Google Games Chat, Episode 2


Uploaded by GoogleDevelopers on 16.08.2012

Transcript:

BILL LUAN: Shanghai GDG is a very
interesting developer community.
FEMALE SPEAKER: I'm glad somebody
has asked this question.
MALE SPEAKER: This is where the magic happens.
FEMALE SPEAKER: This is, primarily, a question and
answer show, so if any of you out there
would like to ask questions.

TODD KERPELMAN: And we're live, I think.
Our monitor is broken so I don't know.
WOLFF DOBSON: Unless we're on a YouTube stream, at which
point we're not live at all.
TODD KERPELMAN: So I'm Todd Kerpelman.
I'm here with Colt McAnlis, Wolff Dobson, John McCutchan.
We're here actually talking about what happened to Google
Games chat number one.
COLT MCANLIS: Last week.
TODD KERPELMAN: Which--
WOLFF DOBSON: Where did it go?
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yes.
TODD KERPELMAN: Unfortunately--
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Where was it?
TODD KERPELMAN: --it took YouTube an awfully long time
to process.
So I think it just went up yesterday.
And the ending got cut off, which was the best part, those
of you who didn't see it.
It was totally the best part.
COLT MCANLIS: And There was--
if you were following the ticket YouTube actually said
the problem was there was too much awesome in it and--
WOLFF DOBSON: They couldn't compress awesome well enough.
COLT MCANLIS: Yeah, we don't have--
WOLFF DOBSON: To fit inside the bit rate.
COLT MCANLIS: At Google.
WOLFF DOBSON: Do we know anybody at YouTube?

TODD KERPELMAN: I guess we'll find out after this.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah, exactly.
TODD KERPELMAN: When we get angry emails.
COLT MCANLIS: We'll get an email here in a minute.
TODD KERPELMAN: Actually it's too bad because we were-- that
was when we were just getting into the interesting
discussions and we can-- we'll bring that back--
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah, I think we should.
TODD KERPELMAN: --for the beginning of this talk of,
basically, how do you prevent, particularly, in a JavaScript
kind of game, how do you prevent clients from cheating?
How do you prevent someone from, basically, putting in a
little break point in Chrome and changing things around and
sort of screwing around with your game code?
And I think where we netted out that last time was, you
really can't.
That's--
WOLFF DOBSON: Well it doesn't on what you think is
compromisable and what you don't.
Ultimately, any client is compromisable.
If it's sitting on somebody's desk they're going to be able
to change it.
There are famous examples of in Halo where they were using
bridges to run the ethernet packets through.
And then they were intercepting packets and
changing them or reading them.
They were--
they eventually--
I think they had to run around and find delay.
And then accuse people-- it's like, oh you have too much
delay and lag, you must be using one of these lag cheat
fixer things.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: So this was done on
the server side though?
WOLFF DOBSON: Well no.
So people, because the old Halo had ran--
the servers were on people's boxes.
Like they had--
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Oh, P2P.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah, exactly.
So in the P2P people put bridges and their PC would
actually catch incoming packets and change the and
send them back out again.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: It's ingenius.
WOLFF DOBSON: You're looking terrifying.
TODD KERPELMAN: Oh my gosh.
WOLFF DOBSON: You're looking terrified.
TODD KERPELMAN: That's--
WOLFF DOBSON: They can do that.
TODD KERPELMAN: The amount of effort that is put in.
WOLFF DOBSON: Hey.
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah?
WOLFF DOBSON: Do you want to win at Halo?
I want to win at Halo.
TODD KERPELMAN: Apparently not that badly.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: It's a competitive sport.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
Well it sort of is.
I mean--
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I don't know.
WOLFF DOBSON: If 13-year-olds shouting at you over the
internet, you want to beat them.
TODD KERPELMAN: But I think even if there's no kind of
mess around with network packets, you have the issue of
guys like Colt making auto players for games that play
them perfectly.
COLT MCANLIS: Yes.
That got cut off of the last chat.
TODD KERPELMAN: That did get cut off.
COLT MCANLIS: I guess I should fill you in.
So at the end of last chat they were talking about what
are we playing right now.
I had to admit that I've been become slightly addicted to
Triple Town a while ago.
TODD KERPELMAN: Which is an awesome game.
COLT MCANLIS: Fantastic game.
And I kind of realized that there was algorithmic
properties of it.
A little bit towards the middle of my addiction.
And decided to actually write a algorithm that would play
the game for me.
Right?
Because there's a basic pattern of match three, get an
upgrade, match three, get an upgrade.
And so I found this algorithmic pattern and
actually wrote an AI that would actually play the thing
for me, and actually find the proper places to put
everything to maximize the number of castles
on my four by four.
WOLFF DOBSON: Because, you know, if you have fun, you
need to optimize it out.
That's what I'm saying.
COLT MCANLIS: To me it was an algorithmic challenge, right.
I mean once you kind of get to the point you've got the
algorithm together then I actually stopped caring,
because I was like I solved this and then one day I woke
up in the morning and I was like, wait a minute.
It works on a 16 by 16.
But what if it was like a million by a million?
And so then I actually had to re-engineer the algorithm to
run everything in JavaScript to try to find how many
castles I could put in a million by a million and then
have that data.
WOLFF DOBSON: Did you use Google Compute Engine?
COLT MCANLIS: I didn't.
WOLFF DOBSON: Its 700,000 cores.
COLT MCANLIS: I should have.
I really should have.
That's next, actually.
WOLFF DOBSON: OK.
Use all of Google's infrastructure to be one giant
Triple Town.
TODD KERPELMAN: That, that would be cool.
COLT MCANLIS: I hate those bears.
TODD KERPELMAN: The bears are--
WOLFF DOBSON: We have bears lose on the internet.
TODD KERPELMAN: They--
yeah, the bears are frustrating.
WOLFF DOBSON: I love the bears.
They're so cute.
TODD KERPELMAN: Really?
TODD KERPELMAN: The ninja bears.
You just can't plane for them and I have no defense against
them beyond--
WOLFF DOBSON: Oh, they're so cute.
TODD KERPELMAN: --saving the bots for the times that the
bears, the ninja bears do come up.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Coming back to cheating.
TODD KERPELMAN: I'm sorry.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I think the message here is that, like
there's always been cheating if you go back to the earliest
video game consoles, there's been mechanisms to cheat and
inflate your score.
So social pressures and server checks can go a long way.
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah.
I think that's really you're only-- especially in
situations like Colt where you can't really detect between a
player who just happens to be really good and an algorithm.
At some point you're going to know if you say, hey, anyone
that gets higher than this score is going to be a
cheater, you will probably get some of those cheaters, but
you're also going to get one or two legitimate players who
are probably your biggest fans who have probably put money in
your game, and all of sudden you've banned
them for being cheaters.
And all the cheaters are going to do is when you say, hey, a
million points or more you must be cheater, they're going
to set their games to play to 900,999.
And you're going to kind of keep going back and forth in
this sort of arms race that never ends.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
And I think one of things we mentioned last time, which
probably didn't make it into the broadcast, was
one, if you look at--
oh, shoot.
Space Camp.
If you look at Space Camp and whenever which--
this is what we said last time, oh my gosh, Space Camp.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: So good.
COLT MCANLIS: Go buy Space Camp now.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Play Space Camp.
COLT MCANLIS: We'll wait.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah, exactly.
Hit pause, go download Space Camp, come back.
One of the things that Space Camp that's really neat is
that they have a graph that you get at the end of each one
of your plays that gives you a histogram on where you are in
relationship to other people who have done that level.
And what it does is it gives you a chance to--
it gives you, sorry we just got ourselves a
bit slightly delayed.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: It's weird.
WOLFF DOBSON: I'm like, weird looking at me.
It's
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Great.
WOLFF DOBSON: There we go.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: It's very delayed.
WOLFF DOBSON: So it gives you this histogram.
And the histogram allows you to--
OK, we probably--
can we--
TODD KERPELMAN: It's a little distracting.
[INTERPOSING VOICES]
COLT MCANLIS: Look at the camera.
You're supposed to look at the camera.
WOLFF DOBSON: I know.
I'm looking at the camera.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Oh, I'm drinking.
Wait.
No I'm not.
TODD KERPELMAN: Let's move on.
WOLFF DOBSON: Sorry.
There's a histogram and the histogram tells you are you
doing well relative to other people.
So it's not a high score list where cheaters
are going to win.
All it really tells you is, I'm doing pretty well or I
should go back and do this again to see if it's better.
And I think that is absolutely cool beyond the fact that
Space Camp is really cool.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yeah.
It really changes the high score table from being an
absolute measurement to being a relative measurement.
Which cheaters can still skew.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
But that's going to happen anyway.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yes.
TODD KERPELMAN: And I'm all about the
social leader boards.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
TODD KERPELMAN: A global leader board, it's going to be
full of cheaters and it's just going to frustrate anyone that
looks at it.
But a social leader board if you've got one guy, life Colt,
that's at the top who--
COLT MCANLIS: I like how we keep
calling it the Colt situation.
Like this guy over here.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: The cheater.
COLT MCANLIS: The cheater.
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah, exactly.
The cheater.
COLT MCANLIS: It was an algorithm.
I'm a programmer.
I program.
That's what I do.
TODD KERPELMAN: And I might remove you from my gamers
circles or something.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: No, but global leader boards are incredibly
frustrating.
Especially for me who maybe is not the best
at some games but--
WOLFF DOBSON: Maybe you need to join one of those StarCraft
teams that can click more than 2,000 times per second.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: When I look at the high score table and I see
that I am 250,000 down the list it's discouraging.
WOLFF DOBSON: There is some argument that this is part of
what killed arcades that you went to.
There were a lot of things that were pushing on the
arcades in the '80s and '90s that--
where people want to play and gather--
but part of it is that they network the high score lists.
And all a sudden like three guys in Seattle were the only
people who were getting on the high score list anywhere.
And everybody else was like, why am I even
playing this game?
But when it was-- you'd go down there and you'd see seven
people you didn't really know, but they were all the people
who played Street Fighter at lunch on Thursdays and then
you had somebody to play with.
And there was a local ranking that you could beat.
But as soon as there was this other--
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I guess I missed the networking of high
score tables.
You couldn't just unplug the box and plug it back in?
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah, exactly.
COLT MCANLIS: See.
He's cheater too.
Not just me.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I'm just leveling the playing field.
COLT MCANLIS: It's all the NaCl guys.
WOLFF DOBSON: The social people just want
us all to get along.
COLT MCANLIS: The NaCl guys are just aggressive.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yes.
WOLFF DOBSON: OK.
TODD KERPELMAN: So, anyway, let's move on.
Let's--
so I think that kind of pretty much caught up where
we were last time.
We talked a little bit about what games we were playing,
but we can talk about that later.
We never really talked too much about game related apps
and hang outs.
One most interesting I think has been Tabletop Forge.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
TODD KERPELMAN: Which is, I guess, not so much a game
itself as a--
WOLFF DOBSON: As a platform for playing games on.
Yeah.
It's really neat.
They have a wonderful story that goes with it too.
Where they--
they were two guys who were in different places who working
together, who were working separately, on apps that would
sort of support playing Dungeons and Dragons and other
RPGs in Hangouts.
And then they sort of realized on the internet, oh, hey,
we're working on the same thing, we should join forces.
So they joined forces and people really twigged to it.
And then they ran a Kickstarter.
And they were like, hey, if you guys gave us a little
money we could really make this good.
And the Kickstarter went big and then eventually got on
Penny Arcade, which just exploded after that.
And they're out there.
If you look for Tabletop Forge on Google+ they've got their
own page, you can download the app.
I think they're still running a new kick starter for even
more features.
And you get cool custom tiles and stuff if you--
but that I think is really exciting.
And I think it's a neat way to use Hangouts because, as we're
talking about cheating, cheating in
RPGs is sort of silly.
To be like, I have a plus--
TODD KERPELMAN: I'm 120!
WOLFF DOBSON: --175 sword.
But within Hangouts you have social pressure to sort of
keep it reasonable.
The people you're playing with, your friends, are going
to hold you in into playing in a legitimate way.
I think that's neat too.
I'm really excited about it.
I have friends that I role play with, but incredibly
rarely, because we're not co-located very well.
COLT MCANLIS: Are you the lightning bolt guy?
WOLFF DOBSON: Lightning bolt.
Fruit.
No.
No, I'm just, I'm a reluctant paladin.
I've been chosen by the gods and I really don't want the
responsibility.
It's not unlike my real life.

So, yeah, that's what's going on there.
TODD KERPELMAN: OK.
WOLFF DOBSON: Hopefully there's going to be all kinds
of new stuff.
We have 8 Ball Pool and a few other things that are playable
now that you should check out.
COLT MCANLIS: So you brought up an interesting point there,
and I want to get the panel's view on this.
There's actually been a pretty healthy trend lately for both
professional and amateur game developers coming out on
Kickstarter and asking for--
putting up a game plan, putting a business decision,
actually asking for money to move forward with.
This has got a lot of attention.
More attention than some people ever estimated.
In fact, Gabe Newell came out a while ago, before this
phenomenon, came out and actually mentioned that he
believes one of the future ways to do game development
may be consumer funded.
So the question for you guys is, how big of an ecosystem do
you see this?
How long do you see the tail on this?
Do you actually see this happening?
I haven't really seen any of the games come out.
I haven't seen, besides the guys over at Double Fine, I
haven't really seen a lot of established game developers
coming out and using this medium.
What are guys' thoughts on this?
WOLFF DOBSON: Well I think one of the big pieces of news was
Penny Arcade, not to bring them up again, but they just
had a Kickstarter saying hey, let's work on the stuff that
we want to work on and get rid of ads off the front page.
And they didn't quite make it.
They got enough money, they said, I think yesterday, they
got enough money to remove the top ad from their thing.
And then they're still probably going to do the
project they were kickstarting even though they didn't quite
reach their goal to do it.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: The Lookouts.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
The Daughters of the Forest I think [INAUDIBLE].
COLT MCANLIS: Which is cool.
WOLFF DOBSON: Which is cool.
COLT MCANLIS: That's super-cool.
WOLFF DOBSON: But, yeah, that's been an interesting
phenomenon.
There's the Leisure Suit Larry guys who are rebooting Leisure
Suit Larry using Kickstarter.
COLT MCANLIS: So, but I mean, do you think--
so here's a problem right.
You get a lot of developers and you can come in and the
way, my understanding of the way Kickstarter works is,
effectively, this money is sort of pledged to you ahead
of time and then you're kind of given this--
I'm not sure what the restrictions are versus the
lending company to you as an individual and where the money
goes, but effectively there's not a lot of checks and
balances involved as far as product
management is concerned.
To assure the product actually reaches the public.
That you're actually going to do it.
You don't get a-- it's not like having a VC-funded system
where you get some dude sitting in you cubicle--
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
As consumers we don't end up on their board.
I think is what you're saying.
COLT MCANLIS: Yeah, exactly.
We really have no ability to hold them liable for our
potential investment.
Right?
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Personally I've been very skeptical of
most Kickstarter projects.
There's been a few that I've been tempted by.
I'm like, oh, if this actually came out I would
buy it in an instant.
And I've always just decided, well, when it does come out, I
will buy it.
And avoid the risk.
WOLFF DOBSON: Well when I was--
I just had back surgery recently and when I was on the
painkillers I went to Kickstarter
and did some damage.

COLT MCANLIS: I'm sorry buddy, that sounds like a new
advertising campaign for [INAUDIBLE].
WOLFF DOBSON: Yes.
COLT MCANLIS: On painkillers?
[INTERPOSING VOICES]
WOLFF DOBSON: Painkillers and Kickstarter.
Perfect together.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Post-surgery?
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Check us out.

TODD KERPELMAN: I guess I--
COLT MCANLIS: I think you just closed the thread on this one.
What's your thoughts on Kickstarter?
Well, take some quaaludes.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yes.
On industrial painkillers, horse
tranquilizer, it works great.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: There has been a few projects that seems very
tempting to me, but I've read some pretty rough postmortems
of people who've got Kickstarter money and promised
too many gifts and freebies to the donators and ended up,
after collecting a few hundred thousand dollars, ended up
with $20,000 to actually build the game with.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
I've actually heard that, and some of the products that I've
supported have, they've sort of admitted that.
I think we went a little crazy with the gifts.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yeah.
Yeah.
And lawyer fees and taxes.
There's a lot of things that people aren't factoring in,
and so maybe it's the developers responsibility to
kind of educate them as to what percentage of Kickstarter
money are they actually going to end up with.
COLT MCANLIS: And I think, to be very modern about this
stuff, I think that's where a lot of criticism comes for the
new OUYA console is OK, fine.
So you've made x amount of money.
Cut that in half and that's actually what you're going to
walk away with in terms of taxes.
Right?
And then how many of that is going to produce
in number of units.
There's manufacturing costs, there's
all these other things.
WOLFF DOBSON: Well, FCC licensing, all
that kind of stuff.
COLT MCANLIS: Exactly.
There's a massive amount of money overhead that's not
being accounted for.
So now Double Fine I think did a great job with this too.
Is they've already come out and said, hey, Kickstarter
wasn't our only funding.
They kind of used that as their springboard to then go
get funding from other people.
And, now, if OUYA is going that route, I think that's
very valuable.
But it's a perfect example of hey, we're only going to have
enough money to make 1,000 units the first batch.
Right?
And then trying to talk to game developers about hey,
let's get you on 1,000 units and get that out to the people
so you can make money.
That's a really difficult discussion.
TODD KERPELMAN: It does help solve some of the traction
problem, right.
Of like--
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
TODD KERPELMAN: --no one wants to give you money until you've
demonstrated traction.
And you can't really demonstrate traction until
you've spent a bunch of time building product, which you
can't do because you have no money because no one will give
it to you because you don't have traction.
So I think Kickstarter can be really useful for
demonstrating there's at least 100,000 people out there who
have been willing to give me $10 to get an early preview
copy of this game.
So clearly there's some sort of market for this.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Maybe if we took the name of the site
literally as a kick starter.
Maybe it's doing its job right there.
Right?
Giving projects some legs, so that they can go out and get a
significant amount of money.
TODD KERPELMAN: But not the site that you should go to to
fully fund your project.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yeah.
TODD KERPELMAN: It could be.
COLT MCANLIS: So really the four of us need to make a post
Kickstarter site where, once you've got your Kickstarter
money, you come to us and we'll give you VC capital and
then you can go the rest of the way.
And then that'll get the angry guys sitting in your cubicle
ensuring that you'll hit your milestone.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: The 1,000 console, sorry
1,000 units, right?
That's not enough.
The number that I've always heard is six million.
Six million is enough to get video game publishers
interested in producing content for your platform.
WOLFF DOBSON: Oh, so you're talking about the buy-in.
I thought, six million copies of the game?
Holy moly!
That would be awesome.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: No.
Six million pieces of hardware before it becomes relevant to
large publishers--
TODD KERPELMAN: I mean, I think if we're talking about
the OUYA specifically, or--
[INTERPOSING VOICES]
TODD KERPELMAN: I thought it was oooya.
I mean, you know--
WOLFF DOBSON: It's all vowels.
TODD KERPELMAN: That, my impression of it is that, you
don't have to essentially build a new game from scratch.
There are some modifications you make to a game that's
available on Android.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Sure.
Yeah.
TODD KERPELMAN: And you--
to take advantage of the new interface and the actual--
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Controller.
TODD KERPELMAN: --controller and all that.
It's not like, oh, OK, now I'm building for a PlayStation 3.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yes.
Yeah.
Well, and PlayStation 3 has pretty heavy technical debt
that you have to go into.
TODD KERPELMAN: The other thing I will say about
Kickstarter is that I think it's interesting that--
and maybe it's just because this is all the news I read--
but I think it's interesting that most the projects that
seemed to have been successful, or at least gotten
the most funding, or have taken off have all been games
related, for the most part.
WOLFF DOBSON: Well, I think one of the other ones that's
been pretty successful is hardware.
There's the Watch guys and OUYA and things like this.
TODD KERPELMAN: The gaming VR device.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah
TODD KERPELMAN: That think looks cool.
WOLFF DOBSON: It does look cool.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yeah it does look cool.
WOLFF DOBSON: I'm like him.
As soon as they have one.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yes.
I'll jump on it as soon as it's for sale.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yes.

I can tell a story where I there was--
I think there's one other emotional moment where
Kickstarter can be good.
And that's where you as a fan are putting your money down to
say like, I really want this.
I think that's like Double Fine saying, I want point and
click adventures again, or whatever, however
they phrased it.
Or an album.
I'm $10 into this album.
I did a Kickstarter for MC Frontalot.
I was like, I want--
I have been listening to your music for free for so long, if
there's some way I can give you $5, $10, $15 I'm there.
And I put my money down and I got my early access to videos.
I felt like a good fan.
And it was really fun.
I was really tempted to do the--
one of the rewards was you can spend thousands of dollars and
he'll show up in your living room and rap.
Which I thought that would have been pretty awesome too.
COLT MCANLIS: Was this on the painkillers or off the
painkillers?
WOLFF DOBSON: This is well before the painkillers.
COLT MCANLIS: OK.
OK.
I got to make sure I understand where the
conversation is going to.
WOLFF DOBSON: No, no.
MC Frontalot is great.
And actually I don't know if you guys remember-- this is
going to date me a little bit-- there's a game called
Fool's Errand.
Anybody remember that?
It was on the old puzzle game that came out on the Mac.
It was on the Mac Plus.
I played it when I was in high school.
It was incredibly, incredibly old.
It was brilliant.
It was all these little puzzles stuck together and you
sort of assembled into some big meta puzzle
that you had to solve.
And we spent hours playing this game.
And of course we pirated it because we were high school
and college students--
and--
TODD KERPELMAN: Which we do not endorse.
WOLFF DOBSON: Well, here's the thing.
So I felt really guilty about it because I had so much--
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Here comes the endorsement.
WOLFF DOBSON: I had so much fun with it.
I had so much with the game and Cliff Johnson, who's the
guy who I searched for him with Google at one point, and
I came across this site.
And it turns out he's actually making a sequel called A Fool
and His Money.
And there's all these auction games built into it, as well
as all his regular puzzles.
And he was soliciting pre-sales.
This was before Kickstarter.
This was five years ago.
Soliciting pre-sales.
And he was like, it's going to be whatever
it is, $29 or whatever.
And I was like, sign me up.
I owe you this money from so long ago, with interest.
This is great.
I put my money down.
I realize there's some irony in a game called The
Fool and His Money.
This is the game that I put down money in advance on.
I have not seen that game yet.
But I don't care.
Because as a fan I felt like I was supporting.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: The guy is amazing.
WOLFF DOBSON: It's brilliant.
COLT MCANLIS: He just went meta.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yeah.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
Yeah, exactly.
It's some kind of performance art.
He sends this email about once every six months saying,
really soon now.
Really, really soon now.
I'm still looking forward to it.
COLT MCANLIS: A guy in Nigeria sends me those emails.
About once a month.
WOLFF DOBSON: Have you finally gotten your
transfer of a $150,000?
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: No, but it's soon.
WOLFF DOBSON: Directly into your account.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: It's really, really soon.
COLT MCANLIS: Yeah.
WOLFF DOBSON: OK.
COLT MCANLIS: The government's sanctioning it.
That's the problem.
We got some time left for questions, right?
TODD KERPELMAN: We do.
And I think, depending on how long we want to run--
we never actually determined if this is a half hour or 45
minute show.
COLT MCANLIS: Should we ask that guy over there?
TODD KERPELMAN: We left it vague--
COLT MCANLIS: Let's keep going.
TODD KERPELMAN: --so that we can.
WOLFF DOBSON: Well, I think we need to keep going.
I want to talk about games we've been playing.
TODD KERPELMAN: OK.
COLT MCANLIS: OK.
WOLFF DOBSON: I want to talk about--
I just want on vacation with my Nexus 7, and I--
COLT MCANLIS: To Alaska.
WOLFF DOBSON: To Alaska.
COLT MCANLIS: To Alaska.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Oh, that's right.
WOLFF DOBSON: That--
there was some unfortunate moose comment.
I did in fact see a moose.
I saw a moose.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: WiFi hotspot?
WOLFF DOBSON: It was not a WiFi hotspot.
I was in the middle of Denali where there was not even a
call signal.
And, in fact, I had trouble.
There's some kind of wacky WiFi in Alaska.
But once--
it turned out the coffee shops and, weirdly, the little tiny
hole in the wall places in Denali, awesome WiFi.

I brought my Nexus 7 and I basically, I didn't bring my
laptop or anything else, it was like my entire
entertainment device, was my Nexus 7.
And I wanted to talk about one of the games that my daughter
and I just went nuts over.
It was Super Stickman Golf.
I don't know if you guys have seen that.
It's by Noodlecake Studios.
It is just a wonderful take on 2-D golf.
It's all platforms and you're bouncing the
ball up off the platforms.
TODD KERPELMAN: Oh.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Oh, cool.
WOLFF DOBSON: Really clever.
They switch to a free model and they have a micro payments
where you can buy power ups in the thing.
It's a little weird because, I love this game and you should
all play it, but at the same time, like a fan, I want to
put my money down, but I don't really want to buy power ups.
I just want it to be fair.
So, there's an interesting emotional thing.
So I'm going to buy some power ups when I get to the point
which I need them.
But it is an interesting case where I was just
like, I'm a big fan.
Here, $5, $10 whatever you want.
But instead I'm going to micro payment my way to--
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: So is that game available on--
WOLFF DOBSON: It's available on Android.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: All Android devices?
WOLFF DOBSON: I believe it's all Android devices.
I'll look right now.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: That's great.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
It's really great.
I would-- ooh, I haven't plus one'd yet.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Going to have to get it for my phone.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yes.
I would definitely recommend it.
And it's wonderful on a tablet.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Great.
COLT MCANLIS: Especially the Nexus 7.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Oh yeah.
WOLFF DOBSON: Especially your Nexus 7.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: The Nexus 7.
TODD KERPELMAN: John, what are you playing?
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Let's see.
Lately I've been playing Super Mario 3D Land actually.
On my 3DS.
TODD KERPELMAN: All right.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I'm enjoying that quite a bit.
And, I know this is going to be unpopular, but Scramble
with Friends.
WOLFF DOBSON: Scramble with Friends?
I'm still playing Draw with Friends.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Oh.
WOLFF DOBSON: Or, Draw Something.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Draw Something.
WOLFF DOBSON: Draw Something.
TODD KERPELMAN: Draw Something?
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Scramble with Friends I can't stop playing.
I'm too competitive.
I have some really good competition.
WOLFF DOBSON: Did you write an algorithm using Google Compute
Engine to cheat?
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: You know how many times I've been tempted
to just, to go ahead and do that?
COLT MCANLIS: See.
See.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I'm like, OK, I can just pause this,
transcribe the board onto the computer and solve it.
And just dominate.
But I want it to be fair.
TODD KERPELMAN: Because are you actually playing with real
life friends?
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yes.
Yes.
WOLFF DOBSON: You're not playing with robots.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Playing with my cousin and old friends from
high school.
I don't want to--
TODD KERPELMAN: You don't want to cheat.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yeah.
Exactly.
COLT MCANLIS: Wait.
You don't want to cheat?
Playing with your old friends from high school?
WOLFF DOBSON: I think that's exactly the moment
which you do cheat.
COLT MCANLIS: That's the exact people.
WOLFF DOBSON: No.
No.
No.
COLT MCANLIS: You do cheat all the way up until the high
school convention.
WOLFF DOBSON: I'm sorry old friends from high school.
COLT MCANLIS: Or the reunion.
Right?
Then you have something to talk about at the convention.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I just kill at Scramble.
Perfect games.
I don't know how I do it.
WOLFF DOBSON: Oh, and also speaking of puzzle games.
I also played 100 Floors.
That sort of--
COLT MCANLIS: How is that?
WOLFF DOBSON: It's got some ridiculous number of downloads
on the Play store.
What are they at?
They're like 10 million or something.
Crazy.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: How does the game work?
WOLFF DOBSON: It is sort of an escape classic 2005
escape the room game.
Where you just kind of have an interface and you kind of
click around until you figure it out.
Sometimes--
and it's just, again, it's like Fool's Errand.
It's this collection of puzzles and you don't really
know-- each time you look at, what am I going to do?
Is it motion sensors?
Am I clicking on things?
Is there a code?
And they're--
it does lie a little.
There are only 90 floors right now.
But it was very disappointing when I got to 90 and it said,
more coming soon.
Nooo!
COLT MCANLIS: That's how they get you.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: 90 floors just didn't have the same ring.
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah.
WOLFF DOBSON: But it's great.
TODD KERPELMAN: It's 100 [INAUDIBLE].
Never mind.
WOLFF DOBSON: No.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Speaking of--
WOLFF DOBSON: If you have only.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: --old puzzle games.
Well, kind of new puzzle games.
I don't know if anyone played Zack & Wiki?
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: For the Wii?
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Man, that game was good.
WOLFF DOBSON: That was fun.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I wish that--
we need to start a Kickstarter to get
Capcom to make a sequel.
COLT MCANLIS: I'll put up the post-Kickstarter--
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: All right.
COLT MCANLIS: --website for that.
WOLFF DOBSON: You're there.
COLT MCANLIS: Yeah.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I wonder if Kickstarter will
allow you to do that.
To take someone else's intellectual property and make
a Kickstarter to create a sequel for that game.
Probably not.
WOLFF DOBSON: Wasn't there a thing where there was the
Flash game that was all the classic Nintendo and SNES
characters, and then it got popular enough that they were
like, oh, we should actually release this as a
downloadable game.
At which point all the intellectual property stuff
was a problem.
So they now have characters who are a lot like, but not
quite, [INAUDIBLE]
for these things.
So, yeah, you can do that.
You could have like Mack and Ricky.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Mack and Ricky.
WOLFF DOBSON: Something like that.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yeah.
WOLFF DOBSON: All right, Colt, what are you playing?
TODD KERPELMAN: What are you playing?
COLT MCANLIS: I'm actually, with the hype for the new Team
Fortress 2, Man vs. Machine, I'm actually getting back into
Team Fortress 2.
I used to do a lot of competitive first person
shooter gaming back in my day when I was younger.
And I'm actually getting back into Team Fortress 2.
I thought it was a really--
I love TF2.
I love the way they came out with a style.
They changed it.
They put a lot of atmosphere, a lot of character into it.
It was a huge departure from the other FPSs
we've seen at the time.
We're starting-- there was kind of that period where
everything, every first person shooter came out with that
gray tint to it.
They came out with bright, vivid colors, great emotion.
I thought it was fantastic.
It's really fun to get back into it now that
it's free to play.
It's really cool.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I keep almost getting back into it.
I'm just--
I should install this.
It's so much fun.
COLT MCANLIS: It is.
It really is.
And, plus, there's Valve is adding the robots so we don't
have to write our own now.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: There you go.
Yeah.
WOLFF DOBSON: Well, and you need a hat.
COLT MCANLIS: The sandwich.
The sandwich.
WOLFF DOBSON: I always think that game is just an absolute
triumph of character design.
Among all of the things, I think they said they wanted to
look like a Winslow Homer painting.
COLT MCANLIS: Yeah.
WOLFF DOBSON: And it really-- it's--

I went to downtown San Jose while they were having and
Fanime, which is the big anime convention.
And they were also having graduation for San Jose State,
which meant that it was a really weird group of people
all mixing together.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Lot of cosplay.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
There's the thing.
There was all these people dressed as cosplay, and all
these other people dressed in their Sunday best all walking
through each other and giving each other these-- what are
you doing here?
And it was interesting that when I was walking through
there there was tons of Team Fortress despite the fact that
that's not even anime at all.
It's just those characters are so iconic that they
wanted to do it.
COLT MCANLIS: What about you Todd?
What do you play?
TODD KERPELMAN: Let's see.
Haven't had a lot of time to play games the
last week or so.
COLT MCANLIS: Oh, that's right.
You have the new--
TODD KERPELMAN: Got the new baby.
COLT MCANLIS: You've cloned.
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah.
I don't remember--
WOLFF DOBSON: It's like a video game.
And there are a lot of micro payments.
That's what I'm saying.
COLT MCANLIS: For the next 20 years.
TODD KERPELMAN: And there's a lot of crying.
COLT MCANLIS: It's like an old school NES game.
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah.
COLT MCANLIS: Extremely difficult and lots of crying.
TODD KERPELMAN: Yep.
COLT MCANLIS: Yes.
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah.
Got to be careful you don't mess up.
I did--
in between all of that, I did, finally, I defeated Diablo my
first run through on--
COLT MCANLIS: Diablo 3.
TODD KERPELMAN: --Diablo 3.
WOLFF DOBSON: You finally beat Diablo 1.
Congratulations.
TODD KERPELMAN: No.
Diablo 3.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Where did you find DOS?

COLT MCANLIS: There's a Kickstarter project for it
apparently.
TODD KERPELMAN: Want to go back and kind of replay it
with either a different character, or the next
difficulty level, but at the same time, given my limited
time for gaming at the moment I said, I should try something
completely different.
And so I have actually have now installed Skyrim.
And I think I played--
actually I played about two hours of trying to decide
which mods I want to install and 1/2 an hour of actually
game playing.
WOLFF DOBSON: And at least 15 minutes of
tweaking the settings.
A little shinier, no a little less shiny.
A little more, little less.
TODD KERPELMAN: The mods totally appeal to my geeky
side of oh, I could get better looking eyebrows on people.
But then there's five different versions of the
eyebrow variation mod and I start to--
WOLFF DOBSON: See, I'm having flashbacks to playing Mass
Effect where each Mass Effect game I had to start four times
because I kept revising how I wanted my character to look.
In Mass Effect 3 I got way into it and I was
like, I love this.
I had my tough thing.
And then I realized suddenly that she looked weirdly like
Michael Jackson.
I was like, ahhh!
I had to stop and restart the game again.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Can you moonwalk in that game?
WOLFF DOBSON: That character would have been able to--
TODD KERPELMAN: Only if they were in animation.
WOLFF DOBSON: There's a perk in there that you can buy.
TODD KERPELMAN: I always kind of felt like game developers
all need to get together and work on a common standard for
facial construction.
Every game, Saints Row, and Mass Effect, and
Skyrim, and all these.
There's--
WOLFF DOBSON: Tiger Woods Golf.
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah.
There's 80 different sliders how you can get
your character look.
And depending on how I'm feeling I either try and make
them look as close to me as possible, or as close to some
famous person or something.
WOLFF DOBSON: I was just going to say, it depends on what's
going to happen to them.
Whether I make them look like Todd or want them
to look like me.
Oh, sorry.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: The most grotesque character you
possibly can.
WOLFF DOBSON: That's what The Sims is for.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Move all the sliders to the right.
TODD KERPELMAN: But then it would be great if I could keep
that character designed from one game to the next.
So I don't have to recreate me our Jason Statham or whatever.
And Tiger Woods.
WOLFF DOBSON: Jason Statham.
TODD KERPELMAN: That would be awesome.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Tiger, let's go.
WOLFF DOBSON: Or in my case, weirdly, Michael Jackson.
How did I do that?
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Every game.

WOLFF DOBSON: All right.
Well, is that what we have time for today?
TODD KERPELMAN: Actually we do have time for questions now.
WOLFF DOBSON: Oh my gosh.
We didn't even answer our questions.
TODD KERPELMAN: I know.
All right.
So we've got a few questions.
And the first one is, [INAUDIBLE]--
WOLFF DOBSON: Oh my gosh.
Look at all these questions.
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah, we do have
quite a number of questions.
COLT MCANLIS: Oh wow.
TODD KERPELMAN: And, in fact, maybe I should reload and make
sure that--
COLT MCANLIS: There's no new question on top.
TODD KERPELMAN: --there's not a question.
Because--
11 questions.
That's--
WOLFF DOBSON: You actually have to click that.
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah.
That's 10 more than I think we had last time.
WOLFF DOBSON: It's almost like somebody knew
we were doing this.
TODD KERPELMAN: Can we talk a little bit about cross
platform convergence between Chrome Web Store an Android
via a unifying login experience for players
actually creating unified app ID across platforms.

I don't know if there's a whole lot we
can really talk about.
Let me see.
I guess part of it really depends on do we see, at some
point, games in the browser, games on your tablet.
Are they going to be the same?
I know this was sort of an issue with a lot of the social
game developers.
Is they had these very popular social games, tried to,
essentially, take them as is on to mobile devices and found
that they just weren't nearly as successful.
And it was these companies that basically created games
from scratch on mobile devices that were actually--
very similar kind of Sim building games that ended up
being successful.
Just because, even though the games are similar, the play
patterns and styles and the amount of time you dedicate to
playing a game on your phone, versus playing a game on a
tablet, versus playing a game on a browser, is all just
slightly different enough that it's really hard to have the
same game experience across multiple devices.
Even though--
WOLFF DOBSON: Well, and also, there are lots of little tiny
things when you're doing development across platform.
Like start-up time.
A mobile game, given the compressed time people are
going to be playing it, they're not going to be like,
I'm going to click this, go read, read it, and then come
back and it'll be loaded.
So just doing the straight ports that way
sometimes can be--
just doesn't work.
Loading time, screen usage, real estate, all that stuff.
Yeah.
TODD KERPELMAN: That said, yeah.
I think unifying login, that would be nice.
WOLFF DOBSON: That would be cool.
You should all use OAuth2.
TODD KERPELMAN: That would totally help.
And did I hear that the standard has been--
WOLFF DOBSON: They're looking for an RFC now.
TODD KERPELMAN: All right.
COLT MCANLIS: Oh wow.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
COLT MCANLIS: Very cool.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Cool.
TODD KERPELMAN: That-- so what that actually means is that
it's going to be considered more official than I guess it
has been in the past.
WOLFF DOBSON: The way it is now, which is sort of
official, it'll now be sort of official.
COLT MCANLIS: Well I thought the word Auth in OAuth meant
authoritative.
Is that--
is that not right?
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
Not exactly.
It did in version 10, but not inversion 16 or 21.
COLT MCANLIS: Oh, you got to update your--
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
Exactly.
COLT MCANLIS: --client side handling.
TODD KERPELMAN: This is a good question.
I love the idea of Native Client.
WOLFF DOBSON: Native Client?
What's that?
TODD KERPELMAN: Have you considered creating a special
section in the Chrome Web Store to just show apps that
use Native Client to more widely promote it's use?
COLT MCANLIS: Interesting.
First off, thank you for the love.
Native Client's fantastic technology.
We all love it here and embrace it quite heartily.
We haven't specifically called out Native Client in the
Chrome Web Store, simply because we don't really feel
that there's-- so Chrome Web Store is a consumer driven
place, right.
And so most people coming to Chrome Web Store are looking
for a genre or a character type or
something along those lines.
They're not really looking for-- hey, show me the best
HTML 5 game.
WOLFF DOBSON: We go into the store looking for that.
COLT MCANLIS: Right.
Right.
And, quite frankly, that does occur but we
are quite the minority.
If you are looking for a great collection of Native Client
titles, though, you can actually go to the Native
Client website.
We actually have a list of all of them that we're aware of.
Gonacl.com.
That's G-O-N-A-C-L.com.
And if you look on the sidebar there's actually a little
community section down there that has a list of
applications in the Chrome Web Store.
And they're great games.
You should go check them out.
And--
WOLFF DOBSON: I'm doing right now.
My goodness.
There is one.
COLT MCANLIS: Can we screen cap from his machine?
WOLFF DOBSON: I'll just kind of turn around and pull it up.
COLT MCANLIS: Definitely check those out.
TODD KERPELMAN: Let's see.
I'm actually going to skip down to-- someone had a--
speaking of cheating, can you discuss the role of future
cheat-proof games such that every move is in the open and
subject to review by everyone, like Tic-Tac-Toe or chess.
COLT MCANLIS: Wow.
So I have an opinion on this.
WOLFF DOBSON: OK.
COLT MCANLIS: Shockingly.
WOLFF DOBSON: Not like normal.
COLT MCANLIS: Not like normal.
Right?
Where I keep to myself.
I not too sure about that.
You're effectively crowd sourcing games.
This will only work for a certain type of things, right?
In addition to that, it's going to slow down game play
significantly.
There was a big hubbub when the NFL and the Major League
Baseball added instant replay review and
those sorts of things.
Everyone's big criticism is it's going to slow the game
down anymore.
Right?
And they added all these other features.
You can only do so many, they cost you
timeouts and other stuff.
But still it's--
in video games it's a little bit different, right?
It's a digital medium.
There's millions of people playing concurrent
games all the time.
Maybe if you had some way where I play a move and then I
check someone else's move?
I don't know.
It doesn't seem worth the risk.
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah.
I--
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: And also, how does that stop cheating?
If I'm playing chess with someone couldn't I have a
chess simulation running alongside?
WOLFF DOBSON: It's a different kind of cheating then what I
think Alan is talking about here, which is much more I
make a move and then if everybody accepts that was a
true we can keep going.
I think it's more, it would be more implemented negatively,
which is, that looks like it's a lie.
And--
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: It's too good of a move.
WOLFF DOBSON: Well, no, it's more like in chess.
Like, hey, your queen just teleported.
This-- if you ever Pirateer the board game, it was
actually in the rules that cheating was
part of this game.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Because you're pirates.
WOLFF DOBSON: Knocking the drink over and then moving all
the pieces around.

Yeah, and there's also the sense of being able to roll
back games and look for cheats later.
And verify that they're actually true.
So in real time you leave it alone.
But then when you post hoc, if somebody challenges it, you
can review them.
And automated review and things like that.
It's a little bit like the way the--
when you go in and get a document notarized.
It doesn't make it any safer to notarize it but it means
that when you go backwards and somebody challenges something
the notarization says this document was
true at this time.
So, yeah, definitely something like that would be
interesting.
It's also a way people identify cheaters or griefers.
Just being able to say I enjoyed playing with this
person, I did not enjoy playing with this person.
And then if somebody gets too many of these--
that can be gamed pretty heavily though.
COLT MCANLIS: We're going to be gamed the other way too.
If you make a move and I have to validate that was and
actual move, and I don't like your move because it's about
to pwn me, I can grief you and say, no it's not a good move.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: It's too good of a move.
COLT MCANLIS: Yeah.
You're too awesome at this game--
WOLFF DOBSON: Remind me not to play chess with you.
COLT MCANLIS: And I no longer like it.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: You just check-mated me.
That can't be legitimate.
COLT MCANLIS: Possible.
TODD KERPELMAN: I guess the issue, for me, is there's a
lot of games that are interesting based on the fact
that there is secret information.

While Tic-Tac-Toe and chess and checkers and those sorts
of games there are no secrets, you'd be cutting off a lot of
interesting games in the process, just by--
WOLFF DOBSON: I think that's one of the joys of computer
media and gaming is assuming that your database can handle
that much writing.
Being able to do all of your moves on the server is great.
TODD KERPELMAN: Let's see.
We've got two minutes left.
Here's a short question.
When will the NaCl VS plug-in be available?
COLT MCANLIS: Yes.
We are excited about this.
We're starting to see the first couple check-ins come
through the tree.
Exciting times are ahead.
We're working out a couple bugs right now, getting the
documentation set up.
We're expecting to see it soon.
The developer preview should come out and the Pepper stable
version, SDK, we're hoping to land within
another couple weeks.
TODD KERPELMAN: VS here being Visual Studio.
COLT MCANLIS: Visual Studio.
TODD KERPELMAN: Clarify for-- people wouldn't think it was
versus or something.
WOLFF DOBSON: I just want to say that I went to the NaCl
Gallery and I was horrified to discover one of the games was
called Wolf Toss.
COLT MCANLIS: That's actually a really good game.
WOLFF DOBSON: I bet it is but, I mean, dude.
TODD KERPELMAN: It's not about you.
It's not always about you.
WOLFF DOBSON: It is about me.
COLT MCANLIS: I think we should add a hack to it to put
your face on the wolf.
WOLFF DOBSON: Ahhh!
COLT MCANLIS: We'll email the authors.
Guys over at [INAUDIBLE], if you're watching, put his face
on the wolf.
WOLFF DOBSON: No.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Toss that wolf.

TODD KERPELMAN: And let's see.
We'll end on this one question.
Why are games getting easier and easier year after year?
Why are developers not creating games
like Baldur's Gate?
Even Witcher was not as hard as games some years ago.
Do you remember Contra?
WOLFF DOBSON: Contra.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: They still make Contra games.
Contra 4 just came out two years ago.
Demon's Souls and Dark Souls--
TODD KERPELMAN: I was going to say, those were the games you
were playing last time.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I love those games
because they're so difficult.
So they're still out there, but you they're not
mainstream.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
I was going to say, the main answer to that is the
expansion of the audience.
When you get away from people like me who sit alone in their
basement playing video games and trying to figure out how
to build a--
you're at a very technical and very numerically savvy
audience who is going to be min maxing their heart out at
things like Baldur's Gate.
For when you want have broad appeal games
like Mass Effect where--
in fact they had a neat, when you play Mass Effect it
actually gives you an option in the beginning.
Do you want to play this like a first person shooter?
Do you want to play this only for the story?
Or do you want to play some balance of RPG?
Because they're like, look, there are all these different
audiences who want to experience this content.
We're trying to mold it in a way that makes it so that you
can enjoy it no matter what you're doing.
COLT MCANLIS: Now, is the ending different for each?
I might have to send some more emails.
WOLFF DOBSON: You know what we need to talk about is the
ending to Mass Effect.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I can really share the--
who asked that question?
I want to address them by handle.
TODD KERPELMAN: I gotta look up.
WOLFF DOBSON: You.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yes.
WOLFF DOBSON: You.
You are just not playing the right games.
No.
TODD KERPELMAN: T-O-M-A-S-Z. Tomasz.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Tomasz.
Tomas Z. I can share your frustration because I love
brutally difficult games.
But they're still out there.
A new Contra game is coming out because I pay attention to
Contra games, because I want to just cry and slam the
system down on the floor.
WOLFF DOBSON: And this is why they made wireless controllers
so you can throw them.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yes.
WOLFF DOBSON: It doesn't pull your entire--
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: And, I mean, right now you could--
I have collectively spend about 250 hours playing
Demon's Souls and Dark Souls.
Go and check it out.
WOLFF DOBSON: The other thing is that, famously, Nintendo
early on made their games brutally hard because they
weren't long enough.
And that pipeline was too short.
The pipeline wasn't full enough.
They weren't going to be able to release games fast enough.
The manufacturing process for cartridges was too difficult.
And so having--
making your games take longer was just part of the thing.
TODD KERPELMAN: Part of the padding.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
I went back and started playing the original Colossal
Cave Adventure game and it was crazy hard.
Even though I remembered all the puzzles.
I was sort of like, I don't know how I--
COLT MCANLIS: No, no.
You want to cry?
And we can close on this if we need to.
TODD KERPELMAN: OK.
COLT MCANLIS: Go back and play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
for the NES.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yes.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Which one?
COLT MCANLIS: The first one.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I've beaten that.
COLT MCANLIS: Yeah.
Yeah, once.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I had that game as a kid
and I mastered it.
WOLFF DOBSON: Next time we do this we're going to bring this
in and you're going to play it.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I'll play it.
Oh, it's been years.
COLT MCANLIS: I'll try it.
I bought it on the Wii.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: It's brutal.
COLT MCANLIS: It's brutal.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yeah.
It hates you.
COLT MCANLIS: Three weeks.
I didn't turn the Wii off--
WOLFF DOBSON: It absolutely hates you.
COLT MCANLIS: --because I was used to doing that.
Right.
Couldn't do it.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: That stage where you're going through the
water under the dam and you have diffuse all the bombs and
the clock is ticking.
WOLFF DOBSON: It is--
COLT MCANLIS: The worst thing is that if you don't bring
Donatello to the Mouser battle you're just done.
It's the whole level.
All you're doing is trying to get rid of Raphael because he
doesn't matter to you.
Just bring Donatello to the Mouser.
This is insane.
Hardest game ever.
WOLFF DOBSON: But the--
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Another really difficult game that's new is
Super Meat Boy.
That game is brutal.
WOLFF DOBSON: Although here's the thing with
Super Meat Boy though.
Super Meat Boy is incredibly difficult.
But Super Meat Boy is also fair.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yes.
WOLFF DOBSON: In the sense that, when you play it, you
can get better at it.
And your deaths are quick.
And the reward for death is that you get another cool
little animation.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: That's often what people praise Demon's
Souls and Dark Souls for.
Its brutal but it's fair.
When you die you're not like, oh this game cheated me.
It's like no, I made a mistake.
WOLFF DOBSON: I shouldn't have done that.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yes.
WOLFF DOBSON: That's why a lot of people like playing NetHack
without copying saves.
Because they're good enough at that game, if they die it was
because they were clumsy.
Its an execution thing.
But going back to the idea that the pipeline was so empty
in the '90s, the pipeline is really full now for games.
So if your game is too hard you're either going for core
audience, and I think something like Demon's Souls
is a perfect example of a core audience game.
Who is looking for that kind of--
they're the same people who throw themselves out of
airplanes, right?
I mean,--
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yes.
WOLFF DOBSON: They're looking for that challenge.
You do wing suits and fly down sides of mountains.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Squirrel suits.
WOLFF DOBSON: Just that somebody's looking--
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: While playing Demon's Souls.
WOLFF DOBSON: --for something challenging.
While in with a broad market and a lot of people playing,
and a lot of kids playing, you just don't want to keep
punching your audience in the eye.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I don't know if this made the last episode,
but we were talking about the stats of
game completion rates.
And it's very low, like 30% of the audience makes it to the
end of the game.
So by, there's an incentive there, I think, for game
developers to make the game easier and easier to be
successful in and complete so that people feel like they've
got their money's worth and they are also very proud of
themselves because, hey, I beat this game.
Even though they've made it so simple.
WOLFF DOBSON: Too easy.
TODD KERPELMAN: As someone that has less time to play
games, I appreciate the fact that I can make it through a
lot of the content without having to replay the same
level multiple times.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: I think--
I forget which games on the Wii did this, but they had a--
I think there was a Mario game for the Wii where if you died
eight times they would actually allow the computer to
play the stage for you.
WOLFF DOBSON: Show you how.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: And then once you made it past the part you
couldn't make it passed before you just press a button and
you're back playing the game.
WOLFF DOBSON: They also had a really neat thing when you're
playing with friends.
If somebody dying all the time they can just bubble up and
just follow you.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Oh.
OK.
WOLFF DOBSON: So only one person has to be good at the
incredibly difficult time jumps.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: So more mechanisms to make it easier.
WOLFF DOBSON: Well, more mechanisms to make it so
people can stay together.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Yeah.
Yeah.
WOLFF DOBSON: I think that's cool.
I'm with Todd.
I like easy games.
TODD KERPELMAN: I didn't say I like easy.
I just like being able to make it through without having to--
WOLFF DOBSON: I like being challenged.
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah.
WOLFF DOBSON: I like doing nothing.
COLT MCANLIS: I like games I have to program
algorithms to beat.
TODD KERPELMAN: All right.
Well, we are, I think, a little over time now.
So we're going to wrap up.
But we'll be back in a couple weeks and we'll hopefully come
up with some other interesting questions.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: Now tell your friends about this show.
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yes.
TODD KERPELMAN: Yeah.
I actually, I really like the fact that we had a lot more
questions this time.
So tell your friends.
Have them all ask any sorts of gaming question.
WOLFF DOBSON: Keep sending in those cards and letters.
TODD KERPELMAN: Fewer Android questions.
Were generally not the Android guys.
They have their own show.
We don't talk to them.
WOLFF DOBSON: You can ask us Android questions.
JOHN MCCUTCHAN: If there are certain games you want us to
review or talk about feel free to throw up some questions.
WOLFF DOBSON: Sure.
And if you have games that you think we should be playing,
either because they're too hard or they're
too easy, you should--
COLT MCANLIS: Then send them to us.
WOLFF DOBSON: Yes.
Send them to us.
We'd love to see them.
COLT MCANLIS: For free.
TODD KERPELMAN: All right.
We got to go.