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2:28 PM on 06.15.2014

(NVGR) Why I quit The Dismal Jesters



As some of you may know, I was doing a Podcast with former Dtoid writers Conrad Zimmerman and Jim Sterling called The Dismal Jesters. It was more-or-less a continuation of the version of Podtoid that Jim put together in 2011. The first cast was me, Jim, Max Scoville and our former Dtoid show co-host Tara Long. Then it was just me and Jim for a while. Then Conrad and Hamza would join in sometimes. Then Conrad became a regular. Now it's just Jim and Conrad, though my understanding is that they're looking to start a new show with a new cast member. 

I think the show has something between 12K and 22K regular listeners, and since last week, a lot of them asked why I quit the show. So I'm here to say something about that!

It wasn't because I didn't like doing the show. Jim is endlessly amazing and fun. Conrad is smart as a whip, sniper like with his humor and spot on observations. It wasn't because the listeners were jerks either. They were largely awesome to me, and even when they weren't, the worst I'd likely get is a slightly off-putting reference to a past episode or some other form Jimpersonation that was easy enough to deal with. 

So why did I quit? There are actually a ton of reasons, large and small, why its smarter for me not be on a show like Dismal Jesters than for me to be on a show like Dismal Jesters. Not more fun, just smarter. I'm not going to get into them all though, because it's reaaaaally hard for me to imagine that they are all that interesting, but I will talk a little about the #1 reason-

It's a really, really dumb idea to work in health care and be on a semi-popular podcast where your friend almost always verbalizes his fantasies about killing you and/or having sex with you and/or doing some crimes. 

If I worked at a day job in a field like accounting, or carpentry, then I could probably be on Dismal Jesters and without worrying about it coming back to bite me. Or if Dismal Jesters had like 500 listeners, then I probably could have gotten away with it and still worked in health care. But I've been getting recognized on the street from the show more and more. People find me on twitter and ask me to explain the meaning of pages on the Podtoid/Dismal Jesters site that describe human mutilation multiple derogatory labels for people that suffer from mental illness, etc. As time went on, it appeared more and more likely that eventually, one of my patients or coworkers stumble upon the show someday continued to mount, so I had to quit. 

I want to try to do something else with Jim and Conrad. I already offered to do a videogame podcast or a movie commentary podcast or something, anything that isn't often about putting me in the spotlight and/or the shitlight would probably be fine, as long as it doesn't get to popular. I also offered to close out Dismal Jesters with another episode or two, as taking a risk on a couple more shows wouldn't likely do much more damage than has already been done. They didn't seem into it though. We'll see what happens in the future. 

For now, I am glad to that I no longer have to wrestle with the fact that the surreal, fun, and almost always disgusting conversations I have with my friends are being shared with the public anymore. I'm going to miss talking to Conrad and Jim every week. That was the point of doing the show for me. I also feel badly about letting down the people who enjoyed the show and wanted it to keep going, but they have +3 years of the show to listen to if they want, so I think they'll be OK. More so, I'm sure Jim and Conrad's next show will be even better than what we've been doing. Most Dismal Jesters listeners will likely forget about me within a month or so. 

Still, if there was a guarantee that only the people who would ever listen to the show, read about the show, and make fan art related to the show are the people who are into it now, then I would probably keep doing it. As it is, I'm already risking a good amount by writing blogs like this and doing other internet stuff. Doing game blogs and internet videos is worth the risk though, as it's a big part of who I am. 

Ultimately, Dismal Jesters wasn't worth the risk, as it's not a big part of who I am. It was just recordings of me talking to my friends. The fact that it developed the most passionate fanbase out of all the things I've ever done is a puzzle, but we don't get to choose what others appreciate (or don't appreciate) about us. We only get to choose what we do with our lives, and hope for the best from there.

I hope for the best for Jim, Conrad, and all the listeners. Thanks for everything guys.   read


12:35 PM on 06.01.2014

Sup Holmes returns today at 4pm with Mike K from Ludum Dare

Hello!

Thanks again to everyone that supported the Sup Holmes Kickstarter! We made almost 3 times our initial goal. We totally won. 

The show is coming back today with Mike Kasprzak, one of the organizers of the Ludum Dare Gamejam organization. Some of the biggest names in small development (Vlambeer, Terry Kavanaugh, Sophie Houlden) are regular participants in Ludum Dare. It's one of the best places for a new developer to get started, so restarting Sup Holmes with one of the people who help keep it alive seemed like the perfect choice. 

We're going to be streaming the show through youtube now, so check it out as it airs, along with all the reruns, right here if you want!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdrTuPTfMeC-ctHlS2qPWPw

Hooray!   read


8:04 PM on 03.03.2014

Why I love videogame magazines

As some of you may know, Dtoid Reviews editor Chris Carter, former Dtoid powerhouse Tony Ponce, and myself have been working with a conclave of nerds and videogame experts on making a print magazine called Nintendo Force. We had seven issues go to print last year, which was pretty neat. Year 2 is on Kickstarter now if you want to check it out.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/910078610/nf-magazine-year-2-subscriptions

Print is expensive, and the magazine doesn't run any ads, so that means that there isn't much money to go around. By that I mean, there isn't any money, but that hasn't stopped us from working our butts off to make the magazine as great as we can, especially Tony, who's written some amazing features for the thing. 

Why have we volunteered to put so much time and energy into creating a videogame magazine, when we could be spending the same time and energy working on "profit deal" website like Destructoid? 

Just like my old friend Clarissa, this video explains it all.

  read


7:51 PM on 12.15.2013

New Podtoid animation

Classic Jim stuff. It's goooood.    read


10:03 AM on 11.09.2013

New Jim Sterling Podcast, Teenage Pokemon, other stuff

Hi everybody! I've been working on a lot of stuff. Here is some of it!



Jim Sterling, Conrad Zimmerman and I used to host Podtoid. Now we host a show called The Dismal Jesters. It's almost exactly like how Podtoid used to be, except with some differences. It's funny how just hanging the name and the venue of a podcast can bring a different psychological element to the chemistry. We're having a good time with it so far and I bet we'll keep going for a while. 

You can find it on iTunes here, Twitter here, and RSS here



We're also working on a new episode of Teenage Pokemon. I wasn't sure I was going to keep going with the series, as producing Season 2 was really exhausting and anxiety inducing. Then I had an idea I that I couldn't stop thinking about, asked one of the animators if he could put together the visuals relatively quickly, and checked with Machinima to see if they could pay him. It all worked out, and the episode should be coming this month, next month at the latest. 


We've also been working on a new cartoon for Machinima and a beautiful man named Tor about drunk Nintendo characters. It's pretty cute. First episode for that should be done this month too. 



The big-ish thing in the oven is a new show for Dtoid with Caitlin Cooke. Dtoid has a loooooot of new stuff planned right now, so it's not a sure thing that this show will fit in the overall picture, but I hope it does, because Caitlin is hilarious. We've only show a pilot so far, but is was so much fun to make. Hopefully we'll get to keep making more.

OK. those are the things! I hope you like them!   read


12:44 PM on 10.21.2013

Top Ten things I like Pokemon X/Y

10)  New trainer 2D art. It's a little sterile, and doesn't fit with the rest of the game, but as stand alone art its pretty charming.

9) Some of those Mega Evolutions. They look pretty neat. 

8) Pokemon Amie. It gets boring fast, but rubbing a Gloom for a second has it's charms.

7) Rollerskates. Especially slow rollerskating. The animation is freaking adorable.

6) Torchic running around in a circle. It's beyond freaking adorable

5) Gulpin's attack animation. It's awesome. 

4) That kid wearing the Vanillite t-shirt. It would be awesome if he'd stop talking forever, but he has great taste in shirts. 

3) New Experience Share. Now Pokemon is finally like a normal RPG. 

2) Online features. I think I'll just stick with these from here on out. Chris Carters' recent tips for trading may help me to catch them all without even playing the rest of the game.

1) The new Pokemon. I love 'em. Hope they get their own game someday.   read


9:39 AM on 08.03.2013

Pikmin 3 audio review, Teen PKMN merch, essay and free underwear

Hello!

First, here is a audio review of Pikmin 3. It was going to be used for a video review of the game, but in the end, it wasn't. Some people like it. 

Is this a thing you'd like to hear more of? Also, feel free to make your own video with the track if you want. Some of you seem to like doing that sort of thing.

[embed]259287:49852:0[/embed]

Second, here is a short reflection on Teenage Pokemon by Jonathan Glover of Sprites and Dice. It's called "What Teenage Pokemon taught me about my teenage self". It's pretty great. The line "These Pokemon are probably the most realistic teenagers I have ever encountered in fiction, and that's because they're not all written to be likable" means a lot to me. 

Thirdly, Michael "@mukyou" Jordan made a bunch of Teenage Pokemon merch, including shirts, phone cases, and underwear. Full disclosure - I'm not getting one red cent from the sales of these items. All the proceeds go to Michael and the artists from the show. I want them to get money for their hard work and I want people to wear Jim Sterling's glasses on their fannys. That's why I'm telling you about this, and that's why I might buy you some underwear. 



The first three people who tweet about the store and get 50 retweets will get a free pair of Ditto underwear. I'm not sure if any of you will be able to get that to happen, but if you do, I will be impressed and you will get booty shorts. So that's neat. 

Thanks for reading!   read


4:28 PM on 04.01.2013

Adorable people is why I keep trying to make things

A lot of people told me right off the bat that I shouldn't make teenage pokemon, that I was doing it wrong and that i was trying too hard or not trying hard enough or that just watching the show gave them a terminal illness. That made me wonder "Am I making the world a worse place by trying to make my idea?"

This video proved to me that it was good that I tried to make my idea.

  read


7:11 AM on 03.25.2013

Talk Fast with Anthony Burch (choose your own interview)

We started a new interview series called "Talk Fast" at PAX East this year and it was fun to do. We did one with Anthony Burch of Borderlands 2 and Runner fame, but the sound didn't sound.

You can play God by adding your own subtitles and/or talking to is. So do that. Do that now.

  read


7:31 PM on 02.08.2013

NF Magazine (formerly Nintendo Force) now up for subscription



Tony Ponce, a bunch of other great people, and myself are all working on a sequel magazine to Nintendo Power. The first issue cost like $18 or something wild like that. All the profits went to charity, but still...yikes. That's a lot of money for a magazine, guys. Good thing it's a collectors item.

The high price didn't stop it from being a success though. Thanks to that success, we're coming back with more issues, this time for cheaper. You can get a yearly subscription of the digital version for $20, the physical version for $30, and a combo for $40.

https://checkout.subscriptiongenius.com/nintendoforcemagazine.com/

If we keep picking up steam, we may even start running ads in the thing. That would allow us to sell it for even cheaper.

So that's fun.   read


3:16 PM on 01.01.2013

My Top games of 2012

Hamza told me to make a list of my favorite games of 2012 if I had any down time. I don't have any down time. I really should be recording more Teenage Pokemon audio, but that's really stressful (but really fun once you get past the fear of fucking up).

Instead, I will procrastinate by making a list of some games I like this year. For Hamza!

Rhythm Heaven Fever- It's the best surrealist rhythm game ever made. Sorry Lammy! I love you too

Skullgirls- If you didn't buy this game because it only has 8 characters, you failed. You will get way more than $15 worth of fun from mastering this fighter. It's basically the best Darkstalkers sequel never made.

Fez- It's a great place to be, and I love it.

Spelunky HD- It's a terrible place to be, but I love it.

La-Mulana- It's the WORST place to be, but I TOTALLY love it.

The Last Story- I get why people wouldn't enjoy it, but the game had just the right mix of genuine quality, and old-school, accidental self parody to make it work for me. The characters have the same charming, childliek quality of those found in something like Shenmue or Resident Evil 1, but the ideas and concepts behind the game are nearly as great as Final Fantasy 9's. I went in with low expectations, but had an amazing time.

Retro City Rampage- This is the kind of game that could only come from the mind of one very passionate fan of the medium. Having the opportunity to drive through the mind of a man like Brian Provinciano is pleasure indeed.

Cave Story Halloween re-make- It's Cave Story with Freddy Krueger, Samus Aran, and Morrigan from Darkstalkers.

Sakura Samurai- Punch Out crossed with Zelda in a feudal Japanese setting.

Little Inferno- It's like Cow Clicker on steroids.

Areo Porter- The game captures all the incredible pain and stress that can come from having a simple, seemingly unimportant job perfectly.

Hotline Miami- Death is real and it is awful.

Tokyo Jungle- I just bought it and it's so great, like a realistic version of Cubivore. This is the kind of game I wish Sony would trumpet instead of quietly sneak out the back door on PSN.

Lollipop Chainsaw- There are few videogame characters I relate more to than Juliet Starling.

Edit- Adding more games

Mutant Mudds- Like Fez, Mutant Mudds requires you to constantly shift your interpretation of the game's world due to the 3D nature of the playfield. Like Super Meat Boy, La-Mulana, and Spelunky, Mutant Mudds readies you to face seamingly insurmountable odds at any time, with only your understanding of how to "drive" your character around the playfield and your quick reflexes to help you survive.

Unlike those games, Mutant Mudds is also gives you a taste of power fantasy. You start off with a powerful lead character who has both a gun and a jetpack! Pretty intense, and quite unusual for the disempowerment-centric sub genre of "retro 2D platformer" The way the game balances player empowerment with raw challenge is one of the many things that make it special. Also, you can play as a grandma. It's rad.

Dsy4ia- Games are the greatest artistic medium we have for stepping into the skin of another human being. While most of you probably have no idea what it's like to experience gender reassignment, I promise you'll have a much stronger idea of the emotions involved in the process after playing this game. So go do that. It's free.

Resident Evil: Revelations- It's the real Resident Evil 6.

Edit- Adding more games again. Probably for the last time. This procrastination is getting ridiculous.

Adventure Time: Hey Ice king Why'd You Steal our Garbage- Some of the best graphics and music in any game ever. Remains extremely loyal to the source material. If this were my first 2D action/adventure/platformer, it would have etched itself in my mind as one of the best games ever, if not THE best. It's only because of my age and my brain that I just love it instead of TOTALLY loving it.

Denpa Men- It's a hard as hell turn based RPG about collecting little weird men in one piece pajamas and making them kill giant flying alligators.

Mighty Switch Force- Very similar to Mutant Mudds in the way it combines player empowerment, old school challenge, and messing with player focus and perspective, except Switch Force has more of a puzzle focus. It also has an ugly checkpoint dog. I love it.

Lone Survivor- The best 2D horror game ever made. Delves in the psychology of solitude, the paranoia of suspecting that both your internal and external world's are out to get you, and feeling of intimacy between between player, player character, and game developer that seems unique to games such as this. It's a special thing.

And there are a lot more games than that, but those are a few that I loved. I hope you like the list, Hamza![b]   read


8:53 PM on 11.16.2012

My 100 (or so) favorite Wii exclusives (a work in progress)



Here is a list I've been working on for a few months (off and on). I was hoping to complete it after playing Kiki Trick and Dragon Quest X (as I feel like they'd end up ranking on here somewhere), but I don't know if and when that's going to happen. In fact, I'm not sure the "real" list is ever going to happen at all. This thing was supposed to be a top shelf, high class, Destructoid front page product, complete with little write ups on each game but for a variety of reasons, that's looking less and less like a possibility.

Contrary to what some may believe, I actually don't think that my opinion is all that interesting. I have very limited time and energy these days, and to use those resources to put something together that I don't even fin that interesting seems like a waste, especially when I could be using that time to do something that's a lot more worthwhile to the readers (like reviewing of Adventure Time: Hey Ice King Why'd You Steal Our Garbage).

That said, enough of you have asked me to try to throw together a list Wii games that are worth looking into, and I'm flattered as fuck that you'd be interested. I'd be a feel like a heel if I didn't make some effort to try to meet those requests, so here goes.

(Note: Not all of these games are Wii exclusives anymore. If they came to other home consoles, they required the PS Move in order to offer a similar experience as they did on the Wii, or came out way later, or both. That makes them legit in my mind.)

105) Alien Crush Returns
104) Rune Factory: Frontier
103) The Munchables
102) Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers
101) Disaster: Day of Crisis
100) Excite Bots
99) Pokemon Rumble
98) Star Soldier R
97) Metroid: Other M
96) Domino Rally
95) Alien Soldier (Virtual Console U.S. exclusive)
94) Bonzai Barber
93) Star Parodier (Virtual Console U.S. exclusive)
92) Pulse Man (Virtual Console U.S. exclusive)
91) NyxQuest
90) Strong Bad series
89) Opoona
88) Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King
87) Sonic Colors
86) Dead Space: Extraction
85) Wii Play: Motion
84) Epic Mickey
83) Battalion Wars 2
82) Night of the Sacrifice
81) Gradius 2 (Virtual Console U.S. exclusive)
80) Batman: The Brave and the Bold
79) Boom Blox 1 & 2
78) Elebits
77) House of the Dead: Overkill
76) Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi
75) Excitebike: World Rally
74) Ivy The Kiwi?
73) Ultimate Shooting Anthology
72) GoldenEye Remake
71) Final Fantasy 4: The After Years
70) Gradius Rebirth
69) De Blob
68) Wario Land: Shake It
67) Cho Aniki (Virtual Console U.S. exclusive)
66) Kororinpa: Marble Saga
65) Lets Tap
64) Dead Rising Chop Till You Drop
63) Another Code R (Trace Memory 2)
62) Muscle March
61) Pandora's Tower
60) Tomena Sanner
59) Lit
58) Contra Rebirth
57) Blast Works
56) Castlevania Rebirth
55) Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Dark Lord
54) President Cat (import)
53) Wario Ware: Smooth Moves
52) Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles & Darkside Chronicles
51) Lost Winds 1 & 2
50) Lost in Shadow
49) And Yet It Moves
50) You, Me, and the Cubes
48) Do Ri Me Fantasy (Virtual Console U.S. exclusive)
47) Lets Catch
46) Klonoa
45) A Boy and His Blob
44) Snowpack Park
43) Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
42) Murmasa: The Demon Blade
41) Fire Emblem: Radient Dawn
40) Fragile Dreams
39) Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat NPC
38) MadWorld
37) Kirby's Epic Yarn
36) Xenoblade
35) Geometry Wars: Galaxies
34) Syobon Action (Wii Homebrew)
33) Super Paper Mario
32) Sin and Punishment (Virtual Console U.S. exclusive)
31) The Last Story
30) Captain Rainbow (import)
29) Metal Slug Anthology
28) Okami: Wii Edition
27) Fatal Frame 4/Fatal Frame 2: Wii Edition
26) La-Mulana
25) Trauma Center/Team series
24) Monster Hunter Tri
23) Sin and Punishment 2
22) Little King's Story
21) No More Heroes
20) Animal Crossing: City Folk
19) Kirby's Return to Dreamland
18) Zack and Wiki
17) New Super Mario Bros Wii
16) Tatsunoko Vs Capcom
15) Zelda: Twilight Princess
14) Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (Virtual Console U.S. exclusive)
13) Donkey Kong Country Returns
12) World of Goo
11) Punch-Out!!
10) Cave Story
9) No More Heroes 2
8) Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition
7) Rhythm Heaven Fever
6) Super Mario Galaxy
5) Zelda: Skyward Sword
4) Metroid Prime Trilogy
3) Bit.Trip Complete
2) Super Mario Galaxy 2
1) Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Argh! And that's the list for now.

I'm sure I missed a bunch of games (as this was generated purely from memory), there were some games that I love that didn't quite qualify because they were ports where the new controls didn't quite do enough to make Wii exclusivity notable enough (like Pikmin 2: NPC), and the ranking is totally subject to change depending on mood, but for now -- THIS IS A LIST.

Hope you found it interesting! Please sound off with your opinions! What games did I miss? What games should be removed from the list because they are, in fact, NOT one of my favorites?

Let your truths be known!   read


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