Hey ye faithful, welcome to our last episode of the season!
This time the duo wraps up the podcasting year by going over some recent going ons, and then reviewing their best and worst games/experiences/whatever from 2021.
Remember when it was cool in 2020 for people to say things like “I can’t wait for 2020 to be over” in reference to this pandemic gruesomeness? ‘Tis the season to be jolly, as 2021 aka pandemic year 2 draws to a close with no end in sight for the ‘Rona. Pretty good chance to hunker down and play video games though right?
Stephen “Golden Boy” Tucker playing a game a week this year and looks to be on track to meet or exceed that goal. Matt arguably did an okay job at his goal of playing as few games as possible, probably finishing about 10 or so titles through the year while gaining back some sweet self-investment time.
Join us for the juicy details!
In this episode: Matt’s taken on the noble job of delving a little into what it’s been like for our intrepid hero, Stephen G. Tucker, career wise as a VFX artist with over a decade of working in the film and game industries around the world.
Through his career, he’s worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from working a Houdini VFX Artist/Technical Director on fully CG (Gnomeo and Juliet, Happy Feet 2) and live action (Jack the Giant Slayer, Ender’s Game) films, to competitive multi-player (Gears of War 4, Darwin Project), and single-player games (Shape of The World, Mass Effect Andromeda, Battlefront II, Battlefield V, Season). He enjoys variety, and has on occasion branched outside VFX, hence his current assortment of job titles.
As a UX / Gameplay Designer, he focuses on designing, prototyping, and polishing various areas that contribute to the game’s overall feel, including camera behaviour, controls, haptic feedback, UI navigation, and ergonomics while constantly striving to improve the fun factor.
As a Technical Artist, he acts as a problem-solver and focus on providing and iterating on tools for the artists on the team using a combination of Houdini, Houdini Engine, Visual Studio, and Unreal Engine. Such tools may range from improving workflows for LOD and Collision Geometry generation, texture generation, to tools for generating environmental effects.
As Lead VFX Artist, he applies a range of technical and artistic skills along with personnel and project management abilities in order to drive the visual quality of a project and ensure that the game is engaging, satisfying, and eye catching, while overseeing other artists on the creation and polish of a variety of game effects.
Is it arrogant to host an interview with himself on his own website? You betcha. Is it thematical with the rest of the Vagabond Gamecast? Yeah!
If you’re interested in checking out a more technical presentation that this cat has given, his 2019 Houdini Hive presentation is still available for consumption. https://vimeo.com/326620994
Sometimes we here at the Vagabond Gamecast make a concerted effort to have a topic planned ahead of time for discussion so that we can try to spark a conversation with a direction and ensure quality bonding time for you, our audience. Sometimes despite having a topic planned ahead of time, we just let our attention spans run wild like they’ve never ran before. Well, kiddos, here’s one of those times! Read More >
We launch into this week’s episode by fondly discussing the realities of living / working near loud sounds. Think building construction is bad? I invite you to try and concentrate on your job while people dance to Under Pressure just a few meters away for the better part of a month. It’s an earth shattering experience… but only half as shattering as an actual earth quake. Matt and Steve have both been through some small tremors in their time on this planet, and can’t help but meander through their collective fear of mother nature for a bit before getting onto the main topic of the day: YouTube Copyright.
It’s a vicious world out there for the poor little “content creators” (yeah, I just slid us into that category) who “rip off” other people. So we spend a good chunk of this episode discussing Grissini Project’s YouTube / Ghibli woes before discussing the world of algorithms and how mildly silly it all is.
I blame Metallica for this mess.
Also, be sure to check out Rick Beato – his videos are rad to the max.
Focusing more on the “vagabond” portion of the “Vagabond Gamecast” title for a change, we spend most of this week’s session talking about what it’s like moving around – with a particular emphasis on what sort of an impact that has on a kid’s education.
Topics sort of meander from our (lack of) French education, what we thought of the homework phases of our lives (high school vs college), a little bit of a comparison between how our education was for Steve as an animator vs Matt as an electronic engineer, and (as stated earlier) what moving around means for a young kid in terms of their learning needs — and just as importantly, what does that mean for a young kid in terms of their social needs? (By the way, that impact on social needs? Not just an issue for kids).
It’s more of an unplanned conversation than we normally run with, so come eavesdrop as we just try to understand each other a little more.
The 80’s, (or as we call it: the greaties), was a fantastic time to be a kid. Not only did we have a killer line-up of games to play on the Nintendo Entertainment System – but we also had a killer line-up of animated shows to watch on our glorious CRT TVs.
One of those amazing shows we thrived on in our youth was Captain N: The Game Master – a hot show from 1989 that describes itself as:
“Considered the quintessential animated series for gamers, Captain N: The Game Master used its flare for exciting storytelling and its overwhelming popularity to show off the hottest new games and accessories in Nintendo’s arsenal.”
Each week, you got to join Simon Belmont, Kid Icarus, Mega Man, Kevin and Lana as they tried to thwart the evil Mother Brain’s sinister plans to take over Videoland. And in today’s episode we watch Season 1, Episode 1 of this dated classic in glorious 480p.
Come watch with us!
With Metroid Dread’s release, it was inevitable that we took some time to discuss one of our favourite properties from the greaties. While Steve’s initial reaction to the nine minutes that he’s played of the latest Switch title is cold, the fact remains that Metroid is a franchise that we’ve both loved since playing it on the original Nintendo Entertainment System.
If you are looking for a good Metroid game, Steve’s ranking on the Franchise is as follows:
1. Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)
2. Super Metroid (SNES)
3. Metroid II: Return of Samus (Gameboy)
4. Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA)
5. Metroid (NES)
6. Metroid Fusion (GBA)
7. Metroid Prime
All of the above get a bit of discussion in today’s episode of The Vagabond Gamecast.
I don’t know if you’ve heard… but apparently in 2019 there was some sort of virus that began to spread around. It’s changed a few things in how people live their lives. It’s changed a few things in how we live our lives.
Now, we’re lucky in that our lives haven’t been drastically affected. As two chaps who have the ability to work from home, we’re able to continue our jobs with minimal disruption. But nonetheless, life is different. In this episode we’ve decided to take a bit of time to discuss how things have changed for us.
This time around, the duo dives into a topic they haven’t spent too much time on: tabletop games! …and specifically the rather influential Magic: The Gathering. Matt is an on-again off-again “huge fan” (well, huge during the on-again times), and it ends up Stephen has had some good times with it too.
We deep dive on what we like and don’t like, both from a game development point of view as well as from a business and marketing perspective. Whether you are a huge magic fan yourself or just think it’s the geekiest thing on earth, come hear us share our thoughts.
After having a few technical difficulties with the attempt at extra audio in last week’s Castlevania: Bloodlines focused episode, we couldn’t leave well enough alone. We’re back with another Castlevania bonanza. This time with that 1997 PS1 classic: Symphony of The Night. We appear to have the workflow a little more figured out this time around when it comes to patching in some tunes so sit back, relax, and allow yourself absorb our fond recollections of a classic game which remains a favourite for both of us.