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.
A-NEWS BOUCHE: It’s been a busy few months, so our hosts felt that it was time to get away on a cruise, albeit a news cruise. They talk about the recent legal woes with Microsoft’s attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard, recap all of the Wizards of the Coast’s woes, and all the strange Twitter drama as of late.
STANDING WITH UKRAINE: Our hosts take a minute to discuss the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
REVIEWING REVIEWS: The release of FromSoftware’s newest game, Elden Ring, has many people talking about reviews due to the fact that many outlets rated the game 10/10 (or whatever metric they use) while the reviewers openly admit that they didn’t finish the game (this was due to FromSoftware releasing review codes to websites really late). This lead D. Bethel and Andrew to consider what the role of a review is––heck, what even is a review when the gamut runs from professional reviews to user-written Amazon reviews.
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.
CAP PUNCHED FIRST: Another day, another attack on fictional characters as a cable news segment pilloried Marvel Comics for making Captain America “woke” in a recent issue, seemingly forgetting that Cap has been punching literal Nazis in his comics since his first issue. Andrew and D. Bethel explore this while also examining the variety of ways texts (movies, comics, books, music, tv shows, etc.) can be read.
PRINT ON DEMAND: After buying some RPG books through DriveThruRPG, Andrew becomes fascinated by the idea––and future applicability––of print on demand services, where a book isn’t printed until a customer orders it. D. Bethel brings his creator experience with POD services to the conversation as well.
“Slapcast” (02 July 2021): Where Andrew gave us the run down of the strange TSR Twitter fight.
The video Dan referred to with Stan Lee talking about the creation of the X-Men, though it’s one of many similar and slightly different creation stories he has told over the years:
A BAD IDEA AGAIN: More than a decade after Konami cancelled its controversial tactical military first-person shooter, Six Days in Fallujah, the game seems to have been revived by Highwire Games who have taken to the media asserting that they want to tell––with their tactical military FPS––a nuanced, thoughtful, and impactful story of the incident. This news caused D. Bethel and Andrew to wonder if certain stories are simply better suited for certain genres of games?
NEW YEAR, SAME AS THE OLD YEAR: We had an episode planned this week, dear listeners, but the news decided to preempt any plans for fun and coherent discussion. On our recording day, the United States Capitol was stormed leading to––at the very least––democratic uncertainty and––at worst––multiple people dead. Needless to say, D. Bethel and Andrew were not in the best spirits to record a full episode, so they decided to just take the week to refocus and get ready for next week’s episode. Sorry for any inconvenience. Stay safe and stay healthy.
ANY PORT IN A NERD STORM: Rather than blasting the news, Andrew and D. Bethel blur the distinction between nerdy news and Weeks in Geek with Andrew expressing his excitement for Star Trek: Lower Decks on CBS All Access, Dan’s strange sense of place after watching the HBO true crime documentary mini-series, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, before they discuss the news of the upcoming live-action Mulan remake getting a simultaneous (albeit for $29.99) release on Disney+ and in theaters.
Bethel, D. “News Blast: Three X-Films Announced for 2018.” A Website [ , ] For All Intents and Purposes. 23 April 2017. –– Where D. Bethel discusses the announcement of the New Mutants movie, along with the announcement of Deadpool 2 and Dark Phoenix. Deadpool 2 was the only film to release in 2018.
NEWS BLAST (COVID-19 EDITION): A lot of stuff is going on amid the global pandemic, and Andrew and D. Bethel are here to talk about it (if Dan actually was able to record his audio this time). They talk about the AMC theater chain shunning Universal Pictures amid Trolls World Tour‘s success, Civilization VI‘s bold new plan for a year’s worth of DLC and expansions, Marvel and DC Comics are shipping books again, The Flash has an abbreviated season (ending on somewhat of a downbeat), and New Mutants gets a theatrical release date…again.