Episode 135: 403º Wet Blanket Grab

Spoiler alert: we welcome Alex Damrath back into the fold, who was away to find his place in the world, and the Brothers IRL stop by to talk about all the games they hate.

We share our sad horse stories and our feelings on a Power Rangers union. Alex’s MAG needs to be fed thoughts and prayers to stay satiated, and we discuss all the game projects we’re hard at work on: from Joe’s game Time Christ to Alex’s games Woodsy and Playground.

Here are some links for you to peruse: the hot and fresh RVA Game Jams Discord, where you can discuss game dev, and the Instant Friends Discord, where you can talk smack about teens playing Fortnite.

Lastly, we end on an hour of spoiler-filled Infinity War talk, so come take a listen if you’ve already seen the latest superhero romp.

Games include Minit, Pyre, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Sea of Thieves, Fortnite, Shadow of the Colossus, Monster Hunter: World, Horizon: Zero Dawn, The Last of Us: Remastered, Polytopia, Tiny Tower, Chroma Squad, Eldritch, Phantasy Star Online, Midair, Eldewrito, Part Time UFO, Battlerite, Aegis Defenders, Persona 5, and God of War.

Episode 134: At What Cost

This week, Dylan is joined by Mike Rose, founder of indie publisher No More Robots, returning home after running back-to-back booths at both PAX East and EGX Rezzed.

Mike discusses the unique marketing and release plan decisions he makes based on the needs of each game, from releasing Descenders on Early Access to creating gamified Discord servers for each of his titles.

And with No More Robots’ Game 1 nearing its Xbox One launch and Game 2 coming up on its release this summer, we take some time to talk about Mike’s plans for Game 3: Hypnospace Outlaw!

We also chat about incorrectly using SteamSpy’s data, establishing relations with publishers and platform holders, and properly reading the strengths and weaknesses of your game project.

Games include Descenders and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Episode 133: A Busman’s Holiday

This episode, Dylan is joined by Mike Bithell, creator of such games as Thomas Was Alone, Volume, and Subsurface Circular.

They discuss narrative design within Mike’s games, the need to be prolific, and the difficulty in finding time to play your colleagues’ works.

Also on the docket: how to give advice to aspiring indies while also being aware of survivorship bias, getting pitched on blockchain at GDC, the Game Dev Business Handbook, the current state of the British games industry, and more!

Games include Thomas Was Alone and Far Cry 5.

Episode 132: Kill Will

Dylan, Ruthie Edwards, and Momin Khan conspire together about how to take out Will and steal his game jam powers.

We check in with Salty Bet to see how the free-wheeling, copyright-infringing fighting game world is doing while also doing a post-Ludum Dare 41 run down. LD 41’s theme was “two incompatible genres,” and Ruthie and Momin talk about their games Calculator Sweat! VR and Zap Herder.

We take a turn towards Kongregate, discussing news of Kartridge’s revenue share plans for developers, with some Newgrounds talk added into the mix for good measure.

In other news, SteamSpy is sorta back, and Valve is acquiring Campo Santo?!

Games include Florence, Zap Herder, Burnout Paradise Remastered, Woodsy, I am Tree, Pix Eliz Great Curse of the Cards, Outlaw Mayor Panic!, Samurai Shaver, and God of War.

Episode 131: Snez

This week, Dylan is joined by Alex Berry, animator on The Swords of Ditto.

Coming from TV animation, Alex discusses adapting his skills to working in games as well as working remotely with the team at onebitbeyond. With Devolver taking on the role of publisher for the game, we talk about what it’s like working with them and how The Swords of Ditto stands out from the rest of Devolver’s catalog.

We also make a quick detour to discuss cartoon influences of ages past as well as a short chat about organized labor in games.

Games include Minit and The Swords of Ditto.

Episode 130: Radio Town

Blessed with the news that You Don’t Know Jack will be returning for Jackbox Party Pack 5, Dylan, Will, and Ruthie Edwards convene to discuss this new golden age.

Will keeps trying to bring the podcast down with Gundam talk, but we reign him in with a walk down memory lane with games of the Sim variety. Ruthie talks about her trip to Japan, Dylan talks about all the games he’s played the past couple weeks, and we all talk about Billy Mitchell’s fall from grace, the shuttering of SteamSpy, and more!

Games include Persona 5, Project Highrise, Sanrio World Smash Ball!, Jubeat, Densha de Go!, Super Mario Odyssey, Kirby Star Allies, Nano Golf, Dragon Quest: Monsters, SolarStriker, Lego Island 2: The Brickster’s Revenge, Minit, What the Golf?, Hypnospace Outlaw, Desert Child, Plunge, The Adventure Pals, Celeste, Doomwheel, Ape Out, Pikuniku, Overwatch, Burnout Paradise Remastered, Night in the Woods, and Thomas Was Alone.

Episode 129: Hidden Gems of PAX East II

Mason, Dylan, Felix Kramer, and Mike Futter ascend the stage at the Bumblebee Theatre to talk about all the hidden gems at PAX East 2018. Follow along with the panel slides here.

From the panel description:

“PAX East is filled with a plethora of things to do, see, and play. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed, but don’t worry! We’re here to help point you in the direction of everything cool, new, and unexpected. Using our collective knowledge of game development and game criticism, we’ll share and discuss some of the biggest surprises on the show floor that you won’t want to miss.”

Games include Descenders, Death Trash, Frostpunk, Log Jammers, Children of Morta, With Friends Like These, Fight Knight, Qinoto, Omensight, Intergalactic Space Princess, Joggernauts, Church in the Darkness, Mask of Semblance, Mask of Semblance: The Trading Card Game, and King of the Hat.

Episode 128: Indie Megaguild

Will, Dylan, and Mike Odum convene for a post-GDC discussion.

Dylan regails us with stories of adventures faraway, from Bit Bash to Train Jam to GDC. His Train Jam game, Track Trek, was made in collaboration with Matt Gambell, Keaton White, and Craig Barnes and is available for all to play (as long as you have two Xbox controllers).

We also discuss GDC experiences, unsuccessful game pitches, and determining success. The conference brought its own share of meaty topics, including unionization in the games industry, the future of GDC, and the current American political climate’s effect on international developers’ attendance, most readily seen in the #1ReasonToBe panel.

We conclude by catching up on Will’s game – working title: Oddish Adventure – currently on version 0.0.3, and Mike updates us on Clash Cup Turbo’s development and multiplayer beta.

Next up on Wardcast: Hidden Gems of PAX East II, an interview with Alex Berry from The Swords of Ditto, an interview with Mike Bithell, and more!

Games include The Moon Fields, Time Crisis II, and Superhot.

Episode 127: My Brother, Smash

Will and Dylan are joined by RVA Game Jams member, artist, and animator extraordinaire Emily Kundrot.

We discuss Will’s ongoing game development, some code refactoring, and the economic principles behind Late Stage Nugget Math

A new Nintendo Direct happened, where we learned that everyone is just trying to Smash, Sun Bros are turning into amiibros, and the dreaded Bean Fever is spreading.

Emily reintroduces us to the prehistoric game, chess, and its mutant spawn, chess boxing. All the while, Dylan preps for Train Jam and GDC next week.

Games include Splatoon 2, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and Puyo Puyo Tetris.

Episode 126: Cart Smashin’

This week, Dylan is joined by Jonathan Lehr, managing public relations at retro game-focused indie developer Mega Cat Studios, about to release their latest games Coffee Crisis and Log Jammers.

Jonathan discusses the wild world of retro cart development and how to best work with talent – especially when they need to be familiar with older technologies.

We also chat about how supportive the game development community is, the historically low barrier to entry for current indies, and more.