Death of The Conduit?
13 Sep 2008 21:38
David MarseillesDavid Marseilles

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.

The Conduit Gallery


Screenshots:


The manual from 4colorrebellion.

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Nintendo Radio Podcast #50 | Permalink


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