Giant Bomb News

173 Comments

Worth Reading: 05/23/2014

Both this and Worth Playing are taking a week off, so let's go out with a bang.

Change is scary as hell, but whether it happens sooner or later, change is part of life. Sometimes you know it's coming, sometimes it hits you like a pile of bricks. Often, it's a little bit of both. But change happens.

A year after moving back to Chicago, Vinny is headed to New York. While our lives are in different places, our reasons are pretty similar: we both spent significant amounts of time on the west coast, yet our families are in other parts of the country. I'll always value the life I built on my own, away from everything I knew growing up, but some of us have to go back.

Right before my father passed away, I had dinner with my parents, and we told them we'd be moving back to Chicago. We didn't know when, but it would happen in the next year or two. Then, he died, and it wasn't even a question. But I gave myself a year to figure everything out, and leaving right after Giant Bomb was acquired by CBS seemed like a bad message to send. (I already have a reputation of leaving places that are turning into sinking ships!)

The last year has been, to borrow a reviewing cliche, a mixed bag. Coming to define what my role is at Giant Bomb, a website built on collaboration, has been tough. Not everything has worked. Quick Look Solos, for example, are born out of my back against the wall. I'm going to start bringing in various gaming writers around Chicago to hang out with me in future videos, at least videos that aren't about looking at a horror game.

But I've relished the challenge, and enjoyed the little victories. A reason I've left previous jobs is boredom. That's not the case with Giant Bomb, even if Chicago has proven the ideal situation personally but the less ideal situation professionally. But even that's changing. Super Professional Fridays has been fantastic, and while we haven't had one in a few weeks (we'll be back before E3), there are plans in motion for later this year that should make that less of an issue, and I'm curious to see where it can go when it's around longer.

Plus, we're building a community in Chicago. Our meetup earlier this month was a huge success. We'll have another one to remember Mr. Ryan Davis later in June, and I'm hoping Giant Bomb Chicago meetups can become a monthly affair. I know that some people aren't the biggest fan of the solo content that's come out of my neck of the woods, and I take every piece of feedback, both positive and negative, with humility and appreciation. The edited Kinect video, for example, is one way I'm considering tackling video subjects that just don't work as well with a single person talking. I'm considering Crusader Kings 2 as my first experiment...

In any case, I'm rambling. I'm excited for Vinny. I'm excited for Alex. I'm excited for Giant Bomb. I guarantee you some very cool stuff is coming in the not-so-distant future. It'll just be different.

Hey, You Should Play This

And You Should Read These, Too

One of my greatest honors was the year and change I spent working at G4. More specifically, working alongside Adam. When I realized the Infinity Ward story was about to happen, I texted him some of the phrasing I would be using, and he told me to wait 20 minutes. He'd already spent the day filming, and even though he'd already sat down with a drink, he was coming back to the office. We were going to walk through the story, make sure we were happy with every single sentence and phrasing, and let history unfold. In the days ahead, he would push to have me on camera to talk about the story I was responsible for, and apologize when the network would ask him to do it instead, since he was the known quantity. The whole reason I was given an opportunity to host part of G4's E3, part of the reason I was eventually hired at Giant Bomb, was because Adam gave me a shot. Anyway, his piece is really great. Read it.

"It's 2000 in San Francisco and the dot-com boom is still governing the hedonistic strut of the city. I have no memory of ever paying for a meal or a drink during this time. A consistent stream of parties from companies long, and deservedly, forgotten, all using the same caterer that slices roast beef into a sourdough discus with mustard as an optional condiment. There's a hint of uncertainty in the air but everything unfolds in my mind as a collection of brilliant nights whose sheer propulsive determinism will withstand any obstacle to this brave new entrepreneurial future.

For months, I play Deus Ex, staying late at the office and finding any free moment during the day to jump back into this game depicting a collapsed world of misplaced power, economic disparity and paranoid motivations. I had never before played a game that meted out such satisfaction. The most distinct break from the governing game logic of finding the right path or second-guessing the designer's intentions, it was a playground of experimentation and discovery."

While I don't agree with this piece, I wanted to share it, since the sentiment comes up all the time. It's a common argument, and one that I can, in select cases, understand. Let's put aside anything that was said about Far Cry 4, since it doesn't matter to the point I'm making here. Where Colin and I part ways is subtext surrounding the criticisms aimed at Far Cry 4. I cannot be 100% sure, but I suspect anyone who took issue with Far Cry 4's artwork wasn't saying Far Cry 4 or any other video game cannot deal in uncomfortable situations or delicate subjects, but that doing so opens yourself up to a particular line of criticism the creators should be prepared for. Games can and should tackle whatever subject they want to, but you don't get credit for being edgy: you actually have to pull it off, too.

"In short, it seemed to me to be the stuff of a good, believable antagonist. And I was excited about that. Apparently, some others weren't. I'm not surprised by the reaction some folks had to Far Cry 4's introductory artwork, even if I don't personally see it as inherently racist or otherwise problematic. What I'm surprised about, the more I think about it, is that some people see something they think is troubling, yet don't put it into the context of what they're actually looking at. Sometimes, things are designed specifically to trouble you. And as a gamer hungry for storytelling, I don't like the insinuation--and this insinuation is fairly loud--that games just aren't allowed to deal with tough issues, lest they offend someone."

If You Click It, It Will Play

These Crowdfunding Projects Look Pretty Cool

  • Flop Flop Fly is the kind of game you should back if you're into rotating models of sandals.
  • Caffeine joins the long list of sci-fi horror projects coming down the pike.
  • SumoBoy wants to tell a story about bullying with some ex-AAA developers.

A Blog Post About F2P By The Room's Creators Has Folks Talking

  • Barry Meade kicked off this conversation, arguing mobile was burning and F2P was responsible.
  • Adam Saltsman warns it's not easy to take so many lessons from one successful game.
  • Jake Simpson lays out some of the broader complexities of mobile Meade's post doesn't account for.

Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"

Commenter: Fuck these rich devs for Kickstarting! Me: Did you listen to why he needs help? C: No, and I won't. http://t.co/RKWbWTzSbQ

— Greg Miller (@GameOverGreggy) May 19, 2014

Publisher Kickstarter dilemma - either they made tons of money and think they don't need you - or they didn't - which says a lot as well.

— Shams Jorjani (@ShamsJorjani) May 19, 2014

i’d bet the Wolfenstein folks really mean well, but i’d prefer to dwell on the Holocaust in a context other than “action shooter”

— Jon Bois (@jon_bois) May 20, 2014

Good will is a resource companies frequently exchange for Kickstarter backing. Not sure it's always worth it to fund one project.

— Brendan Sinclair (@BrendanSinclair) May 21, 2014

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Patrick Klepek on Google+
181 Comments
  • 181 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
Edited by Newtstradamus

Post about the meetup in June, I wanna be there for that. EDIT: I scheduled an appointment to get a tattoo a handful of days before Ryan passed. I had a plan for it but changed it completely. I didn't want to copy him directly, felt weird, but I did want to immortalize him in my own way, this is my sons initials.

Posted by Morningstar

Ahh, it's that time of the week again =)

Posted by Video_Game_King

Please be the Titanic rapping dog song, please be the Titanic rapping dog song...

Posted by Morningstar

Ahh, it's that time of the week again =)

Posted by SgtSphynx

Dammit Patrick, I always end up with like seven extra open tabs when reading these.

Posted by AMyggen

Good stuff right here!

Posted by Fear_the_Booboo

My sentiment on Far Cry 4 is that, while it is totally OK for a character to be racist in a game, the way this cover art and 3 dealt with the subject was too childish, trying to be faux-edgy and did not "earn it". It's a complicated subject matter and it should be treated as that, a complicated subject matter, not an easy way to make a villain even more "evil". That's where I disagree with Moriarty's piece.

Thanks Patrick for all the great links!

Edited by conmulligan

@patrickklepek:

Coming to define what my role is at Giant Bomb, a website built on collaboration, has been tough. Not everything has worked.

I think it's remarkable how much has worked, especially since you've only been out of the office for a year. Seeing you and the site adapt to your departure gives me great hope for GBNY.

Posted by KoolAid

When I saw the Far Cry box art, I got pretty excited, because I thought the implication was that you're going to be playing as the guy holding the grenade.

How lame is it that the concept of playing a brown man would be such a big deal?

Posted by GrantHeaslip

I've been really enjoying Generation 16. Almost everything I know about the Genesis is second-hand, and it's been great seeing all of these games I've heard referenced and getting a sense of how it all fits together. Greg Sewart knows his stuff, and has obviously done a bunch of research to fill in the gaps. He's also captured footage of every game — it's a pretty impressive undertaking. He's never asked for a penny, and he's obviously put a lot more work into it than certain other high-profile crowdfunded YouTube gaming series.

I forget which episode it was, but there's a particularly great explanation of the Tetris video/computer game rights saga.

Edited by Hassun

@patrickklepek

Quick Look Solos, for example, are born out of my back against the wall

That sounds kind of body horror-y.

I have massive respect for Square changing up the mechanics of the Final Fantasy games which each installment.

I hope this recent insight will help them get back on the right path again.

Also please reduce the Nomura factor or whoever is responsible for these character designs. The whole Jpop style and design of the characters might be acceptable in Japan but it has long since ceased to be that way in the West.

Edited by Blackout62

Oh it's going to be a fun clustercuss to watch when someone has too actually explain how blondey up there isn't white. There's going to be a dangerous conversation about situations of differing racial identity and visual appearance, non-Caucasian people of fair skin, possibly some stuff about mixed race and passing. Hell, there might even be talk of the right way to pull off a pink suit. It is going to be a blast.

Posted by pnevares

@newtstradamus: Looks nice, as a dual tribute I think it does the job well. Also like the shirt!

Posted by joshwent

My sentiment on Far Cry 4 is that, while it is totally OK for a character to be racist in a game, the way this cover art and 3 dealt with the subject was too childish, trying to be faux-edgy and did not "earn it". It's a complicated subject matter and it should be treated as that, a complicated subject matter, not an easy way to make a villain even more "evil". That's where I disagree with Moriarty's piece.

Would you at least agree that it may be a little rash to form those kind of judgements based solely off one image (not even a screen shot) from a game that little is known about and the previous game in the series which was directed by different people than this one is?

Criticising absolutely anything in a game is fine. But criticising perceived intentions based off of personal conclusions that people draw from zero actual game content seems a bit less warranted to me.

Posted by Abendlaender

Wait, why is Far Cry 4 racist? Did I miss some infos, I only saw the cover up till now.

Posted by R3DT1D3

The reaction to the Far Cry 4 cover saddens me. Guess what, it's a light skinned guy subverting the locals. Far Cry 3 was the exact same thing after a point in the story. No one had a problem with Hoyt, that I noticed, but this character we know nothing about and the scenario he is depicted in is too far?

Posted by sadsadsad

@r3dt1d3 said:

The reaction to the Far Cry 4 cover saddens me. Guess what, it's a light skinned guy subverting the locals. Far Cry 3 was the exact same thing after a point in the story. No one had a problem with Hoyt, that I noticed, but this character we know nothing about and the scenario he is depicted in is too far?

The guy in the suit looks like a "local" to me.

Posted by Hailinel

@hassun: What you like or don't like in character design does not represent the views of the entire western world. And Nomura isn't involved in every Final Fantasy game.

Posted by Brackstone

I actually quite agree with the Far Cry 4 article, and with the idea that games are often criticized for their attempts to deal with complex subject matter before the full context of the game's plot is known, though better examples do exist. In this case, it's a little bit much to be criticizing Far Cry 4 when all we really have so far is some promo art and some pre-order bonuses.

Online
Edited by Trilogy

@patrickklepek

While I agree that games don't get a free pass for attempting edginess, I think the concept of "pulling it off" when it comes to a controversial topic is fucking absurd. Whose standards are we basing that off of? Yours? Mine? The other millions of people who are going to play Far Cry 4? Should all 6 million of us (far cry 3 sales) convene to hash this all out and agree on what counts as "pulling it off"? It's just not reasonable. There are clear cut examples of "fucking it up", but what about the far more common grey area examples?

People have qualitative disagreements on video games all the time, but this is obviously a different circumstance than "the graphics weren't very good". I don't think we're dealing with a qualitative situation here at all. Nobody expects games to not get made if they don't look and play perfectly. People also are willing to forgive a game for having flaws (I enjoyed the story, but not the gameplay). These are different situations than when a game tackles racism, sexism, or any other hot button issue. The notion that these games HAVE to nail it every time is odd to me. However, I'm not saying that these games shouldn't be criticized, and regardless of what I say, these sorts of games will be more heavily scrutinized for tackling controversial issues. The same way GTA6 will be FAR more scrutinized if they choose to feature a female protagonist (did they portray her correctly?! too masculine, too feminine, too stereotypical, not relatable enough? too flawed? ect).

Posted by Maluvin

The Far Cry 4 cover controversy has been odd for me. I just never got the impression that the image was showing the character in a positive light or that the image necessarily glossed over potential implications, at least no more so than most game covers that go without comment. Some might argue that an American soldier on the cover of a Call of Duty game is a much more terrifying image in some parts of the world. That's not to necessarily excuse or dismiss that Far Cry image but I guess my point is I'm unclear why that particular image stood out compared to what we see pretty much all the time.

I think about some of controversy surrounding the Luftrauser's art and Rami's commentary about taking interpretations seriously even when the original intention or thought was completely in a different place. I can understand the interpretations even if I don't agree with them.

I will say that there's also something interesting about how a number of people thought the guy was white. I think it might say something about how race and power is tied up in our cultural interpretation of images and scenes. For what it's worth I'm partially of Asian ancestry and I initially thought the guy was white too until I took a closer look. =/

Edited by Sparklehorse

Proof read before submitting an article .

"We were going to walk through the story, make sure were happy with every single sentence and phrasing,"

"There's a hint of uncertainty in the air but everything unfolds in my mind as a collection of brilliant nights whose sheer propulsive determinism will withstand any obstacle to this brave new entrepreneurial future. P"

Posted by Aas

Crusader Kings 2? Yes! Do that!

Posted by Fear_the_Booboo

@joshwent: Yes I do agree, sorry for the misunderstanding.

I think people assume a lot from what Far Cry 3 was and project it on Far Cry 4. The cover does evoke the same sentiment, but it's fair to wait for the game itself to, well, judge the game itself. Thanks for the correction.

I loved Far Cry 3 and will probably love Far Cry 4, just sayin'.

Edited by hsghsghsg

"I'm considering Crusader Kings 2 as my first experiment..."

This is super exciting to hear. Watching Chris Remo and Nick Breckon try to learn and play CK2 last year was a lot of fun. Even if it's an edited, shorter-form feature, I'm looking forward to seeing Patrick check out that style of strategy game. CK2 is especially interesting because of its focus on individual people and their families.

Edited by Hassun

@hailinel: He's done character design for all main ff games since VI excluding IX and XII.

I don't even have anything against his earlier designs since they weren't that outlandish, it just went completely off the rails in later games.

E.g.

His belt fetish is out of control! It was pretty funny when he made Lulu as some kind of in-joke but holy shit. Zipper/belt buckle insanity!

Edited by Marokai

Sessler's sort of auto-biographical musings piece was interesting to read, and brought back fond memories of how awesome he was back in the day on television, and how much I enjoyed following him back then, but it really only solidified more than ever in my mind that it's impossible for some people to really view him through a modern lens.

The picture included here to represent Sessler? That's the Sessler people remember. That's the Sessler people want to like, because that's when they were ten years younger and and Sessler was a lot softer, goofier, and focused more on just playing games. That Sessler was great, and I practically revered him for his older work. Nothing that's happened in the last few years has managed to tarnish the great stuff Adam did on X-Play and that show (pre-2008, at least) will always have a special place in my heart no matter what. But that's not the Sessler that exists anymore, and some people really haven't been able to deal with that.

The end of that piece doesn't paint a flattering picture of himself, either. It resembles the words of a bitter and tired man who never learned how to deal with the internet, who never understood that maybe he might've fucked up from time to time, who will never have learned the right lesson of the last couple years of his life, and never even tried. He sounds like a person who wanted to clock in, get his target views, cash his checks, and not deal with anyone else. He's a person who never adapted to life after X-Play and suffered no consequences for his weird fits and mistakes, over time seemingly always coming to the conclusion that he was unjustly persecuted, and will apparently live the rest of his career in the self-congratulating bubble of his Twitter friends.

I genuinely think that's a tragedy. He's proven he can be much better in the past.

Posted by BigD145

"Commenter: Fuck these rich devs for Kickstarting!"

Yes, fuck Shaq.

Posted by Zevvion

Okay, I've stared at the FarCry 4 art for 5 minutes now and can't figure out what would have caused a controversy. Can anyone tell me what it was?

Posted by Hailinel

@hassun: Not sure where my response went. Let me try again.

I don't see the issue with Lightning's appearance in that image. Further, Nomura had no involvement in FFXI or XIV. He did not work on a main series Final Fantasy title between X and XIII.

Posted by lokilaufey

@zevvion: People think it's a white man subjugating a person of color, when I feel like anyone with eyes should realize that they are both clearly very Asian.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@zevvion: People think it's a white man subjugating a person of color, when I feel like anyone with eyes should realize that they are both clearly very Asian.

I feel like this post should be memed to hell and back.

Posted by csl316

Not everyone's gonna like every piece of content. Patrick, your content has its own unique flavor and I'd say keep refining what you're doing. GB East will be different, as well. And you know what? Variety on a site is just fine with me.

Now if I could just make it to that next Chicago meet up by not accidentally driving 30 miles to my house instead...

Posted by AuthenticM

I wasn't even aware there was a controversy over Far Cry 4.

That didn't take long.

Posted by Tits_Matador

If Patrick plays Crusader Kings 2 that is something that I would watch because I have no interest in horror games so Spooking with Scoops does nothing for me.

Posted by lokilaufey

@lokilaufey said:

@zevvion: People think it's a white man subjugating a person of color, when I feel like anyone with eyes should realize that they are both clearly very Asian.

I feel like this post should be memed to hell and back.

Only if you make it amazing.

Edited by Krataur

Yes, @patrickklepek, Crusader Kings 2! With your story-telling abilities, and the game's story-making abilities, it could be a great combination.

Posted by steelerzfan101

I think that the art for Far Cry 4 is completely fine. When I heard people where getting all worked up about it, I just laughed a little.

Also, that Flip Flop Fly page on Kickstarter...wow was that hard to read...

Posted by MuchoBeans

I for one am excited by the notion of Patrick playing some Crusade Kings II. That game is awesome and hilarious to play and watch.

Posted by Yummylee

I wasn't even aware there was a controversy over Far Cry 4.

That didn't take long.

Same, this is the first I'd even heard of it.

Posted by President_Barackbar
@yummylee said:

@authenticm said:

I wasn't even aware there was a controversy over Far Cry 4.

That didn't take long.

Same, this is the first I'd even heard of it.

It wouldn't be modern video games without SOMEONE over analyzing even the most minute detail.

Posted by Lurkero

Anyone who paid attention to the plot of Far Cry 3 should very much be concerned about the imagery of the Far Cry 4 cover. I won't jump to conclusions until I actually witness the plot, but the previous Far Cry games do not provide confidence that the fourth one will be much better. I think the protagonist is a native of the region this time so that at least provides some positive belief against the "helpless natives" needing to be saved by the "European White male" just passing through.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Patrick, I fully support you trying to learn how to play Crusader Kings II, because I like Strategy games and that still scares the hell out of me.

  • 181 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4