Tonight, On a Very Special Player’s Guide…

Welcome back everyone,

This week, Jackson and Daniel are reliving the awkward pain of adolescence as they discuss fictional puberty and the “coming-of-age” story. If you have ever wondered how uncomfortable it would be to hear your hosts say the word “puberty” for an hour – here is your chance to find out.

But, considering the popularity of the “coming-of-age” tale, there is also a lot of good discussion to be had. Your hosts dive into stories like Harry Potter, Clone High, and the classic Teen Titans of the early 00s.

There are also recommendations, as always:

This week you should read Company Town by Madeline Ashby

This week you should play Crash Bandicoot: Insane Trilogy

Bonus recommend:

Here is that article that Daniel mentioned

Dystwopia: The Callback Sequel

Hey everyone,

We’re picking at a deep cut with a callback to our very first episode. Given the current geo-political climate, the themes of dystopian fiction seem to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue. With Jackson having recently finished A Handmaid’s Tale, (at least one of) your hosts had those same themes sitting fresh in the brain. Considering the depth of the topic, it was not difficult to continue where we left off and dig a little deeper into the worlds and words of Orwell, Huxley, and Atwood.

This week, to take your mind off the real world implications of this discussion, here are some things:

This week you should play Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

This week you should watch GLOW on Netflix

American Godcast

Hey guys,

This week Jackson and Daniel release both their least and most timely podcast yet. Most timely in that we are posting it right after the season finale of American Gods, least timely in that we recorded it before either of us was able to see said season finale.

Regardless of the timing, this episode is focused on the television adaptation of a book that both of your hosts have found influential on the way they think about religion and spirituality in fiction. Written by Neil Gaiman and adapted by Brian Fuller, both artists that have handled this property have distinct styles, meaning that there is plenty to talk about when it comes to the way the novel and show have been handled.

There are, of course, also recommendations:

This week you should read Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

This week you should watch Recreators

Private Guide

It walked into my browser, its eyes dark and legs that went on forever. It sauntered over to my audio streaming software and asked: “Can I talk to you about film noir?”

This week Jackson, Daniel, and special guest Shelby are all about hardboiled detectives, dames, gams, and guns. With Shelby’s expert assistance, your hosts take a look at what makes film noir tick and how it has gone on to influence a whole host of genres in the modern age – from Chinatown to True Detective.

For recommendations we’ve got:

This week you should watch American Gods

This week you should listen to Edict FIS-0

This week you should play Magikarp Jump 

StructureCast

Welcome back to Player’s Guide faithful listeners!

This week Jackson and Daniel slide their new story-focused direction in to the hilt. They tackle the concept of story structure in games – what works and what doesn’t when telling a story through an interactive visual medium.

Many, many people make the misstep of trying to directly translate what works in movies and TV into games. Frequently, this leads to games that feel flat. Your hosts talk about what sets games apart and how their unique properties can be used to pull an audience even deeper into a fictional world.

And as always, some cool shit you should check out:

This week you should play Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

This week you should play Android: Netrunner

… We’re really into card games right now 

Over the Player’s Wall

Hey guys!

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.

 

Undercast

We’re back again!

This week Jackson and Daniel throw a curve ball and take their thematic inspiration from sports. With the recent World Series victory by the Chicago Cubs, it seemed like the right moment to talk about underdog stories.

Alongside the hero’s journey and the redemption arc, the underdog tale is one of the most common storytelling tropes to encounter in speculative fiction. It also creates an interesting divergence of storyline and game mechanics when it is presented in video games.

Your hosts do their best to slice off the juiciest cuts of discussion from this meaty topic. We hope you enjoy!

Also, recommendations:

This week you should watch The Get Down 

This week you should listen to the Myths and Legends Podcast (which can be found here: https://www.mythpodcast.com)