The HotSpot - 11/16/11 - Let's keep this short
The HotSpot crew gets cut off a bit early in our discussion of run-time length in games, namely Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Assassin's Creed: Revelations. Blame CNET!
I love assassin's creed: revelations. Bombs are great, the tower defence isn't terrible and can be avoided. The platforming is completely optional but give insight to desmonds story (which is rather absent otherwise). I have skyrim right now with no urge to play it. Guess I'm more willing to play a well crafted story than roaming around aimlessly.
Assassins Creed 2 seemed like the most fulfilling game of the series. I miss having a town to upgrade, and the background of Venice being fireworks with people partying on the streets...It had such a good atmosphere. I hope they get back to what they do best soon...
It's always nice to see a video podcast. Just a suggestion, wouldn't it be better to have split screens rather than cuts? I'm sure it'll be easier on the video editor and possibly the viewers.
@crazeon Don't worry pal took me a while to get it too, but for Toms, thats "the joke we shall not mention."
I have to say that this video was an eye opener to me. The way you guys got into the nitty gritty of game design choices from both a macro (industry wide) and micro (specific titles/genres) was a pleasant surprise. Not that I thought you were all dumb asses or anything... :) But this type of discussion, I think, would be great to see with the actual reviews of each title. I know that not all gamers are interested in these types of discussions so, to some degree, tailoring the reviews for less detailed oriented (or just less gaming industry obsessed) folks is the way to go. But these types of discussions are definitely the way my friends and I talk about games. Why they're great from all of these different detailed perspectives and the ideas behind how to measure value in a game and exactly which specific design choices in "New Game X" were in effective and why and which ones were great. I'll be honest, I actually didn't think most of you guys even thought about games in this much detail. And for that assumption, I apologize, and stand corrected. Clearly, you guys know your sh*t and think about these things fully and thoroughly. I guess it would just be cool to see more detailed analyses like this in the individual reviews themselves. I truly feel like hashing out these concepts and ideas amongst the consumers/gamers (as opposed to just the developers) is really important for the growth of the industry going forward. Anyway, great show.
@EdibleFood I didn't play Oblivion nor the others because I was never into this type of RPGs, Dragon Age Origins change that for me, I fall in love with that game, hated the 2nd but thats another story, so this time I decided to give Skyrim a chance and I have to say I'm deeply Impressed. Well I completed the civil war quest (Empire side) and a good part of the Companions along some others, mixed in with the main quest. At the end all the side quests I did while doing the Main quest, end up feeling like a part of the path I took until the end, they didn't feel like side quest at all, and for me that great.
As a side note, it would appear that most of the Gamespot staff play solely on consoles. Check out the PC version of Bethesda games and get involved in the wonderful mod community that further enriches the experience. This also is taken into consideration when making a Bethesda open-world RPG; the ability for the fan base and community to mod the game as they see fit. This only serves to further the point Todd made about not limiting what players can do in the game world. If the game world were more restricted, mod authors would not enjoy the vast amount of freedom to create a truly "personal" experience. Realizing that consoles cannot be modded to the same extent that the PC versions can and that the vanilla versions of all 3 versions are essentially the same some leeway must be given. TL;DR - Always will be an acceptable amount of bugs/glitches in Bethesda RPGs to allow for more player freedom and customization.
Good show, I find myself wondering if your panel watched the episode a few weeks back when you had Todd Howard from Bethesda talking in depth about Skyrim. He mentioned several times that there was always going to be some degree of bugs/glitches in his studio's open world games. The reasoning behind it was they want to be able to create a game where you can go anywhere and do anything. As such there is a trade-off where there is some acceptable level or degree of bugs/glitches in their games. Consider the scope of the games world that they create. Massive, non-instanced, open world venues, that is a whole heap of information being deciphered by the engine at a particular time. You see similar issues is mmo's such as Warcraft, Rift, and surely SW:ToR(once it's released). The massive world is a huge draw for players and listening to Todd's reasoning a second and third time watching that particular episode it became clear that his studio was more focused on not limiting what players could see and do in the game world. Yes, some of the glitches/bugs take away from the immersion, but you're missing all the finer points of Bethesda games that immediately grab you back into the game world.
@404FredNotFound A 30 hour story is about as long as most rpgs, I am actually surprised that it is that long, Oblivion's main quest was far shorter, The civil war quests are also considered "main" quests by many, your decisions also seem to be more important. I think you will be surprised at how important the side quests feel, I don't plan on finishing the main quest for a very long time, I'm 20 hours in and my main focus has been on the College of Winterhold.
Great show guys, I have to say tho I loved Skyrim, sadly Side quest are not my thing, I usually play a game for its mains story, so I was done with it after I finished the story, 30h of gameplay, was kind of disappointed at the story being so "small", but its still an amazing game.
Also correction: They didn't use the Halo Reach Engine in the single player for Halo CE Anniversary. They are using the original Halo CE Engine for the gameplay, the updated visuals are "layered" over the original engine using a second engine developed by Saber Interactive. The collisions, pathfinding, AI, vehicle handling, controls, etc are completely unchanged.
@HailHellfire Agreed, if they released a quick sequel (like new vegas) I would be very disappointed. Every Elder Scrolls release has had major changes to the gameplay, visuals and design while Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas were very similar experiences.
Bethesda announced that the quests in skyrim total over 300 hours. There are also "radiant quests" that are generated by your player data. If you play the game without fast traveling to every quest location and using guides, the game should last well over 300 hours.
if they cut down Oblivion & came out with one every year, it wouldn't be so fresh & new... i would rather wait awhile & anticipate something that is noticeably different from the last game... rather than loosing my excitement over a game that a developer is constantly trying to make exciting & fresh, once every year... look at Dragon Age 2... almost all yearly series, loose their flavor & are put on the back burner or dropped altogether, b/c they become less popular, with time... look at Guitar Hero, Spyro, Red Faction.... games like Zelda & Skyrim take their time in coming out with a new game which in turn makes their customers anticipate it without loosing it's excitement... some gamers can't play long games due to their short attention pans, i think thats why 6 hr games work well for other people... i don't mind a few glitches in my game, just so long as it isn't stopping me from finishing quests or playing the game... most of those glitches will be fixed anyways, which is why i usually wait awhile for a game like Skyrim before i buy & play it... (that & i wait till most of the dlc is out), but that is just my own personal way of enjoying open world games... i am drawn more to games like Fallout & Skyrim, b/c i enjoy looking around in the world & exploring it... it feels more immersive to me & the characters feel more lifelike... i also play other genre based games, but i don't walk away with the same attachment that i get from games like Fallout, Mass Effect, Skyrim...
This comment is for the HD crowd only: Can't wait for next week when they bash the sh...ampoo out of NFS: Run. Amazing how easy it is to tell from a demo how mediocre (split second/driver/nfs run) or great (burnout paradise) a racing game will be.
What do we consider a long game these days? If I get at least 6 hours of gameplay from a new game, I'm generally happy. If you go back to the day of Atari, games used to last 5 to 15 minutes. Games around 20 to 25 usually hit the sweet spot for me. Games over 40 hours tend to get in the real of a hit/miss for me. If the game's horrible, then 40+ hours is just horrible, but if it's something like Assassin's Creed / Skyrim, aka games I LOVE, then around 100+ isn't necessary, but it's definitely icing on the proverbial cake. Amen to spending my money on something that's good and really short (in the 6 hour range). Looks like I'm around 1000 games owned/played now. I don't need 100 hours of a game for a game to have value. I just need the gaming experience to be fun and enjoyable within the time span of the game. When a game is no longer fun/enjoyable, then it may be too long even if it only clocks in at 10 hours.
When did the HotSpot become a video??? Seems like just yesterday it was a podcast.... I must be getting old, or am completely out of Sync (#sadly) with GameSpot.
Old Bay is amazing! I would wager that it's the best seafood seasoning ever. I actually thought I was the only one who put it on mac and cheese. I've never tried it on tacos but I think I will now. Great on french fries, too. I might be slightly biased because I am, in fact, from Maryland...