Our technical difficulties have finally been conquered, and now you can hear Daniel and Jackson talking about aliens.
Jackson watched Arrival and decided that discussing otherworldly visitors would be topical. Whether they are coming to us, or we are going to them, aliens have become a staple of science fiction – frequently becoming the entire focus of many stories.
Beware, here be spoilers. Seriously, Arrival has a pretty great twist in it and Jackson just lays out the whole thing, so if you plan on watching the movie and would rather be surprised – definitely do that first.
Also, we have some out-of-this-world recommendations:
This week you should watch Chef’s Table
This week you should listen to The Adventure Zone podcast
This week Jackson and Daniel are discussing puzzle games and puzzles in games. Designers can use puzzles to provide unique challenges to their players, but when handled poorly, the in-game puzzle can lead to some of the most frustrating gaming experiences possible.
Your hosts do their best to figure out what makes a good puzzle and go over some of their least favourite examples from their gaming experiences.
Also, the recommend some stuff:
This week you should listen to the podcast Alice Isn’t Dead
Jackson and Daniel have talked about Dungeons and Dragons more than any other media property in the history of this podcast. To listen to them, you would think that there were no other pen-and-paper RPGs out there; were you to think this, you would be wrong.
On today’s episode, your hosts spend some time delving into the varied world of roleplaying games. From the impact of the World of Darkness, to the constraints of pre-built worlds, to Jackson’s fearsome thirst for Cthulhutech – this episode is filled with plenty of choice morsels.
Also, some sweet things you should check out:
This week you should watch Voltron season 2 on Netflix
Daniel and Jackson are back with a super topical podcast about a miniseries from 2014. For those of you unfamiliar, Over the Garden Wall was a ten-episode story released by Cartoon Network. Since its release it has received something of a cult following in the same circles that appreciate the likes of Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and Bravest Warriors.
Since each of those properties has been praised on this podcast before, you can probably guess where this episode is going. Anyways, even if you aren’t familiar with Over the Garden Wall, there is a lot of good discussion about character arcs, the nature of fear, and how adult-oriented media tackles cynical reality versus how child-oriented media does.
Of course – spoilers abound; both for Over the Garden Wall and for Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.
As always, here are some things you should check out this week:
This week you should watch Garfunkel and Oates (here is the sample we promised)
This week you should play Mystic Vale
And some more bookkeeping, here is the article on the nature of the Beast that Daniel mentions in this episode.
This week, we have an episode about magic. That’s magic with a small “m” – I bet you were worried that your hosts had fallen off the wagon.
Jackson and Daniel discuss the use of magic in fiction. Introducing the arcane into a story fundamentally changes the nature of its narrative. Magic is a very powerful storytelling tool, and with great power comes great responsibility. Your hosts explore some things to keep in mind if you want your story or game to be both magical and compelling.
And of course, they recommend things as well:
This week you should watch Neon Genesis: Evangelion
This week you should listen to Run the Jewels 3 by Run the Jewels
Whatever your holiday predilection, we at Player’s Guide hope you are happy and safe this season. Considering our recent weather, we have a very apropos podcast for you – one about blizzards! Sorry, one about Blizzard – you know, the video game developer?
From Diablo to World of Warcraft to Overwatch, whenever Blizzard makes a move, they codify a genre. It is impossible to discuss the landscape of modern video games with our discussing Blizzard, so we at Player’s Guide decided to give them their due.
Jackson and Daniel are joined by Donovan, who has finally returned from Calgary for the season.
Your three hosts have some recommendations for you:
This week you should play the complete Bioshock Collection
This week you should also play Shadow of the Colossus
This week you should watch Krampus
Some bookkeeping. We reference some remarks made in the past by Blizzard employees. For the sake of showing our work, here are links to the dialogue in question: