Steve

Tone Control 9: JONATHAN BLOW :o

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YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!

 

https://www.idlethumbs.net/tonecontrol/episodes/jonathan-blow

 

February 15, 2014 We all know Jonathan Blow as the creator of Braid and The Witness. But what was he up to before bursting onto the scene circa 2008? Not crazy multiplayer-only squad warfare shenanigans, surely. Not online games that used huge server farms to do their physics calculations. Not learning deadly martial arts! Surely not! Discover the truth on episode 9 of Tone Control.

 

This shit's banans

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Hey Steve!  

Another great episode!  Just wanted to convey my very sincere thanks to you for this really, really great show.  Listening to these people talk about their journeys is super interesting to me.  I'm in college and considering setting a course towards a job in the games industry.  These podcasts are having a really big impact on me right now.  Just wanted to let you know how much this show is appreciated!  

Thanks!  

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Hey Steve!  

Another great episode!  Just wanted to convey my very sincere thanks to you for this really, really great show.  Listening to these people talk about their journeys is super interesting to me.  I'm in college and considering setting a course towards a job in the games industry.  These podcasts are having a really big impact on me right now.  Just wanted to let you know how much this show is appreciated!  

Thanks!  

 

That's really awesome to hear! I was hoping that would be part of the value of doing this podcast... I know hearing about how my design idols got into the industry was really important to me when I was in college.

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Had to register/post just to say how terrified I was that you were going to drop Witness spoiler bombs near the end, Steve. That's some good suspenseful podcasting right there.

 

It's also ridiculous and kind of amazing that reporters didn't spoil Gone Home's story, collectively...of their own volition (!).  Maybe my (largely negative) prejudices about games journalism need to be watered down a bit.

 

I will say though, that John's tactic of a) deciding to only talk about and reveal a sliver of the game, b ) being vague about how much is actually being shown, and then c) coming on podcasts like this one to hint at this whole thing you DON'T know about is....well, intentional or not, a form of marketing genius. This of course could be a bit of setting myself up for disappointment, but the truth is I couldn't be more excited to find out what you guys were trying not to talk about.

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Had to register/post just to say how terrified I was that you were going to drop Witness spoiler bombs near the end, Steve. That's some good suspenseful podcasting right there.

 

It's also ridiculous and kind of amazing that reporters didn't spoil Gone Home's story, collectively...of their own volition (!).  Maybe my (largely negative) prejudices about games journalism need to be watered down a bit.

 

I will say though, that John's tactic of a) deciding to only talk about and reveal a sliver of the game, b ) being vague about how much is actually being shown, and then c) coming on podcasts like this one to hint at this whole thing you DON'T know about is....well, intentional or not, a form of marketing genius. This of course could be a bit of setting myself up for disappointment, but the truth is I couldn't be more excited to find out what you guys were trying not to talk about.

 

haha don't worry. The only game I spoil on Tone Control.... is my own #ToneControlChillers

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haha don't worry. The only game I spoil on Tone Control.... is my own #ToneControlChillers

 

haha #ThanksForListeningSuckers #SpoilerSchadenfreude #TheRealMetagameIsDodgingMySpoilerScoops

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I've always felt that the stories in Braid were there to set the ambiguous tone of the worlds

 

Anyway, keep up the good work. Both of you, that is.  :yep: 

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This popped up today, don't know if I should watch it. I might have a little peek

Recorded last November

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This was a really good episode. As a CompSci student I really enjoyed the conversations about the specifics of him at Berkeley and what Jonathan Blow thinks CompSci is, I'd love a podcast where people in computing talk about what interests/drives them if anyone knows of one let me know.

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This is off-topic, but it's annoying how some people say Braid is pretentious without providing even the semblance of an argument as to why they think that.

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People who have the ability to tell that something actually is pretentious rather than smart are usually themselves smart enough to know and sling shit.

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The supposed game length of the witness kinda blows my mind. I can't really comprehend it, I mean how many people are going to see it through to the end? I wonder if there'll be a hint or skip feature

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Remember how Blow wrote a guide for Braid that instructed people not to look at a guide? I'm guessing there won't be a hint system. As for skipping puzzles, you can just walk to a different part of the island, can't you?

 

Speaking of guides, I didn't use one to look for solutions, but I did look up the location of all but a couple stars. I wonder if Blow would count that as cheating? 

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Yeah the games open world, or at least gated open world. If you get stuck somewhere you can try puzzles on another part of the island, I'd expected they'll be linked it that you could finish all the puzzles in the woods area or the desert area and that might open up a tomb/path for you to go down but ultimately it will require you to solve everything..... Or maybe not? Maybe the game won't require everything to be solved, maybe they'll be "true" ending if you complete all 535 puzzles

Who knows? I'm super duper intrigued. I hope the experience will keep evolving in unexpected ways. Kinda like portal 2, they kept adding new mechanics new environments, none of which was shown before the game came out so it was fresh for player. I know he's said as much in this interview, I just crave this shit as it's quite rare these days to get a game that continuously surprise me

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I know Braid was a really successful game, and was in many ways a catalyst for indie game culture or whatever, but I never checked it out, or really followed Blow at all so this was all basically completely new information for me. I'm glad it was a long episode though! One of the things that I've come to appreciate since I moved to San Francisco is that when you run into an older dude who has grown up in California you should listen to him talk because he probably has a lot of really interesting stuff to say. On that count, Blow did not disappoint!

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Several things:

1) This finally got me to register for the Idle Forums, something I've meant to do for a while now.

2) Steve, I'm -really- enjoying these, thanks for doing this.

3) Jonathon Blow sounds crazy smart. I think now that people treat him as pretentious because they can't imagine someone honestly thinking at that high a level.

4) Much of Idle Thumbs and the other Tone Control podcasts made me interested in wanting to dabble in video games. This episode firmly scared me off. I'll just appreciate the craft and stick to playing the end product!

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4) Much of Idle Thumbs and the other Tone Control podcasts made me interested in wanting to dabble in video games. This episode firmly scared me off. I'll just appreciate the craft and stick to playing the end product!

 

Don't be scared! Video game development is more accessible now than it's ever been. Even if you just download Unity and go through a few video tutorials in your free time, you'll have a much greater understanding and appreciation for how games are made.

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In the discussion you guys had about the day-to-day duties of an independent studio head, that's really applicable to any small business owner (which is what you guys are).  Once you own a business, you discover that your days of specialization are over and that you need a crazy wide skillset to be successful. 

 

My family is mostly made up of small business owners going back several generations.  Retail, ranching, farming, food service, bars, even a video arcade back in the 80s, we're all over the place.  I grew up thinking it was normal to have to do a billion different things in a week, and it wasn't until I was out in a wider job market late in college that I realized the average person is a lot more specialized in what they do day to day than anything I had seen as a kid. 

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The principle of least action is a fairly obscure thing to bring up, I wonder when he got so into physics.

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