The Axe Factor 155: Hands Off My Ogre

That's no tactical swine, its The Axe Factor! This week, we join the Broforce, ponder Orcs Must Die: Unchained, discuss Shuhei Yoshida's recent comments that the Facebook purchase of Oculus Rift validates VR and Sony's Project Morpheus.


This Week:

What We’re Watching:

Broforce - February update trailer - Character Trailer

Below - Polygon Preview 

Civilization: Beyond Earth (Announcement)

Orcs Must Die! Unchained

What We’re Reading: 

Sony's Shuhei Yoshida loves that Facebook bought Oculus, says it he...

What We’re Playing:

The Golf Club Beta

Ether One - Finished

South Park Stick of Truth

FTL (iPad)

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Trials Fusion


Views: 1357

Tags: The Axe Factor, podcasts

Comment by Ian - Alexander Arts on April 15, 2014 at 7:33am

Sid Meier and Firaxis have already made a game similar to the premise of Civilization Beyond Earth. It was called "Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri."

Alpha Centauri

The name comes from the actual star system which is the closest to our own in the galaxy. The game was set in the 22md century and instead of famous civilizations to choose from there were fictional factions based on different ideologies.

There were Gaia's Stepdaughters, Human Hive, University of Planet, Morgan Industries, Spartan Federation, Lord's Believers, and Peacekeeping Forces.

I really hope the new game takes what they've learned from Civ 5 and XCOM to make something new and exciting! Civ 5 was one of my favorite games in recent memory and I am still regularly playing it.

Comment by Corax on April 15, 2014 at 8:23am

PAX East was a little disappointing announcement wise, I was expecting more trailers and announcements. Maybe they saving it for E3.

Actually what I'm most excited about with VR outside gaming is simply desktop use. Being able to travel with a VR headset and thus get what would essential be a multi-monitor setup in a small package.

I hope too see XCOM on next weeks What We're Playing list. Personally I have 200+ hours in that game!

Comment by Lorin Baumgarten on April 15, 2014 at 9:29am

@Ian - thanks for the info about Alpha Centauri...I had no idea.  I should be careful when making sweeping statements like "the first time..." :)  I can't wait to see what they do with Beyond Earth too, though!

Comment by Ivan on April 15, 2014 at 11:47am

I look forward to the opportunity to try the Rift.  I am going by Lorin's words that the game changes once you have tried the device over your head; however, at the same time, when I consider VR, the Matrix films have set the bar so high that I don't want to wear some device over my head; knock me out and ram an RF input into my brain and beam me up Scottie.

Comment by DefGeoff256 on April 15, 2014 at 2:45pm

I'm happy that you guys are so excited for the Rift/Morpheus thought experiment experiments that you guys think that this whole VR thing is going to become.  I truly hope that you guys are right about the things that will be done with this new technology, but I can't help but temper your zeal somewhat with some scepticism...

In the world of media and entertainment the old saying goes 'content content is king,' and that will be true of Rift/Morpheus.  And right now I don't see the proof of your thought experiments.  There's no solid example of compelling finished content outside of the one off, choreographed experiences that either come with the dev kits or are seen at conventions.  It's promising technology, but I don't see a compelling reason to use it in everyday life.  Part of that is my cold, hard, pragmatism.  But the other part of that is my experience making content for current technologies and seeing the 'unforeseen' pitfalls in creating content for this new technology.  

While this does represent a wide array of possible content it remains to be seen whether or not anyone can use this technology in an effective way.  Taking a 2D, flat screen, experience and translating that to a fully immersive VR experience will take real artistry.  Hell, even 3D movies have a huge problem with utilizing that technology in any meaningful way and now we're talking about exponentially growing the amount of work needed to make content for VR... 

Comment by Frank Tenpenny on April 15, 2014 at 5:42pm

Just throwing this out there:

Not quite a game, more of an interactive procedurally generated multi-user online horror film. You and a dozen friends have an after party at a cottage out on Crystal Lake...

You get where I'm going with this. This is the catch though: no happy ending, just see how long you can survive.

Comment by Lance Latham on April 15, 2014 at 6:22pm

I see Yoshida's closing statements about how Morpheus "just works" as being less of a jab at Oculus and more of an indication how it will work out of the box for console users. They are making a product for a specific segment of the consumer market who don't want to jack around with PC specs and hard/software tweaks. For myself, I am more interested in the Morpheus right now for that reason: with two kids and a house on the way, I have little time and patience to figure out how to make stuff work - I just want it to work. But it seems that the Oculus might be the first out of the gate in this VR race. If that is the case, I may have to upgrade my PC gaming rig and bit the Rift bullet.

Comment by Johan - neM1_ on April 15, 2014 at 6:42pm
Thank you SO much for the copy of Ether One! It was profoundly fun to dig back for gaming memories, and reading others' - making me think of oh so many more myself. This is why I love this community.

About VR, and the headsets specifically, I've said it before and I'll say it again: I never saw them as a specifically gaming peripheral with the cost of something like a motion controller, but for what it actually is: an endless monitor. The one thing that I could imagine being the biggest hurdle for the headsets, is the somewhat jarring feeling of "blindness" from completely loosing track of your surroundings in the real world. Slap some cameras on the front of the device so that you could have the option to "see through it", and I say you have a home-treater google glass to possibly replace all tv's or other monitors in your home.
Comment by Frank Tenpenny on April 15, 2014 at 7:56pm

P.S. The aforementioned idea was specifically a VR application.

Comment by Christopher Brady on April 15, 2014 at 7:57pm

I don't think VR will take off as well as Loren, Brent, Sony and Occulus thinks it will.  In fact, they're the only ones who think so.  A lot of the market is looking at the headwear and shaking their heads.  I mean, have you seen how it looks from the outside?  Not to mention sensory deprivation, and safety issues.  When you have that headset on, you're focusing, and only seeing, what the headset is giving you.  What if you're house is on fire, like the couch, because someone in the house knocked over the ashtray onto the carpet.  If you're lucky, and/or smart, you haven't disabled the fire alarm's screech.  And how fast do you think you can take that off anyway?

I don't know, I don't think it'll fly as hard as everyone here thinks it would.  I think there are too many things that need to be examined first, and personal safety is a HUGE one.


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The Axe Factor Poll!

Do YOU think console makers should keep it simple?
Yes, I need a controller, graphic horsepower, and an 'on' button...that's it 0%
Its not realistic to think mainstream consumers will buy a device that only does one thing0%
I actually like all the entertainment options and hope they can be balanced with gaming0%
Keeping it simple is fine, but if everyone does that then no one stands out; console makers half to also stand apart0%


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