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It’s interesting how discussions change over time. We’ve been interviewing people who work on video games for a good many years now and I’ve personally spoke to many of them during my trips to conventions and what not. Typically you have a standard list of questions for them about their game. How long is it? When will it be released? That sort of thing. Over time, due to the nature of gaming and the nature of the gaming community, other questions are added to the list. Will it have exclusivity on the pc/consoles? Online or couch co-op? Plans for DLC (and now, apparently, micro-transactions)?

Now I find myself asking another question to developers. Either why they are exclusive to the Epic Games Store or would they take an offer from them for exclusivity. It’s just the nature of change really and the topic of conversation as of late. The answer I usually get, both on the air and at conventions is EXACTLY the same as we got from Bohdon Sayre.

Bohdon is our guest this week as he calls in to talk to us about his latest game from Flight School Studios – Creature In The Well (out now on Nintendo Switch, PC, and Xbox – free with Xbox/PC Game Pass).

I’m not sure what the next question will become over time, but given the way things seem to be going, it’s leaning a lot towards games having some type of cross save or cross play aspect. Which, honestly, is way more important to me than which storefront a game will be sold on. I’m not any sort of loyalist in that regard, in case it wasn’t clear.

 

Two hours of programming and we never finished talking about everything seen at PAX. Well, let me be honest – two hours of programming and I never finished talking about PAX.

I’ve been going to forms of this convention now for over 10 years and every one of them is different in how I experience it. Sometimes it’s a lot of appointments and sometimes it can be hardly any. Sometimes I’ll discover something on the show floor that I never had an appointment for and sometimes it’ll all just be a big ol’ bust.

Well, it’s actually never a bust. That’s because of the Indie MegaBooth. That and the offerings on the 6th floor. Both of these spaces house the alternative developers. By that I mean those who are very small teams working with very small budgets but making extraordinary gaming experiences. Be it in storytelling or game play mechanics. Rarely will you ever see the most mind-blowing visuals (though some of them have that), but you will find the hidden gems and the games more people want to talk about than whatever is being shown by the big studios downstairs on the main show floor. Honestly, they should take the cramped MegaBooth (don’t let the name fool you, the space is small, cramped, and packed) and make it the whole 6th floor with all the other indie games up there. But, that’s the point, you’re down there on the main floor getting the most traffic cause everyone’s there to see the big guns and you MIGHT get a little notice to more people – but it’s still annoying.

I’m hoping over the next few months we’ll be able to bring you interviews from some of these smaller developers. Whenever I see games like this, I have an overwhelming urge to tell everyone I can about them and make sure they’re on your radar to play. They might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they’re guaranteed to be different and you might just discover something amazing that you love.

 

No show next week. Well, there is, but it’s a replay if you happen to catch it live. I’ll be at PAX next week and if any of you reading this will be attending as well, by all means let me know! Would love to meet up and say hello!

Gamescom has come and gone and we were surprised to see Sony opening up a little bit when it comes to sharing. PUBG is getting cross play in a few weeks and Sony put a title on the PC. They also spoke a bit about how they’re going to be doing more of that in the future. Or at least be more open to doing it. Whatever…it’s small steps in the right direction.

I’ve spoken about this before, but every console generation has its battles. Moving into the world of HD was the battlefield with the 360 and PS3, both could do it and that was a selling point to open up with at the time (pricing as well with that og PS3 going for $600-$800). Seems like the Xbox One and PS4 had a multitude of battlefields including the price tag along with how we’d be getting and sharing our games.

There’s other aspects to all of these releases and pro/con type of things to go with them. Whatever is coming next will have its share as well, but I’m betting the openness of the platform will be a new one. Both within the system structure and outside of it. Backwards compatibility, and cross-play/buy. We’ve been down the road on the former and we’re seemingly cutting the path for paving on the latter. It’s likely a topic of contention that should hang around during the next round of consoles from both companies.

Side note: I’m not forgetting Nintendo, but they don’t play in the world of MS/Sony. They’ve long since abandoned that route and went their own way and are doing just fine.

 

In the week since our last episode, I’ve put all of thirty whole minutes into Destiny 2. It’s been a long time since that game hasn’t consumed my week and while I was looking at the down time giving me a chance to explore some other games on my backlog, all I’ve actually done is avoid gaming altogether.

That’s not a bad thing when going on the tear that I did with D2. It’s been relaxing and, oddly enough, not as stressful in the chase for getting to that stopping point. However, now that I’ve had that break and caught up on some of my shows, I’m looking to jump back in and I’d like to start with God Of War.

It isn’t my most recent memory of a game I was playing outside of D2, but it is the one holding my biggest interest and curiosity right now. Assassin’s Creed is there as well, but it’s rather large with a TON of things to do in it. Spider-Man is complete, but I’m working on the DLC – currently stopped at a very annoying side quest. The game being complete is likely why the drive isn’t there. Horizon Zero Dawn runs a close second to God Of War, but it also contains a lot of side quests and my stopping point there wasn’t the best of auto saves. Same goes for Red Dead 2.

God Of War tempts me with a pretty direct line of gameplay. It lacks the distractions of side quests, has absolutely no DLC to speak of, and still gives me the drive to complete it.

The thing is, I’m kind of looking for something exactly like that given what I’ve been doing the past year now.

 

We go as long as we can to stay off the topic of gaming and gun violence. It’s not that we don’t feel we should be talking about it, but we’re pretty much preaching to the choir when it comes to our audience. We don’t think anyone who comes to listen or watch a show about video games is going to expect us to agree with that whole games-cause-violence rhetoric. We’ve also covered it many times before.

I already hate that I have to write what I just did. The fact it even needs to be said again. The fact it is being said at all. This discussion would take longer than the 2 hours we have on this show. And even then we’d come to the same result. No one who calls in or comments could ever change our minds on the subject. And that isn’t because we aren’t willing to be open to someone’s opinion, but we have so much evidence to the contrary that we just will not ignore it.

You’d be wrong to fight us on this. You’d have every right to, I suppose, but you’d be wrong.

Look elsewhere if you want to find a method to the madness, because it isn’t video games.

It never was.

 

It’s funny when I hear people talk about other jobs. We all know the difficulty involved with being a public servant. And that includes all forms of occupations where you are there to serve, protect, or help the public. So those are the jobs I’m NOT going to be talking about.

I’ve heard people look at talk shows like ours and others and think it’s easy. And I get where they are coming from, but when you put them behind a mic and tell them to talk on one single subject for the next 2 or 3 hours or more…well, that can be tough. Then tell them to do that for either 5 days or even once a week. Again, tough gig.

Which is why I smile a bit when we get news stories about video game streamers and folks on YouTube making tons of money and I hear people say they want to do that. That it’s easy or they are missing out on an easy million bucks from this streaming thing. But streaming is just like any other job when you look at it from the outside. Observably easy, but realistically daunting.

It’s the exact same thing when we tell people radio isn’t as easy as you think. And you might brush it off on both counts (radio and streaming), but putting your feet to the fire and you’ll see just how easy neither of those things are.

I’ll leave streaming to those who are good at it and have both the emotional and mental fortitude it takes to be good enough at that to live off it.

 

I can remember there being times when I was in a slump with gaming. It wasn’t that I didn’t have time to play or anything to play at all, but just a slump of not wanting to play. And that time may return, I don’t know, but it’s nowhere near happening at the moment. Granted, however, I am seemingly stuck in a time loop with Destiny 2, or maybe it’s a loot loop.

Actually, it’s a goal loop. The loot right now is meaningless for me. With the exception of a few items, I’m at the top of my game insofar as the gear is concerned. That’s part of what you play Destiny 2 for is the gear – the weapons and armor. But, Destiny, like most games, have achievements in the form of triumphs. These are little specific goals that don’t always involve loot. Those goals are now the reason I play. And I’m nearly done with them for my own satisfaction. Finishing all of them? Not by a long shot, but finishing the ones I want to, yeah…I’m nearly there.

The problem (of the best part) is that they’ll keep adding more. Some I’ll want to do and some I’ll not care at all to do, but that’s fine. What’s there is enough to keep me playing. Keeps the drive alive, and I’m perfectly fine with that. I know some people have a problem with me ONLY ever coming on the show to say I’ve been playing Destiny, but it’s currently the game I have the desire to play.

And that, for me, is better than not playing anything at all.

 

A portion of this show was very last minute. Like, 15 minutes to air there was an idea and we went with it.

This episode was recorded on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. And we’re all very big fans of that and space exploration in general so to mark the occasion we play an interview done in 2008 with one of only 12 men ever in the history of all mankind to set foot on the moon, Charlie Duke. It has absolutely no ties to video games whatsoever, but we don’t care. And we hope you don’t either. As was said back then:

None of us on the show can really express what it was like to talk with Mr. Duke or even have him on the show. It is an experience not a single one of us will ever forget. He tells us of his experience with NASA and his time spent on the moon as well as traveling to it plus his return to Earth. What is it like to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere? What’s it like to stand within such a magnificent desolation? To see the dark side of the moon and to witness an Earth-rise. Charlie Duke tells us of those things along with many others (cosmic rays penetrating the eyeballs, anyone?).

 

You know, I have a Switch. Had one since launch. It does everything the Switch Lite does and more. But here I am, kind of itching for the Lite. I don’t know if it’s just the new tech bug that usually bites me or if this is a legit desire to have something more dedicated to handheld gaming. Whatever the case, I have until September the 20th to talk myself out of it.

Which shouldn’t be too hard after our discussion of new PC hardware near the end of this episode. I’m still good for most of my equipment, but these CPU wars are something I haven’t seen in a long time. And AMD seem to be killing it right now. So, there’s the itch for that although the price jumps a bit when I consider how much will have to be thrown into the mix for just upgrading a CPU – no different really than any other time I’ve done it, honestly.

All of this really seems to be fine considering the amount of new gaming I won’t be doing come the fall and winter months. If E3 told us anything, it was that the new stuff you want to play is coming next year.

If none of it gets delayed, of course.

 

We keep adding to the cast count here and we’re going to need a bigger room. At the very least, more mics would be nice.

It’s been a long holiday weekend here in the states so while we had some news to cover we mainly get reacquainted with some folks who hadn’t been on the show in years. Finding out what they’ve been playing and what we’ve been playing lately as well.

This is essentially how this show was ever started in the first place. Just random conversations on gaming. No central topic or some planned discussion. As weekly regulars we do this list of news to go over some of the aspects of what happened during the week, but when we get together with friends we haven’t seen in years, it’s just discussion of games and how we’ve either enjoyed or disliked what we’ve played.

Enjoy this random bit of natural conversation.

 

Been a long time since we got the band back together for a show. Hopefully a sign of things to come on a more regular interval.

It didn’t take us long to settle into what we always did previous – start a discussion that leads down many different paths than where we originally set out. Our unexpected absence the week prior left us a bit forgetful on where we left off, but there’s still plenty to talk about in the aftermath of E3 plus, oddly enough, plenty of new games to discuss as well.

Also, the Switch has been around longer than I thought. This is how time messes with your head as you get older, by the way. Get ready for that.

 

And now we’re on the other side of E3 with…well, not much to show for it. At least not until Spring of next year it seems. We open the show talking about this, but there was VERY little shown of gameplay or games that are coming out this actual year. Thankfully Nintendo was there at the end of the press conferences to just have a knock out performance of a presentation.

I’m curious of some alternate universe where Sony was at E3 this year and what, if anything, would have changed. Probably nothing, if I think about it. Just more footage of games coming out next year, but Sony’s usually way more involved in showing actual gameplay – pre-recorded if not live even.

We don’t get around to nearly everything we’d planned to talk about coming out of the week that was, but we’ll carry it over to next week. Can’t pass up talking about that whole Shenmue 3 exclusivity situation, now can we?

 

As it is every year at this time: Happy E3!

The conferences start today, Sunday, and will continue on into Tuesday when E3 starts proper. Though who cares about that? We want our press conferences and our game trailers. What we REALLY want is gameplay and dates and prices. What we’ll get are teases, CG trailers, recorded demos that are “played live”, and tons of cringe. Don’t forget the cringe.

That’s maybe a jaded way of looking at it, and an exaggeration as well, but it happens. Things feel a bit different this year without Sony. Not that it makes it any less exciting, but there’s a gap to be sure.

We’ll see you next Saturday on the other side of E3.

 

We had a lot to catch up on from the past two weeks and we apparently get to every single thing we wanted to cover in the show. That’s good, because next week is the Pre-just-right-before-the-E3 show. Seriously, we do the show Saturday and press conferences start on Sunday.

Speaking of E3, they’re doing panels this year? I’ve only suddenly come to realize this and I actually love the idea. I don’t know that it’ll do anything to help E3, but it can’t hurt. And live streamed panels are a fantastic way to get word out from smaller developers and publishers, plus I can revisit them if I can’t catch them live – which is almost always since E3 is in the middle of the week. We’ll see how it pans out, but I’m actually kind of looking forward to that aspect.

I also look forward to Ubisoft disappointing me, YET AGAIN, with a Splinter Cell no show.

 

I kind of feel guilty when I talk about Destiny. Mainly because I talk about it so much already on the show. Even in this episode I spend more time than I would have liked discussing the changes they’ve announced. But when you put all that time into a game and then start feeling like you’re done with it, you kinda wanna talk about why. Because this isn’t a “it’s not you, it’s me” situation. This is totally on Bungie and what they plan to do for the next season.

I mean look, I’ll still play it after the changes. Mainly to see if what they’ve done is something I could still play through. And if it is, then congrats to them for changing my mind. Because right now my mind is set on leaving this whole thing if these changes don’t work out.

I’m understanding now what others have said before about leaving the game because all the fun was drained from it. These changes look exactly like they saw people enjoying the game at a rate they weren’t comfortable with and over corrected.

If something is being used so much in the game (and have been for well on over a year now or close to it), it isn’t because it’s overpowered, especially not in the PvE aspect of the game. It’s being used so much because people are having fun using it.

Instead, Bungie the fun police want you to play the game THEIR way. Not your way.