Diecast #226: TellTale Closes, Fast Travel, Mailbag

 
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Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

00:00 TellTale Games Died

The Walking Dead developer Telltale hit with devastating layoffs as part of a ‘majority studio closure’

09:49 Fast Travel Systems

You mentioned fast travel in Oblivion and your attempt to make a mod to close off access to it in the early game.

Personally fast travel systems often annoy the hell out of me. In the first instance it’s because they are usually immersion breaking. Go to the map and click on the city you want to go to etc with no accounting of the passage of time and effort that requires from your character. On the other side Morrowind “fast travel” which consisted of silt striders, mages guilds, boats and mark and recall spells was very much in world.

But that’s all just jarring, where it becomes infuriating is when it encourages lazyness in the game devs. Skyrim is a good example of this. Stupid side missions like “kill the rats in my basement” will often times have said basement on the complete opposite side of the map from the mission giver. As if the devs knew the player had fast travel and so location doesn’t matter and so where that basement is on the map is irrelevant. Which may also explain why the map in Skyrim was bordering on unusable.

On the flip side of that in some games the travel itself is a joy and I’ve had great success in having a personal rule of no fast travel. Farcry 3/4 for example, time spent getting around in jeeps and hang gliders is some my favorite gameplay time.

There’s supposed to be a question after the mini rant…
So what do you think of fast travel systems?
Where is the line between appropriate and lazy?
And what motivated you to create that mod?

Regards

G

Here is a link to the story about the game that mines cryptocurrency for the developer.

35:30 Young People and Bad Business Practices

Hello blue da ba dee da ba Diecast!

Last week I turned 30, which made me realize something. (Other than not being 29 anymore.)
By gamer standards I’m pretty old.

In a hobby where one could be considered a “hardcore” participant at the age of 8, 10 or 16, 30 seems like
a rather experienced age.
This got me thinking about my absolute disdain towards monetization in todays games.

DLC, Season Passes, more homogenized designs and of course loot boxes.

I’ve heard a lot of gamers excusing and defending these practices as no big deal and accusing it’s detractors of being selfish, entitled and unreasonable.

I wonder if the majority of these gamers are too young to have grown up with games where your customisation options weren’t locked behind random chance, the grindy parts weren’t tied to a games profits through ingame currency and very important-to-the-story characters weren’t sold as seperate (looking at you Javik from Mass Effect 3).

Basically my question is,

Do you think a gamers age can be linked to their tolerance for shitty business practices, since that’s what they grew up with?

Thanks for reading, and keep up the great show!

48:21 Photorealism

Dear Diecastians,

Recently I’ve been playing some Ubisoft games, to include Assassin’s Creed and Ghost Recon. I find the photorealistic environment detail in these games to be incredibly distracting!

But it got me to wondering: How are these environments created? Are they somehow computer-generated via giant art asset libraries? Or do they run environmental artist sweatshops?

I’m really hoping it’s the former and not the later. What are your thoughts on this and do you find it as distracting as I do?

Cheers,
Leslee “Soldierhawk Fangirl” Beldotti

Here is the cell-shaded version of the Spider-Man suit I was talking about:

I REALLY wish I could see the entire game in this style. That looks amazing.

Also, I notice my PlayStation 4 capture setup is suffering from severe screen tearing. You can see examples by looking at Spider-Man’s web in both of the above images. I have no idea what to do about that. I’ve fiddled with every setting in the capture software and my screenshot program, and it just won’t go away. I just have to slap the screenshot button a dozen times and hope I get a lucky frame. This is going to make a miserable time for me if I decide to do a long-form analysis on this game. Arg.

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