HCF Podcast #11: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare & Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

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To me, this episode is all about embarrassment. Playing certain games can be, apparently, embarrassing. Failing at a game in front of strangers, equally, if not more so. All the man hours that have gone into boob physics? Embarrassing for sure.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why Chris would be embarrassed to play Call of Duty. Sure, the annual release cycle has caused the franchise to drop the ball here and there (:::cough::: GHOSTS :::cough:::), but the game is popular for a reason: it’s fun! FUN, I SAY!

For my part, I got to fail in front of strangers and feel like an asshole while playing Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. Painful experiences all around this week, but they make for an entertaining episode.

Listen for yourself!

KAMI [ICYMI]

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Originally released way back in 2013, KAMI (Japanese for “paper”) is a beautiful, origami-inspired puzzle game by State of Play. Here’s the release trailer:

Like so many games I’ve bought and promptly forgotten, I discovered KAMI during a Steam sale, but only began playing it earlier this week. I couldn’t have rediscovered it at a better time, honestly. For reasons various and sundry, I’ve been feeling a bit anxious and fidgety all week. KAMI has been my happy, little, paper-folding oasis in a desert of uncertainty. My lighthouse at the shores of doubt. My metaphor in a metaphor of a metaphor. Look how much more erudite I am just for playing it!

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Story Mode Audio Sessions On Soundcloud

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All past and future Story Mode episodes will now be available on Soundcloud! Click here to give a listen.

I’m already recording a slew of new episodes! Please stay tuned for more stories from gamers and folks inside the games industry.

How Do You DO IT? [ICYMI]

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I tend to enjoy a lot of big budget, AAA, exploding-dragon-mounted-machine-gun types of games; and tend to play them to completion, often spending hundreds of hours on a single title. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy quiet, quick, little, indie games. On the contrary, I enjoy them very much. It simply means I rarely have time to play them.

But, right now, there’s nothing in particular I’m committed to playing. [Honestly, beyond Uncharted 4 and the annual franchises, my roster is blank for the year.] So, I’m making time to go back and play the games that slipped through the cracks. I’ll be posting and/or live streaming these games, just in case you missed them too.

Today I played How Do You DO IT? created by Nina Freeman, Emmett Butler, Decky Coss, and Jonathan Kittaka at Global Game Jam 2014. In this free browser (or Steam) game, you play as a precocious little girl attempting to understand the logistics of sex, with little to go on other than the car scene from Titanic, some stuff your friend Mia told you, and two plastic, anatomically incorrect dolls.

How many times can you do sex before your mom comes home and catches you?

I did sex 103 times and I didn’t even get caught:

Not a terribly deep game nor one that warrants repeated plays, but it was certainly amusing and, ahem, relatableIt’s nice to see developers taking risks with chance-y subject matter, even if nothing explodes.

Or does it?

In upcoming ICYMI posts, I’ll be playing LYNE, The Novelist, KAMI, The Deer God, Plug & Play, Social Justice Warriors, and The Way of Life. Follow me on Twitch to catch a live stream or here on the blog for the posts. And, please leave a comment if there are any other games you think I need to play!

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood [DLC]

Wolfentstein: The New Order was one of my favorite games of 2014. Needless to say, I am beyond stoked about Bethesda’s recent announcement of a prequel DLC, The Old Blood.

Description from the Wolfenstein site:

The year is 1946 and the Nazis are on the brink of winning World War II. In an effort to turn the tide in the allies’ favor, B.J. Blazkowicz must embark on an epic, two-part mission deep within Bavaria…

Part one of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves – pits BJ Blazkowicz against a maniacal prison warden as he breaks into Castle Wolfenstein in an attempt to steal the coordinates to General Deathshead’s compound. In part two – The Dark Secrets of Helga Von Schabbs – our hero’s search for the coordinates leads him to the city of Wulfburg where an obsessed Nazi archaeologist is exhuming mysterious artifacts that threaten to unleash a dark and ancient power.

Available on Xbone, PS4, and PC May 5th, 2015!

The Coolest Business Cards of GDC (or Any Event Ever)

This afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting Simon Flesser and Magnus “Gordon” Gardebäck of Simogo, the team behind Sailor’s Dream – “a peaceful narrative experience, in which the only objective is to satisfy your curiosity.” Who would have guessed that their business cards would be little interactive puzzles requiring no small degree of curiosity and thoughtfulness on the part of the viewer? Oh, probably everybody. But, I was still surprised and delighted.

I received two small envelopes, each containing two standard-sized business cards. Here are the first sides of each…

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And now the opposite sides…

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Admittedly, my first thought upon opening the cards was “shenanigans!” Where was all the usual contact info I’d expected? Had I been duped? On closer inspection and with a little reflection on who these fellows were, I began to piece it together.

Each pair of cards provided all the info I needed. For instance, a URL:

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And, an email address:

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I won’t spoil the rest.

Completely fucking delightful. These cards lead me to believe the men of Simogo live in a magical world where every object holds a secret meaning. I want to go to there.

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