The terminally trill Jon Irwin stops by to talk about some of the narratives on display at The Game Awards and the PlayStation Experience. We discuss Death Stranding, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, The Last of Us: Part Two, and of course: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Naturally, things go off course, resulting in topics related to gender representation in games as well as whether games should force players to complete difficult sections in order to see more of the story.
Read some of Jon's great writing, won't you?
Josh stops by to talk about clinical depression and how it affects writing. The answer is: A LOT. However, there is hope, and it involves not obsessing over deadlines and word counts while still honing your craft. Black Mirror is briefly discussed along with the need for more anthology-style content in television and video games.
Links of interest:
Kyle Bosman stops by to absolutely slay in this episode, as we discuss his career, GameTrailers, Easy Allies, stand-up comedy, improv comedy, the Nintendo Switch, and lots of other fun stuff!
On a side note: Kyle is an incredibly nice, outgoing person who is going to do well no matter what he does in life.
Links of interest:
Josh stops by to talk about his verdict on Final Draft 10 as well as Dark Souls, American Horror Story, and the NX horror story he wrote. Then: Checking in with Chad as he completes his first six weeks of trying to break into the film/television industry.
Father Time checks in to remind Josh that a year has passed since the first episode of Digital Writes, forcing your faithful host to feel a tad wistful. The wistfulness gives way to discussions of specializing in particular types of writing, Final Draft 10, and a new segment called Checking in with Chad. This segment gives an honest look at my co-writer's (Chad Oliver) experience moving to Los Angeles to pursue a writing career. It's going to be funny and might even make you consider motherhood.
Links of interest:
Benjamin Rivers stops by to chat about his new game, Alone with You: A Sci-Fi Romance Adventure.
Let's take a moment to appreciate how incredible these words become when placed in a sequence: "A Sci-Fi Romance Adventure."
We talk about a lot of things including the challenges of writing dating sequences in video games, incorporating the DualShock 4's lightbar into gameplay/narrative, and the potential to educate players while not making a boring game.
Links of interest:
William Brierly stops by to talk about his bizarre and wonderful game, Soda Drinker Pro. It's a fun conversation that naturally devolves (or should I say "evolves"?) into arcade talk.
Digital Writes is back on an every-other-week schedule, and I can't wait for you to hear some of the guests I've lined up!
Links of interest:
Jon Irwin stops by to analyze the stories of some of E3's most interesting games! We talk about Death Stranding, ReCore, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and of course, We Happy Few. We also use the word "sausage" more than I anticipated and even touch on some serious topics such as mental health and consciousness/impact after death.
Jon's pretty much the best guy ever, so please buy his book on Super Mario Bros. 2 !
Or at least click on his articles at the almighty Paste!
After doing those things, you should watch the trailers of the four games we discussed:
I talked about it in episode zero, and now it's a reality: this week's episode with Karla Zimonja! Gone Home is the best game of the 2010s...or is it 201X's? Either way, Gone Home is incredible and can be played and enjoyed by anyone. AND...the PS4 version is free on PS Plus this month.
We talk about teaching, writing, BioShock 2 and Minerva's Den, Gone Home, movies, and a bunch of other things in what I'm going to go ahead and say is the best episode yet.
Links of interest
Neal Ronaghan stops by to talk about a little bit of everything. The Nintendo World Report website, copywriting, the Green Bay Packers, and very creepy Halloween products. It's a good conversation with a good beat, and you can dance to it.
Links to all of Neal's downright awesome things:
I'm supposed to be linking to something else, but it's 1:12 A.M. on Monday, and I can't remember.
Josh tells it all in this overly-honest talk about making the most of the summer as well as the nature of good vs evil in narratives.
Specifically, he talks about his plan to write a lot of words, what your plan might be, representations of evil and hope in Room as opposed to We Need to Talk about Kevin, and whether games might be let off the hook when it comes to allowing a lot of bad things to happen in the narrative.
Links of interest:
Lloyd Parker, the incredible artist who did the new show logo!
Chris Johnston (CJ) is perhaps the most passionate member of the video game community. In this episode you'll find out why as he discusses the underlying reasons for doing a podcast for ten years ... or launching a youtube page ... or really doing anything creative. It's about relationships as well as caring about what you do.
We discuss writing for video game magazines in the (wonderful, nay, glorious) 90s, producing video games for a very popular company, and running a weekly podcast while still having a family.
Finally, huge shoutout to Lloyd Parker, the incredible artist who did the new show logo!
Links to CJ's stuff:
Gabe Durham stops by to talk about his downright excellent press, Boss Fight Books. He's published ten wonderful books on games ranging from Bible Adventures to Metal Gear Solid to Super Mario Bros. 2, and quite frankly, he's providing an important service to the video game industry.
We discuss funding through Kickstarter, the difficult balancing act of running a press while also being an author, Christianity, and a slew (that's right, a slew) of other topics. This was one of my favorite conversations I've had for the podcast so far.
Determination stops by to remind Josh of an inconvenient truth: Writers must write. Thus, writers must have time to write. Thus, writers must make time to write. Thus, writers must determine the best times and places to write based on their schedules, relationships, and hobbies.
This is no easy task, but it is one worth doing.
Josh discusses how writing and "life" intersect in this odd-yet-listenable episode of Digital Writes.
If you'd like to share thoughts based on the questions Josh asked at the end of the episode, please write to him at:
joshua.hillyer (AT) gmail (DOT) com
or on Twitter
Aaron Mahnke stops by to talk about writing podcasts as well as ebooks, the success of Lore, and the importance of writers cultivating real social networks. Writers of all varieties will benefit from this episode.
CourTney Collins stops by to talk about film/television editing as a craft, Las Vegas, telling your family you're leaving a great job, writing honest blog posts, and that strange entity that is the future. It's a great conversation, and I think CourTney's optimism and unique perspective comes through nicely.
Come back next time for episodes with Aaron Mahnke of LORE, one of the creators of Gone Home, and many many awesome guests.
Links to CourTney's cool creations:
The PS4 game Bloodborne stopped by Josh's life to teach him several lessons about storytelling, so he decided to share them with you! He discusses the importance of interesting universes, not beating the audience over the head with exposition, and allowing people to miss some story points.
Additionally, this episode includes a note on the need for consistent writing time instead of random "binge-writing."
Kevin Larrabee stops by this week to discuss two topics that go so so well together: video games and fitness. We focus a great deal of attention on his article "Saying 'Goodbye' to Video Games," funny censor sounds (you'll hear what I chose about halfway through the episode), and self-improvement. I admit to swimming; Kevin admits to buying another WiiU, and we give the ole college try to convincing others to do something great in 2016.
Links of interest:
Jon Irwin, author of the downright excellent Boss Fight Book on Super Mario Bros. 2, stops by to talk about his career, his writing process, being an au pair, driving an ice cream truck, and many many other things.
On a side note, Jon Irwin might be the nicest person I've ever met. He's kind, complex, refreshing, and quirky in a good way. A lot like Super Mario Bros. 2.
Links of Interest:
Chris Sinnott - the awesome composer of the Digital Writes theme song
Christopher Baker, the author of one of my favorite nonfiction books, WRONG! Retro Games You Messed Up Our Comic Book Heroes!, stops by to talk about his book, his career as a games journalist, working at Marvel and LucasArts, and what he's up to these days (hint: It's pretty cool).
Also, please - pretty please - review the show. Move over hippopotamus, all I want for Christmas are podcast reviews.
Links to the good stuff:
Alternate title for this episode: Find Your Kevin Larrabee.
Georgia Dow stops by to talk about depression, therapy, OCD, and her incredibly helpful Internet videos on anxiety. It's a wonderful discussion that hopefully helps at least one person.
Find the videos at http://anxiety-videos.com
Georgia's awesome video game podcast with Brianna Wu and company: https://www.relay.fm/isometric
The episode we discussed involving the concept of flow: https://www.relay.fm/isometric/74
Josh is guest-less this week, so Josh stops by to talk to Josh about the Grantland closure as well as Ben Kuchera's article on Halo 5's narrative.
Learn more about Josh at joshuahillyer.com
I'm not Joshing.
We'll return to more traditional, interview-based programming on November 15.
And as always, look for new episodes on the 1st and 15th of every month!
The undeniably trill Benjamin Rivers stops by to talk about his critically-acclaimed iOS/PS4/PSVita/PC/Mac horror game Home. The conversation gets pretty crazy, and Ben is dubbed the "Canadian Lovecraft," a term he begrudgingly accepts. We then talk about his upcoming sci-fi romance game (how great is that?) Alone with You. Lots of thoughts on writing multiple versions of stories, not fully controlling your own narrative, and realizing your greatest fears (seriously).
Links to Ben's awesome creations:
P.S. Thank you thank you thank you for listening. Please...gulp...review the show on iTunes.
Dr. Jonny Metts stops by to discuss his ten plus years working on a popular video game website, the Nintendo podcast from which he recently retired, as well as his awesome book, Surviving Coventry!
Plenty of great nuggets on why we do creative endeavors even when there isn't much money in them as well as the difficulty of letting go of our past outlets.
Remember: New episodes of Digital Writes will be posted on the 1st and 15th of every month.
Find Jonny Metts' work at the following locations:
Thomas Mahler, Game Director of the stunning 2D action platformer Ori and the Blind Forest, stops by to discuss his game's narrative! Other topics include incorproating story into an interactive medium as well as using Final Draft to write your game's story.
Ori and the Blind Forest is available now on Steam and Xbox One.
Look forward to new episodes on the first and fifteenth of every month. :)