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RFN Live Panel at PAX East 2013

by Nate Andrews, James Jones, Chris Kohler, Jonathan Metts, Jared Rosenberg, and Guillaume Veillette - March 25, 2013, 9:47 pm PDT
Total comments: 27

Our fourth annual live show at PAX East was a blast, and now you can enjoy the audio recording.

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It's always a special experience to do RFN live, as a group, for an audience in the same room. PAX East offers just such an opportunity, and this year's panel might be the best yet. The voices you'll hear on this recording include James, Guillaume, and Jonny, plus special guests Nate Andrews and Chris Kohler of Wired's Game Life. One element you'll have to imagine is the improvised video stream provided by Jared Rosenberg -- that part was just for the live audience!

Our topics include favorite obscure games, a couple of fun "What If?" scenarios, elevator pitches to Iwata, and a hefty chunk of audience Q&A. We hope you enjoy it! Thanks again to everyone who helped, especially the PAX Enforcers who set up the room and provided this great recording for all of us.

This episode was recorded by the PAX East Enforcers and was edited by Jonathan Metts.


DamabaMarch 26, 2013

Can we get a link to Chris Kohlers 1 man podcast that was mentioned in the panel.

I'd argue that the Lord of the Rings games based on the Peter Jackson movies we're very good, and probably some of the best games based on a movie I've experienced.

I wouldn't mind seeing the same treatment given to The Hobbit movies out right now, although it may be more difficult given the nature of the story.

The problem with games based on movies or television is that developers use it as a reason to push out the biggest piles of **** because they assume the branding will be enough to make it profitable.  It's the same reason why the yearly releases of video games based on Jeopardy, Price is Right, and Wheel of Fortune are complete crap.

Good show, guys.  Each year you present at PAX East sounds better and better.

FjurbanskiMarch 26, 2013

Great point about the new IP issue. Pushmo, Harmoknight, etc. I'd even include Kid Icarus on that list since it is nothing like the originals and has been gone for so long.

People don't see those games and go, "Yeah, a new IP." Because when a lot of people say new IP, there's an invisible little asterisk next to it. That asterisk leads to a footnote that states:

*"When I say Nintendo doesn't make new IPs obviously I'm not including those handheld games or digital games, because that's not what I want. I want fully-fledged $60 new IPs. I want a new IP, but at the same time, I want it to be able to stand in the upper echelon of Nintendo titles with games like Mario and Zelda. Also I do not want them to be JRPGs like Xenoblade. Also I want them to be rated M."

So when I say, "Well Pushmo is a new IP." They say, "Screw that game."

I didn't expect to have a "is that what I sound like?" experience from listening to this, considering I've had to listen to my own voice for a while now, but... is that what I sound like?

reginMarch 26, 2013

I wish the term "Nintendo game" would go away. At least until it gets a proper definition we can all agree on.

Nintendo Game (n), orig: Japanese/English - A game made by/for or published by/for Nintendo.

Pixelated PixiesMarch 26, 2013

Quote from: Fjurbanski

So when I say, "Well Pushmo is a new IP." They say, "Screw that game."

Wait!...What?! Who said 'screw Pushmo'? I'll kill whoever said that! Tell me, who?!

Babby's first puzzle game

I was surprised no one mentioned Goldeneye as a good movie game. Also, King Kong was supposed to be pretty great back when it released.

FjurbanskiMarch 26, 2013

Quote from: Pixelated

Wait!...What?! Who said 'screw Pushmo'? I'll kill whoever said that! Tell me, who?!

Oh, you know. Just some losers.

Quote from: Crimm

Babby's first puzzle game


I have to give my compliments to the recording setup, it came in loud and clear this time. (Not sure how much the good Dr did in post...)

Elevator pitch for Iwata: WiiU Fire Emblem by the team who did Valkyria Chronicles.

RazorkidMarch 26, 2013

I enjoyed the panel and really loved the included video segments that popped up during discussion and adding some well placed reference for many in the audience (particularly the younger crowd). It's a shame questions had to be cut off, the hour went by so fast! I liked Chris' knowledge of game history but I disagreed with his opinion about no new IPs being developed by Nintendo.

It was another great PAXEAST and thanks again guys for signing my t-shirt and Earthbound Players guide.

AVMarch 26, 2013

Chris Kohler sort of took over the show. Good but seemed like the Chris Kohler show with RFN crew as back up.

I've made my point about Pushmo before - it has FAR too many tutorials (it should shed at least 90% of them), takes far to long to actually present any challenge at all. If you disagree than you're babby. If that weren't enough the vast majority of the time spent solving the puzzles is walking. Slowly.

And yeah, Kohler will do that.

Quote from: Razorkid

I liked Chris' knowledge of game history but I disagreed with his opinion about no new IPs being developed by Nintendo.

What do you mean? He argued they have been (although via eShop content).  I'm not sure it's something that can be argued against.

TJ SpykeMarch 26, 2013

I havent listened to the podcast yet, but I am still a little miffed at Kohler's trolling comments about Wii U (either that, or he is too stupid to know what the definition of vaporware is). Did anybody call him out on that?

It's a semantic argument, and we were pressed for time as it was. Chris apparently has a very broad concept of what constitutes "vaporware" but he applies it equally to all platforms/publishers, which is quite clear if you listen to the Game Life podcast from that week. His stance is similar to some things Denis Dyack has said in the context of preview coverage -- that media should be critical and skeptical of unfinished games, while publishers shouldn't be promoting games until they are practically finished, which is usually the case with movies. In this case, many of the games Nintendo announced during that Nintendo Direct weren't even shown at all, much less shown in a mature form. I wouldn't use the term "vaporware" but am just as critical as Chris in terms of a company trying to engender some amount of confidence by discussing products without producing any physical (or digital) evidence of their mere existence.

FjurbanskiMarch 26, 2013

Eh, that argument works for Random Game A. It doesn't really hold water when discussing Mario, Zelda, Mario Kart, and Smash Bros. They're inevitable, therefore, Nintendo telling us that we'll see them at E3 is no foul on their part.

I mainly don't like Kohler's argument against vaporware because it's like he's saying "Don't get excited about things!!!" or "Don't encourage your customers to get excited about things!!!" Which is obviously not going to happen. Besides, I like that I know I'm going to see these games at E3.

TJ SpykeMarch 26, 2013

I dont think ive even heard of the Game Life podcast. His definition of vaporware seems to be any game that is not out yet.

Movie companies will promote big movies far ahead of time. It's not uncommon for big movies to have trailers more than a year before they get released.

azekeMarch 26, 2013

Yesterday i spent like half an hour trying to make sense of Wired's site navigation and in the end had to go to other site to get podcast in question:


pandaradoxMarch 27, 2013

I think that there's a fine line between movie-based games and movie-inspired games.  The Lego series are more inspired at times and with that openness comes some degree of freedom that allows developers to make the movie experience unique.  It's when it is very apparent that the game isn't being made for the sake of the game that it falls short.  I still think that a great movie game can be done, but it has to be made, but it obviously needs to be done with greater intentions.  The Lego games garner so much attention because it's clear they authentically love the series they're showcasing.  That's lost on most movie games. 

Thank you guys for the wonderful Panel!  It was a pleasure seeing you guys again. 

Fatty The HuttApril 04, 2013

Excellent panel again, guys but too short! Can't get a 90 minute one?  :D

The best movie game that comes to my mind is Toy Story 3. The "campaign" is decent but the real meat is in the Toy Box mode. Apparently, the Disney Infinity open-world sections are modeled after Toy Story 3's Toy Box. If so, I am genuinely excited.

Pixelated PixiesApril 04, 2013

There are plenty of good games based off of movies, it's just that proportionately there are so many bad ones.
Some of my favourites are Batman (NES), Aladdin, Indiana Jones Trilogy, Goldeneye, Rogue Squadron, and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

Do_WhatApril 06, 2013

Spider-Man 2 is great as well.

Pixelated PixiesApril 09, 2013

Quote from: Do_What

Spider-Man 2 is great as well.

It sure is (was?).

Does anyone know if that game holds up? All I can remember about Spider-Man 2 is how much fun it was to climb, jump and web swing. Beyond those vague but very fond memories though I really can't remember much else about the game.

Fatty The HuttApril 09, 2013

I don't think Spiderman 2 holds up. Ultimate Spiderman bested it.
The newest one, Amazing Spiderman, scratches the itch to explore Manhattan just fine, IMHO. (Just not the Wii version; they took exploration out of that one. Wii U version is fine).

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