Saturday, September 5, 2009

EXP Podcast: PAX 2009, Day 1

Experience Points is in Seattle for PAX 2009! The days are unbelievably packed with all things gaming related. Much of our first day was spent in the various panels, so this podcast serves as a sort of debriefing session. Feel free to to leave your thoughts or questions in the comments, and if you are in Seattle, let us know so that we can stop by and say "Hi!"

To listen to the podcast:

- Subscribe to the EXP Podcast via iTunes here. Additionally, here is the stand-alone feed.
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking the title. Or, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format.
- Subscribe to this podcast and EXP's written content with the RSS link on the right.

Show notes:

- Run time: 29 min 08 sec
- Music provided by Brad Sucks


  1. Note: Richard Garfield has expirieince with Magic: The Gathering in that he invented it.

    As for the ideas of ciritcs and journalism. Absolutely with you, though I think part of it is that Games Journalism is that games are coming into their own at the same point where the economy is tanking and taking all of journalism with it. Most notably The New York Times thinking about closing its doors.

    And great there is a legal reason to make something unique, now if there was only a monetary one.

  2. My jealousy of those at PAX is... substantial. So be sure to make the most of it for those of us who couldn’t attend.

    It doesn't surprise me that a writer picked out the embedded narrative elements of Portal for praise. Such elements are just as authored as anything written in a book, the real difference is in the final means of presentation.

    It seems to be a common assumption that all a writer can bring to game design is a skill with words, this is a little short sighted. Good writers have experience with structure, characterisation, story arcs, and a fundamental understanding of narrative tools and techniques that a lot of game designers lack. Narrative in games can use a lot of those similar techniques and concepts albeit with the end result rendered not in letters and words but in pixels and polygons.

    Also a minor correction, it’s the International game Developers Association not the Independent Game Developers Association. It’s a mistake I’ve seen a lot of people making recently and it seems to speak to the mentality that somehow the IGDA is primarily for independent developers which is not the case.

  3. Thanks for listening, and more importantly, thanks for keeping us in check.

    @ thegamecritique
    I player for MtG for over a decade, I owe far more respect for Richard Garfield. If he is the creator, he has all the praise I can lavish. In the journalism vein, it's a damn shame the economy muddles the changing face of journalism so absolutely. My hats off to those navigating the field currently.

    @ CrashT
    Well said thoughts. I think I come from the presumption that the plethora of bad games writers don't actually have much experience with in-game story telling. Tom is definitely not one of those writers. It's also no surprise Valve received his praise; Half-Life and Left 4 Dead and loaded with embedded narrative.

    As for the IGDA, maybe I'm just projecting. I like to imagine the indie crowd is represented with the type of activist members the IGDA has shown itself to have over the past few weeks.

  4. I really enjoyed listening to this podcast! I've never seriously considered going to PAX, but listening to you guys makes me realize that I'd probably enjoy it in many of the same ways that I enjoyed GDC. (And wow, PAX is a lot cheaper. But GDC is local for me, which makes up most of the price difference.) Thanks for the reporting; I'm looking forward to listening to days 2 and 3.

  5. Hi David,

    Thanks for listening. I've never been to GDC (although after last year, I'm very eager to attend). From what I gather, PAX is a bit different in that it is very much focused on the players.

    Maybe we'll see each other at GDC next year? :-)