Weekend Confirmed 141 - Far Cry 3, Skulls of the Shogun, Darksiders 2

By Jeff Mattas, Nov 30, 2012 11:00am PST

For November's final Weekend Confirmed, Garnett Lee, Jeff Cannata, and "Indie" Jeff Mattas are joined by Jake Kazdal of 17-BIT Games, the indie studio behind the upcoming strategy game, Skulls of the Shogun. Far Cry 3 gets much love from Mattas, Cannata talks about his joyous return to Darksiders 2, and Garnett gives an update on his slog through the final hours of Lost Odyssey. The lively discussion includes a whole lot more, before the crew's Finishing Moves and post-show TailGate cap things off.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 141: 11/30/2012

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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 - 00:00:35 - 00:30:35

    Whatcha' Been Playin Part 1 - 00:31:05 - 00:57:57

    Whatcha Been Playin Part 2 00:58:25 - 01:30:07

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News - 01:30:40 - 02:02:22

    Tailgate - 02:03:05 - 02:10:41

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Weekend Confirmed @WeekendConfirmd

Garnett Lee @GarnettLee

Jeff Cannata @jeffcannata

Jeff Mattas @JeffMattas

Jake Kazdal @jkooza

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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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  • How I would like to see Game of the Year done.

    First, start with a list similar to the New York Time Notable Books of Year which isn’t really an award but more a list of what the reviewers feel were excellent books released over the past year.

    From this list of Notable Games, six would be then shortlisted for Game of the Year contention with one taking home the big prize. I don’t feel that the MSRP, team size, budget, length of the game, or any other factor should disqualify or dimish any games opportunity from contending as Game of the Year. If a two hour downloadable game gave the panel the one of the best gaming experiences they had that year, there is no reason that it shouldn’t be in the discussion. Braid was certainly one of the best games of 2008 and Journey should be in the discusion this year with FTL making a strong case as well.

    Finally, recognize indivual games for the excellence they brought to gaming in that year. This would allow the games that have really stood out to be acknowledged for that specific excellence. This recognition would also stand the test of time as almost a list of milestones for the industry and games that others will be compared with going forward.

    Imagine had this Recognition of Excellence been in existence over the past six years, we might have a partial list looking something like this:

    In Recognition of Excellence in Storytelling: Bioshock (2007)
    In Recognition of Excellence in Co-Operative Play: Left 4 Dead (2008)
    In Recognition of Excellence in Motion Control: Flower (2009)
    In Recognition of Excellence in Art Design: Kirby’s Epic Yarn (2010)
    In Recognition of Excellence in Sports: NBA2K11 (2010)
    In Recognition of Excellence in Writing: To The Moon (2011)

    So in the end there is a list of the games that the panel felt were truly strong and worthy of attention (Notable Games of 2012). There are nominees for the Game of Year award with the winner awarded (Game of the Year). And there would be a handful of games that have brought something special to gaming being acknowledged for their acheivement (In Recognition of Excellence).

    Long time listener, first time caller,


  • Hey Garnett,

    Love the podcast and have been hearing for a long time. But this is the first time I make a comment here.

    I have been meaning to write about this for a long time, but have not because I wanted to express myself in a way that did not sound like a complain.

    I just heard the latest bioshock infinite podcast, and finally, for the first time I think you may have actually experienced a frustration I have been having for the longest time with the show, which is the desire to learn about a game, without having anything spoil it.

    I look forward every weekd to hear the podcast, but many times, I find myself having to skip huge parts of the show because of the indiscriminate spoils that come from "talking about a certain game."

    Like many of you, I play games to experience the story, and i like to be surprised by the game and the experience. If Jeff tells me that I am a citizen of Comcordia, and will revolt because of racism and become the rebel in the game, that just killed a major surprised and plot of the game, I will no longer be able to experience and be surprised myself.

    Going back to the Assassin's creed 3 episode. You talked so much about the story, that I had to completely stop listening to the podcast because I did not want to learn more about the game.

    I know it is really hard to talk about a game without giving away spoilers, but I would really appreciate if you could talk more about the gameplay and mechanics of the game, and when talking about the story just give an overall overview, and not specifics of what is going on.

    I love you show, and in no way shape or form I am trying to tell you how to do your job. I just would hate to have to stop listening to a show I love because of spoilers.

    I think sometimes, the eagerness to talk about the game, and the fact that being a journalist, you loose track that most people have not played the game, and wont probably play the first week the game is out. most people are excited about to play the game and want to learn about it but do not want the experience told to them in advance, but rather, want to learn if the experience is worth having.

    I believe on the bioshock infinite episode was the first time, you and your crew experienced what I have experienced all along. Want to learn about the game, but did not want Jeff to spoil any of it. Maybe you can re work the approach so this is not an issue in the future.

    Again, i am not trying to tell you how to do your job, just giving the insight of someone outside the business who would love to continue to listen to the show.

    Thank you guys.

  • Just wanted to poke my head in to comment on your DotA discussion, with Jeff saying that he wanted to get some experience in the genre. For some background here, I've been playing DotA since it was a collection of mods on battle.net for warcraft 3, and DotA 2 for a bit over a year. I played in the League of Legends beta and continued there until about a year after they released their 3v3 map, playing on a couple of low level competitive teams on the way.

    First, the pitch on ARTS games and why Jeff will get sucked in super hard (I hate the term MOBA. Multiplayer Online Battle Arena? The games are action RTS, it's a way better description): It's like taking the experience of leveling a character in Diablo/WoW to the level cap, compressing it into a 40 minute time period, and making the entire experience PvP. In WoW if you want to roll a tank/dps/healer you have to sink days into a new character, while in these games you just hit find match again and pick someone new. I've literally been playing these games for the past 10 years, and it hasn't gotten old yet.

    I've had thousands of RPG experiences encompassing the full spectrum of the genre. There were times when my character grew so powerful he could destroy anything in his path with ease, times when my shaman managed to throw out a key heal to turn the tide of a fight and a game, and times when my guy ended the game having taken a total beating, with a pitifully small inventory, no HP and weak spells.

    The basic mechanics aren't that complex. You have four abilities, you level up and earn gold by killing things, you use that gold to buy potions and new armor/weapons, and you go and kill the enemy. If you're not strong enough to kill the enemy, you need to farm better than they do so you can have more items and be higher leveled, so you can kill them.

    When it comes to which game to jump into right now, Dota 2 is really the place to be as a new player for one reason: Valve. The game is as polished as any Valve project. Each character has 30 minutes of dialog recorded, covering just about every action that occurs in the game. Characters have rivalries with each other in the game universe, and talk smack to each other after kills (Example - when a samurai strikes down a stealth hero with permanent invisibility: "An honorable foe stands to fight before he dies."). The animations and character design are amazing and ever improving, the devs put out custom holiday events/map reskins,

    If you want to see esports done right, you need to see what Valve is doing with Dota 2. Anyone can jump into any game being played at any time as a spectator, whether it's your friend playing his second game ever or two pro teams going at it. When tourneys are online, you can watch the games through the game client. You can jump into a first person point of view and get a players mouse and screen movements on your computer, you can control the camera yourself, or you can use their AI director to frame the action for you. Commentator audio is piped through the game client, and if multiple commentators are commenting on a match you can select the one you want at any time.

    Gameplay wise, the balance philosophy of DotA has always been "Make the less popular, weaker characters better, instead of making the popular, strong characters worse." Valve hired both the original creator of DotA, as well as the man who took it from a fun but unbalanced mod to a competitive game played for huge amounts of money. It's fascinating to look at the comments around DotA balance patches - nobody complains. In Starcraft blizzard can say "Hey guys we're going to make command centers cost 405 minerals instead of 400" and the forums will explode with reasons that this will kill the game, but everyone has so much faith in icefrog's ability to balance the game that nobody gripes.

    Finally, Valve is monetizing the game through cosmetic items and never selling anything that affects gameplay, while LoL is monetizing the game through selling heroes (as well as boosts that shorten the grind that it takes to get your summoner to the maximum power level). For me this is huge - I like being able to play as whoever I want to, at any time, without being charged. The implications of selling heroes are what drove me away from the game - Riot is incentivized to release new heroes as often as possible, to make more money.

    Anyhow, I hope this post might inspire some people to check out the greatest genre in competitive video gaming. Nothing beats jumping online with a couple of friends and creating some new stories, and the first time you get a character strong enough that you can come out of a three vs one fight unscathed I guarantee you'll be hooked!

    If anyone wants Dota 2 keys, I think I have a couple extra lying around - just reply here and I'll set you up.

  • Not to 'opposition buzz market' too much, but a few weeks ago, there was a Joystiq podcast episode that had Brian Leahy and Mike Schramm appear to talk and debate about DotA 2 and LoL, pros and cons, and what the general similarity/differences are.

    I myself have been curious of these sort of games, but am absolutely afraid of getting absolutely creamed; especially after some of the horror stories that BLeahy points out (in the podcast). I found it absolutely informative, and well worth a listen.

    Plus BLeahy! (whatcha gonna sayhee?!)