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by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 25 Jun 2009 00:53
Tags: conduit fps preview scifi

The Conduit Multiplayer: Pros and Cons

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There are some things that previews and even pre-launch reviews are worthless for. Multiplayer is one of them. This is because you can't know what the network performance will be like until tens of thousands of gamers raid the servers and bring things to a crawl. I'll be putting down some initial pros and cons in this post over the next couple of days.

Pros:

  • Finally, Scifi. Enough with WWII shooters already. We get it, they had guns then. Explore something, ANYTHING else. The environments and weapons of SciFi make for an excellent alternative.
  • You can find a Friend online and join whatever game they are in. Neither WaWii nor MoHH2 had this functionality.
  • Great control customizations
    • Full custom button remapping is a first for Wii (WaWii had different presets, but no custom). If there were any justice, there would never be another Wii shooter without it. You can even take vital functions away from motions and put them on a button. I did.
    • You can change the sensitivity of motions, which is VITAL. In MoHH2 I'd always accidentally trigger a reload when I was fighting someone on a staircase and aiming up, then down. I'd just as soon have no motions, but this is nice too.
    • The standard dead zone alterations, turn speed, cursor sensitivity are all present and accounted for.

Cons:

  • Friend Codes
    • We'll stop complaining the day they finally fraking die. No sooner. If you don't understand why they suck, I envy your bliss.
    • We don't blame High Voltage for this, as so far, they've been the most sympathetic to gamers of any company on the topic, but it still screws up the game so it's still a con.
  • Lag — could just be launch day excitement. Hopefully it improves over time.
  • Framerate drops
    • it is unclear if network performance is the cause of this. Will it get better after the launch is over? Who knows.
  • There's an intermediate connection screen between when you select a game type and before you go into a game lobby that can hang and there's no way to back out (B gets you out of most menu stuff) if it has trouble authenticating some of the players, short of actually turning off your Wii. It's a rare problem, but still a con.
  • Analog lag.
    • I don't know if this is a function of the networking or control design, but the control response to the analog stick is terrible. It feels like you're trying to drive a tank instead of moving a nimble secret agent whose job it is to save the world. Strafing speed is okay, but the time it takes you to get to full strafe speed from rest or to switch from strafe right to strage left is appallingly slow. The same for changing from forward motion to backward motion.

Neutral:

  • You can't take a party of friends into a public game. This is nice because it sucks ending up with 2 n00bs against a skilled, skype-using party of 4 friends. It sucks because with the ever-disgusting friend code system, putting together a full-fledged private match is tough to do, with the party system, you only needed half a private match to get a full game going.

by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 24 Jun 2009 22:47
Tags: conduit fps scifi

The Conduit, Promotional unlock Codes

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The following two codes are from Gamestop's special edition of The Conduit for preorders.

NewASE11
SuitMP13

Enter the codes under Extras -> Promotional Code

To turn them on, Extras -> Unlockables -> Cheats


by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 06 May 2009 18:19
Tags: conduit fps preview scifi wii

The Conduit Multiplayer Previewed

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Let's start with the high praise: "It's pretty much what you'd expect from a modern console FPS, but not necessarily what we've come to expect from Nintendo WFC titles." So says Joystiq. So pray we all.

The highlights are that HVS apparently improved performance in the online mode by reducing graphical fidelity (smart move if you ask me). You probably already know that the Conduit reduced the total number of players to 12 from a planned 16. There are seven maps, 3 categories (Team Objective (which includes a CTF sub-type), TDM, FFA), and there seem to game sub-types for each category (Joystiq played a Free For All variant called "Bounty Hunter" where everyone races to be the first one to kill the player designated as the hunted, also spotting a Last Man standing mode and a "King of the Hill"-like mode).

They reported that movement speed felt slow and there was no Sprint option. WiiSpeak lets you talk either to your team or the five nearest players—it's unclear from the preview whether that's automatically chosen based on the mode you're playing, or if you can manually switch it and say, talk to someone on the opposite team in TDM. Everything is as customizable as you've come to expect from HVS, from modes, rules, HUD arrangement and of course, control config.

Read the whole thing and keep marking the time until it releases. Then buy a copy for you and another for a friend. The success of this game reflects not just on the Wii, but probably on its successor too.

There was a past multiplayer demo Sega ran that fell through a little while ago, and I expect this demo will be reported by some other sites soon as well, so keep your eyes open for more impressions.


by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 31 Jan 2009 00:46
Tags: bayonetta conduit madworld preview wii

Happy Groundh...errr, Hedgehog Day

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What's Sega been up to lately? A lot. In a special Sega-day celebration, Kotaku gets their mitts all over a load of great fare:

Madworld

The Conduit

Bayonetta

Well look at that. Sega does what Nintendon't.

Via Kotaku


by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 04 Nov 2008 02:39
Tags: conduit fps friend-codes interview scifi

High Voltage Still Working on Networking

condi.jpg

In an interview with Iran White (IW) at Wiirincontrol.com, Eric Nofsinger again confronted the topic of Friend Codes, empathizing with gamers' frustrations. It is possible to read part of the passage below as saying that Friend Codes are not inevitable, but given the bolded underlined portion (emphasis WiiHD's) a more fair reading simply has Nofsinger explaining, as he has before, that they're doing everything they can to improve the Friend Code system, not trying to bypass it altogether. Some months ago, The Conduit makers alluded to Mario Kart in a pretty positive way, as if it had solved the Friend Code dilemma and they were no longer a problem

IW: Many Xbox 360 and PS3 gamers have a sort of “one eye on it” interest in The Conduit. Graphics aside, for them the clincher will be how well the game plays online. While Friend Codes aren’t a deal breaker, it is a major concern. Has Nintendo given you an explanation for why they are so adamant about the use of Friend Codes for even such a game as The Conduit, even though they’ve built a significant Parental Controls system into the Wii?

EN: Yeah, this is definitely something that we go back and forth with them on. They do have their security issues that we need to be cognizant of. We’re very aware of those concerns and understand where they are coming from with that. But really all we can commit to is creating the best possible experience.

Personally, I’m not a fan of Friend Codes, I don’t think that anyone on the team is a fan of Friend Codes. What we’re promising people is that we’re working with Nintendo, we’ve had them out to the office. We’ve been over to their place. We’re in regular communication with them. It will be as good of an experience on Multiplayer as possible. We know it’s important. We don’t want to let folks down.

IW: Yeah, I understand. It’s Nintendo’s thing, you have to play by their rules.

EN: Yeah, absolutely. And you know, I know that there’s been one notable exception of a game that hasn’t had friend codes. As far as I know, at least from what’s been relayed to us, that exception was a one time thing. It’s something where we need to continue to work with them closely, and figure out something that does hit what they need, but also hits what we need as gamers, you know?

What was that one time exception? Medal of Honor: Heroes 2. An otherwise unremarkable game that may well still be the gold standard in Wii FPS multiplayer even after QoS, Call of Duty and The Conduit come out if Nintendo doesn't get their act together.

wiirincontrol.com Via Gamefaqs user Teh_5_Starz | Permalink


by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 31 Oct 2008 04:18
Tags: conduit fps news scifi

The Conduit's Conduit

conduit.jpg

By now, it's old news. The Conduit will be published by Sega. What does that mean? Nothing particularly good, but nothing particularly bad either. Sega doesn't have the resources to bypass Nintendo's archaic and idiotic Friend Code networking, nor are they likely to have enough influence to convince Nintendo to make exceptions for them. So we've gone from "probably" using friend codes, to yes, we are in fact stuck with them. Yipee.

WiiHD has no particular opinion on Sega's game quality. They're no Capcom, but they aren't churning out mega-crapware either. If they're committed to putting serious dollars behind the promotion of The Conduit, something Nintendo refused to do with MP3C, that could help make sure there is a sequel. We'll see.

WiiHD did have higher hopes for The Conduit's feature set. But oh well. If you can't cope with unnecessary disappointment, Wii is not the best console for you.

Permalink


by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 13 Sep 2008 21:38
Tags: conduit fps friend-codes interview scifi

Death of The Conduit?

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We at WiiHD have made no secret about how much we love The Conduit. We have also done our best to argue against the use of Friend Codes, both here, and in missives sent to the developers. With each day that passes, however, the odds of The Conduit shipping without Friend Codes, as the PSP port Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 has already done, decrease. Today's blow to our hopes and dreams comes from Nintendo Radio. And it's a pretty harsh blow.

Below is a transcript of an excerpt of a Nintendo Radio Podcast (Episode 50 58:40ish to 1:00:40ish). Two developers from High Voltage Software participated, Rob Nichols (lead designer) and Tony Mecca (Animator), however, they neglected to to identify themselves so I can't be 100% sure which voice belonged to which developer. Based on the last quote below, I've assigned the associated voice as Rob Nichols, because that just makes the most sense (he's the guy he has to be the most concerned about not pissing off Nintendo), and the other voice to Tony Mecca. But it's just a guess.

----Begin Transcript----
Probably Rob Nichols:

Ahhh, the infamous friend codes. Ummm, what I can announce on that is we are working very closely with Nintendo. Ummm, we're looking at some possiblilities and some options. If we have to use Friend Codes, which, you know we probably will, I will just say that and make that admission right now, but we're going to make it as streamlined and as fast as.. <audio glitch> Give Nintendo its credit, every time they've come out with a new multiplayer game, which you'll notice, other than EA, Nintendo… first-party games are the only ones that have multiplayer. Every time they've done that, there have been small improvements to the system, and we're going to, you know, try to build up on that as well and work with them to make it even more improved than it has been in the past.

Probably Tony Mecca:

We definitely want gamers to know that we're not all completely hyped up about Friend Codes, especially in the first generation of games that it was used in, you know. And we are definitely interested in getting the best online experience you can get. And we're not, by any means, fans of Friend Codes. <unintelligible> We're looking at every possible option we can possibly have to get you guys online and playing games with friends as fast as possible.

Probably Rob Nichols:

But I mean, folks have to realistically understand, it's Nintendo's system. It's their console, which we have to have their permission and their sign-off for whatever we put into the game. And if Friend Codes are what is, <unintelligible> is gonna be.

Interviewer: I think Nintendo is the only one who enjoys Friend Codes

Probably Rob Nichols:

Well, they, they have their concerns. The play base, there's a lot of hardcore guys who have Wii, of course. Um, but overall, the play base for the Wii tends to skew younger and they're justifiably concerned about that. So….

----End Transcript----

Elsewhere, they confirmed there will be no DLC.

Now that doesn't confirm that the game will use Friend Codes. However, it is the most pessimistic outlook on Friend Codes thus far. If you're willing to read between the lines, it's everything BUT a confirmation. They're saying this now so that when they finally confirm it, it won't be as much of a disappointment. Notice also the rather strained excuses for the Friend Code system, and the oft-heard refrain about how closely they are working with Nintendo. That seems to reinforce rumors about Nintendo as a likely publisher.

It's still a cool game. It can still succeed. But it's fallen from possibly being the greatest 3rd party game on the system, forever. Now it'll probably be the best game on the system until the next game finds a way to avoid Friend Codes. The Single player obviously won't be affected, and if that's why you're buying the game, there's no cause for discouragement. But the single player campaign on Normal is around 8 hours. How much time could you get from the game on multiplayer? Hundreds of hours. How much fun is sucked out of online play by Friend codes? Tons.

We'll doubtless see details about the online system in the near future. As we've explained before, the publisher choice will likely affect the online feature set. So in 2-3 weeks, the full picture will begin to reveal itself.

Nintendo Radio Podcast #50 | Permalink


by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 03 Sep 2008 23:39
Tags: conduit fps news scifi wii

Conduit Publisher: Impending

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From PAX, ArsTechnica reports:

"You want to know about the publisher, don't you?" Rob Nicholls, the game's designer, asked when he saw my media badge. He had effectively read my mind and answered in turn. "We're not ready to officially announce anything, but things are in the works. Look for the word in the coming month."

Over the past few weeks, Nintendo Wii Fanboy has repeatedly noted the oddity of publisher choice being a teaser. They failed to note why, instead making it sound like some sort of off-the-wall decision by a developer that might not know what they're doing. It's valid to note the oddity of the situation. It's very strange not to explain why publisher choice is SO important. So WiiHD will.

Not every publisher can bring their own online network to the table and completely ignore Nintendo's backward FC system (should the need arise). EA has already done it (the need did arise). One presumes Activision could, were they so inclined. If Nintendo were to publish it, obviously they could make any exceptions to their current rule-set that they wanted to (and no one would be happier than WiiHD if Nintendo suddenly went reasonable on us) , but it would be unprecedented.

A game like this, unlike some others, NEEDS a sane lobby system. So far, Nintendo has refused to make that sort of system a part of their Wi-Fi Connection network. So if you want it, you need a publisher willing to provide it, or you need Nintendo to make a BIG change.

Outside of features, one of the reasons this game had been so hyped is that basic game decisions (such as not including the letter "Z" at the end of the title) were made without publisher interference. If a publisher is getting signed now, they still have plenty of time to ruin the game. This consideration favors different publishers, since EA and Activision are often too big to be bothered with quality (especially on Wii). Capcom would be an encouraging choice on the quality front.

If HVS pulls a rabbit out of their hat, and manages to present a publisher capable of providing a full feature set and not ruining the game, it would be about the biggest news of this game's life-cycle. It might also guarantee The Conduit will become one the best games of the Wii's entire lifespan and launch a new franchise as well elevate HVS to the top of the Wii developer ladder. The wrong choice could make The Conduit forgettable and a source of buyer's remorse.

The stuff Wii Fanboy would probably expect to be a publicity tease, like the online feature set, are directly tied to the publisher decision. If you dig back through some earlier interviews, you'll find HVS discussing publishers in relation to feature questions that they couldn't yet answer. Do you want lobbies? Do you want solid communication options? Do you want good matchmaking? Do you want a decent ranking system? Then you care how HVS makes THIS decision. It could be the most defining decision of the game.

And there's more.

"We're going to ship with a full single player campaign and both offline and online multiplayer. We're also working with Nintendo now on getting LAN play working [via system link]."

Off-line multiplayer? Splitscreen has been denied in the past. Did they re-assess that decision? Is the offline some sort of cooperative play with rails or quasi-rails? Or might this be off-line vs? Keep your fingers crossed.

Finally, not content with what they've already got, HVS used their PAX demoing to aggressively solicit feedback from gamers so they can make the most of the next 6 months:

Nicholls admitted that there was much tweaking to be done. "We've been drilling normal [non-media] gamers to get a feel for what works and what doesn't," he said. "We're looking to make the controls not just functional but fun, too." And drill he did. I listened intently as he polled the gaming public about their experience with the game and listened carefully to the feedback, especially the negatives. Without dismissing a single criticism, Nicholls made note of the problems and rewarded gamers' honesty with buttons and shirts.

Via ArsTechnica | Permalink


by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 24 Aug 2008 22:16
Tags: conduit fps interview scifi wii

Destructoid Conduit Interview

conduit_icon.JPG

Not the world's greatest interview. Although it's been edited, it originally left people with the impression that there would be a PC version of The Conduit (look at the author's comments in the comments section). In addition when the interviewer asks about WiiSpeak, the game designer being interviewed seemed to think he was asking about Motion Plus. Then when he does ask about MotionPlus, the answer strays far off course. Was there a lot of noise where the interview took place? That would certainly explain a little.

That said, that strayed Motion Plus answer is probably the most revealing about the game. One feature High Voltage is at least considering is letting you customize your User Interface. Don't like where the ammo indicator is? Move it. Same for all the other UI elements. Would that be useful? Hard to say, but WiiHD would certainly like to find out.

Otherwise there's not a whole lot new to the interview. Enjoy it anyway. The Conduit hasn't had quite as much in the news the past month as it did the month before that. If we're in for a drought, might as well stock up where we can.

Destructoid Via yosouf06 | Permalink


by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles
on 21 Aug 2008 23:33
Tags: conduit fps scifi video wii

The Conduit At Leipzig

We don't post many videos above the break here at WiiHD. That helps keep the front page tidy and responsive. But when it comes to The Conduit, there are no rules.

Via GoNintendo | Permalink


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