Weekend Confirmed 158 - BioShock Infinite, StarCraft II, Dota 2

By Ozzie Mejia, Mar 29, 2013 11:00am PDT

This week, it's a Very Special Weekend Confirmed Reunion! The show reunites hosts, past and present, as Garnett Lee and Jeff Cannata welcome in Joystiq's Xav de Matos and former co-host Brian Leahy. They kick off the show with some talk about Dota 2, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, and the professional gaming circuit. That's followed with a long talk about BioShock Infinite, covering everything without spoiling a thing. The show wraps up with some more speculation regarding the next generation of consoles, before everyone brings it home with fresh Finishing Moves.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 158: 3/29/2013

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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 - 00:00:40 - 00:29:16

    Whatcha' Been Playin Part 1 - 00:30:06 - 00:59:37

    Whatcha Been Playin Part 2 01:01:05 - 01:29:14

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News - 01:29:47 - 02:06:04

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Xav de Matos @Xav

Brian Leahy @bleahy

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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




  • Guys, I really like you show and I've been a semi-steady listener ever since you first started, but... and I say this with love... your spoiler-free skills pretty much suck. I gave your Bioshock section about 2 minutes before I had to turn it off for fear of having stuff spoiled (because I've unfortunately been disappointed by spoilers in your show too many times in the past).

    That said, I went back and listened to the Bioshock discussion today after I'd finished the game myself. Good discussion, but in retrospect, I'm glad I turned it off when I did.

    For reference, your friends over at Gamers With Jobs managed to do a good 35 minute spoiler-free segment on the game this week (and then do a long spoiler section on top of that after the regular show). Don't want to sound too whiny, but if you can't keep it spoiler free like those guys and gals, then please consider keeping your story-driven game discussions to spoiler sections only. Or don't discuss them at all. It's a fine line, I know, but as far as I'm concerned, you keep on crossing it.

    Other than that, keep up the good work. :-) (and cool to see Brian back for an episode!)

  • It's weird to hear talk of a need for innovative games then talk about how metal gear rising is a 39 dollar game. A game that actually brings something different to the action game genre.

    DmC and god of war should be 39 as well. Why bother making anything besides RPG's or FPS's if you're considered a b level game if the first play though is under 50 hours. I played fallout 3 and didn't like it. Played about five hours. I don't go out there saying it's a 39 dollar game. Just wasn't for me.

    You can't make an absolute rulling on what a game is worth. I didn't hesitate buying MGSRising full price but i decided to pass on Gears Judgement. There's definitely somebody reading this that thinks it's the other way around. I paid 29$ for the second dissidia game, loved it and i put 130 hours into it already. I guess any other game that doesn't match that play time, regardless of the genre, should be 29$.

    This price talk needs to stop. It's not like it's set at that price forever. If you don't like the price, wait 2 months, buy it used, rent it. People who love the game come off thinking they didn't pay enough.



  • I wanted to touch on the point of all the attention and praise that Elizabeth is getting. Though I found her overall implementation to be great, and the narrative surrounding her to be really engaging, every time she threw me a coin, or pointed out a lock pick or recording, I realized she was essentially Fable 2's dog (not a knock against her, just an observation. Also, Fable 2's dog is pretty awesome, to me at least). And while her tear powers were really cool when it was part of the story, in combat or exploring it might as well been none existent. Crates and cover spawning really didn't impress me, and the limited tears you find while exploring only made it disappointing that there weren't more. 2009's Prince of Persia actually Incorporated their AI princess into the actual gameplay a hell of a lot more than Elizabeth in the end, which is a shame because like you guys pointed out, she seemed to originally have a lot more presence and influence outside the scripted story moments.

    In the end these things might not matter, as her main purpose was narrative related; her persistent presence serves to build a bond with the player, and to that end I believe Irrational succeed with impressive results.

    Really enjoyed the show. I'd been lagging behind in listening and realized how much I missed listening to you guys!


  • This comment spans several episodes....so I apologize if I bring up discussed topics again.

    My frist comment stems over the SimCity debacle. As a consumer, I am sympathetic to their plight and the frustration that ensues when you spend money for a game/service and it does not deliver on its promise. I, however, feel that some of the backlash directed to the technology side of the issues is in a state of hyperbole. This is not a comment on the customer service issues that EA has brought upon themselves, but this pervasive idea that since it is now 2013 that all companies should know how to handle internet congestion, server stability, etc... Let's not forget that the area of computer science is a very young field of industry. For all intents and purposes, it has not been around more than 30 years and to think that it is easy to learn from previous mistakes is dismissive. Programming is constantly evolving at dramatic rates and ideas and techniques even two years ago are becoming obsolete.

    Second comment is referring to the industry as a whole. It is becoming more apparent with each new story/scandal that this industry is still stuck in the 80s with its attitudes and practices. There is the IGDA incident with scantily clad women at a rave show, there is the missteps of companies and their customer service policies, and lastly the type of games that are being produced. The average of the a video gamer is rising and without looking up exact statistics is in their late 20's early 30's. It is annoying that this industry is still treating its customer base as the 9-13 year olds that we used to be. The audience is growing up and this industry needs to mature and close the gap between what we used to want and what we want now.

    I am sorry for this wall of text....

    TL;DR
    Programming is a relatively very new field...have a little patience when tech doesn't work the first time
    The game industry needs to match the average age of its audience....sex and violence isn't as shiny as it used to be.



  • Just a quick comment re: Bioshock Infinite.

    I'm enjoying the game so far (only a few hours in) but I have a serious bone to pick with one of the design choices:

    I feel the need to constantly search through every trash can and container that I come across is very disruptive to the flow of the game. Traversal takes three times longer than it should because I need to stop and mash the "pick up" button over every single piece of the environment. I can't stand this sort of inventory/loot system in a game of this nature.

    Like the first Bioshock, I feel there are pieces of FPS design that are sorely out of place in Infinite.

    * I should NEVER need to manually pick up ammo. I should pick it up automatically as I run over it.
    * I shouldn't have to worry about accidentally picking up a piece of fruit that will DRAIN my health. The designer's made finding health a tedious chore, so don't punish me for trying to do it quickly.
    * For a game that puts so much emphasis on building an engaging and believable world, it is very immersion-breaking for me to walk up to a woman on a park bench, steal everything out of her purse, and receive nothing more than a smile from her.

    I LOVE what Infinite is trying to do, I just wish it wasn't bogged down by such clunky, silly, and dated mechanics.






  • PLEASE DONT READ THIS IF YOU HAVENT FINISHED BIOSHOCK INFINITE


    Emotion in games.

    BioShock Infinite has for me at least has proven games can have as large an impact as modern story telling in movies. I know we always say this medium is in infancy, and it is. But at least for me I had several moments. Some thrilling. Some sad or even heavily conflicted. They have done an amazing job at crafting this experience to give us a little bit of everything. Below I want to share just one of them. A final one.


    ****************SPOLIERS******************

    I felt that by the middle of this game they really managed to create a non sexual non damsel in distress relationship between the 2 main characters. Something rare in video games for sure. She is a bit of a Disney princess no one can argue that. But this is a different type of prince coming to rescue her. Adventure games such as uncharted thrive on these relationships and are also something often compared as the best "narrative" games we have available. Games like Ico can be pointed at as games that have a unique relationship in them. But something in bio shock really made me feel stronger. They is some magic they pull off that made me what to protect and help Elizabeth no matter what.

    After I finished the game I realized how and why they did that. Well actually I'm not sure exactly how that team did that. But they pulled it off masterfully. They made me feel what I needed to without giving me the twist to tell me why I should feel that way. When I did realize why the connection was so strong the emotion hit me like a ton of bricks. When it is discovered what my character had done and why he was chasing Elizabeth I had a moment that I've never had in a game before. I moment I've only experienced in film when considering media.


    I recently had my first child last year. A daughter. When the portal is closing and it’s framed so carefully around her face, eyes and hand that is reaching out to me. Booker yells "Give me back my daughter!" In that moment in time I can tell you what Annabelle's/Elizabeth's face looked like. I saw it on the screen. But I wasn’t seeing just that. I was seeing my own daughter’s face being pulled away from me. I cried as the sequence came to a close. I thought how could I?

    Now I understand that this moment is probably not as impactful to someone without a daughter or someone who no longer has a baby girl in the household. But it is what it is. It was my moment and I have never felt this way from a game before. I know I would not have felt this way if the game started this way. It was because of the journey that I had with this character. It was important.

    **********************************************************************


    This game had many amazing moments. But I will never forget how it made me feel. So differently throughout the vastly different parts of its story. Many familiar but some of them hidden, and building towards an impact later. I have never played one that made me feel the way this one did in the final moments.

    I thank everyone at the Irrational team that brought this to us. It was worth the wait.

















  • DICE's assertion that the Frostbite 3 engine will allow Battlefield 4 to create new ranges of emotion and storytelling in games might be bullcrap coming from there, but you also have to think about who else is using that engine: BioWare.

    Watching the BF4 demo, I kept thinking about what Mass Effect and Dragon Age are going to look like running on that technology. What would holding conversations in those games look like with more realistic facial expressions and animations? BioWare is a much heavier hitter than anyone else at EA when it comes to storytelling, and if anyone can use that engine to make more "human" characters or whatever, it's them.

  • I think the guys nailed the issue barrier to entry in games like DOTA and StarCraft and how the latter tries to create leagues to rectify it. It's really a problem for almost all online multiplayer games.

    Right now most matchmaking is like taking every football player, from people in back yards to the NFL, and putting them on the same field. StarCraft's leagues is a good start, but games still don't really have the equivalent of just regular guys playing in their backyards. There needs to be a sphere where noobs can just have fun.

    Most people probably don't want to invest the time needed to become a pro player but still enjoy playing the game and would like some people in the same range of dedication with which to be competitive. The best way right now is to really just play with your friends, but that isn't always easy in an online game.

    Arguably a good way might be to have dedicated servers and a server browser where people can form their own little communities (like, for instance, a Shacknews DOTA server). It's a problem that still needs to be solved on way or another though.