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The pros and cons of releasing Smash 3DS before Smash Wii U photo
The pros and cons of releasing Smash 3DS before Smash Wii U
by Jonathan Holmes

When I first heard that the 3DS version of the next Smash Bros. was releasing months before the Wii U edition, my immediate feeling was confusion, which inspired the thought, "Nintendo, are you trying to kill the Wii U?" The game looks so good on the 3DS that it's already got potential to eat into the Wii U game's sales. Now that it's releasing first, is there any question that the home console version sales are going to suffer?

Actually, yeah, there is question. There are definitely positives to releasing on 3DS first. If Nintendo plays its cards right, it could work this situation to the benefit of both game versions.

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7:30 PM on 04.09.2014

Natasha Allegri pays tribute to Smash Bros.' new high heels

When Nintendo unveiled Samus' new footwear in yesterday's Smash Bros. presentation, the internet went wild. "How dare they!?!" they cried, tears of shoe-serious stress and tension streaming down their faces. "Just because she...

Jonathan Holmes



Sup Holmes kickstarter offers free game, dancing idiot photo
Sup Holmes kickstarter offers free game, dancing idiot
by Jonathan Holmes

The Sup Holmes kickstarter is less than 60 hours away from completion and we've almost prestigued 3 times already. Thank you so much! We're going to stretch that funding towards creating as many extras as we can. There's a lot in the planning stages at the moment, including a new show with Caitlin Cooke, a new show with Samus and Sagat, a new intro song by Jake "Virt" Kaufman, and a load of other sweet surprises. That's all on top of the additional 50 episodes that we've committed to doing on top of the initial proposed season 3.

We did it, guys.

In case you missed it, we've also got the announcement that Gordon Midwood of Different Cloth/Different Tuna is offering a code for Derrick the Deathfin on Mac/PC to anyone that backs at the $20 level. That's on top of the Steam code for Retro City Rampage and the weird comic book that I'm going to draw for backers at the $15 level! So many things!

And on top that, James Montanga has created a free game for all to love called Holmesball 64! It's like a cross between Pong, Bit.Trip CORE, and a conversation. It's so great. I love it a lot. And on top of even all that is a free digital toy/app/thing by Mike Lambert (Binding of Isaac Rebirth, Cave Story 3D, 1001 Spikes) that simulates what it's like to stare into my face and make the face do things while the body dances forever. My life is great and I wish I could make you all feel great too.

Sup Holmes Season 3 [Kickstarter]

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6:00 PM on 04.06.2014

Retro City Rampage 3DS revenues already surpassed 360, new patch live

When Retro City Rampage was released last year, developer Brian Provinciano was inundated with requests to put the game on the 3DS. It didn't look likely at first. Brian was already tackling the job of building the game on P...

Jonathan Holmes

1:00 PM on 04.06.2014

Rhythm Heaven music producer diagnosed with Laryngeal cancer

The Rhythm Heaven series hasn't become a household name outside of Japan (yet), but in its native country, the games sell in the millions. That success is due in no small part to the work of Tsunku, the singer/songwriter/prod...

Jonathan Holmes

12:30 PM on 04.06.2014

Vlambeer apologizes for 'discomfort' from Luftrausers imagery

Vlambeer are no strangers to positive press, having endeared themselves to many through their tenacity in the face of a sometimes malicious marketplace, constant efforts to help others find success, and most importantly, prod...

Jonathan Holmes

11:00 AM on 04.06.2014

New Joylancer build adds new enemies, attacks, and more

The last time we talked about Joylancer it was just starting out in this world. While many were impressed with the premise and mechanics, most wanted more -- more enemies, more action, more multi-player, more everything. &nb...

Jonathan Holmes



Art Hawk: Tetris photo
Art Hawk: Tetris
by Jonathan Holmes

I

I had the opportunity to interview with the creator of Tetris a few years ago about the research on his game's ability to help curb the kind of intrusive thoughts and flashbacks commonly associated with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. More recent studies have show that it can also help with cravings for food and alcohol. Ever since then I've wondered what Tetris does to the brain that helps prevent it from getting stuck in fight or flight mode, obsession with potential threats, or unwanted thoughts in general. It's certainly not the most relaxing game ever made, though there is something oddly comforting about its cold, methodical, relentless demands for optimal spacial organization.

What is it about the repetitive analysis and processing of new blocks into a collection of old blocks that helps us to remain in control of our feeling/thought patterns? As always, Art Hawk has the answer!

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9:30 PM on 03.31.2014

Kero Blaster coming to PC and iPhone in May

A couple of days ago, we showed you the first trailer of Kero Blaster (formerly known as Gero Blaster), the new game from the creator of Cave Story. It turns out that trailer was leaked so we were asked to take it down, like...

Jonathan Holmes



Sup Holmes Kickstarter runs amok, Retro City Rampage reward added photo
Sup Holmes Kickstarter runs amok, Retro City Rampage reward added
by Jonathan Holmes

First, the sad news-- Sunday's episode with Chris Seavor was the final Sup, Holmes? on Dtoid's Twitch/YouTube channel. The glad news? We launched a Kickstarter for the show yesterday, and due to overwhelming support, we were fully funded in less than 12 hours. Holy smokes.

We've still got to work out the details of the stretch goals, so chime in if you have ideas for things you'd like to see. A new animated intro, a Sup, Holmes? album featuring your favorite game music artists, a Sup, Holmes? Game Jam with your favorite developers, and a dedicated website (complete with an advice column) are just a few of the ideas we're hoping to put together. If you're a developer or musical artist and you'd like to get involved in any of that, let us know.

In the meantime, Brian Provinciano of VBlank Entertainment has offered to donate a Steam code for Retro City Rampage to everyone who backs at the $15 tier and higher. Brian was a part of the show from the very start, so it's fitting to have him be an integral part of its reboot. You can bet your butts that we'll have him on the show again as soon as he's got a new game to talk about. Speaking of which, past and future reruns of the show will appear on this Youtube channel going forward, so re-calibrate your subscriptions accordingly. 

Thanks again to Dtoid for helping to create the show, giving it a home for the past two years, and to all the people who've backed us so far. We're going to do our best to give you your money's worth. 

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5:00 PM on 03.29.2014

Nightsky is free on iOS, ya dingus

Nightsky is a meditative puzzle platformer with satisfying physics and brilliant level design, and its free right now on iOS. It's a game best played with a traditional pad and button set up, but its still a lot fun on your p...

Jonathan Holmes

11:00 AM on 03.29.2014

Ducktales Remastered dev puts out Flappy Bird inspired charmer

[Update: Austin has detailed his process in developing Flippy Bard here.] Ducktales Remastered director Austin Ivansmith has released a free game on iOS and Google Play called Flippy Bard. Like Maverick Bird and Flappybalt, i...

Jonathan Holmes

10:00 AM on 03.29.2014

Renegade Kid is launching something on April 2

Word from Renegade Kid (Mutant Mudds, Treasurenauts, Moon, Dementium) is that they'll be launching a new Kickstarter on April 2nd. They're keeping the specifics under wraps, but I did get a hint that there may be first person...

Jonathan Holmes



Mind-controlled games, knife crime, and more with Roll7's John Ribbins photo
Mind-controlled games, knife crime, and more with Roll7's John Ribbins
by Jonathan Holmes

Almost two weeks ago on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we welcomed John Ribbins to the program. John's been making games on his own since was a kid, but it wasn't until BBC Channel 4 commissioned him and his partners at Rolling Sound to make a game about knife crime that he got his first big break. It was made in collaboration with actual perpetrators of knife crime in a effort to help the world understand their story. That's not something you can say about most videogames.

He and Rolling Sound stuck with "Socially Responsible" side of game development for a while, going on to develop Focus Pocus -- a game you control with your mind (via the NeuroSky MindWave portably EEG reader), designed to help children with ADD and ADHD develop their ability to focus. Creating a game that you control with your brainwaves pitted the team with some interesting challenges and surprises. 

John grew up with two great passions, coding and skateboarding, though he one of those pastimes was far more socially acceptable than the other. With Roll7 (and outgrowth of Rolling Sound) he was finally able to bring them together with OlliOlli, the critically acclaimed skaeboarding platformer (now on Vita, coming soon to Steam, PS3 and PS4). We talked about the game's one-death system, its previous iteration on iOS, how it combines the psychology of skating and coding into a cohesive whole, and a lot more. We also talked about Not a Hero, the little action game that takes offers concentrated anti-hero violence mixed with classic arcade run-and-gun fun. It was great to talk to John about all these things!

Thanks again to John for appearing on the program, and if you liked Sup Holmes, check out our newly launched Kickstarter. It will be interesting to see what happens.

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9:00 PM on 03.23.2014

PSA: You should never feel bad about liking a videogame

Someone recently made a handy infographic of "videogame journalists" who are "social justice warriors". Isn't that fun? People think that by talking about some videogames that I'm fighting for social justice, like Rosa Parks ...

Jonathan Holmes

7:00 PM on 03.23.2014

Animal Crossing Drawing Challenge reaps creepy magic

Animal Crossing: New Leaf was a lot of people's game of the year for 2013, but that doesn't mean that passion for the title has cooled now that we're well into 2014. Oh heck no. Kiseki Kokoro has challenged the Animal Crossin...

Jonathan Holmes

10:00 AM on 03.23.2014

Sup Holmes finishes off with Conker's Chris Seavor

Oh my god, it's the last Sup Holmes on Dtoid! Ahhh! What does that even mean? We'll find out soon enough, as the Sup Holmes year 3 Kickstarter is set to go live any second now. In the meantime, why not tune in to the show tod...

Jonathan Holmes

3:00 PM on 03.22.2014

Ackk Studios mysterious new game appears on the Vita

The brothers Allanson are currently hard at work on on a least one new game. It's code named Project Y2K, and it's an RPG that gives you stuff to do. You can do stuff in the overworld. You can do stuff in battles. You ca...

Jonathan Holmes



Art Hawk: Candy Crush photo
Art Hawk: Candy Crush
by Jonathan Holmes

Art Hawk is funny little fowl. Sometimes he's here, sometimes he's not here. This time he's here talking about Candy Crush, a videogame that is art that is about candy. What a noble editorial! He's a warrior and a knight, fighting for the videogame justice, because videogames aren't "just" for "us", guys. They are art, and art is for everyone, just like candy. Isn't that interesting?

It's going to be so great when Art Hawk explains why Trio the Punch is better than the Mona Lisa.

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11:00 AM on 03.22.2014

New Kunio-Kun game has magic, headed to 3DS eShop

We're getting a new River City Ransom game soon enough, and that's darn exciting. What's less exciting is the fact that a bunch of new Kunio-Kun games have been announced for the 3DS over the past few years, but none of them...

Jonathan Holmes



Jane Jensen on how Doom killed Adventure games, casting Mark Hamill and more photo
Jane Jensen on how Doom killed Adventure games, casting Mark Hamill and more
by Jonathan Holmes

A week and a half ago on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we welcomed Jane Jensen of Pinkerton Road to the program. Jane started her career as a computer programmer in the 80's, but before long, her inescapable love of storytelling and videogames came together to send her down the path of the videogame developer. It's a path she's been on for over 25 years. 

We talked with Jane about her formative experiences at Sierra working on series like Police Quest and King's Quest, moving on to create her own horror/adventure series with Gabriel Knight, experiencing the evolution from pixel art to FMV to polygon based graphics first hand, casting big names like Mark Hamill and Tim Curry in her games, how E3 has evolved from a enthusiast event to bloated spectacle of softcore sex and violence, the way Doom changed how publishers approach the PC market, the recent resurgence of adventure game, the difference between making "games for guys" and making them for "everyone", and so much more. 

Jane's got two new games in the works as we speak -- a enhanced remake of the first Gabriel Knight and an all new adventure called Moebius. While it will be fun to revisit Gabriel and his voodoo problems, I'm even more excited for Moebius. It sounds like a cross between the current Cumberbatch-infused Sherlock Holmes and The Matrix. It's hard to imagine how that could fail to hit, especially coming from a developer as passionate and imaginative as Jane. 

Thanks again to Jane for appearing on the show, and tune in this Sunday at 1pm PST/4pm ESTwhen we close of Sup Holmes's run on Dtoid with Chris Seavor, creator of Conker and the upcoming Unlikely Legend of Rusty Pup. It's going to be conclusive! 

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8:30 PM on 03.19.2014

Krunch hits Steam with new features and limited time sale

Krunch is one of those games that has everything you'd expect out of underdog PC hit- excellent level design, easy to pick up mechanics, difficulty curve that goes from gripping to salty at just the right pace, an amazing sou...

Jonathan Holmes



The 5th new Ultra Street Fighter 4 character is Decapre photo
The 5th new Ultra Street Fighter 4 character is Decapre
by Jonathan Holmes

Capcom is streaming play of newly announced playable character Decapre in Ultra Street Fighter 4 right now.

Like the iconic Cammy (Super Steet Fighter 2) and the lesser known Juni and Juli (Street Fighter Alpha 3), Decapre is one of Bison's "dolls", though she doesn't fight exactly like the dolls that came before her. She's got a teleport and laser knife gloves! Also, she wears a metal mask and quotes Metallica. Edgy!

Here's some history about her from Capcom:

"Making her first brief appearance in a Street Fighter game as a non-playable character in Street Fighter Alpha 3, where she was seen as one of M. Bison’s Dolls, Decapre now joins the fight! Although a partial mask hides a giant burn mark located on this Russian beauty’s face, challengers will be scarred by her quick and elusive scramble moves as well as her psycho power infused attacks, which allow her to share her pain with her opponents. Players can get their claws on Decapre and the rest of the all-star lineup in Ultra Street Fighter IV when the game begins releasing in June 2014."

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8:00 PM on 03.16.2014

Edmund McMillen teases upcoming reveals with a pixel smudge

Edmund McMillen, creator of Binding of Isaac and one half of Team Meat (Mewgenics, Super Meat Boy) is excited and I don't know why. Maybe you can figure it out.  Edmund recently tweeted "the weekend is totally ...

Jonathan Holmes

11:00 AM on 03.16.2014

Sup Holmes gleams the cube with OlliOlli's John Ribbins

This week on Sup Holmes we welcome John Ribbins of Roll7 to the program. John's worked on a variety of games in his +5 years in the industry, including the top-rated, massive skateboarding platformer OlliOlli, the still in de...

Jonathan Holmes

6:00 PM on 03.15.2014

Another artist speaks about having her work used by Feminist Frequency

Tamara "Cowkitty" Gray Smith made some noise last week about her artwork being used by video blogger Feminist Frequency without her permission. It turns out this wasn't an entirely unique situation. Artist Heather "Dinobot" S...

Jonathan Holmes

11:30 PM on 03.09.2014

Fan artist asks Feminist Frequency to stop using her art, awaits response

[Full disclosure. Tamara "CowKitty" Gray Smith, the artist in question here, is someone I've known online for almost a year. She volunteered to help with background art on an episode of Teenage Pokemon. We've never met i...

Jonathan Holmes

12:00 PM on 03.09.2014

Sup Holmes points and clicks with Jane Jensen

Today on Sup Holmes we welcome Jane Jensen to the program. Jane has been working on games that put story and characterization at the forefront since the 1980's, working on established series like Police Quest and King's Quest...

Jonathan Holmes



Mods, hate, and community with Chucklefish's Molly Carrol photo
Mods, hate, and community with Chucklefish's Molly Carrol
by Jonathan Holmes

Two week's ago on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes), we welcomed Molly Carroll to the program. Molly used to be a big part of the Dtoid Forums community before moving on to become community manager at Chucklefish (Starbound). We talked about how Molly got into the game industry, the role that she plays in the development of Starbound, how to develop and maintain a passionate and creative community around your game, the stuff that happened when the Mighty Number 9 community manager was announced, her pending move to England, and a lot more.

Outside of her work at Chucklefish, Molly's been working on smaller games with a development collective called Owl Cave. With games like Richard and Alice and Starbound already under her belt, it's pretty clear that Molly's going to have a long and fruitful career in the game's industry. I'm glad I got to know her now before she ends up sheltered away from shows like Sup Holmes by some big publisher. It's going to be fun to see what she does next. 

Thanks again to Molly for appearing on the show, and tune in to Sup Holmes live at 1pm PST/4pm EST today when we welcome legendary adventure game developer Jane Jensen (King's Quest VI, Moebius, Gabriel Knight) to the program. It's going to be one for the books. 

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Art Hawk explains DayZ photo
Art Hawk explains DayZ
by Jonathan Holmes

In games like Rust and DayZ, you run around in a world and murder and/or get murdered. These games are getting more and more popular, in a way that is different from the other games where you run around and murder and/or get murdered.

How so? Art Hawk will tell you!

If you want more Art Hawk, here's a handy playlist with all of the current episodes. 

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Fear, Disney, positivity, Zynga and more with Erin Reynolds photo
Fear, Disney, positivity, Zynga and more with Erin Reynolds
by Jonathan Holmes

Last Sunday on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we welcomed Erin Reynolds of Flying Mollusk to the program. We talked about so many things, like the influence Ecco the Dolphin and Gremlins had on her formative years, why she got into game development, that jerk from Fox News (my words, not hers), her work at Disney and Zynga, her thoughtful-but-dead baby drawings, the Michelle Obama awarded student game Trainer, depicting mental illness in games, the idea of "positive games," and of course, Nevermind -- the biofeedback-integrated horror game she's been working on for the past few years. 

Nevermind is designed to make you feel uncomfortable, but the real goal of the game is to help players learn to be aware of their own anxiety and learn how to manage it. You play the role of a new kind of mental health counselor who enters the subconscious minds of their clients, in an effort to help them work out repressed memories of trauma. It's your job to stay calm in the midst of a world teeming with surreal threats. If you can't do it, how can you expect your client to? 

That's just the tip of the iceberg on what Nevermind has to offer. Check it out on Kickstarter here, and back it while you still have the chance. Erin tells me that even if they don't make their funding goal, that backing still helps them immensely, as the closer they get to their goal, the better they'll look to potential publishers. Backing any amount will help them to make their game, regardless of how much funding they get in the end. 

With so much to talk about, I failed to ask Erin an incredibly obvious question. What are the fears that she's had to overcome in her life, and how might they relate to Nevermind? Erin was kind enough to fit that question in after the show was over. You can find her answer below. 

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2:30 PM on 03.02.2014

Sup Holmes gets post traumatic with Erin Reynolds

Today on Sup Holmes we welcome Erin Reynolds of Flying Mollusk to the program. Erin's been in the game industry for over ten years, having worked on a variety of games for big publishers, including working as senior game desi...

Jonathan Holmes

11:00 AM on 03.02.2014

The Cyberpunk Game Jam is now open to entries

Up and coming indie darling Devi Ever (Lillian Gish, Call Center Cleveland) is putting on a Cyberpunk Game Jam, and you're all invited. A lot of promising entries are already in the works by the likes of Okinawa Terminal, Bac...

Jonathan Holmes

1:00 PM on 03.01.2014

Fox News anchor is awful to an interesting game developer

Tomorrow on Sup Holmes (1pm PST/4pm EST), we'll be welcoming Erin Reynolds (no relation to Dennis) to the program. Erin's had a long, fruitful career in the big budget videogame industry, and has since gone indie, curre...

Jonathan Holmes

11:00 PM on 02.26.2014

No More Heroes/Chulip dev announces Million Onion Hotel

Onion Games has one of the best Twitter accounts going. It's also run by three of the most talented and passionate indie developers in Japan. You may not have heard of Yoshiro Kimura (No More Heroes, Little King's Story)...

Jonathan Holmes



Art Hawk: Twitch Plays Pokemon photo
Art Hawk: Twitch Plays Pokemon
by Jonathan Holmes

Against all odds, Art Hawk perceives. Born from talking to women about videogames, he's strived to show the world that Grand Theft Auto, Dead Rising, Gears of War, and Flappy Bird are all important works of art. Some say he's was annoying, others call him a genius. None of that matters. All that he wants is to let you know about the art. He's never going to stop.

His latest query is Twitch Plays Pokemon, a game that has taken the internet by storm. What is it about this exercise in disorganization and delusion that fascinates people so? Artemis gets to the art of the matter like only he can. Visuals by Tobiichi Karlsson  

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9:00 PM on 02.23.2014

Misery loves company: Twitch Plays Zelda is now live

While it may be a good idea for Nintendo to let people buy their games through Steam, it may be an even better idea for them to start running their own Twitch streams allowing for communal play on their classic games. Twitch ...

Jonathan Holmes

2:30 PM on 02.23.2014

Sup Holmes reaches for the stars with Molly Carroll

[Art by Bietol] We haven't done Sup Holmes for two weeks! Isn't that terrible? Sinistar just moved to New York and it's taken him awhile to get internet, but assuming that all goes well, we'll be live today with Molly Carroll...

Jonathan Holmes



What if Nintendo put some games on Steam? photo
What if Nintendo put some games on Steam?
by Jonathan Holmes

When Nintendo first got into game development, the game industry was something like the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section of a book store. Some series were "less nerdy than others," and there was some class labeling inherent in the rivalries between different brands (Sega fans may give Nintendo fans a hard time, just as Star Wars fans might mock Star Trek fans), but on the whole, videogame fans were united under the banner of being "nerds."

Few people chose what fantasy book to read or videogame to play based on how it would affect their social standing or "projected level of coolness," because no matter what you chose, you'd have an equal chance of being perceived as a geek. 

Today, the videogame industry is more like pop music. How cool you are, what kind of image you put out, and following styles and trends means just about everything. It doesn't matter if you make a great game, you may still be overlooked because a game that "everyone was talking about" due to its "viral potential" ate up your mindshare in the collective consumer psyche. We live in a PAX world, in a PewDiePie world, in a "the only shirts I own are videogame shirts" world. 

A lot of people in the industry have ideas for how Nintendo can better acclimate to this new consumer climate, though their ideas for how to do that are often times awful. Making games for the iPhone, abandoning their own home consoles to make PS4/Xbox One games -- these ideas are often taken from a completely narcissistic and self serving perspective. "I don't want to buy a 3DS or a Wii U, so why doesn't Nintendo start making games for other platforms, those jerks!" It's a ridiculous notion that would only hurt Nintendo's reputation (and pocket book) in the long run. Just look at Sega, SNK, and Atari. Today, they're nothing compared to back when they managed their own platforms. 

Putting games on Steam might be different. That might be pretty smart. 

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12:00 PM on 02.23.2014

Retro City Rampage 'doing great' on 3DS

Retro City Rampage: DX (the 3DS port) has been called the definitive version of the game, and according to developer Brian Provinciano, it's "doing great". Considering that the game had already been out for a while, it wasn'...

Jonathan Holmes