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Should games replace text books? photo
Should games replace text books?
by Jonathan Holmes

On last Sunday's Sup, Holmes? (now on iTunes) Steve Swink made me look bad. I thought I knew a thing or two about the man, but our discussion revealed that there a lot of important stuff that I had missed, like his work on Tony Hawk: Underground and the book on game design he wrote. I also learned about the beard of sorrow he grew while working on an unreleased Xbox game called The Unseen. I can relate with a man who has grown a beard of sorrow. 

The meat of the conversation focused on two things, Steve's upcoming game Scale (exclusive screenshot featuring new pretty-as-f*ck art direction  in the gallery) and Steve's work on videogames purposed to replace text books in the nation's school system. I can't decide which one is more likely to make him rich and famous. Scale is a game where you can grow or shrink any object in the game to nearly any degree. It's the kind of game that is compatible with almost any human, as almost every human is more fascinated with things that are very, very large or very, very small. The challenge for Steve is to make the game live up to the mechanic. I don't envy the amount of work it'll take to pull that off, but I'm confident he can pull it together.

As great as Scale sounds, I'm actually more excited at the prospect of Steve's work in the education system. The two games he helped designed for the school curriculum (one on Earth Science, the other for Persuasive Writing) sound amazing. To treat children with respect and to reward them for growing and achieving through the language of videogames is just brilliant. It sounds like it worked too. To give today's kids (and the rest of us for that matter) the opportunity to learn through doing instead of tasking us to coldly download information through memorization seems like common sense, but it takes risk takers to make it happen. So make it happen, everybody. 

Thanks again to Steve for coming on the show, and tune in this week when we welcome fighting game champion, Talk Fast star and Divekick developer Adam Heart to the program. It'll be a hoot.

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11:30 PM on 04.03.2013

Will Smith, guns, and 'feel bad' games with Paul Greasley

Last week's Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) had me biting my tongue at a constant pace. Paul "Farmer Gnome" Greasely is one of those developers who takes their own amazing ideas for granted in a way that leaves you wanting to sha...

Jonathan Holmes

10:00 AM on 03.19.2013

Team Meat's Edmund McMillen on Mega Man, MewGenics & More

So much magic was packed into in last Sunday's Sup, Holmes? (now on iTunes) that no recap could ever do it justice, but here goes.  We got a lot of new info on MewGenics. Edmund talks a lot about the psychology of the g...

Jonathan Holmes



Teaching, Skyrim, and growing up Ernie with Erin R. photo
Teaching, Skyrim, and growing up Ernie with Erin R.
by Jonathan Holmes

Erin Robinson is great. She was gracious enough to appear on last week's Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) and we had a top-notch discussion that was full of surprises. Who'd have guessed it was Ernie's Big Splash (on DOS, which is harder to find video of) which initially got her into the medium, or that it would be the games of Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw that would bring her back into gaming after the shooter fad of the '90s burned her out? Not me. 

I also would have never guessed that Erin was asked to teach a class of teenager girls how to develop videogames (resulting in something that sounded like a cross between Epic Mickey and Metroid Prime 2), and that experience would result in her flying to Sweden and teaching a college course on game development, but that all happened too.

She owes these real-life adventures in part to Adventure Game Studio, the development too she used to make her first games. A small library of adventure titles later and now she's on the cusp of releasing Gravity Ghost, a hand-drawn terraforming puzzle platformer. I can't wait to play it, and to see where this career takes her next. She's already done so much, but it's clear that she's just getting started. 

We talked about a lot more than that, so check it out. Thanks again to Erin for being on the show, and be sure to tune in this Sunday at 1:00pm Pacific/4:00pm Eastern when we welcome Edmund McMillen to the program. We'll be talking about Mew-Genics, Super Meat Boy: The Game, Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, and whole lot more. I shall love it, and I hope you do too.

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7:45 PM on 03.06.2013

Papo & Yo creator on risk, therapy, and future of gaming

Last Sunday's Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) was a powerful one. The subject was Papo & Yo, one of the first openly autobiographical games to hit home consoles. Vander Caballero created the game based on his relati...

Jonathan Holmes

9:45 PM on 02.22.2013

Adult Swim, success, and failure with PixelJam

Last Sunday on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes), Rich Grillotti and Miles Tilman of Pixeljam Games tolerated my ridiculous blanket statements regarding art student stereotypes and bared their souls to me. It was hard to ...

Jonathan Holmes

9:00 AM on 02.04.2013

Mark of the Ninja dev cut teeth on tabletop RPG design

Mark of the Ninja lead designer Nels Anderson is on a roll. His first time running lead on a project and it scores multiple perfect scores, giving Klei Entertainment a new hit game to play with. The game's success can be lar...

Jonathan Holmes

2:30 PM on 01.28.2013

The Stanley Parable HD is more than a straight port

Last Sunday's Sup, Holmes? (now available on iTunes) with The Stanley Parable creator Davey Wreden was an orgy of ideas. I know UmJammer Lammy, angry internet people, how narrative works in games as opposed to other mediums,...

Jonathan Holmes

1:20 PM on 01.27.2013

Sup Holmes feels futile with The Stanley Parable's Dave W

[Destructoid's Director of Communications Hamza Aziz asked Jonathan Holmes to make a show called 'Sup, Holmes?' so that Destructoid could later sell a t-shirt that says 'Sup, Holmes?' on it. This is that show. Subscribe...

Jonathan Holmes

7:00 PM on 01.24.2013

How Frog Fractions became a shrine to discovery

Frog Fractions is not a small experience, especially by the expectations of a free flash game. There is a lot going on beneath the surface here, more than I ever expected. After playing through the game, I couldn't help but ...

Jonathan Holmes

3:00 PM on 01.22.2013

How to make games funny (w/ Luis Hernandez)

On the latest episode of Sup, Holmes? (now on iTunes), we talked to an attractive and fancy fella named Luis Hernandez. From humble beginnings creating games with Valve's Worldcraft level design tools from the...

Jonathan Holmes

4:30 PM on 01.18.2013

Samurai Gunn to have one-player mode, may come to XBLIG

Samurai Gunn is poised to be the next big local multi-player PC hit, having garnered tons early buzz on the festival circuit. It even scored an IGF nomination for excellence in design. We were lucky enough to have the game's...

Jonathan Holmes





3:00 PM on 01.03.2013

Synesthesia explained with the lovely Gordon Midwood

Last week's Sup, Holmes? (now available on iTunes) was mired by multiple technical difficulties, but we still had a fine time of it. Did you know that if you create a game in your spare time and it wins an IGF award, you may...

Jonathan Holmes

2:45 PM on 12.23.2012

Sup Holmes gets slimy with Skullgirls' Mariel Cartwright

There was a time when my highest aspiration in life was to draw my own 2D fighting game. As I got older, I discovered that without the utmost talent, patience, and dedication, it was never going to happen (which is why it ha...

Jonathan Holmes

2:00 PM on 12.21.2012

Glorkbot creator talks Vic 20, SuperF*ckers, and more

Last week's Sup, Holmes? (available now on iTunes) was a true wild card episode. Our guest, James Kochalka, is like no other guest we've had before -- and unless Pendelton Ward finally decides to return my e-mails, I doubt w...

Jonathan Holmes

6:30 PM on 12.13.2012

God of Blades devs talk Jim Henson, obscure horror & more

At first glance, I figured that God of Blades (on sale now for $.99 on iOS) was another game that plays it safe. It's got expensive-looking graphics, a fantasy setting, and a focus on swordplay. Boy was I wrong. God of Blade...

Jonathan Holmes