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About Nijhazer

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  1. The reader that wrote in about her friends who make sexist comments never specified what the comments were. A few minutes after that conversation, you folks started talking about Playboy and the ubiquity of boobs online, a conversation that would get you reported to HR if you had it in my office. While I agree with Sean's point about the importance of encouraging thoughtful behavior, I can't agree with the suggestion that the reader distance herself from her friends, especially based on the limited amount of information being used to make such a harsh judgment of other people. Danielle's suggestion that the reader take her friends aside individually and talk to them about it is a good one primarily because it comes from a place of respect and understanding. To do otherwise would be to make negative assumptions about the intent behind these comments.
  2. Idle Thumbs 157: Molymoto

    The Japanese game scene is currently dominated by mobile games, chasing the success that Clash of Clans and Puzzle & Dragons have had over there. These games are as memorable and impactful as mobile games from the West, which is to say, not at all; hence, we don't see them over here. Some notable Japanese titles are still being developed, but most of the development effort in that country has been taken away from console games. And the PC has never been as much of a gaming platform there as it has here, let alone in other Asian countries. Independent Japanese game developers have been active for several years, but aren't actively encouraged as they are here in North America. Some folks have been trying to change that, including a few Westerners. A few years ago, James Mielke (formerly of put together a yearly event called BitSummit, intended to highlight and encourage smaller Japanese game developers. The folks at localization house 8-4 have been working with notable Japanese game developers to encourage more presentations at GDC. And companies like 8-4 and Playism have also been working with smaller Japanese game developers to manage their crowdfunding campaigns so that they can develop new games using international funding while keeping in touch with their worldwide fanbase to an extent that would otherwise be impossible. So, this stuff is still going on. Smaller companies making games that can be appreciated worldwide is a big challenge, but even in Japan there are still groups of passionate developers that are willing to take it on. It's a challenge that faces Campo Santo as well, honestly; and at some point in the future I'd love to hear you guys talk about your own approach to that challenge. Is it important to you that Firewatch find some degree of an audience in countries outside the United States; and if so, what are some steps that you've considered taking in that direction as part of designing the game?
  3. No worries, man. What you guys are really the best at doing is talking about the things, and the people, that you really like. For example, your discussion of Quadrilateral Cowboy really hooked me on this episode-- previously, the game hasn't been on my radar even though you guys have talked about it before, but I'm definitely looking forward to it now.
  4. One of the best episodes in months. Whatever you guys changed in your podcasting setup, it's a the donuts.
  5. This is what I was referring to earlier: That's the sort of environment that you will see at any startup / game development studio, and it's far from ideal, but at least they're being up-front about it. I don't begrudge folks their frustration with the job posting, but for many people, I think the frustration isn't so much with this specific posting as it is with this sort of thing being the status quo for small businesses that need a full-time tech staff.
  6. Actually, no, that is not a thing that they said.
  7. My interpretation of that whole thing was, "We need someone who loves this company so much that s/he will devote his/her life to it, because those are the expectations we have of ourselves". Many folks reacted particularly harshly to this because it's Penny Arcade, true, but at least they were being honest. I believe that the real reason for the backlash is that these expectations are par for the course at most startups, particularly here in the Bay Area. I don't blame these startups for it being this way, but neither do I want to be a part of that, which is why I generally discourage folks who call me about startup positions.
  8. Double Fine's Amnesia Fortnight 2014

    I've been so looking forward to this! My podcast was completely dedicated to AF last week, and even this week it's all I want to discuss. All of these games could be great, but I'm really rooting for Derek Brand and his team. He seems nervous, understandably so, but I love the concept and the theme of Mnemonic and am looking forward to seeing what the team does with it.
  9. For me, this is really it. Watching the conversation around Nintendo that's happening in other forums has been incredibly frustrating, So common is the mindset that all Nintendo needs to do in order to rake in the profits is lower the cost of their games from $30 to $1, eschewing all of their standards so that they can be a part of a bloated club full of developers who have figured out everything about the platform except how to make any money. Short-minded investors and analysts shout at Nintendo to think of all the billions of dollars they could make by taking a steaming shit all over the IP they've spent years developing, as if an entertainment company that has been an industry leader since the inception of the industry itself has anything to learn from a guy in Seattle that left his job at Boeing so that he could rake in $20,000/year making free-to-play games for iOS. If there was any good news coming out of Nintendo's financial report, it was their announcement of intent to start buying back their stock.
  10. Nah. All the Spelunky talk of late has gotten me to start playing the game, and it's really gotten the hooks in deep. It's so rewarding listening to Idle Thumbs discussing a game that I am also playing.
  11. This was one of the best episodes in ages, guys. Granted, I'm an avowed Nick Breckon fan (what's the word for this? Breckonista?), but you guys touched on a lot of topics that I found fascinating. I'd like to go back to that conversation around Let's Play content. I've been aware of the popularity of Let's Play content since I first started seeing these crop up on the Something Awful forums several years ago. At first, I wasn't sure what to make of it all. It initially struck me as odd that something as half-assed as the average Let's Play video could generate as much interest as the average Let's Play video. Soon, I realized that a significant percentage-- possibly the majority-- of the community surrounding these videos never buys the games. They seek out the videos as an alternative to purchasing the game, get hooked on the community surrounding the videos, and start investing their free time into consuming the videos of the games instead of the games themselves. Now, I would normally view this as a big problem. But if Let's Play communities pose a threat to modern game developers, it is primarily to those developers that focus on making narrative-driven experiences (Crystal Dynamics, Irrational Games, Naughty Dog, et al). I'm less sympathetic in those cases because I believe that making a narrative-driven game today is foolish. It's been foolish for the past few years, and it's only going to be an even worse idea during the next console cycle, as the expectations of single-player campaign assets rise, and the cost of producing them rises accordingly. So, in a way, I actually embrace the rise of Let's Play videos, even if they're not something that interests me. I view them as a way of accelerating the inevitable death of single-player narratives, creating a void that I am certain will be filled with simpler, more-mechanically-driven games. I have every confidence that, five years into the life cycle of the PS4, it will be a laughable notion that a game like Beyond: Two Souls-- a game that I believe will not be particularly profitable, even today-- could ever exist again.
  12. Tone Control is a Podcast!

    Listened to this over lunch today... All the while, I found myself thinking, "This is incredible; surely it can't last". And who knows, maybe it won't-- game developers are busy people, including Steve-- but I'm definitely on board for more.
  13. Gone Home from The Fullbright Company

    Thanks for the follow-up, Chris. Admittedly, it wouldn't have been such a big deal if not for the perfect score- in which case there's not much that can be done, short of asking Fullbright to add a bunch of ghost jokes so the score will be lower. Unfortunate, but a good problem to have, really.
  14. Gone Home from The Fullbright Company

    I won't get any support for this opinion over here, but I feel it needs to be said: It really bothered me that Danielle Riendeau reviewed this for Polygon and gave it a perfect score just a few days after guest-starring on Idle Thumbs and admitting that she's good friends with people that worked on this game. It doesn't affect my excitement for Gone Home, of course, but... man, I really wish they'd found someone else to review it.
  15. It's been a few weeks since there was a moment in an Idle Thumbs episode that nearly caused me to drive off the road and into a tree because I was laughing so hard. This week's hesitant rendition of "Wuxtry" almost got me in big trouble.