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2:30 PM on 01.26.2014

Sup Holmes goes to Pleasantville with Ackk Studios

Today on Sup Holmes we'll be visited by Brian and Andrew Allanson, the two brothers who created Two Brothers. We'll be talking to them about what it was like to start their own studio from scratch, the risk they took on ...

Jonathan Holmes



Making games about being an awful man with Austin J. photo
Making games about being an awful man with Austin J.
by Jonathan Holmes

A week and a half ago on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we welcomed Austin Jorgensen to the program. Austin is a professional martial artist who was inspired by the SNES classic RPG Earthbound to start making his own videogames. Austin's first game, aptly titled Lisa The First, was inspired by some undisclosed "bad stuff" that happened between one of his former girlfriends and her father. It was stuff that would never go away, and would never stop affecting her.

What do you do when you're faced with something that leaves you completely powerless and lost? If you're Austin Jorgensen, you make a videogame about it. 

Austin has gone forward from that perspective with a new game called Lisa the painful RPG. While the scenario is different from Lisa The First, the theme of being haunted by the awfulness of a man remains the same. The major difference is, this time it's not just one man, it's all men, because men are the only ones left. In a world with no women, there's no hope for a future and no reason to even try to be anything but terrible. Drug addiction, prostitution, and cannibalism are inevitable in a world like this, but so is the capacity to maintain some form of compassion for other human beings... right? We'll have to play the game ourselves to find out. 

These are just a few of the things we talked on the show, and it only got more interesting from there. Why not twiddle away your precious time on this planet with a listen, and while you're at it, come on back this Sunday when we welcome Ackk Studios (Two Brothers, Y2K) to the live show at 1pm PST/4pm EST. It's going to be a treat!

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2:30 PM on 01.19.2014

Sup Holmes passes the doctrine with Jason Rohrer

Today on Sup Holmes we welcome Jason Rohrer to the program. Jason is one of the fathers of the modern indie game landscape. While the PS3/360/Wii "next gen" marketing train was yelling in our faces that cut scenes, motion con...

Jonathan Holmes

2:00 PM on 01.12.2014

Sup Holmes gets dismal with Lisa's Austin Jorgensen

This week on Sup Holmes we welcome Austin Jorgensen to the program. Austin is a professional martial artist and part time hunk, but that hasn't stopped him from setting forth on developing one of the most unhinged role playin...

Jonathan Holmes

2:30 PM on 01.05.2014

Sup Holmes sucks it down with Soda Drinker Pro's Will B.

This week on Sup Holmes, we welcome Will Brierly to the program. Will's probably best known for the unfairly compelling underground hit Soda Drinker Pro, and why not? The New York Post, The Boston Herald, and the French think...

Jonathan Holmes



Nintendo squashed Earthbound dev's book plans, and more photo
Nintendo squashed Earthbound dev's book plans, and more
by Jonathan Holmes

Last week on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes), we spent a fast hour and a half with Marcus Lindblom, localization and translation head on Earthbound. Having gotten his start as a tech adviser and game counselor, he was eventually promoted to work on localization and copy editing, with Wario's Woods being one of his first games. From there he moved on to work on Earthbound (writing a lot of the jokes, naming items, and creating new objects like the Eraser Eraser when needed), and eventually to other huge franchises like Destroy All Humans, Evil Dead: Regeneration, and... Halo 4? I doubt you saw that one coming.

With over 20 years in the industry, Marcus had a wealth of insights, opinions and anecdotes to share. We talked about his dreams of making a new Mother game with Shigesato Itoi that focuses on reliving the levity and sweetness found in Earthbound, how he's saddened by the the way certain AAA games seem to have a pre-installed review score of 9/10 or above based solely on their budgets and intellectual properties, how he's quite unhappy with a lot of his work on Earthbound and would love to re-write it, his plans for a new Facebook-based RTS, and so much more.

The saddest, most surprising bit for me was when he revealed former plans to write a book about his experiences working on Earthbound, only to have Nintendo ask him not to go forward with the project. With Earthbound finding new success on the Wii U virtual console (reportedly selling more copies on re-release than it did initially on the SNES), I'd think that Nintendo would want to jump on anything that will help keep the game in the headlines and fans feeling passionate and talkative about the game. I suppose this goes right in line with their attitude towards shutting down Lets Players. I know there are plenty of people within the company that are firmly against that kind of thing, though history would prove that they are often overruled. 

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12:15 PM on 12.29.2013

Sup Holmes erases the eraser with Marcus Lindblom

This week on Sup Holmes we welcome Marcus Linblom to the program. Marcus is an long time veteran of the videogame industry with over 25 years of experience in the industry, having worked on more franchises that you can count,...

Jonathan Holmes



Fjords dev on the spaces where great things can happen photo
Fjords dev on the spaces where great things can happen
by Jonathan Holmes

Last week's Sup Holmes (now in iTunes) with Kyle Reimengartin (Fjords, Lazer Catz) was one for the books. The central theme of the episode was about the energy that can be found in negative space, which was ironic, as there wasn't a heck of a lot of negative space in our discussion. Kyle was on fire, talking about how important it is to leave room for players/students to make something their own, the power of Chibi Robo, how food is everything, the way ShareCart 1000 turns videogames into living things, how supplemental material like guides can combine with a game create something larger than the sum of their parts, how to create art for games on your phone, and so much more. 

Kyle is one of those developers that I'm grateful to have on the show before he gets too big and untouchable, which could happen any second now. His brain is built for making videogames, and it's only a matter of time before one of those games launches him into the world of fame and fortune. Thanks again to Kyle for being on the show, and tune in tomorrow at 1pm PST/4pm when we welcome Marcus Lindblom (Earthbound, Carried Away Games) to the program. 

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2:25 PM on 12.22.2013

Sup Holmes puts it on the pizza with Kyle Reimergartin

[Update: Fjords is on sale for just $1.31 until midnight tonight, so get it for cheap while you can.] Today on Sup Holmes we welcome Kyle Reimergartin to the program. According to Kyle's bio, he "...lives on the Olympic ...

Jonathan Holmes



The Superman principle, piracy and more with Crazy Viking photo
The Superman principle, piracy and more with Crazy Viking
by Jonathan Holmes

Last Sunday on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we were talking to Taron Millet and Kristofor Durrschmidt of Crazy Viking Studios -- two developers with some of the most interesting origin stories in gaming. Taron got his start on Atari computers, and Kris got his first job by showing German porn comics to Mormons. That could only lead to good things.

Over the course of their careers at Griptonite, they worked on the Lego Star Wars series, Spyro, Assassin's Creed, Shinobi, and a lot more. After Griptonite was bought out, their focus changed from handheld adaptations of home console releases to freemium mobile games, so Taron and Kris went off on their own with their first independent game, Volgarr the Viking.

We talk about the importance of giving the player character weaknesses for the player to overcome by building their skill, the idea of utilizing the "arcade" pay system on PC/Console games, the advantage of sprite-based graphics in 2D action/platformers, what it was like to work on so many legendary franchises, how it felt to see that only 4% of people playing their game bought it, the old Griptonite Vs Wayforward rivalry, hints about their next game, and a lot more. 

Thanks so much to Taron and Kris for hanging out, and join us tomorrow at 1pm PST/4pm EST when we welcome Kyle Reimergartin (Fjords) to the program. It's going to be a holiday flavorite. 

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The passion and resilience of Super Comboman's Justin W. photo
The passion and resilience of Super Comboman's Justin W.
by Jonathan Holmes

Eight days ago on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we were joined by Interabang Entertainment's Justin Woodward. His story is among the most engaging we've had on the show yet. Justin went from hustling burnt CD to gaining two college degrees, from using his college loans to fund his game to appearing on the IGN reality show The Game House (along with Soundodger+'s Michael Molinari), from moving out to Silent Hill to moving in with Gish co-creator Alex Austin, from failure to success on Kickstarter, from losing it all to the cusp of stardom. Justin's game isn't even out yet and he's already had enough adventures in game development to fill a lifetime. 

We also remembered to talk about his upcoming game Super Comboman -- a beautiful 2D side-scrolling brawler that allows skilled players to start a combo on the first enemy in a stage that continues on until the very end of the level. Struggles, the game's protagonist, doesn't fit the mold of your average action hero. He's overweight, has a fanny pack and a "front mullet", though these surface level flaws only work to make his perseverance through hardships even more admirable. I was surprised to learn that the the character was inspired by the passion and dedication of real life children with developmental disabilities. All the more evidence that there's more to the work of Interabang Entertainment than you may see on the surface. 

Thanks so much to Justin for appearing on the show, and tune in next Sunday when we welcome Kyle Reimergartin (Fjords) to the program. It's going to tectonic. 

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2:50 PM on 12.15.2013

Sup Holmes ravages and savages with Crazy Viking Studios

This week on Sup Holmes we close up Adult Swimember with Kristofor Durrschmidt (Crazy Viking Studios) of Volgarr the Viking fame. We'll be talking Kris about what drove him to create the greatest Rastan game never made, what ...

Jonathan Holmes



One Mr Bean talks Namco, T.F., Bullet Hell, and more photo
One Mr Bean talks Namco, T.F., Bullet Hell, and more
by Jonathan Holmes

8 days ago on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we welcomed Michael Molinari to the program. Michael has been developing games since high school, starting the the Team Fortress fan games T.F. Larry: Guard Duty and its sequel T.F. Larry: Reinstatement. Inspired by the increasing quality of CGI special effects in films such as Spider-Man, a lifelong passion for Basketball, and of course, a love of videogames, Michael set out into the world of videogame development. 

This led to a career of balancing more personal projects like How My Grandfather Won The War[Together] ...But That Was [Yesterday], and BasketBelle with work at Namco Bandai's now defuncted iOS division. It sounds like Michael learned a lot from his time at Namco, mostly about how not to do things. From being blocked off from utilizing Namco's most iconic I.P.s, to seeing the creator of such hits as Mr. Driller shuffled into positions far below his worth (mywords, not Michael's), there were many fore-tellers of doom to be seen, and Michael was their to witness them all first t first hand. After rapping up work on Rocket Fox, the iOS studio at Namco-Bandai was closed, and Michael was off on his own. That led him to Adult Swim Games and the release Soundoger+ -- a love letter to high intensity rhythm games like Pump it Up and pacifist bullet hell shmups like Ikaruga.

We discussed all these things, plus Michael's thoughts on the importance of streaming and local multi-player in his life, the joy of discovering new ways to experience games (like the Green Demon challenge in Super Mario 64), suffering the bad fortune of being in the first batch of Steam Greenlight games, and a lot more. Thanks again to Michael for appearing on the show, and be sure to tune in next week when we Adult Swimember continues with the Crazy Viking Studios, creators of Volgarr the Viking.

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2:45 PM on 12.08.2013

Sup Holmes is super with combo man Justin Woodward

This week on Sup Holmes we continue Adult Swimember with Justing Woodward of Interabang Entertainment. Justin's worked in the industry for years, but it probably best known for Super Comboman, the 2D action platformer with be...

Jonathan Holmes

2:15 PM on 12.01.2013

Sup Holmes is stabbed by sound with Michael Molinari

Today on Sup Holmes we kick off Adult Swimember with Soundodger+ and Basketbelle's Michael Mollinari. Rumor has it that Michael also on the iOS version of Bit.Trip BEAT, which is one of my favorite games ever. Michael's relat...

Jonathan Holmes



Dead or Alive, Cubone and panty sniffing w/ Cristina Vee photo
Dead or Alive, Cubone and panty sniffing w/ Cristina Vee
by Jonathan Holmes

Last Sunday on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we were treated to company of Cristina Vee, voice actress for League of Legends, BlazBlue, Tekken: Blood Vengence, Skullgirls, Pokemon Origins and many other games and animated films. She is utterly charming, almost to the point of inducing speechlessness.

On one hand you have her compelling underdog story -- learning to overcome shyness through discovering anime and its surrounding fan community,  getting discovered online for singing anime theme songs, getting her first job in the industry as a teenager, and finally making it to the success she's found today. On the other hand, you have her personality -- a mix of wit, shyness, and slightly unhinged creativity. Over the course of the show she became Pokemon Cubone, sang about Rainicorns, and auditioned with me for the role of Marie Rose, the new Dead or Alive fighter. I made up lines for her to read on the spot about bunk beds and Burger King for her to read in-character. Her performance was flawless. Tecmo Koei would do well to sign her for the roll ASAP. 

We also talked about what it's like to be typecast, the growing attention that games are getting from Hollywood actors, what its like to to do voice acting for perverts and sex secenes, and so much more. Thanks again to Cristina for appearing on the show, and please tune in tomorrow at 1pm PST/4pm EST when we kick off Adult Swimbemer with Soundodger+'s Michael Molinari. 

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