Escapist Podcast: 066: Gaming Crunch & Emotional Games

066: Gaming Crunch & Emotional Games

This week, we discuss why gaming companies go through crunch time, and what could be done to treat game industry employees better. We also share what games make us emotional.

Watch Video

Whoo Hoo!
Thanks and I'm a-downloading!

I have only ever actually cried at a game once. I've been emotionally hit in the gut a couple of times at various games like ME3 and so on. The game is FFX and because I love this bit so much and the games been out for 10 years but still spoilers

I know I cried at the end of the inFamous 2 with the Bad Ending where...

The credits song didn't help either. ;_;

I'd say the game that surprised me and moved me emotionally was Thief 2: The Metal Age.
*Spoiler*
Specifically in the Pagan village when you go into the hut with the dead girl and mother. The part where the ghost of the little girl asks you to take care of her doll, Teardrop and then her mother's ghost tells her it's time to go really moved me near to tears and made me veer from my pacifistic ways in that level.

Heterochromia is the "disorder" you are thinking of in the opening section.

there are "old" media degrees? where are these?

not all games have so much a "fail state" as much as a loss condition. there is a difference. a fail state says the game is over, or you must restart/reload; while a loss condition is the thing that could cause such a fail state if one exists, and usually if there is no clear loss condition then the loss condition is automatically not completing. and in some cases the true loss condition is that the player gives up, and walks away. if we consider say a jig-saw puzzle to be a game then it would have a win-condition of putting it together/completing it and a loss-condition of not completing it.

It was stated that 'why would a person do a job with such atrocious schedule, and hours knowing that if they don't they will get fired soon if not immediately, but still knowing that they will be "fired" a few months later' (this is a combination, and I am really bad with names if I cannot see the person, or have the minutes) essentially it comes down to I have this job, and it is paying me this number for it, and I am replaceable, and then couple that with I would just become another member of that hopeful group, and at least now I have a job. when couple this with the crunch time thing, and unionization (this technically becomes a political argument very quickly as to effectiveness) though there are good things, and bad things to unions for all parties involved, and though you bring up

when you spoke of project management it is quite difficult to sometimes consider what is realistic with regards to a project this can either be a result of inexperience on the part of the project manager, or the project team member not giving estimates. though you only really brought up publishers a few times with regards to timetables. these are usually the people who are funding these projects, and they are the ones deciding when it will release, and they are the ones that determine whether it is acceptable to launch.

I don't know about the Walking Dead all at once, Susan, I mean the months wait in between episodes is painful, but sometimes the ending of an episode (looking at you episode 3) is so heavy that I can't go back for about a week. Though I would suggest to you, if you still haven't played episode 4 that you wait till episode 5 launches. Because the events of episode 4 are much more of a lead in to episode 5, and the cliff hanger and sense of urgency it left me with... makes this current wait unbearable.

Game, noun:

A structured interaction with rules that can be undertaken for entertainment, education, science, research, experimentation, simulation, or even artistic expression. Games must involve competition of some sort and may involve goals and failure states. Such status events are not required but some may argue that without goals an interactive experience is simply a toy and without competition it is merely a puzzle.

Games may involve choices or random chance or both.

Mathematically a game must have at at least two participants and involve at least two variant end-states.

A game does not "need to be enjoyed".

DOOD! They totally read my email about the emotional games topic! YAY!

Thanks podcat! You guys are awesome!

While I admit ME3 got me emotional, I think MGS3 still tugged on me more possibly cause of my preference as a fan so it probably impacted me more than it would have for other people.

Thanks again though!

- Chris

The reindeer off in the corner could very well have been a "what is art?" piece. The way you explained it, being off in a corner and looking like someone just accidentally put it there, makes it plausible to say that the artist wanted you to wonder if it was a piece in the show or not. Almost everything in art is deliberate so I can't imagine why they would separate their piece from the others so much if it wasn't to make a point.

I'm really happy one of you mentioned BioShock 2 as one of your "emotional games". The game wasn't as good as the first, yes, but there were parts that shone out and the relationship between Delta and Eleanor was one of those. The two "good" endings certainly tug at my heart strings unlike most other media. The only thing I noticed was out of place when it was brought up was that Delta sacrificed himself to save Eleanor by pushing her into the capsule, which is wrong. Delta was doomed to die from the beginning if he ever left Rapture. Big Daddies have a kill switch if they leave Rapture through gene therapy so by accomplishing his goal he always knew he would be sacrificing himself, which makes it even sadder.

For years I wore a mis-matched tinted contact just so I appeared to have different colored eyes.

Mass Effect 3 had me crying too, because I had no idea a game could ever be that bad.

I cry every time I think about the fact that the Mass Effect series will never have a satisfying conclusion. It brings me to tears every time I remember that every single choice I made in the first 2 games amounted to nothing. I shed a tear every time Shepard did a cartwheel instead of going into cover. I cry tears of rage over how incorrect every line of dialog James speaks is.

And hearing that you think Mass Effect 3 deserves a game of the year nod makes me cry the most of all.

Yeah... I always wonder if I had some tears for ME3's ending that just never came out, because I was too busy being furious/confused/in denial over the ending... And I dunno what Susan's talking about, the extended cut didn't solve a thing for me.
I do love Mass Effect though. I hear people saying "people only praise it because the standards for writing in games is so low!" And... Yeah, I guess that's true, as good as Bioware's writing is, it still carries the subtitle Brilliant Writing [for a game], we still have a looooong way to go with this medium. But It occurs to me that Mass Effect is kinda like Doctor Who in it's fun loving ever so slightly self parodying tone. I like that Bioware seems to be looking over forums and finding what people laugh at and finding a way to reference that later. Like when that fan dude is all "sorry if I ever accused to of pulling a gun on me when you didn't... I was just going through some stuff..."

Aww now I feel extra bad for accidently having Thane sacrafice himself in ME2.

I'm eventually going to go back and do a playthrough of all the games again--I didn't import my ME1 into ME2 when I played. Can't wait for that.

Now I really really want Xcom, especially because I want to try taking on Iron Man-Classic or whatever the super hard setting is. But I have no money.

Mikeyfell:
I shed a tear every time Shepard did a cartwheel instead of going into cover.

I'm pretty sure that's only a problem PC gamers had. I've been watching an LP of it, where the person is playing it on a computer and is having trouble with the 'action' button. I played it on the 360 and never had that problem.
Also, you can hate on ME3 all you want, but it's still much better than all the dull-grey shooters.

Hmm, wasn't a game, but an anime where I had some near crying response was Dennou Coil. Let's just say it was a scene involving someone's awesome pet.

Team Hollywood:
066: Gaming Crunch & Emotional Games

This week, we discuss why gaming companies go through crunch time, and what could be done to treat game industry employees better. We also share what games make us emotional.

Watch Video

You guys should do a contest like once a month where you select a random Escapist to be a guest on the podcast.

If I had heterochromia I'd never wear a contact. If 20-ish years on this earth have taught me anything it's that people like to pin eachother on their most obvious oddity. So it may as well be something awesome, like yuna's gig. (from final fantasy x)

You do not want a monocle. I went disguised as the "like a sir" meme this weekend, which included using a fake monocle. Those things are bitch to keep on. It's not comfortable at all, you have to keep your expressions to a minimum. I think I finally get why sirs were always taken to be such cold people. You just can't show emotion or that thing falls off.

Mikeyfell:
I shed a tear every time Shepard did a cartwheel instead of going into cover.

Hahahaha! You made me draw this :)

image

Jaded_Muffin:

Mikeyfell:
I shed a tear every time Shepard did a cartwheel instead of going into cover.

Hahahaha! You made me draw this :)

image

I love this
This makes all the bad controls worth it.
I found my new desktop wall paper

triggrhappy94:

Mikeyfell:
I shed a tear every time Shepard did a cartwheel instead of going into cover.

I'm pretty sure that's only a problem PC gamers had. I've been watching an LP of it, where the person is playing it on a computer and is having trouble with the 'action' button. I played it on the 360 and never had that problem.
Also, you can hate on ME3 all you want, but it's still much better than all the dull-grey shooters.

I had that problem on the Xbox. I don't think I ever managed to get into cover on the first try. Or run through a door for that matter.

It's hard to argue with your sentiment though, Dull and repetitive Vs. a wad of retcons and plot holes held together with barley functional gameplay. Take your pick.

As a type 1 diabetic and with the knowledge of how other type 1 diabetics have been treated in America and how they are treated here, yeah socialised medicine, not bad. In fact, a godsend.

Whoa there, video games? I thought this podcast was about wedding gifts and different styles of pants?!?!

No just kidding, great return to form this week.

Great podcat, guys! I mean, I love talking about food and home decor as much as the next guy but...yeah, I really liked this podcat.
For some reason, podcasts like that make me wanna drop everything and go work with you guys. if that was possible. I dunno. It's weird.

My emotional game would be Final Fantasy. And there's two:

gardian06:
Heterochromia is the "disorder" you are thinking of in the opening section.

And, in fact (well, according to wikipedia), it's not that his eyes are different colors, it's that his left eye's permanently dilated from an injury, resulting in what appears to be different eye colors, given the central heterochromia (i.e., the central portion of his irises are a different color from the outer portion). So it's cool-looking, but I'd still opt for not having my eye damaged in the first place.

Sorry, just had looked that up after watching The Prestige a while back and thought it was strange/interesting.

Edit: Also, regarding "crunch" and such, it seems like everyone would win if game studios (or, in fact, most/all employers) limited the work week to allow employees time to get an adequate amount of sleep (which, even if it doesn't save money up front, should make people more productive, make fewer mistakes, happier, more functional, and much nicer to work with).

Waiting all week for podcat... getting impatient... cannot function well without weekly dose of internet verbiage... ERROR

quote of the week goes to Justin
Adjusting Aim - WHY DIDNT U DO THAT LAST TIME?!? ahaha that was epic

 

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