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ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 126. Victor Burgos stops by to talk about his studio’s debut game, Neko Ghost, Jump! We get into the difficulty of figuring out who your game is for, the challenge of controlling scope and scale when working with a small, part-time team, and the perils of trying to live and work in the frankly-sometimes-pretty-hellish social s…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 125. It’s the Year in Review ‘cast! Drew, Lucio, and Franny (along with her alter-ego Michelle) have gathered ’round to reflect on the games we played this year, the games we didn’t quite get to, and the games we’re definitely going to play once they’re available to be played. 2021 has truly been the sequel no one asked for, f…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 124. Whether you’re a longtime listener or just tuning in—either way, thanks for that!—here’s a roundup of our conversations from 2021. These are of course just samples, especially insightful or funny or surprising moments from their respective episodes. If you want the full context, and a whole lot more good conversation, the…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 123. Carlos Bordeu is the C in ACE Team, the studio behind Rock of Ages, Zeno Clash, The Deadly Tower of Monsters, SolSeraph, Abyss Odyssey, and most recently, The Eternal Cylinder. The studio’s projects are reliably-original-unto-earnestly-bizarre, going full-tilt at strange, wondrous ideas and preoccupations. They’re fascina…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 122. Masao Kobayashi co-founded the indie studio Cut to Bits after about 15 years at Ubisoft, where he worked in a wide range of roles that often redounded to some form of project management and/or being a liaison between North American and Japanese teams and companies. That, and community management about as early as that bec…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 121. The Mechanical World of Dr. Gearbox is first and foremost an attempt to rethink educational games, and specifically to rethink them into something that kids would actually want and choose to play. This is of course far from the first time that a game developer has attempted that lofty, elusive goal—so in this interview, M…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 120. At midnight tonight, David Galindo and his team are surprise-releasing ChefSquad, a collaborative cooking game that can only be played on Twitch. “Wait, what?” you might reasonably ask—and by way of answering you there, David has kindly stopped by to give us the scoop on this weird, joyful, formally inventive, genuinely n…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 119. Aaron San Filippo is currently working on Whisker Squadron, a roguelike-alike riff on the arcadey corridor space-shooter genre (of which there are fewer examples than you might expect, given how large Star Fox looms). Before that, his studio Fippfly put out the similarly low-poly purist flight game Race the Sun, the conso…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 118. Megan Fox heads up Glass Bottom Games, the small-core-team-and-a-cloud-of-contractors behind SkateBIRD. (They were a larger core team for their first-person brawler/roguelike Spartan Fist, it should be noted). Here Megan talks about how SkateBIRD first came to be, and the nuts and bolts of bringing it to life—not only fro…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 117. Laia Bee is one of the three co-founders of Pincer Games, who’ve debuted with the card-based brawler Fighters of Fate. She’s also deeply involved in the project of fostering a sense of community in the Uruguayan game development scene, and among South American game developers more broadly, and even more broadly than that,…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 116. Don Bellenger stops by to talk about his upcoming “open-world gardenvania,” The Beauty Cult, as well as his cyberpunk roguelike-shooter-platformer (and nihilistic synthwave multi-media project) Black Future ’88. Along the way, we discuss the importance of game developers taking inspiration from things other than games, th…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 115. A Musical Story takes place in the mind of a musician, and it also takes place in an era when rock as a wide-open experimental space, and the album was the thing, and every album was in some sense a concept album. The game is likewise an experiment in telling a story—here a wordless, internal, emotionally raw one. It’s a …
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 114. UNBEATABLE is a rhythm game, and an adventure game, and it’s serious about being fully both. More than that, it’s a game about the emotional truths of music, and of being in a band, and a piece of art about the connection between making art and doing crimes. In this episode, to get at some of those truths, Andrew Tsai, RJ…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 113. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a big heartfelt spectacle of a game—you’ve likely seen some of its dream-vibrant, mirror-polished visuals, and a bit of its cartoony gunplay—and as the game’s Lead Writer, Lauren Mee had a huge amount to do with the heartfelt part of that equation. Rift Apart is a game about blowing stuff up…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 112. Tali Faulkner (better known in internet circles as Veselekov) knew he had something timely on his hands when he made Umurangi Generation, but he couldn’t have known how timely. The base game was inspired by the fires in Australia in 2019, not the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020—but with its themes of friendship and creativity i…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 111. Amid the E3 madness, this crush of new games and games yet to be, we thought we’d take a moment and think a bit about games that are, in one way or another, not new. Let’s talk about games that we replay, and especially the ones that we keep revisiting at different points in life. Why do we replay games? What kinds of pla…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 110. Xalavier Nelson Jr. is an absurdly prolific artist and an inveterate collaborator, having left his creative stamp on Hypnospace Outlaw, We Are The Caretakers, Can Androids Pray, Mr. Bucket Told Me To, and so, so much else, from tabletop RPG systems to comics to games journalism. Currently he’s working on SkateBIRD and Spa…
 
ETAO PODCAST, EPISODE 109. Yadu Rajiv does a whole lot of different things, all of them to do with games and the people and technologies that make them possible. By day, he’s a Lead Game Designer at BYJU’S, working on educational games that toe the line between physical and digital, and the rest of the time he acts as an ambassador and an organizer…
 
ETAO Podcast, Episode 108. Santago Zapata stops by to talk about the history of roguelikes, his own expansive body of small works for the 7-Day Roguelike Challenge, and his larger works, from Castlevania Roguelike, to Ananias, to his current project NovaMundi: The Spear of Chaquén. Is it a roguelike, this new game? The purists would say (and have s…
 
ETAO Podcast, Episode 107. http://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/etao.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/etao-podcast-107-jeremy-warmsley.mp3 Jeremy Warmsley’s music has spanned pop (or more broadly, the whole touring band thing), film, television, radio, and recently, games. He’s an inventive, thoughtful, ever-expressive voice wherever he shows up (includi…
 
ETAO Podcast, Episode 106. http://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/etao.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/etao-podcast-106-russell-quinn.mp3 Russell Quinn has had a unique career as a technologist enabling stories, building the underlying systems for the ahead-of-its time McSweeney’s app, as well as for the equally-ahead-of-theirs, novel-adjacent multimedia …
 
ETAO Podcast, Episode 105. http://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/etao.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/etao-podcast-105-chevy-ray.mp3 Chevy Ray has been making games for a long time now—though most of them are currently tough to play; RIP Flash—but is probably best known for Ikenfell, a tactical RPG about going to magic school, working through difficult r…
 
ETAO Podcast, Episode 104. http://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/etao.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/etao-podcast-104-anisa-sanusi.mp3 Anisa Sanusi is an accomplished UI/UX designer, probably best known for her work on Elite Dangerous and Planet Coaster—two utterly different games that bring with them utterly different challenges in terms of usability, …
 
ETAO Podcast, Episode 103. http://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/etao.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/etao-podcast-103-chris-king.mp3 Chris King of Batterystaple Games shares a chunk of his time to discuss 30XX, the reimagined, souped-up sequel to the Mega Man X-esque roguelike-alike 20XX. We get pretty far into the weeds as far as the differences betwee…
 
ETAO Podcast, Episode 102. http://dts.podtrac.com/redirect.mp3/etao.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/etao-podcast-102-bryant-young.mp3 Our America puts you in the shoes of a Black father driving his son to school—and if that doesn’t sound potentially harrowing to you, then you might be exactly the project’s intended audience. It’s a work that means to i…
 
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