Wednesday, July 20, 2016

EXP Podcast #387: Pokémon Go Debrief

Check out all the digital monsters I caught!
A game has done the unthinkable. It's made thousands of people go outside. Pokémon Go has become a cultural phenomenon overnight. Your parents, your neighbors, even your coworkers can be found wandering the streets in search of some rare Snorlax. What has the world come to? What can explain all this madness!? This week on the EXP Podcast, Scott and I venture into the tall grass to find out.

- Here's the show's stand-alone feed
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking here, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format, or click play below.





Show Notes:

- Runtime: 28 mins 40 secs
- Music by Brad Sucks

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Spelunky: The Derek Yu Curse

Let's talk about the design of Spelunky and Derek Yu's book on the game while playing it! What's the worst that could happen?


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dark Souls, Bicycles, and Level Design

This week on PopMatters, I ask: how well can you draw your favorite video game world?

The answer is probably not that well. Trust me. I tried. We actually have pretty shoddy memories, maybe especially so when it comes to design objects. You'd think since we traverse game worlds in 3D, and often in first-person, we'd have a better grasp of how things work. But honestly, even after writing about games consistently eight years (holy crap, that's a long time), dissecting level design is still a difficult process.

When I ride a bike, I don't think about the motion of the gears or the physics of the frame. I do pay attention to flat tires though, and if something is amiss I can feel it, even if I don't know what it is. So naturally when I think back on my favorite video game landscapes, the ones that work, I remember singular iconic moments. They might be vistas or crazy boss battles, or they might be a jump scare or some revelatory narrative moment.

These moments only work with a functioning frame, but they stand out because of they way that frame connects them to other singular moments and locations. We map our journeys in our mind with broad brush strokes. That might seem obvious, but remembering that, and visualising it with these crazy bike drawings, might help us appreciate designed spaces.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

EXP Podcast #386: Uncharted 4 Debrief

The most dramatic half-tuck ever documented.
This week we reach the triumphant conclusion of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.  We go into all the grave-robbing, clock-smashing, jeep-winching antics.  And before you ask, yes we did make a cheap pun about Drake's butt being a "thief's end."  I mean, how could we resist?

- Here's the show's stand-alone feed
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking here, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format, or click play below.





Show Notes:

- Runtime: 39 mins 31 secs
- Music by Brad Sucks

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

EXP Podcast #385: Cheats and Scoundrels

Full disclosure: I stole this logo from Bossland.
Blizzard has filed a lawsuit against Bossland, a German-based software company that sells access to cheat programs for Overwatch players. The company actually offers this service for other multiplayer games as well, but does cheating in Overwatch mean something different? Why do people cheat at all? And most importantly, how are Lebron James and Big Boss involved? All this and more on today's EXP Podcast!

- Here's the show's stand-alone feed
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking here, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format, or click play below.





Show Notes:

- Runtime: 31 mins 34 secs
- Music by Brad Sucks

Tuesday, July 5, 2016