[Episode 29] When Did The Fun Go Away?

On this edition of the Immortal Machines Podcast, your “no thanks I don’t want to play that PC game anymore” cast of Robert [Trebor], Eric [Ravenlock], Jeremy [Lord Don],  Clayton [Voodoo], and back by special engagement, J Arcane talk about why some PC games just lost that loving feeling. For some it’s just too much of a good thing, for others its just not having the patience to deal with overly consuming adventures and puzzles. And for some it’s just a simple matter of not having the time to really play the damn game, like you did before getting a job, a wife, and a family to look after.

There is the usual line up of “What have we been playing” which we chat about what we have been spending our free time with and what we can afford to play. In the “Retro” segment the classic RollerCoaster Tycoon is discussed and why managing a theme park can be such naughty fun.  In the world of “Indie” games Din’s Curse is the action RPG that comes with high marks. And in the “Mod” segment the Star Trek conversion for Sins of a Solar Empire, Sacrifice of Angels 2 , will get your 1701 on!

So get out that PC game you just can’t stand to play anymore, sit it next to your monitor facing you, download and play, When Did The Fun Go Away?

[Episode 28] The Coldest Place on Mars

Circumstances dictated an extra week off before bringing you Episode 28, but don’t worry, we’re back in full swing and the fruits of our labor are here for your savoring.

You may recall that in the last episode I talked a bit about Cyber-Wing, the Herzog Zwei-inspired indie PC title released late last year by Martian Arctic Games. Well, Martian Arctic founder Devin Passage was good enough to agree to join us for this episode of the show, and he weighs in on all manner of things ranging from the state of indie development / publishing, to piracy and DRM, to basket-weaving. I’m totally lying about that last one. It was a real pleasure to have Devin with us, and I hope he’ll come back again when it’s time to pitch his next project.

A great many links were promised in the course of the recording, and I present them in no particular order:

Sins of a Solar Empire Mods:
Sins of the 13th Tribe
Sacrifice of Angels
Requiem
Distant Stars

Gilfor’s Tales
Flotilla and Gravity Bone
Crosus

Due to Devin’s inclusion in the show, we didn’t do an indie or mod segment this time around (consider the whole show your indie segment, really), but we did give Total Annihilation a fond remembrance in our retro section, and that spawned another small list of links for your pleasure:

Spring, the originally TA-based open-source RTS engine
The TA 3.1 Patch
TA Universe and Unit Universe

You can also look forward to some brief unhappy commentary about both Ubisoft’s apparent burning desire to drive away its PC gaming base, and Bobby Kotick’s belief that the best way to retain the creative talent that drives the industry is to sack them. We recorded before the lawsuit news broke, so there’s no talk of that, but I suspect we may revisit it in the future. Let me be clear as I tried to be in the show: we’ve been hard on Infinity Ward about Modern Warfare 2 because we think they deserved it, but that doesn’t equate to us wishing them ill. Finally, listener mail, in which we are accused of being fabulously wealthy. If only. 😉

Anyhow, enjoy, and we’ll probably see you all again around St Patty’s Day.

Immortal Machines welcomes you to… The Coldest Place on Mars.

Hosted and Summarized by Eric [Ravenlock]
Participants are Robert [Trebor], Bryan [Smoof], and Devin Passage from Martian Arctic Games
Produced by Clayton [Voodoo]

[Episode 27] World Enough and Time for Games

On this edition of the Immortal Machines Podcast, your time managed cast of Robert [Trebor], Eric [Ravenlock], Bryan [Smoof], and Clayton [Voodoo] discuss what it takes to setup some time to play games. Do you have to wait till all your chores are done, make sure the kids are tucked in, not play on nights when a new episode of your favorite TV show is on, or any of a myriad of items. Are your game playing choices based on how much time you have in a given evening, do you just schedule a series of evenings to pay, or do you just play on the weekends? All these questions are discussed and more.  For the Retro Section the classic Monolith game Blood is poked and prodded to show just how much fun it was to shoot, kill, and kick around severed zombie heads like soccer balls.  Next up in the Indie Section the much heralded Cyber Wing is examined and we all find out how much fun it is to change from a Mech to a Jet with very little fuss. Also knocking down palm trees while chasing the bad guys and shooting ‘em with twin arm mounted Gatling guns is just plan destructive. In the Mod section the fantastic user created addition to the game Company of Heroes, Eastern Front, which adds the Russian side to this classic WWII RTS is played and praised. It is always amazing what the moders can do with some time, patience, and a good SDK.

So click on das mouse comrade to download and play World Enough and Time for Games

[Episode 26] Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

I promise this will be our last digital distribution episode.

Okay, no I don’t. I promise it will be our last one for at least a month? …We’ll see how we do on that, I guess.

We’ve spent a lot of time over the past several months extolling the virtues of digital distribution – the frequent sales, the convenience, the portability – and all of those virtues still hold true. It was time, though, to inject a little balance into the equation and start talking about one of the major downsides of digital distribution: you never really own what you buy anymore. Of course, as you’ll hear, maybe you never did to begin with, and it’s just more obvious now. Still, with the recent beta impressions of OnLive hitting the web, it was time to talk about purchasing games vs. purchasing access to games, and the path we feel the future will take. Join us, and see if you agree with our assertions.

Time is also given to Terry Cavanagh’s (if I may say so) brilliant VVVVVV in our indie segment, our retro gaming discussion starts off talking about Tomb Raider and ends up in places I can’t say I’m proud of (really, Warren? You wanted to see this naked?), and we take a look at the UT2004 mod Air Buccaneers, if you’re in an airship kind of mood.

Also, from our list of recently played games, allow me to direct your attention to the D1X-Rebirth mod for Descent, in case you want to lose your lunch in 6 degrees of freedom. Oh, and this. What the Hell, Dwarf Fortress. You blow my mind.

Immortal Machines presents… Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hosted and Summarized by Eric [Ravenlock]
Participants are Robert [Trebor], Warren [Mayhem], Jeremy [Lord Don], and perpetual special guest J Arcane
Produced by Clayton [Voodoo]