Jake

Idle Thumbs 195: Business Guys On Planes

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Yep! Also see Hackers and Swordfish... And Independence Day and You've got Mail and everything

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I wonder if those won't seem so bad like 25 years from now though, or to people born after they were made.  Like watching movies from the 50s or 60s that are "hi-tech" for their times, and are just charmingly old now. 

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You can say a lot of things about Waluigi, but he made the Wreck Train run on time.

 

Haha!

 

Sharp uniform too. That uniform never blue shelled anybody. 

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I'm always of the feeling that games don't really have to age, that if someone is willing what was appealing to the generation first played it should still appeal to later generations. Oftentimes control schemes just aren't that bad unless it's like old flight sims or something. Console games are easy and simple, old PC games usually required more work to get them to run than to actually pay.

 

I suppose as Jake said, there is something to be said about a distinct art style though that will keep later eras interested because often time people making use of new technology to create better graphics meant they were going to make a mess and the game might be an eyesore until the next sequel. I think that's why it's easy to widely rerelease Another World for the 8th time.

 

However, I've always felt like that mid 90s era of shitty simplistic 3D graphics ages terribly. I kind of see it as a dark spot of games no one who was not an original fan ever checks out unless they really have to. I'm mostly thinking about large chunky polys displayed at 320x240 from the N64, PSX, and Saturn. At least sometimes if you were lucky you would get a PC port and the game could run at a full 640x480, but geez.

 

Yeah, I would say that early games age generally worse but the same is probably true of film. Of all the silent-era film, only a small handful remain on a must-see lists (from a larger, but still small subset of even-bearable silent films). It's the same for both: a lot of games from all eras age poorly, same with film. Some excellent and surprising games surpass the restrictions of their era and survive as true classics (SM64, stuff like Vib Ribbon).

 

I think where games do compare poorly is the need to re-master and re-craft them for newer technologies. There are definitely transfers and re-masters in film, even re-makes, but I don't think it's as technologically necessary as it is with games. Like, you're better off watching Halloween on VHS than you are playing Ico on PS2 rather than PS3. Does that make sense?

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It's weird how movies went from getting everything unintentionally wrong with technology to just not even having the pretense of caring. The Net and Hackers are naive, all of the bullshit produced now with floating blue hologram displays is just willfully ignorant.

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Regarding whole bleachers of people dying to kick off a succession crisis in England, it already happened.

 

In general, monarchies are fascinating. My favorite page is the list of titles and honors claimed by the Spanish crown, which includes such niceties as King of Jerusalem, Archduke of Austria, and Emperor of the Romans. In the real-life game of Crusader Kings 2, the Spanish house of Bourbon (itself a cadet branch of the Capetians) definitely won just by lasting long enough to get claims by marriage and inheritance to most of the other titles of medieval and early modern Christendom.

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I think where games do compare poorly is the need to re-master and re-craft them for newer technologies. There are definitely transfers and re-masters in film, even re-makes, but I don't think it's as technologically necessary as it is with games.

 

Especially server-requiring MMO type things that have wound down where there was never enough interest from someone enterprising enough to hack together their own server/a server-less mode. That's stuff that likely will never be played again.

 

BUT it's worth noting there are a lot of films that are gone too.

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I guess in the LONG term, games and movies both age poorly for those who don't have an interest in the history of the medium.

 

However I strongly believe that in the SHORT term, games age worse than movies. A 2- to 10-year-old game clearly dates itself faster than a 2- to 10-year-old film.

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FWIW (probably not much), I pretty much completely agree with Chris.

 

Although there's a sort of weird turn-around about five years AFTER the games age too much, where it starts to appeal to me again. Almost certainly purely out of nostalgia. Like go back in time a few years and ask me how I feel about those early N64/PS1 days and I'll say something like, it's disgusting and I never want to see it again. But today I sort of like/love/appreciate that low-poly look, and I want to see more games experiment with it. Basically how I felt about pixel art ten years ago.

 

Though 3D stuff does age way worse than 2D stuff, I think. (I'm sure some people would disagree.) Especially because a lot of 3D games try much harder for realism. I don't know if I'll have the same nostalgia for, say, a PS2 "realistic" game that I have for a PS1 "realistic" game.

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The reason Nintendo hasn't made a Waluigi game is because it would have to be 'M' rated since he is a serial killer. Just look at those evil eyes.

 

:waluigi:  :waluigi:  :waluigi:  :waluigi: :waluigi:

 

If those aren't the eyes of a murdering psychopath then I'm not a cat.

 

Also, I think movies that heavily involve technology typically age just as bad as games. See The Net with Sandra Bullock. The only good part about that movie now is that rad Mozart's ghost stuff.

I would argue his eyes indicate he is sleep-deprived, perhaps a result of extreme paranoia.

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When I heard Jake say "FUCK YOU" at the end of the podcast, I was really hoping that they implemented an idea that was previously brought up where one in every 10000 or so downloads would secretly redirect to an alternate version of the podcast and that I was the one guy who got the FUCK YOU ending.  Unless that actually happened in which case this is the best podcast of all time.

 

Ha. This was talked about in episode 129. Can't remember the details but I'm pretty sure Phaedrus was involved. And so the circle is completed.

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I think you guys are overestimating how different games and movies are. Of course they're really different, but I think you can find as much difference between two given games as you can between a given game and a given movie. For instance, to name some things I've experienced recently, playing Journey feels a lot more like watching Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy than it feels like playing Threes.

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I think you guys are overestimating how different games and movies are. Of course they're really different, but I think you can find as much difference between two given games as you can between a given game and a given movie. For instance, to name some things I've experienced recently, playing Journey feels a lot more like watching Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy than it feels like playing Threes.

 

That's an interesting observation and I completely believe that you feel that way, but I definitely don't feel the same way about those three games.

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I'm sure I'm just repeating points that were discussed plenty but I feel like it might still be too early in the lifetime of games to declare whether or not they generally age worse than film.  A 90 year old's 90th year is probably not much different from their 88th year, but a 16 year old's 16th year probably feels pretty different from their 13th year. Way more hair and stuff. I realize these aren't the ages of the mediums and there are other technological considerations and issues of inheriting traits from other media but yeah. Okay silly analogy over.

 

Also were you talking about Killing Them Softly?

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Does the conversation about games and movies aging change if you were to restrict it to say...the 25 best games/movies of a particular decade?   So if the 80s of games is comparable to like the 30s or 40s of movies, would many of those games feel like they felt like they held up as well as those movies?   I think they might.

 

My gut reaction is to agree with Chris, that games age worse than movies.  But then I think about some bad movies from the 80s that I simply now find unwatchable.  I know as soon as the conversation came up, my mind kind of filled in example movies and games, and I think it auto-filled with some of the worst game examples (like Doom 2).  I'd suspect that games which were technical masterpieces of their respective year would actually be the ones that aged worst, while games relying on established tech or design would fare better. 

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I think comparison of games and movies is tough because we've all internalized this notion that films can be capital I important, but I feel that in a very broad social context the jury is still out on that being true for games.

 

I also really appreciated the notion the difficulty in parsing the idea that games require a kind of skilled input to begin to appreciate that quality. I know there are many great films that are difficult to appreciate if you aren't verse in film, but that's a problem that can be solved with some explanation, but if DOTA or LoL were the highest form, then what? The personal appreciation of that would be out of the hands of pretty much most people. 

 

Also to be pedantic, "feature" film is like 100 years old! (Even if talkies are only about 80!) We need another 30/40 years of gaming to reach film's decadence. What will the superhero glut of games in 30 years look like, if GTA 5 is the Godfather 2 of now?

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Especially server-requiring MMO type things that have wound down where there was never enough interest from someone enterprising enough to hack together their own server/a server-less mode. That's stuff that likely will never be played again.

 

BUT it's worth noting there are a lot of films that are gone too.

As something of an aside, that figure of 90% of all films made before 1929 being lost always saddened me greatly, despite my no longer being the cinephile I once was. Looking at that list, it's pretty astounding to think that we did have at one point a large amount of film from the Victorian period (sorry, I know this is a rather anglocentric term, and most of the film produced then was probably French, but it does really help convey the sheer oldness of the stuff to a Brit), most of which is now lost. I'm a Classicist, so I'm used to dealing with much of the written material from that period being lost, but it still feels incredibly depressing to know that such a wealth of visual evidence from a comparatively close period to us is gone forever.

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I'm imagining a short novel based on Waluigi's life in the vein of Grendel by John Gardner. Waluigi spends the story sneaking into various Mario Sports events but finds himself constantly rejected. A mirror of a mirror, he wanders the empty desolate Mushroom Kingdom searching for his true self. On one hand, the Nietzsche-ean Bowser is compelling him to rebel, but the allure of friendly relations with the Mario gang pulls at him from the other side. In the climactic final scene, Waluigi finds himself in last place in a Mario Kart race, and valiantly drives off a cliff after being hit by a green shell. A tragic hero enacting his final act of rebellion against the world? Or simply a monster driven away from society due to his mutated existence?

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With everyone on the cast talking about the games that made them realise games were a created medium, and Nick's being Chrono Trigger:

Chrono Cross has a lot of the same design choices from the original, but the thing that made me aware of the people and choices behind it (and therefor behind games in general) was one of the endings.

 


 

In the secret "Developer ending", people on the team talk about all sorts of stuff like how it was like to work on it and the mood of the studio etc.

One of the developers, Richard Honeywood, talks about the specific problem of "How do you fit the sheer amount of text for a full rpg with 50 characters onto a SNES cartridge".

He then lets you pick a character, and it will change his text to fit the "speech pattern" of that character. It literally lets you play with the dialogue engine of the game!

 

His "speech pattern" system takes one set of text, and allows 50 characters to speak as though it was written specifically for them, taking much less space on the cart. One person's solution to a technical problem shaped the way every piece of text in the game feels. In fact a few other developers use their space in the ending to mention that if Richard hadn't solved the problem, the game would have been drastically different.

 

Also, because it popped up on my twitter while I was listening to the cast, and no one else has posted it yet: Smooth Jazz Waluigis

tumblr_inline_nito5dBvlH1r93f1o.jpg

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One of the developers, Richard Honeywood, talks about the specific problem of "How do you fit the sheer amount of text for a full rpg with 50 characters onto a SNES cartridge".

He then lets you pick a character, and it will change his text to fit the "speech pattern" of that character. It literally lets you play with the dialogue engine of the game!

 

His "speech pattern" system takes one set of text, and allows 50 characters to speak as though it was written specifically for them, taking much less space on the cart. One person's solution to a technical problem shaped the way every piece of text in the game feels. In fact a few other developers use their space in the ending to mention that if Richard hadn't solved the problem, the game would have been drastically different.

That's really clever and I wish more text substitution like that happened in other games or with Twitter bots or some other novelty.

But Chrono Cross came on a CD, right? Not an SNES cartridge. To imagine plain text as too big for a CD is wild!

And if anything deserves the cast's imagined "FUCK YOU" as said by Luigi, it's that picture. Right next to all those awful Waluigis is an even more awful Shrek.

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But Chrono Cross came on a CD, right? Not an SNES cartridge. To imagine plain text as too big for a CD is wild!

 

 

You're absolutely right, It was PS1 - weird brain moment. 

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The reason Nintendo hasn't made a Waluigi game is because it would have to be 'M' rated since he is a serial killer. Just look at those evil eyes.

 

:waluigi:  :waluigi:  :waluigi:  :waluigi: :waluigi:

 

I think you mean 'W'

for wature.

With everyone on the cast talking about the games that made them realise games were a created medium, and Nick's being Chrono Trigger:

Chrono Cross has a lot of the same design choices from the original, but the thing that made me aware of the people and choices behind it (and therefor behind games in general) was one of the endings.

In the secret "Developer ending", people on the team talk about all sorts of stuff like how it was like to work on it and the mood of the studio etc.

Chrono Trigger had a developer ending as well, though it was only accessible once you basically maxed your characters since it required basically walking right into the Millenial Fair and fighting Lavos right at the beginning of the game, when you have at most two characters. I'm not sure when I began to conceive of games as something designed. I wish I could point to a specific moment like you guys could. When I was pretty 12 or 13 I became friends with a guy who wrote music for games, so my conception of them as something constructed with intent may have been seeded then, rather than by a particular game.

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Also, because it popped up on my twitter while I was listening to the cast, and no one else has posted it yet: Smooth Jazz Waluigis
tumblr_inline_nito5dBvlH1r93f1o.jpg

 

That Shrek mask on the right of the picture will haunt my dreams.

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The number of weird game ideas on this cast reminded me that we really need to organize a Thumbs-inspired Game Jam, where people just make games based on the fake games discussed on the cast.

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