Qt3 Games Podcast: Knock knock. Who's there? Jon Shafer!

Title Qt3 Games Podcast: Knock knock. Who's there? Jon Shafer!
Author Tom Chick
Posted in Games podcasts
When February 6, 2013

Jon Shafer is at the gates to talk about Jon Shafer's At the Gates..

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And tonight we have...

... the expert butcher of the Civilization series...
... the great eraser of the 4X genre...
... the grand mutilator of strategy AI...

... Jon Shafer is here with us!



I'm not a fan of Civ 5 either, but Jon has done a great job of listening to negative feedback (which you'd know if you were paying attention to this podcast) and establishing himself as a premiere voice in strategy gaming with his podcast participation and relevant, articulate articles on his website. And, most significantly, he's got this great looking new 4X, which at this early point looks to be one of the biggest leaps forward for the genre ever.

Another problem with the micro transactions is you cannot be sure that the same EA business person did not force the developers to tweak that tungsten drop rate from 5% to 1% in order to annoy that dedicated gamer into wanting to pay for resources. So in that case these micro transactions would affect that gamer who was trying to ignore them.

What a pleasant man you are.

It must really warm the cockles of your clinically depressed, lonely mind to know that Jon Shafer's Kickstarter is likely to hit its goal before the weekend, huh?

Dead Space 3 is where I draw the line personally. Assuming that the design of the game hasn't been altered in subtle ways that nudge the player towards spending extra money is a little naive. I also don't see the huge difference between Dragon Age and DS3. The buy-dlc-for-money prompts are pretty prominent on the work benches in DS3. Sure, you can grind the components out of the game eventually, but the constant tease here isn't any less detrimental to the immersion than a dude in Dragon Age who begs me to buy extra quests.
There are also parts in DS3 you can only get via microtransactions, like upgrades for your little scavenger bot that cut down on the time it takes him to collect stuff.

Hrm, well depending on how you spell "fathing", according to urbandictionary.com:
A term to describe an action that is truly heinous. Fathing can be used to describe any unacceptable action. It can also be used to mean ruining something. It can be a sexual action as well.
Did you see catherine last night? She was fathing around in the backseat.

So, I am not sure what exactly you and McMaster are up to in your Space/ Western games, but it might be best if Fight Club rules applied. :)

As the self nominated subject matter expert on language quirks of the British Isles, I must refer you to the Wikipedia definition.

Faff: to dither, futz, “I spent the day faffing about in my room”. Also
related noun ("That's too much faff"). Mainly found in the North of
England, but also popular in South Wales.

Also (for McMaster) the dialect of your sidekick in Ni No Kuni is Welsh not Cockney (think Tom Jones not the cast of every Guy Ritchie film).

Tom, when you mentioned an old Novalogic milsim, did you mean Delta Force?


My dad loved these games back in the day.

I'm guessing he meant Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising and/or Joint Operations: Escalation. They were both good games, but both also suffered from the online FPS douchebag factor which is ever-present. From what I recall, there was no real singleplayer component, although there may have been offline bots.

I understand if you want to draw the line at Dead Space, Mr. Spiff, but I want to correct you on a couple of points.

The only nag on the workbench is a single button listed at the bottom of the screen that's clearly labeled to take you to DLC, and it exists in a set of buttons for various other actions (select, sell, share, DLC, and cancel). The DLC button is no more prominent than the cancel button.

And as I've said elsewhere, you can get the rare components by saving up ration tickets. These come in VERY slowly, so you're not going to get many of the rare component packs (I'm guessing maybe it comes to one pack per playthrough?). But it's incorrect to say the only way to get these components is to buy them. Also, I'm not convinced the rare components are that significant. Using advanced upgrade chips, freely available in the game and also craftable, you can boost most components in significant ways.

I haven't analyzed the power curve, but I'm on my third playthrough and I don't feel the need to spend a nickel.

Yes, Joint Ops! But I played Delta Force as well.

Man ,whatever happened to Novalogic? Those guys were doing unique things back in the day.

Yes, thank you, James. I've never heard of "fathing" and I have no intention of doing it. However, I fully intend to continue to faff freely.

Can't agree about Vita lacking games. I'm actually having trouble starting anything due to selection overload, similar to staring at my Steam library, heh. There's a lot of interesting games I haven't bought too, and I don't care about most of Sony's first party fare either. I will admit part of it is because Persona 4 and DJ MAX Technika Tune will be such a huge time investments, kind of daunting!

Future is looking considerably more grim though. Plenty of smaller titles have been announced recently however. Hell, in the strategy\tactics genre Frozen Synapse: Tactics was just announced. Also you've got localizations of key Japanese games like Ys IV and Muramasa Rebirth. In Japan niche titles have sold decently on the Vita despite the low install base — two recent titles had unexpected shortages resulting in one of the developers announcing a new Vita title right away.

I feel like a decent part of why the Vita's future seems so destined to fail is because of statements like "it has no games", "it can't possible survive the onslaught of mobile" etc.; consumers generating FUD instead of competitors. I do hope Sony's PS4 event has some Vita stuff as well, hopefully not as dumb as another bought third party franchise entry developed by a B-team(e.g. Bioshock Vita resurfacing). Despite selling, I'm sure CoD Vita hurt its image.

This episode made me giggle on the train a lot.

At the Gates sound fantastic. Now I'm wondering if the next big boom genre on Kickstarter is going to be historical games.

It sounds like they were just testing the waters with the in-game purchases in Dead Space 3. I think if it goes over well and does not affect sales of the game then you will see more and more aggressive use of this type of thing. This is EA after all.

Time will tell.

Speaking of Kickstarters and historical strategy games, remember the game Bronze? If I recall correctly, the folks from Quarter to Three and Flash of Steel liked it quite a bit.

Well, it has a Kickstarter project to transform from video game to physical board game. It looks pretty cool and also just plain pretty. Check it out here:

Oh, I definitely remember Bronze. It belongs on the freakin' iPad already!