Wednesday, August 24, 2011

EXP IndieCast #6: Traumatic Parables

We have clicked though the photograph, plummeted through spiked filled tunnels, and shattered the fourth wall entirely on this week's independent games focused podcast. Join Scott and I as we journey through the surreal landscape of Trauma, flip ourselves upside-down in VVVVVV, and try to wrap our heads around the strange construction of The Stanley Parable. As always, we encourage you to check out these games on your own, listen to our discussion, then chime in with your thoughts in the comments section below.

Also, as you will hear in the episode, all listeners who subscribe to the show using the feedburner RSS feed will need to switch your subscription to the libsyn feed to keep the flow of juicy EXP podcasts coming. How you ask? Simple, just click the stand-alone feed below and subscribe as normal. We thank you all for your patience as we make some technical adjustments.

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 here. 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: 38min 21 sec
- Trauma
- The Stanley Parable
- Music provided by Brad Sucks


  1. I really enjoyed The Stanley Parable, but I have to disagree with the opinion that the designer is the narrator. The narrator is upset when you go off-script, but the designer obviously isn't, because as you noted, everything was put there deliberately. In fact, the designer is saying "You CAN'T go off script, because I'm in charge here. If you want to be in charge, you have to leave." That's why I quit at the "press escape" bit. (And I was maybe hoping a little for a "You got me!" win condition.)

    It's an interesting statement about choice. But I don't think it was meant to be a commentary on games in general. Just this one.

  2. thank you for mentioning me twice in the cast. I was very interested in what you guys had to say about the game.

    I am curious what your favorite ending to the games was. My favorite was probably the where I was just push the buttons trying to figure out the correct pattern when their really is nothing you can do; even after the narrator told me that it was pointless I still tried for one or two more minutes. The reason that I would say that it is my favorite is it made me think differently about video games more so than any of the others.

  3. Great podcast. Keep up the good work :)

    About the RSS feed:
    Should I still subscribe to the Blogspot RSS feed ( if if I want to continue receiving the articles?

    About The Stanley Parable:
    I recently listened to a podcast called "Podcast 17" where they did an interview with Davey Wreden, the guy behind the mod. It is quite interesting, especially the fact that he had no idea what he was doing, but kind of threw things on the wall to see what stuck and what didn't. He had no real intention behind it except doing something different. It was first late in the process that he discovered that the game was actually a critical response to videogames in general.

    He sums the game up as a critical comment on the medium's pursue of freedom and choices in games. In his opinion, games can't never truly be about freedom; despite how many choices you give the player, they will always be limited by the designer who made the game. So instead of trying to hide the fact that a game can't give you 100% freedom ("it's all smoke and mirrors"), he uses it to give the player a limited set of interesting choices. If you want true freedom, there is a thing called "life", he argues.

    Dave Wreden sounds like a very interesting guy, and the podcast is well worth a listen (although there is a lot of Valve talk at the beginning):