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Tycho / on Wed, Aug 31 2016 at 12:04 pm

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You never know one hundred percent what’s gonna happen when you sit down to play whatever Josh has installed for the First 15; sometimes it is a game where you move a ball around.  We have been surprised to learn just how omnipresent these balls are.  You might also be exposed to Captain Forever Remix, which we seized with our pedipalps and palpably enjoyed.

You might also open up Overcooked and spend the first five minutes with your brow furrowed, and then afterward spend days and days thinking about what they had done.  And Googling for shit like “divorce lawyer” and “blowdarts.”

There are lots of cooking games, and this share their heritage: ingredients, preparation, recipes, time pressure.  That part isn’t uncommon.  Think Flipline’s Papa’s X-eria games.  The player is not present in the world typically; where Overcooked diverges, presumably in a wood, is by adding a physical player, or optimally players, and making the kitchens themselves convoluted in ways that must be conquered with efficient, effective cooperation.

There’s a great article on Gamasutra about how they recognized that cooperating was the core and then held to that, which, you’d think, “obviously.”  But cutting down is not obvious, actually - pruning, selectively refining, not obvious.  I would have done what they considered, and cut, which was to have different chef “classes” or some shit with bonuses to different types of kitchen skills.  I would have done that because I was “adding to.”  I write three panel comic strips, in part, because that stern frame tamps down my worst impulses to “add.”  Mostly.

The Pieta was made by subtraction, for example.  I saw it more than ten years ago, and I can recall it in a moment.  I think it might be a real woman.  Am I saying that Overcooked is like the Pieta?  Yes.  I think Overcooked is is a cooperative, foodservice Pieta.  Functionally, it’s Pieta 2016.

Hey, so, listen.  I’ve been making a new show with Josh over here.  A talk show kind of thing.  Think Ellen, but for videogames maybe.  Or Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, except its Tycho and The Creator Of A Game playing the Game They Created.  I used to call it ELI5, you’ll hear me call it that, but when I showed it to people they said “this is not rudimentary and is in fact kind of bigger than that conceptually so maybe Explain Like I’m 5 doesn’t work.”  I suggested GameTown 420 as a name, and was rebuffed; Kiko suggested Tycho Tries and I felt some knot deep in my musculature relax.  It’s fifty minutes long, just because that’s how long our conversation was.  I often listen to these episodes like podcasts when I’m driving, I just queue one up, and you might like that too.  Here is an episode featuring Island 359, with Steve Bowler of CloudGate Studio.

This is not what you would call it’s “final form,” to leverage familiar terminology.  I’m just trying to figure out if I’m fucking crazy or not wanting to do it.  I’ve got lots of notes on how to do this thing for real:  it’s been a living document, but I’ve got video feeds in some of the newer ones for the guests for example.  And we’ll weaponize the design department to make it look like a million fucking dollars.  At the ground floor, though, they’re full conversations between people who make things about the things they make.  I wanted the show to be real, and it was not, so I did my best to fix it.

(CW)TB out.

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