My guest on today's show is the games editor for the Guardian, Keith Stuart. One of the recurring themes of Keith's life in games is family. From his earliest memories of he and his dad as co-conspirators in the notion that a home computer would be 'good for homework', through to his own life as a father, and how he and his son's relationship has been completely transformed by Minecraft. A story which is soon to be fictionalised in his book, A Boy Made of Blocks. Keith's life in games is a heartwarming one.
Mel Croucher is a living legend. You may not have heard of him and might be thinking, 'Declan, that's a bit strong.' and I'd say, 'Listen to the episode first.'
My guest on today's show is Shahid Ahmad. For many people, Shahid is best known as the Playstation Indie Champion. He was part of a team that changed the landscape at Sony, and made Playstation a home for indie developers, developing the rich ecosystem we see today. But before that, Shahid had already had a rich and varied history with videogames.
My guest on today's show is Gita Jackson, a Chicago based writer and critic and one of the hosts of the Match 3 Podcast. You may have read some of her work on Giantbomb or Polygon or Twitter or Paste. She is smart and funny and her gaming history is absolutely nothing like mine which makes for a terrific guest and a perfect example of why I started this show.
Steven Bailey is stupid clever. He has a PHD in mathematics, he's likely written some of the best videogame writing you've ever read, and now as a videogame analyst he's charting the future of the industry.
Greg Rice is the VP of Business Development for Double Fine, and was the producer of the Double Fine Adventure and Broken Age. Greg Rice also has a minor in dance.
Today's guest is Kerry Turner. Kerry makes games under the banner of The Rabbit Club, is a programmer in the games industry and founded Make,Play,Code - a course designed to encourage more women to make games. We talk about videogames as places to visit, rediscovering a love of coding, solo LARPing, why snow in games is amazing, revisiting that game that you could never beat and the videogame equivalent of guitar feedback.
My guest on today's show is David Farrell, lecturer in videogame design at Glasgow Caledonian University. We recorded this live at the university and discuss the amazing set up that they have and the fun toys they can use to understand how people play games. There is some serious 'What is a game?' chat so be prepared, and we delve into David's videogame history, from tape trading on the spectrum to time management in The Witcher 3. David also talks about his job, and how teaching games and teasing apart how they work can be just as much fun as playing them.
My guest on today's show is Brendon Chung. Founder of Blendo games and creator of Gravity Bone, Atom Zombie Smasher, Thirty Flights of Loving and the upcoming Quadrilateral Cowboy. Many of Brendon's games have been built using the mod tools from games like Quake 2 and Doom 3, so the games that Brendon creates and the games that have shaped his life intertwine in fascinating way. They become both cultural milestones in his life and the bedrock of the games he creates.
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Gamecity I recorded a special edition of the show live from the festival. This is different to the usual show where I have one guest and talk about the games that shaped them. In this episode, the checkpoint is a single year, and my panel of guests talk about their life and the games they played at that exact point. Since this was the tenth anniversary of Gamecity, we decided on the year 2005.
Today's guest is Richard Lemarchand. A game designer with an enviable CV including Jak X, Soul Reaver and the Uncharted series, Richard is now an associate professor at the University of Southern California where he lectures on the videogame programme. We talk about that transition from AAA development to teaching, how his mum was responsible for getting him his start, the similarities between magic and design, and how sometimes being bad at games can help you be a better designer.
Today's guest is Chris Crawford, an iconic figure in the history of videogames. Chris was a visionary creator in a time when the industry was still finding it's feet and when anything seemed possible. Many of his design ideas and principles are still taught and read by new developers, and his influence can be seen through the generations. Not least of which in the annual Game Developer's Conference which Chris founded in 1987. The first GDC was in his living room.
A few days before his 40th birthday I sat down for a meander through videogame past with Kieron Gillen. After a long and storied career in videogame journalism - from early beginnings at Amiga Power to becoming one of the founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun via New Games Journalism - Kieron has moved on to a successful career as a comic book writer and been annoyingly great at that too. With a hugely successful run of books from Thor to Darth Vader, as well as his two creator owned books with Jamie McKelvie, Phonogram and the Wicked and the Divine, which has recently been optioned for a TV series.
Today's guest is Jason Rohrer, a fascinating, prolific and passionate videogame designer. From Passage to Sleep is Death to Cordial Minuet to his latest as yet untitled game which he talks about on the show, Jason is always searching for new ideas and new ways of playing. This passion for experimentation is what has led to a number of GDC design awards, a profile in Esquire magazine and name which has become synonymous with 'art games', despite how shallow a term that can be.
Today's guest is the Scottish novelist Christopher Brookmyre. Chris's love of videogames is peppered through many of his books, but most distinctly in his recent novel Bedlam which has subsequently become it's own videogame. We talk Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy, videogames as fuel for imagination, trolling Dreamcast players, and the parallels between the Quake scene of the 90s and the Punk scene of the 70s. All fun and games until someone loses an eye.
Today's guest is Kirsty Rigden of futurlab, makers of Velocity and Velocity 2x. We chat Pikmin, Atic Atac, Wolfenstein, why we shouldn't fear AI, building a career in games, why the WiiU is the best console ever and, after a misunderstanding of a name, inadvertently come up with one of the greatest ideas for a licensed videogame ever. Oh boy.
Today's guest is John Ribbins, creative director at Roll 7, creators of Not a Hero, along with the BAFTA winning Olli Olli and it's sequel. We hit Urban Chaos, Rocket League, Doom, Death Tank, Bullet Storm, California Games, and the creation and development of Olli Olli. Believe me, he knows that it's hard.
Today's guest is Cara Ellison, best known for her videogame journalism, in particular her soon to be immortalised as a book "Embed with" columns, which saw her travel the world meeting developers and checking out the local videogame scenes. She's now moved into development and is currently working on the narrative team for Dishonoured 2 and a bunch of other secret things. She's also really into Drake. Like, really. We talk DOTA, Goldeneye, Her Story and why her heart will always be with PC Zone.