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Nice Games Jam: “Ants of Destiny: Morsels of the Queen”

This week in the clubhouse, Stephen is still away in New York, so Ellen is back to help out with a Nice Games Jam! Our prompt: create a JRPG-inspired game in under an hour. But like any good JRPG, it took twice as long to complete as expected... Ellen's handwritten notes are worth a look! (PDF) And here's the Wikipedia page for Weevil, which Ellen wanted you to see. Rules for "Ants of Destiny: Morsels of the Queen" A two-person pen-and-paper RPG. One player portrays the party of ants, and...


“Space Ferret Seeks PR Support” Game Libraries; Marketing 001 (with Ellen Burns-Johnson)

While Stephen is away at the Game Devs of Color Expo in New York, Ellen Burns-Johnson joins in the club house to discuss organizing your game library and what to do when you actually know nothing about marketing. Martha throws it in the 'eh' pile, Mark delegates, and Ellen has it all under control. Meta Game Devs of Color Expo 2019 Depression and the Solace of 'Grinding' in Online Games - Julie Muncy, Wired [0:02:49] Game Libraries How to deal with your Steam backlog - Michael McWhertor,...


Nostalgia and the Lo-fi Aesthetic (with Marina Kittaka)

This week, your nice hosts are joined by Marina Kittaka, artist and co-developer on the upcoming Anodyne 2: Return to Dust. Marina made the 30-foot journey from her desk to the clubhouse in order to discuss Anodyne's theme of nostalgia, the "personal" authenticity of the game's lo-fi PS1-era aesthetics, jumping in to her first 3D project, leveraging your limitations, and more! Wishlist/purchase Anodyne 2: Return to Dust on: Steam | | Kartridge | GoG Our Nice Guest! Marina on...


“We’re Criming You!” Stealth Games; Motion Controls

This week your Nice Hosts appear out of nowhere to discuss Stealth Games and Motion Controls! Mark shoots lasers, Stephen time travels and Martha joins a geriatric gang. Dishonored 2 cover art copyright Bethesda. [0:01:30] Stealth Games "Banana Bread" (Griffin & Justin of Polygon play SpyParty) Giant Bomb Plays Hitman Let's Plays "Why Fashion in (Most) Games Sucks, and Why You Should Care" -Victoria Tran, GDC Vault Our Interview with Freya Holmér of Neat Corporation maker of Budget Cuts...


“Who approved these topics?” Horror Games; Sports Games

This week, your nice hosts talk about a pair of game genres that none of them are that wild about, and Mortho returns to brighten the proceedings! Meta Our previous episode on "unloved" topics: “Try it once!” You Never Realized Fonts Could Be This Exciting - Mike Fahey, Kotaku Donut County is the Anti-Katamari - Marcus Estrada, Hardcore Gamer Slay the Spire is my favorite game to lose - Jeff Ramos, Polygon [0:16:46] Designing Horror Games Download Stephen's horror game Infectious! How the...


“Vampires!” Nice Games Bulletin

All the news that fit to pod! Mark makes a Mario, Martha adds things to her wishlist and Stephen gets mad at his TV. Recent releases Super Mario Maker 2: Building On Success -Kyle Hilliard, Game Informer Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night: The Kotaku Review -Joshua Rivera, Kotaku The making of Samurai Showdown (2019) -Alex Kane, Polygon Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled: No Rust On This Ride -Andrew Reiner, Game Informer Cadence of Hyrule is the best Zelda spinoff ever made -Russ Frushtick,...


Running An Indie Studio (with Matt Gravelle)

This week, we welcome friend of the show Matt Gravelle into the clubhouse to talk about the ups and downs of, and lessons learned from, the decade-plus history of his indie game company, Graveck Interactive. Topics include the early days of Unity, holding the top-selling spot in the iOS App Store for months(!), weird guidelines from film studios on licensed web games, creating VR experiences for medical applications, and more! Get Optica on Android, iOS, or Steam! Get Strata on Android,...


“E for Everybody!” Patches and Add-on Content; International Age Rating Systems

Stephen has been working on patches for Treasure Stack and Mark has been busy getting age ratings around the world for Widget Satchel so this episode is jam packed with knowledge! Mark tricks his parents, Martha hides from E.T. and Stephen balances the game. Meta Game Devs of Color “Black Mirror’s ‘Striking Vipers’ uses fighting games to flirt with the theme of queer desire” Gretchen Felker-Martin, Polygon The Black Mirror Fighting Game Episode was Out of Control Gita Jackson, Kotaku...


E3 2019 Special

Stephen's back from E3, and brought back tales of standing in line, going out at night, and staying in on Thursday. But before hearing about all the unreleased games Stephen played while in Los Angeles, your nice hosts discuss all the news and announcements from the show. [0:05:28] Google Stadia [0:16:57] Microsoft "E3 2019: ID@Xbox Shines the Spotlight on Amazing Independent Games" - Lisa Trott, Xbox Wire "The SDK 'Power Mac G5' for the Xbox 360" - Soutenir le blog "Ultra-high-speed SSD...


Nice Games Jam: “Rules”

This week is another Nice Games Jam! We got a prompt from Martha's Boyfriend Dylan to "make a puzzle game that includes a written document that updates as you play." You can play the game we came up with in the episode using the rules in the show notes below! Rules for "Rules" Two players Some set of blocks (we used 10 cubes), different colors The Codemaker comes up with sequence of blocks They create a list of four rules to help the Codebreaker player guess the sequence Rules cannot...


“That wasn’t the angle I was going for.” Extra Modes; Unit Testing

This week in the clubhouse, Stephen wants do more with less, Mark wants to do more with more, and Martha wants to do less to more. Meta "Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language" - Gretchen McCulloch "Your conference is too damn big" - John Pavlus, Fast Company "The Game Design Studio on a Boat" - Clinton Nguyen, Vice Evil Games Club co-host Dale is now tweeting for us! Follow us for behind-the-microphone goodness: @nicegamesclub We're always trying to get feedback, but...


Narrative Design (with Beth Korth)

This week we have Beth Korth of Howling Moon Software back to talk about Narrative Design and her process for designing and writing Verdant Skies! We talk all about the creative process from creating ideas in her head to writing in a markup language Andy created so she could control the game as she wrote dialogue and cut scenes. Beth's Notebook: Naming the game: Designing Heart Events: Our Nice Guest! Verdant Skies on Steam,, Humble Store, Kartridge Verdant Skies Steam Green Light...


“A secret room with secret stuff!” Game Length; Save Systems

This week in the clubhouse, Stephen breaks the ice, Martha dreams of writing passwords, and Mark makes a Jurassic Park reference (@ us if you recognize it!). Meta Our pal Abdiwak Yohannes is making Boji: Boji at Play/Test! Boji theme song on Soundcloud! Boji in action! Boji animation test! "Super Mario Maker 2 news dump" - Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica Mark "invented" the Semi-Automatic Mario level genre for the original Super Mario Maker! It did not catch on... We played the Japanese...


“Once More With Feeling!” Scoring Systems; Lives and Continues

This week on Nice Games Club we rack up a ridiculous number of points while discussing scoring systems, lives and continues! We debate whether these systems are relics from the arcade past or are still relevant game mechanics. Martha makes up numbers, Mark quantifies the Star Trek Universe and Stephen gets the high score. Show notes: Meta Mega Minne Multi Indie Mini Arcade The Greatest Discovery podcast [0:15:10] Scoring Systems Clicker Heroes [0:38:52] Lives and Continues


“It’s time for Gex.” Nice Games Bulletin!

It's another dispatch of the Nice Games Bulletin! Your nice hosts talk E3, Star Trek, and weaponized nostalgia, then eventually get around to discussing the latest news and releases in video games, including important developments in workers rights, console certification mishaps, and the live-action debut of more than one ugly rodent. Meta “The Deep Space Nine Anniversary Documentary Is Hitting Theaters for One Day Only” - James Whitbrook, io9 [0:06:24] Recent and upcoming releases "Ronda...


Nice Games Jam: “Blob Ball”

This week on the program is another Nice Games Jam, where we are given a prompt from Martha’s boyfriend (and Evil Games Club co-host) Dylan, which we have to use to create a playable game prototype by the end of the episode. The prompt was to create a paper prototype of a game that combines "hilarious movement" like in games like Gang Beasts or Octodad with a card game. You can play the prototype of our creation "Blob Ball" at home using the rules below. Maybe we'll actually make the video...


“When two colors of paint really love each other…” Gaming Events; Color Theory

This week, Martha fills the clubhouse with tales of her trip to the League of Legends Spring Split event in St. Loius, Mark gets to talk about another of his wonky "nonsense topics," and Stephen can't quite explain what he doesn't like about a thing. Meta “Long Lost ‘Zork’ Source Code Uploaded to GitHub, But Few People Understand It” - Nicole Carpenter, Motherboard Play The Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy - 30th Anniversary Edition for free in your browser. [0:09:21] Video Game Events “Out...


“Three-Headed Monster” Resource Management in Games; Boss Battles

This week on Nice Games Club we talk all about Resource Management in Games and Boss Battles! Join us as we discuss mana, cooldowns, super meters and how to make boss battles unique but not frustrating. Martha takes the train, Stephen takes a test and Mark wonders what the appeal is. [0:07:58] Resource Management in Games [0:35:12] Boss Battles Shadow of the Colossus speed run The Phantom Train


“I had a tiny violin around here somewhere…” Nice Games Bulletin!

Extra! Extra! Hear all about it! It's another Nice Games Bulletin... Join us in the Nice Games Clubhouse/Newsroom to hear the latest and greatest news from the video game world. Mortho makes a return (and another and another), Stephen doesn't want to say "git gud," (but...), Mark wants to press all the buttons, and (STOP THE PRESSES!) Martha likes board games now. Recent releases "Risk Of Rain 2’s real monster is capitalism, not the ravenous alien horde" - William Hughes, AV Club Games...


“Does This Game Mechanic Spark Joy?” Team Building; Game Identities

Mark and Dale are at GDC so Ellen Burns-Johnson joins us to talk all about Team Building and Game Identities! Join us for this chill evening recording session and discuss the more existential side of game development. If you change a game completely is it still the same game you started with? Stephen builds a house, Ellen is a game feedback therapist and Martha gets lost in the waveform. Meta Welcome back Ellen! Mark and Dale are at GDC! The episode of their adventures actually came out...