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Though we tend to sit with video games for a short time, they often sit with us for a very long time afterward. On Art & Craft, join us as we uncover the deeply personal stories of some of the medium’s most thoughtful creatives.

Though we tend to sit with video games for a short time, they often sit with us for a very long time afterward. On Art & Craft, join us as we uncover the deeply personal stories of some of the medium’s most thoughtful creatives.
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Though we tend to sit with video games for a short time, they often sit with us for a very long time afterward. On Art & Craft, join us as we uncover the deeply personal stories of some of the medium’s most thoughtful creatives.




Navigating The Endless Desert With Team Alto

I thought we’d do something a little different this time around on Art & Craft. Rather than dive deep with with one guest, I’ve chosen to chat with two. Specifically, my colleagues and close friends Harry Nesbitt & Joe Grainger, who form the art and development team of our recently released game Alto’s Odyssey. In many ways, this episode is more than just an interview, but rather, a post-mortem in which we get a chance to honestly reflect on the game’s development, what we learned, and what...


Pulling Back the Curtain with Nick Ahrens

When I first dug into the role of Producer, I assumed it was my job simply to remind people when tasks were due. Over time, I’ve come to see production much more as the discipline of removing the barriers that prevent people from doing their best work. Join me as I chat with Nick Ahrens, Executive Producer at LA-based Hidden Variable Studios, about bringing a game across the finish line, the state of modern games coverage, and the vices and virtues of vicarious ownership.


Rewriting the Rules with Zach Gage

Zach Gage is one of the sharpest design minds creating play today. Whether it’s games like Spelltower, Flip Flop Solitaire, or Really Bad Chess, the things Zach makes brilliantly explore what you can do when you digitize the kind of broad, approachable play you’d find in a Sunday newspaper. Join us as we discuss the value in letting people learn creatively, the untapped possibilities in designing around gambling, and the way that making games can change who you are.


Finding Hidden Meaning with Jason Roberts

Gorogoa is the kind of brilliant game that's almost hard to believe exists even as you're experiencing it. A densely layered puzzle journey that takes place inside a hand-illustrated fantasy world. Join us as we sit down with its creator Jason Roberts, and peel back some of those layers. Together, we discuss the seven year journey to bring Gorogoa to life, the ebb & flow of creative motivation, and the secret feelings we all harbour to find and solve the puzzles all around us.


Knowing Your Worth with Bekah Saltsman

Bekah Saltsman is the co-founder and CEO of Finji, a self-described collaborative game studio working on titles like Overland, Tunic, and Night in the Woods. Join us as we talk with her about pushing back against the "I'm Just" impulse, the realities of being a mother in the games industry, and the importance of listening to the way players describe your games.


Hitting Your Stride with Danette Beatty

If delaying a podcast about games to ship one of your own isn't a tidy metaphor for development, then I don't what is. Welcome back to Art & Craft! This week, we're chatting with Danette Beatty, 3D Artist at ustwo Games in London. Together, we unpack what it's like to pick up your life and move for the work that you love, and discuss lessons learned from finding your voice on a larger team. In the process, we delve into the art & design process behind one of 2017's biggest hits: Monument...


Bring Your Own Narrative with Benjamin Rivers

"A player gives you 50% of what a game is." This is the philosophy underpinning how Benjamin Rivers approaches the things he makes. Rivers is the creator of deeply narrative-driven games like horror hit Home and sci-fi romance Alone With You. Join us as we talk with him about how making games can be like theatre, involving players in the stories you tell, and taking risks to pursue dream projects.


Creating for Kids with Jason Krogh

You can learn so much from how someone younger responds - or in some case doesn’t respond - to what they’re seeing, playing, or reading. Sago Mini, makers of digital & physical toys for children, are constantly thinking about how to craft better experiences for this audience. Join us as we talk with Sago CEO Jason Krogh about play testing games with kids, extending digital play into the real world, and making things you feel good about.


Stories And How We Tell Them with Joseph Humfrey

Inkle Studios is a team that crafts experiences which straddle the line between two mediums. These deep, narrative games use text as their vehicle, but still manage to take people on grand adventures through fantasy kingdoms and journeys across the world. Join us as we talk with Inkle's Art & Code Director Joseph Humfrey about the origins of the studio, the foundation of good interactive fiction, and the enduring value of careful craftsmanship.


Making Games That Listen With Nels Anderson

Happy New Year everybody, and welcome to the first Art & Craft episode of 2018! On this week's episode, we sit down with Nels Anderson, the lead designer on critically acclaimed Mark of the Ninja, and designer on the narrative hit Firewatch. Together we discuss designing with rules instead of exceptions, the excitement of setting players loose in game worlds that truly listen, and the lessons we wish we'd taught ourselves earlier.


Cultivating What Matters With Joel McDonald

"Cultivate what matters. Cut away the rest." This is the slogan for developer Joel McDonald's breakout mobile game Prune, a title about carefully cutting away at trees to help them flourish. It's also the philosophy at the heart of Joel's own journey, from making big blockbuster titles to striking out on his own in search of something more personally fulfilling. Join us as we discuss making that leap, the need for more diversity in the industry, and the challenge of listening to the game...


Reconciling Past And Future With Amir Rajan

Amir Rajan is the creator of minimalist text-based gems like A Dark Room, The Ensign, and A Noble Circle. As someone who creates games often rooted in literature and filled with socially relevant themes, he's seen profound response to the things he creates — both positive and negative. Join us as we discuss dealing with interpretations of your work, creating lasting art in an ever-changing digital landscape, and reconciling your past with your creative future.


Capturing A Feeling With Margaret Robertson

Perhaps the greatest compliment that a player can give about a game is that something about this digital experience made their real life better in some way. Imagine trying to achieve that with games almost entirely about colourful shapes. This is the daily mission for Margaret Robertson, Director of Game Design at "Dots." Join us as we talk about capturing a feeling through design, how to ethically ask your players for money, and - I can't believe I'm saying this - misbehaving geese.


Valuing Intrinsic Worth With Anisa Sanusi

To make games is to connect with people in an intimate, meaningful way, often when they’re looking for relaxation or solace, or simply to escape. But it’s also a business ruled by market trends. Join us as we talk with UI & UX designer Anisa Sanusi about navigating this tension to create meaningful art that values everyone's most precious resource: time. Together, we dissect insidious "dark patterns" in design, discuss the true meaning of user experience, and confront our own imposter...


Embracing Constraints With Robert Curry

Mini Metro is a meditative transit simulator all about creating your own subway lines. Before it became a hit, though, its co-creator wasn't sure he'd ever make another game. Join us as we talk with Robert Curry, co-founder and Studio Manager at Dinosaur Polo Club. Together, we revisit his earliest years in the industry, and come away with lessons about failing forward, embracing constraints, and taking nothing for granted.


Standing Out In A Crowd With Nick Suttner

Before the term "indie" had the cachet it does now, Nick Suttner was one of the voices shining a light on small, artful games as a writer for EGM and 1UP. That passion led him into developer relations, where he worked for years helping creators bring their work to PlayStation & Oculus platforms. Join us as we talk with Nick about the art of the release strategy, the shifting landscape of games writing, and the allure of the mysterious.


Facing Death With Gabby DaRienzo

Death is everywhere in video games, and nowhere at all. From falling down a hole in Super Mario Bros. to falling off a cliff in the Uncharted series, death is a tried and true mechanic. Much rarer is the attempt to reconcile with it. Join us as we talk with Gabby DaRienzo about her game A Mortician's Tale: a narrative experience that has you preparing bodies for their final goodbye. Together, we discuss death-positivity, reconciling with loss as you create games, and the value of short,...


Beauty In Frustration With Benedict Fritz

Not all games will resonate with all players, but what happens when you set about making something you know from the start might frustrate people? This was the challenge facing Benedict Fritz and the team making TumbleSeed. Join us as we talk with him about crafting with conviction, finding the right amount of friction, and the beauty of hard-fought mastery.


Making Games By Hand With Luke Whittaker

With so many digital tools used to create them, the term "hand-crafted" has become a marketing buzzword in the games industry. It's meant stir up nostalgia, and bring to mind images of tinkerers toiling away in a workshop. For Luke Whittaker and State of Play Games, though, there couldn't be a more fitting descriptor. Join us as we talk with him about bringing digital experiences to life with physical materials, and the exhilarating uncertainty of making art.


Connecting Through Design With Chris Bell

Journey and What Remains of Edith Finch are two very stirring games, both of which take different approaches to interaction and storytelling. Chris Bell was a designer on both of them. Join us as we chat with him about connecting powerfully with players, freeing yourself from the weight of expectations, and finding inspiration in the unlikeliest of places.