THE YEAR THAT WAS: With the final week of the year barreling toward us, Andrew and D. Bethel decide to throw format out the window and just talk. Guided by the question, “What does 2018 make you think of?”, they veer all over the place from Fallout (of course) and learning how to code to the many-tiered beast that was ComicsGate and the panacea to that garbage with things like the new Halloween and She-Ra.
What do you think of when you think of the 2018 that was? How would you summarize this year? Let us know!
A TAYLORED EXPERIENCE: With D. Bethel locked behind closed doors to grade the work of his beloved students, friend-of-the-show Taylor Katcher has graciously stepped in to help Andrew in his hour of need. Together, they run the gamut of nerdy topics, from Super Smash Bros. to Betrayal Legacy to Civilization VI on the iPhone to the most recent DC/CW crossover event, “Elseworlds.”
Guestcast 02 – Ready Taylor One: Taylor’s last appearance on the last Guestcast. Also, in the “Related Episodes” section of the notes, you can find all of the other times Taylor has appeared on the show.
WEEK IN GEEK: For once, both D. and Andrew are playing new games at their release! Andrew shares his experience diving in to the buggy but compelling world of Bethesda’s foray into MMO gaming with Fallout 76 while Dan finds a groove playing Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption 2 and finds himself getting lost in it.
D. Bethel’s “Spotlight: ‘Masterpieces’ Are Better With Flaws.” (04 April 2018) Where D. discusses that, sometimes, games with a lot of ambition but sometimes questionable execution are better for the medium and culture than games that get it “right.”
POST-APOCALYPSE NOW: After D. Bethel talks a bit about the California fires (he’s safe albeit drenched in smoke from the Camp Fire––please donate money over supplies to help most during this time of containment and rebuilding), Andrew discusses his hour or so playing Fallout 76.
#IRONSHITES: Richard Meyer and the ComicsGate controversy has been covered many times before on the show, and the latest installment has Richard Meyer aka “Comics & Diversity” putting his money where his mouth is. His 120-page graphic novel, Iron Sights, (written by Meyer, art by Ibai Canales) has been released (it cost $20 for a copy of the book if you contributed to its Indiegogo campaign) was summarily criticized by Twitter user, Jafleece, in a spectacular and validating fashion. The 60+ thread starts here:
Andrew and D. discuss not only what they saw from the thread, but what this says about the claims Meyer and ComicsGate have been levying toward the industry for awhile now.
END BITS: Also, they spend some time at the end to discuss the death of Stan Lee, below is the clip that D. mentioned was his favorite Stan Lee cameo, from this year’s Marvel’s Spider-Man by Insomniac Games.
And, for good measure, the Pokémon: Detective Pikachu tralier:
Shortcast 49 – The Sweet Beats (30 Mar. 2018): Where Andrew and D. Bethel talk about Fallout 4, also the RELATED EPISODES of the notes contain a comprehensive list of the other times Fallout 4 was discussed on the show.
OPPORTUNITY DIABLOWN: At the end of the keynote presentation for this year’s BlizzCon––a convention devoted to game developer, Blizzard, created by game developer, Blizzard––the wildly successful PC developer announced a new entry into its long-running and beloved Diablo franchise: Diablo: Immortal. While ostensibly a new Diablo game, Diablo: Immortal is a phone game made not by Blizzard but by Chinese mobile developer, NetEase, and it was decidedly not the game fans wanted news about: Diablo IV. In a backlash of epic proportions, Blizzard has tried to course-correct which only dug them in deeper, D. Bethel and Andrew investigate the aloofness of Blizzard, the entitlement of fandom, and the hazy trouble in-between.
Bethel, D. “The Week – 26 October 2018.” Long John. ––Where D. Bethel wrote about people judging texts based on news, images, previews without actually seeing the final content.
WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew starts things off by falling in love with the crafty goodness of using paper mini-figures for tabletop gaming. D. Bethel dives back into consuming the written word (about video games) with Boss Fight Books’ Shovel Knight by David L. Craddock. Andrew wraps back around to dish a little about Stardew Valley on iOS and how its able to manage saves between platforms.
WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew gets impressed with The Bard’s Tale Trilogy remastered collection on Steam while D. Bethel watches Venom and, even though he enjoyed it, wonders why it’s hitting such a strong chord with viewers.
DOCTOR BOO!: With Spookytober drawing to a close, Andrew and D. couldn’t not talk about Doctor Who, so they dove into the archive to talk about what they argue may be one of the series’ scariest episodes yet, series 4’s “Midnight.”
WEEK IN GEEK: This week, it’s a dive into the Fall tv shows that both our hosts were excited to see as Andrew watches the first episode of Alton Brown’s Good Eats: Reloaded while D. Bethel reacts to the first three episodes of the second season of The Gifted.
GAMES WORKERS UNITE: In the wake of massive layoffs by developers like Telltale Games and Riot Games, The Vulture published an article under the auspice of being a “behind the scenes” look at Red Dead Redemption 2‘s development at Rockstar Games. The article sparked a lot of controversy, specifically around the (walked back) claim of the team working 100-hour weeks multiple times during 2018 to make sure this game is top of the line in terms of quality. These incidents bring again a highlight to the labor practices of game development, through which D. and Andrew try to wade.
GAMES AT PAXWEST: We sent our man on the scene, Andrew, to PAX West while our Man in California, D. Bethel, watched on the internet. Now, they talk about the games they saw. Andrew muses over gameplay quirks in Stone Story RPG and Aground, while D. reacts to the strong sprites ethic in Get in the Car, Loser! and Star Renegades. Also, Andrew reflects on a series of panels he saw at the event, all of which focus on not just tabletop role-playing games, but specifically––and surprisingly––just Dungeons & Dragons.
Also, D. Bethel will be exhibiting at the 2018 Crocker Con in Sacramento! It is on Thursday, September 13th, from 6-9:30pm at the Crocker Art Museum in Downtown Sacramento. For more info, click here, or check out the Facebook Event page.
WEEK IN GEEK: It’s an indie game kind of week as Andrew reports on the Zelda-like shop sim, Moonlighter, by Digital Sun while D. Bethel starts a conversation about everybody’s current favorite rogue-like platformer (kind of a Metroidvania, kind of not; definitely not a “roguevania”), Dead Cells, by Motion Twin.