What compels us to spend 25, 40, 50, even 70+ hours on a single game? We think we've figured it out. Join us for conversation about Dragon Age, Assassin's Creed 2, Way of the Samurai 3, Torchlight and Borderlands DLC. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim "Yes, I Like Borderlands Now" Spaeth.

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Tim Spaeth

Tim Spaeth

Cleveland native Tim Spaeth grew up in a happy household – a household with a father whose major client happened to be an Atari games distributor. This led directly to Tim's first nickname: "The kid who got Atari games before anyone else." Indeed, he knew Pac-Man and E.T. were colossal bombs weeks before the rest of the world, and the resulting celebrity brought him great pleasure.

Through the years every aspect of Tim's life has been touched by gaming. He mastered typing thanks to Space Quest, honed his poker skills on The Sierra Network, and learned to hate after a particularly traumatic game of Tecmo Super Bowl.

Today, Tim lives in Chicago with his three kids and strives to find that perfect balance between family, career, and Warcraft. He enjoys broadcasting, martial arts, rock and roll, growing and shaving his beard, singing show tunes to the homeless, and losing at Mario Kart to his lovely, talented, and amazing girlfriend.

In late 2008, Tim became the producer and host of the GameCritics.com Podcast, and he's thrilled to be bringing GameCritics' unique editorial voice to a brand new medium.
Tim Spaeth

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14 Comments on "GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 27: What Compels You to Play?"

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Tim Spaeth
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Tim Spaeth
6 years 9 months ago

Thanks for that Poole quote, Odofakyodo. Certainly he said it much more eloquently than I did. I plan to check out that book now. As for my graphics comment, it was more of an off-the-cuff joke than serious analysis, but you’re absolutely right. Not that it matters, but I made the comment about Too Human; I haven’t played Infamous yet. The concept applies either way.

Odofakyodo
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Odofakyodo
6 years 9 months ago
At the end of the show the point was brought up that none of you mentioned awesome graphics as a feature that will compel you to continue playing a game. I agree with the idea that graphics in and of themselves are not usually a big factor, but I want to go a bit further: I think graphics are very important insofar as they are a tool to communicate the game rules and events and thereby augment the other items on your list. For example, during Tim’s comments on Borderlands he mentioned that one compelling aspect of games for him… Read more »
Alex R
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6 years 9 months ago

IIRC, the AC2 song from the podcast plays when you’re doing an assassination side mission. No matter how you feel about the game, you gotta admit it has a great score!

Tim Spaeth
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Tim Spaeth
6 years 9 months ago

The music this week (from memory since I’m at work):

Opening Theme: Silver Surfer NES
Assassin’s Creed 2 (Chase Music?)
Seven Samurai (Music from the film)
Diablo I (Music from the town)
Borderlands (Intro song)
Closing Theme: Ultima IX Ending Credits

crackajack
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crackajack
6 years 9 months ago
I fucking hate it when a game is long (let’s say 20+ hours) and it doesn’t compel me to go through in one approach (without week or months of pause) and in worst, most unsatisfactory case not to finish at all. Morrowind and Boiling Point are two examples were i wasted nearly 100 hours without finishing it. The fact that i never knew if i had advanced a bit or i’m still in the middle of the story drove me crazy. No feedback at all. BP was also buggy and both had no particular good presented story. (TES3 may have… Read more »
Hereticked
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Hereticked
6 years 9 months ago

It’s from one of the Assassin’s Creed soundtracks, not sure if it’s 1 or 2 off the top of my head though…

ckzatwork
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ckzatwork
6 years 9 months ago

where’s the music from at 19:42?

Hereticked
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Hereticked
6 years 9 months ago
With few exceptions I always finish the games I start, especially games with a narrative because once I’ve put in X amount of time I’d just feel lazy/cheated/lame if I didn’t see it through to the end. That said, I agree with the general sentiment that once you’ve seen all there is to see in a game, there’s usually not much incentive to go back and play it again. In fact, over the last 10 years I think the only (lengthy) games I played through 3 times or more were Final Fantasy 7, Vagrant Story and Jade Empire. Those rpgs,… Read more »
Zolos
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Zolos
6 years 9 months ago
I would like to pick up on Tim’s turnaround on Borderlands after around the 10 hour mark. There are games that simply by their very nature or maybe bad game design require a gamer to really invest a lot of time to really get the most out of it. Right now i am trying (that’s the correct word, trying)to play Solium Infernum but there is a very high barrier to entry. I am sure once (and if)i am over that then the game might take off. That’s what i hear about Dwarf Fortress for example. That’s my experience with Demon’s… Read more »
Richard Naik
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Richard Naik
6 years 9 months ago
Once I start playing a longer game and I get engaged (or compelled I suppose), 99% of the time I will finish it. Right now Dragon Age has me hooked, and after 77 hours and one restart after not liking how my character was shaping up, I still plan on finishing it. I also love that they did away with the karma meter-that’s something I’ve been wanting for a while. Also, I can vouch for the PCs combat system-it isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it’s workable enough and I haven’t run into any glitches so far. Playing as a mage is… Read more »
Alex R
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6 years 9 months ago
That’s so weird! I don’t do this all that much any more, but I used to stop playing games right before the final areas as well. Sometimes it was because the boss or whatever was too hard, but sometimes it was just for no apparent reason. Maybe I didn’t want it to end? I dunno! Bizarre. Personally, I love a game with interesting characters. A decent plot is also a plus but characterization and character development (not the stat-building kind) are what I love about my favorite games (particularly interaction between characters!). It drives me up a wall when people… Read more »
Tim Spaeth
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Tim Spaeth
6 years 9 months ago

This is pretty common, apparently. I sat at the final areas of both Final Fantasy VI (III) and Ocarina of Time for about a decade before I finished them. I seem to recall being intimated by the perceived complexity of the final areas. FFVI splits your party into three groups and for some reason that scared me off. For ten years. Reality is, those levels weren’t difficult at all.

Chi Kong Lui
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Chi Kong Lui
6 years 9 months ago
[quote=Vince]In truth, I have stopped with Fallout. I also stopped with Fable. So close to finishing, but something in my brain is telling me since I am so close to finishing I have seen everything there is to see. Now I have no interest. I haven’t seen the ending, true, but somehow the payoff doesn’t seem worth the further investment. Also, other games come along to steal my time.[/quote] Wow, I do the same thing as well. Although I made it to the end of Fallout 3, I never finished Oblivion and Ocarina of Time despite the end in sight.… Read more »
Vince
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Vince
6 years 9 months ago
The game I have probably sunk the most time into has to be Fallout 3. And what kept me going was a combination of looting, level grinding, and story progression. If I was interested in the story itself, I could have been done rather quickly. If I didn’t go do some side quests I never would have gained a pet dog or found an alien blaster (more ammo, please). If a game fails to draw me in with any of those elements then I will stop. In truth, I have stopped with Fallout. I also stopped with Fable. So close… Read more »
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