Diecast #239: Into the Spoiler-Verse, Activision’s CFOs

 
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Happy 2019! We start off the year with positivity and praise. It lasts almost half an hour before we spiral back into complaining and snark. We tried.

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Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Show notes:
00:00 Into the Spider-Verse

It’s a spoiler discussion, so if you’re not into that then jump to…

24:17 Activision lost their CFO this week. Twice.

First they lost Spencer Neumann to Netflix, and a few days later they lost Amrita Ahuja to Square.

33:20 Who has time to talk about: Fallout 76 Multiplayer system?

The first step in fixing a problem is admitting you have one.

33:38 Mailbag: Microsoft game Engine

So, I had this crazy idea and I’m curious to see what you’d think of it.

If Microsoft is seriously looking at moving into gaming as a cross-platform thing, it occurs to me that one big step they could make would be to create their own game engine for the use of the developers they’re acquiring, and also to license out to other developers. I mean, from what I understand that could be a BIG move for them that would have a HUGE impact on the industry. I’ve heard it said that Microsoft is amazing at designing tools for software developers, and that would really leverage their “core competency” and put them in a position to have much broader effects on the games industry than they would just by buying games developers and selling gaming systems.

What do you guys think?

Jennifer

39:16 Mailbag: Games that miss the mark.

Dear Diecast,

When it comes to games that miss the mark, what is the worst or most painful combination in your eyes? A game with an excellent story/characters/writing but bad mechanics/gameplay, or a game with excellent mechanics/gameplay and a bad story/characters/writing? Of those two, which would be more disappointing to you?

And on the same note, are there any exceptions to your answer that you can think of out of the games you’ve played in the past, where that element was strong enough that it kept you interested to the end (and maybe even happy) despite its flaws?

Best,
Marcus Virgil

46:15 Mailbag: Dragon Age Inquisition

Hi!

I’m playing Dragon Age Inquisition right now, and one thing that bothers me a lot (besides one sidequest bug) is that we are playing as the head of organization are running around doing stuff expanding influence, claiming land and gaining favors (I’m doing everything there, because I just can’t left things; I know I have a problem). But our opposing force (cultists + Coripheus) aren’t as proactive. We are stopping their plan in the region, and that’s it, no retaliation (unless you go and do main plot, I suspect). It feels like chess is played only by me, and the opponent is skipping his turns. That aspect should’ve been done not via standard rpg questing in huge maps with copy-paste side content and such, but via some kind of strategy level management (a-la expanded X-Com or simplified Civilization or Crusader Kings; I think King Arthur games combined story driven rpg with strategy), with occasional mission only for Inquisitor. That would change the genre, but would fit the story way more (not that story is bad, actually I’m surprised that its better than I expected). Older games didn’t have that disconnect. In KOTOR / Mass Effect you’re basically small infiltration team and your gains are intelligence and nothing more. In DAO you’re opposing mindless force, so it makes sense that it isn’t that proactive (and even then it was shown expanding its territory).

Have you noticed that? Do you think that genre change would’ve make DAI better? Any other commentary on this?

Best regards, DeadlyDark

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