Welcome everyone to the very first episode of the Player’s Guide Podcast!
Today, your hosts Daniel and Jackson discuss Time Travel and its use in video games, television, and movies. From save scumming to the terrible ending of Interstellar, time is a fast and loose concept in most speculative fiction and we decided to take a look at how it can be used well and how it can be fumbled.
The episode also contains Daniel’s rant about Pym Particles and an in-a-minute synopsis of Lovecraft’s “Shadow Out of Time”.
This will likely be the format of the podcast going forward: your two hosts picking apart the things you love and telling you why they are great/bad. Also, tangents – many, many tangents.
Also, we will include a recommendation section in which you can find what Daniel and Jackson are enjoying themselves:
This week you should listen to the podcast Fictional
This week you should play Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
It is upon this fine occasion that your liege-lords Jackson and Daniel have decreed that they shall discuss the finer points of chivalric value. The journey of the knightly archetype from Arthurian legend to the Paladins of D&D shall be charted, so that you too may walk the path of the righteous.
And lo, your hosts shall also guide you into temptation:
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
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, 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
This week Jackson and Daniel get a little somber as they discuss death in fiction. Death is a powerful narrative tool, one that can be used very badly or very well. As you would expect from such a heavy topic, your hosts have a lot to say.
Beware – spoilers are especially heavy this episode. If you hear the name of a franchise brought up and aren’t fully caught up, maybe fast forward a little.
But make sure you don’t miss the recommendations:
This week you should play Pokemon Sun and Moon
This week you should read Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen
This week Jackson and Daniel are riffing off of their world-building episode from the days of yore. The topic this week is tropes associated with fantasy races; why they exist, and how you can play with them to make a fantasy world your own.
If that description sounds a little esoteric, that’s because it is! Enjoy!
There are, as always, recommendations waiting for you at the end… or right here:
This week you should play Guilty Gear Xrd
This week you should definitely watch Bojack Horseman season 3
This week you should read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Also, as promised, here is the article that inspired this week’s episode:
On this most spooky of holidays, Daniel and Jackson present to you a podcast about ghosts. Could you really have expected anything else?
Both of your hosts have a soft spot for the ethereal, so there is plenty of good discussion to be had, even if Jackson mis-remembers the details of The Conjuring, and they both forget to mention Ghostbusters – AT ALL! Seriously, what the hell, guys?
Something they didn’t forget, though – recommendations:
This week you should watch We Are What We Are
This week you should play Assault Android Cactus
This week you should read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
On this week’s podcast, Jackson and Daniel discuss three of the classic horror movie monsters. From their origins to their current portrayals in media, each of three has a lot of history and a lot of symbolic weight.
In addition to a discussion that actually manages to stay on topic, they also manage to get some solid recommendations in:
This week you should watch School Live
This week you should play The White Chamber
This week you should read Tenth of December by George Saunders
Jackson and Daniel have game mastering on the brain and they channel this energy into a podcast about that oldest of game master tools, the dungeon. Whether it is in tabletop games or video games, dungeons are an important part of many immersive playing experiences. But just because they’re everywhere, does it mean they should be? Our hosts dive into how to use a dungeon well and what you should/shouldn’t do when creating one for your players.
To keep you company in the lightless depths of the podcast, we recommend some choice media:
This week you should watch House of Cards
This week you should play Besieged
This week you should read America: Democracy in Action (because we’re really going to miss Jon Stewart)