Escapist Podcast: 017: Steve Jobs, Scrolls vs Scrolls & X-Men Destiny

017: Steve Jobs, Scrolls vs Scrolls & X-Men Destiny

This week, we talk about the passing of Steve Jobs and head into round 2 of Mojang vs Bethesda. We also discuss some of what we've been playing and answer some listener questions.

Watch Video

I learned from one of my teachers yesterday that apparently (I think the father and leader is Fred?) Phelps is a lawyer, as are most/several of his children, and essentially they make money by taking these exaggeratedly hateful stances and doing outrageous things to incite people to infringing on their free speech rights and then taking them to court- and unfortunately, winning.

I don't agree about how Notch is handeling it. He's repeatedly said he still likes Betheseda. Yeah sure, he's making fun of 'em but not demonizing them. It's more Notch's fan-base that's doing the poo-throwing.

Interesting thing about Rage, every time I saw something about it a video or a trailer, I only saw the vehicle sections, so for several months before the game came out, I thought it was a racing game.

So I just had to throw this out there because my father overheard the podcast and had a great answer to your question about why Superman is so muscular. It has nothing to do with how much he actually works his muscles, but rather the effects that the sun has on his body. It changes his body mass and density which would also explain why he's immune to bullets as his molecules would be packed more tightly together. He can lift things by not being able to be crushed and being hit by something densly packed like metal hurts a lot more than being hit by, say, foam.

Just thought it was a neat idea.

I found out the best way possible.
Stephen Fry told me.

I'm at work so I listening in fits and starts. So here's my semi-short-form responses to what I heard.


My opinion of retail customers is a matter of public record, so I'll leave it at that.


Steve Jobs. Oy. I only know "where I was" because I was sitting right here at work reading Slashdot. I said "Hey, Steve Jobs died." and my coworkers looked at the item and said things like "Huh. Well he looked sick." and "Shame." and then we got on with life.

As to the fanbois.... My aunt cried when Elvis died. Someone asked how many of his albums she owned. My aunt said none, she didn't even LIKE that kind of music. My aunt's a little fucked in the head.

And whenever a celebrity dies, I'm reminded my aunt is not alone. There's a veritable army of people just as bad or worse. And they can organize.

(Personally, it's things like that that convinced me that democracy is a failed experiment. Vox populi works until an organized part of the populi is non compos mentis.)


Euphemisms! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphemism#Euphemism_treadmill


The thing that confuses me about the Mojang/Bethesda fiasco as presented is this: Does US law require them to fight in Sweden? I thought Mojang's US trademark application was denied, in part due to The Elder Scrolls, which should from a US trademark standpoint end it. (But I'm not a lawyer.)

It IS time for Notch to shut up, though. The early comments were funny, but that particular drum is turning into a dead horse, time to stop beating it.

That said, I do hope he keeps releasing the court documents. If it's public record, there's nothing wrong with letting it out to the international audience. From both sides.


I wrote to my MP once. "He" sent back a form letter on the wrong issue and now I'm on his spam list and the spam list for several lobbying groups that align oddly specifically with his pet causes. Yet another reason to vote against the bastard.

On the topic of crunch time, the complexity of the medium also deserves mention. Before The Force Unleashed was released I was reading a large amount of articles on the tech used. The game had a realistic object engine that could change the strength and density of items. (Digital Molecular Matter/DMM) A brick wall would have the strength of a brick wall and fracture realistically. Havok physics engine was used, as well as Euphoria. Euphoria controls character action and A.I. so, for example, if a character reaches a ledge they might stop and peer over the edge unscripted. The problem the team encountered was getting everything talking to everything else. Throwing someone into a window requires Hovok to calculate the force of impact tell that to the DMM engine while Euphoria is having the character panic, trying to grab the window frame. This is a huge programming undertaking that I assume had a huge amount of bugs that you can not plan for because no one has done it before.

yeah, I honestly found what you said about notch rather insulting. to express his own opinion, and throw out ideas to resolve a situation (whether they be practical or not) is at least good to show transparency and creative thought. you really try to make it seem like Notch is being evil, like he is up in his block tower laughing as he pulls the strings and manipulates the world. To me, that's an insult that is greatly undesired. he can't control how people react to his tweets and whatnot, and he should be given the benefit of the doubt, that these are simply unfiltered honest opinion, from an newish developer, who has not had to deal with this before. honesty and transparency should not be discouraged, just because you think that people will, and have reacted to it poorly.

@ podcast

the cannon for pretty-much any super strong character picking up a building without it crumbling to dust is that 'super strength' beyond the possible physical ( like strongman level )
is an extension of the telekinetic because it just doesn't make any sense otherwise
similar to how he flys, because no matter how strong you are you cant fly by jumping, it's not possible

the answer to how everything is heavy to build muscle is that his telekinesis is only an extension of his strength, once his strength runs out he uses his superpowers

it's definitely well known if i've heard about it because ive never read a single superman comic, lol

it's explained somewhat here:
http://advancing-evolution.wikia.com/wiki/Tactile_Telekinesis

I kind of have to agree with you on the Notch thing, I don't know that he actually means to be making himself out as the martyr, but that is kind of what's happening, and the guys busting Bethesda's chops about it don't seem to fully understand the situation, I think he needs to clue them in, and soon.

I really liked the evil/good system in Mass Effect 2, I liked that it filled each bar rather than having one bar, and when you do evil things you move towards that. I still felt like I could get away with a few things, like shoving a bad guy out a window. It showed that a character had a lot of paragon, but still had the odd slip of concious.

And RIP Steve Jobs, rest well.

((Sorry, accidental repost.))

I'm a little old school. You said emotions in games and I thought of Infocom's games. Floyd in Planetfall is the classic example, but in Sherlock: The Riddle of the Crown Jewels I remember feeling oddly embarrassed when Sherlock Holmes tut-tuted at my use of the in-game hint system, and then relieved when I was with Wiggins and the urchin encouraged the use of hints - we were two scared people out of our depth and looking for any light in the darkness, even if Holmes would disapprove. I was similarly proud and happy when I saved the girl in Covent Gardens, not because I'd solved a puzzle but because I was a doctor and I saved a child's life.


Doctor Who as a superhero.... Interesting trivia: There's at least one version of the Doctor who shares a universe with, of all things, the Transformers and the Marvel heroes like the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. No lie: Marvel UK held the license and while I don't believe there was any direct crossovers*, their efforts to pimp their new character, Death's Head, saw him guest-star in Doctor Who comics, Transformers comics, and main-line Marvel comics, with the changes he suffered at the Doctor's hand carrying forward to later appearances.

(* There might have been, though, before Marvel UK's "implosion" when the smell of desperation was in the air.)

(And who said the Completely Useless Encyclopedia was useless?)

Sorry Susan but I really disagree with you on this. I've been reading up on this and whats been being said in both camps. Notch has said repeatedly about how much he appreciates the work of Bethesda. It's more over he's complaining about the legal system itself.

If you take a look about whats being said on Twitter I think you might agree. It's not a poor me situation and as far as companies go Mojang in comparison to Bethesda is fairly little. The amount of games released, how long that the respective companies have been in business, etc.

I think that there is alot of unwillingness on both sides to try to find a way around it. Usually there is some alternative for things such as these.

You guys are back! I've missed you so much =)

As Karlaxx already said, the Westboro Baptist folks are mostly lawyers, which is where the majority of their money comes from. If you're actually curious to understand their little FUBAR group a bit better, I'd recommend checking out the two documentaries(?) Louis Theroux (a sad-eyed, empathetic, too-patient British guy) did about them. After watching, I--although I suppose YMMV--was just left feeling sad about the whole group; the people in charge are deluded, hateful, isolated, and reject critical thought and the younger members are a sad, indoctrinated, confused lot.

Also, thank you, Susan, for being the first person I've heard to have a problem with the masses of people (who had no personal connection to the man) crying at Steve Jobs' death.

You know, it'd be kind of funny if we eventually found out the Westboro Baptist people were doing what they do for satire and we're supposed to hate them because that's the point they're trying to make.

... Not bloody likely but it would be kind of funny. Like you said, really good satire is indistinguishable from the thing it's mocking.

does anyone else think it's funny that the people who are critisising the coverage of steve jobs' death ran a story (on the frontpage, no less) not 3 months ago about how BIG the preorder box for skyrim was?

yeah... stupid people with their unimportant news, you tell 'em, escapist...

The Escapist Staff:
017: Steve Jobs, Scrolls vs Scrolls & X-Men Destiny

This week, we talk about the passing of Steve Jobs and head into round 2 of Mojang vs Bethesda. We also discuss some of what we've been playing and answer some listener questions.

Watch Video

Simply put: People want to believe they are "connected" to the famous people they like. That's why we give a crap about celebrity divorces, rehab, affairs, haircuts, and ultimately deaths. If you care about them, then surely (in some bizarre alternate universe) it means that your caring somehow matters to them.

I also can't say that I'm totally on-board with the Destiny mechanic of running around collecting "genetic material" from all of your favorite comic book characters. It kind of makes the X-Mansion feel like a sperm bank...

On the subject of Steve Jobs' death, I pretty much agree with the way you (the Escapist staff) spoke of it. I wasn't all too surprised (I only know where I was when I found out because I was still i bed, fuzzy with sleep when hubby told me) to find out that he had passed away because he had pancreatic cancer, and pancreatic cancer, as most health care professionals will tell you, is a total b*tch. I mean, it's a death sentence when that diagnosis is handed to you, most often than not, because it's insidious, the signs and symptoms take a while to manifest themselves. In my eyes, it's a miracle he's held on this long, and yes, I agree with Susan, at least he's no longer suffering.

As for the whole Scrolls drama... I find it hard to take a stance either way, I just think it's a shame it's come to this...

Steve Jobs, Xerox, and the Wizard of Woz. As for the dumb little where were you thing, I was at work, on Fark.com because it was a News Flash.

I'm so glad my parents are still tech savvy. Back in the early 90's I helped my dad set up a 10/T ring network. My parents are pretty open and willing to talk to people. They don't really seem racist.

Scrolls vs Scrolls - Damn you trademark office.

Tragic, the garnering is a card game within a game.

X-Men Destiny sounds like it's nothing more than a cash in. It's really a shame that it sounds so terrible. I know so much about the X-Men history, that I was able to follow who the hell you were talking about. Quicksilver and Northstar both go really fast... hmm. As for the whole Emma Frost thing, remember that she started out evil, and actually upgraded to pants.

Superhero / X-Man - Zatanna. She's got the Deus Ex Machina, but she doesn't need it to get stuff done. Also, her disguise is Zatanna, a stage magician.

As for my X-Man, I'm going to have to go with Pixie. She's Welsh, she has a Soul Dagger, she has wings, she can create hallucinogens as a weapon, and because of her Soul Dagger, she can use magic. Which means she can teleport.

As for the Superman thing, I know his minor Marvel counterpart Gladiator creates psychic fields when he lifts things that he shouldn't lift, like buildings.

Spider Man: A little weak? I take it you haven't read the 90's stories, or One More Day.

On Emotions

Heavy Rain: After the opening sequence, once you get your son over, there's almost a palpable sense of hopelessness.

Mass Effect (series): Try jumping back to Wrex in Mass Effect on Virmire. That was a very charged scene.

On Morality

Fallout: It's harder to actually walk the path of Neutrality than to run at either end of the spectrum of good or evil.

The Escapist Staff:
017: Steve Jobs, Scrolls vs Scrolls & X-Men Destiny

This week, we talk about the passing of Steve Jobs and head into round 2 of Mojang vs Bethesda. We also discuss some of what we've been playing and answer some listener questions.

Watch Video

Hey Susan, I'll explain Ayumi's scarf (or turtleneck as you called it during the latest podcast :D) thing.

You see, since she's Japanese and all Japanese people are Ninjas as everybody knows, she wears this scarf as a failed attempt to look more ninja-like since yes, a long scarf being blown backwards by the wind as though it's a mantle or a cape is indeed a ninja thing in a lot of anime or other games.

Here's a few images to show you what I mean:

(I made this post in the xmen review topic as well but since I'm not sure if you guys check those all that much I figured I might as well post it here too to double my chances, tracking down varied-enough pics took a bit so I don't want it to be ignored :P)

purifico:
You guys are back! I've missed you so much =)

... where've they been? There was a podcast last week and one the week before.


vxicepickxv:
Back in the early 90's I helped my dad set up a 10/T ring network.

My vintage LAN skills are rusty but could you clarify that? If you meant 10BASE-T, that uses star topology, not ring.

Saying "that's what we got, that's what's there", is fairly limited since the trademark system is International, then how does it work that only the American courts are bringing this up? Since Mojang does most of its sales online...

Thank you for letting me know that the Scrolls-issue is less about Bethesda having stupid people on their payroll and more about the two studios being forced into it by a stupid law.

That said, Notch did post on his blog that they offered to give up the trademark. That offer was refused. Just saying, you left out that part and I feel it changes the situation a little.

I'll admit, the deathmatch-challenge was silly, but I was having trouble taking the whole thing seriously at the time, maybe they were to.

Eagi:
Saying "that's what we got, that's what's there", is fairly limited since the trademark system is International, then how does it work that only the American courts are bringing this up? Since Mojang does most of its sales online...

Great question. I have absolutely no idea how that all works.

Theta:
Thank you for letting me know that the Scrolls-issue is less about Bethesda having stupid people on their payroll and more about the two studios being forced into it by a stupid law.

That said, Notch did post on his blog that they offered to give up the trademark. That offer was refused. Just saying, you left out that part and I feel it changes the situation a little.

Legally, it doesn't change a thing. If he goes ahead and uses the name, and Bethesda doesn't challenge it, then the next time someone tries to use it, Bethesda can't fight. That's the thing - you don't have to own the trademark to a name in order to publish a game under that name. So offering to give up the trademark doesn't solve the underlying issue, though I certainly don't blame him if he doesn't know that. Trademark law is counterintuitive and absurd.

Thanks for clearing that up. See, laws are interesting to me when they follow logic, but in that instance I usually treat them like puzzles to be solved. When logic breaks down I really dislike stuff like this.

Worst I ever thought of Bethesda when I saw this mess was "Have both their Legal and PR departments taken total leave of their senses?" Because the whole David vs Goliath thing is such an obvious first glance at the situation. I guess there's not much to do except hope the fallout of it doesn't hit either company too badly.

Susan Arendt:

Eagi:
Saying "that's what we got, that's what's there", is fairly limited since the trademark system is International, then how does it work that only the American courts are bringing this up? Since Mojang does most of its sales online...

Great question. I have absolutely no idea how that all works.

Theta:
Thank you for letting me know that the Scrolls-issue is less about Bethesda having stupid people on their payroll and more about the two studios being forced into it by a stupid law.

That said, Notch did post on his blog that they offered to give up the trademark. That offer was refused. Just saying, you left out that part and I feel it changes the situation a little.

Legally, it doesn't change a thing. If he goes ahead and uses the name, and Bethesda doesn't challenge it, then the next time someone tries to use it, Bethesda can't fight. That's the thing - you don't have to own the trademark to a name in order to publish a game under that name. So offering to give up the trademark doesn't solve the underlying issue, though I certainly don't blame him if he doesn't know that. Trademark law is counterintuitive and absurd.

Did I just get ignored? :(

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/jump/6.316933.12909458

Regarding in-game morality, as it pertains to alliances:

One game that I thought did it well was GTA 3. There's no real moral-choice system. At the start of the game, you're new in the city, and nobody particularly likes you or dislikes you. As you start taking missions for the Mafia though, many of them involve hurting the Triads. So over time the Triads become more and more aggressive about killing you, even outside of missions. Then after you betray the Mafia, their people start gunning for you as well.

If you wanted, you could just do "side missions" forever after arriving at the city, and as long as you didn't kill anybody, nobody would ever try to hurt you.

About the issue of trying to convince others that 360 games will not play on a ps3.
I wonder if these people tried cramming SMS cartridges into NES consoles.

However, now that pretty much all games you buy in a store are on dvd, maybe it's about time they standardized the format. It's kind of absurd that devs need to make 3 different versions of a game, retailers have to have a few different sections, and gamers need to try and figure out which system the game was built on (usually the 360) because the other versions are likely to be anywhere from slightly substandard to completely broken. I know that it wouldn't work in every case (Wii games will still need to be dumbed down and PC games will also have room to be upgraded) but the current standard isn't doing anyone any favors: especially not the consumer and especially not the devs.

I thought only old people took Colbert seriously.

I think I'm going to go play Rolled Up Pieces of Paper now. Love that game.

If that "he's just this guy, you know?" is a reference to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe radio show, you just made my day, Susan.

shiajun:
If that "he's just this guy, you know?" is a reference to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe radio show, you just made my day, Susan.

Well, it was more the BBC version of HHGG. Is that good enough? :)

Courts are terribly boring. I vote for them to resolve it in quake at E3.

Hey! Don't be hating on Surge! She kicked butt saving the last set of New X-Men/New Mutants from the purifiers. I mean she's not as cool as Pixie...

 

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