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Gaming Podcast 190: Down With The Sickness

September 21st, 2010 by Derrick Schommer · 2 Comments

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We’re pretty beat up this week, sickness is running wild so Don and Derrick blow through some news items while Jennifer remains offline being ill. We’ve shortened the episode so that we can cover everything we have with enthusiasm before falling over in an ill stupor. The news includes three items:

The gaming flashback this week is DuckTales for the NES. This weeks Question of the Week, put on your game designer hat and tell us what you think would be a great game design. Would it be more social network gaming, casual gaming or something more complex?

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Herr_AlienNo Gravatar // Sep 22, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Sorry to hear that you guys got sick. I’m not feeling well also, which is a weird coincidence. Besides Jennifer being listed SIA (Sick in Action :P), I can hear that Derrick has the funny voice …

    @DuckTales: Man, I loved that game! I played on the NES and man, it was fun! I loved the jumping mechanism, the graphics … oh man 🙂

    @Intel wants you to spend more money: There’s a song for that: “Booorn to be craaaacked!!” 😛
    This will not work. It will be cracked. Period. So the ‘locked’ versions will sell better than the ‘unlocked’ ones (assuming there will be an unlocked version) and WILL be unlocked via keys distributed over the internet.
    Could it be a marketing mechanism to up the sales for the ‘locked’ ones?

    @Digital sales of pc games are outselling retail:
    I don’t have anything against Steam or other digital distribution systems, I just want to have the damned disk. I mean good old games (gog.com) shut down, so I don’t want to be limited to digital distribution alone.

    @THQ moves into social gaming:
    I’m not sure if they’re doing this because the social gaming market is increasing, or because the copyright control is easier on on-line games.
    I mean when Quake Live and Battlefield Heroes were announced, I remember they were regarded as a mechanism to counter piracy.

    @Question of the week:
    This is a bit tough, One game that I’d like to make would be a flight simulator, Call of Duty style.
    By that I mean that during the SP campaign you’d be accompanied in your sorties with NPCs that you get emotionally attached to, like they did with Captain Price and Major Ingram.
    The game would focus on the Battle of Britain. You’d get various missions, like defending your airfield, to even escorting bombers.

    BTW, loved that you ended with the theme from Duck Tales 🙂

  • 2 TristanNo Gravatar // Sep 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    @ Intel unlock codes:
    Although there is very little difference to their current practice with disabling cores, surely this is a bad PR move letting everyday customers know you are reducing functionality in your product to gouge more money.

    @ digital sales
    It seems odd that so many people put their faith in these estimated numbers. Considering the majority of the major digital distribution platforms don’t release sales numbers and have publicly stated they don’t provide numbers to the NPD or anyone else; these numbers are pure speculation based off customer surveys. Their speculations over revenue drops also don’t include micro-transactions, subscriptions, or revenue from social games. So on top of having no actual sales figures from the major players and likely not including any speculation over smaller and indie game distributors they feel they can make the statement that digital distribution has only just surpassed retail?

    Basically its all fluff. If I was to similarly take an estimated guess at the state of digital distribution, based on a survey of a pc gamer, myself, I would guess that digital distribution worldwide passed retail a long time ago and currently sits at 75-80% of market share. Now if a few news organizations would like to pay me for my findings I would be very grateful.

    (Also gog.com only moved out of beta, not closed. They were going to have to shutdown their site for a few days during the change so instead of informing everyone of this they left a slightly vague letter on their page that purposely led many to believe they were closing for good. Not exactly the wisest or smartest prank/PR move, but it did get them a lot of coverage.)

    @QotW:
    Tough question. Maybe a standalone remake of the popular mod hide’n’seek / prophunt. Its really a lot of fun being generated as a random prop and trying to blend into a map and hope no-one comes along and finds you. Especially if you manage to hide as a really large item such as a lamp post out in the open and get to see the clueless seekers run past you over and over again. A free to play with micro-transactions for different props may be a decent model for it to. I would imagine its success would rely on getting a large enough online community so you can always find a game.

    Also echoing Herr_Alien, hearing the theme music was great and would love to hear more form other flashbacks in future casts (if it doesn’t land you in some legal quagmire).

    [PS: Just something I found interesting since your brought it up in the last podcast, feel free to not include it in the podcast as the following is kind of lengthy.]

    Funny you should mention the perils of scaling to Internet craze size…
    I just got to witness this over the past week. Minecraft, that 1 man developed indie game still in alpha that I can’t seem to stop mentioning, had a problem over the weekend with the servers crashing due to the increased demand. The daily sales had been increasing regularly and prior to the weekend were up to about 5000 a day, but in combination with another game update and increased demand the servers just couldn’t handle the load anymore. The game was still playable but only after all the other server functions were disabled including the payment system and login authentication. So thankfully the developer, Notch, was forward thinking enough to promote it as a free to play weekend for the paid version of the game, rather than closing the game down for everyone until new servers were ordered and setup. In the end it was just further promotion for the game rather than a real turn off for his paid customers and negative press on its reliability. It seemed to work as in the first 24 hours since the new servers have come online, over 24,000 new players have purchased the game.

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