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About declan

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  1. Other podcasts

    The latest and last (!) Checkpoints just went live today, ep #128. I posted about this on here a bunch in the early days, especially as I had Sean and Chris on at various points, but the time has come to put a bow on it. Appropriately enough given the posts above, for the final show I managed to pull Robert Ashley from video game retirement and we have a brilliant chat about his life in games. There are a bunch of reasons I'm finishing up the show - which if you're interested I talk about in next week's epilogue episode where I'm interviewed by Violet Berlin - suffice to say it's for good reasons. I'm sticking the landing. It's been a brilliant time! Thanks to everyone who has listened. If you never listened I'm going to start repeating the show from the start in the next few weeks. The content is evergreen, iTunes only archives the last 100 eps and there are WAY more people listening to the show now than there were at the start so it seems appropriate.
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    Hi! When I started my podcast Checkpoints and was trying to find an audience I shared the first few episodes in this very thread and people seemed to really dig it, especially as I've had a couple of the guys from Idle Thumbs on the show, including quite recently Ben Andac, now a Video game producer who I discovered during the interview was actually one of the original thumbs founders back on the old blog. Anyway, I've just hit episode 100 which is a milestone I'm super proud of so wanted to come back and say thanks for that early support. If you don't know the show, it's an interview show where each week a guest shares the games that shaped their life. Episode 100 is with Tim Schafer!
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    Checkpoints is fifty (!) episodes old today. I celebrated by releasing an episode with Bennett Foddy - the creator of QWOP, philosopher, professor and some time bass player in Cut Copy - and launching a Patreon. Just wanted to say a huge thank you to this community especially for being supportive of the show and putting up with my links. I know it's not a huge milestone, but I wasn't sure if I'd make it to five, let alone fifty. Sincerely, if you've checked out the show, thanks so much for listening.
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    New episode of Checkpoints is out and my guest is Steve McNeil, one of the co-creators of Go 8 Bit which starts on Dave tonight at 10pm. (Dave is a TV channel in the UK for the confused Americans.) It's a great show too, it's been rechristened Dara O'Briain's Go 8 Bit since Dara is hosting, but Steve and Sam are the team captains who team up with celebrities and play video games. It's a good show, and it was super interesting to hear Steve talk about the challenge of translating the show from the stage to TV.
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    Thanks for listening, glad you liked it. Hopefully the TV show will be good. I'm speaking to the guys who made it this week so that episode will be out soon.
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    Haha! It wasn't awkward at all. We kind of planned to go off rails? When we were setting it up I suggested the idea that we weave a bunch of fake games into the episode. It fits his playful artistic style and since we were first introduced when I offered to help him prank some of his friends it felt appropriate. I was quite nervous because I went in to it knowing we were going to be improvising a bunch of things and I wasn't so sure of my skills to keep up with him but I think it turned out OK. There are definitely moments where no matter what I was doing or planning William was going to do William things but I was totally happy with that. I actually have a special episode coming up about the relationship between acting and role playing games and I spoke to William again. Even that short clip veers very quickly from genuine insight to wild chaos and back again. I think he's excellent. Thanks for listening!
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    Belter of a Checkpoints this week with Ellie Gibson, formerly of Eurogamer, now one half of Scummy Mummies and soon to be seen in a new Video game TV show (in the UK, sorry) Dara O'Briain's Go 8 Bit. Probably the most I've ever laughed in an episode. All the iTunes, RSS links etc are here: Thanks!
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    Unsurprisingly I love Desert Island Discs and it was a big inspiration for Checkpoints. It's such an institution in the UK I forget that people in America might not be familiar with the format, but it's such a neat way to get an insight into somebodies life. I was much less strict with the rules in Checkpoints partly because I didn't want to give guests homework before they came on the show, and also because I think video games work differently to music in this context. Once you start going down the route of choosing specific games it becomes more of a puzzle of which games do you want to last forever, whereas I was much more interested in the human relationship with games and how they hit at certain points of your life. Even garbage games can be meaningful if they catch you in the right moment. I'm no Kirsty Young yet but I'm doing my best. Anyway, Checkpoints #45 is up. Hey look, it's Chris Remo! -
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    I have a thing for the forgotten genius. Alongside Chris Crawford and Mel Croucher we now have Eskil Steenberg. The Swedish developer who didn't make Minecraft, he made Love. This is one of the best chats I've had, but since nobody seems to know about him it's not been the most popular one so far, but I would highly recommend checking it out. Dude is amazing. Like, he's still doing games but he's also decided to try and re-engineer the internet as a side project. As a side project! Also, we seriously break down and define what a game actually is, which I realise doesn't exactly sound like a party but it was legit thrilling.
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    This week's guest on my show wrote code for satellites, made a game every week for a year* and created a game jam on a train and called it the Train Jam because of course! Checkpoints #38 with Adriel Wallick - *this is my favourite game from that year. It is painful and true if you've ever tried to make something - **also sorry that my cheap plug interrupted the flow of the chat!
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    The listening habits are super interesting, as are the types of shows. When I first got into podcasts every show I listened to was either a proxy version of a radio show or a roundtable discussion, so 1 Up Yours, GFW, Skeptics Guide, Penn Jillette, This Week in Tech. For a while it seemed like everything I listened to was like that but now the only examples I can think of are Idle Thumbs, Harmontown and Mark Kermode's Film Show. Everything else is interviews, WTF regardless of who is on, then a billion others depending on the guest - Q&A Screenwriting, Nerdist/Writer's Panel, Colt Cabana, Adam Buxton, Everything is Terrible, Beautiful Anonymous. I totally get that people do this with my show too, but it's super interesting seeing which episodes pop and which don't. Like, the one with Jeff I expected to be pretty popular and it was, but a week later I had Shailesh Prabhu who is a relatively unknown developer from India. I mean, he was super interesting and had such a fascinating perspective on games, but I figured it wouldn't be as popular as Jeff's but I was totally wrong, it was way more popular. I guess the fact he's one of the few developers from India? I've never really got into serialised story shows, but I love stuff like The Moth, TAL, Risk etc. I keep trying but I've yet to find one that clicks. I have a friend who listens to everything double speed so he can get through it all which seems super crazy to me but I guess it works for them. Marc Flury was on the show this week btw, he was a lead on Beatles Rock Band but then he went off and formed his own studio with one of the members of the band Lightning Bolt. He lives in Seoul now and they're making a game called Thumper which looks AMAZING -
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    When do you all listen to podcasts? I live in a city centre so I pretty much walk everywhere, work, shopping, pub etc. I also listen in the bath and as I go to sleep. This is usually an hour/hour and a half a day tops, then maybe an extra two hours on weekends for errands & exercise. It's getting to a point where there are so many good shows I'm running out of time to listen, especially trying to break new shows into the rotation. Like, I've tried so hard to get into Friends at the Table because it seems right up my alley, but at two or three hours a pop I just can't justify it, especially when I have shows that I never miss - WTF, Radiolab, Harmontown, Idle Thumbs.
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    Hello & welcome to Checkpoints #35 with everyone's favourite gaming dad, Jeff Green. We talk about Jeff's delinquent youth in a pinball gang, how to balance marriage and Hearthstone, bonding with his daughter in WoW, how awful it is to have to write about modems and how amazing it is to write about games. We wax lyrical about Half Life and Doom, wonder whether stories in games matter, think about the impact of podcasting and share thoughts on the latest Hearthstone expansion. This was a treat.
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    You're totally setting me up for promoting my own show and I'm sorry, it's gross, but I really think you'd dig it. I felt all of those frustrations with Video game shows. I made this one because it was something I really wanted to listen to. It's a show about people as much as it is about games, and about how games have influenced their life, how certain games hit you at a certain point and just twist your point of view. I didn't want to do anything as simplistic as 'pick your favourite games!' because your favourite game might not be the one that got you through that break up or bonded you with your best pal. One of my favourite examples is from a recent ep I recorded with Stephen Bailey, a Video game analyst. He talked about how after two years of panicked study in university, he offered himself a lifeline and bought a Sega Saturn and a copy of Guardian Heroes. The explosion of colour and joy made him realise he had to start looking after himself, because if he didn't, he was going to miss out on some spectacular shit. It sounds kinda trite written down but it was such a great moment in the show. On the latest episode my guest is William Pugh, one of the co-creators of the Stanley Parable. I really, really enjoyed recording this episode but it's proven quite divisive to regular listeners. Listen here: all the iTunes and RSS stuff is on the site too.
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    Hey, I've not revisited this for a while. Checkpoints #33 is up with Keith Stuart, Games Editor of the Guardian. This is a family episode. From his earliest memories of he and his dad as co-conspirators in the notion that a home computer would be 'good for homework', through to his own life as a father, and how he and his son's relationship has been completely transformed by Minecraft. Family chat! The teens are gonna love it. We talk about writing Video game manuals, the magic of Phantasy Star Online, the forgotten Mario and Zelda games on the CDi, chasing the football dragon in Champ Manager, the role of a games journalist in the world of the streamer and the fascinating relationship between acting and playing video games. All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. CHOOSE YOUR CLASS. If you're into the show a rating or review on iTunes is massively appreciated and genuinely helps out the show a great deal, as does any kind of social media sharing. Thanks! iTunes RSS Web For the sake of balance, and in case nobody's mentioned it yet, the Beautiful/Anonymous podcast is amazing. I've been hugely enjoying it. Hell of a lot of pressure on the host and he does incredibly well -