GameSpot GamePlay Episode 8: Ladycrotch

Jake Solomon and Garth DeAngelis from Firaxis destroy the ancient civilization of Tom Mc Shea, John Davison, and host Kevin VanOrd.

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 8: Ladycrotch

Jake Solomon and Garth DeAngelis from Firaxis prove that they have the power to make or break entire civilizations. They join Tom Mc Shea, John Davison, and host Kevin VanOrd to muse on important gaming subjects. Are game critics racist? Is Command & Conquer as we know it done and buried? Is David Cage full of himself? Is "accessible" a dirty word? Also: the makers of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Civilization face their harshest test yet: the soundtrack quiz.

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GameSpot senior editor Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play Rock Band because he always gets stuck pla

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Discussion

68 comments
you_aint_Z
you_aint_Z

As always, it was a pleasure listening to you guys. Keep up the good work!

angeloti83
angeloti83

Cool podcast! missed you guys a lot once "the hotspot" got shot down. God bless.

WCK619
WCK619

That is so unfair to criticize people for giving a game a bad score after playing it for long hours. People always criticize low score reviewers for not playing long enough, and now people are criticizing low score reviewers for playing too long as well? If they played it for a long time, they probably understand its faults better than anyone.

andrewwittmaier
andrewwittmaier

I listen to this podcast every week while playing either Path of Exile or Diablo III.  This week I was playing Diablo III while I was listening and it absolutely killed me when the question with the character names in D3 came up and the guy missed it!  It seemed really obvious to me!!!  

 

LOL.  I love this show!  

prostar343
prostar343

lol Really liking the soundtrack segment.  Good episode!

TheGuardian03
TheGuardian03

The sims soundtrack haha i still remember that one.

ragnar320
ragnar320

could you guys maybe break the show up so we could go to each section we are curious about cause i really would like to hear about what you guys have to say about C&C but less interested in the others cause i dont have the time to sit through an hour and a half of audio but you guys make great shows very informitive stuff

AndCarlsen
AndCarlsen

Final Fantasy is one  of the best games ever made. There hasn't been a better strategy game since that game came out for the psx, not even the supposed sequels. Great show, guys, keep on bringing guests.

Falzonn
Falzonn

A good episode!  The show felt a bit... different though.  I think it was the lack of 'presence' Jake & Garth had due to being on the phone.  Phone courtesy generally teaches us to stay quiet and listen when others are talking, instead of joining in more in a discussion as would happen if all of you were in the same room.  Regardless, I like that you (Gamespot) are getting developers (and especially one from Firaxis) on your show, even if by telephone.  Of course employees from a big company will have to try and stay diplomatic in certain discussions, since they represent their company and all, but even still I think Jake and Garth were great guests. 

 

My only real complaint (the echo was bearable) was..... Talk more Garth!  You spoke well and I like what you said!

jonmar
jonmar

Holy crap this guy Solomon likes the sound of his own voice. So long winded. Goes on forever and then interrupts others constantly. Dude shut up for a minute.

ArcherRO
ArcherRO

20:50 You can actually feel his disappointment.

endorbr
endorbr

I make that point about Mario games just being the same old same old every game all the time and I always get such fanboy backlash from Nintendo fans.  Pretty much all of Nintendo's IPs have become a copycat of what they've done before.  It's like they peaked with the SNES and then have just made mostly minor variations (with a few notable exceptions) to their mainstay IPs with each new game.  That's fine for some but I've grown up since then so I'm just a little tired of playing the same game I've played since Super Mario World.

pal_080
pal_080

I wouldn't say this podcast keeps getting better.  It's been great since the start!  I just really like all the special guests and interesting discussions that are sparked throughout.  I never really realized how much I like talking about games until I listened to this show haha, I'm soaking up every bit of it.

martinsen_86
martinsen_86

Great show, keeps getting better each episode

WCK619
WCK619

Kevin likes the lamest music...

surrealme
surrealme

 @WCK619 It's not unfair at all. Why on earth would someone play a game for 200 hours that they supposedly hated? It's pretty safe to assume that if they sunk that much time in they must have been enjoying themselves, so to turn around and give a game a score of 1 or 2 is just irrational. Maybe they were just taking a 200 hour break from cutting themselves.

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

 @ragnar320 I am hoping to make separate clips sometimes so you can hear highlights, but this week my attention has had to go elsewhere I am afraid :(

LatinproX
LatinproX

 @WCK619 Let`s see some cojones and tell us what kind of music you like.  This should be rich, lmfao!

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

 @WCK619 Because I think Homeworld has the best RTS soundtrack ever created?

 

I majored in violin performance and music composition. We may not share the same tastes, but I feel comfortable in saying that the Homeworld soundtrack is absolutely not lame. 

mathi4s
mathi4s

 @surrealme  @WCK619

@WCK619" It's not unfair at all. Why on earth would someone play a game for 200 hours that they supposedly hated? "

 

they were playing it because all of their friends were playing it. How i love these kinds of "rhetorical"  questions that have so obvious answers.

WCK619
WCK619

 @surrealme "It's not unfair at all... Maybe they were just taking a 200 hour break from cutting themselves."

ah lovely. An ad hominem attack.

 

and no, it isn't necessary to enjoy a game in order to play it for many hours. That's another fallacy, as the premise (playing for a long time) doesn't necessarily have to follow through to your conclusion (that they must have enjoyed it).

ragnar320
ragnar320

 @Kevin-V

 no problem thanks for trying or that youll try eventually i feel heard so no worries

WCK619
WCK619

 @Kevin-V If you're going to have a "guess that song" kind game, don't pick obscure background music that most people don't even notice when they're listening to it.

WCK619
WCK619

 @Kevin-V It's background music... Sounds like the kind of thing they just throw in there so it's not silent but not interesting enough to catch your attention.

Duskyjr
Duskyjr

 @WCK619  Yeah your right they played it for 199 hours thinking it was gonna get better and finally threw in the towel on hour 200 cause it fell short of there expectations.

Well at least they found some value in it!

And your going to say we are not talking about value...right?

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

 @WCK619  @evil_m3nace actually, When kevin plays the guessing game most of the time I guess correctly. I most definitely am not a music major nor do I understand how music works, I just know what sounds good to my ears.

LatinproX
LatinproX

 @WCK619 Hey,  not-so-smarty pants.  Here`s an idea: not BACKGROUND MUSIC, but...background music...as in subconscious and not supposed to be noticed or remembered easily to create a proper yet subtle emotional response without consciously registering and distracting your focus. Go to grad school for, like, 10 years before you even try to get it.  Quoting posts from blogs is not  substantial.  Do the research yourself.

WCK619
WCK619

 @evil_m3nace So it's dumb to have people guess what game the ambient music comes from. Even most hardcore gamers don't pay attention to that stuff.

 

How dare you call me a troll. You're not making any point at all. Just saying "so?" is such a troll tactic. What next? Going to say "U Umad??" ?

WCK619
WCK619

 @evil_m3nace fine, ambient music. Still doesn't disprove the point that most people don't pay any attention to the ambient music of games.

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

 @WCK619 First of all, I listen to 'background' music (Painkiller, AOE, Mass Effect) which is actually called ambient music, and it doesn't matter if he couldn't recognized it. Honestly, I see you as a troll trying to start a fight...

WCK619
WCK619

 @evil_m3nace lol lies. Who goes out and listens to background music? That stuff is designed to help set atmosphere in an almost unnoticeable way. Most people aren't going to remember any of it as iconic or even memorable. Listen to the dev. He played THOUSANDS of hours of that game and didn't remember the song Kevin played. Most people recognize that stuff as background noise.

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

 @WCK619 Haha I don't use a iPod, but yes I have AOE 3 music on spotify!

picho86
picho86

 @WCK619 Your criticism is not why you are being bashed. First of all you insulted the taste and work of a man people respect in here by calling it lame boring and dumb. Then you call people who take Kevin's side liars. It's not relevant if your point is valid or not, if you attack, people become defensive. You can see very clearly how people reacted to your criticism. The thing is, regardless of how you view your comments, clearly your'e doing something wrong if you trigger these kind of reactions. 

WCK619
WCK619

 @picho86 I'm the one being disrespectful? All I'm doing is pointing out the truth about ambient music. Which is that most people don't notice or remember it, not even the major games developer who has been working at Firaxis for 12 years they had in on the show who played thousands of hours of AoE and didn't remember the soundtrack at all. Clearly I am making a good point, but all you guys wanna do is bash me.

picho86
picho86

 @WCK619  There is a reason why your'e not very well liked in here, that is because your'e being disrespectful.

WCK619
WCK619

 @Matty_gamer another fanboy.

 

nobody has said where I'm wrong. Even the damn wikipedia page for ambient music says that it "did not achieve large commercial success, while attracting criticism for its "boring" and over-intellectual sound."

 

You're the one trolling by just insulting me personally and saying absolutely nothing of substance, then demanding I get banned.

Matty_gamer
Matty_gamer

 @WCK619 Kevin V is Awesome, you on the other hand are just a seemingly under aged troll who is a mere visitor to one of the biggest video game websites.

 @Kevin-V Please moderate the hell out of this dude. :)

WCK619
WCK619

 @mtait01 lol, I didn't know game reviewers had fanboys.

WCK619
WCK619

 @Kevin-V So, I'm watching this Valve birthday stream you and Tom did (I love watching the Game streams) and interestingly, at 1:30:30 you talk about our little discussion here! I was thinking "hurray!", because I'd like to know Tom's position on this too.

 

To quote how the conversation went...Kevin: "Somebody in the comments had some very negative comments to say about the idea of an ambient soundtrack being interesting..."

Tom: ...

Kevin: ...*awkward silence*

Tom: "Yeahh, we have Hobotech in here says console Team Fortress 2 needs an update ASAP ..."

 

Gotta love how Tom completely avoided talking about it and changed the subject. Gives you the idea Tom doesn't really care about ambient music either.

WCK619
WCK619

 @Kevin-V From wikipedia: "... puts an emphasis on tone and atmosphere over songwriting, composition and craftsmanship, hence often lacking musical structure or rhythm. Ambient music is often highly conceptual and experimental in style ...""Ambient did not achieve large commercial success, while attracting criticism for its "boring" and over-intellectual sound."

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

@WCK619 Most people don't refer to it as lame and boring, though it is to you; many people recognize quality music that supports the game. Homeworld's soundtrack is largely considered to be one of the best in game history because of the atmosphere it creates. A quote from a random YouTube commenter on the clip I chose: "This song will forever be attached to that feeling of triumph and excitement in the first mission of Homeworld. The Mothership is (almost) complete after all. It does a great job of avoiding anything that would warn the player of what is on the horizon. It makes what comes next more powerful."

 

Music comes in many forms, and you do not have to be a composer or theorist to appreciate it. What might seem boring to you might actually inspire great emotion in others, as it has in the case of Homeworld's soundtrack. From the sequel's review here on GameSpot: "The moody, atmospheric musical score, which uses various ethnic themes to help make all the interstellar activity as exotic as possible, is extremely well done." Those of the words of Greg Kasavin, a trusted voice and a tastemaker in the video game industry.

 

I have multiple game soundtracks on my phone (which, as a Windows Phone, uses the Zune software and is my primary music player). One of them is the Homeworld soundtrack, though there are others. Some of them are energetic while others are not. Music evokes all sorts of emotions--sadness, excitement, uplift, introspection. What's more, most people I know have disparate tastes; a single person might like Mozart, country music, and hip-hop. I like all sorts of music--some of it because it challenges my mind, some of it because it has a rhythmic pulse, some of it because it lulls me into daydreams, and all of that music is enjoyable to me for any number of reasons. 

 

In other words, I am going to continue to enjoy what I may, and to guide this podcast in ways that celebrate games from all genres and for all systems; games that tap into countless emotional states; games that are beloved and hated, games we forgot about until we were reminded, and games that are deep in our consciousness. And if I choose for us to celebrate a groundbreaking RTS and the striking soundtrack that struck a chord with the hundreds of thousands of people that played it, then that is what I shall do.

 

And I shall do it without apologizing for my tastes, for people with similar tastes have long proclaimed Homeworld's soundtrack to be an ambient delight. I struggle to think what the history of music might have been like without artists and composers challenging what music can be, and how it can move us. And thus I am grateful to composer Paul Ruskay for crating a soundtrack that is an important part of game music history. 

 

 

Falzonn
Falzonn

 @WCK619 Well, as a listener myself I can only say that I don't listen to the music quizs so I can sit back and enjoy the awesomeness of a 10 second clip.  If I want to enjoy a random song like that I'll go to Youtube.  I like trying to guess the song's/games myself, even if I never get 1/2 of them right.  Easy questions are never satisfying for me.

WCK619
WCK619

 @Falzonn but then what fun is it to the listener? Kevin pointing out that he majored in music composition only brings more to my point. Ambient background music in games is something pretty much only enjoyed by people who are deeply into music theory and composition on an intellectually educated level. Most people refer to that stuff as "lame" or "boring". Listeners are going to be much more interested in the iconic music of games, not the ambient background soundtrack.

Falzonn
Falzonn

 @WCK619  @Kevin-V In serious reply to your dislike of obscure music for the music quiz... why make it easy?  If you're gonna quiz people, don't give them the easy FF victory music, or Halo theme song.  Make em EARN those points!