Ep. 184 - Gamer Type Gamers, with Liz Ryerson

### Ep. 184 - Gamer Type Gamers, with Liz Ryerson

[Liz Ryerson](https://twitter.com/ellaguro) triumphantly joins the panel to cover DDR dance pads, Batman games, and Burger Time Royale with Cheese. Original music by Kurt Feldman.

**Questions this week:**

  • 1. What are we learning about the video game industry from the Apple v. Epic court case? (03:52)
  • 2. What would be an interesting game series to play a Shuffler of? (09:04)
  • 3. Is there something you’ve wanted to see video games do for a long time, but once they finally did it you weren’t that impressed? (15:25)
  • 4. Which property-based video games take the greatest liberty with their source material? (20:33)
  • 5. Design a new non-dance game for the DDR pad. (26:25)
  • 6. Dirtbag Spencer asks: What makes a definitive edition of a video game definitive? (31:07)
  • 7. What game has the best party members? (36:41)
  • 8. Is there anywhere for the Battle Royale genre to go from here? (41:47)
  • 9. When have you had to lie about how you felt about a video game? (46:43)
  • 10. Who is the John Swartzwelder of video games? (52:34)
  • **LIGHTNING ROUND**: Donkey Kong Universe – Phase 1 (57:11)

    **A SMALL SELECTION OF THINGS REFERENCED:**

  • - Phanto Mask
  • - [Sonic Ice Cream](https://www.reddit.com/r/SonicTheHedgehog/comments/94uhk1/got_one_of_those_ice_cream_bars_for_the_first/)
  • - [Epic v. Apple](https://www.theverge.com/2021/4/29/22410877/epic-games-apple-app-store-antitrust-trial-lawsuit-news)
  • - [Epic Payouts](https://kotaku.com/heres-what-epic-paid-to-give-away-all-those-free-games-1846815064)
  • - [Enter the Gungeon](https://www.mobygames.com/game/enter-the-gungeon)
  • - [Celeste](https://www.mobygames.com/game/celeste)
  • - [Everything](https://www.mobygames.com/game/everything)
  • - [Bizhawk Emulator Suite](https://bizhawk.en.uptodown.com/windows)
  • - [Sonic Shuffler](https://twitter.com/agAitcheson/status/1388562230107648000)
  • - [Mr. Friendly by JP LeBreton](https://jp.itch.io/mr-friendly)
  • - [Bennett Foddy's Multibowl](http://www.foddy.net/2016/08/multibowl/)
  • - [Sonic 4](https://sonic.fandom.com/wiki/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_4)
  • - [Sonic 4ces](https://sonic.fandom.com/wiki/Sonic_Forces)
  • - [Batman: The Video Game](https://www.mobygames.com/game/nes/batman-the-video-game_)
  • - [The Adventures of Batman & Robin](https://www.mobygames.com/game/adventures-of-batman-robin)
  • - [PC Engine Batman](https://www.mobygames.com/game/turbo-grafx/batman)
  • - [ZX Spectrum Batman](https://www.mobygames.com/game/batman_)
  • - [McKids](https://www.mobygames.com/game/mc-kids)
  • - [Popful Mail](https://www.mobygames.com/game/sega-cd/popful-mail)
  • - [Waterwold](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/waterworld-licensees)
  • - [SNES Waterworld Soundtrack](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRvYkrrpMKo)
  • - [Incredible Crisis](https://www.mobygames.com/game/incredible-crisis)
  • - [Space Channel 5](https://www.mobygames.com/game/space-channel-5)
  • - [Deee-Lite](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deee-Lite)
  • - [Fullmetal Alchemist!](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkLnFYXsNe8&t)
  • - [Mimikyu](https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Mimikyu_(Pok%C3%A9mon))
  • - [Nuzlocke Challenge](https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Nuzlocke_Challenge)
  • - [XCOM: Enemy Unknown](https://www.mobygames.com/game/xcom-enemy-unknown)
  • - [Anachronox](https://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/anachronox)
  • - [Battle Royale](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266308) (2000)
  • - [Kinji Fukasaku](https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0297935/)
  • - [Paul Verhoeven](https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000682/)
  • - [Black Book](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0389557/) (2006)
  • - [Burger Time Pro Player interview](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-FcPb2kclU)
  • - [John Swartzwelder's interview](https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-new-yorker-interview/john-swartzwelder-sage-of-the-simpsons)
  • - [Jeff Minter](https://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,12816/)
  • - [The Time Machine Did It](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Time_Machine_Did_It)
  • - [Steve Ditko](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Ditko)
  • - [Colossal Cave Adventure](https://www.mobygames.com/game/colossal-cave-adventure___)
  • - [Danielle Bunten Berry](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danielle_Bunten_Berry)
  • **Recommendations:**
    **Frank**: Beat [Nier Replicant](https://www.mobygames.com/game/nier-replicant-ver122474487139), get bored on the second playthrough and watch the endings on YouTube (both Jaffe and Esper strongly recommend against this)
    **Liz**: [Tomato Way trilogy](https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/tomato-way-series)
    **Brandon:** [Touch and Go by Toshiki Kadomatsu](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN-X3Duvvew), [Returner](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0339579/) (2002), Get your parents and grandparents vaccinated

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    {“sticky”:true}

    >

    @espercontrol#29927 Design a new non-dance game for the DDR pad. (26:25)

    I once mapped the inputs from a ddr pad to midi input and used it as a way to play synth pads with my feet while playing guitar or bass, it was kind of gimmicky but when I heard this question it made me think about that, and then I thought about a Rez like music on-rails shooter where in adition to playing with a regular controller, you can do like special attacks in which you activate these synth pads with your feet, (that somehow fit with the music) and you see a representation of the waveform that you played killing all the things.

    >

    @espercontrol#29927 Is there something you’ve wanted to see video games do for a long time, but once they finally did it you weren’t that impressed? (15:25)

    procedurally.generated.metroidvanias

    >

    @espercontrol#29927 Who is the John Swartzwelder of video games? (52:34)

    There's a guy at Nintendo named Yoichi Yamada who's worked as a lead game designer or sub-director on damn near every Zelda game since the SNES game, as well as Mario 64, the early Star Fox games and many others; he's undoubtedly had a more prolonged, embedded hands-on influence on Zelda in particular than any other person, and yet he's basically unknown to the wider public or even Nintendo maniacs (which sets him apart from Swartzwelder, I suppose, seeing as Simpsons maniacs have been well aware of him via the exhaustive accounts of his former colleagues).

    Minter's a good pick, except that I'm not sure his games have ever been particularly, directly influential.

    @ana-yipyip#29937 Tell you what: I appreciate a gimmick sometimes.

    @gsk ahhh that's a good one.

    Oh and to be clear, I also recommend against watching the Nier endings on youtube but I'm of course fine with playing it on easy.

    finding it impossible to take these ultra-emotive cutscenes seriously when the shot includes kaine’s vianetta looking ass crack

    @gsk#29938 procedurally generated anything is a good answer imo

    >

    @espercontrol#29927 What makes a definitive edition of a video game definitive?

    One feature I _love_ in "remasters" or "definitive editions" is the ability to toggle between different art or sound assets in real time (especially if it's just one button), especially if you can really mix and match them. I think the Halo collection and the Grim Fandango remaster did this really well, maybe Starcraft as well if I'm remembering correctly?

    I'm playing Ys I & II Chronicles on PC now and I appreciate that different artwork and soundtracks are available, but I wish I didn't have to dig into the menus any time I want to switch. I also recall the Monkey Island remaster on PC as being a little disappointing here. I didn't care for the redone art at all but wanted the updated interface and music/voices, though I don't think I could mix and match them. I think the iPad version allowed that, but it was never updated for 64-bit, so it's essentially gone forever. A game as seminal as Monkey Island (and with so many different releases with their own interesting quirks) deserves a really lavishly done "definitive edition."

    On the John Swartzwelder question, the name that immediately came to mind was Chris Sawyer (of Roller Coaster Tycoon fame). He was fresh on my mind because I had just watched a Noclip documentary on the game over the weekend while dealing with vaccine #2 fatigue. Felt to fit too much to not chip in on this one.

    Outside of some relationship with ports and advisory roles on a couple of the sequels it sounds like he largely has stepped out of the business after Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 in 2002. His Wikipedia says Transport Tycoon (his first Tycoon game) is "one of the most important simulation games ever made."

    Just off personal experience I feel like there was a Tycoon 'boom' after his first couple titles, and some simulation games since have probably been influenced by those initial games in some shape or form. I also feel that their inclusion in some cereal box promotions led to their footprint being larger than the typical game in the early 2000s--by that I mean in terms of a more casual audience.

    Sounds like Mr. Sawyer is a pretty tough 'get' for an interview these days, in part from stepping out of the industry for a long time, but also maybe because of some legal disputes that had arisen as Atari took over the Tycoon series when he was done with it.

    >

    Is there something you’ve wanted to see video games do for a long time, but once they finally did it you weren’t that impressed?

    Because I'm a weird freak for unusual aircraft, I am obsessed with Soviet era Ekranoplans. These are basically flying boats with small wings that take advantage of ground effects generated close to the surface of the water to fly at like 10-20 meters above the surface. The game Soviet Monsters: Ekranoplans felt like a dream come true. At last the fantasy of piloting an 8 engine Lun class Ekranoplan 20 meters above the water was realized in videogame form. This was the only game I have ever wishlisted on steam because it's such a niche thing to make a videogame about, but it's a very videogamey thing.
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/372160/Soviet_Monsters_Ekranoplans/

    Unfortunately, it was not very good! Giant Bomb called it the worst game of 2016. It seems like an impenetrable simulator that has really poor feedback, while also having a dearth of game content and weird systems that don't make sense. As near as I can tell, there's no other game or simulator with this kind of aircraft you can pilot, so this is it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xgNipluGAU

    @espercontrol could you go back to adding timestamps on Spotify please? I often fall asleep while listening to the gang‘s sweet voices and it’s hard to go back to the moment I stopped listening

    @marlfuchs2#30048 Oh yeah, this was some primo GB content from the golden days…games like this seemed to be designed specifically for Drew Scanlon. I think this quick look justifies the game's existence well enough for me!

    >

    Dirtbag Spencer asks: What makes a definitive edition of a video game definitive? (31:07)

    To me Liz's answer requires a major caveat--they do all have to die, but whoever dies last needs to make some sort of statement on the game being the definitive version and that they are leaving the mortal coil with no regrets. We will be generous and say that anyone who doesn't speak up before they kick it is satisfied.

    As well, no one involved in development should have ever publicly expressed anything negative about the game. Maybe it will be okay if their concerns are very precisely worded and their estate could handle releasing a post mortem patch.

    Maybe the only true definitive version of a game would have to conclude with something like the Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "the Curse of the Flying Hellfish" style tontine where the last developer alive inherits the rights to once and for all truly define what a game was supposed to be? Theoretically if more than one developer is alive they could always end up disagreeing about something.

    (this is a roundabout way of saying that I agree with what I think Liz was implying which is that the pursuit of this can get absurd very quickly and is very fun to think about)

    >

    @espercontrol#29927 SNES Waterworld Soundtrack

    The comments on the Waterworld Soundtrack Youtube video are very nice and the composer is there thanking everyone for their compliments :)

    @fugazi57#30110 hmmm, i have never added anything in particular to the spotify version!! i use Overcast for all my podcast listening, i guess i should look at spotify and see what’s going on there. thanks for the heads up!!

    >

    @espercontrol#29927 What would be an interesting game series to play a Shuffler of? (09:04)

    Ya'll were too busy coming up with good ideas to mention a horrible one, which would be: any sort of rhythm game. I finally checked out that Muse Dash and imagine it just becomes Ouendan or Thumper when you miss a beat.

    >

    @espercontrol#29927 Design a new non-dance game for the DDR pad. (26:25)

    Some sorta Bishi Bashi, but with your feet. I can't for the life of me remember what it's called, but I just tried a Japanese arcade game on MAME that was basically a bishi bashi lightgun shooter -- like a Simon Says thing where the screen is divided into six quadrants and each button is a quadrant, so you gotta quickly press the particular associated button when the monster shows up (and not press it when a person does, etc.). Not so fun on a controller, but I imagine it had big ol' buttons relative to each quadrant's location in the arcade. Co-op-bishi-bashi-lightgun-DDR-pad-shooter then.

    I just realized the “video game thing I always wanted to happen but was disappointed by” was sailor moon games. Sure there‘s the one decent fighter, but that is it! Every other sailor moon game is mediocre at best, and there’s no god darned excuse for it!

    I cannot remember if it was mentioned in the show but a good shuffler game could be tetris. It could be switch game everytime a block is placed for a somewhat comfortable time, or switch game everytime a block is rotated or placed for a more challenging/infuriating experience.

    @Syzygy#30164 oh yeah, that one was alright! and never got a home port for some reason! weird as heck. The MD game was a beat em up too, but it's pretty unexciting.

    @Syzygy#30164 Oooooh, I just ordered a $3 repro cart of this for Genesis, glad to hear it's well liked