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.
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...
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...
[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...
Immediately after the show was over, I felt terrible. I was so in awe of Jake's brain that I couldn't help but talk about how weird I think it is. If you've played Kentucky Route Zero, you may have an idea what inspired my awe. Like the game he helped create, Jake seemed so casual and unaware of his surreal brilliance, like he didn't notice that he was surreal or brilliant. He spoke of incorporating influences from real life American history, the work of John Steinbeck, America's current Health Care System problems, instillation art techniques, the Great Depression, and the 1976 Zork-precursor Colossal Cave Adventure into the development of Kentucky Route Zero like it was something that anyone might do.
We talked about a lot of things, like Jimmy Corrigan, the difference between Videogames and "Art Ware" like Wikipedia Vs. Predator, the freedom to edit Vs. the freedom to create, why they Cardboard Computer continues to put out free content like The Entertainment, and a lot more. Thanks so much to Jake for appearing on the show, and if Sinistar's tech is back in action, we'll be back this Sunday at 1pm PST/4pm EST with Ludum Dare's Mike Kasprzak. It's going to be Ludarific!
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.
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...
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 ...
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!
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...
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 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.
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,...
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.