Escapist Podcast: 078: Electronic Arts, Dead Space 3, and Puppies!

078: Electronic Arts, Dead Space 3, and Puppies!

This week, we discuss Electronic Arts, its recent decision to send Medal of Honor on a "vacation" and microtransactions in Dead Space 3. We also talk about the Superbowl, the far superior Puppy Bowl, and Susan gives us a brief history of The Escapist.

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Thanks for the fast delivery, Escacasts!

nice new logo by the way

I hate Pokemon snap. I remember being so excited about it, I got it release day and the proceeded beating it that day. I even got all the pikachus and mews and shit that day. I never played it again because there was no reason. jerk ass pokemon.

I approve of the podcat logo.

Pokemon Snap is a good source of satire, ok! You just need to replace 'pokemon' with anything edgy or topical and you have an instant gaming satire piece!

Also another of my inane questions got answered by the team! /)^3^(\

PC games here in the UK are regularly £10 cheaper than their console cousins, for whatever specific reason.

Also I wholeheartedly approve of the new podcat logo. Who may we shower our praise on?

EA did make a submarine game in the pacific theater that was a very early sandbox game called Sea Wolf. I played the shit out of it back in the day.

Advice for sewing on buttons. Use fishing line. You're welcome.

Podcat logo? Hey, meow I could get used to this.

Does EA realize that anyone who "Grew up" with mobile games is like eight to 12 years old?

Dead Space 3 is an M Rated game.
Are they really willing to wait 6 to 10 years to see the fruits of their stupid decision making?

I've always thought the "podcat" thing was a little silly, but I've got to admit....that logo is pretty damn clever!

However, I just noticed that this is the second episode 77 you have up after the previous "077: JJ Abrams and The End of THQ."

I fully agree with Susan. Charmander and Pikachu be my favorites along with Pokemon Red and Yellow. Yellow did start you out with Pikachu, but it also a surfing mini-game. Pokemon Snap I got to say is my favorite of them all. I love just being on the rail and watching what would happen with the Pokemon. The trick with Mew was rather when Mew was distracted with Rainbows. Though I was more of a Digimon fan, not a Pokemon fan. So I was more into the Digimon cards instead of the Pokemon cards when they were big.Even still the Pokemon games were more enjoyable since they did try things that were neat from experimenting. Would not of expected Hey You Pikachu(think Kenicimals for N64) or Pokemon Snap to be possible if it wasn't for its popularity. Me I would love to see another Pokemon Snap game, or even an HD version.

Sniper alley, keep in mind that give the experience of the war to the people. Since that is one I really enjoy because it harked back to experience of old war stories I would hear when my Grandfather. Even though he wasn't there for WW1 but just the similarities to the experience to the same of those stories made it so enjoyable.

I like the new logo. Really wish you put up the podcast before noon. So I could have it on my Ipod by the time I need to do yardwork. Then again really do enjoy

I think the only problem with a Puppy World Cup is that the World Cup is a month long. I think it could work if they did animals from specific regions based on the game. Germany Vs Australia? German Shepard puppies and Australian Sheep Dogs, or like Echidnas. I think that would so so amazingly adorable if they had baby animals from different areas during the game.

Love the logo.

First off, I am loving the new logo. Secondly, thank you so much for introducing me to the Puppy Bowl! I always dread Super Bowl Sunday since I have no interest in American Football! Now I have something to watch! I can also share with with like-minded friends! Yay! Puppies! Kitties! Exclamation points!

Captcha: Another Choice

Does EA realize that anyone who "Grew up" with mobile games is like eight to 12 years old?

Dead Space 3 is an M Rated game.
Are they really willing to wait 6 to 10 years to see the fruits of their stupid decision making?

No, they know dumb parents will buy the game without paying any attention to the 18 rating and are perfectly happy to market to the very part of the market their game is explicitly banned from sale to. Remember "your mom will hate this game" from the Deadspace 2 marketing?

Love the new logo guys!

On the topic of developing games for the multiple platforms though, if the PS3 is the outsider it's not because of it's hardware; its more because of it's software.

The PS3 and the 360 are surprisingly similar when it comes to the fundamentals of the system. Both have PowerPC based central processors which run the same number of threads: The Xbox has three cores running two threads each, while the PS3 has eight cores with single threads - of which Six are available to developers for games (One runs the OS and security software while the last core is a backup in case one of the other cores is a dud or breaks down.) The two use graphics chips clocked at similar speeds (500MHz for the Xbox and 550MHz for the PS3) based on PC cards from the same time period (2005-2006 in both cases.) There are obviously differences between the two platforms, the PS3 favours speed of processing data while the Xbox favours volume of data, but the key ones are in the software side.

The reason why Xbox and PC code are comparatively similar has more to do with the XBox using a derivative of DirectX9. Consequently games which are developed on the Xbox platform, then ported to the PC use DirectX9 - because there's no point redeveloping the game from the ground up for later versions of DirectX since Microsoft altered the system so drastically with DX10. Since DX9 is available for windows at the same time, you might as well save time and use that. Sure, it means you can't support certain features - but if you can't make your investment back on the PC game sales where's the point in redeveloping it just to add those when you can't use them on the other platforms anyway?

If your porting from the PS3 you have to develop the game from the ground up for the other platforms, and vice versa. You can't really port a game to the PS3, you have to develop it again on that platform. You can reuse assets, but not code. At least, to my understanding.

I'm a PC gamer myself so I'd rather they would develop on the PC first, then make nerfed versions that the consoles can manage. But the PC market isn't big enough, in the opinion of the big game making studios, to support that. Why risk alienate the larger market by catering to the smaller one? Well EA and mates, you might want to ask Valve - unless you want to suggest that the console versions of their games are better than the PC ones?

Oh, and a game for getting a Scifi fan into games - try FTL. It's simple, easy to learn and cheep. Also it gets you used to loosing a lot at first, then getting better quickly.

There should be a new Escapist shirt

"Bliminal Messaging"

The new image made when smile when I saw it.

I loves it! :D

I haven't played Pokemon Snap in a loooooong time and it was the second N64 game I've ever played, but I agree about Mewtwo. He was such a bastard to deal with and I always took my sweet time getting to him. I also played the Pokemon card game quite a bit when I was in Elementary school and that got me into Magic, and I think I still have my Pokemon cards my closet of crap.

Also, about the Puppy Bowl?

I remember hearing about it last year and my dad and I watched it just see what the big deal was since we had some time to kill before kick off. We watched that for over an hour and almost missed kick off. It was the cutest damn thing I've ever seen and I'm fairly sure we're gonna watch it again this year.

We have no idea why we watched it for that long, but the cuteness was just so...mesmerizing...

The remix.

Not quite done enjoying the podacast.

Noticed the new logo this morning before the new podcat

I almost didn't listen to it because of the new logo.... I liken it to Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.... They try to drop COD and brand recognition goes down.... That said... CAT=AWESOME

Fun fact, in Mexico Blockbuster is still a thing. Yes, they're not bankrupt here, at least not yet.

I thought it was generally accepted in the social sciences that you rarely need a sample bigger than a 1000 people to extrapolate to a population of any size given that the sample is a properly drawn.

I actually remember getting the weapon DLC for Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It had very powerful weapons in that DLC. A double barrel shotgun and a sniper straight from the start. The only reason I got it was for the double barreled shotgun, but I never used it. The game it self pulled me away with its sneaking system. I found it way more fun to challenge my self to finish the game with only using the taser. I was quite sad not using, for three runs, the double barreled shotgun because it was the only reason I bought that DLC.

For dead space 3, my point is that the game it self having different features can become a good thing. In fact, let us say I buy some sort of object in dead space 3 that allows me to be more powerful, yet I end up not using it because a certain feature becomes far more interesting than using what I just bought.

Love the new Podca(s)t logo. Also I Found the Escapist origins story very interesting.

TCG topic: I play Magic a lot and I'd say I'm quite experienced at it, but when my ex boyfriend tried teaching me Yugioh I just couldn't wrap my head around it.

The logo: I love it!

I don't understand how none of you know anything about modern Pokemon. Pokemon is one the biggest game franchises in the world, and yet everyone is like "yeah I never play that shit". It would be like saying you've never played another Mario game except the Super Nintendo versions.

As a PC player, I don't expect a huge amount of bells and whistles, but do greatly appreciate them. If you don't have time/budget/energy to fiddle with drivers and optimize DX11 properly, fine, I guess. I do however, get very upset when simple things like FoV sliders, modifiable key-bindings, High res textures are not built into the game, specifically for FPSs.

Many of these options don't require huge amounts of programming/bug testing outside of editing config files. FoV in particular may require some additional troubleshooting, but it's also a feature that's a medical issue and should be treated with that respect. When PC gamers ask for high res textures, All we're really asking for are access to the original texture assets built before they had to be down-scaled when optimizing the game for consoles...How much extra effort does that really require?

Regarding the 1000 people per whole united states for data thing:
You are aware that even the "big" organizations such as World Health Organization base their whole statistics on 500-2000 people per country (based on country size) and uses 2000 random queries for United states. statistically 1000 people is A LOT.

I don't understand how none of you know anything about modern Pokemon. Pokemon is one the biggest game franchises in the world, and yet everyone is like "yeah I never play that shit". It would be like saying you've never played another Mario game except the Super Nintendo versions.

funnily enough i have never played pokemon either and will not play any more mario games for them going totaly down the drain like... 10 years ago. Just becasue its a big franchise does not mean its a good game or that everyone must play it. actually untill the internet i thouh pokemon was some sort of crap tv show they just used to run to fill in a timeslot.

That "bullshit rule" in Magic is called The Golden Rule. "When a card conflicts with the rules of the game, do as the card says."

It exists in Yugioh too btw.

You will not find a lot of people outside of North America that give a rat's ass about the Superbowl. Fandom of American football is pretty much non-existent outside of America. Small cliques, sure, but millions of people? Not in a million years. Over here in Europe we don't care at all. Same with baseball. Those two sports are pretty much exclusive to North America with VERY few exceptions.

Also, calling it football is stupid in two ways as you use your hands on the ball 99.x% of the time and the "ball" is not shaped like a ball.

The early/mid 2000s were an awful time to be a serious JRPG fan. I did the same thing with all the Atlus stuff...that I could find. I remember not necessarily being able to even pre-order it, so if you didn't happen to be the first one through the doors on release day, since many stores only got a copy or two, you were just hosed.

Later when I worked in a game store, we would joke "Atlus: At Least List", since most of their games actually cost MORE used than they did when they were new. My copies of some of the MegaTen games and my black cover version of Disgaea still bear their $60 and $70 used price tags (Standard PS2 pricing being $50).

Late in the PS2's life though, demand for their rare titles reached Atlus, and by some miracle they did a new print run of a whole bunch of their games. These lacked the soundtracks that came with many of the originals, but meant that Digital Devil Saga, Nocturne, Disgaea and others were available again to those that missed them the first time at a reasonable price. The point of this little story is that new copies of these reprints are still available, presently on Amazon for under $20, if you want to own a copy of Nocturne of your very own. Unless you really want that soundtrack, in which case, it's still crazy.

I think the fact that this will likely never happen again for the standard edition of a game is one of the greatest things about digital distribution.

Great podcast as always, keep up the good work :)

I saw the puppies yesterday afternoon and I wasn't disappointed. I have to say the highlight was kitty halftime show. I am partial to the wee beasties. Thanks again!

Loving the new podcat logo, great work!

I think the PTO is less appealing than the ETO in no small part because of issues of "war guilt" and how things were decided. In the ETO, the allied powers generally decided that Germany was firmly and almost solely in the wrong (we don't spend any time haranguing the Finns, Hungarians, Bulgarians, or Croatians for instance, and the Italians got away with their involvement by just abruptly switching sides for the second major European war in a row) . Germany's new regimes (East and West) for the most part were accepting of this, and its enshrined to this day in the legal system of the current unified Germany (the banning of Nazi symbols, etc).

With Japan, the outcome was entirely different. Firstly, the decisions on how things would go were largely US made, with little influence from any of the Allied powers. While Western Europe was happy to sign their own agreements ending their wars with Japan, this was not the case with the Soviet Union. Russia to this day has no formal agreement ending their conflict with Japan and has numerous territorial disputes with the Japanese. The situation of the Chinese is similar, in that the People's Republic of China has its own views on agreements cut between the Republic of China and Japan and how legitimate these are. The two Korean regimes, both of whom do not recognize the other, similarly agree that Japan has not done enough to accept its war guilt, and its about the only thing they agree on. The comment about the victors writing the history is especially interesting with regards to Japan, since the US decided to push much less on the issue of war guilt there than they did in Germany, being able to make that decision essentially unilaterally. The issue of Class A war criminals being enshrined at Yakusuni, a Shinto shrine dedicated to those who lost their lives in service to the Empire of Japan, is an especially sore subject and one that we allowed to happen in Japan, even though we would never have let it happen in Germany. All of this wraps together to make the PTO and the outcome of the war against Japan much more divisive to this day and it can't help but have an influence on marketing decisions.

Secondly, its just less well known than the ETO. The PTO was reduced in the podcast to big naval battles and island hopping, which did dominate, but airborne operations and tanks and other things were involved and a game could easily be quite diverse. The islands in question for instance aren't all just desolate beaches and jungles, but also include high mountains, swamps, and other environs. A game focused on that part of the world could also see operations in the virtually unknown China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater and the brutal fighting in the Aleutians. The developers for Company of Heroes 2 in their video developer diaries and the ad campaign for that game show that the average person really doesn't know the scale of things on the eastern front against the Germans. I think that a similar deep dive by developers into the actual particulars would cause them to be shocked at what actually happened in the PTO-CBI-Aleutians. I think that most game companies who deal in historical settings could do themselves a significant service by hiring historical consultants who are subject matter experts. This way they could reduce the amount of time they have to spend in getting up to speed on any specific event and just see about how well that would translate into the game they're working on.

Cool podcast once again, I'm pretty much up to date right now, as I listen at work or while drawing more often.


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