This edition of the Brainy Gamer Podcast features a holiday extravaganza of Gamers Confab goodness: a 4-volume confection featuring a gaggle of bloggers, journalists, and designers all discussing our favorite games of 2009. Part 1 includes Steve Gaynor of 2K Marin and the Fullbright blog; Kirk Battle (aka L.B. Jeffries) of Banana Pepper Martinis and PopMatters; and Chris Dahlen of the Onion A.V. Club and Edge Online. Watch for segments 2-4 to arrive in the coming days.
Direct download: bgpodcast27-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:05pm EDT

Had your fill of the 'Are Games Art?' debate? This edition of the podcast, featuring an interview with veteran game designer Brenda Brathwaite and art historian John Sharp, takes the conversation in a different and, I hope, more useful direction. Focusing on Brenda's remarkably poignant game Train, we discuss the intersection of art and game design and consider how a designer's personal vision and game design skills dovetail in the conception and development of a new game.

We also discuss John's views on the coming Ludic Age, and both guests share their thoughts on educating young designers for careers in the game industry. These and a variety of other topics - including an exciting conference announcement - in this edition of the Brainy Gamer podcast.

Note: If you're unfamiliar with Train, I highly recommend reading Ian Bogost's thoughtful account of it at Gamasutra. I'm linking to the section of his article that deals directly with Train, but I hope you'll read the entire piece. C'mon, it's Bogost. You know it'll be interesting. :-)

Direct download: bgpodcast26.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:45am EDT

The Summer of Confabs concludes with a conversation featuring Chris Dahlen of Edge Online and The Onion A.V. Club; and Manveer Heir of Raven Software and the Design Rampage blog.

We discuss ambiguity in games, why nobody's talking about Dragon Age, Nintendo on the margins, integrating social media the right and wrong way, and many other topics.

I hope you've enjoyed this series. It's been a pleasure bringing these shows to you, and I'm especially grateful to all my guests who made it possible. I hope you'll also check out segments 1, 2, 3, and 4.

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Show links:

Direct download: bgpodcast25-5.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:18pm EDT

The Summer of Confabs continues with a conversation featuring Ben Fritz, L.A. Times entertainment reporter; Kirk Battle (AKA L.B. Jeffries) from PopMatters and Banana Pepper Martinis; and Nick LaLone from Before Game Design.

We discuss the Nintendo platform conundrum, left-behind gameplay, and the elusiveness of innovation, among other topics.

Stay tuned for the last confab I hope you enjoy them.

  • Listen to any episode of the podcast directly from this page by clicking the yellow "Listen Now" button on the right.
  • Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes here.
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  • Download the podcast directly here.

Show links:

Direct download: bgpodcast25-4.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:01pm EDT

The Summer of Confabs continues with a conversation featuring game writer and narrative designer Sande Chen (The Witcher); Justin Keverne from Groping the Elephant; and Roger Travis from Living Epic and the Video Games and Human Values Initiative.

We discuss the shifting sands of gameplay, game difficulty, and the "vernacular of games"; and we cast a quizzical glance at game pricing.

Stay tuned, as I'll be releasing 2 more Confabs in the days ahead. I hope you enjoy them.

  • Listen to any episode of the podcast directly from this page by clicking the yellow "Listen Now" button on the right.
  • Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes here.
  • Subscribe to the podcast feed here.
  • Download the podcast directly here.

Show links:

Direct download: bgpodcast25-03.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:00pm EDT

Gamers Confab #2 features a conversation with guests Deirdra Kiai from Deirdra Kiai Productions and Hothead Games, Corvus Elrod from Man Bytes Blog, and Matthew Gallant from The Quixotic Engineer.

We discuss two significant controversies that arose this year, and we consider the growing momentum enjoyed by indie games.

Stay tuned, as I'll be releasing 3 more Confabs in the days ahead. I hope you enjoy them.

  • Listen to any episode of the podcast directly from this page by clicking the yellow "Listen Now" button on the right.
  • Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes here.
  • Subscribe to the podcast feed here.
  • Download the podcast directly here.

Show links:

Direct download: bgpodcast25-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:19pm EDT

This edition of the podcast features a conversation with guests Steve Gaynor from 2K Marin (Bioshock 2), Nels Anderson from Hothead Games (DeathSpank), and Wes Erdelack (aka Iroquois Pliskin) from the Versus CluClu Land blog.

We discuss the year in games to this point and the issues, people and games that have made the biggest impact on us.

Keep your eye on this space, as I'll be releasing 4 more Confabs with a gaggle of terrific guests over the next week. I hope you enjoy them.

  • Listen to any episode of the podcast directly from this page by clicking the yellow "Listen Now" button on the right.
  • Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes here.
  • Subscribe to the podcast feed here.
  • Download the podcast directly here.

Show links:

Direct download: bgpodcast25.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:58am EDT

This edition of the Brainy Gamer Podcast features an interview with Clint Hocking, Creative Director at Ubisoft Montreal (Far Cry 2, Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory). In the second half of the show we're joined by Manveer Heir, Lead Designer at Raven Software and Borut Pfeifer, Lead AI Programmer at EALA.

Show links:

Direct download: bgpodcast24.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:42am EDT

This edition of the Brainy Gamer Podcast focuses on games that can make a difference. It features interviews with two people in the vanguard of innovative game design for social change: Suzanne Seggerman, president and co-founder of Games for Change; and Mary Flanagan, founder of the Tiltfactor Lab and Values at Play initiative. We discuss a wide range of topics, and we gear up for the G4C Festival in New York City later this month.

Direct download: bgpodcast23.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT

Volume 1 of the Brainy Gamer Podcast post-GDC '09 edition. Join me and my guests as we discuss what we learned at this year's Game Developer's Conference.

Segment 1: N'Gai Croal, game design consultant at newly-formed Hit Detection and former games and technology journalist at Newsweek Magazine; and Manveer Heir, designer at Raven Software and author of Design Rampage.

Segment 2: Corvus Elrod of Man Bytes Blog; and Chris Dahlen of Save the Robot.
Direct download: bgpodcast22-1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:16pm EDT

Volume 2 of the Brainy Gamer Podcast post-GDC '09 edition. Join me and my guests as we discuss what we learned at this year's Game Developer's Conference.

Segment 1: Leigh Alexander, news director at Gamasutra and author of Sexy Videogameland; Nels Anderson, gameplay programmer at Hothead Games and author of Above 49; and David Carlton of Malvasia Bianca.

Segment 2: Ben Fritz of The Cut Scene; Wes Erdelack (aka Iroquois Pliskin) of Versus Clu Clu Land; and Duncan Fyfe of Hit Self-Destruct.
Direct download: bgpodcast22-2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:10pm EDT

This edition of the Brainy Gamer Podcast features an interview with Kellee Santiago and Jenova Chen, co-founders of thatgamecompany and creators of Flower. We discuss a variety of topics, including TGC's design philosophy, the road from Cloud to Flower, starting a game company from scratch, the liberating nature of limitations...and, of course Flower.

Also, a fond farewell to N'Gai Croal, and gearing up for GDC...all in this episode of the Brainy Gamer Podcast!

Direct download: bgpodcast21.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:20pm EDT

This episode is big on story and small on spoilers! Downloadable content as betrayal; the virtues of peace, love, and green lipstick; the reviewer as critic; and why one player's narrative may be another player's imposition...all in this episode of the Brainy Gamer Podcast!
Direct download: bgpodcast20.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:50pm EDT



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