Electron Dance

Electron Dance Highlights

29Oct/142

Counterweight 14: All Hallow’s Eve

IntoTheGloom 2014-08-17 19-42-31-64

In this episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel Goodwin discuss three HAUNTED games for Halloween. The Rapture is Here and You Will Be Forcibly Removed From Your Home (Connor Sherlock, 2013), CHYRZA (Kitty Horrorshow, 2014) and Into the Gloom (Emmanuel Ramos, 2014). This is pretty much a spoilery podcast so, uh, sorry about that.

Contents

The Rapture is Here and You Will Be Forcibly Removed From Your Home (Connor Sherlock, 2013)

03:10 "There is a sense of menace about it."

04:30 "The actual environment you are in is interesting to run around in but the story bits just didn't seem to make much sense conceptually."

12:50 "As a cohesive whole, it doesn't really gel."

CHYRZA (Kitty Horrorshow, 2014)

15:10 "It's like one of those very odd horror stories where you really don't know what's going on... but it's a bit creepy and disturbing."

16:50 "I like it because it teaches you how to play the game very quickly."

21:20 "I need gameplay to justify why you're going to be listening to my story. I need the story to justify why you have to do this ridiculous game play."

Into the Gloom (Emmanuel Ramos, 2014)

25:40 "It reminded me a lot of playing games when I was a teenager."

27:50 "I gave up near the end because I found it quite frustrating."

37:40 "It's definitely a game where you have to take it on its own terms."

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

References

You can subscribe directly to Counterweight via iTunes or RSS.

27May/1414

Counterweight 13: Threes

threes_cw
In this episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel "HM" Goodwin discuss celebrated pocket puzzle game Threes (Sirvo, 2014). Yes, we know it's not a PC game.

Contents

03:00 "It's just a very well-constructed game and it's also a joy to play."

08:00 "The uncertainty can be devastating to your game."

12:00 "The key to what makes it difficult is the movement."

16:50 "It's a very mindful game and you really have to be present when you're playing it."

24:30 "I'm staring at this... feels like an impossible board."

26:30 "I think you just must be an old man, Joel."

29:10 "2048 trumps Threes straight away."

31:50 "I don't know why people like this sort of thing."

35:40 "Trying to convince someone who's played 2048 to read a 60 million word article on the development of Threes is not going to work."

43:10 "If people can undermine you with free-to-play... then you might need to do that too, but that will change the game you make."

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

References

You can subscribe directly to Counterweight via iTunes or RSS.

10Apr/1419

Counterweight 12: On Fear of Twine

It's Twine Week on Electron Dance. This is the fourth of five posts.

fear-of-twine
In this specially extended episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel "HM" Goodwin go through the Fear of Twine exhibition (2014), curated by Richard Goodness.

Contents

Room One

01:30 Debt by Tony Perriello "It's almost like a text movie"

05:30 Duck Ted Bundy by Coleoptera-Kinbote "It is manic"

10:00 The Conversation I Can't Have by Morgan Rille "She wasn't writing as a victim"

14:00 The Matter of the Great Red Dragon by Jonas Kyratzes "This is the kind of thing he does and he does it well"

Room Two

19:15 Zombies and Elephants by Verena Kyratzes "I really like this twine"

27:45 Workers in Progress by Konstantinos "Gnome" Dimopoulos "It makes sense to view it as a work of speculative fiction"

Room Three

32:45 When Acting as a Wave by David T. Marchand "This is my personal favourite of the entire set"

37:00 The Girl in the Haunted House by Amanda Lange "This is an example of something you couldn't do in the short story format"

40:30 The Scientific Method by Evil Roda "I like this one because I'm a sucker for end of world stuff"

44:00 Drosophilia by Pippin Barr, Gordon Calleja and Sidsel Hermansen "What is going on?"

Room Four

47:45 Abstract State-warp Machines by Ivaylo Shmilev "It had a lot to say"

51:30 The Work by Cayora Rue "You don't know it's secret, do you?"

57:45 Coyotaje by Joseph Domenici "It's not about big picture, it's about what people go through"

63:15 TWEEZER by Richard Goodness and PaperBlurt "It's kinda charming, right?"

Closing Thoughts

70:10 "My feelings towards Twine have changed"

73:15 "Look at the twines I found most successful, they were probably also the ones that were the most technically complex"

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

References

You can subscribe directly to Counterweight via iTunes or RSS.

Twine Week

4Mar/144

Counterweight 11: Miasmata

cw-miasmata
In this episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel "HM" Goodwin fall in love with island survival game Miasmata (IonFX, 2012).

Contents

01:00 "I think this is probably one of the better games that I've played in the last couple of years."

03:10 "The game gives you just enough information to get in a lot of trouble."

04:10 "The strength of the game is that you feel lost in the beginning but the atmosphere powers you through..."

10:50 "I felt like I had done something really great."

23:30 "Nobody had a bag on the island? Like nobody? At all? Like, nobody thought to bring one? Or make one?"

26:30 "...and I literally rolled backwards away from my desk."

31:50 "The game was made by two people so it's amazing that the game is as complicated as it is."

37:10 "And I was really upset, I'll be honest."

42:50 "Some of the environmental narrative aspects are really quite... they're a bit crude."

44:00 "The game is so good at creating this atmosphere of loneliness..."

46:50 "But it is one of the most striking things I found on the island."

50:20 "It's really a meditative game in a way."

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

References

No companion notes this week as I've already written about the game previously in The Beast and The Island.

You can subscribe directly to Counterweight via iTunes or RSS.

28Jan/1422

Counterweight 10: Bioshock Infinite

cw10-bioshock-infinite-facepalm
In this specially extended episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel "HM" Goodwin get their claws into Bioshock Infinite (Irrational Games, 2013). Danger: spoilers, profanity and genuine anger within.

Contents

02:10 "It's probably the most important game of last year."

03:40 "Columbia Celebrates! Ooh? What about? You can't read the newspaper!"

05:20 "...[a] serious game about prejudice and multiple realities... and they've put a bloody rollercoaster in it!"

07:50 "The game parts of the game aren't any good, the shooting parts aren't any good, the exploration is frankly pointless..."

15:50 "It's The Stanley Parable without the funny."

18:00 "Just referencing [The Boxer Rebellion or the Pinkertons] is not enough, you're not doing anything with them."

19:30 "Bioshock Infinite: The Notgame - and that would be a good game to play."

21:10 "Whatever we say on this podcast here, Bioshock Infinite made a ton of money and was very successful."

27:10 "There's a glibness to it I find offensive."

30:50 "It's basically an episode of Fringe only worse than Fringe."

42:30 "And there's no sense that the story needs to make any sense because after all it's just a videogame, right Joel?"

43:50 "It's just not good enough... it's over-convoluted. It's deliberately trying to confuse the player."

47:50 "The whole game feels like cooking with a 7-year old."

50:10 "We should try to talk about things we liked about it."

53:20 "We were supposed to talk about things we liked, so I think we failed."

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

References

It might be a little long, but for the Infinite haters, I strongly recommend Joannes Truyens' Bioshock Infinite script:

"We’re now heading into another new universe where a quantum-reanimated gunsmith might have access to his tools so that he can craft a bunch of weapons while bleeding all over them, only so that the Vox will give us back the airship that I just randomly selected from plenty of other available ones. We can’t even be sure I made the same deal with Fitzroy in that universe."

COMPANION NOTES ALSO AVAILABLE: "One word. Trash."

You can subscribe directly to Counterweight via iTunes or RSS.

3Dec/13Off

Counterweight 9: Suzy and freedom

Suzy and freedom screenshot
In this episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel "HM" Goodwin tackle the disturbing Suzy and freedom (Nicolau Chaud, 2013). Companion notes are available in a separate post.

Story spoilers start 23 minutes in.

Contents

05:20 "Then you get the first platform puzzle and I wanted to throw my computer out the window."

15:50 "But there's also other parts [where] the mechanic is closely tied to the meaning of the game and those are the bits that work."

20:30 "It relies on information and ... intuition in a way that I find very interesting."

22:40 "It grinds the game to a halt not because it's a challenging part of the game but because it's not done well."

27:00 "...because it is such a strange story and it is such a strange out of left field experience for the player to be having..."

32:10 "But also she is playing a game with him. She doesn't care about him, she doesn't care about her parents."

36:40 "I love how stupid they are, though. I love the fact that they are all so stupid."

40:30 "...there's that great line where Suzy says, 'Oh, when I can sell the house?'"

45:00 "This very stark moment and the art he's choosing to use in that moment is pretty terrifying."

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

References

You can subscribe directly to Counterweight via iTunes or RSS.

29Oct/13Off

Counterweight 8: Gone Home

gone-home-tv
In this specially extended episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel "HM" Goodwin tackle Gone Home (The Fullbright Company, 2013). In a first, Joel tells Eric to check his privilege. Spoilers within.

Contents

02:00 "It wasn't what I thought it was going to be - I'll be honest."

12:00 "And then you get the first audio journal and it suddenly morphs into a completely different game."

16:20 "I like it when games misdirect the player."

20:20 "Let's be clear about this, Gone Home still uses ... gamey conventions to work, right?"

23:10 "...would that have done well, say, ten years ago? That we're talking about the audiences moving on, not simply just the designers."

34:20 "I have never been in Casablanca in 1943 but Casablanca the movie works for me."

38:50 "I tended to feel this was a very good TV movie."

43:00 "There's a lot of gay cinema and gay literature out there which makes it seem like coming out is like the worst thing ever..."

47:50 "...you don't have to use your brain a lot in Gone Home?"

49:20 "That moment doesn't exist if you don't get that journal fragment..."

52:30 "It came across as being positive but I couldn't really swallow that."

56:10 "I really do look forward to playing the next game from The Fullbright Company."

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

References

There are also Companion Notes for this podcast!

You can subscribe directly to Counterweight via iTunes or RSS.

17Sep/13Off

Counterweight 7: Papers, Please

papers please

In this episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel "HM" Goodwin discuss the acclaimed Papers, Please (Lucas Pope, 2013). Spoilers within.

Contents

01:40 "I would say I... liked it."

04:20 "That's my main problem with the game, it just doesn't know when to quit."

05:10 "It doesn't have to be fun but the thing is Papers, Please was actually fun."

07:00 "It was the moments like that where the game really came alive for me..."

12:20 "There's some good and bad in the fact that the interface is a bit unreadable at times."

21:00 "And that's a moment of Cart Life there, I thought."

24:10 "Oh, I didn't know you could turn the photo around!"

27:00 "Here's a game that is getting across what it feels like to do a good job."

32:00 "It's oppressive in some ways, but it doesn't feel oppressive enough at times."

35:10 "We haven't talked about the one big problem that I had with it, which was..."

42:40 "It does a lot of interesting things that I haven't seen many other games do."

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

References

You can subscribe directly to Counterweight via iTunes or RSS.

7Sep/13Off

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.

13Aug/13Off

Counterweight 6: The Last of Consoles

red-ring-of-death

In this episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel "HM" Goodwin wonder if the final days of the game console are upon us. Or maybe they're talking about the end of PC gaming?

Contents

01:00 "I did have a conversation with at work with somebody recently who thought PC gaming was dead."

05:20 "There's no margin for error in that industry any more."

09:00 "Gaming is becoming much less important to the console experience."

13:40 "If Steven Spielberg is not sufficiently formulaic for Hollywood then Hollywood has an enormous problem."

19:10 "It's like something has to happen... but I can't figure it out."

26:50 "[Maybe] they're going to mobile and maybe that's not great for games... but that seems where things are headed."

35:10 "The form factor of whatever computing device you are using does influence the games that people are playing on them."

37:50 "But I wonder if consoles were the reason that PC upgrades stopped."

42:30 "I don't know what [platform] is going to be good for games."

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

References

You can subscribe directly to Counterweight via iTunes or RSS.