Michael Molinari / Will O'Neill

Episode № 214
hosts John Lindvay /

After a long break I am back and ready to start pushing out podcasts yet again! To start things off, and to clear out the stacks of material waiting to get released, here is a double feature. First up is Michael Molinari who sat down with me after grabbing some froyo in LA during the Indiecade 2015 night games. Will O’Neill returns to the show to feed my compulsion to talk about HBO’s The Wire and how it makes me wish for better world building in video games.

Michael MolinariBoth Michael and Will are great guests on the podcasts, and it is no surprise that I enjoy talking to them whenever I get the chance. Michael Molinari has been on the show several times, first to talk about Soundodger and then again to chat Choice Chamber. Most interesting in the timing of these release is Amazon’s recent announcement of their own game engine and developer tools called Lumberyard. One key feature they are advertising is Twitch integration, and Michael is, and has been, working in that small niche of leveraging Twitch in game design. While we couldn’t talk at the time about the potential of Lumberyard, we do talk briefly about the potential of Twitch in game design.

Will O'Neill Of Actual SunlightWill returns to the show after I asked him if he would be interested in entertaining some questions I had with relation to the hit HBO series, and possibly greatest show ever, The Wire. Will was last on the show to discuss his writing and work on his game Actual Sunlight. I respect Will a lot when it comes to discussing game narratives, even though he is quite the cynic. Since we spoke he has worked on several other games, including Planet of the Eyes, Sometimes Always Monsters, and Little Red Lies. Details for those game can be found here on his website. The jist of the conversation is why don’t more games, which have developed some long standing and lived in worlds, offer more perspectives into those worlds. Essentially, why do we always play as Link, when Hyrule has so much going on? The games that have tried that failed miserable, think GTA 5 where all the characters offer little or no motivations as to why they do the things they do. It was a fun thought exercise and if anything, this may prompt you to watch The Wire and see how it can also influence how you structure your games narrative through the cast of characters you present.