GSPC Episode #27: A Way Out with Rob and Patrick

May 13, 2018

Most of us were settled in to our easy chairs enjoying a casual evening of video game industry back-patting watching The Game Awards 2017 when we were blindsided by Josef Fares' incredible rant in the middle of the show.

Behind the laughter, however, was incredible passion for game design and game making, and this can be seen in every second of Fares' and Hazelight Studio's "A Way Out," built from the ground up for cooperative play. Rob and Patrick recently played this game and loved it. It reminded them of Disaster Report on the Playstation 2, while innovating in some key areas in regards to ludo-narrative gameplay. They also react to the entirety of Fares' famous rant, which is played here!

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GSPC Episode #26: Interview with Gwen Frey of the Molasses Flood

May 6, 2018

The Grid Snaps Podcast returns from a two week hiatus (sorry everyone!) with an interview with technical artist Gwen Frey, founding member of indie developer The Molasses Flood. Gwen discusses her early career working on MMO projects, eventually transitioning to AAA action game development on Bioshock Infinite with Irrational Games. Next, we ask Gwen about the Molasses Flood, including their succesful debut game, The Flame in the Flood. Finally, we conclude with a bit of information on Gwen's newest game, KINE, as well as a brief discussion about personal health in the game industry.  

Topics Covered:
MMO versus action game development
The role of a tech artist
Why go from AAA to indie
"Do the thing you're most interested in."
Flame in the Flood setting inspiration
Challenges in balancing the game design of The Flame in the Flood
All about Kine, Gwen's passion project
Gamedev Health - Rob, Kip and Gwen each talk about the things they do for their personal health as
game developers.

Games Mentioned:

Marvel Heroes Online
Bioshock Infinite
The Flame in the Flood
Kine

As always, if you liked this podcast, please leave us a review on your podcatcher of choice!

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GSPC Episode #25: Japanese Game Oddities with Patrick

April 21, 2018

Japanese Game Correspondent Patrick (our most frequent guest!) returns once again, this time live in the Grid Snaps Studio in San Jose! He brought with him an eclectic collection of Sega CD, Genesis, Saturn, and Playstation games... games that had Rob and Kip truly stunned. Or maybe it was the enormous amount of meat and soju consumed at the Korean BBQ mere hours before?

Games discussed:

Cho Aniki (please youtube this... wow).

Earnest Evans

Not Treasure Hunter

Battle Monsters

 

 

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GSPC Episode #24: Are Ideas Cheap?

April 8, 2018

The "ideas" person. We all probably knew someone who claimed to have the best game design idea. Or maybe that was you, or is you. Often video game professionals mock such people, claiming they need to get skills because "ideas are cheap, everybody has them."

For Rob, this approach rubs him the wrong way because it discourages creativity and passion. Kip tries to balance Rob's optimism with realism! That said, both agree that while hard skills are vital, ideation shouldn't be thought of as unimportant.

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GSPC Episode #23: GDC 2018

March 30, 2018

Rob attended the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco in March, so in this episode, he reports all the various things he saw and experienced at the show!

Games Mentioned:

Million Onion Hotel (Available now on iTunes/Google), designed by Yoshiro Kimura, legendary designer of Little King's Story! Rob almost got to meet this game design legend (listen to learn why he didn't!).

Huntdown by Easy Trigger Games.

Squadron 51 by Loomiarts.

Nier Automata.

Titanfall 2.

Errata: The game Rob mentions called "The Last Light" is actually "The Last Night."

 

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GSPC Episode #22: Kingdom Come: Deliverance

March 24, 2018

Between colds and GDC, it's been a busy week for Rob and Kip. As such, this is a solo podcast with just Rob, talking about one of the surprise hits of 2018, Warhorse Studio's Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Rob also talks about the new idea of "cozy" games, as well as games he's been playing recently.

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GSPC Episode #21: Rob, Patrick, and Jason Talk MONSTER HUNTER!

March 14, 2018

Roar! If you were a gamer in January, you were probably playing Monster Hunter World, Capcom's smash hit action RPG. The series has roots that go back to the Playstation 2 era, and Rob, Japanese Game Correspondant Patrick and Pac-Man Champion Jason Gahler discuss most of the games in the series.

While Rob and Patrick somewhat disagree on the visual style of the first two games, everyone agrees that the series' game design was firmly established from the start. Funny anecdotes are shared about Rob's futile attempts to get fertile mud in Monster Hunter Tri, as well as the struggle for the Zinogre Jasper in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the WiiU!

Finally, we discuss Monster Hunter World itself: the incredible environments, dynamic level design, and smart changes to the game to benefit newer players. However, there is one thing that Monster Hunter World doesn't do quite as well as the previous games (even though we love it). To find out, you'll have to listen!

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GSPC Episode #20: Art Director Ken Hogan Discusses the Art of Yoji Shinkawa

March 7, 2018

Solid Snake. Revolver Ocelet. Metal Gear Ray. These are but some of the iconic designs from world famous artist Yoji Shinkawa. In a special art focused episode, Rob and Kip welcome back art director Ken Hogan to discuss Shinkawa's career, influences, technique, and more!

References:

Interview from MetalGearSolid.net

Biography from the Metal Gear wikia page.

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GSPC Episode #19: Arcades with ArcadeHeroes.com’s Adam Pratt

February 28, 2018

By popular demand, we go back to the arcades with Adam Pratt! Rob and Adam discuss the latest arcade news, including the exciting Exa-Arcadia board, Tomb Raider Arcade, and a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game! We discuss arcade game design, getting into the nuts and bolts of gun games like Aliens: Armageddon and The Walking Dead.

Finally, we talk about the business of arcades, in which Adam describes how 2017 was his best year ever in almost a decade of business. Listen to find out which games did best for him, and which didn't! Finally, we get some field reporting from Rob's daughter, Helena Howard, who reviews a few arcade games on location at Round1USA in San Jose California!

Tomb Raider Arcade

http://arcadeheroes.com/2018/02/08/dave-busters-officially-rolls-tomb-raider-arcade/

Exa-Arcadia releasing in the United States - new Neo Geo style multi-game in one cabinet:

http://arcadeheroes.com/2018/02/07/exa-arcadia-to-introduce-new-kit-system-at-jaepo-2018/ 

Adam's awesome arcade t-shirts on Teepublic:

https://www.teepublic.com/t-shirts/arcadeheroes

Adam's book, The Arcade Experience:

https://www.amazon.com/Arcade-Experience-Modern-Arcades-Matter/dp/1482757850/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519796489&sr=8-1&keywords=the+arcade+experience

 

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GSPC Episode #18: Hub and Spokes Level Design

February 21, 2018

Game worlds and levels need to be organized. One of the most effective ways to layout a level for realism, sense of space, and fun is the "hub and spokes" design pattern. Pervasive throughout many genres of games, the guys talk about what they like about this design pattern as well as their own experience using it in games they have worked on. Additionally, the real life applications of "hub and spokes" are discussed, in regards to Disney theme parks.

Shout out to Scott Rogers and his blog, particularly for the article about Disney and game design: http://mrbossdesign.blogspot.com/

Games mentioned:

Mega Man

Mario64

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Monster Hunter

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

Prey 2 (Human Head)

Lost Within

Bioshock Infinite

 

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