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!
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.
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.
[Update: Fjords is on sale for just $1.31 until midnight tonight, so get it for cheap while you can.]
Today on Sup Holmes we welcome Kyle Reimergartin to the program. According to Kyle's bio, he "...lives on the Olympic ...
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.
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.
Last week on Sup Holmes (now on itunes) we happily welcomed former Next Level games and Silicon Knights programmer Ryan Vandendyck to the show. Ryan worked on games like Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, Super Mario Strikers, and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon in the past. His latest project is the comedy/strategy RPG Citizens of Earth(only a couple of days left to back it!). We talked with Ryan about the culture at Silicon Knights and how it helped take their huge open world horror game The Boxfrom a giant adventure, to a single room filled with cool stuff, to cancelation. We also got an idea of what motivated Shigeru Miyamoto to produce Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (hint -- he just felt like it) and a sense of what it was like to work under the legendary developer.
Eventually we swayed in the discussion of Ryan's Christian faith and how it impacts his development style. While he's hesitant to ever be in your face or preachy about his faith in his games, it's clear that Ryan's belief in the goodness that connects all people has leaked into the thinking behind Citizens of Earth. Sadly, when Christianity ends up discussed in a game blog, it's usually got to do with censorship or demonic Pokemon. Ryan and other developers like him may help change that in time.
Thanks again to Ryan to appearing on the show. We're on break again this Sunday while our beloved engineer Sinistar visits his cousin Mukor for a wedding, but tune in the Sunday after next for more blazing hot Sup Holmes conversations.
If you have even a passing interest in video game music, this episode is a required listen. In fact, I'm going to go on record to say that everyone interested in interesting people anywhere should get to know Jake Kaufman. Funny, insightful, humble, and talented, he's truly a talk show dream come true.
Jake makes for a tough act to follow, but WayForward co-founder and Shantae creator Matt Bozon will do his best to take that challenge on Sunday 1pm PST/4pm EST. Watch us cap off WayForgust in style!
On last week's Sup Holmes (now on iTunes and t-shirts), we welcomed Austin Ivansmith back to the program. We heard all about his fine arts background and formative experiences which brought him to game development in his first appearance on the show, so this time we concentrated on his biggest project to date -- DuckTales Remastered.
There was a lot to talk about, which lead to use going almost 30 minutes longer than usual. Taking on a largely abandoned but still beloved Disney/Capcom franchise like DuckTales is no small potatoes, but Austin clearly had the heart and mind necessary to make it happen. Reuniting the original voice actors from the show, bringing on original artists from Disney, staying true to the spirit of the show and the game while adding new content while cutting design elements that limited the original title, and putting it on almost every console out today took a lot of risk taking, know how, and inspiration.
You'd imagine that after having put so much of yourself into a project, that reading a few damning reviews would be disillusioning, but Austin remains cool and respectful towards the game's detractors. There was a whole lot more we talked about, but if I recap it all hear, you'll be reading this all day .
Thanks again to Austin for hanging out with us, and tune in this Sunday at 1pm PST/4pm EST when we welcome Yacht Club Games and WayForward composer Jake "Virt" Kaufman. Watch as WayForgust continues on to victory.
This week on Sup Holmes we welcome Austin Ivansmith (Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive, Thor, Ducktales Remastered) back to the program. The last time we had Austin on the show there were game announcements and life changing ...
Jeff and Regular Show creator J.G. Quintel quickly bonded over a mutual appreciation of the Sega Master System, and that bond was big influence on their game's development. Specifically, the character switching hook of lesser known platformer Psycho Fox helped to inspire Regular Show's multi-mode mechanics. Blaster Master was also a big inspiration for Jeff. Knowing that has me all the more confident that the game is in good hands.
Thanks again to Jeff for hanging out with us, and tune in this Sunday at 1pm PST/4pm EST as WayForgust continues with Ducktales Remastered's Austin Ivansmith. It's going to be spec-quack-ular.
Last week's Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) was a real barn burner. Cassie Chui lit up the screen with her effervescent personality and passion for game design. She decided at the early age of eight that game development was in her future. It was the N64 that did it to her, though what part she would play in game creation remained unclear for many years.
It wasn't until a game design theory class in college that Cassie's path was solidified. We didn't get to it in the actual interview, but I asked her after the fact what it was about this class that made her sure that game design was her passion. She told me "...that Game Theory class helped me discover that what I really wanted to do in games was create 'fun' for another person. The prospect of being able to create an experience like that for other people was really what drew me into game theory and game design." So this person wants to dedicate her life to helping you have fun, even though she doesn't even know you! How nice is that?
Answer -- Pretty darn nice.
We talked with Cassie about a whole slew of other topics, like her internship at Untold Entertainment Inc (creators of Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure), her love of League of Legends, Animal Crossing, Monster Hunter, cosplay, and of course, the wild ride she's taken with Michael Todd and company towards creating Electronic Super Joy (now on Steam Early Access). Thanks again to Cassie for joining us, and tune in this Sunday at 1pm PST/4PM EST when we welcome Jeff Luke (Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land) to the program. It's the beginning of WayForgust! Expect at least one musical number.
Last Sunday's Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) was another example of how quickly things can escalate with a returning guest. Though I've only spoken to Jools Watsham on a couple of occasions, it felt like settling in with an old friend from the moment Sinistar said "go."
Jools was kind enough to grant us with all kinds of exclusive information regarding both the business and development sides of Renegade Kid. We learned that Mutant Mudds sold best on 3DS, less well on iOS, and how the game changed the way Renegade Kid looked at the world of self-publishing. We also got deep into the psychology behind the upcoming Renegade Kid titles Cult County and Treasurenauts. The dark side of religion, the perks of multiplayer, the influence of Silent Hill 2, and ways to give the player a sense of constant discovery were just a few of the subjects on hand.
We also got into the dynamics of working on with various platforms and publishers. Jools was pretty clear that for both personal and professional reasons, working on Nintendo platforms means a lot to him, but that doesn't mean he's bound to them. Mutant Mudds is officially on its way to PS3 and PS Vita. It'll be one purchase for both consoles, with the potential for cross-play. Very exciting news for Sony console only owners out there who love a good platformer.
The we got exclusive word on some plans for Mutant Mudds 2 (bosses confirmed!), the secret back story of Granny (she's the Obi Wan Kenobi of the Mudds-verse) and so much other stuff. It's required listening for fans of any game that Jools has ever put out (especially Rod-Land). Thanks again to Jools for being such an amazing guest, and tune in this Sunday at 1:00pm Pacific / 4:00pm Eastern when we welcome Matt Thorson (Towerfall, Give Up Robot) to the program.
Eight days ago on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we were lucky enough to snag Mr. Michael Frauenhofer, creator of Demon Chic. I can say with confidence that there is no one else in the game development scene today quite lik...
It's been a power-packed couple of weeks on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes). Last Sunday we were welcomed by a wonderfully pregnant Kellee Santiago, co-founder of thatgamecompany (fl0w, Flower, Journey). At the height of her game, Kellee dropped the mic and joined the team at Ouya (which hits retail at June 25th) as head of developer relations.
We talked with Kellee about how she got started in development, why she's so excited about Ouya, why she left thatgamecompany, the potential for her to "get the band back together", how to market my dumb game idea about collecting art and making it fight Pokemon style, and a lot more. Kellee's ability to embrace risk and make it work for her is an inspiration. She even showed us her baby bump. Giving birth to a human being while working on launching a new home console at the same time? Amazing.
Just as Kellee's story defined everything that Sony did right with indie development on the PS3, James Silva's story defines everything that Microsoft did right with indies on their last console. That's not all James and Kellee have in common. He's also no stranger to risk. Working almost exclusively on the Xbox 360 (both XBLA and XBLIG), releasing multiple titles developed alone or with his wife, he's continued to stay true to his unique vision for hand drawn, punk rock, comedy action games (The Dishwasher series, I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!!1, and the upcoming Charlie Murder).
We normally run a live airing of Sup Holmes live at this time every Sunday, but due to E3 shenanigans, we did show yesterday with the great James Silva (and his wife and two cats). So instead, here is a re-run of last week's...