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Episode 153

The Indoor Kids

E3 Part 1 with Griffin McElroy

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The Indoor Kids #153: E3 Part 1 with Griffin McElroy

Today the Indoor Kids are joined by the wonderful Griffin McElroy (Polygon, Maximum Fun) to talk about the wonders of E3- what were the trends? What fell flat? What got everyone excited? Let’s find out!

Next week, you’ll hear the Indoor Kids con diary from E3, as they took their trusty tiny recorder to all the parties and demos, but had too much fun with Griffin to include it here!

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25 comments

  • Why does the defense of shorter games always have to be so condescending? Every time it comes up on the podcast the line is basically, “Get a life, nerds.” I can afford maybe three AAA-priced games a year, so excuse me (princesses) for having an interest in how much time I’m actually going to get out of these games.

     
    Of course not every game should be an epic; Stick of Truth is an utter delight, but the gameplay had lost its novelty for me around hour 10 of my 14-hour playthrough. So by all means defend the idea that every game has its proper length, however long or short, but please lose the elitism.

    • Apparently if you think Gone Home is overpriced you’re now designated “the dregs of humanity” by game journalists.

      Additionally you’re also anti homemade oatmeal cookies or something???

    • As someone who used to be condescending about that sort of thing, apologies. I think it was a knee-jerk from people who are dismissive of games solely because of their length (and so are a little condescending that way). Also for me it’s less of a time thing and more of a personality thing, where a single game just can’t hold my interest that long. (The longest I’ve ever played a game is around 30 hours, and that was pushing it for me.) And so sometimes I get angry at things I don’t understand, like a caveman.

      I’ve since learned to accept that some people just play games differently than I do. I try and play as many different games as I can because that’s more interesting to me, but some people like to sink their teeth into one game for a really long time. I don’t get it, but I don’t have to. It’s just different.

      • I look at short AAA titles as tantamount to the minimum wage staying the same while the cost of living rises.
        They can’t keep charging more and offering less. Or at least we need a bottom limit for how short a game can be before we complain, like how movies are usually no shorter than 80 minutes.

      • No need to apologize. It’s entirely possible I’m just being a cranky asshole anyway.
        It’s really interesting how gaming habits differ. I get equally confused when people say they play a game once and are done with it. I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve had to get used to doing it, but I’ve played all my favorite games three or four times. I can quote Red Dead and Fallout New Vegas pretty much word for word.
        The upside of where games are at  is that it’s never been easier to play all kinds of different shit. Amazing games like Hotline Miami and Lone Survivor are insanely affordable, even to my broke ass.

    • I suppose that’s fair enough, but this is 2014, you have more than enough resources to do your own homework on that very question of game time length of a title before you make a purchase. Reviewers should be writing about the quality of the experience first and foremost —- Journey was 2ish hours, but it was a great experience for example.

      I think that the reaction you’re perceiving (and I don’t think its anywhere close to “Get a life, nerds”) is more of a particular reaction to a type of overall internet commenter reaction to things like game reviews, or simply comments sections altogether, where its inevitable that someone will find something to complain about.

      Elitism from the Indoor Kids I find a difficult sell, I listened to the same podcast you did.

      • The games I play:
        Planetside 2: 2400 hours (few people alive have more time than me)
        That game was free to play, although I’ve invested a little over a hundred bucks on cosmetics over the last year and a half.
        Europa Universalis 4: 875 hours, 2150 hours on EU3. 
        Civilization 5: 780 hours.
        Crusader Kings 2: 820 hours.
        Don’t Starve: 300 hours.
        People are in a way right to complain about game length, but also stupid for not appreciating titles that will give you your money’s worth and then some.
        I mean, look at those numbers, that’s almost a full year of my life on those games alone. By all rights, someone should intervene and prevent me from ever sitting in front of a computer.
        What the core of the problem is, is that people care far more about a game’s presentation than they do about the game’s mechanics.
        Anyone who has their share of strategy titles under their belt should be very adept at parsing through the cost analysis of gaming.

      • Don’t want to call it elitism? Fine, go with myopia instead. I’m not trying to make a case for weighing length over anything else, but not having enough time to play ALL THE GAMES is a problem a lot of people would love to have.
        I’ve found a lot of professional reviewers to be out of touch with what people who don’t get their games for free might consider a quality experience, which is why I usually stick to user reviews.

    • Ubisoft are a bunch of idiots, but you cant just make new animations and put it on the same skeleton. Also Assassin Creed has fucktons of animations, so you would need to redo, or atleast tweak, all of them as well as make new concept art, write new lines and record them. Not saying its hard to do, but it takes multiple people a month to do that, thats a lot of money. 

      The Order: 188x is going to run at 24fps, thats hilariously garbage. 

  • Women and men do animate very differently because their skeletons do differ from each other in key areas: A woman’s pelvis is wider than her rib cage and her legs are longer in proportion to the rest of the body, so her weight distribution is different than a man’s. This is why women shift their weight with their hips to walk, while men shift their shoulders. In Mass Effect you can tell they mapped a single “unisex” mocap performance for everyone’s walk cycle… So when FemShep doesn’t jog as feminine as you’d expect , it’s because there’s no swing in her hips. Whereas with Batman: Arkham City, Batman and Catwoman have incredibly different walk and run cycles from each other. It’s not just the heels.

    • Catwomen’s walk in Arkham City was ridiculously exaggerated to make her look ‘sexy’. To me it just looked stupid. That is not how an athletic woman would move.

    • Femshep did finally get her own jog in ME3. It was kind of jarring at first–I’d gotten so used to her stomping around like Calamity Jane in Deadwood.

  • Great show guys. Looks like Nintendo is actually raising their game which hopefully means we’ll see more WiiU sales. 
    The Ubisoft defense about it costing too much is stupid. Ubisoft CAN just apply the animations they already have for male characters to a skeleton for a female character. There is plenty of software available to do that. 
    Keith Lango who is an animator for Valve tweeted that basically athletic movement between males and females is the same. As an animator he would know.
    https://twitter.com/keithlango/status/476971421810180096
    Ubisoft just chose not to use female characters which is mind boggling due to the fact that (according to Dan Golding) the most prominent assassin in the French Revolution was a woman. 
    http://dangolding.tumblr.com/post/88625164678/notes-on-ubisofts-charlotte-corday
    So there really is no excuse especially considering they already did a Assassin’s Creed game with a woman. They totally should have made Charlotte Corday the main character. Well that’s my little rant.Thanks.

  • Only about halfway through, but great episode so far. I like that I can rely on sources like y’all to talk about the lack of women, people of color, etc. at E3 and in games (Aisha Tyler being an obvious exception).
    I also like the nice discussion on here about it. I’ve been in Facebook and YouTube comments too much recently (as in, in them At All).
    A thought on the game versus film $/hr. I think that’s an interesting metric to look at, but no way is it able to be extrapolated far. Watching a superhero movie is experiencing a finely-crafted, 2-hour experience. Some games have the same emotional rise and fall, waxing and waning intensity. But running from place to place in Fallout isn’t the same as playing with your friends in Team Fortress 2 isn’t the same as the weeks you’ve spent mastering Candy Crush. There’s so much different “density” to the good, memorable moments.
    I’d say at best it’s a heuristic to consider. Just like game length need not be the be-all, end-all of importance, but let’s not toss it away. How long a book is is sometimes relevant!