September 6, 2020
What makes the Grid Snaps Podcast unique in the world of video game podcasting is the game industry expertise of the hosts. Yet that's not all: Rob and Kip have many industry friends and colleagues, and it is always a special treat when they come on the show to share with us!
If you are interested in multiplayer level design, look no further than this podcast, as Rob and Kip interview Insomniac, LucastArts, Sledgehammer Games and Cold Iron designer Gabriel Galaz. Topics covered include:
1. Gabe's career and what got him into games.
2. Multiplayer level design fundamentals: what are they?
3. How to balance ego and humility.
4. The use of metrics in game design and development: how to make fun a tangible goal, not some magic that randomly happens.
This was a really fun interview- not just because of the conversation, but because of all the learning and knowledge Gabe graciously shared! A must listen!
August 19, 2020
In this final episode of our "Game Dev From Soup to Nuts" series, we get to, uh, the nuts?
Yes, we talk about finally, at long last, shipping!
While it can be a little anti-climactic sometimes, both Rob and Kip talk about the satisfaction derived from completing a game... and the worries about the next project.
In addition, Rob discusses a small solo game he's been working on this past summer.
July 31, 2020
Rob and Patrick (and ArcadeHeroes.com's Adam Pratt) engage in a lively discussion about legendary shooter developer Toaplan. They discuss Tiger-Heli, Truxton, Twin Cobra, Fire Shark, Batsugun, and more! Additionally, Rob discusses the interesting level design of Toaplan games.
July 17, 2020
Crunch. From "EA Spouse" to the current troubles with major productions such as The Last of Us Part II and Red Dead Redemption 2, crunch has long been controversial.
What exactly IS crunch? Does it happen in other industries?
What are some common crunch "myths?"
What causes crunch from the developer side? From the publisher side?
Finally, Rob and Kip share some amazing crunch "war stories." Hope you enjoy breadless bologna sandwiches!
July 6, 2020
Rob does a solo cast to review Yakuza Judgment, an interesting spin-off game in the beloved Yakuza series by Sega.
June 28, 2020
Rob and Kip have discussed the green light process and pre-production. In this episode, they discuss regular production: the bulk of any game development process. The blue sky is over- the dreams that were built in the early stages of a game project have to meet reality. As Rob says: reality is undefeated, so how do game developers cope?
June 12, 2020
Until March of this year, location-based entertainment had been doing very well- growing year-over-year. The quiet resurgence of the arcade was fully underway! Then a global pandemic hit. Frequent Grid Snaps guest Adam Pratt talks about his experience navigating this difficult event in the landscape of location-based entertainment.
June 1, 2020
So you have the pitch... you're green lit! You have publisher money! Hurray! Now what?
You do pre-production- that magical, blue-sky part of game dev where nothing is out-of-scope yet and the hard decisions haven't yet been made!
So what happens in a pre-pro? Rob and Kip discuss their experiences with:
1. Vertical Slices (spoiler: we don't like them)
2. Gamejams (spoiler: it's nuanced!)
Prepro can be some of the most fun you'll have making games, but it is so important: fail here, and the rest of the project is a disaster... if it even gets finished!
Check out Part 1, "The Pitch," here:
April 22, 2020
Ten years ago a company named Vicious Cycle decided to give a wet behind the ears designer a shot in the industry- Rob Howard. Though Rob's time at Vicious was short, it was memorable, with titles such as Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon and Despicable Me: The Game under his belt.
Since the closure of Vicious Cycle, Wayne Harvey (founder and CTO of the company) has moved on to start Tiki Tantrum LLC. They've already released a game: Elevated Video Poker. However, this game laid the groundwork for the company's next title, The Soak. The Soak is an RPG with amazing "Garbage Pail Kids" style art (you can't look away!) with a fascinating underlying card game mechanic. Wayne talks at length about The Soak (currently in development) as well as his varied and interesting past in the video game industry. A must listen!
March 31, 2020
Patrick joins us at *a secret undisclosed location* (a mobile setup was used, hence the slightly lower sound quality!) to talk to us about the following game design topics:
Part 1: Service to the Player and Metal Gear: Rob discusses how his "service to the player" concept is utilized in the Metal Gear Solid series, starting with the PSP game Mobile Ops, leading all the way to the Phantom Pain.
Part 2: Patrick and Rob talk about the classic Taito series Rastan and its design triumphs and missteps.