Everybody's Talking At Once

Everybody's Talking At Once

etao.blog
Taking everything but ourselves seriously.


The Black Queen’s Tutorial, with cs wallace
Nov 26
ETAO Podcast, Episode 70. If you only know the arcade version Killer Queen by reputation, then you might assume Killer Queen Black is simply a home port of the same game—but in fact is Black another game entirely, albeit one that carries over many core…
Making Mysteries More Mysterious, with Joe Russ
Nov 12
ETAO Podcast, Episode 69. Joe Russ is deeply invested in narrative, and also in animation—so it makes all the sense in the world that he would co-create something like Jenny LeClue, a lovingly and distinctively animated, meta-meta-narrative detective…
Skating on Water and Swimming in Menus, with kalin
Oct 29
ETAO Podcast, Episode 68. kalin is the co-founder of Funktronic Labs, best known for their ambitious VR fare, from the consummately simulated garden-’em-up Fujii to the real-ass-RTS-but-in-VR Cosmic Trip. Here he stops by to talk about Wave Break, which…
Where the Die Had Not Yet Been Cast, with Max Krieger
Oct 15
ETAO Podcast, Episode 67. We cross paths with Max Krieger and talk CROSSNIQ+ and the so-called, much-lately-in-vogue Y2K aesthetic. Come for the discussion of how aesthetics and attitudes toward technology are inextricable from history and politics, stay…
Everything That Could Possibly Be More Complicated, with Sam Rosenthal
Oct 1
ETAO Podcast, Episode 66. Sam Rosenthal shuffles on over to talk about Where Cards Fall, a reflective, touch-native narrative puzzle game almost a decade in the making—as well as his previous work on the fiercely and rightly beloved What Remains of Edith…
Just a Big Old Mess, with Ricky Haggett
Sep 17
ETAO Podcast, Episode 65. Ricky Haggett takes stock of his work on Wilmot’s Warehouse, Hohokum, Loot Rascals, Frobisher Says, Tenya Wanya Teens, and his other odd, wondrous work. We talk about the primacy of collaboration in his games, the importance of…
When You’re in It, with Matthew Seiji Burns
Sep 3
ETAO Podcast, Episode 64. Matthew Seiji Burns is responsible for some of the best and least-discussed narratives and soundtracks in games, namely those in the beloved-for-other-reasons Zachtronics works Infinifactory, TIS-100, SHENZHEN I/O, and Opus…
Welcoming Surrealism, with Sean Han Tani and Marina Kittaka
Aug 20
ETAO Podcast, Episode 63. Sean Han Tani and Marina Kittaka worked together on the original Anodyne, its under-appreciated follow-up Even the Ocean, and now their latest Analgesic Productions joint, Anodyne 2: Return to Dust. It’s a game about getting to…
A Consigliere’s Life for Me, with Alan Dang
Aug 6
ETAO Podcast, Episode 62. Alan Dang emerges from the shadows to talk about his work on the Skullgirls mobile game, the VR garden-’em-up Fujii, and the indie arcade esport stalwart Killer Queen. Plus, we talk about the broader possibilities for virtual…
Better Ways to Build Better Stories, with Bryant Cannon
Jul 23
ETAO Podcast, Episode 61. Bryant Cannon joins us to discuss Oxenfree, its follow-up Afterparty, and the licensed, now-delisted Night School games that came in between—not to mention his previous mobile work, much of it also now delisted. As such, we talk…
Choices and Games and Stories, with Juan Vaca
Jul 9
ETAO Podcast, Episode 60. Juan Vaca chooses to adventure with us—into his work at Telltale Games, at Endless Entertainment, and now at the burgeoning interactive team at Netflix. We talk about Juan’s approach to narrative, the oft-ignored importance of…
The Art of Design(ing Art), with Greg Batha
Jun 25
ETAO Podcast, Episode 59. Greg Batha has done a remarkable variety of creative/technical work, from the interface of Dream Daddy, to live visualizations for touring musicians, to the hectic and adorable puzzle battler bit bit blocks. What brings it all…
Now Game Music Is Just Music, with Jim Guthrie
Jun 11
ETAO Podcast, Episode 58. Jim Guthrie joins us to reflect on his storied soundtracking career, from Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP and BELOW, to Indie Game: The Movie, to (implicitly, here) Reigns: Her Majesty and Planet Coaster—not to mention his…
Weird Mad Stuff, with Zachariah Chandler
May 28
ETAO Podcast, Episode 57. Zach Chandler catches the bus with us and talks about Nth Dimension[al] Hiking, his gently arcane spectral traverse-’em-up. We discuss Zach’s guiding principle, namely that if you’re going to make a game that isn’t obvious, then…
Something Bigger Than We Are, with Jordan Thomas
May 14
ETAO Podcast, Episode 56. Jordan Thomas hides out with us to talk about The Blackout Club. It’s a game that is at once an “infinite meaning machine” and an authored narrative, a game about “extremely rewarding movement” but not “physical combat with a…
This Living Online Thing, with Jay Tholen
Apr 30
ETAO Podcast, Episode 55. Jay Tholen remembers the internet of the ’90s, when things were a few shades dorkier, and whole lot less smoothed-over and centrally managed—and especially the internet of the late 90s, when an end-of-days urgency and paranoia…
Accessibility and Joy (also Dogs), with Brian Fairbanks
Apr 16
ETAO Podcast, Episode 54. Brian Fairbanks’ game Lost and Hound brings together a whole lot of his passions—from meaningful soundscapes, to accessibility, to dogs. In this episode, we start by talking about Host and Hound and end up talking about…
How to Play Games Wrong
Apr 2
ETAO Podcast, Episode 53. In lieu of a guest this week, we humbly present a conversation that Drew and Lucio recorded just before GDC, all about what it means to play a game wrong—from misunderstanding mechanics, to knowingly ignoring objectives and…
What Level Designers Design, with Evan Hill
Mar 19
ETAO Podcast, Episode 52. Evan Hill drops in to talk a little about Solar Ash Kingdom and Torment: Tides of Numenera, and a whole lot about his current work at Naughty Dog—though don’t expect any new details on The Last of Us Part II itself. Evan keeps…
The Thing Is the Thing It Is, with C. Andrew Rohrmann (a.k.a. scntfc)
Mar 5
ETAO Podcast, Episode 51. C. Andrew Rohrmann (also known as scntfc, previously known as Scientific American, and alternately known by some pseudonyms that we’re not at liberty to disclose) stops by to talk about reactive soundtracks, “the mutability of…
A Quantum of Wobble, with Robin Baumgarten
Feb 23
ETAO Podcast, Episode 50. Robin Baumgarten’s work doesn’t fit neatly into any single category or tradition. He makes games that are also toys, and also art installations, and also unusually beguiling lamps, and also—most straightforward to experience,…
There Is Co-Op on Mars, with Philip Buchanan
Feb 9
ETAO Podcast, Episode 49. Philip Buchanan went indie so that he could finish 39 Days to Mars, a consummately silly co-op-as-comedy physics-and-gadgets puzzle-’em-up rendered in florid trichromatic line drawings and bone-dry Britishisms. The result is as…
Literally Anybody Anywhere, with Rami Ismail
Jan 26
ETAO Podcast, Episode 48. Rami Ismail wants everyone to be able to make games. “Literally anybody anywhere” should be able to work in this medium that has the potential to transcend not only cultural and national boundaries, but language. The work of…
Food, Death, and Everything Else Worth Talking About, with Gabby DaRienzo
Jan 12
ETAO Podcast, Episode 47. Gabby DaRienzo stops by to talk about her work as one half of the core Laundry Bear Games team, from A Mortician’s Tale (and Tracktoons) to their still-in-its-early-days next project—as well as her excellent, now-concluded…
One Hell of a Not-Hell, with Greg Kasavin
Dec 29, 2018
ETAO Podcast, Episode 46. Greg Kasavin descends and/or ascends to our realm to talk about Hades, Supergiant’s roguelike recently surprise-released into Early Access on Epic Games’ brand new storefront. We talk about how Hades both builds on and departs…
What We Played and ‘Casted (and What We Didn’t) in 2018
Dec 15, 2018
ETAO Podcast, Episode 45. As 2018 winds down, esteemed ETAO Podcast producer Frances Michelle Lopez sits down to talk about what we played in 2018, what we’re looking forward to playing in 2019, and what’s currently sitting in our to-read piles. We…
The Perfidy of THE SUN, with Heather Flowers
Dec 1, 2018
ETAO Podcast, Episode 44. Heather Flowers talks EXTREME MEATPUNKS FOREVER: Powered by Blood (and the MEATPUNKS material beyond). We talk about body horror, episodic storytelling and serialization, the anger and clarity of punk, the multiplicity and…
This Is a Call (Back) to ARMS
Nov 17, 2018
ETAO Podcast, Episode 43. ARMS got announced with the Switch, and it launched with the Switch, and it’s been both passionately loved and broadly ignored. Lucio was late to the Switch party, and thus late to the ARMS party, but he’s been pretty taken with…
Be a Part of the World You’re Changing, with Jakub Kasztalski
Nov 3, 2018
ETAO Podcast, Episode 42. Headliner: NoviNews puts you in the shoes of he/she/xe who curates the news in a country that is rapidly going strange, and just as rapidly becoming politically unstable. It’s a game about information as a tool, news as a…
Something Wicked This Way Apples, with Bobby Fowler and Brenda Noiseux
Oct 31, 2018
ETAO Podcast, Episode 41. Bobby Fowler and Brenda Noiseux (collectively known as Almost A Game) stop by for a Halloween-as-hell chat about their whimsical tabletop skulduggery simulator, Wicked Apples. We talk about the unique joys of tabletop games—and…
The Persistence of (Stories about) Memory, with Henrik Pettersson
Oct 20, 2018
ETAO Podcast, Episode 40. Henrik Pettersson introduces us to The Gardens Between, a wordless narrative puzzle game in which you play as time itself. We talk about themes surrounding memory, the quest to make complicated games simple (and vice-versa), the…
Let’s Be Bards, with Greg Lobanov
Oct 6, 2018
ETAO Podcast, Episode 39. Greg Lobanov swings by to walk about Wandersong, with its happy-go-lucky approach to world-in-the-balance storytelling, its massive 110-tune soundtrack, and its uncommonly rich soundscapes. We talk about the collaborate process…
This Is MEATPUNK and I’m Telling Everyone, with Josie Brechner (a.k.a. Visager)
Sep 22, 2018
ETAO Podcast, Episode 38. Josie Brechner (a.k.a. Visager) talks about her OST work in EXTREME MEATPUNKS FOREVER, Blossom Tales, Spice of Life, Gay Monster Kiss Club, and my electric heart, not to mention her other music, including the Songs for Unmade…
Singing Dunes and Wandering Creatures, with Max Arocena
Sep 8, 2018
ETAO Podcast, Episode 37. Max Arocena (a.k.a. Colorfiction) hangs out on his porch, amid a rising squall of crickets, to discuss 0°N 0°W (a.k.a. Zero North Zero West), his carefully crafted new dream-’em-up. We discuss the rich possibilities of games…
REPL PUNK, with Zach Barth
Aug 25, 2018
ETAO Podcast, Episode 36. Zach Barth is back to talk about EXAPUNKS, and the cyber-lanche (always create new hyphenate words, in accordance with the WIRED style guide) of questions that the game raises: Do we miss something by wringing our hands about…
Co-Op Hath Four Furies, with Kenny Lee
Apr 18, 2018
ETAO Podcast, Episode 35. Kenny Lee is the less-frequently-interviewed half of the two-brother team that founded Cellar Door Games, the studio behind (most famously) Rogue Legacy and (most recently) Full Metal Furies. He’s also a fan of Ganbare Goemon and…
You Can Feel Great All The Time Solving Problems, with Zach Barth
Mar 21, 2018
ETAO Podcast, Episode 34. Zach Barth is back to talk about Opus Magnum and SHENZHEN I/O, the latest in each of Zachtronics’ semi-distinct trademark genres: games where you make things that makes things, and games where you actually code or script,…
Thumbprints and Thunder, with Joel Corelitz
Feb 15, 2018
ETAO Podcast, Episode 33. Joel Corelitz drops in to discuss his work on GOROGOA, TumbleSeed, The Unfinished Swan, and Eastward, along with the broader design philosophies behind those games. Even more broadly than that, we talk about the layers of…
On Orcs and Orchestras, with Garry Schyman
Oct 10, 2017
ETAO Podcast, Episode 32. Garry Schyman scored all three Bioshocks, all three Destroy All Humans games, Resistance: Retribution, Front Mission Evolved, and that oddly engrossing God of War clone based on Dante’s Inferno— and that’s just scratching the…
Pyre, Purgatories, Prison Dramas, and Talking Dogs, with Greg Kasavin
Jul 24, 2017
ETAO Podcast, Episode 31. Greg Kasavin stops by to discuss Supergiant’s latest, the party-based purgatory-escape-’em-up Pyre. We also find some time to discuss Bastion and Transistor, not to mention the limits of “naked allegory,” the largely untapped…
Persona 5 and the Punk of Pope Joan, with Adam Osborn
Jun 9, 2017
ETAO Podcast, Episode 30. Medievalist, archnerd, and outspoken Persona-enjoyer Adam Osborn returns to discuss Persona 5—as well as visual novels, waifus, and Pope Joan, though not always at the same time and not necessarily in that order. Thrill as we…
A Seminar (Just Bearly) on Persona 3 and 4, with Adam Osborn
Mar 28, 2017
ETAO Podcast, Episode 29. Drew’s good buddy Adam Osborn, PhD-pursuer and self-described archnerd, stops by the discuss the Persona games in anticipation of Persona 5 finally coming out next week (but no, really for real this time). Starting at the…
Criticizing Videogame Critique, Part 2, with Richard Terrell
Nov 22, 2016
ETAO Podcast, Episode 28. Last week, Richard Terrell outlined his framework for taxonomizing and evaluating game criticism, and we spent some time using that framework to disagree vociferously about whether Arin Hanson is any damn good at talking about…
Criticizing Videogame Critique, Part 1, with Richard Terrell
Nov 15, 2016
ETAO Podcast, Episode 27. Richard Terrell returns to talk about Design Oriented, his attempt to categorize, catalog, and (here’s where things get interesting) rate game critique. What’s being measured there, and how is he measuring it, and to what end?…
The Dark Souls of Increasingly Unhelpful Analogies
Nov 8, 2016
ETAO Podcast, Episode 26. Following on our bummer of a conversation about the most joyful show on television, this week we have an exuberant and hopeful conversation about a series of games focused on violence, failure, and ends of days. Go figure. Yes,…
Gem Fusions and Fandom Fissions in the Universe of Steven Universe
Nov 1, 2016
ETAO Podcast, Episode 25. Lucio and I are both fans of Steven Universe, but we’re not exactly members of the Steven Universe fandom—or fandoms, plural, each with its own social norms, its own orthodoxies about what the series means, and its own articles…
Virtual Realities and Pretend Robots, with Dan Teasdale (and Cassie)
Oct 25, 2016
ETAO Podcast, Episode 24. Dan Teasdale returns to discuss No Goblin’s sophomore effort, 100ft Robot Golf, a game about (wait for it) hundred-foot-high robots playing golf. This being a No Goblin game, of course, there’s more to it than that. It’s a deeply…
Node-Crawling and Puzzle-Fighting, with Chris McQuinn
Oct 20, 2016
ETAO Podcast, Episode 23. Chris McQuinn stops by to discuss DrinkBox Studios’ latest, the touch-based first-person dungeon-crawling amputate-’em-up Severed. You’re a warrior named Sasha, seeking out your lost family in an ever-threatening and arrestingly…
Squaring The Magic Circle, with Jordan Thomas, Kain Shin, and Stephen Alexander
Aug 3, 2015
ETAO Podcast, Episode 22. The whole Question Games team stops by to discuss (and to discuss the discussion surrounding) their debut project, The Magic Circle. Their debut project as a team, that is. It’s not the kind of game that anybody would or could…
A Pseudo-Instruction That Has No Effect, with Zach Barth
Jul 14, 2015
ETAO Podcast, Episode 21. Zach Barth sits down to complete our interview triptych. Having already covered the art of the anti-puzzle and the question of whether it’s even possible to spoil Infinifactory, we focus this time on the softer launch that Steam…
Toys in Games, Games as Toys, and Action Henk as Both, with Roel Ezendam
May 11, 2015
ETAO Podcast, Episode 20. Action Henk is out (of Steam Early Access) today, and to celebrate, here’s my conversation with Roel Ezendam of RageSquid Games. Action Henk is a game about momentum, perfectionism, and making things that actually are as amazing…
On the Semi-Unspoilability of Infinifactory, with Zach Barth
May 4, 2015
ETAO Podcast, Episode 19. Zach Barth returns for a spoiler-centric look at a game where spoilers arguably don’t even matter, his absolutely delightful engineer-’em-up Infinifactory. Mechanically, the game is in one sense unspoilable. Sure, seeing a…
Games That Don’t Exclude and Foxes That Don’t Talk, with Erin Robinson
Mar 2, 2015
ETAO Podcast, Episode 18. Erin Robinson of Ivy Games stops by to discuss Gravity Ghost, her work teaching game design at Columbia College Chicago, talking animals, not-talking animals, and the previously untapped power fantasy of terraforming planets with…
On the Art of the Anti-Puzzle, with Zach Barth
Jan 29, 2015
ETAO Podcast, Episode 17. Infinifactory feels like SpaceChem for the world that Minecraft hath wrought—which makes sense, given that it’s the latest from Zach Barth, who both masterminded SpaceChem and ushered in the Blocks ‘n Voxels Age with his seminal…
All That Glitters Is Not Goblin, with Dan Teasdale
Jan 27, 2015
ETAO Podcast, Episode 16. Dan Teasdale stops by to talk about Roundabout, the debut game from his newly-founded two-person indie studio No Goblin. We discuss the game (which is awfully good), his previous work on Destroy All Humans! and the Rock Band…
Work-of-Art-as-Gateway-Drug (and How the Internet Will Hopefully Solve Everything), with Jack Lawrence Mayer
Oct 3, 2014
ETAO Podcast, Episode 15. When I interviewed Jack Lawrence Mayer for UChicago Arts back in 2102, he was about to launch Single Long, his seven-episode digital series for HBO. His latest project, LA Famous, follows the same basic format—but he’s produced…
Making a Sequel to Chess and Making Sense of IP Law, with Zac Burns
Aug 19, 2014
ETAO Podcast, Episode 14. Zac Burns of Ludeme Games joins me to discuss his studio’s digital adaptation of Chess 2, which is out on OUYA, and as of today, on Steam as well. Along the way, we talk about the challenges of translating tabletop games into…
Lizardry, Technology, and What to Call Roguelikes, with Geoff Blair and Matt Hackett
Jul 15, 2014
ETAO Podcast, Episode 13. At first glance, A Wizard’s Lizard doesn’t seem like a roguelike-alike, but more specifically like a Binding of Isaac-alike, what with its distinctive combination of Zelda and Smash TV. But on closer inspection, A Wizard’s Lizard…
The Oddness of Art and the Forgotten History of Sound, with Lila Newman
Jul 8, 2014
ETAO Podcast, Episode 12. Self-described Actor/Writer/Comedian/Musician/Plant-Owner Lila Newman stops by to discuss her piece-in-progress about Ora B. Nichols—one of the most influential artists of early radio, and specifically of early radio sound…
Evaluating Transistor
Jun 27, 2014
ETAO Podcast, Episode 11. Transistor is Supergiant Games’ follow-up to Bastion—not a sequel, and definitely not a rehash, but just as definitely an iteration, a more refined approach to the same set of themes and gameplay ideas. This time, the the skill…
It’s a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World, with Phil Tibitoski
Mar 11, 2014
ETAO Podcast, Episode 10. Phil Tibitoski stops by to talk about Octodad: Dadliest Catch, the upcoming update and PS4 release thereof, and what’s next for the Young Horses team. We also discuss the dissonance and melancholy of review scores, the perils of…
Making Sense of the Macklemore Backlash, Part 2
Feb 11, 2014
ETAO Podcast, Episode 09. Unproductively hating Macklemore: It’s not just for Kendrick Lamar fans anymore! Last week, we talked about the backlash against Macklemore in the hip-hop community—which meant we also talked about cultural appropriation, race,…
Making Sense of the Macklemore Backlash, Part 1
Feb 4, 2014
ETAO Podcast, Episode 08. The Heist is a really good album. good kid, m.A.A.d. city is a really good album. How did we get to the point where those two statements sound contradictory? In these next two episodes, Lucio and I will dig deep into the current,…
Defining Games (But Not Art) with Richard Terrell
Jan 14, 2014
ETAO Podcast, Episode 07. Richard Terrell of Critical-Gaming stops by to discuss something I wrote in response to something he wrote in response to something Ed Key wrote about whether Proteus is a game. (Still with me?) Just how much work should we be…
Enthusing and Kvetching with Alx Preston
Dec 26, 2013
ETAO Podcast, Episode 06. Alx Preston, Lead Designer of Hyper Light Drifter, stops by to discuss how limitations foster and enable creativity, how videogames could learn a thing or two from Ernest Hemingway, and how growing up with a…
How Steam Became the Most/Only Acceptable DRM
Dec 10, 2013
ETAO Podcast, Episode 05. When last we left the saga of SteamOS, Lucio and I were envisioning a future owned and operated by Valve, and for the most part, we were comfortable with that idea to a degree that made us, well, uncomfortable. So this time…
Will SteamOS Kill Consoles and/or Save Christmas?
Dec 3, 2013
ETAO Podcast, Episode 04. Steam wants into your living room, in the guise of a gadget that’s not quite a PC and not quite a console. That could have a moderately apocalyptic effect on the console market, not to mention the long-taken-for-granted dominance…
Unpacking the Indie Custom Cube
Nov 26, 2013
ETAO Podcast, Episode 03. Some independent game developers made a set of jokey, rollickingly broken Magic cards. An awful lot of people found the jokes therein sexist, racist, and generally objectionable. Which is where it gets complicated. Can we…
What Happens After Success, with Davey Wreden
Nov 9, 2013
ETAO Podcast, Episode 02. Davey Wreden discusses life after the release of his vividly realized, genuinely unique first game, The Stanley Parable—the problems that come with success, the guilt that comes with admitting that success comes with problems,…
On Weirdness and Geek Culture, with Jake Kazdal
Aug 26, 2013
ETAO Podcast, Episode 01. Game developer and graphic artist Jake Kazdal, who you might know from his work on Rez and Space Channel 5 Part 2, joins us for our inaugural podcast. He discusses the finer points of his studio’s first release, Skulls of the…