Tone Control

Conversations with Game Developers

tone control n. A control device, as on a high-fidelity amplifier, for varying the intensity of high and low frequencies. Alternately, a podcast where Steve Gaynor of Fullbright (creators of Gone Home and Tacoma) sits down with noteworthy video game developers for an in-depth conversation about their career and creative process, and the tricky work of establishing and maintaining a cohesive tone in their games.


Season 2 airs on the 1st and 15th of every month!

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Episode 26:
Robert Yang

May 15, 2018 Robert Yang is awesome. Educator, advocate, and subversive game developer all in one, his work focuses on issues of gay culture, sex and sexual politics, consent, surveillance, and the absurdity of digital eroticism. He also does great talks at conferences like GDC, where I caught up with him this year to chat about his work and outlook on what games can be.

Games Discussed: Counter-Strike, Half-Life 2, the Radiator mods, Hurt Me Plenty, Succulent, Cobra Club, Stick Shift, The Tearoom

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May 1, 2018 Due to some scheduling requirements, we take a break from our GDC chats to visit sunny London, England! While I was in the UK for BAFTA, I sat down with longtime Media Molecule Siobhan Reddy to talk about her time spent helping run her parents' skate shop in Australia (!), the world of mid-'90s web design (!) and working on Discworld Noir (!!) before her time as a producer on the Burnout series, and her years at Media Molecule helping lead creativity-focused productions like Little Big Planet and the upcoming Dreams.

Games Discussed: Discworld Noir, Burnout 3, Burnout Revenge, Little Big Planet, Tearaway, Dreams

April 15, 2018 Some games love you. Some games are indifferent to you. Some games fucking hate you. Some game DEVELOPERS fucking hate you. Bennett Foddy, by god, fucking loves you. He believes in you. He knows you can do it. And also he'll be there, laughing, every time you fail. Get to know one of modern game design's uncompromising masters of the absurd and the sublime in this installment of Tone Control. And also try to figure out what the fuck cricket even is.

Sports Baffled By: Cricket

April 2, 2018 Naughty Dog Month is completed by my interview with Richard Lemarchand! One of the sweetest, most thoughtful and supportive folks I know in game development, Richard charts... ;) his course from jolly olde England to the sunny shores of Santa Monica, California, going from a kid growing up on ZX Spectrum and arcade games, to helping create one of modern gaming's most iconic series.

Games Discussed: A bunch of old ZX-81 and Spectrum and arcade games, The New Zealand Story, X-Com, the Soul Reaver series, the Uncharted series

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Episode Schedule

SEASON 2:

June 15, 2018: Karla Zimonja, Co-Founder of Fullbright
June 1, 2018: Derek Yu, creator of Spelunky
May 15, 2018: Robert Yang, creator of the Radiator series, Cobra Club, The Tea Room and more
May 1, 2018: Siobhan Reddy, Studio Director of Media Molecule
Apr. 15, 2018: Bennett Foddy, creator of QWOP and Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy
Apr. 2, 2018: Richard Lemarchand, Lead Designer of Uncharted 1, 2 and 3
Mar. 15, 2018: Bruce Straley, Game Director of The Last of Us and Uncharted 4
Mar. 2, 2018: Meggan Scavio, President of AIAS, former General Manager of GDC
Feb. 15, 2018: Davey Wreden, creator of The Stanley Parable and Beginner's Guide
Feb. 1, 2018: Harvey Smith, Lead Designer of Deus Ex and co-creator of the Dishonored series
Jan. 15, 2018: Nina Freeman of Fullbright, and creator of Cibele & how do you Do It?
Jan. 1, 2018: Charles Webb, Senior Writer of Mafia III
Dec. 15, 2017: Mariel Cartwright, Lead Animator of Skullgirls and Art Director of Indivisible
Dec. 1, 2017: Leighton Gray, co-creator, co-writer and Art Director of Dream Daddy

SEASON 1:

May 1. 2014: Ken Levine, Creative Director of BioShock and BioShock Infinite Apr. 15 2014: Jake Solomon, Creative Director of XCOM Enemy Unknown
Apr. 1 2014: Tim Schafer of Double Fine Productions
Mar. 15 2014: Ryan Payton of Camouflaj
Mar. 1 2014: Amir Rao & Greg Kasavin of Supergiant Games
Feb. 15 2014: Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid and The Witness
Feb. 1 2014: Tom Francis, creator of Gunpoint
Jan. 15 2014: Brendon Chung of Blendo Games
Jan. 1 2014: Randy Smith, designer on the Thief series, creator of Spider and Waking Mars
Dec. 15 2013: Tom Bissell, writer of Extra Lives and Gears of War: Judgment
Dec. 1 2013: Clint Hocking, Creative Director of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and Far Cry 2
Nov. 15 2013: Craig Hubbard, Writer & Designer of No One Lives Forever and F.E.A.R.
Nov. 1 2013: Neil Druckmann, Creative Director of The Last of Us
Oct. 15 2013: Jake Rodkin & Sean Vanaman of The Walking Dead and Campo Santo




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