing put into the actual visuals.

      With videogames, the console/PC has to process all those art assets, engines, audio, AI, and everything else in real time; thus it is much more limited by the actual system it is being run on. That's why the file size for games is pretty darn high up. It is also why your loading screens are there; allowing for the console to read and write the following section of the game. It becomes a compromise really; great graphics at the expense of longer loading times (since the console/PC has to read and write much more) as well as lower framerates and more stuttering, or decent graphics but shorter loading times, higher framerates and less stuttering.

      Don't forget also aside from the graphics, the system has to be able to run the AI efficiently. All that is very taxing to the system.

      Gears of War series for instance look fantastic and run great, but EPIC games have found a way to create a way to have a great look and smooth gameplay. In this case, I think its down to their creative art direction in that they don't have as many art assets as one would think, but the ones that are present, make it appear that there is a lot happening. A less is more approach if you will, much like Valve and their Source engine.

      I believe it was an interview with John Carmack where he pointed out that to him, the processing prowess of the XBox 360 has still not been completely squeezed out, and to him is down to programmers being able to write much more efficient codes for things to run better. To an extent we see developers do that. For instance, compare the graphics and running of Uncharted 1 through to the present Uncharted 3, and you will realize the improvements; some due to developers understanding the system better, but also due to improvement in coding efficiency (especially seen from those that use the same game engine over and over).

      I think it is possible to push that graphical boundary. What I don't want (and I believe it's also what the developers don't want) is better graphics at the expense of poorer AI and framerates. I have no doubt that the coding will improve to provide a best of both worlds scenario, but I do wonder how long this generation of console holds up before the it is decided that the current power isn't enough to create a scenario that facilitates both worlds.