Tom and I in a podcast

For those of you interested, Tom Chick (representing Quarter to Three) and myself were in a Podcast on PowerUser.tv discussing the Grand Theft Auto thing. You might find it…amusing. ;-D

Here’s a link to the episode:

http://www.poweruser.tv/#GTA

Why is the host so clueless? Is that cool? To moderate a discussion which you have not prepared for?

When do we get the official Quarter To Three podcast?

Here’s the thing:

When you get to a certain point in the development cycle of a game, especially once you make your first submission, it’s extremely difficult to take things out of the code base.

For instance, in one of our games, the ESRB was upset by a very graphical decapitation we had in one of our cutscenes. We changed the cutscene, but had to leave the original beheading animation on the disc because it was in-engine and several aspects of that animation (particle systems, model bones, etc) were needed for other animations in other cutscenes and other parts of the game.

Now, we could have gone in and completely re-scripted, re-animated and re-arted those sections, but it would have been extremely time consuming. Removing the section completely would have broken the game. So, it sat on the disc… and is still sitting there on the disc. But, to my knowledge, there is no way to really play the animation on the console versions. On the PC version, if someone really really wanted to, they could get at it and play it. Then, I guess their lives would suddenly spiral into drug abuse and crime. Or something.

I don’t know what happened with the hot coffee thing, but I’m betting that the exact same thing happened to DMA. They submitted with the sex active, the ESRB said no, so they just unhooked it from the game. Removing it entirely from the file tree and codebase would have required extensive testing and re-writes… and they had a release date to abide by.

Now, you can say “Oh, well they should have pushed the release date out”. I definately agree with that, but that just simply isn’t an option in most cases. To their credit, there is no DMA/Rockstar created cheat that allows you to access this material. The only way to get to it is through a Gameshark/Action Replay or, in the PC SKUs case, a mod.

I don’t think DMA deliberately or malisciously left this stuff on the disc so people could play it.

I wanna be a guest on the QT3 pod cast.

Am I the only one that loathes the term Podcast? Isn’t it just an interview? A soundbyte? An mp3-with-people-speaking-on-it. Whoever came up with the appalling name: They’re reinventing the wheel

Still, that’s useful info there - When I heard of this “hot coffee” ‘controvesy’ I simply rolled my eyes and assumed it was something like that. I remember poking around games with file editors and so on and finding unused resources, things that were cut at the last minute etc. I imagined this would be the same. In my opinion, they had a date set and they met it. Screw the fact some guy brings destruction upon the world in the form of badly pixelated pornography by alterting some code, it means bugger all in the long term of things.

Your game with the beheading wasnt Vampire was it? (no clue where you work(ed))

Because that opening scene seemed disjointed and butchered compared to most of the rest of the game’s animation and scenes. Should have been left alone if it was edited.

As far as the hot coffee thing, IMO there is an easy solution in the ESRB’s hands. Change the 7 to an 8, problem solved.

Ooh, I wanna be the Martha Quinn of the Qt3 podcast. [size=2]Mom always said I had a great face for radio.[/size]

Your game with the beheading wasnt Vampire was it? (no clue where you work(ed))

Because that opening scene seemed disjointed and butchered compared to most of the rest of the game’s animation and scenes. Should have been left alone if it was edited.

As far as the hot coffee thing, IMO there is an easy solution in the ESRB’s hands. Change the 7 to an 8, problem solved.[/quote]

Hah, no, it wasn’t Vampire.

Trust me, if it was Vampire, we wouldn’t have let what they did get into the final copy. That was one flawed cutscene.

I thought the same thing, that it was submitted to the ESRB and rejected. But as Brett Todd noted in another thread, the ESRB claimed it had no idea the content existed, and Rockstar spent a lot of time denying its existence. If the ESRB had seen it and Rockstar was denying it, the ESRB would have stepped up at that exact point.

Anyway, your example would be in equal violation of the ESRB’s rules. Sorry, “It’s hard to get rid of it” isn’t a valid excuse. I’m pretty sure I can’t justify factual errors by saying, “Fact checking is hard.”

If most people really sat down and thought about their content, about how scenes would impact the rating, maybe this wouldn’t be an issue because they wouldn’t create the scene(s) in the first place. So if you have a game full of violence, then a cutscene with a graphic decapitation, it might occur to someone in the planning stages that it might not pass muster with the ESRB.

In the case of San Andreas, that game is already on the edge of an M-rating. When you add a pretty graphic sex scene–ignoring its awfulness–anyone would have known it would get an AO. So even considering including that mini-game was dumb.

It’d be like a movie studio shooting a sex scene with penetration, submitting it to the MPAA, and expecting an “R” rating. Well duh. (And the “Hot Coffee” equivalent would have them putting the scene on the “R” rated version of the DVD, but not accessible except via reading it on your PC and directly accessing the file.)

You’re just upset that they stole your name :P

As near as I can tell, all a podcast is is just a series of MP3s that are tracked via RSS. So instead of having your RSS reader tell you when the webpage is updated with news about a new MP3, you can tell when there’s a new MP3 directly. W-O-W

But, but… you can play them on your iPod. And iPod is from Apple. And everything associated with Apple is INSANELY COOL.

So who’s gonna make the Penis Spaceship mod when Gal Civ 2 comes out?

I hear these are all the rage now:

No, you have company. It’s horrible. I keep imagining Pod-people from outer space.

I also think the term podcast is idiotic and superfluous. The only kind of internet -cast we need around here is shoutcast.

Maddox also hates the word “podcast”: http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=banish

I hate them both.

Just curious- was this the difference between a T and M or M and AO? If its the latter I’d be surprised since it seems like only sexual content warrants the rating.

Off-topic, but wise words to remember!

I thought the theory was that people don’t read long lines as easily as they do short ones. Isn’t this one of the reasons print media uses columns in many cases?