Escapist Podcast: 083: SimCity, Story-Based RPGs and Google Glass

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Stopping mid podcast to discuss the Sim City stuff.

bdcjacko:
So...the new SimCity does not have a single player mode where you can play offline? This confuses and angers me.

EA put out plenty of updates and news about the game before launch saying that it should have be well known that there will be no offline single player. And now, of course, there is no offline single player. They stated plenty of times that the main thing they were doing with SimCity was making into a game of multiplayer co-op.

You have to be online for single player. If you want someone to blame, blame pirates, because it is a tactic to keep track of all people that play so they know if people are pirating and/or hacking.

cynicalsaint1:
RE: The technical issues on SimCity

It is another well reported fact that EA has stated that one of the big reasons Sim City was going to be so hard for pirates to make working copies of was that a vast majority of the city simulations were going to be personally handled server-side then sent back to the player.

This would mean that if you are running some bogus copy of the game, the EA servers will know it and won't be processing the important simulations your game and city need to run properly.

The only way I see pirates working this one out is if they purchased large amounts of similar type servers and got the exact codes and make-up of what EA's servers calculate for the city simulations and then run their own version of it on their own server farm.

With the time and money it would take to do that, I don't see pirates wasting their time and money(and I'm glad, good riddance). But if they do, it will be the longest time in history for a game to get cracked and playable by filthy stinking pirates.

--------------------------------------

On this whole situation, I agree with Susan. These days you have to be a smart consumer. It is pretty much a giving that a game that requires you to be always online will not have a perfect launch. Not everybody or nobody will get to play until it is fix.

And I as a consumer if I did have the money and computer to run the game, I would have bought it and waited patiently for them to fix it. If it means that they get it fixed and running along with the stuff that is for wacking pirates upside the head, I'm all for it.

Well, there goes one of the podcasts I used to listen to...
I mean, okay, you can experiment with this video-feed idea all you want, but a podcast, first and foremost, is supposed to be like a radio show that you can listen to on the go (like I do while working or doing other stuff), and then what did you do?

You put the audio only version into goddamn iTunes! Sorry, but no. I am not going to go even CLOSE to any goddamn Apple service ever again, not even for you guys. Adios, it was fun.

The problem with EA's strategy is that at this point, they no longer sell video games. They sell lifetime membership to small MMOs with a large solo component, to run for an indeterminate amount of time until that service is no longer profitable for them, they shut it down, and the game no longer exists.

But they'll still market it in terms of selling a game. I'll stick with solutions that have an offline mode, thanks all the same.

GabeZhul:
Well, there goes one of the podcasts I used to listen to...
I mean, okay, you can experiment with this video-feed idea all you want, but a podcast, first and foremost, is supposed to be like a radio show that you can listen to on the go (like I do while working or doing other stuff), and then what did you do?

You put the audio only version into goddamn iTunes! Sorry, but no. I am not going to go even CLOSE to any goddamn Apple service ever again, not even for you guys. Adios, it was fun.

Despite the RSS feed currently being wonky, you WILL be able to download the podcat as an MP3. Cool your jets, don't make any hasty decisions!

GabeZhul:
Well, there goes one of the podcasts I used to listen to...
I mean, okay, you can experiment with this video-feed idea all you want, but a podcast, first and foremost, is supposed to be like a radio show that you can listen to on the go (like I do while working or doing other stuff), and then what did you do?

You put the audio only version into goddamn iTunes! Sorry, but no. I am not going to go even CLOSE to any goddamn Apple service ever again, not even for you guys. Adios, it was fun.

Or you could just download the mp3 from our RSS feed. Up to you.

As to the Google Glass discussion. A number of these issues have been raised in public photography discussions. (A lot of reading I've done has been on here: http://www.photographyisnotacrime.com/ . I admit they might be a little photographer-biased, though not unreasonably so) The legal issue that seems to crop up, and that I find appealing, is that you cannot expect to have the protection of privacy if you are in a public area. I think that makes sense, as people can see you when you're out there (*cue horror fanfare*). There are other legal protections for individuals / organizations improperly using images captured of you while in public.

I like that we're having the discussion about the issues though. I think that Google Glass, with admittedly huge software improvements, could eventually see someone's face and link to their public Google Plus information, etc. Google is great (and scary) at information aggregation. This is yet another reason to make sure you've thought very hard and are being very careful about the information you make public about yourself to the internet!

________

As to the bandwidth / video vs. audio issue, I connect to the webbertubes using my cell phone (tethered via USB). I'm in the middle of a building which is was designed back before human flight was actually popular. It has a bit of a Ghostbusters 2 motif, Tungsten, other exotic building materials, etc. My speeds are not great. If you start the video, pause, and walk away for a bit (ten, fifteen minutes) and restart it works just fine. (Kudos to the Escapist infrastructure on your buffering allowances! Thanks for not making it stop at 20%!) The iTunes versions work pretty well for me as well, but watch out. If you forget about it for awhile iTunes will "stop updating the feed because you haven't listened to it in a while". It took me a few days to realize that it wasn't a problem with the RSS / Escapist end.

Sonic Doctor:
Stopping mid podcast to discuss the Sim City stuff.

bdcjacko:
So...the new SimCity does not have a single player mode where you can play offline? This confuses and angers me.

EA put out plenty of updates and news about the game before launch saying that it should have be well known that there will be no offline single player. And now, of course, there is no offline single player. They stated plenty of times that the main thing they were doing with SimCity was making into a game of multiplayer co-op.

You have to be online for single player. If you want someone to blame, blame pirates, because it is a tactic to keep track of all people that play so they know if people are pirating and/or hacking.

Still news for me. I don't go to EA's or any other game website besides really the escapist. And if they don't mention it on the podcast, news segment or something I can watch in my lunch break I don't see it. Usually I can either have time to play games or read about games, so I rather just play them.

I actually knew about the custom of brass rings from some children's comics, but had no idea it was a phrase.

Susan Arendt:

GabeZhul:
Well, there goes one of the podcasts I used to listen to...
I mean, okay, you can experiment with this video-feed idea all you want, but a podcast, first and foremost, is supposed to be like a radio show that you can listen to on the go (like I do while working or doing other stuff), and then what did you do?

You put the audio only version into goddamn iTunes! Sorry, but no. I am not going to go even CLOSE to any goddamn Apple service ever again, not even for you guys. Adios, it was fun.

Or you could just download the mp3 from our RSS feed. Up to you.

*sigh* Yeah, I suppose I should have waited a little longer before posting. In my defense, it was mostly the sleep-deprivation (and my intense hatred towards iTunes) talking, but still, my bad. -.-'

Susan - Was the subtitled film you watched called Jar City by any chance? It has a good storyline, if a little depressing, but I have to agree the casual eating of the sheep head made me want to lose my own dinner. The story is set in Iceland and I believe boiled sheep's head is a delicacy there. Although I think the true problem was the way that it was filmed as if the guy was doing nothing more unusual than picking up a take-away curry and eating it at home! Truly disturbing.

On the subject of names... my name is Jonathan. I used Jon for a short time (without the h, that was very important!) but now it feels really weird if anyone calls me that. I like Jonathan, it's my name and that's what I use. Lord help you if you call me Jonny though; I can't stand it! A fact that causes my friends to use it all the more.

Spelling is a big problem too. Although I use the most common spelling I have seen some truly mind-boggling spellings in relation to my own name, mostly involving an overenthusiastic use of the letter h.

GabeZhul:

Susan Arendt:

GabeZhul:
Well, there goes one of the podcasts I used to listen to...
I mean, okay, you can experiment with this video-feed idea all you want, but a podcast, first and foremost, is supposed to be like a radio show that you can listen to on the go (like I do while working or doing other stuff), and then what did you do?

You put the audio only version into goddamn iTunes! Sorry, but no. I am not going to go even CLOSE to any goddamn Apple service ever again, not even for you guys. Adios, it was fun.

Or you could just download the mp3 from our RSS feed. Up to you.

*sigh* Yeah, I suppose I should have waited a little longer before posting. In my defense, it was mostly the sleep-deprivation (and my intense hatred towards iTunes) talking, but still, my bad. -.-'

Ok, next time you're about to unreasonably flip out, maybe take a minute and think about the fact that the people you're talking to are actual people who are doing their best to do a good job and provide you with solid entertainment, day after day, free of charge. We all have our bad days, and I'm not asking you to be perfect, but you know, just maybe think about how the people on the other end of your vitriol might feel.

Proverbial Jon:
Susan - Was the subtitled film you watched called Jar City by any chance?

THAT'S IT!!!!!

On the subject of saves, there is this little phenomenom I'd like to call "Last Save Rampage", and I'm sure I'm not the only one who does that.
You're playing an RPG, like Skyrims or Fellouts, and log your save for the day before bed or something, and that is the save you're going to load next time you play it. That makes anything you do from there consequence-free. So I tend to take the opportunity to do something I never do otherwise, namely grabbing the weapons and raizing the town to the flippin' ground.

When I play properly, I tend to play fairly good characters, helping out the community and generally being a nice, polite hero, which makes it all the more fun imagining how it must be like for the poor villagers when their friendly neighbourhood dragonslayer suddenly goes feral and decapitate the town soap maker. "What did we do?! Was it something I said?! Guards! Haaalp!"

As for names and nicknames, I've got a fairly entertaining one. My name, Marc, rhymes very well with knark, which is slang for drugs (think as in narcotics) and that apparently never ceased to be hilarious, it was practically my proper name throughout school. If I ever wake up one morning and decide to launch a career as a ganster rapper, I'm going to use that as my nom de plume.

Still, I was better off than a friend of mine, his last name was Bong. Yeah, I'll so get him a spot on my crew if that ever happens.

Why is Susan so mad about the definition of "literally"? Isn't the word meaning a consensus among the speakers of that language? Something is right or wrong depending on the overall consensus of the people.

JoaoJatoba:

Why is Susan so mad about the definition of "literally"? Isn't the word meaning a consensus among the speakers of that language? Something is right or wrong depending on the overall consensus of the people.

Because the word has a meaning, and that meaning is being changed not because of natural evolution, or societal changes, or technological changes, or even consonental shift, but rather because people don't try to use it correctly. Changing a word because people we're not willing to expect more of people? No, sorry, I'm never going to be down with that.

Susan Arendt:

JoaoJatoba:

Why is Susan so mad about the definition of "literally"? Isn't the word meaning a consensus among the speakers of that language? Something is right or wrong depending on the overall consensus of the people.

Because the word has a meaning, and that meaning is being changed not because of natural evolution, or societal changes, or technological changes, or even consonental shift, but rather because people don't try to use it correctly. Changing a word because people we're not willing to expect more of people? No, sorry, I'm never going to be down with that.

Dumb people using a word the "wrong way" IS a societal change. Just not a good one.

JoaoJatoba:

Susan Arendt:

JoaoJatoba:

Why is Susan so mad about the definition of "literally"? Isn't the word meaning a consensus among the speakers of that language? Something is right or wrong depending on the overall consensus of the people.

Because the word has a meaning, and that meaning is being changed not because of natural evolution, or societal changes, or technological changes, or even consonental shift, but rather because people don't try to use it correctly. Changing a word because people we're not willing to expect more of people? No, sorry, I'm never going to be down with that.

Dumb people using a word the "wrong way" IS a societal change. Just not a good one.

It's not one I consider to be an acceptable reason to change the language. You wanted to know why I was mad. That's why.

Susan Arendt:

JoaoJatoba:

Susan Arendt:

Because the word has a meaning, and that meaning is being changed not because of natural evolution, or societal changes, or technological changes, or even consonental shift, but rather because people don't try to use it correctly. Changing a word because people we're not willing to expect more of people? No, sorry, I'm never going to be down with that.

Dumb people using a word the "wrong way" IS a societal change. Just not a good one.

It's not one I consider to be an acceptable reason to change the language. You wanted to know why I was mad. That's why.

Ok... (^_^)

Ok about the sound check... Giving birth is not some monumental, impossible feat. It's doable, it may be hard, but not impossible. We're always hearing horror stories, but everyone keeps forgetting that the cast majority of labors go well. No one ever tells the positive, happy stories. My labor was four hours, not twenty-four, not four days, four hours. And my first, too. But that doesn't make me a superwoman or anything.
An episiotomy isn't done systematically (at least it shouldn't be done systematically, but some doctors are still lazy and oldschool), there are a bunch of studies on the matter, but I won't bore you with the details. Sorry to go off on a tangent like this, but public health and particularly maternal and infant health are fields I have a very strong interest in. To be honest, giving birth can be easy, it's the eighteen plus years that come after that are hard!

Back on gaming. I was so glad that you guys mentioned Plague Inc!! I've basically been playing it nonstop since the guys and Susan on the Gamers With Jobs podcast discussed it, and it's really well done! It's hard to believe the developer has no deep scientific knowledge on the matter, the different mechanisms involved in modifying your pathogen, spreading it, etc are very intricate, extremely well done. Also, I had the same reaction as Justin: "Greenland!!" Oh gosh Greenland has caused me to fail more than once...

About SimCity... I love the franchise, I played the first games "back in the day", and was very curious about this iteration, but... ugh, I just had a feeling this kind of debacle would happen. And it's really a shame, because from little feedback there has been, from what little people have played, it seems to be a great game, but all the "stuff around it" just makes it entirely unappealing.

Regarding names and nicknames, I just had to sigh and nod when I heard this part. Growing up in an English-speaking country with a distinctively French name has not done me any favors; people have downright massacred my name, I mean botched it beyond recognition. So I now when I say my name, I just say a English version people can handle, and that's fine. Until they have to spell it.

And finally, the Google Glass. I was so glad Susan brought up Greg's daughter, because I had bee basically crying out in my car "what if it was your child?" for the past five minutes. This is definitely a concern for me, not only as a woman, but also as a mother. I'm not sure I find the concept all that appealing, and at the very, very least, it's a double edged sword (and what Justin had to say on the matter was spot on in my book). Before the Google Glass, we had cellphones with cameras (and I've had some total random stranger in the street snap a picture of me in broad daylight, for absolutely no apparent reason, that's very uncomfortable), and that can be an issue too. Of course, the benefits are there, it's incredibly useful to be able to take a picture on the fly and send it to friends and family (particularly when you live so far away from each other, as is my case). Fundamentally, the problem is the same with Google Glass. In the end, it's not the technology itself that matters or that will make a difference, but the people and how they use it.

Sorry for the wall of text, but thanks for the awesome podcast! I always look forward to it, and you always spark a variety of thoughts and insights!

Susan Arendt:

TAdamson:
Alright... WHERE IS THE AUDIO VERSION?

I really don't need to spend the extra bandwidth incurred by watching the four of you sitting statically in opposite corners of a sound-room, where we can barely see Susan or Paul, with your faces are hidden by pop filters.

Seriously... From what I can tell you're all very good looking, but unless you're going to turn the podcat into a 100 minutes of you doing Gundam Style and the Macarena
(In which case I'm going to stop watching due to displaced embarrassment) then there is very little point to actually watching the video versions of these podcasts.

Maybe if you were sitting on a couch or around a desk and we actually got to see the faces of those who were talking, you actually provided additional visual content... But you don't... So.... Why are you making me download 250MB instead of 40-90MB?

There really is no need to be so rude. You can download the audio-only version either from iTunes for you can download the mp3 from the RSS feed for the podcat. You don't want to deal with video, you don't have to.

Uhuh? I don't use Iturds and your RSS feed leads me to a bunch of XML gobbelldygook, even when I load it to outlook it breaks... Nice.

Why not just provide the podcast as an MP3 download? A simple file link? Why do I have to go through IT/RSS(Both broken) when every other podcast in the industry provides a link to a file to download, It would cost nothing at all.

Or if that offends you why not provide it in your videoplayer like you did previously? Then you'd make money again.

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