Categories
Game Industry Gaming Consoles Kids Games RPG Games Video Games

Episode 70 – Topic Grab Bag

With PAX East and GDC butting up right against each other, coming across a guest was just about impossible. Even the triumphant return of Steve Haske had to call in from GDC. To solve this, we decided to pick some things to talk about that wouldn’t make an entire episode.

Steve talks about what he is anticipating at GDC. He is planning an interview with Suda 51 about his new game, Killer is Dead. As well as Keiji Inafune about his new Ninja Gaiden spin off, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z. CD Project Red is in line for the Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077.

Rich is a big fan of board games, including the impenetrably long and complicated ones. One such game is a 3+ hour adventure in economics called Age of Steam. He talks about a different type of power fantasy, the struggle of social and economic position. A game element not commonly explored by folks who are worried about the possible influence on people.

Finally, Matt is SO excited about the new Ducktales remake! He also talks about how the confluence of marketing, preorders, and embargos have created a unique and consumer-unfriendly economy. An economy that, unfortunately, gamers and fans have been enthusiastically supporting. With the latest Sim City controversy, it seems gamers and journalists are seeing firsthand the destructive nature of an uninformed customer base.

Featuring tracks from Bud Melvin.

Correction: Matt seems to have a tendency to create game studios in his head. The Ducktales game was indeed entirely developed by Capcom.

Categories
Game Industry Gaming Consoles Kids Games Retro Gaming Video Games

Spoilerific Ep 1 – Bioshock Infinite

Spoilerific will be a monthly show released on the last Wednesday of the month where Matt invites a guest to talk about what they loved, hated, admired, and to generally dig deeper into our favorite games. This episode I talk with A Jumps B Shoot’s Social Media Manager, Jarrett Civelli, about tears, happiness, sadness, longing, and obscenely beautiful sceneries as we spoil the shit out of Bioshock Infinite. Play the game first, we implore you.

Categories
Game Industry Games Gaming Consoles PS4 Games Retro Gaming RPG Games Video Games

Episode 64 – Violence in Context

There is a conversation in America about violence in videogames. While the cool-headed and rational among us don’t believe this medium signals the end times, the debate—or blame—rages on. And the points of either side rarely change. Yet the treatment of violence in games can be a constructive thing. It can emulate the sense of chaos and horror and confusion the average person would experience in a real life firefight, as Kane & Lynch 2 does.

The particulars or gravity of the situation may shift, but violence is also an inevitable part of any survival scenario. How far would you go to stay alive in, say, Fallout 3’s post-apocalyptic wasteland? Would you let your moral compass guide you? Or murder a stranger just because you want his cool hat?

Perhaps, as is so often the case, you’re the archetypal hero. One minute you’re riddling enemies with bullets— one cannon fodder target after the next in endless ways—then the story turns in on itself, forcing you, the player, to question who exactly you really are and what the consequences of your actions might be. Games  like Spec Ops: The Line, Shadow of the Colossus, Far Cry 2 and The Walking Dead make it impossible to separate violence from narrative, either forcing you along an unsure path or to shaping your experience, however unwillingly, into a personal psychological profile.

Let’s talk about violence. All of it.

Categories
Game Industry Games Gaming Consoles Retro Gaming Video Games

Episode 75 – Death Becomes Us

Death can either mean everything or nothing in a game. It can be the central obstacle to overcome or a minor inconvenience in a grand adventure. Whatever it means, it’s influence on how we approach and play games is undeniable.

We invite Stu Horvath, editor in chief of Unwinnable, to talk about this macabre mechanic. We talk about games that don’t make death a huge ordeal like Fez and the Lego games. How their focus on exploration and chance taking defines their place in games. We then move on to death teaching us the game, rogue-likes, retro games, and the rise of “hardcore” play-throughs.

We survived this episode, you can too!

Categories
Game Industry Gaming Consoles Kids Games Video Games

Episode 77 – The $325,000 Console

The new A Jumps B Shoots studio is up! Sorry about how long this took. We recorded an episode about the new console generation before E3. Our intention was to release our thoughts both pre and post E3 however, the move of the studio proved to be quite an undertaking (it included the rest of my belongings as well). However, this episode still represents our thoughts about the upcoming generation of consoles. Let us know what you think!

Update: Microsoft has dropped their DRM and 24 hour internet check in! Maybe they are listening.

Categories
Game Industry Game Reviews Video Games

Episode 68 – Laying an Electronic Frontier Foundation

Laws in the United States have famously been lagging behind the break neck speed of video game technology. For a long time we’ve had our white knight represent us in court cases and with patent law, the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

We invite Richard Esguerra, Director of Development for the EFF, to help us navigate this web of end user agreements, DRM, patent law, and the issue of ownership on digital downloads. The landscape of law surrounding video games are still in their formative years. There are still a lot of purposed ideas for how to legislate ownership and distribution, but nothing really concrete. This is where the EFF comes in to make sure the rights of the user are upheld.

I highly recommend, if you have the means, to donate to the EFF, become a member, or volunteer.

Featuring tracks by Turtlesaur.

Categories
Game Industry Game Reviews Games Kids Games Retro Gaming

Spoilerific Ep 2 – Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption is Rockstar Game’s love letter to the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone and American tales of Robert Ford framed as their signature open world. This episode I am joined by Tayo from the Dangerous Kids podcast to take this game piece by piece and analyse what we love and hate about one of our favorite games. From the beautiful scenery, to the nutjob characters, to the surprisingly engaging story, there is a lot of love about saddling a horse and taking a ride through this unique world. This may go without saying but: spoilers abound!

Categories
Game Industry Games

Episode 80 – Gamers to the North

Canada’s game industry contributed 2.3 billion dollars to the country’s GDP, according to ESA Canada. Some of the best games of last year came out of Canada. The strongest development communities call cities in Canada their home. These are not insignifigant elements to making a stronger world-wide game industry.

We invite real-life Canadian and creator of Retro City Rampage, Brian Provinciano, on to the show to talk about indie development communities, solid game studios, and the Full Indie Summit. We also talk about how major game studios are positioning themselves in Canada and how it’s helping/hurting.

Brian also regales us with the tales of his nightmarish distrobution schedule and organization across platforms and regions. Important information for anyone looking to publish their game themselves.

Featuring music from Kris Keyser’s self titled album.