I missed this week’s Jumping the Shark in order to play a little Witcher 2 preview build (post coming soon), but somehow the gang manages to carry on without me. (Perish the thought.) This week, courtesy of some more legwork from Brandon (who also edited), brings you an interview with Mark Yetter from Timegate Studios, makers of Section 8: Prejudice. From there the gang goes on to chat about Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword, Portal 2, Zelda, and Mario. Enjoy!
Most weeks everything on Jumping the Shark goes pretty much according to plan. Then there are weeks like this one where almost nothing goes to plan. This week we were supposed to have some of the folks behind Section 8 on the show and I was supposed to be taking a week off (it was my son’s birthday). Unfortunately, some last minute issues came up that prevented the interview from happening. Then Danielle couldn’t make it, nor could a couple of our usual reserves. So I suited up only to spend 20 minutes trying to figure out why I couldn’t hear Bill and Brandon on the Skype chat. (For some reason my Skype audio out was rerouted through my PlayOn server. Very odd.) It was awesome.
Fortunately, we got the audio issue taken care of and settled in for what became a nice little “riff” show in which we just talked about what we’ve been playing. The end result, a damn fun show to be a part of. To be honest, as much as I like talking to folks who make games, it’s hard to relax recording those episodes. Here we get to just sit back and do what we do, which includes digging further into Portal 2, Brandon’s disappointment with Conduit 2, a peek into Bill’s heroic exploits in Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword, and we talk up the Playstation Network mess. Good times all around!
Last week we brought you a couple guests from High Voltage, this week we bring you PhantomEFX’s Nate Sherrets, one of the game designers on BattleSlots. This game is one to watch if you’re a fan of games like Puzzle Quest. It’s a surprisingly effective marriage of that game’s RPG tropes (story, character building, amassing of wealth and loot, etc.) with a casino-style slot machine mechanic. If you hate slots, well, that’s a tougher sell, but otherwise it’s well worth grabbing the demo. I just wish they had an iPad version. Someday. And if Battleslots doesn’t interest you? Well, you should tune in anyway because Nate’s a trip. Definitely someone we should bring back every so often just to talk games.
This week we also talk a bunch of Portal 2, Hunters: Episode One, more Call of Heroes (XBLA), and Danielle returns from vacation to confess her new addiction to playing Pro-guitar in Rock Band 3. (Note: Starting with this week, I’m putting the player embed after the break since it takes a couple of seconds to load.)
Guest month continues for Jumping the Shark this week as we’re joined by High Voltage Software’s Keith Hladik (producer) and Eric Stoll (lead designer) to talk about tomorrow’s release of The Conduit 2. My only experience with this franchise is marveling at how good it looked on the Wii at E3 two years ago, but Brandon? Brandon loves him some Conduit and he’s in top form this week. Unfortunately, the High Voltage gang was unable to join us for the games we’ve been playing segment, but that didn’t stop us from talking a little Clash of Heroes (XBLA), Hunters HD (iPad), more Demon’s Souls, a Tiger Woods wrap-up, and just a teensy bit of Dragon Age 2.
It’s a big week for Jumping the Shark as Stardock founder and CEO, Brad Wardell, joins us to talk about the sale of Impulse to Gamestop, the future for PC gaming, and what’s next for Stardock now that Impulse is no longer a part of their picture. If you spend much time on the Internet you’ve surely seen something Brad’s written, or at least heard about it from some other source. He’s a guy who puts himself out there and doesn’t pull punches when he talks about what he thinks, and it’s no different here. To a lot of people this makes him a rather polarizing figure, but what you learn about Brad in talking to him live -what’s not always clear in print- is just how reasonable (and funny) a guy he is. He has an obvious passion for this business and he likes to talk about his ideas and theories about it. I think I speak for all of us when I say we’d love to have him back in the future just to talk games.
After the topic segment with Brad, we also do a short segment on what we’ve been playing. Danielle talks The Lost Hobo King (Stacking expansion), Brandon’s all over Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’12: The Masters Edition, and Bill reaches into the wayback machine and comes out with a copy of Demon’s Souls. Be sure to check it out!
This week’s Jumping the Shark features the illustrious return of Tom Chick, who joins us to talk about team-building in games, with a particular emphasis on the Pokemon series. We also dig deep into Crysis 2 and Sims Medieval and talk up the 3DS, The Arrival (Mass Effect 2 DLC), and Dragon Age 2.
Just another ho-hum week of Jumping the Shark this week. Except not really, because EA2D’s Soren Johnson joins us to talk about his latest project, Dragon Age: Legends. Woo! If you’re not familiar, Soren’s past credits include Spore and a little gem we’re fans of around here, called Civilization IV. We skipped the what we’ve been playing portion of the show this week to keep the dialog focused on Legends. In the process we also talk about the past and future of social gaming, the development challenges and perks of trying to make an actual game in an arena largely known for Farmville knock-offs, and maybe, just maybe, a little Civ IV chatter too…
Danielle is back in the hizzy for this week’s episode of Jumping the Shark, and it’s a darn good thing given our topic segment is devoted to the goings on at PAX East and she’s the only one of us to go to the big show. This week also takes Brandon off the leash to talk about what he’s been playing (Bulletstorm and Homefront), I chime in with some further refined thoughts on Dragon Age 2 (I’ll be posting more on it this week), and Bill analyzes Shogun 2 and why the Oda clan can’t seem to stay alive.
It’s a busy, busy week for Jumping the Shark 60. We were missing Danielle, who had a work function, so that sucked. But Tom Chick was back with us after an extended absence and it’s always great to have Tom on. This week we had an extended discussion about Tom’s GDC encounter with Starcraft II lead designer Dustin Browder as well as a pretty detailed look at the Rift MMO. With spring training finally here, that means baseball games, and Bill got deep into The Show. I wrapped up my red ringed 360 saga and spent a fair chunk of time talking Dragon Age 2. By this point Brandon gave up any hope of having time to talk about what he’s been playing, so we dove into our topic segment: DLC.
In Jumping the Shark 59 we dig into the Dragon Age 2 demo (weee!), Bulletstorm, the Dead Money DLC for Fallout: New Vegas, Dawn of War II: Retribution, a Dreamcast Classics collection, and a few other things. (Believe it or not, there is still no resolution to the whole red ringed 360 issue. Good times!) We also tackled the topic (alliteration!) of difficulty in games. It’s a fairly wide-ranging discussion from what’s too easy to what’s too hard, to how games should navigate something so wholly subjective to the particular player. Mostly, I’m just mocked a lot…