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Jumping the Shark Podcast #108

No High Scores

Served up special for Jumping the Shark #108 our good friend and PR flack extraordinaire Troy Goodfellow returns to the show to help me talk about all the goings on at Paradox Convention 2012. Hear a detailed and fact-filled accounting of The War of the Roses (if you compare my knowledge of that history to, say, my six year old’s), an update on Crusader Kings 2, why Bill is betting me $10,000 I will not play Napoleon’s Campaigns 2, and why Troy thinks you should give Warlock some extra attention. After that Bill and Danielle ask if the games industry is getting too big for its britches and Brandon refreshes his love of Quarrel. Enjoy!

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READ ALSO:  Jumping the Shark Podcast #98

Todd Brakke

Todd was born in Ann Arbor with a Michigan helmet in one hand and a mouse in the other. (Never you mind the logistics of this.) He grew, vertically anyway, and proceeded to spend over 16 years as a development editor for Pearson Education, publishing books, videos, and digital learning products under the Que and Sams Publishing imprints. Because that wasn't enough of a challenge, Todd has also been a 20-year part-time snob about video games, writing reviews, features, and more for multiple outlets. Follow him on Twitter @ubrakto or check it out his website at

12 thoughts to “Jumping the Shark Podcast #108”

  1. Steak and kidney pie. LOL!

    You guys (Bill) are so mean to Todd. Although he does sound like he belongs in one of those old timey movies.

    Bill was brining it to Troy this week! I guess thats what happens when hes tehre as a PR rep and not “Troy”

    Great show, especially the 2nd half. (no offense Todd but I read the previews of the stuff on gshark)

  2. You have highly offended me, sir, but not to worry, you’re, at most, the sixth person to offend me today and who has the bandwidth for that much retribution? 😉 

  3. Always fun to join my old colleagues, and I am always Troy even when I am doing my job.

    On next week’s show, I tell stories about Todd in Sweden and his bowling form.


  4. Great discussions in this ep. Brandon’s bit about why people stopped buying CDs is my quote of the week. Right on the nose.

    Bill had some horrible near-dropouts in the second half though…

    Oh, and concerning Brandon saying that he sucks in Ascension – it’s a trap! Don’t believe a word of it! He cleans my clock every time, and I am on a fairly even win/loss ratio after just over 300 games.

  5. Farmville crowd? That game looks absolutely balls out hardcore. Graphically it looks cutesy, but the actual mechanics scare the crap out of me. Like permadeath and finite resources. There’s also no moderation outside of what the people in the community come up with. Don’t let the graphics fool you, this is deep end of the pool stuff, not attracting Farmville players.

    The Escapist’s preview does a good job of laying stuff out:

    Heavens to Betsy, Todd!

  6. Like I’ve said  before, Brandon is either a sandbagger or he’s got some kind of prototype iPad Gameshark he’s plugging cheat codes into. I don’t think I’ve won a match against him myself.

  7. It may be I’m selling it short, but when I refer to it as something to draw people away from Farmville, I don’t mean to diminish Salem as something that is “less than” as a game. But to me, when you’ve got a game based almost purely around a gathering/harvesting mechanic, you’re in similar territory. And, yeah, the look furthers that impression in a rather big way. Here’s the bullet list from the Escapist piece you linke (to all: worth checking out):


    On permadeath, the colonist you create stays dead, but the work you put it in is not gone, nor do you lose control of your stuff. There’s a hereditary mechanic involved (not totally fleshed out as I understand it) that prevents you from losing anything you’ve built or acquired. It’s interesting, but I wouldn’t call it punishing. The second bullet about how having friends in the game can help you do things more quickly is a very social gaming mechanic. The rest of it, yeah, it’s more involved than a Farmville, I’m not arguing against that. But I still think it’s a game built to feed on similar player tendencies and I still think they’re hoping to draw in some of those players, people who are looking for similar gameplay with more complex layers (I don’t mean that in a bad or nefarious way). 

    Could be I’m totally misjudging the game, but I’ve seen it first hand and it’s a lot of things, some of them neater than others, but “deep end of the pool” is not something I’d describe it as. 

  8. I would’ve went for the Minecraft/Terraria crowd as opposed to the Farmville crowd.

    Hell, I don’t know, they may be trying to attract that crowd. I’ve seen comments on videos pretty much saying “this game looks great except for the graphics.” Seems many a “hardcore” gamer can’t handle the cute.

    Anyway, to me, the game still has more in common with Ultima Online and Minecraft/Terraria than Farmville.

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