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Carnevil

New podcast on game design!

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Hey guys!

Just wanted to let you know that I've started a brand new podcast dedicated to game design. It's a subject I don't feel is discussed enough, and as a result I feel like we just don't have a great grasp on what it is that makes games great at a core level (other than to live out our life long dream of simulating goats, of course). The first episode deals with that very topic, and you can give it a listen right here!

You can also visit the full site here to subscribe and all that jazz. More soon!

Got a topic you'd like discussed? Let's hear it!

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neat, I'll try to give this a listen soon. I imagine you probably have some good insight on this given how much time you've dedicated to making your own (awesome) game.

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Well, I try. Hope plenty of the insight ends up coming from the guests I have on. Would definitely like to have a guy or two from here on at one point to talk about weapons in various FPS genres (looking at you, Phml). There are a lot of interesting topics to get in to - we're just getting started!

Just got the finished version of the logo from the guy who was working on it - turned out pretty awesome, I think!



Getting the website, YouTube channel, and whole iTunes subscription aspects all going, too. This should be a lot of fun going forward.

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Logo looks slick, gave the podcast a listen.

The episode provided didn't go that much into the designing of games, really. Mostly just obvious issues with the industry.

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Definitely noted. I was curious how people would tolerate it going off topic, and I think that was too much. I am trying to keep this narrowed down a being a game design podcast - not game development or game industry, so I'll do a better job of anchoring the conversation in the future. I'm in the middle of recording the second episode, and it's already much better.

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I'll be honest, this episode comes off as an unfocused rant. Too much whining about what's wrong with the industry, but we've heard most of it a few hundred times by now. "I hate how modern games handhold you through a valley of unskippable cutscenes, blah blah." "I feel ya, mang." Ack, this point alone is the Call of Duty equivalent of gaming podcasts and discussions, an overly generalizing meme beaten to death years ago. When such frankly mundane points get repeated several times, it feels like you're winging it.

I think you chose a rather "thin" and difficult topic for an opening ep and it was only made worse by the freeform chatting format with long improvised tangents. Why even bring up Minecraft if you immediately admit you know next to nothing about it? You made an intriguing point in the intro ("we like stuff that teaches us stuff") and although I partially disagree with it, I was interested to hear where you'll take it. But it just kinda pops up at a few points in the discussion, but more like an afterthought, an established axiom that doesn't need to be argued for or against, yet both of you guys struggle with applying it to real world examples. If the topic is already abstract and hard to grasp, you'd better have a strong discussion synopsis otherwise you'll end up with a lot of vague phrases. More stuff like what you said about Volgarr the Viking would rock, because that drove your particular point home.

Keep the improvising to strong and well defined topics that all parties involved feel confident about and you'll end up having to force moving on to the next point instead of "soo umm yeahh"ing through it. It's just my opinion of course, but let's say I've been in some panels or discussions and when asked something vague and abstract without my foreknowledge, I started ranting without a good point in sight hoping I'd stumble into it, which just made me feel embarrassed and rant some more when I didn't. Freestyling your way through "philosophy" is hard.

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Alright, I took that into consideration. Just finished up recording the second episode, and we were much more on topic this time. Much more discussion of actual game design and less talk of the game industry - which is what I want and what the podcast is supposed to be about.

Here it is before it goes out Monday. How's this? (I apologize in advance for lots of bumping that the mic was picking up during the conversation portion.)

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I like the idea here, and like with anything, it might be hard to "nail it" in the first few episodes. I'll be giving this a listen tomorrow, I'm keen to hear what you have to say!

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Would it be possible to link us with an mp3 again? I like to listen to podcasts from my phone on the way to work.

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dew said:

Would it be possible to link us with an mp3 again? I like to listen to podcasts from my phone on the way to work.

Sure.

@Doomkid: Definitely. As with anything, you learn as you go and most of the figuring out happens towards the beginning. It's part of why feedback is important in the beginning when things are more malleable.

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I'd like to see an interview with Russell Meakim, find him on youtube. He has worked on games like Quake 4, the NRFTL episode etc.

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Well, this was much, much better. Some points were probably beaten into the ground like returning to MvC2 vs 3 with more war stories after already moving to a different topic, but I'm sympathetic since you guys were both so passionate about it. And you certainly did talk too much about fighting games, but since you both knew a lot of indepth lore about them (and I know next to nothing), it was a very interesting insight. The Starcraft bits were also cool, except the first part in which you lengthily explained what Starcraft actually is, haha. A very quick review of basic facts is fine, but I think it's safe to assume your listeners will have a certain amount of basic gaming knowledge, especially when your main goal is to dive deep into the more hardcore stuff. Or maybe explain what the deal with zergs is when you actually start talking about them, not in an introduction of questionable value. You wouldn't explain Tetris. :p The FPS examples were weaker in comparison, probably because you paid them very little attention. And you handwaved q3 away by saying it's overwhelmingly aim-based when the RL is actually the main workhorse, you heathen! :p Overall, the intro and outro parts dealing with introduction/summary (or "presenting/wrapping up the concept") were still rather undercooked (maybe a bit more pros&cons approach instead of constantly reaffirming the initial "axiom"?), but the talk itself was an enjoyable time.

I may sound very critical, but I think this was a major leap forward and now I'm even looking forward to the next ep, so keep improving before you get too locked into a routine.

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