Episode 164: The Quiet Man Fan

Dylan is joined by Patrick Klepek – senior reporter at Waypoint and champion of The Quiet Man.

Patrick discusses his thoughts on a previous article he wrote about being both an Internet personality and a reporter, his relationship with his fans, and the eternal search for authenticity, as seen in things like the Thrillist article about trying to find the best burger in America. (We’d also be remiss if we didn’t include this additional information that came about about the owner of Stanich’s – the restaurant discussed in the Thrillist piece – after the article was first published. Content warning for domestic abuse.)

We also talk about the continued democratization of both games media and game development; Jessica Price’s article, “In search of real criticism”, and our rejection of the idea that there is no good contemporary games criticism; and Patrick’s favorite games he’s played this year as well as his personal spin on a game of the year list.

Games include The Quiet Man, Yoku’s Island Express, Moss, Astro Bot Rescue Mission, and Vampyr.

Episode 163: Playover States

This week, Dylan is joined by the team at Space Mace GamesZachary Johnson, Robert Frost, and Tommy Sunders – developers of Joggernauts!

The guys chat about the game dev scene in Minneapolis, what it was like developing for the Switch and creating a relationship with Nintendo, their art pipeline for the game, the importance of doing the convention circuit, and working with their publisher, Graffiti Games!

Games include Joggernauts, Ghost Dentist VR, Breaker, and Red Hot Ricochet.

Episode 162: Oprah or Bust

On a reflective episode, Dylan is joined by Kahlief Adams – host of Spawn On Me!

We discuss some podcast inside baseball – including how to run shows that include social and political topics, our goals for 2019, and awesome opportunities we’ve had from being podcasters, which wouldn’t be possible without the many mentors and friends Dylan and Kahlief wish to thank for helping along the way.

Episode 161: And Now You’re Working!

Kevin Regamey – co-founder and creative director at Power Up Audio – swings in to talk all things audio design. Kevin discusses audio solutions they’ve provided to games in the past and present, including Towerfall Ascension, Crypt of the NecroDancer, Tooth and Tail, Celeste, Descenders, Super Meat Boy Forever, and Tunic.

We also converse about other great examples of modern audio design, such as Spider-Man’s exertion-based dialog performance, dynamic interruption systems, dialog hierarchies, and 2D sound occlusion.

And we make sure to make mention of Kevin’s small contribution to Homestuck, how audio can provide accessibility options to player, the usage of formants in Celeste, and Reel Talk – Kevin’s audio design feedback show.

Games include Red Dead Redemption II and A Way Out.

Episode 160: The Tragic Work Week

This week, Dylan is aided by the impeccable talents of experience designer Nelson Johnson and video game attorney Noah Downs.

Together, they tackle a big topic: the conversation revolving around Rockstar’s labor practices after Dan Houser gave a quote about working 100 hour weeks during the development of Red Dead Redemption II. We discuss top level management’s role in building a culture of overwork and blind acceptance of the treatment of their developers, and we imagine what the future could possibly look like with an organized work force.

We also talk about horse crashes, marble streams, Noah’s time at TwitchCon, and Nelson’s new podcast, the Video Game Book Club.

Games include Red Dead Redemption II, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Half-Life.

Episode 159: Wad of Gore

In the lead up to Best Games Played, we decided to dedicate most of an episode to talk about God of War, a game that recontextualizes a historically gratuitous and overwrought franchise, revealing greater depth that was first hinted at with its predecessor, God of War III. It contains a suite of skill sets that combine for some interesting combat experiences, all wrapped within one of the best narratives we’ve played this year.

So in case it wasn’t obvious, this episode will spoil the entirety of God of War. Listen at your own risk!

Games include God of War, Thumper, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Kingdom Death: Monster, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, Monster Hunter: World, and Part Time UFO.

Episode 158: Animation is My Passion

Frank DiCola – artist on puzzle game Where Shadows Slumber and founder of Game Revenant – returns to the podcast after the release of their game on iOS. Since Frank last joined us at MAGFest, he lets us how the game’s been doing.

Frank also chats about strategies to promote a mobile game on the Apple App Store, how and when to respond to negative reviewers, and the New York City indie and game convention scene.

Games include Where Shadows Slumber.

Episode 157: The Great Indiepression

In an emergency roundtable, we’re joined by Justin Mitchell and Robby Ciszek to talk Metroidvanias in eternal development, stories of childhood friends stealing our games, and the future of consoles.

The indiepocalypse strikes back – with an article by a Polygon article realizing that (gasp!) there are too many games, GameIndustry.biz providing a poor solution to the “problem,” followed up by Zach Gage and Brandon Keogh’s thoughts on the matter.

We also discuss an update on the Telltale saga, our thoughts on a Harry Potter RPG, and more.

Games include Thumper, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Warhammer: Vermintide 2, Super Dodge Ball, River City Ransom, Super Mario Bros. 3, Chasm, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Dragon Quest: Builders, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Episode 156: Economic Anxiety Informs My Narrative Design

Joining us this week is Kevin Snow – narrative designer and creator of Southern Monsters.

With Hurricane Florence still a fresh memory, we talk about the threat of natural disasters making you feel financially exposed – especially when you work freelance.

Kevin further talks about their work on Where the Water Tastes Like Wine; the spectrum of narrative design in games, from holistic design to scene and dialog writing; their games writing influences, including Twine works from Porpentine and Michael Lutz; and their games criticism work on Waypoint and CapsuleCrit.

Games include Subserial Network and Extreme Meat Punks Forever.

Episode 155: Where Do You Call Home?

This week, Matt “2Mello” Hopkins – composer, sound designer, and artist – joins us to discuss the ins and outs of audio. From working on soundtracks and compilations to differentiating composition work from sound design, we run through the gamut of audio work in games, including Mello’s conscious effort to take a step away from the industry due to its pervasive labor issues.

Mello also discusses his podcast, The Sample Study, his dream of becoming a sample historian, and the joys and stresses of running a podcast.

Games include Marvel’s Spider-Man; Subsurface Circular; Get in the Car, Loser!; and Animal Crossing: New Leaf.