Wed, 28 April 2010
We have reached the lands of the Gods, gazed upon their infinite knowledge, and returned with another enlightening podcast. This week, Scott and I eagerly delve into God of War III, the final installment (maybe) in the epic Kratos trilogy. Join us this week to discuss the game's new features, the design of Olympus, fun with fleeces, over-the-top aesthetics, and the brilliance of thematic consistency.
Wed, 21 April 2010
When playing games with others, the already-challenging task of learning the systems and rules is compounded by having to learn about the other players. Differences in techniques, skills, and expectations definitely keeps things lively, but what happens when problems arise? This week, inspired by Alex Martinez's article about how cute little Sackboy precipitated a big ugly fight between him and his wife, we look at what happens when players see things differently. We discuss how games approach the challenge of accommodating players of different skills, goals, and play philosophies while also touching on some of the ways players communicate with each other. As always, if you want to add your perspective, jump into the comments!
Wed, 14 April 2010
The digital wilderness can be a confusing place. Thankfully, when we need a guide or a helping hand, we have the luxury of being able to turn to the gaming equivalent of CliffsNotes: FAQs. Whether they are called walkthroughs, guides or cheats, it's likely that every gamer out there has at some some point consulted them for clues on how to get the most out of a game. This week, inspired by Robert Janelle's profile on some dedicated FAQ writers, we discuss the relationship between games and guides. FAQs have always been more than simple spoiler lists, and we explore the different ways to use walkthroughs, the role they play in gaming culture, and what it takes to write a great guide. As always, feel free to offer your own thoughts on tips, tricks, and techniques in the comments.
Some discussion starters:
- Are there any particular games you have played in which FAQs were particularly useful? Does this correspond to specific genre or gameplay style?
- In what contexts are FAQs most useful? Should guides be more integrated into games? How have services like YouTube affected the way you seek out hints?
- Have you ever written a FAQ? If so, how did you like the experience? If not, would you ever consider writing a FAQ for any particular game?
To listen to the podcast:
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking the title. Or, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format.
- Subscribe to this podcast and EXP's written content with the RSS link on the right.
- Run time: 27 min 44 sec
- "Bad MotherFAQers," by Robert Janelle, via The Escapist
- Music provided by Brad Sucks
Wed, 7 April 2010
There are, occasionally, titles that seem to herald a new day in videogames. Some have claimed Quantic Dream's latest creation as one such experience, marking the future of interactive fiction.We hope you brought your umbrella, because this week Scott and I venture into Heavy Rain to discuss whether or not this theory holds water. As usual, we will avoid spoilers until absolutely necessary. For the spoiler-sensitive out there, we give plenty of warning before we reveal secrets, so feel free to give this podcast a listen.
- Run time: 47 min 17 sec
- Music provided by Brad Sucks