Mar

Marc Matt and John are back to discuss listener feedback, motion sickness in games, co-op and couch games, Overcooked, and impressions of the new Beatles pinball machine from Stern!
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Intro music from http://www.bensound.com

Jurassic Park (1993)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurassic_Park_(film)

Build Engine

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Build_(game_engine)

Overcooked (2016)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overcooked

Tired Parents Twitch Stream

https://www.twitch.tv/TiredParents

Dead Rising (2006)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Rising

Motion Sickness

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_sickness

Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament (1994)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro_Machines_2:_Turbo_Tournament

WCW vs nWo: World Tour (1997)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WCW_vs._nWo:_World_Tour

International Karate + Gold (2001)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Karate_%2B

Left 4 Dead (2008)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_4_Dead

Battle of the Arcades (2018 event)

https://www.netherworldarcade.com/event/battle-of-the-arcades/

Beatles Pinball (2018)

https://sternpinball.com/game/beatles/

Seawitch Pinball (1980)

https://pinside.com/pinball/machine/seawitch

Tron: Legacy Pinball (2011)

https://pinside.com/pinball/machine/tron

Serpents Kiss Beer

https://thegrifter.com.au/collections/all/products/copy-of-bright-eye-carton-24-x-330ml

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bakersnarkMDW
Your mention of isometric views made me think of the 1982 shooter Zaxxon, and this quote from Wikipedia suggests I was right to do so:

“Zaxxon was the first game to employ axonometric projection, which lent its name to the game (AXXON from AXONometric projection). The type of axonometric projection is isometric projection: this effect simulated three dimensions from a third-person viewpoint. It was also the first arcade game to be advertised on television, with a commercial produced by Paramount Pictures for $150,000.”
(I left the TV ad bit in as it seemed interesting though irrelevant.)
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Can’t say I was ever a big fan - found its isometrics annoying. It gave the visual impression you had greater freedom of movement while actually feeling more restricted while playing.
As soon as you twist to isometrics you lose a chunk of playable area and then Zaxxon only allows you to move in about a third of it, including the altitude changes that I never got comfortable with.
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My crappy diagram is just to give the gist - screen’s a bit square and I didn’t measure any angles. Some might point out that if you compare the screenshot with my diagram, the playing world of Zaxxon covers more than my “play area” rectangle, but my rectangle represents the maximum field of movement for the player’s sprite not the apparent bounds of the game ( my point above).
And here’s the ad:

Hmm... Don’t think I’ve played that version. Sega certainly got a lot out of the hardware!

My couch game suggestion would be M.U.L.E. - Features both simultaneous play and hot seat sections for up to 4 players. Everything’s on a timer so it can’t bog down. Available for most early 80s 8-bit Computers plus the NES (I played it on C64). Designer Dan Bunten stated that Ozark did not port the game to the Apple II series because "M.U.L.E. can't be done for an Apple".
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They also seemed to ignore the Brits, with no Spectrum or Amstrad versions.
In 1984 M.U.L.E. was awarded "1984 Best Multi-Player Video Game/Computer Game" at the 5th annual Arkie Awards where judges described it as "a unique blend of boardgame strategy and computer-game pacing" and noted that "since its release, 'M.U.L.E.' has gained an intense cult following".

It’s also playable on modern computers (aside from emulation) via the Planet M.U.L.E app. You can use it to play offline but (I think) you can only play multiple human players through online play. Check the bottom of that webpage for an instructional video.
Of course the other way to play it is to get off the couch and around a table (or put a low table between a couple of couches) and play the boardgame version. It’s discussed way back in episode 3 of the podcast with some clarifying comments from me on the related forum thread.. Listening to that Ep3 segment again I was amused to hear Matt talk about Eclipse immediately after MULE which I know, now that I own both, are made by the same Finnish boardgame company and feature the same artist.
Having got that foot in the door, I’ll add that when you have several gamers in the same room you should ditch the console (at least for some of the time) and play some good tabletop games! You can even play some co-op boardgames - not the strongest suit in my collection but I could suggest D-day Dice or one of the Panic series, Castle Panic or Star Trek Panic. One I don’t have but seems interesting, Dead of Winter: save the survivors from the zombie apocalypse but beware the traitor in your midst (there’s always one who inexplicably wants the zombies to win!). Wil Wheaton gives it a spin on Tabletop:


Don’t know about “Vice grip”, but G.I. Joe (Action Man in the UK [& probably here]) had “Kung Fu grip”. From Wikipedia:

In 1974, named after the increasingly popular martial art, Hasbro introduced "Kung-Fu Grip" to the G.I. Joe line. This was another innovation that had been developed in the UK for Action Man. The hands were molded in a softer plastic that allowed the fingers to grip objects in a more lifelike fashion.

Kung Fu doesn’t really have anything to do with “grip” but it was popular at the time, so there it is (thanks Bruce Lee/ David Carradine)

I can only offer some speculation on Stern’s use of the Beatles licensing exclusively for expensive Limited Edition units (though 1964 is a pretty big ‘limited’ run - usually only a few hundred). I have to assume that the license fee is paid per unit produced rather than one payment to make as many as they like. If it’s a large flat fee per unit, the best strategy is to get the greatest premium (therefore profit) per unit and the first easy step is to make it limited edition which increases the profit margin with the stroke of a pen. Then make it a “retro” design which should cut construction costs (Stern are the masters of cheap construction), and if you can just tweak a design you already own your development costs almost disappear. Even if the fee is a percentage of sale price the strategy stands. If it’s a percentage of profit then you revert to your usual marketing plan, but holders of solid valuable IP like this are unlikely to buy in to the risks of the market - even for unsold units they want their several pounds of flesh!
Random item from my Tabletop Games Collection
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See it & the rest here:
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Mar
Thanks for the history lesson on isometric games. I hadn't realised Zaxxon was the first game in that perspective, even though I am familiar with it. Like you though, I never thought much of the game.

I have fond memories of a few isometric games. Head Over Heals was great on the C64, Landstalker on the MegaDrive. And of course, The Last Ninja! Although I don't know if that game is true isometric.

I think your perspective on the licensing arrangement with the Beatles is a good one, and something I didn't think of. That makes a lot more sense than my conclusion.
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bakersnarkMDW
I was very fond of Head Over Heels but didn’t play it that deep. Loved the concept but found it a bit tough for its pace. Some may not have liked the monochromatic graphics but I thought it was great use of C64 hi-res mode in beautiful Black and Bright!

It also beautifully demonstrates my point about the reduced play area in isometric games - more suited to a platform puzzler adventure like this than a shooter like Zaxxon. For those who are interested, Head comes into play at around 7:20.
(That old conversation about a video:
”You see Head at 7min 20sec”
”I have to wait that long?!”
”No, that’s why I told you where”)
Random item from my Tabletop Games Collection
[image] 
See it & the rest here:
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Mar

(That old conversation about a video:
”You see Head at 7min 20sec”
”I have to wait that long?!”
”No, that’s why I told you where”)


7 minutes and 20 seconds is a whole lot of conversation before you get to the good part!
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bakersnarkMDW
Head ON Heels at 14 min! (Whatever that might mean)
Random item from my Tabletop Games Collection
[image] 
See it & the rest here:
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Hwaygo
Interesting stuff. Of course one of my favorite games of all time is isometric. Diablo!

Also, it doesn't seem we've completely solved the issue of naming Streets of rage / Final fight style graphics... I was expecting @bakersnarkMDW to come up with some solutions to this problem.
[AOAGoN]
[KSy3fj]
[updolaabc99]
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Hwaygo
PS. Dead of winter looks really fun.
[AOAGoN]
[KSy3fj]
[updolaabc99]
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bakersnarkMDW
Hwaygo wrote:
PS. Dead of winter looks really fun.


Did you watch video?
(Oh, and of course, you like the game I DON’T own!) 😉
Random item from my Tabletop Games Collection
[image] 
See it & the rest here:
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