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Not a Game Podcast, and the Multiplayer Sweet Spot

The Not a Game podcast has just released its 40th episode, and I’m delighted to say that host Tom Hatfield invited me on this week! Not a Game is a weekly panel-type podcast with freelance games writers and developers discussing all manner of games-related topics.

Designed by Jacob Smiley

The “Not a Game” logo, designed by Jacob Smiley

In this episode: Tom, myself, Paul Dean and Jordan Webber discussed Halo 3‘s rather baffling plot, what we felt was wrong with Bioshock,  and the potential for a game-cum-storytelling platform like Storium.

We also discussed whether or not a game like DotA can be relaxing, which put me in mind of the multiplayer games I used to play online. In the podcast, I cited the example of Wintergrasp in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. I realised that I seem now to have left this sort of gameplay behind, in favour of so-called ‘couch co-op’ -and while there are many other, more nuanced reasons for this, the most obvious reason is that I want to include my partner in these games, rather than playing with friends. Still, I long for this sort of gameplay and until now I wasn’t consciously aware of it really being ‘a thing’. Now that I think about it though, there is real value to be had in creating a game which accommodates this relaxed, social play – both for building loyalty and allowing players to explore the game at their own pace.

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The Geek Night In

In other news: I’m now a podcaster! Laura Kate Dale has put together a new, geek culture podcast named The Geek Night In, and she invited me along to be one of the five voices around our virtual fireplace.

The Geek Night In

The Geek Night In is an hour-long, weekly podcast in which Laura Kate, myself, Byron Atkinson Jones, Rebecca Tilley and Kate McAlpine talk about our geeky passions, and whatever we might have been indulging in that week.

The pilot episode was recorded last weekend, and went live on Tuesday; you can hear it here. Unfortunately it really was a technical nightmare, as quite apart from having everyday issues with the recorder, we also discovered that Laura Kate has the power to destroy podcasts with her (perfectly decent) singing. So, although the test episode was disrupted, we’re now in good stead to record the ongoing series!

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