Ideasyncracy: Harmontown History – The Rise of Spencer Crittenden

Witnessing history in the making is something you realize in hindsight. I doubt anyone participating in something ever thinks to themselves, “Boy, I can’t wait for this moment to go down in history and be remembered as the moment that changed everything.” Lives change in an instant and something as simple as attending the right event at the right time could snowball into an opportunity that provides that changes an individuals future.

I’ve been listening to the Harmontown podcast. I started a few weeks ago from the very beginning (at least from #1 on the Castbox app). So far, I have been loving every second. The podcast jumps around from being legitimately funny to being off-puttingly insightful. The rapport between Dan Harmon and Jeff Davis is truly something to behold, and I’m trying hard to catch up to the most recent episode.

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Out For a Bit

When we sit down to think about someone’s life we usually grab onto a set of memories to reflect on. I’m convinced this is a piss awful way to think about human lives, but I’ve yet to come up with more clever ideas.

How do we decide which memories get ingrained as the bits that will live on in us, why can I remember my mom’s love of “House of Sand and Fog,” but not her favorite food? These things feel so random, and I so wish I could find more of these impressions, but these people are gone now. Whatever’s left of them is now just a collection of vignettes.

When my dad died I remembered playing catch in the yard, vague memories of volcanic stones littering the back yard, and walking around the canyon behind where we lived. I remember playing out a memory of us admiring his tomatoes while he looked so shriveled in front of me.

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“PLAYERUNKOWN’s Battlegrounds Erupts Out from Nothingness and Into Stardom”

The status quo on Twitch for the 5 games with the highest viewer count has remained static for some time now. These titles usually are: DotA 2, CS:GO, Hearthstone, League of Legends, and Overwatch. All 5 of these games feature prolific developers with a lengthy pedigree, and come from publishers with deep pockets. However, loading up the Twitch homepage today, a newcomer has taken the crown for #1, and that is PUBG.

PLAYERUNKOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS has been able to achieve critical acclaim, staggering sales numbers, and overwhelming popularity in just 6 short months. PUBG currently sits tied at #7 for best-selling PC game with 10 million units sold, and the game hasn’t even been completed yet. It has given rise to a new genre while taking the streaming world by storm, providing the groundwork for exciting drama and tense PvP action, while requiring just enough luck to keep both vets and newbies on their toes.


The Framework

PUBG got its start thanks to the crucible of the modding community for ARMA 2. Lead developer turned media icon Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene got his first hit with popular DayZ mod Battle Royale. Taking inspiration from the film of the same name, this mod would go on to provide the groundwork for what would become the gameplay for PUBG.

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The Fancast Podcast 09/23

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Metanalysis: Virtual Reality

“The Uncanny Threshold”

There are a few games that I have never experienced because of an unfortunate personality flaw of mine. A barrage of praise, even from a close friend, can eventually lead to something becoming so soured that I will go years before I can will myself to try it. I can only be goaded into trying something new so many times before my gut reaction is to never try it again. This has made it difficult for friends, loved ones, or communities I’m a part of to get me into new fandoms or hobbies. Virtual Reality was almost a victim of this attitude.

With VR, my aversion to hype turned my once child-like excitement into dull cynicism. As the technology took off, the rampant adoption turned it into a gimmick, something that could be used to market experiences or attractions that let you translate physical movement into a virtual space. These promises were often hollow and were subsequently unfulfilled.

However, thanks to The Skill Floor I was able to try VR first hand and gain a whole new appreciation for it, one that has change my tune to that of a passionate advocate of the technology.

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The Death Note Podcast

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Board Builder Dread Campaign


Board Builder is going to be a scratch sheet of concepts and ideas as they’re turned into actual content. There will mostly be discussions about theme and translating the theme into the mechanics. As the game gets better polished and saucier eventually other things will emerge from the toxic slime of creation and appear as fleshed out ideas. In general these articles will chart the development and progress of an ideas as it goes from paper to production.

Keep in mind, I’ve never made a board game, so hopefully what emerges will be a fun romp through board game land where nothing really makes sense.

Project Dread

For the first project I wanted to tackle something tame with most of the mechanics in place already. Continue reading “Board Builder Dread Campaign”

Metanalysis: Dead Cells

“Early Access Adopters Get A Win”

Dead Cells is, at its core, a loving homage to the best parts of some of the most influential titles and genres over the last 20 years. Taking cues from Castlevania, Metroid, and more recently Spelunky and Dark Souls, this game serves up a compilation of classic ideas in a fun and engaging way. What’s more, if you take a break, you may come back to find additions to the experience that make an already great game into an even better one.

Of personally delight is how the developers were able to successfully execute early access, a rarity on Steam.

The Framework

Dead Cells is a 2D rogue-like (or a rogue-lite, or a dungeon crawler, depending on who you ask). If we avoid genres all together and describe the aspects that make up a playing Dead Cells, then we get the following key features:

  • side-scrolling 2D exploration
  • RPG elements
  • permadeath
  • different biomes
  • procedural generation
  • currently in early access

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The Fleet Podcast 8/26

When we put our hair up and get professional all kinds of magic can happen.

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What’s The Point: Absolver

The Game:

Absolver is single player fighting game that promises stark quantities of beauty and depth. The aesthetic of the game is charged with motif. Each of the characters wears a mask obscuring their face, the world darts between abandoned structure and forlorn environment, solemn isolation bares down on the inhabitants of the canonical world of Adal. Offline, pretty much every person in the wilderness is trying to steal bus fare.

Online you will run into others who might fight off the bus fare thieves. The only method of communication is to take advantage of the limited gesture system. Friendships are fleeting in the world of Absolver, with friendships shuttering to hold together under the weight of potential betrayal.

Everyone shares the same goal, to hunt down the marked ones and become worthy, but each player will have a different solution to this challenge. Continue reading “What’s The Point: Absolver”