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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

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



John Steinbeck, Cave Adventures and more w/ Jake Elliott photo
John Steinbeck, Cave Adventures and more w/ Jake Elliott
by Jonathan Holmes

Last time on Sup Holmes (now on iTunes) we welcomed Jake Elliott of Cardboard Computer (Kentucky Route Zero) to the program. 

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! 

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Free games, AOL discs and the afterlife with Ackk Studios photo
Free games, AOL discs and the afterlife with Ackk Studios
by Jonathan Holmes

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.

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12:30 PM on 02.02.2014

Sup Holmes doubles down on Kentucky Route Zero

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...

Jonathan Holmes

2:30 PM on 01.26.2014

Sup Holmes goes to Pleasantville with Ackk Studios

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 ...

Jonathan Holmes







Making games about being an awful man with Austin J. photo
Making games about being an awful man with Austin J.
by Jonathan Holmes

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!

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2:30 PM on 01.19.2014

Sup Holmes passes the doctrine with Jason Rohrer

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...

Jonathan Holmes

2:00 PM on 01.12.2014

Sup Holmes gets dismal with Lisa's Austin Jorgensen

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...

Jonathan Holmes

2:30 PM on 01.05.2014

Sup Holmes sucks it down with Soda Drinker Pro's Will B.

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...

Jonathan Holmes



Nintendo squashed Earthbound dev's book plans, and more photo
Nintendo squashed Earthbound dev's book plans, and more
by Jonathan Holmes

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. 

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12:15 PM on 12.29.2013

Sup Holmes erases the eraser with Marcus Lindblom

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,...

Jonathan Holmes



Fjords dev on the spaces where great things can happen photo
Fjords dev on the spaces where great things can happen
by Jonathan Holmes

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. 

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2:25 PM on 12.22.2013

Sup Holmes puts it on the pizza with Kyle Reimergartin

[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 ...

Jonathan Holmes



The Superman principle, piracy and more with Crazy Viking photo
The Superman principle, piracy and more with Crazy Viking
by Jonathan Holmes

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. 

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The passion and resilience of Super Comboman's Justin W. photo
The passion and resilience of Super Comboman's Justin W.
by Jonathan Holmes

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. 

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