WEEK IN GEEK: It’s all about indie video games this week as both of our hosts have been indulging in new ludic adventures. Andrew participates in the eldritch fishing adventure of Dredge while D. Bethel has been having roguelike RPG fun with Star Renegades.
RIP PEE-WEE: Paul Reubens died after a long bout with cancer on July 30; our hosts spend a bit of time memorializing his work.
ON STRIKE: Despite the heat, our hosts discuss all the striking that’s hitting Hollywood (and more!) quite hard right now. From the WGA to SAG-AFTRA (to UPS?!), it seems that the folks who are just trying to do their job and earn an honest living can’t get an inch from the studio heads, so far.
ANDY’S STEAM DECK ADVENTURES: Andrew shares what it was like to actually take his handheld PC-device on the road (and what games he’s been playing).
BOMBING THE BOX OFFICE: This summer has been marked with a series of movies that had really big budgets and very low returns, and it’s a trend that seems to only be continuing. Our hosts talk through possible causes and possible futures of this distressing trajectory.
NEWS CRUISE: Andrew and D. Bethel cover a lot of different news stories this week, including the acceptance of NFTs in video games by Steam and the Epic Games Store; the workers of tabletop game developer, Paizo, form a union; developers who worked on Metroid Dread not seeing their names in the credits; Ruby Rose speaking up about their treatment on the set of Batwoman‘s first season; and some announcements made by DC during the DC Fandome event.
UPDATE: Venerated Metroid fansite, Shinesparkers, reached out to Metroid Dread developers, MercurySteam, for clarification on what qualified for crediting in the game, specifically with regard to what constitutes the “25% game dev time” and “significant creative contributions,” stating:
“A significant contribution might mean A LOT of things: from designing a playable character, writing dialogues, lore.. anything substantially important to the game. On the 25% this is something based on our experience. Of course it can be seen differently elsewhere.”
FURTHER UPDATE: Union issues with Paizo and its workers came to an agreement on Thursday, October 21, with Paizo officially recognizing the workers’ union.
MINI-WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew and D. Bethel need a week to recoup after weeks of birthdays, Doctor Who, and a celebration of Star Trek, so they’re going to briefly cover the things that have been keeping their attention recently. To no one’s surprise, they’ve been playing video games. Andrew has been playing the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster collection that includes Final Fantasy 1-4 (at this point), while D. Bethel has not been helping his mental health––though he has been having a lot of fun––playing The Last of Us, Part 2.
WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew plays the first few games in Square Enix’s nostalgia-trip, Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster, while D. Bethel dives into nostalgia and music theory reading the newest book from Boss Fight Books, Final Fantasy VI by Sebastian Deken.
“Premature Clapulation” (19 June 2014): In Episode 4, D. Bethel and Andrew discuss the positive qualities of Final Fantasy VI.
“Answer Sandwich” (24 October 2014): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the work of Final Fantasy composer, Nobuo Uematsu.
“BTAS” (7 August 2015): Nearly exactly six years ago, D. Bethel and Andrew talk about the ludomusicology of Final Fantasy VI.
“Alien Control Party” (22 January 2016): Where Andrew and D. Bethel ponder the different ways––and the best ways––to “archive” old games for modern players.
“Five Minutes to Funny” (9 December 2016): Where D. Bethel shares his thoughts reading the Boss Fight Book about Metal Gear Solid, written by Ashly & Anthony Burch.
“Editing Is Magic” (13 July 2018): Where D. Bethel and Andrew read Final Fantasy V by Chris Kohler, published by Boss Fight Books.
“Little Paper People” (2 November 2018): Where D. Bethel reads and shares his thoughts about another Boss Fight Books book, Shovel Knight by David L. Craddock.
A NEW CHALLENGER: Recently, Valve Corporation––owners of the PC gaming storefront and launcher, Steam––announced a new piece of hardware that excited a lot of gamers: the handheld Steam machine called the Steam Deck. D. Bethel and Andrew walk through the announcement and ponder what it could change in the industry, and how it could leave some gamers lacking.
“Where the Hands Touch” (13 January 2017): Where Andrew discusses a previous piece of Valve-made hardware, the ill-fated Steam controller.
WEEK IN GEEK: This week, after giving a brief update on the announcement of IMDb TV’s revival of Leverage, Andrew talks about his experience playing Coldwild Games‘ delightful trading simulation game, Merchant of the Skies while D. Bethel finally got around to watching Netflix’s The Witcher.
Episode 31 – “Post-Op Dan” (09 Jan. 2015): Where Andrew discusses his impressions of John Rogers’ post-Leverage show, The Librarians.
WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew finds the retro-JRPG stylings of Square Enix’s Octopath Traveler engaging and fun while D. Bethel gets challenged making the new pages from his webcomic, Long John, into short videos for Instagram, forcing him to look at his own work in new ways.
ComicLab – A podcast hosted by professional webcomickers Brad Guigar (cartoonist of Evil Inc. and editor of Webcomics.com) and Dave Kellett (cartoonist of Sheldon and Drive and co-director of the comic strip documentary, Stripped) where they talk about “making comics and making a living from comics.”
Here’s the videos Dan has been making of his comic on his YouTube channel: