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July 21, 2017 In this episode, Soren interviews Steve Gaynor, co-founder of The Fullbright Company and best known for his work on BioShock 2, Minerva’s Den, and Gone Home. They discuss how bad Sierra adventure design could be, why he decided to make video games instead of comics, and about that time he interviewed Ken Levine and Tim Schafer for his zine.
Games discussed: Godzilla, Snarfs, Space Quest 4, Police Quest 2, Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, Marc Ecko Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate, Bioshock, System Shock 2, S.W.A.T. 4, Half-Life, Bioshock 2
June 16, 2017 In this episode, Soren interviews independent game designer George Fan, who is best known as the creator of Insaniquarium and Plants vs Zombies. They discuss why he learned to program instead of just focusing on art, how most Diablo monster design is a variation of kill-me-first, and why Plants vs. Zombies wasn’t Fish vs. Aliens.
Games discussed: Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., Are You Dumb?, Wrath of the Gopher, Magic: The Gathering, Bomberman, Risky Planet, Insaniquarium, Diablo 3, Plants vs Zombies, Octogeddon
May 21, 2017 In this episode, Adam Saltsman interviews independent game developer Lucas Pope, best known for the immigration officer simulation Papers Please. They discuss how Naughty Dog taught him to mercilessly cut features, why it might be a good thing if Obra Dinn is bad, and how Adam has time to do these interviews.
Games discussed: Malice, Gearhead Garage, Papers Please, The Republia Times, Return of the Obra Dinn
May 6, 2017 In this episode, Soren Johnson interviews legendary game designer Sid Meier, best known for designing Pirates!, Railroad Tycoon, and Civilization. They discuss what game Sid wishes he designed, how to determine if a prototype should be turned into a game, and why we need a Zombie civilization.
Games discussed: Civilization Revolution, CivWorld, Ace Patrol, Starships, Tetris, SimCity, Seven Cities of Gold
February 23, 2017 In this episode, Soren Johnson interviews legendary game designer Sid Meier, best known for designing Pirates!, Railroad Tycoon, and Civilization. They discuss why dinosaurs need to have ranged attacks, how deals go down on the SimGolf course, and if Civ games have an ideal length.
Games discussed: CPU Bach, Magic: The Gathering, Hearthstone, Gettysburg, Dinosaurs, SimGolf, Pirates!, Railroads!, Civilization Revolution
November 23, 2016 In this episode, Soren Johnson interviews legendary game designer Sid Meier, best known for designing Pirates!, Railroad Tycoon, and Civilization. They discuss how Sid’s stealth fighter was more interesting than the real one, whether XCOM violates the Covert Action rule, and when the world was ready for hexes.
Games discussed: Covert Action, Railroad Tycoon, SimCity, F-19 Stealth Fighter, Civilization, Empire
October 25, 2016 In this episode, Soren Johnson interviews legendary game designer Sid Meier, best known for designing Pirates!, Railroad Tycoon, and Civilization. They discuss using the Ayatollah Khomeini as an enemy, how Strike Eagle differentiated itself from Flight Simulator, and why the torpedo doesn’t go where the player aims it in Silent Spring.
Games discussed: Pong, Floyd of the Jungle, Strike Eagle, Silent Service, Seven Cities of Gold, Pirates!
October 4, 2016 In this episode, Soren Johnson interviews veteran game designer Amy Hennig, best known for her work on the Legacy of Kain and Uncharted series. They discuss what elements from film can’t work in games, how many hours she averaged per week working on the Uncharted series, and how to capture great acting performance for video games.
Games discussed: The Uncharted series, The Last of Us
September 20, 2016 In this episode, Soren Johnson interviews veteran game designer Amy Hennig, best known for her work on the Legacy of Kain and Uncharted series. They discuss what happened in 1977, how to make a platformer about Michael Jordan, and whether women are now being scared away from game development the way she was from the film industry. In true adventure game fashion, we end on a cliffhanger!
Games discussed: ELIZA, Sea Wolf, Combat, Dungeons and Dragons, Zork, Electrocop, Bard’s Tale 4, Desert Strike, Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City, the Legacy of Kain series, Jak 3
August 4, 2016 In this episode, Adam Saltsman interviews independent game developer Liz Ryerson, known for experimental games like Problem Attic. They discuss whether we should ever make players uncomfortable, why horror games have more freedom to try unconventional design, and whether Twitter is a game.
Games discussed: The Civilization series, Overland, Problem Attic, Train, Papers Please, PRY
June 15, 2016 In this episode, Soren interviews Westwood Studio co-founder Louis Castle. They discuss why early video game artists were also great at Etch-a-Sketch, why Dune 2 was not Dune 1, how Boom Blox was almost Angry Birds, and why narrative games can’t end on a negative.
Games Discussed: Temple of Apshai, The Mars Saga, Command & Conquer, Monopoly, Dune 2, Eye of the Beholder, Blade Runner, Boom Blox, LMNO, The Battle for Middle-Earth
May 6, 2016 In this episode, Bruce Geryk interviews Soren Johnson about his new economic RTS, Offworld Trading Company. They discuss how exploring a black map is one of gaming’s greatest hits, why the hardest part of designing Offworld was ending the game, and why Early Access games shouldn’t have QA. Also, listen to hear Soren correctly pronounce timbre!
Games Discussed: Offworld Trading Company, StarCraft, Age of Empires 2, Railroad Tycoon, M.U.L.E., Belter
April 1, 2016 In this episode, Soren interviews game designer Ananda Gupta, best known as the co-designer of Twilight Struggle and the lead designer of XCOM: Enemy Within. They discuss why DC has no fort in For the People, whether Labyrinth's neocon design is intentional, and should Twilight Struggle use dice to resolve conflicts. They also assume quite incorrectly that Command & Conquer: Generals was released before 9/11. Who knew?!?
Games Discussed: Lode Runner, Ancient Art of War, Diplomacy, the Risk series, Paths of Glory, Twilight Struggle, History of the World, Labyrinth, A Distant Plain, Sept. 12th, Civ 3: Conquests, A Force More Powerful, X-COM,
February 15, 2016 In this episode, Adam Saltsman interviews Tyriq Plummer, who is the artist, designer, and programmer behind the roguelike platformer Catacomb Kids. They discuss why a game should let you eat your severed arm, how items can be adjectives instead of verbs, and how to design a deep game when you don't see the bottom yet.
Games Discussed: Lonely Hated Rock, Powder, Spelunky, Catacomb Kids, Cibele
January 19, 2016 In this episode, Soren interviews Nels Anderson, who was the lead designer of the critically acclaimed Mark of the Ninja and is currently a designer/programmer at Campo Santo working on the upcoming game Firewatch. They discuss how he almost went into law enforcement, whether Mark of the Ninja actually has AI, and why designers should be able to write code.
Games Discussed: Thief, Planescape: Torment, DeathSpank, Mark of the Ninja, Firewatch