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.
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...
We managed to catch up to composer Austin Wintory (Journey, The Banner Saga, Monaco) following his D.I.C.E. Summit talk on how technology has changed music making, and how this impacts videogame scores.
As a fellow musician a...
We recently had a chance to chat with Journey and The Banner Saga composer Austin Wintory, and as a fellow musician I took the opportunity to talk shop. Curious about which tools he uses to create music with, I asked abo...
I think the question that most people asked themselves when they finished Broken Age Act I was "Okay, so when am I going to get to play Act II?" The more pressing concern was "Will there be an Act II?" but thankfully Double F...
Earlier this month, I caught up with Media Molecule's Rex Crowle, lead creator on one of my favorite games of last year, Tearaway. My main goal was simple: to thank him for such a fantastic Vita game. But we ended up chatting about Tearaway's reception, as well as some of the challenges that Media Molecule had to work through to bring us the final release.
I also repeatedly told him that they should make another Tearaway game.
Our own gentle giant, Max Scoville, had a chat recently with Denby Grace of 2K Games about their upcoming title, Evolve. In case you missed it, Evolve is being developed by Turtle Rock Studios, the minds behind the Left 4 Dead series. Max got the scoop on some of the finer points of gameplay in this "4v1" clash of predator and prey.
After sifting through the game footage for this video, I'm thoroughly intrigued by the unusual concepts presented in Evolve. Knowing this game comes from the people who crafted the remarkable AI in L4D, I'm rather excited at the idea of a new multiplayer game I can just play by myself when my friends aren't around. *cough*Payday 2*cough*
A week and a half ago on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes), we welcomed Brian and Andrew Allanson of Ackk Studios to the program. We talked about their breakout success Two Brothers, their start in making their own games (and Pokemon toys) before they were old enough to drive, the differences and similarities between using writing, coding, music, and visual art to convey ideas, and a lot more.
I was taken aback by how creating games seems to be something that's hardwired into the Allanson brothers's DNA, though the idea that their games have the potential to be widely accepted and appreciated is still so new to them. They've made a lot of games over the years, some of which they would only consider releasing under assumed names, as they never intended for anyone outside of their small circle to ever experience them.
Their excitement to finally share their games with the world at large seems to be taking precedent over their interest in getting big money, as their next game will be a free title for phones that will take a very different approach to life and death than Two Brothers. After that, it's the release of Project Y2K, a game where you use excess AOL start up discs (or their non-lawsuit friendly parody equivalents) to battle opponents, among other things. It's definitely one to look forward to.
Thanks again to Brian and Andrew for being on the show. We're taking a break from live recording this weekend as Sinistar (our intrepid production manager and engineer) is moving to a new galaxy. Stay tuned for the rerun of our most recent episode with Jake Elliot (Kentucky Route Zero) and come on back on February 16th when we welcome Mike Kasprzak to the program.
Paradox Interactive is best known for their hardcore grand strategy titles on the PC market. Makers of such hits as Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, Magicka, and many more games, the Sweden-based company celebrated 10 years of independence since splitting off from Paradox Entertainment last month in Miami, Florida.
Made up of seven people in 2004, Paradox now has 120 people working across four different studios, with an additional 150 other people on contract making games externally. The company has blossomed, with continued revenue growth year after year, yet with all that success Paradox has managed to keep their indie spirit and continues to put their fans first when developing games.
I sat down with Paradox Interactive CEO Fredrik Wester at their recent annual showcase to see how Paradox has found success in such a niche market, and where he sees the gaming industry heading towards.
Magicka: Wizard Wars is Paradox Interactive's take on the MOBA genre. While most companies have had trouble getting a foothold in the market thanks to how dominating League of Legends and Dota 2 are, Wizard Wars looks to have a better chance establishing itself with how it's offering more bite-sized MOBA battles.
"It looks like we're jumping on the MOBA bandwagon as the same time as everyone else, which I see how it looks from the outside, CEO of Paradox Interactive, Fredrik Wester, told me at their annual showcase last month. "We discussed though building a bigger PvP version of Magicka because so many people were asking for it. Magicka is basically built for PvP, especially if you have friendly fire. I think that is one of the key selling points for us. You can't just go in like you do in League of Legends, I play a lot of League of Legends, and you go in there with everything that you have, and you don't have to care about your teammates.
"Magicka you have to watch your teammates. If your teammate is low on health you can't just throw a fireball in his general direction because you're going to kill him. We are also focusing more on 10- to 20-minute matches. I never play classic League of Legends no more because some games can take an hour. I don't want to spend that in one competitive game. Even ARAM, which is their short game mode, takes 25 to 30 minutes to complete, if it's not like a total steamroll."
Today on Sup Holmes we welcome Jake Elliot of Cardboard Computer (Kentucky Route Zero, Wikipedia Vs. Predator) to the program. Jake's been creating games and "artware" for years, but it was Kentucky Route Zero that really put...
Making a brand new game studio isn't easy. So imagine the undertaking of creating a new brand, crafting a never-before-seen IP, gathering a production crew, and shipping a game in a year. That's what Spearhead Studios did wit...
We talked about what it's been like to live in "the pixelated shadow" or Passage (the game that first put him on the map), the process of putting out Diamond Trust of London (the world's first fan-funded DS game), his file sharing software Mute (downloaded over one million times as of 2008), the urge to create a game that equals the incredible experience of having a real conversation, what motivated him to make a game about feeling awful and being awful (my words, not Jason's), and a lot more.
The Castle Doctrine was born of contemplating society's expectations, masculinity, physical vulnerability and how being threatened changes us. In a lot of ways, it's the perfect game for this age of internet flame wars -- where millions of people people take to their online portal of choice everyday to defend their own metaphorical "castles" (their identified gender group, political party, favorite videogame console, etc.) while working hard to tear down the "castles" of others. It's something most of us have done at some point or another, even though we may not like that about ourselves.
Thanks again to Jason for joining us on the show, and come back this Sunday at 1pm PST/4pm EST when we welcome Cardboard Computer (Kentucky Route Zero) to the program. It's going to be thugnificent.
A week and a half ago on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we were lucky to have Will Brierly (Soda Drinker Pro, My Girl, The Golden Girls) on the program. It was an episode filled with surprises, including death scares. Real-life death scares, guys. There were a few moments there when I was sure he was a goner, though I couldn't forgo the possibility that it was all an elaborate goof. If Will Brierly had a middle name, it would probably be "elaborate goof."
His biggest game, Soda Drinker Pro, has been played by hundreds of thousands of people. It's been covered in major newspapers. It contains 99+ songs all composed by Will himself. Countless hours of work and promotion has gone into this game about... walking around and drinking soda.
Is it all a parody of the millions of dollars spent on marketing so many meaningless junk food games under auspice of convincing consumers that they are "important" and "epic"? And why does Soda Drinker Pro contain a secret, brilliant, standalone game called Vivian Clark about taking on the consciousness of any object you interact with? Why did Will hide this amazing, potentially crowd-pleasing game inside of another game that seems designed to confuse and misdirect?
I asked Will about all these things. We also talked about his experiences at real-life soda-lovers conventions, his arcade game Get Outta My Face, where he finds the time and energy to create so many games that are so likely to make him rich and famous, his signature "left-handed drawing" art style, and so much more. Thanks again to Will for hanging out with us, and tune in this Sunday when we welcome Jane Jensen (King's Quest, Gabriel Knight, Moebius)
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...
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...
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.
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.
Given that Dark Souls was only ported onto the PC after a vociferous campaign by fans, it was no surprise to me that the PC version felt lacking. Although many problems were fixed by the modding community, Dark Souls II produ...
Killer is Dead was a day one purchase for me, though from what I hear from my peers, a lot of consumers didn't have the confidence to pick it up upon initial release. With the gift giving holidays just around the corner, and all of your "must-have" games already safely in your possession, maybe this is just the kind of game you'd like to own but not pay for.
Tempted to send your mom out to the local strip mall with instructions to ask the man at the counter to sell her one shiny new copy of Killer is Dead to stuff in your stocking? Check out Suda 51's spoiler-packed favorite moments and see if you're not convinced, and check out our contest for a signed copy of the game while you're at it.
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.
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 ...
It's safe to say that the Mega Man Board game Kickstarter is a massive success. In just under 24 hours it cleared $150,000, which far exceeds its $70,000 goal. But in an odd turn of events, Capcom is not funding the game -- they just gave board game manufacturer Jasco the license to create a project on their own.
I had a chat with Jasco Games president and founder, Jason Hawronsky, to see how a project like this comes to life, where you'll be able to pick it up once it's actually out, and what we can expect from Jasco and Mega Man in the future.
The highlight of the VGX, aside from Joel McHale's unrelenting irreverence, was the unexpected, unlikely No Man's Sky from the creators of Joe Danger.
Much of the afternoon centered around content that was not particularly new or different. A Borderlands game in Telltale's signature style. A PS4 and Xbox One port of Tomb Raider, which came out early this year. Cranky Kong's reveal for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, which was supposed to already have been out this year, before a delay. More trailers for games we've already seen. Was there anything new in that Destiny trailer? I couldn't tell. "I think the bikes are new," Max Scoville said. I must have blinked because I didn't see them.
No Man's Sky was exciting. It's new. A new IP. It has an apostrophe in its name. Even the name feels slightly antagonistic set against the backdrop of the hollow, sterile, sheet-metal sound stage that was the show. The title has multiple words. It's shows you the sky, but is clear you have no claim to stake.
I sat down with developer Hello Games before the reveal and got a lot more context on the ambitious project -- an infinite space fantasy.
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 sequelT.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 BasketBellewith 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.
This week on Sup Holmes we'll be graced the the presents of Cristina Vee, singer and voice actress. Cristina's past roles include Alisa Bosconovitch (Tekken: Blood Vengence), Noel, Nu-13, Mu-12, Lambda-11 (BlazBlue), Riven (L...
When someone gives you the opportunity to interview two people who you have looked up to as idols, there is no thinking to be done, only a garbled "HECKYES" to be shot out of your mouth hole.
There are four amazing casters th...
Last Sunday on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we spent an hour and a half with the enigmatic, pragmatic, elastic, fantastic Porpentine. This one was a real blur for me, more so than most episodes. Talking to Porpentine imbues you with an infectious energy that makes you feel slightly out of reality. It's a real treat.
A week and a half ago on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we were graced with the company of Ms. Holly Pickering, former artist on the bulk of Traveller's Tale's LEGO games, currently working on Ether One from White Paper Games.
Holly has an ability to talk about incredibly personal, difficult stuff with a total stranger in front of thousands of people, all without ever seeming self-centered or melodramatic. It's equal parts charming and disarming. Her humility and positivity shine through, even when focusing on the many life-changing challenges she's gone through. From a childhood of bonding over computers with her dad, to teenage years wrestling with disapproval from others for loving art and technology, to getting work at Traveller's Tales shortly thereafter, to losing her father to suicide, to going out on her own to work on more personal projects; no topic was off limits.
By the end of the episode, I was ready to simultaneously laugh, cry, and cheer for Holly all at the same time, while she appeared completely unimpressed with herself. Regardless of what she may work on in the future, she can count me among her biggest fans. Thanks again to Holly for appearing on the show, and make sure to tune this Sunday when we welcome Cristina Vee (songstress and voice actress on Shantae, League of Legends, Skullgirlsand many others) to the program.
With the arrival of the new generation, Capcom is looking to try new strategies for how to better satisfy its audience. And while Deep Down is an interesting experiment, a producer at Capcom has some other ideas in mind -- an...
In his review of BioShock Infinite's first DLC, Chris Carter says that Burial at Sea lasts "a solid hour or so, and you can tack on another hour or two... if you want to explore everything." For a first episode, that seems fa...
Last Sunday on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we welcomed David Gallant to the program. David made the papers earlier this year for his game I Get This Call Everyday -- an autobiographical comedy/tragedy game about his work in a call center. The game led to David losing his job and flinging himself into the game development world. Flinging yourself is pretty exciting, but its also risky, and inevitably painful.
We talked with David about the things that motivated him to make these decisions, the recent disagreements and misunderstandings that hovered around the Indie Custom Cube, Steam Greenlight feelings, the anger and fear brewing in "gamer culture" today, how to resolve that brew in the most constructive way possible, his favorite game on the Oculus Rift, eating magical brownies with Richard Hofmeier, and a whole heck of a lot more.
Thanks again to David for appearing on the program, and be sure to tune in tomorrow at 1pm PST/4pm EST when we welcome Holly Pickering (Lego Batman, Ether One) to the show.
For those who don't know, Treachery looks to take autobiographical content, inject it with a personal language of parody and social commentary, fuel it with classic RPG and beat-'em- up game design, and wrap it all around a love/hate relationship with New York City. If Earthbound and GTA had a baby, it wouldn't look much like either of its parents, but it might look a lot like Treachery in Beatdown City.
Thanks again to Shawn for coming on the show, and be sure to tune in this Sunday at 1pm PST/4pm EST when we welcome Holly Pickering (Traveler's Tales, White Paper Games) back to the program.
This week on Sup Holmes we welcome David Gallant to the program. David is probably best known for losing his job after releasing a game called I Get This Call Everyday. He's also worked on the blood cell excitement title Hemo...
In my time at Destructoid I've learned quite a bit about what it takes to make a game. Typically it takes a group of dedicated people to make a large product. But what happens when the product is small? How about iOS small? It dawned on me that I had no idea so I sat down with Victoria Cheng from Storm 8 and talked about what it takes to make an iOS game for the mass market. Check it out!
Handing off the development of an established Japanese series to a western studio isn't the most shocking idea around. When both Silent Hill and Devil May Cry were feared long in the tooth, Konami and Capcom, respectively, le...
This week I talked with PS4 system architect and Knack creative director Mark Cerny about his upcoming, family-friendly PS4 title. When talking about balancing the difficulty -- making the game accessible as someone's first c...
We've talked a lot about Assassin's Creed IV over the year, and it's not much longer now until the full game is released for all the major platforms. There's a ton of new stuff, so what's director on Black Flag Ashraf Ismail'...
Warning: Minor plot/theme spoilers
BioShock Infinite - Burial at Sea: Episode 1 ends on an interesting note to say the least, and I'm curious to see what is in store for the next episode.
When it was announced, Burial a...