Just a couple of weeks ago, on this here podcast, Matt and Steve blathered on and on about our opinions of how narrative is used in games. Matt being the cantankerous curmudgeon that he is, stood atop his pulpit and proclaimed that games are games and should remain that way. Leave the narrative to the birds and bees.
Well… that might not be entirely accurate. But the point is… a couple of recommendations ended up being made which lead him to actually take some time out of his week to play What Remains of Edith Finch, a hit 2017 adventure game (walking simulator?) developed by Giant Sparrow and published by Annapurna Interactive. Now that Matt has finally played a game more wordy than Balloon Fight, does his opinion remain the same?
Come listen, and find out!
There’s something satisfying about taking care of a problem yourself! This episode is largely about some of those gaming and moving related Do It Yourself tasks that we’ve done over the years. As is usual, though we start our conversation with a conversation! Conversations can meander, but this one is focused quite a bit on what it’s like both in software and game/film development and work-life balance breaking into our main topic. What kind of things do you do yourself? Do you buy expensive furniture or build Ikea? Do you buy pizza or make it from scratch?
In terms of gaming, we both find it painful as old tech degrades. Some of these repairs can be pretty quick and simple, such as with bending the connectors on an old NES.
All in all, it’s mostly an organic conversation, but there’s some useful tidbits thrown in there for good measure. Little things like maintaining our cables by wrapping them properly. We also mention the good ole’ David Lee Roth “no brown m&m’s” story.
Is Matt a grumpy miser that sticks his nose up about everything? Well, yes, maybe, but what does that have to do with narrative in games?
This time around, we go over what we like and dislike about narrative and the different ways developers choose to weave it into their game experiences. Stephen likes to whet his palette with a wide variety of different stuff, but is generally pretty drawn to games with strong narratives. Matt is particularly snarky and old-school, and just wants to play the damn game without being interrupted by cutscenes of cartoons whining about their problems. Is this really a generalization one can just apply everywhere? (Spoiler: no). Let’s explore the topic with our usual contemplative approach. Read More >
When you’ve been on this beautiful planet for as many years as we have, you start to learn that some things are the way there are, and there can be no exceptions. Spend enough time in the sun and you’ll get burned. Spend enough time in the water, and your fingers will shrivel up like prunes. Watch enough video game inspired films and your sanity will be lost. You’d think that Matt and Steve would be the ideal audience for game films. We both love games, we both love film… and yet… Read More >
It’s been a good romp through 80s and 90s video game history thus far. This week, the duo re-visit the early naughties to talk about a system they barely played (XBox), one they played a few games a lot on (Gamecube), and one they are still playing (The Nintendo DS). How well did our college years treat us for video game entertainment? Let’s confabulate. Read More >
Growing up as children of the 80’s, we spent many a days huddled up in our dark basements with our eyes glued to the delicious glow of a cathode ray tube television. Eventually, we grew up (ha!) and found ourselves with families! What does this mean for our gaming lives? Have we introduced our offspring to the world of puzzle solving with pixels? Come on in and find out how an elder millennial incorporates gaming into parenthood! Read More >
What a crazy world we’re in, where our two fine Vagabond Gamecast co-hosts are engaging in varsity sport discourse! It wasn’t a long time ago (ok, maybe it was) when our heroes were back in high school fighting for their very right to game after school… now you mean to tell us that parents are going to be showing up to esports events to cheer their Elympians on!? I totally came up with Elympian on my own just now. Is that a word? If it isn’t already, well my friend who just googled their way here from the distant future, it is now. At any rate: did you know that schools are going to start having Smash Bros. teams? It’s BANANAS! Come listen to us as we discuss it! Read More >
Once upon a time, someone decided to make a video game. It was made for a console that you could buy in a store! It came with carefully crafted manuals, posters, and packaging! You took the game home, you appreciated the packaging and … well maybe your dog ate it. It’s gone. Luckily that game still exists! But well… over time maybe the connections were not so tight on that console… you blew some dust out of that game and for a while it worked great! But over time, that little bit of saliva from your breath corroded the connection on the game. And the system itself? Well it kind of stopped working too. By that point? Neither the game nor the console were available to repurchase. Our history was lost.
It’s sad when we lose those relics of the past. Sometimes we’re lucky and they’ve been preserved. Let’s discuss! Read More >
It’s 2021. Your grizzled veteran hosts now occasionally find themselves working together with interns and young colleagues that were born in this century. We’re not talking babies and kids here, these are functioning adults, and these creatures didn’t even exist when DeForest Kelley and Gene Siskel were doin’ stuff. Or, um, alive even. Just how wretched are these souls that missed the great CRT era? Just how much pity is appropriate for those whose eyes don’t even light up at the mention of those three letters? Really though, what is it that the “I don’t even know what that is” crew is missing? Let’s explore ... Read More >
The Game Boy Advance is a special little nostalgia machine. In an era where games were increasingly becoming 3D – suddenly we had access to great SNES-like titles in the palm of our hands. There were lots of older titles that got ports to this little beast, but lots of reimaginings as well. This cartridge based, portable, console is definitely a highlight in the world of gaming. If you’re too eager to make your way through the audio itself, be sure to read inside to see some of our highlights. Read More >