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Podcast 029

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Atwood: Hi Joel!

Spolsky: Hey Jeff!

Atwood: It's time for another glorious edition of our podcast.

Spolsky: The twenty-ninth.

Atwood: Yes, I think for next episode we'll do the guest thing again. Joel and I were talking about bringing other people in but we wanna not do it too often. We don't wanna turn it into like a comedy skit show.

Spolsky: Right. Also, last week I was a little too hyper so this week so this week I'm going to be depressed and you be hyper, okay? Thanks.

Atwood: Well I think you were excited about- I thought about that, I'm guessing you were excited about the election. I dunno.

Spolsky: But it wasn't over yet.

Atwood: That was my guess. Oh well, that's true.

Spolsky: But it hadn't happened.

Atwood: It was just- it was just a theory. I'm like Quincy. I have theories. I dunno how, y'know, good any of them are. That was my theory. But no, excited Joel was good. Enthusiasm is always welcome. I'm not going to frown on enthusiasm. That's kind of uncool.

Spolsky: That's nice. You be enthusiastic this week. I'll be depressed.

Atwood: *laughs* Are you really depressed?

Spolsky: No.

Atwood: Good. Just, I was a little worried.

Spolsky: *chuckles*

Atwood: Yeah, so we're going to do some questions this episode. You've got some questions lined up. I feel bad because we haven't gotten any questions in like weeks.

Spolsky: I think we should do- here's what we should do. Every episode should have a couple of questions, a couple of things from the website. Is there any news for the website by the way?

Atwood: No, it's been really slow. I want to talk to about that.

Spolsky: Uh, all right, go ahead. It's slow?

Atwood: So, it's been really slow because, well, a couple of reasons.

Spolsky: You mean the actual development of the website, not the actual what's going on on the website?

Atwood: No no no the website is doing great. In terms of people coming to the website and the traffic it's actually higher now than launch. Significantly higher. So the website's doing great and I keep encountering people referencing the website. Like I'll just click through someone's blog and they'll have a new trick about Stack Overflow, or- it's actually a little eerie. Like wherever I go, like there's Stack Overflow. So-

Spolsky: Wherever I go, there I am.

Atwood: Yeah, exactly, it's really catching on which is obviously great. That's the whole point of it. The more people that use it, the better it gets kind of thing. So I'm very much for that. But in terms of actual development on the website there's a couple of things that have happened. One is that Jeff Daugas is moving into a new house about to have a baby, like, any day now. So he's pretty much not able to do much. And then as for me, I actually just posted about this on my blog. It's- the difficulty for me is that this is game season. I'm a long-time PC gamer and-

Spolsky: Ah, and the new video cards came out!

Atwood: Well, the new video cards came out-

Spolsky: *chuckles*

Atwood: Well that's been out for a while actually but the big titles came out, particularly Fallout 3, which was really huge and also, it turned out to be, like, incredibly addictive, like, I could not stop-

Spolsky: Tell us about Fallout 3. Is this a PC game or is it available for Consoles?

Atwood: It's available on all major platforms, well, by major I mean, like, Play Station 3, and XBox, and all modern platforms, so-

Spolsky: So you played on Xbox?

Atwood: No, I played it on PC.

Spolsky: On PC

Atwood: Cos I'm more of a PC gamer, umm, but a little bit of trivi there and I actually linked to this in my blog post where I talked about my, my video card addiction umm, cos it's a sort of, you know, synergy between the games and the video cards that sort of makes is so addictive. It's not, like, I just like having a video card. It's like, I like having a video card and playing these really amazing, awesome new games on it. But our wedding pre-invitations, not our actual invitations, actually used some Fallout art. [chuckles]. And that's a measure of how cool my wife is, that she actually signed off on that.-

Spolsky: You are so dead!

Atwood: No, no, no-

Spolsky: *laughs*

Atwood: No, no, no. She knew. She knew. She totally knew. I wouldn't trick anybody with that.

Spolsky: *laughs*. I know. You just don't understand how much debt you've just incurred. You put video game screenshots on your wedding invitations?

Atwood: No, no, no. It's more like concept art. It's hard to explain. There's this thing, the Pip-Boy, it's a very 50's retro-

Spolsky
: I'm sorry, you shouldn't have to explain your wedding invitation.

Atwood: Well, it was a pre-invitation. It wasn't the actual invitation.*chuckles*

Spolsky
: *chuckles*

Atwood: Anyway, *chuckles*, it's a minor point [chuckles]. I just want to mention that I have a history of Fallout-

Spolsky
: Who took these to the post-office?

Atwood: *laughs*

Spolsky: Still checking

Atwood:  *laughs*. As I recall *chuckles*, since you're asking, we made them in microsoft publisher, which I don't think I've ever used since then.

Spolsky
: Post-office. Who took them to the post-office?

Atwood:
I have no idea  

Spolsky
: So not you, in other words [laughs].

Atwood:  *slightly lowered voice* Yes

Spolsky:  You may wanna call up some of your friends and check what their copy of the wedding pre-invitation that they actually got looked like.

Atwood: Oh there's a link to it on a website. We put it up on a website back in 19-, on Homestead, back in 1999, and it's still there actually *laughs. So it's been, *chuckles*, sitting on this URL on Homestead for 9 years, *laughs* since we got married. *chuckles* That's pretty fun. But anyway, Fallout, it's, you know post-apocalyptic, sort of dark and gritty, open-ended world, but with another kind of very dark humour-

Spolsky: I have a question: is there some graphic card reason why all games are in a world that's been ravaged by war and destroyed and everything is broken and gritty and grimey and dark. Because they're like-

Atwood:
That-

Spolsky: They're a reason for that? Like, why can't we have a game that takes place at Disney World?

Atwood: Well they have gotten better at that.  For a long time that was a cliché of like the crate.  One thing that people noticed was a room full of all these random crates.  It's like, who brings all these crates?  Where do they come from?

Spolsky: *laughs*  Crates, you blow them up and sometimes there's a toy in there.  You could use like a better gun or something.

Atwood: Oh yeah, it teaches you to smash things which is awesome.  Like, whenever I go around the world I go "I could smash that and there might be stuff in it" you know?  Not what we want to be teaching our children and young adults, probably.

Spolsky: No, we've got to teach them to shoot directly for the head.  Otherwise you won't kill the zombie.  That's much more important than teaching them to smash crates with a crowbar.

Atwood: There was a very funny Quake II mod (and I'll have to put this in the show notes) the whole crate thing got such currency.  There was a site called Old Man Murray.  Those people that wrote for the site Old Man Murray, actually both work at Valve now.  Which is very funny.  They're like real, legitimate, game developers now, in various capacities.  They had this great website filled with this really brilliant writing and one of the things they talked about was this "time to crate."  They would rate games by how soon after you started it you would see the first crate and enough game developers read this site, it was very influential, that they started putting crates in with the little signs...
Last Modified: 11/29/2008 5:22 PM

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