Guys, guys, guys! What, now listen to me here... what if I - bear with me! What if I, that's really awesome guys, what if I'd post an interview with Jinx 01?!
Allright then, first question: how did you end up on Destructoid? What made you stay?
I honestly can't remember how I first ended up on Destructoid. I'm guessing for a news story linked from elsewhere. I liked the attitude of the site, and that it was set up nicely so you could have good discussions in the article comments. That was enough to keep me... I got interested in the Cblogs later on, partly because I found myself writing such huge answers on the comment sections it seemed like I should juts blog them instead.
So it seems like a logical step that you ended up with the Recappers. How did it happen?
Well, I'd been blogging for a while, even had three of my more professional blogs promoted to the front page. So... I was already involved pretty regularly, and most of the other recappers knew who I was. One of them mentioned that they needed a Sunday recapper in their own recaps - I think poor Phil was doing the entire weekend! So I volunteered. It seemed like a good way to get myself more involved in the community, and reading more blogs. Also - let's face it - recaps are also like having a little weekly mini-blog of your own. Half of the job is the recaps, half of it is providing some fun content to go with it.
But I'm pretty sure having contributed a lot of solid blogs myself was what got me the job. I don't think we'd want someone as a recapper who barely blogged themselves, or didn't read anyone else's blogs!
Speaking about quality, let's get the most stock question out of the way: favorite game – favorite game character – favorite scene from a videogame – favorite dialogue from a game? You may add other favorites to the list as you please.
Ahhhh so many games... hard to choose just one...
: Borderlands 2. It's hard to choose because I like all genres... but what floors me about BL2 is that it manages to mix so many genres effectively. If you look at a game like Fallout 3, it's also mixes RPG/FPS. But the shooting is clunky as hell. Borderlands 2 mixes genres without sacrificing the quality of any of them. That's really special. Also, it doesn't take itself too seriously. More games need to remember that people want to have fun.
: Lara Croft The new one. I love that she starts as a pretty regular person, and goes through this transformation through the game. It's scary, really- she becomes a bit of a monster herself, she start to revel in the violence. Not really sure where they'll take her from here, but I want the next game to be focused on character development as well as action.
Okay, here's the problem- the best scenes are usually spoilers. The entire ending of Bioshock Infinite was fantastic, and full of so many smaller scenes... some soft, some hitting you like a hammer. Alice Madness Returns also had a fantastic scene at the end, one final act of violence - in the real world - that literally made me jump up and yell "YES!"
Beginnings are important, too... that train car ride into Black Mesa in Half-Life 1 is classic. It also set up that sort of "rolling intro" you see in games like Arkham Asylum or Bioshock. Parts that are semi-interactive, but mostly just setting the stage - by introducing the setting.
: Bioshock Infinite: "Booker, are you afraid of God?" "No, but I'm afraid of you." The first dialogue in the game. I don't even think it's ever shown again in any context? But it says so much, and it reverberates with the ending so well. Bioshock Infinite isn't a science fiction story, not really. It's a story about the redemption of Booker Dewitt, a man who considers himself irredeemable, who doesn't ask for forgiveness because he feels he deserves none. He's afraid of Elizabeth - whether he realizes it or not - because ultimately she's the only one who can judge him.
Favorite *Quote*, on the other hand... GLaDOS
: "There was even going to be a party for you. A big party that all your friends were invited to. I invited your best friend, the Companion Cube. Of course, he couldn't come because you murdered him. All your other friends couldn't come, either, because you don't have any other friends because of how unlikable you are. It says so right here in your personnel file: "Unlikable. Liked by no one. A bitter, unlikable loner, whose passing shall not be mourned. Shall NOT be mourned." That's exactly what it says. Very formal. Very official. It also says you were adopted, so that's funny, too."
You could take one member of the DToid staff to dinner. Who would you take where?
If I could hang with a Dtoid staffer I'd rather spend the time talking not eating. So I'm gonna say I'd drag Jim Sterling out for coffee.
When I first started coming to Destructoid, I kind of bought into Jim's Jimquisition persona. Also, wtf was with that Witcher 2 review?! But as time went on - and, particularly, as Jim began to take on more serious issues - I started to realize he was a damn smart guy. I see Jim as kind of the Stephen Colbert of game journalism. Both of them kind of play the fool... but use that role to say things that need to be said. Though I'd say Jim's a bit more direct. If someone's full of shit, he'll say it to their face. I've been really disappointed in the gamer community over the last few years. The misogyny, the homophobia, and the general hostility and ignorant boy's club mentality have left me ashamed to be associated with it. I always thought of gamers as a pretty intelligent, progressive lot. I guess not so much. But that's why we need people like Jim out there being loud and fighting the good fight. Seeing people like him who are willing to speak out, and getting to know some genuinely good people on Destructoid, are what have kept me from leaving the community entirely.
Away from disappointment to thing you enjoyed: what was the last game that touched you?
I hate going back to mentioning the same games, but definitely Bioshock Infinite. I wrote a blog a while back about complicity in games - how when the player character does something, you often feel responsible even if you didn't make the choice. That's not something a movie or book can do.
Infinite really tore at me as we learned more and more about Booker's backstory. It's a terrible thing to find out you aren't as good a person as you thought you were, and that's what it was to be Booker Dewitt. Everyone talks about the metaphysical aspects of BI, but the emotional hit it gave me lasted long after the game ended.
Mortal Kombat Komplete touched me, too. Not so much in my heart or mind, though. More, you know, in my bathing-suit area.
If you could punch anyone on DToid, who would it be?
Staff or community or either?
You have the complete freedom of choice.
Hmmm sometimes I kinda want to punch PopetheRevXXVIII, usually because he said something to offend the Glorious PC Gaming Master Race. But like most of the people I argue with on Destructoid, I kinda like the guy and have some good times talking with him, too.
Also, we glorious PC gaming gods should show benevolence toward our poor, imperfect counterparts. Forgive them, Lord Gaben, they know not what they say.
Show us an image that describes you in a nuthsell.
Consider that a deep insight into where I see my life going.
Nah, seriously. This will not end well. But in the meantime I'll get to play some pretty rad videogames, so there's that at least lol.
Speaking of rad videogames: imagine you could take reig over one videogame IP. Total control. What IP would you choose and what would you do with it?
Oooooooo... hmm. Actually, I would like a new Phantasy Star... but none of this online bullshit.
What instead then? A traditional RPG? Or go into a completly new direction?
I'd like to do something more like Skyrim with it, or perhaps like Dungeon Siege II with the mix of realtime combat with a team of characters.
I loved the world in Phantasy Star II, I'd love to see it done on a huge scale.
And the mix of fantasy and high technology would feel fresh compared to the dreary worlds of Skyrim or Fallout, much as I love both (and both can be beautiful).
I'm just tired of certain parts of jrpgs, but I do enjoy some of the themes... I'd like to see that taken into a more modern (coughWESTERNcough) style of game.
I really do feel Japanese devs have fallen behind in some ways. They certainly aren't leading the industry like in the 80s/90s, that's for sure.
Oh, and the companion system would work nicely, too. I looked for a Skyrim version of Nei, but couldn't find one. *sad*
Do you think that there is a game or a franchise that had such a bad effect on the scene or industry as a whole, that you would like to see it erased from collective memory, on the other hand?
I'm less concerned about specific games than other trends I see. I mean, people bitch about the homogenization of games, and most people would probably answer "Call of Duty!" to your question. But the truth is, there's more variety out there in games than ever if you have the slightest motivation to look for it. People bitching about lack of innovation and brown, cover-based shooters should get their ass away from AAA titles once in a while. I don't play *any* of those games and my Steam library is massive and diverse.
One thing that does concern me is Free-to-Play, though.
I'm not saying it can't work for some games, or is always bad.
However, in the case of F2P, the pay scheme dictates the game's structure.
Spicy Horse's Akaneiro: Demon Hunters - which should have been a $10 title, as it's basically a very light Diablo-style title - has been totally ruined by the pay scheme imo.
And other games have been affected as well. I was so disheartened when I heard Hawken was going free-to-play. It basically ruled out the possibility of there being any single play campaign. I also feel the prices of things in these games is grossly inflated. I enjoyed Star Trek Online and Akaneiro for a while. But the prices in both games were totally outrageous. I would have spent a *lot* of money on STO if I felt I was getting a good deal. But $20 for a ship? $5 for a set of a few uniforms? Fuck that.
But still, it can work for certain games. But I feel having lower in-game prices, or simply selling the whole game cheaper, would be better in the long run. I am really looking forward to Survarium, and I'm hoping to hell that the F2P pay scheme doesn't ruin the game. I'd much rather pay $60 out of my pocket for the whole game. It looks like a marriage of Stalker and DayZ, who the hell wouldn't pay $60? (I'll tell you who: HITLER)
So you would rather be happy to see more experiments in gaming, even if those might be failures?
Yeah, though it's obviously a big risk when making a high budget game. We complain about AAA games playing it too safe, but on some level that's understandable.
Back when I was into modding in the old Half-Life 1 scene, mods were a big source of innovation. As one of the other mappers put it once, mods can take risks retail games can't.
And that has worked out in some cases... Natural Selection 1 was a Half-Life 1 mod! And Counter-Strike went from a mod to a retail game, as did Team Fortress.
I think, for better or for worse, a lot of the innovation is now being done on the indie front, though.
While the modding scene is doing mindblowing work - just look at the huge story expansion people have made for Bethesda titles - it doesn't seem to be doing as much risky, original work. Modders seem focused on expanding and enhancing current games they are fans of, rather than taking those as a base for an entirely new game.
I mean, I don't see total conversions that take one type of game and dramatically change it into something different. You saw that a lot more in the past I think. I modded for Action Half-Life, and the Action series is inspired by action movies. It played nothing like the original Half-Life, and it was a point of pride that we had all-new maps and models and content.
Now what you'd probably see are people revamping the graphics or tweaking the gameplay, but still sticking with the core gameplay of the base game. And that's great... but even the massive Stalker overhauls I see aren't "mods" in the old sense. They aren't taking the game engine and making an entirely new game out of it.
It might just be that with more SDKs openly available it makes more sense for those people to make stand-alone games. Why make a mod for Unreal Tournament 3 when you can just make a stand-alone game with the Unreal SDK and sell it? So maybe that's why there's been a shift.
n a way, though, I *don't* like that. The mod scene used to be about community, about making things together, about getting fan feedback, about *free shit*. There was always a sense of generosity there. But now it's all being monetized, even individual items can now be *sold* on Steam. Back in the day the idea of doing that would have felt wrong. We contributed our time for free and for fun, not for money.
Well, not all being monetized, but you can see a shift to this work being sold in more cases. That's one thing I really don't like about where Valve is taking Steam. Maybe people do deserve money for the work they do - and it's a LOT of work - but it doesn't feel right.
Sorry for these massive replies This whole thing is going to be way too long for most people to stick with if isn't cut down or split up or something. And I don't know if anyone care what the hell I think rofl.
Allright, first of all: thanks for the interview and your long answers. The last words are yours.
Well, at the end of the day, I think everyone in the community should remember that games are about fun. There are some serious issues to discuss, especially right now. But at the end of the day, after we've got the venting out of our system, we all love games. And it's a wonderful thing that it can bring so many different people together, even if they argue a lot sometimes