Electron Dance

Electron Dance Highlights

7Sep/130

Dialogue Tree 17: Willing Things to Happen

custard-pie

On this episode of Dialogue Tree, Eric Brasure talks to Pippin Barr to discuss his collaboration with Marina Abramović, his first iOS game Snek and why it was a failure, and his game creation philosophy.

Contents

02:00 “It would be very funny--I mean, that’s the way most of my game ideas come into being.”

03:30 “As a teenager I was quite anti-art, and sort of always telling my parents that I thought that art was ridiculous.”

12:45 “I was interested in the experience of queueing, and how that feels, and how that interacts with the question of ‘what’s the valuable thing at the end of the queue?’”

16:05 “The absence of any kind of social interaction in the queue is one of the least authentic things about the game.”

21:15 “A huge amount of the process of making this particular game has been about negotiating that tension of digital things and how they are real--because you really are sitting there in front of a computer, pressing keys and looking at a screen--and also that they’re sort of unreal, because they are software, and they’re generated, and they’re just lights on a screen.”

23:00 “I’m emailing them with great frequency and constantly demanding things from them that will make the game more authentic--and causing them problems, basically.”

27:50 “I’m sufficiently antisocial that I shy away from making too many jokes in person, but I have some kind of funniness deep deep within that only comes out through programming.”

29:35 “Part of the good thing about the short games is that you finish them before you get horribly depressed and want to die.”

30:55 “I still feel kind of sad about Snek, I must admit.”

33:05 “There’s been a tendency in making games for it, to makes these games that are very transparent and feel as if you’re not really playing them, or as if you’re just ‘willing’ things to happen. Like in something like Angry Birds, where using the catapult is sort of perfect in a way, and it doesn’t feel like an effort--I wanted effort to be expended.”

34:45 “I think I really misunderstood what it takes to get an iPhone game noticed and played by enough people.”

40:40 “I’m very, very resistant to changing my methodology, which is stupid and terrible, but it seems to be a part of who I am.”

Download the podcast MP3 or play it right here in your browser:

References

You can subscribe directly to Dialogue Tree via iTunes or RSS. For more of Eric's podcasting work, please visit his site smallbatch.fm.

24Jun/131

Dialogue Tree 16: Worth Paying For

dt-16-magazines

In this episode of Dialogue Tree, Eric Brasure speaks with Alan Williamson of Split Screen and print magazine Five out of Ten. They discuss his work to develop a new kind of videogame magazine, how the publication pays writers, and what he thinks of the current writing market. Williamson also calls something "shit"--is it trains? Is it the Wii U? He didn't say "shite"--is he actually Irish? Listen to find out!

Contents

02:20 “To actually make them pay for the magazine upfront I think is really important, because it encourages them to actually pay for the things they like.”

06:05 “Whenever you set your targets really low you’re never disappointed.”

17:50 “Maybe the market wasn’t as big as we thought it was.”

20:25 “We’re looking to build up a brand, but not necessarily a media company.”

22:45 “The only difference between somebody who’s an amateur and a professional is, one’s getting paid. The difference is, those people have time to formulate really good ideas.”

29:40 “It’s almost kind of insulting to the reader’s intelligence.”

36:25 “If you’re Microsoft and you want to advertise Internet Explorer to people that know how to use the internet, you know, fair play.”

Download the podcast MP3 or play it right here in your browser:

References

You can subscribe directly to Dialogue Tree via iTunes or RSS. For more of Eric's podcasting work, please visit his site smallbatch.fm.

27May/130

Dialogue Tree 15: Deeply Cathartic

freud

In this episode of Dialogue Tree, Eric Brasure talks to Davey Wreden, creator of IndieCade nominee The Stanley Parable.

Contents

05:05 “It taught me a hell of a lot about how people internalize something that you’ve made.”

08:00 “I don’t really identify with that stuff as much as I used to.”

15:20 “I think that in fact videogames are probably as ideally suited for comedy as any medium I could imagine, just by virtue of the fact that we have so many unquestioned assumptions about the form.”

24:10 “My most cherished games that I play lately just make me feel uncomfortable with myself.”

25:15 “We’ve put up boundaries between one another that don’t need to exist.”

39:05 “I didn’t sleep well for that week.”

41:35 “Let’s get to what’s on my mind now, and not what was on my mind four years ago.”

43:55 “I really don’t know how people are going to respond to this. I don’t know.”

Download the podcast MP3 or play it right here in your browser:

References

You can subscribe directly to Dialogue Tree via iTunes or RSS. For more of Eric's podcasting work, please visit his site smallbatch.fm.

22Apr/13Off

Dialogue Tree 14: Fatigue

Man slumped over books and keyboard

In this episode of Dialogue Tree, Eric Brasure talks to Konstantinos Dimopoulos, aka Gnome. They discuss the Bundle in a Box, the diminishing economic returns of indie development and a possible way forward for indie developers.

Contents

04:20 “I’m not really comfortable with the category of ‘gamer.’”

08:25 “We’re not living in a world where competence and hard work and artistic vision are a priori appreciated.”

12:45 “It was too easy to game the poll, the voting, if everyone could vote.”

16:55 “The first two bundles were obvious losses. We lost quite a bit of money.”

20:15 “People obviously do not know what goes into a game.”

22:25 “Even the indie developers are playing it as safe as they can.”

29:25 “There was a period where you could build your audience, and I believe that this period is mostly over.”

32:45 “The fact that you can play with literature, they find it amazing.”

Download the podcast MP3 or play it right here in your browser:

Addendum: Gnome comments that RPS did write about the fourth Bundle in a Box after this interview had been recorded, on the bundle's final day.

References

You can subscribe directly to Dialogue Tree via iTunes or RSS. For more of Eric's podcasting work, please visit his site smallbatch.fm.

21Mar/13Off

Dialogue Tree 13: DIY

tools

In this episode of Dialogue Tree, Eric Brasure interviews John Sharp, associate professor of Games & Learning at Parsons. Sharp discusses his IndieCade East keynote that drew parallels between the punk DIY philosophy and indie developers. He also goes on to discuss the problems of design in the thrall of tutorials, the realities of surviving as an indie developer and a need for more anger.

Contents

02:40 “One of the things I was most struck by, I guess, was the DIY attitude that those guys had.”

03:50 “They were having to invent everything from scratch.”

07:30 “They called it a computer toy.”

10:40 “I think that robs players of their agency, to some degree.”

12:00 “They kind of found themselves painting themselves into a corner.”

15:10 “What's going on in the... 'indie academic' or 'academic indie' scene... is really quite vital.”

18:40 “...it's embarrassing to me. The number of games that involve male power fantasies about shooting.”

22:20 “Punk also sort of churned through people... it was a monster that needed youth to fuel itself.”

27:10 “The thing that's perhaps a bit of a lie from those people is that not everybody is going to be Team Meat. Not everybody is going to be Phil Fish.”

35:20 “There's a real danger there of never actually getting to make the games you want to make and, instead, making games for toothpaste companies.”

36:50 “There's a few too many people who grew up playing platformers and are kind of reliving that through making indie platform games themselves today.”

42:20 “I think there's a space for anger, let's say, inside Johann Sebastian Joust... though I don't think that's necessarily the kind of play experience Doug Wilson wants to happen inside that game.”

Download the podcast MP3 or play it right here in your browser:

References

You can subscribe directly to Dialogue Tree via iTunes or RSS.

7Mar/13Off

Dialogue Tree: Getting Better

logo-for-press-xy-transgender-issues-in-gaming-panel

In this episode of Dialogue Tree, Eric Brasure interviews Charles Battersby about his work putting together and moderating the PAX panels on transgender issues in gaming. He discusses a broad range of topics such as the fine line between stereotyping and authenticity, transgender characters as plot twists and crossplay. Battersby will be chairing a similar panel at PAX East later this month.

(Originally broadcast August 13, 2012.)

Contents

01:10 “I'd noticed over the last few decades that there are a lot of transgender videogame characters.”

05:00 “It was important to have a lot of different voices rather than just one small cross-section.”

06:20 “One of the ones that had the greatest impact for me is a game caller Nier.”

08:00 “I'm sure a lot of designers are trying to walk the balance of including transgender characters but not including offensive or negative stereotypes.”

09:30 “Far too often there is the humorous note where they try to have a transgender prostitute as a little gag.”

10:25 “It's absolutely getting better.”

11:00 “I know I talk about Kainé a lot but she really is a terrific example of a character that just happens to be transgender.”

13:40 “People often think that transgender people are weird and icky.”

15:10 “I almost always play a female character.”

17:40 “Even though my Commander Sheperd is a woman, she is actually a transvestite.”

19:30 “It's just one step away from what's already available on the market.”

24:00 “Who are all these people here to see? And it turned out they were there to see us.”

Download the podcast MP3 or play it right here in your browser:

PAX Panel Videos

Press XY: Transgender Issues in Gaming / PAX East 2012

Press XY To Continue Transgender Gaming / PAX Prime 2012

References

You can subscribe directly to Dialogue Tree via iTunes or RSS.

17Jan/13Off

Dialogue Tree: Verisimilitude

hang-in-there-small

In this episode of Dialogue Tree, Eric Brasure interviews Cart Life developer Richard Hofmeier. Hofmeier discusses the importance of the mundane, the reception of Cart Life, sports games and also whether we are moving towards a filter bubble dystopia or a world of limitless possibility.

(Originally broadcast June 12, 2012.)

Contents

01:10 “It bore the title of 'Commerce Unread' for a long time.”

12:30 “It doesn't work as a game mechanic, really at all.”

15:30 “I got a writing award when I was just a kid and I spent that money on the Sims.”

17:30 “It's the most rewarding thing I've ever worked on.”

20:00 “Games are capable of great art. Great narrative art, even.”

22:30 “I'm still waiting for someone to tear it to shreds on a message board.”

25:20 “I relate more to failures, I think most of us do.”

28:00 “The customers are individuals instead of manifestations of a type.”

31:30 “The more pain I could inflict on my loved ones in play testing, the better the game would be.”

38:50 “You either go to work as a street vendor to make money or you can go explore the city for other possibilities.”

43:10 “This game is about paperwork. It's about permits. It's about waiting in line.”

45:40 “Was that your experience with the game? Did it come anywhere close to that for you?”

47:10 “And you pick what you like from what you know.”

48:50 “That's the thing about games... by accommodating choice, it's not that you're destined in one direction... your choices expand your possibilities.”

51:40 “Everyone's capacity to be an artist can manifest in a game.”

Download the podcast MP3 or play it right here in your browser:

References

You can subscribe directly to Dialogue Tree via iTunes or RSS.

10Jan/13Off

Dialogue Tree: Struggling to Make It

pulling trolley

In this episode of Dialogue Tree, Eric Brasure interviews game developer Jonas Kyratzes about the reactions surrounding Steam’s Greenlight and what it says about both indie games and videogames in general.

Contents

02:10 “I thought this is very peculiar because there's no real system for checking what people are submitting...”

03:40 “A lot of indies are struggling to make it.”

08:50 “You can say 'I'm a hippie' or whatever - then a couple of years later they'll be selling you little hippie badges...”

10:20 “I think it's a pretty normal blind spot for people who have money.”

18:30 “It's impossible to get a $25M movie financed but you can get a $200M movie financed more easily.”

20:00 “It's not pixel graphics. It's not 3D graphics. I don't know what it is, therefore it's bad.”

21:50 “You're told this can't be successful.”

24:00 “I think games... more than any other medium, are obsessed with categorisation to such a degree.”

25:00 “Even a negative review from a major website is more likely to drive traffic to you, and to get you sales, than some small site.”

26:30 “...and to them, the history of indie games begins with Minecraft.”

30:40 “People get very angry when you suggest that maybe something is wrong with the [capitalist] system.”

31:50 “...but the ship is still sinking.”

33:50 “...I don't see most people claiming that the greatest work of literature in human history is Twilight.”

37:00 “In general, we see [games] more like something which is 'used up'...”

38:30 “The mainstream gaming industry is so obsessed with realism that their games look like shit after ten years.”

44:10 “But people are starting to think... why am I working myself to death for, you know, a few cents?”

49:50 “...while the systemic process that creates a million poor African children goes on unchecked.”

51:40 “That's pretty much human history right there - unlikely, but not impossible.”

Download the podcast MP3 or play it right here in your browser:

References

You can subscribe directly to Dialogue Tree via iTunes or RSS.

17Dec/12Off

Dialogue Tree: Flabbergasted

In this episode of Dialogue Tree, Eric Brasure interviews the actor Logan Cunningham and musician Darren Korb, who both worked on the title Bastion. In this interview, Cunningham and Korb discuss the recording process, coming to terms with the success of Bastion and thoughts on the future.

(Originally broadcast May 21, 2012 through Second Quest.)

Contents

01:20 “It's very lonely. It's very isolating.”

04:00 “The initial direction that I was given was only, like, tone and feeling or... mood and tone. They wanted something gruff.”

06:10 “I grew up loving those characters and emulating them.”

09:30 “Whenever I felt that I got it right, it was unlike anything I'd felt before.”

11:30 “I just did a friend a favour.”

13:50 “We just do it and do it and do it and do it and do it until it's right.”

19:20 “There's some amazing, amazing writers out there.”

21:10 “It's kind of amazing that it's as good as it is, because of how quickly they work.”

21:40 “A voice room session rarely goes longer than four hours.”

25:50 “But at the same time, I also love the British classical actors and the English way of doing things.”

27:30 “I guess I'm not worried about being typecast because I will have time to make up for it later.”

33:40 “I wanted to make it feel exotic.”

34:40 “This is really the only project I've worked on as a composer for a game.”

38:50 “And I was just honestly, like, super-shocked when we sold out of our first run of CDs.”

41:10 “I always knew that I had talented friends who were gonna do good things.”

42:50 “We lived in a kind of a rat hole apartment.”

44:00 “We set Logan up in the closet.”

47:10 “If I can't find a sound right away that I like, I'm just going to try and make one.”

Download the podcast MP3 or play it right here in your browser:

References

You can subscribe directly to Dialogue Tree via iTunes or RSS.

3Dec/12Off

Dialogue Tree: Ecosystem

In this episode of Dialogue Tree, Eric Brasure interviews Casey Muratori who wrote the essay "The Next Twenty Years", a warning to developers about the implications of Windows 8. Muratori discusses what led him to write the article, why the warning should be taken seriously and also touches on whether Microsoft actively supports PC gaming.

Contents

01:20 “I thought that Windows 8 was sort of a chance for the tablet space and the phone space to kind of open up like Windows had been open.”

03:40 “It's exactly the same as iOS. And so for me this actually came as quite a shock.”

12:40 “The important thing to remember is things are bad day one.”

13:40 “But it's not a new Start menu. It's a whole new architecture for deploying applications.”

21:00 “At the end of the day what I want... is not to kill off Windows and go to another operating system.”

22:20 “Those policy decisions just shouldn't be there.”

22:35 “We don't need someone telling us what we can and can't play.”

27:30 “I know that they can't operate as a single perfect hivemind.”

30:10 “The small game developer enthusiasm about Windows 8, I think, is a misplaced enthusiasm.”

32:00 “The iOS - for all of its supposed success - is really tiny, actually.”

50:00 “So, immediate future, I don't know that all that much necessarily happens.”

56:40 “Ironically, now, Microsoft is more closed than Apple.”

61:40 “Why don't they see this for what it is?”

66:30 “I don't understand why they're not terrified of that.”

Download the podcast MP3 or play it right here in your browser:

References

You can subscribe directly to Dialogue Tree via iTunes or RSS.