Ep. 199 - Dreamcast Fruit, with Chris Kohler

Ep. 199 - Dreamcast Fruit, with Chris Kohler

Editorial director of Digital Eclipse [Chris Kohler](https://twitter.com/kobunheat) joins the panel to cover bug-free cartridge games, on-air game history research, and a brutal round of Famicom Feud. Original music by Kurt Feldman.


**Questions this week:**

  • 1. [Mathew Kumar](https://twitter.com/mathewkumar) asks: What are the “phantom games” in your collection? (03:59)
  • 2. Which areas of games are most in need of preservation? (10:36)
  • 3. What’s the line between stealing an idea and iterating on it in video game design? (16:26)
  • 4. What are some mundane activities that would make good simulator games? (21:19)
  • 5. What would be on your cardboard sign at a wrestling event? (26:33)
  • 6. Dirtbag Seasons asks: Why and when did we start calling old games “retro”? (30:23)
  • 7. How, when, and where should games present content warnings? (36:39)
  • 8. [Brandon Sheffield](https://twitter.com/necrosofty) asks: What are your favorite side quests? (45:19)
  • 9. What is the Ghostbusters 2 of video games? (52:26)
  • **LIGHTNING ROUND**: Famicom Feud – Video Games Notable For Negative Reception (56:24)


  • - [$1.99 Are You Out Of Your Mind?](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBfQgGIYvzA)
  • - [FM Towns Marty](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FM_Towns_Marty)
  • - [SWOS](https://www.mobygames.com/game/sensible-world-of-soccer)
  • - [Donkey Kong Classics](https://www.mobygames.com/game/nes/donkey-kong-classics)
  • - [Adventures of Lolo](https://www.mobygames.com/game/adventures-of-lolo)
  • - [Princess Pajama](https://www.blueside.co.kr/ENG/games/princess.asp)
  • - [Taito X-55](http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/60631/Taito-X-55/)
  • - [Fortnite's Among Us ripoff](https://kotaku.com/among-us-devs-arent-feeling-fortnite-s-new-impostors-1847505281)
  • - [Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes](https://www.mobygames.com/game/might-magic-clash-of-heroes)
  • - [Threes developer addresses clones](https://www.pcmag.com/news/threes-creators-discuss-ios-clones-in-huge-how-we-made-it-blog)
  • - [Shenmue](https://www.mobygames.com/game/dreamcast/shenmue)
  • - [Panzer Dragoon Saga](https://www.mobygames.com/game/sega-saturn/panzer-dragoon-saga)
  • - [Quest 64](https://www.mobygames.com/game/n64/quest-64)
  • - [Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom](https://www.mobygames.com/game/phantasy-star-iii-generations-of-doom)
  • - [Cosmic Fantasy 4 Part 1](https://www.mobygames.com/game/turbografx-cd/cosmic-fantasy-4-ginga-shnen-densetsu-totsuny-hen)
  • - [Linda Cube](https://www.mobygames.com/game/turbografx-cd/linda-)
  • - [Lotte May](https://twitter.com/LotteMakesStuff)
  • - [Retronauts](https://retronauts.com/)
  • - [Coleco Chameleon](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chameleon_(video_game_console))
  • - [Boyfriend Dungeon Situation](https://kotaku.com/boyfriend-dungeon-voice-actor-responds-to-harassment-ov-1847501108)
  • - [Does The Dog Die](https://www.doesthedogdie.com/)
  • - [Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars](https://www.mobygames.com/game/grand-theft-auto-chinatown-wars)
  • - [Shining Force III](https://www.mobygames.com/game/sega-saturn/shining-force-iii)
  • - [Wing Commander](https://www.mobygames.com/game/wing-commander)
  • - [Ghostbusters II](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097428/)
  • - [ActRaiser 2](https://www.mobygames.com/game/snes/actraiser-2)
  • - [Hudson Hawk](https://www.mobygames.com/game/hudson-hawk)
  • - [Platoon](https://www.mobygames.com/game/platoon)
  • - [Barton Fink](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101410/)
  • - [Phalanx](https://www.mobygames.com/game/phalanx/cover-art/gameCoverId,194083/)
  • **Recommendations:**
    **Frank**: [The new Twilight Zone series](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2583620/)
    **Brandon:** Vote no on recalling Newsom if you live in California, even if he sucks he'll get replaced by somebody a whole bunch worse
    **Chris**: [The Ultimate History of Video Games vol. 2](https://theportobellobookshop.com/product/ultimate-history-of-video-games-volume-2-the-nintendo-sony-microsoft-and-the-billion-dollar-battle-to-shape-modern-gaming-9781984825438/)
    **Jaffe**: [The Many Deaths of Laila Starr](https://www.comixology.com/The-Many-Deaths-of-Laila-Starr-1/digital-comic/929783)

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    My (extremely limited) understanding of the Boyfriend Dungeon situation is that a not-insignificant amount of people saw fit to harass one of the voice actors for playing the character involved in that particular side-quest as if he himself had transgressed, and so the responses Brandon was talking about might be a specific reaction to that course of events, and not just an exaggeration of some vague mob that's pressuring people to bite their tongues or whatever.

    re: car restoration game; Sounds like Jaffe should check out Wrench.


    The tl;dr on it is that you, too, can bolt every piece of a 1st/2nd gen Mazda Miata together and not get your hands all banged up or greasy.

    hasn't Chris been on an earlier episode?

    what would a Dreamcast fruit taste like though…?

    @“thebryanjzx90”#p41423 I don't think so?

    @“whatsarobot”#p41428 orange

    the content warning question is tough and it would be nice to give everyone ready access to the just right amount of foreknowledge, but it just doesn‘t seem possible. And really it shouldn’t be the responsibility of art/artists to accommodate all mental emotional states of their potential audience, that's just not a reasonable expectation. Yes it would be ideal, but is it malpractice if a particular artist declines to include a cw or fails to anticipate a specific trigger? What do we do about old stuff and how do we decide how to classify idk Jude the obscure or classical Greek tragedies which ofc have extremely upsetting content, even more disturbing than boyfriend dungeon in my opinion

    until hearing this episode, i had not realised that films in US don‘t come with content warnings. even in a theatre? i never really thought about the bbfc cards they show before films here (it seems every film has “strong threat”) but maybe having seen censor has something to do with that (it’s great).

    i often use the site https://wheresthejump.com/ cause i love horror movies but not particularly into jump scares. they also include subtitle files with warnings before the jumps, but obviously that only works if you're watching on something where you can add a subtitle file

    My favorite side mission in the Yakuza games by far has to be the Murder at the Cafe Alps in Yakuza 3. It‘s almost a little unfair with regards to how much attention and detail was put into this hour long investigation story when compared to the standard fare of brawlers or quick gag setups and payoffs. Cafe Alps is probably my 2nd least patronized restaurant in Kamurocho during all my Yakuza playthroughs, it’s a powerful landmark in my perception of the world of Yakuza. A shining light in an otherwise dreary installment of the series.


    Sorry, nevermind. It's actually Slip and Slide Ramen from 5. Sorry...


    don’t know if there’s a causative relationship but by coincidence I wore my Kohler hat to work yesterday and lo and behold who was the guest. Going to bust out the old bernie hat next monday. It doesn’t look like the angry video game nerd sells hats but he does sell shirts might give that a try

    @“hellomrkearns”#p41430 ugh dammit bad job, brain

    I‘m positive that I was originally introduced to Chris’ work via a series of videos on OG Insert Credit. I‘m not sure, but I believe they co-starred Tim (though maybe it was Brandon based on the stories in the episode) and it involved them tossing a capsule toy down a long hall that was lined with gatcha machines but otherwise empty of humans very very late one night. No, I’m not going to try to look them up because I like all the people involved and don‘t want to inadvertently shame them for a silly video that was made 20 years ago that wasn’t supposed to live forever.

    Chris is a great guest and one I've had the pleasure of meeting in person at various game events. I also recommend his books because I think he was too humble to do it on the show.

    Just in case anyone is worried based on the content of my question, my Dreamcast collection still includes things like Bangai-O, Cannon Spike, Tech Romancer, and a bunch of the big ones (Skies of Arcadia, the Shenmues, Crazy Taxi, etc.) so I wasn't a complete monster.

    @“aerisdead”#p41461 I forgot to mention all my cool/crappy games that got stolen from frank‘s hotel room. I left them in there (my fault), and then he checked out right after. I called immediately upon realizing (an hour later) and they said there was no bag in there, no games, etc. It was definitely there! oh well. Now I’ll never get to play the amazing London Cab Challenge again.



    What’s the line between stealing an idea and iterating on it in video game design? (16:26)

    The whole fortnite-among us thing is interesting to me because (from what I can tell) the battle royale genre and the social deduction videogame genre (or among us-like) both evolved from community made games and coincidentally as a 12 year old I played early vesions of both those genres a lot.

    The earlieast among us-like that I can think of is the 1987 social game/party game/experiment Mafia (which later turned into warewolf) created by Dimitry Davidoff, a psychology student at Moscow State University. That game got very popular among students and nerds through the 90's but there wasn't and official release, it was more like a makeshift game. Through the 2000's it was played in online forums and even got some official board game releases.
    I think a lot of people are aware of this game.

    But what I think is the reason we have the videogame genre today is the release of a 2009 Mafia inspired board game called [The Resistance](https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/41114/resistance), that game exploded among board game circles and it's eventual 2012 iteration that got even more popular [Avalon](https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/128882/resistance-avalon).
    The Resistance and Avalon took the concept of Mafia/Warewolf and made it quicker and tighter and it got rid of the moderator role making it a more enjoyable experience imo.

    My uncle introduced me, my brother and my cousins to Avalon in 2012 and it was a huge hit among us (no pun intended), we used to play it all the time when we got together and even to this day, 9 years later, we still play it at the request of some cousins, though it has already worn out for some of us.
    At the same time I got into a weird game/thing called [Garry's Mod ](https://store.steampowered.com/app/4000/Garrys_Mod/), think of the community game building aspect of Roblox but with Source Engine, there I encountered upon a game mode called Trouble In Terrorist Town, which was basically Warewolf/Mafia with guns in videogame form. Garry's Mod has always had a horrible community but as a 12 year old with limited english skills I wasn't aware of that.
    The alpha for Trouble in Terrorist town was released as a Half-Life 2 mod in 2009 after some players where playing a makeshift version of it in another mod. It was later released in Garry's Mod by the same person who did the half-life 2 mod. And it also was released and got popular in other games like Roblox.
    As a side note, the game mode Prop Hunt has similar origins and was also later "stealed" and used in Call Of Duty and Fortnite. Here's and article by Robert Yang on that topic.

    The Resistance perhaps isn't relevant in all of this but I think it may not be a coincidence that the year The Resistance was released and got popular was the same year Trouble In Terrorist Town was released. I think it played a part on revitalizing the genre but it may just be a coincidence.

    A lot of other social deduction videogames came in between Trouble in Terrorist town and Among Us, like Deceit, Barotrauma, Town of Salem and even some oficial Warewolf releases but neither came close to the success of among us. I think a key part of what made among us rise above other games in the genre (appart from being super accessible because it was free and available for smartphones and becasue something called covid-19 and because you didn't need to be good in an FPS) was that it gave the innocent players (the ones who aren't the traitor) something to do. A lot of other games struggled because there wasn't something players could do while trying to figure out who the traitor was.

    As for the modern Battle Royale genre, (to me that means a game where a lot of empty handed players are dropped in a map full of scattered weapons and tools, and the map get's smaller as time progresses) was born after The Hunger Games movie came out in 2012, and people started making "Hunger Games" maps and modes in Minecraft multiplayer servers.

    [This section in the wikipedia for Battle Royale](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_royale_game#Early_mods_and_games_(2012%E2%80%932016)) gives context of the early battle royale mods and game modes.

    Minecraft Hunger Games was huge among kids my age back then (mostly popularized by youtubers), granted it required the pc version of minecraft, (huge multiplayer minecraft servers weren't available at that time for console versions) but it still was a very active community with it's own vocabulary for different maps and stuff, I remember that there was a like an attitude in my 6th grade classroom that was like, "oh you are playing minecraft on your ipad just building houses?, that's for babies, we play in huge online servers and we play the hunger games".

    Then there was that attitude with H1Z1, an arma 3 battle royale mod where the PlayerUnknown guy was a consultant. It was like: "Oh you are still playing Minecraft Hunger Games? That's for babies, we are playing H1Z1"
    I remember playing H1Z1 a lot, (I have like 90 hours registered on steam) until finally I won a match and I felt like had beaten the game so I stopped playing.

    What I wanted to say with all of that is that, having experienced a lot of the iterations of both battle royale and among us-likes games, I agree that the main thing to define game design stealing is intention. Most of the games that I mentioned added something significant to the game idea they were riffing on or brought the experience to a different platform, but even if fortnite added the building mechanic which is very important to it's gameplay, and even if fortnite adds something significant to it's among us mode, I would still feel like it was stealing rather than expanding because of who's doing the stealing. The fact that it is epic or activision doing it is what feels disgusting to me.

    The weird thing is that if a company like Epic or Activision wanted to pay royalties to someone for something like prop hunt or battle royale, who would they give the money to?
    Since these are game genres and ideas that have been constantly evolving with work from online communitites working on mods and stuff like that; there's not a clear single person or group of people to credit. I mean for battle royale it maybe be PlayerUnknown (aka Brendan Greene) (but then what about the people that did The Hunger games in Mincecraft?), but as for social deduction games? Who would epic pay for that? Among Us? The original guy who did Trouble in Terrorist Town? Dimitry Davidoff? or just license The ressistance ip?
    If they choose anyone, a lot of people would get mad, so it's obvious that an answert does not exist.

    And then there are cases like Garena Free Fire, where a decently sized company capitalized of the Battle Royale explosion in 2017, and made a mobile game that's one of the biggest games in the world right now. There's probably a lot of negative stuff about Garena, but at the same time I feel like something like Free Fire gives the chance to kids of lower income countries that could never afford a console, to play the same kind of game that everyone in the world is playing, since the game runs even on older/cheaper smartphones that they can borrow from their parents.
    Because of that I genuinly have no idea how to feel about Garena Free Fire.

    At first I was just gonna write something like "I played a lot of the games that among us and fortnite got their ideas from, and I agree that intention is kind of what matters". But then I thought about giving context and it turned into all of this.

    I think that all we can do is hope that a scumbag lawyer from a big company doesn't figure out how to convince the U.S government to let them patent game design lol


    @“穴”#p41477 I think that all we can do is hope that a scumbag lawyer from a big company doesn’t figure out how to convince the U.S government to let them patent game design lol

    Oh don’t worry, lawyers were [very very very quick](https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1035&context=jipl) on this hot idea.

    @“chazumaru”#p41479 I'm aware that there have been a lot of lawsuits on this topic, I guess I meant patent game design with a more evil and destructive wider scope