Weekend Confirmed 123 - Outernauts, Ratchet and Clank, Dynamite Jack

By Jeff Mattas, Jul 27, 2012 11:00am PDT

While Garnett is away in Seattle on business, the two Jeffs (Cannata and Mattas) are joined by Insomniac's James Stevenson and Shacknews Daily contributor and video guru Ryan Calavano to talk about this week's gaming news, as well as some stuff they've been playing during the summer wait for mainstream releases. Insomniac's recently-launched Facebook game Outernauts gets some love, and the new Ratchet and Clank HD collection and upcoming downloadable installment, Full Frontal Assault get some hype. Mobile iOS goodness, including Dynamite Jack and Great Big War Game, get some of the spotlight as well, before the crew brings it home with another batch of Finishing Moves.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 123: 07/27/2012

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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:

    Show Breakdown:

    Round 1 00:00:49 – 00:27:29

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:28:49 – 00:55:55

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 00:56:38 – 01:27:37

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:28:38 – 01:59:07

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Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest Album, Club Tipsy 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.

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Comments






  • When it comes to boss fights, first of all I think too many games get stuck on the "default" idea of a boss being a really big enemy with a lot of health. That format isn't conducive to every genre or franchise. If you have bosses in your game, you need to tailor them to the game's mechanics. A proper boss is supposed to be an advanced test of the player's grasp of the mechanics.

    Most games don't even really need bosses, but have found few or no other ways to have climatic events. Why couldn't Prince of Persia games just end with a really tough puzzle or platforming section? Why couldn't Assassin's Creed just end with a place that's really hard to sneak into?

    Half-Life 2 did a pretty good job approximating "boss" battles to its own mechanics. The game's only real "boss" is a helicopter that hounds you for an entire level. You also have the climactic fight in nova prospekt which many agree is the hardest part of the whole game (I still can't beat it without using exploits). In my opinion HL2's real climax was the battle at the horse in City 17. The episodes also do a good job with battles that still feel climactic without being conventional "bosses".

    But the one modern game I think did the best job of twisting conventional boss battles to its own mechanics was Metal Gear Solid 3, which used them to illustrate its mechanical themes.

    The End is currently one of the most popular bosses ever because in order to beat him you had to actually use the stealth skills you learned up to that point in the game. One thing to note is that this boss occurs pretty much exactly halfway through the game. It's also the last jungle area you encounter before moving on to the mountains and the more urban-style secret base. That fight is sort of like a final exam for jungle stealth. And then they bring some of that back for the final battle against The Boss, which also required mastery of the skills you use the most in Metal Gear.






  • So I'm gonna be that guy...

    Jeff kept sayin "gigabyte per second" when he meant gigabit per second. Which I did hear someone else say. I'm sure you guys know the difference but my god, I've had friends who are like "dude I get 20 megabytes per second, I can download like 4 mp3's in 1 second. I'm such a supreme Internet badass! Har hee haw!" Then I ask them what provider they use and figure that they have like ~2.2 megabytes per sec and explain it to them that 20Mbps is equal to ~2.2MBps. Then I get called an ass and that I'm probably wrong and they keep on keepin' on.

    But yeah, google fiber is still like 125 Megabytes per second which is so fast that none of this bytes and bits nonsense I'm talkin about matters. I would eat paint chips for those speeds. I do think that ISP's advertise in bits to perhaps trick people into thinking they are getting something they're not. And when I download things in chrome or steam it always tells me how fast it's going in kilobytes or megabytes per second. So confusing!!!

    Anyways, Love the show guys!


  • On project Copernicus, according to the article Curt Schilling's main motivation for making the game was to get "Bill Gates rich". It looks like his brilliant plan was to just copy World of Warcraft. No wonder it was a disaster.

    On SWTOR and Future MMOs...This genre is desperately in need of new combat and quest mechanics. Everyone should be well aware of this by now. We need action-RPG combat that is actually fun and deep. Demon Souls, Fallout 3, and the failed MMO Tabula Rasa are all example of games with combat that was vastly more entertaining than SWTOR.

    But how do you generate enough content to keep fans sated when 1 year's worth of development yields only 1 week of gameplay? Not with PvE (player vs. environment, fighting NPCs basically), I think WoW has shown the limits of what can be done with this model. PvE in MMOs has ALWAYS been boring, and relies on a complex reward system of loot and xp to keep players interested. Future multiplayer games need to focus on PvP-based content, that is the only way to keep gameplay varied and interesting for 1000s of hours. So far PvP in MMOs has been very brutal, developers need to find a way to make it more accessible to casual players. There should be multiple ways to play, appealing to different kinds of players. Quests need to involve players in PvP while making it meaningful.

  • On the boss design question I think the best design is to do it by subtraction rather than addition. Design your mechanics around boss fights first and then they will not feel superfluous, because regardless of the mechanics killing junk enemies will always be just that, killing junk enemies.

    Monster Hunter in all its iterations is a game made up of entirely boss encounters. The mechanics of that game are designed for fighting gigantic mutable unique monsters, and the 'filler' monsters that exist on the levels are just that filler. The bosses also have weak points that are a part of the fight if you want to exploit them but in a large part are completely determined by player skill.

    I think Demon & Dark Souls are built from the same structure, in that the random undead in a stage is not where the mechanics shine, but it really comes together when you utilize the tools at your disposal to defeat insurmountably large enemies.

    Shadow of the Colossus functioned in the same way.

  • Is World of Wacraft really that innovative? Is Blizzard for that matter?

    Blizzard to me has always been the 3M of video games. All the pieces of what eventually made WoW existed in Everquest, DAoC, Anarchy and FFXI. Even those games are built on the bases of Lineage and Ultima Online. Blizzard came in and did what they always do, you give them a handful of game pieces & ideas and a preexisting setting(even Warcraft & Starcraft are almost blatant WH40K), and they will polish, polish, polish it down to a science operating on their crack formula and it overtakes everything else.

    Which I think is part of the reason whatever their next MMO is hasn't arrived because they personally created such a vacuum of new ideas in the space (barring a couple exceptions) that there is nothing interesting out there right now to pillage refine from. Or they are beta testing their future games with the expansions of their current game.

  • Outernauts got me to attempt it solely on the description of Insomniac+pokemon...

    Unfortunately it is just a casual facebook game with what I feel is a broken pay model. I was asked to pay five dollars for one ability slot for one of my many captured beasts. Just imagine how quickly that adds up. If you dont pay you have to delete skills permanently from your beast.

    The other things that make it nowhere near a 'core' game are that you rarely see a window pop-up with a close or OK option - you have to 'x' out because they all want you to share the crap. Finally it uses the energy model of

    What I heard in the discussion this week is that there are facebook games that do these kind of things and then there is outernauts. They are actually the same.