The RPS Electronic Wireless Show Episode 16

It's a logo. Naomi Klein is FURIOUS about it.

Welcome to our first ever sixteenth Electronic Wireless Programme. It’s Jim and John this week, once more gathered in John’s gloomy room to record their completely not gloomy podcast. Under our terrifying wordgaze comes Mafia II, LucasArts anecdotes, Stalker: Clear Sky modding, Zeno Clash piracy tactics, and the comments of Heather Chaplin.

We also discuss the benefits of two monitors and how it’s impossible to ever go back. There’s thoughts on whether the original Mafia is still worth playing, and why Mafia II looks like it might be quite good. There’s Jim’s plans for a Clear Sky mod pack which we’ll hopefully see on the site some time next week. A few comments on the last part of playing KotOR as evil as possible. And there’s thoughts on the expanding nature of RPS. We get into a discussion over whether game developers are really adolescent, as well as taking a close look at how ACE Team are addressing the pirates. Ooh, and Google vans stalking PC Gamer editors.

So get the mp3 directly from here, visit its own site here, subscribe to it by RSS with this, or get it on iTunes from here.

For the Mafia draw distance mod, head here and search for “draw distance”.

Here’s part one and two of the Bastard of the Old Republic, part three on Eurogamer tomorrow.

Here’s the Zeno Clash post from Mininova.


  1. Dave Gates says:

    Huzzah, I’ve been looking forward to this. Its just before I walk to work as well, serendipity.

  2. Chris Evans says:

    The Googel van story is scary yet very awesome!

  3. Orange says:

    As a loyal reader I worship you, although I wish your creature would stop shitting in my village.

  4. nabeel says:

    Hilarious episode, nice job. I think the BioShock 2 readership was less compared to Mafia II mainly because there’s been absolute saturation of BS2 coverage everywhere. Articles of Mafia II have been popping up a little more slowly. Not to mention your preview and interview were great reading.

  5. Gap Gen says:

    Reading the second half of the Chaplin link, it does seem reminiscent of what some commentators are saying about portions of news journalism. While many journalists are happy to report their own positive impact on the rest of the world, some seem oblivious to their negative impact on the world (such as the MMR thing, Charlie Brooker’s comment about causing school shootings by ignoring expert advice on how to report these events).

    Of course, good journalism is hard to do, especially on a tight deadline schedule, and it’s admirable when people get it right. But given that people perceive the world at large almost entirely through the news media (I’ve never talked to Obama or Kim Jong-il, or indeed been to Ubisoft) it’s important to be honest and rigorous – and the rise of “Have Your Say”ism is particularly insidious, since as Adam Curtis pointed out, if the journalists don’t know what’s going on, how the hell should the audience? Heckler’s example illustrates the sort of thing that costs lives when the news media too often does it.

  6. Smurfy says:

    If you didn’t answer my question then I will slam you through a table.

  7. Zarniwoop says:

    You mentioned it but I’ll say it again: more developers should include a method for payment inside the game itself. Bittorrent is a fantastic distribution system. It can make your game reach as many people as games with serious marketing budgets. USE IT.

  8. Garg says:

    Are you going to carry on the bastard series to KOtOR 2? I hope you do, as it has been rather good.

  9. Mike says:

    ^ uh John said he would, it’s on Eurogamer tomorrow.
    Good podcast by the way – very funny at beginning which should not suggest that it gets progressively worse… it’s a shame this will be the last 16th podcast ever.

  10. John Walker says:

    Never said anything about KotOR 2. Final part of the first game goes up tomorrow. Tell Tom Bramwell to pay me to do the second game too : )

  11. Centy says:

    Whats this magical source engine button that lets you click on the other monitor? Also great show as usual! Even though dead puppies make babies cry and as such dead babies make puppies cry.

  12. chequers says:


  13. Nighthood says:

    The Zeno Clash anti piracy method is by far the best I’ve ever heard. At least they know they can’t do anything about it, and guilt is a great way of stopping it happening.

  14. Mr Pink says:

    Re: the magic button, I may be wrong but I think it’s setting the game to a borderless window rather than full screen.

  15. Jim Rossignol says:

    Mr Pink is correct.

  16. Centy says:

    Sweet you learn something everyday cheers Mr Pink

  17. moyogo says:

    Right, fucking adolescents abound – but that’s not an essential part of being male.

    I don’t think she’s talking about every developer. I find her characterization accurate for maybe 90% of them.

  18. Gpig says:

    God dammit, this is a good podcast but I stopped halfway through so far because my thoughts started to wander in a British accent. I’m enjoying it but I think it’s going to make me a worse person for people to be around. I’m going to sound like Madonna a day after she moved to Britain.

  19. Wulf says:

    The best way to stop piracy is to really give people full try-before-you-buy rights, one thing to consider is that aside from getting something for free, or trying before you buy, piracy also occurs because it’s borderline wrong. It’s like under-age drinking, smoking, and drugs. Kids get a thrill from doing something that seems wrong, and these kids might not even be into Zeno Clash, so piracy might be a brilliant way to win sales.

    1. Say that piracy exists, you accept it, and you’re not going to pursue it or make a big deal of it, do this without whining, just make it a statement, this way it knocks the cool factor down a number of rungs.

    2. State that you have no problem with people using piracy as a try-before-you-buy method, considering that it can act as a good demo, this is especially true with higher-price-point games. Just point out that you’d appreciate it if they bought the game your team has made if they did like it.

    3. Keep the game at an impulse-buy price-point, this helps fight piracy. Now, I could (and did) make an impulse buy of Zeno Clash between the £5-10 price point, but if the price is much higher than that, and the game is reported to be very, very short (Braid?) then it may fall more in the try-before-you-buy region.

    4. If you can’t keep your game at a lower sales point, remember that sales and good support help, keep offering little tidbits Valve-style that a pirating group couldn’t keep up with providing, and every now and then drop the price of the game to an impulse buy point, and advertise it, that way you get sales from people who might not have thought it was worth the full price.

    The thing is, if you want to deal with piracy then you have to deal with why people pirate, not try to combat that they do pirate. ACE team have taken a few steps towards this, but there’s still more they could do to work around the pirate condition. In a situation like this, you have to show people why they should do something, along with who their real friends and enemies are.

    As it stands, this is coming from someone who has had experience with piracy, but stands by the: If I try it and like it then I’ll buy it. I’ve never pirated an indie game though, I prefer giving some money to the little people, they deserve it more in my opinion. 2DBoy deserves 10-15 quid more than say… Rockstar.

    But I digress.

    So in my case, I pre-ordered Zeno Clash (the D2D deal, as I’ve thrown too much money at Valve already). It was in the impulse-buy range and I wanted to support ACE team who looked like they were doing something brilliantly different (and they were, so, so different). My hunch was right, and I loved Zeno Clash so much that I played it over again. It’s beautiful in its own strange, strange way.

    Note to companies, who you don’t want to be: Cliffski. There are ways to combat the pirate mindset, and there are ways not to. Making yourself seem like an enemy to your potential audience is the worst possible thing you do, Cliffski’s posts on his pirated games were a reason to visit PirateBay for a while, they were a spectacle that a number of people found amusing, and he didn’t endear himself to anyone.

    One thing to remember is that often, a pirate will be someone flat broke who’s looking for the best way to spend their money, this is doubly true in this bloody recession. A pirate might be someone with 40 quid who downloads a few games and throws whatever money he has at the best of them.

    To sell games: Make good/interesting games and make friends.

  20. charlie says:

    I enjoy smoking, I enjoyed under-age drinking and drugs, I don’t believe any of them are wrong personally.

    Good points though.

  21. Mil says:

    First RPS podcast I’ve listened beginning to end. Compared to the other ones I tried to listen to, this one had surprisingly acceptable sound quality.

    I’ve been playing Mafia for the first time this week and I can’t really see why it is praised so highly. Ok, the story and acting are above average (although there are some big plot holes — WHY would Morello’s men go into Salieri’s bar when pursuing Tommy in the second mission?), but it has plenty of gameplay defects that make it too randomly punishing — which is then compounded by the inability to save the game except at prefixed points.

    And don’t get me started on the race mission. What were they thinking?

  22. Colthor says:

    Ooh, I’ve been looking forwards to the next BotOR article, so that’ll be a good read tomorrow. Thank you, Mr. Walker!

    And the podcast was entertaining (and possibly even informative), as usual.

  23. John Walker says:

    Oh stop it Mil, you’re making us blush with your kind words.

  24. skalpadda says:

    I was going to post this on the Peggle+WoW article but forgot. Anyway, what I do when running into those long grinds in MMOs (and sometimes even normal single player RPGs, which is kind of unforgivable) is usually to listen to audio books and lately, the RPS podcast has helped me while away the odd 40 minutes of grinding boredom :)

    This one was great, thanks!

  25. Gap Gen says:

    “The RPS Electronic Wireless Show – Surprisingly Acceptable”

  26. Mil says:


    “The RPS Electronic Wireless Show — no longer sounding as if recorded inside a metal box”

    “The RPS Electronic Wireless Show — now with no Skype-distorted C3PO-like voices”

    I grump because I love ;-)

  27. skalpadda says:

    About the Zeno Clash post, am I the only one who got all happy about the announcement of DLC? Finally got around to playing through it today and loved it, but some tying up of lose ends and more eccentric goodness would be very welcome. Then again, maybe everyone else already knew about the DLC plans :)

  28. Smurfy says:

    I’mma slam you through a table.

  29. Subject 706 says:

    I finished Zenoclash yesterday, so their DLC plans certainly made me happy. That game was a little gem.