Electron Dance

Electron Dance Highlights

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.

2Jul/13Off

Counterweight 5: Audience Frustration

treguard

In this episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel "HM" Goodwin tackle the game show. Are the best game shows about the contestants, the games or the sheer spectacle? Is there still life in the format? Does this have anything to do with videogames?

Contents

01:30 "I'm going to use American examples because I am an American." ("Shit.")

03:50 "That's not the answer, you idiot!"

06:50 "There is no game show without the viewer, so you have to be involved in some way."

08:30 "They're really interested in people who get really wrong answers as opposed to the right ones."

12:10 "You're not playing along - so why is that interesting to watch?"

17:00 "I remember being bewildered by Shooting Stars, it made no sense to me."

27:10 "It's all about getting rid of people instead of watching people succeed, which I think is really problematic."

29:30 "On the whole, I think the game is less important than the people playing it."

35:50 "It was so tense. So many kids were killed on that show."

38:10 "The best physical game shows... remind us of what it's like to be kids."

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

References

And psychological play is on display in Golden Balls:

You can subscribe directly to Counterweight via iTunes or RSS.

 

24Jun/13Off

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/13Off

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.

14May/13Off

Counterweight 4: Cult of Personality

wiwtfbo

In this episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel "HM" Goodwin discuss the rise of personality and celebrity in indie game culture. Developers are finally being recognised as individuals - but not everyone can be Notch.

Contents

01:20 "How many times do they say the word Mario in this movie?"

08:40 "You just don't eat for about three years and you'll be a millionaire at the end of it."

10:20 "I think it would be really instructive to follow the failures... to see what happens to people who don't make it."

14:40 "[Twitter] really has exploded the concept of the personality as opposed to the art the person is making."

18:20 "I don't think that the mass market cares so much about what they're making to really buy into the cult of personality."

24:50 "Well, what did you expect?"

33:40 "How much more interesting would Indie Game: The Movie had been if Anna Anthropy had been a subject?"

37:40 "It's a bit strange to feel that solidifying around you."

43:50 "Richard [Hofmeier] doesn't really like having all the attention but that act he did will actually increase his reputation."

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

References

You can subscribe directly to Counterweight via iTunes or RSS.

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.

2Apr/13Off

Counterweight 3: Why Replay?

wheel of reincarnation

In this episode of Counterweight, Eric Brasure and Joel "HM" Goodwin discuss the act of replaying a game. What games encourage replays? What do multiple endings mean? Are some games better off without a replay?

Spoiler Warning: The ending for Jasper Byrne's Lone Survivor is discussed

Contents

02:30 "How many times do people now play Proteus?"

04:20 "I don't know that I would really play Dishonored with the intention of getting better at Dishonored."

05:00 "The anomaly that stands out to me at the moment is Leave Home which says you've got five minutes to play, do your best."

08:00 "And now of course in the day of YouTube, we can just watch all the endings on YouTube."

09:20 "I feel like that's a distancing effect, when I replay a game and I'm going for a specific ending."

11:50 "That's almost a commentary on replaying games as a narrative mechanic..."

14:50 "I don't think that there's much desire on my part to replay The Walking Dead."

17:50 "I'm wondering if replays are often destroying games."

19:40 "All you have is a hazy memory of certain things that you may or may not have done in the game a decade ago - and that makes it almost a new experience."

21:20 "I want to have some sort of institutional memory with videogames - and I think that's a problem, that we don't have that."

24:40 "Are we going to come out and say this stuff is a bit rubbish?"

30:20 "It does let the player fail and it lets the player fail in fundamental ways... the player could have to restart the game."

37:30 "I'm getting much more interested in games as systems."

39:50 "I find roguelikes to be really interesting... because they are explicitly designed for you to fail and to fail hard - lots of times."

44:10 "It's not about the ending it's about your journey of becoming better at the game."

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

References

You can subscribe directly to Counterweight via iTunes or RSS.

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.