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“That Gets Real Meta, Real Fast” – Research for Games; Game Dev Philosophies

This week, your nice hosts get a bit personal as they talk about the research that has gone into their games and the philosophies behind them, as well what exactly a Nice Game is. Also in the episode: Stephen has confusing feelings about MAR10 Day, Mark finds more reasons to reference Star Trek and Martha discusses her previously undisclosed acting talents. Meta: Perhaps it is time for the… Millenium of the Peach. We’re all excited about the upcoming games described in this Nintendo Direct....


“Smart Lazy” Game Programming; Work Spaces

This week Stephen made it to the clubhouse despite the Minnesota snow, Mark shares his knowledge of object oriented programming and Martha yells at the Unity docs. Photo is of Glitch HQ and is from Meta: There’s a #nicegamesclub channel on the MSPGameDev Slack now! Stephen’s interview on Tech.MN. Mark’s 30 Metro Nexus maps, in gif form! [00:09:13] Game Programming: Godot is a game engine similar to Unity, but with object-oriented programming as a base. We’ve talked about coding...


Learning Through Games (with Ellen Burns-Johnson)

Your nice hosts welcome instructional designer Ellen Burns-Johnson to the clubhouse, as we discuss the many ways to approach teaching using interactive games. Along the way, we talk about bugs (of the many leg variety), snow falling from buildings, and traumatizing but educational game experiences. Links You can follow Ellen on Twitter, LinkedIn or find her on the MSPGameDev Slack. Ellen works at Allen Interactions. There’s loads of info about eLearning on their blog. Gamification may be...


Nice Plays: “Verdant Skies” (2018) and “Newt One” (2018)

This week on Nice Plays, the show where the Nice Games Club gamedevs play nice games, we played two just-released local indie games. Martha played the life-simulation game Verdant Skies, and Stephen played the non-violent 3D platformer Newt One. We had a lot to say about both, which we loved, and not just because the developers are friends of the show. You can watch both episodes on YouTube by using the links below, or by visiting this episode's page on Download a...


“Idea! Idea! Idea! Idea!” Achievements/Trophies; Puzzle Design

This week, your nice hosts talk about Star Trek for longer than usual, and Mortho returns with an NGC Sports Update. Also: Stephen executes a delicious self-own in a discussion on Achievements, Mark sings a song about cities, and Martha hopes to design puzzles that even Stephen will appreciate. Meta: Martha mentioned The Greatest Discovery podcast, a show recapping Star Trek Discovery episodes. "Report: Geguri Will Be The First Woman Signed To An Overwatch League Team" -Nathan Grayson,...


“Martha’s Philosophy on Life.” Video Game Merch; Starting a Game

This week, Martha goes into more detail about her game, Stephen gushes about all the plushies he wants and Mark reminisces about the good old days of Super Mario Bros. 3. Links: Minnesota developed games Verdant Skies and Newt One are both out this week! [0:07:49] Merch Stephen’s Kirby Corner! The Nintendo World Store is an awesome place for sweet Nintendo swag. "Blown Up Game Boy From The Gulf War" - Vince Veneziani, TechCrunch Mark’s Pikmin plushie watches over his demo booth! Mark’s...


Global Game Jam 2018 Special

It's Global Game Jam 2018! In this special jam episode you'll hear field interviews with gamedevs at the Minneapolis Gamecraft site mid-jam as they work on their games. Then your nice hosts talk all about how the weekend went for them and what they each got out of the experience. Martha is a stage manager, Mark can't help but make artistic developer art and Stephen is the GGJ MVP. Stephen’s GGJ game: ”Dicer and Clasp: Dungeon Skedaddle”. Mark’s GGJ gam: ”CMYK”. Martha’s GGJ Interviews:...


“Videogame turducken.” Steam; Games in Games

It's been awhile since your nice hosts recorded in the clubhouse, and they have a lot to talk about, including news about Martha's now-in-development point-and-click game! This, plus the return of Mortho, an uncritical endorsement of capitalism, and Stephen admitting that Uncharted 4 maybe had some good things about it. Links “That Nintendo Labo Robot Game Looks Awfully Familiar” - Chris Kohler, Kotaku The Global Game Jam is this weekend! It’s not too late to sign up! "An Overwatch Women's...


Character Dialogue (with Felix Foster)

This week, your nice hosts are introduced by Felix Foster, writer and narrative designer, to talk about character dialogue (or dialog, as was deemed also appropriate during the show). Links Felix Foster on Twitter and Instagram. We’ve also had Felix on in a past episode. Felix mentions The Prophet from The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, who is looking for a hero to complete his quest. Here’s examples of audio logs from Bioshock Infinite. “Fallout 4’s 'Full Dialogue' Mod Makes The Game Way...


Nicest of 2017

Another year of great games! All "four" of your hosts gather in the freezing clubhouse to talk about some of the nicest games of 2017. They decided that they couldn't ALL talk about Zelda and Mario for the whole episode so each of them picked exactly two games to highlight. Mark is on brand, Stephen makes some ambitious resolutions and Martha totally didn't cheat the system. Meta: Listen to Sara’s Widget Satchel Soundtrack here! Play the jam version of Widget Satchel...


“I have so much feelings…” Loot Systems; Loot Boxes

This week, your nice hosts get into it. Stephen is split on everything, Mark is the bad guy, and it's all Martha's fault. Stephen and Mark talked about their Ludum Dare 40 game, Widget Satchel, which Martha played on last week’s Nice Plays episode! [0:03:58] Loot Systems “Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Players Are Tricking Amiibos To Grind For Rare Loot” - Ethan Gach, Kotaku “Nioh's latest patch fixes its most annoying flaw” - Jeffrey Matulef, Eurogamer Stephen brought up our recent episode on...


Releasing a Game (with Ben Burnes)

Your nice hosts interview Ben Burnes, sole developer of recently released Color Jumper, to discuss the process of finally releasing a game, and the lessons learned along the way. Links: Ben Burnes on Twitter, Youtube, Patreon, Soundcloud, Trello and Twitch. Color Jumper is available on Steam right now! You can try it out on the page, as well as check out our Nice Plays episode. Ben referenced 140 and Ink as inspirations for Color Jumper. “The 20/60/20 Rule of Leadership” - Derrick...


“Schrödinger’s Animal Crossing.” Influences; Repetition

This week is Stephen's first turn as roundtable host, Mark teaches us about film and Martha sells her soul for three Destiny 2 faction tokens. Mark and Stephen and friends made it through Ludum Dare! Check out their game called Widget Satchel. [0:02:49] Influences “What Is Blackout Poetry? These Fascinating Poems Are Created From Existing Art” - E. Ce Miller, Bustle That action/puzzle game Stephen was trying to remember was Meteos. We talked about Star Wars Episode 1 Racing in our episode...


“Shaniqua Shepard sounds cool.” Fighting Games; Character Roleplaying

This week, Martha host her first roundtable episode, Mark starts another argument, and Stephen gets sassy about his favorite game genre. Stephen did regret promising to have his talk notes up. They’ll be up ASAP! If you’ve got time this weekend, Ludum Dare is indeed happening in a few days. Martha had a blast at the My Brother, My Brother and Me show! [0:08:08] Fighting Games Games N’ Go in Roseville, MN often has Friday fighting game nights. The Moon Fields, a Wisconsin fighting game by...


“This misinformation vortex.” One year of Nice Games Club!

It’s a very special episode, as your nice hosts celebrate one year(!!!) of Nice Games Club by revising their favorite topics from the show’s first 50+ episodes. Also: Mark complains about Las Vegas, Martha repeatedly gets the last laugh, and Stephen doesn’t like talking about his problems. Reminisce with us by listening to our very first episode. [0:03:06] Imposter Syndrome “Impostor Syndrome Is Not Just a Confidence Problem” - Alicia Liu [0:14:20] Conferences “Adobe’s prototype AI tools...


Puzzle/Escape Rooms (with Art Allen)

A special episode, with a unique guest, who is also a fan of the show! Minneapolis-based Riddle Room creator and owner Art Allen enters the clubhouse to talk about making, designing, and operating puzzle/escape room games, and the ways in which its similar and different from creating digital games. Links: Art Allen on Twitter. Riddle Room on Twitter. Riddle Room website. Riddle Room on Facebook. Riddle Room's Utopia game. “Peeking Behind the Locked Door: A Survey of Escape Room Facilities”...


“Boo!” Upcoming Games; Release Dates; Win Conditions

In our first (and likely only ever) Halloween episode, Martha haunts the clubhouse, Mark delivers some bad Zelda-related news to Stephen, and from Stephen’s topic a thousand flowers bloom. Stephen’s IDGA talk is next week! Details here. Mark gave a talk on object-oriented programming at the first annual M+DEV conference last weekend. [0:04:41] Upcoming Games “Tech Interview: Destiny 2 and Bungie's return to PC gaming” - Richard Leadbetter, Eurogamer “18 new Nintendo Switch games are out...


Preserving the Dreamcast (with Ben Franks)

This week, we talk to Ben Franks, Dreamcast aficionado, and discuss the various ways its preservation has taken form. Your nice hosts also take a short trip down memory lane as we reminisce about our favorite video game hardware. Ben Franks hosts Gaymer Space at GlitchHQ. You can also email him at with all your Dreamcast questions! Here's a video Martha captured while we were recording the episode, as Ben opens up his "1st revision" Dreamcast: Links “Preserving the Art of...


“Right the dang now!” Scope Creep; eSports

In this episode, Stephen fights his demons, Martha likes sports now, and Mark learns a lot about both. Stephen will be speaking at the November IGDA Twin Cities meeting! Details will be posted at soon. [0:02:41] Scope Creep Martha took a blacksmithing class! Also, her instructor told her this was a perfect forge weld. Martha brought up fighting scope creep on our Train Jam Episode. Project management is a way to combat scope creep that we’ve covered before. A core concept for...


“I do business.” DLC and Expansions; Genre in Games

This week, Stephen finally gets a theme song, Mark plays devil's advocate, and Martha gets dangerously close to a topic your nice hosts swore to never talk about on the show. [0:02:40] DLC and Expansions When Mark was young, he bought unofficial Quake mods on CD-ROM. Turns out, Electronics Boutique and EB Games are the same thing. “Day-One DLC Isn’t Always Evil, Says Borderlands 2 Guy” - Tina Amini, Kotaku “Patch The Process” - Rami Ismail “Street Fighter V is a Barebones Game That’s a...


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