Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Episode 69 is up...

What was the most influential moment of 2009? What's the most anticipated moment of 2010? The 10th Musers tackle these questions and more.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Episode 66 is up...

It's there, go get it...


Friday, October 16, 2009

Heard Any Good Jokes Lately?

Well, well, well... What have we here?


What is the future of the 10th Muse Podcast? Well, we are going to start marketing it and charging for it so we can stay afloat.

HA! Just kidding. We are talking about what we are going to do next and should get back to you asap. If I have my way (and I think we all agree) 10th Muse will never die.

So... Stay Tuned to here and/or my DA page and we will let you know when we know.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Episode 63 is up

Silly me, I forgot to update the blog earlier this week with the episode posting. I've been swamped with work, weddings and now my weekend at PAX. The Fall should see my schedule calm down a bit.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Episode 62 is up

A guest! That's right, the 10th Musers are joined by Ryan Hall, Art Director at Oasys Mobile, joins us to talk Art, Games and how he manages the fast paced world of mobile development.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Episode 61 is up

The 10th Muse is alive! Returning with a gargantuan episode discussing Patrick's favorite CEO, Mike's definition of a AAA game and Stephan's credit on Fat Princess.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Episode 60 is up

Random vs. Predictive... Mike, Stephan and I discuss how games use random vs. predictive play and the challenges in balancing between them.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


One of our guests and friend of the show game developer John Pearl has a twitter going about development on the Darksiders video game. He's got good links for the curious, so it's definitely worth adding to your rotation.

Episode 59 is up

You can catch Mike talking about it over on DeviantArt
Mike's Deviant Art

Thursday, June 18, 2009

'Prototype' Review More Entertaining Than Game

While I typically wouldn't call attention to just any old review, this one I found quite entertaining.

And okay, I admit it, he makes a case for the ol' "Options vs. Challenges" legacy debate. I've got a soft spot for that.

You can read the review here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What do you guys want to hear?

We are recording a new episode tonight, and while we have no shortage of things to bitch about, is there anything you guys want to hear us discuss?

I think the main topic tonight is going to be Instruction Booklets vs. In-Game Tutorial, Strategy Guides (Should Developers Rely On Them?), and When Do You Let Go of the Player's Hand?

What do you guys think?


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Episode 58 is up

And here's Geoffrey with his muppets!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Episode 56 is up

Forgot to update the blog when I uploaded yesterday.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Episode 55 is up

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology, proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation, which he subsequently extended to include his observations of humans' innate curiosity.

Maslow's Pyramid

In a brown bag lunchtime episode, Isaac Epp joins the 10th Musers to apply Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to games and game development.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Episode 53 is up!

Here's the YouTube link we talk about:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Episodes 2.0

So many of you have been wondering... "Where's those new episodes Patrick promised a couple weeks back?"

Alas, we tried to record episode 52 two weeks ago only to run into a serious equipment snafu. We thought episode 51 was recorded using our new mixer, but we were really unhappy with the recording's quality. I thought it was because we didn't really have time to setup and balance the mics. After further study we found out #51 was actually recorded off of the laptop's mic instead of the headset mics and mixer because the mixer wasn't actually working... Never buy the cheapest equipment to do the job, always buy what everyone else is using because they are probably using it for a very, very good reason.

Now being fed up in dealing with substandard equipment, mediocre recordings and inconsistent session length (it was taking up to 3 hours to record an hour episode), we've all pitched in and purchased some professional equipment. I just finished testing our new Alesis MultiMix8 Firewire Mixer (yes, I know firewire is dying, but it completely avoids that nasty USB clock problem we ran into with the previous equipment, and it was $60 cheaper than the USB version). Btw, it's awesome and the best recording I've heard so far from the 10th Muse. Our headset mics should arrive tomorrow or Monday which will nicely coincide with the return of Mike "O" Henry from his vacation in Florida. And then we're off! Free to record and process high quality episodes in the blink of an eye, or at least as fast as Stephan and Mike can steal my exit phrase "And we're out!"

I can't believe how much of a pain in the ass the equipment process has been. Thanks to all the fans who have patiently waited for us to figure this all out. It's been as frustrating for us as it has been for you. New episodes will start dropping next week and I'm going to push for 2 a week, the normal Tuesday episode and probably a Brown Bag Lunch episode, for the next month to get you guys as much 10th Muse as you can handle.


Friday, April 10, 2009


We had a hell of a week getting situated in our new office. Good news is everything is up and running, we should drop a new episode early next week. The plan is we'll be back on our normal schedule of an episode every Tuesday.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A visit to id Software circa 1993

A Visit to id Software from john romero on Vimeo.

This is a pretty cool video uploaded by our very own John Romero. For us that weren't making games back then it's great to see where the industry was and how far it has come. Especially given today's event, Slipgate Ironworks and Gazillion moved into our new office, much nicer than our last place.

Here's the full story and article on the id video.
At Vimeo

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Episode 51 is up!

Here's the YouTube clip of "The Story of the KongEgg" as described by Bryan during the podcast.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Episode 50.2 & 51

We'll be recording two episodes on Friday, dropping the second half of 50.2 and all of 51.

I acquired a mixer and other recording equipment to make these go smoothly. Gone are the days of USB clock issues. Let them episodes flow freely!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I have cancelled the podcast... FOREVAAAAR!

Nah, I just had to postpone it until tomorrow night.



Monday, March 16, 2009

Corporate Announcements!

Though the full official announcement will drop tomorrow, here's an early bird article:
Gazillion Entertainment

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You know you're one of them

Kotaku CoD 4's numbers

I remember in February of 2006, CoD2 had an 86% attach rate on the 360. These numbers aren't far off.



For those of you that Twitter, we've just setup the 10thmusepodcast Twitter. Here you'll be able to get up to minute updates on when we are recording, processing and posting episodes. Just add 10thmusepodcast to your twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed there.

10th Muse Podcast Twitter Page

Best use of a Wii yet?

Monday, March 9, 2009

RE5... Secretly Funded By The Nazi Party!

Not really.

If you'll remember, back in episode 26 we had a debate on RE5 and whether or not it is racist. We like to think we hit on a lot of talking points before everyone else, but we also claim to have created the waffle.

Well, now someone who seems to be much more educated on the issue has something to say about it. Glenn Bowman, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Kent, Canterbury watched the boys over at play through the first three levels. Here's the article: Is RE5 Racist? An Expert Explains

I'm going to beat Stephan to the punch and say Glenn Bowman is white just in case that is something you would like to incorporate into your "Can I believe this guy?" meter.

We have said a lot on the subject. What do you guys think?


Thursday, February 26, 2009

What the HELL Is Going On Around Here?!?!

No shit.

I have been wondering the same thing. Basically, it goes down like this...

We have been running tests on our new, more accessible audio set up (Yeah, right, eh?) and think we have finally hit our sweet spot. The only problem is work at the studio is piling up right now for the three of us and we have been working our asses off. That's not even mentioning the fact that I am moving Saturday, Stephan is a bad case of "Leg Tentacles" (don't ask), and Patrick got married to a mastodon. She's a very lovely girl.

So, we almost recorded an episode yesterday. Then Patrick got slammed with work. Or it was Zangief. Work... Zangief... who's keeping track of this shit?

That was my lame-ass transition into talking about Street Fighter IV. This game could not have come at a better time for me. I have been so in the dumps about gaming that I was afraid I would forever live without purchasing a new game. Granted, SFIV is not a clean slate. It incorporates a lot of ideas from the past. But, it's fucking perfect. For me. Right now.

Mokuu and I played a ton last week and it was the most fun I have had gaming in a while. Today at work Will Wurth brought in his PS3 and we all played for about an hour. Again, the most fun I have had in a while.

Thank you Capcom. In the last year you have released Megaman 9, Bionic Commando Rearmed, Street Figther II HD Remix, and Street Fighter IV. I retract anything negative I have said about throwback titles. It seems they are the only thing I play anymore. (OK, so a lot of throwbacks are garbage. We are just lucky this round)

So, We are working on getting the next episode out! I swear it. Tomorrow I will be at the San Francisco Wondercon doing free sketches if you can track me down.

And if anyone wants to get their ass kicked in SFIV, my PSN name is "Basho" and I am always looking for a good match! (No whining about "You should have gotten it on 360!" It's the same damn game but PS3 has a far superior controller. If you have both systems, that's the one to get it for)

Later goons!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

MacBook & Static

We recorded a two hour episode 49 last night, only to lose 90 minutes of it to static. But now, I have found a potential solution to our static problem.

But there are times when USB microphones and OS X 10.5 don’t cooperate. When using a USB microphone, you may occasionally encounter bursts of static. To avoid this issue, try the following solution.

Launch Audio MIDI Setup (/Applications/Utilities). From the Audio menu, choose Open Aggregate Device Editor. In the sheet that appears, click on the plus-sign (+) button to add an aggregate device. In the Structure area below, enable the Use option next to the driver used by the USB microphone (USB Audio CODEC, for example). Enable the Clock option next to that device and click on Done. When you want to use that microphone, choose Aggregate Device as the input source—either within an application or from the Sound preference pane’s Input tab.

Hopefully this solves our dilemma.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

LBP: Play or Game?

I know for my friends around the office this will probably light a spark, but I do agree with most of this review. The professionally made levels are good, the user content is not and in the end, why am I playing? I enjoy singular moments of fun, but most of gaming revolves around achievements. (Not those points next to your gamertag on Xbox Live, but real successes and failures in a game) This brings up the fundamental difference between play and gaming. Play has no long term goals and effects. It's what children do to pass the time, hang out and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Gaming is about competition, rules, winning, achieving and the traditional "human" condition that drive the majority of the species to business, sports, politics, warfare and punching each other in the face.

My experience with LBP was very similar to my experience with GTA. I played it up until the point that I saw what it had to offer and then, feeling I had achieved the experience, I moved on. Neither appealed to me as a space I wanted to stay in and neither made me hope for new, unique experiences to come.

So is LBP a Play space or a Game? Secondly, is GTA a Play space or Game?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Episode 48 has arrived!

After 3 recordings and a week of deadlines at the office, we finally completed Episode 48! I'm now working on all kinds of contingency plans to prevent any episode taking this much work to process. My goal is to now get episodes up the night of recording. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Must See Video

Here at Slipgate we hired a new Concept Artist named Albert Truong.  Albert recorded a hilarious video that I am heavily promoting, hehe.

So, until our next episode comes out (Which should be any day now)... Check it out!  

Let's make him famous!!!


Monday, January 26, 2009

Where's the episodic content?

So as a podcast, we are supposed to be recording episodes and posting them on the interwebs for everyone to download. Unfortunately, we've experienced some snafu's, the occasional technical difficulty and a plethora of problems with my MacBook.

We've actually "recorded" episode 48 twice, but despite the widely held belief that a MacBook, an Apple product, would be good for recording podcasts, an Apple invention, it is in fact NOT!

We are reconciling the problems and should have an episode up in the coming days. Provided tomorrow's recording goes well. Which should happen given the redundancy we are using to record it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oh, No...

I'm at the wheel of this thing.

A while back I promised a review of Mirror's Edge. Fuck that. I don't have the energy anymore. The night I beat it I had a ton of energy to devote to telling everyone how angry that game made me. After I railed on Mirror's Edge in the podcast, and after so much time has passed, I feel like it would be redundant and exhausting.

So, why the hell am I typing anything then? Because I said I would. That's called obligation, kids! And while we are on the topic of games like Mirror's Edge and things like "obligation", let's see if we can merge these into a rant about the games industry.

Don't gamers deserve more from the people shoveling games in their direction? Are developers obligated to deliver on all the expectations that they have established through their marketing machine?

Let's chat about two possible scenarios that can cause a truly inspired game, like Mirror's edge, to become a victim of hype and corporate fast-tracking. Some assumptions will be made. I am comfortable with that.

Scenario # 1: Companies are evil, souless abominations.

All companies are out to make a buck. Fuck you and your want to play a game that is mentally stimulating, physically challenging, and thoroughly unique. Halo 9? You got it! Not-Halo-But-Close-Enough-These-FPS-Goons-Will-Play-Anything-6? Let's make it.

They round up all the hack artists, semi-retarded programmers, "I made a Half-Life Mod" game designers, and yes-man producers and churn out something that looks like last generation and a half with some severely broken design, flawed art direction, and bug after bug after bug.

All the shit-eating suits sit around and tell marketing to "sell that bitch!" ... So, they do. "Geo-Transmorphic Poly-Shading!" "The Best Water Since that Tech Demo you Saw at Last Year's GDC!" "Won't Kill You!"

You, the consumer, buy it up, hoping to fill in that post holiday dry spell. It's shit. You are betrayed. Fuck Globo-Tech Entertainment INC.!

Scenario #2: Unfortunate things happen to honest people.

In this scenario you have a building full of passionate, talented, well-meaning artsts, programmers, designers, and the like. It's far more complicated than Scenario #1. You start with an idea. The idea gets traction and someone deems it worth exploring. Some of the companies best artists and designers get put on it and they begin to flesh out the concept. After a stellar presentation, some bobble heads in cheap suits give the thumbs up and pre-production starts. All the people put on the project are fully on on-board. They love it.

Problem is, over time some of the shortcomings of the design start to rear their ugly heads. Early decisions in art direction start to change to accommodate gameplay requirements. Production gives some input, marketing gives some input. Things have to be re-worked to meet everyone's unique needs. It divides the production into two categories; Still in Production and Back to Pre-Production.

Everything becomes staggered. Departments find themselves reacting instead of executing a plan and the whole production becomes a three-legged race. The people who signed on, while still passionate, have to work with their hands tied behind their back and the end product suffers. Marketing feels they have to trump up the game to gain interest while hoping the team can stay focused and deliver what they all signed on to deliver.

The game comes out on time. They had to skimp on play-testing, which they know was a bad idea, but damn... They pushed it back twice. They had to get it out. It's good... most of the time. It's gets pretty good reviews. Problem is the lead artist sees the textures they wanted to redo but ran out of time. The programmers see all the bugs they would have fixed... if they knew about them. The designers see all their missed opportunities to implement things they really wanted to get in the game. Finally, production wishes they had had more time to accurately plan for all the missteps (because missteps DO happen).

It happens to the best of teams. Games are hard to make. But that doesn't make the burn sting any less when you spend your hard-earned moolah on something that blows. Or, as I found to almost hurt more, you find a beautiful game where the experience is damaged by small issues.

Long entry. Sorry. Hope there is something to chew on. I gotta run. Bye gang!!!


Monday, January 19, 2009

How Games are Played in 2009?

I've been thinking that the 1-on-1 fighting game was a dead genre. I am apparently wrong.

Lemme take a step back.

Developers have been receiving hints by the big publishers to embed multiplayer in their games (the Big 3: Sony, Microsoft, though less so by Nintendo) for a long ass time now, and by 'hinted' I mean they might say something ambiguous and subtle like, "We think that you should put multiplayer in your next-gen game." You know, the kind of subtle that occurs when you deal with giant corporations. While their talents at verbal subterfuge may be in question, it's hard to argue against their reasoning: their multiplayer architectures cost millions to create and will only attract gamers when there are games that take advantage of it.

But fighting games have fared poorly in attempts at network multiplayer. Latency and frame counting don't mix.

So it has seemed as if there was not much room for the genre and I had all but assumed it dead. Until 2008 kicked me squarely in the teeth with multi-million dollar investments in the genre (Street Fighter IV, Mortal Kombat vs DC, Super Smash Brothers, etc.) and sub-multi-million dollar investments (Street Fighter HD Remix). 2009 shows no signs of giving up on the little-genre-that-could, including a new Final Fantasy that's a pure fighting game. I'm not sure whether the fans of Final Fantasy are the same kinds of fans that enjoy a good 1-on-1 brawler, but there are literally millions composing that fan base so some measure is bound to be excited by it.

Which brings me to my point, and subsequently my question-- where are games being played? We've mentioned on the podcast that most games have migrated from the computer in your den (or dorm room PC) to the console in your living room. But I have been assuming that these are more and more single-player-local, multi-player-networked environments, overshadowing the previous several-people-sitting-around-one-TV kind of setup. And definitely not the kind that compliment fighting games where half the fun is looking at the person next to you and laughing in their face when you pile drive them.

Nintendo has always bet big that the several-people-sitting-around-one-TV setup is not just alive and well but is a large and viable market that can support even their gigantic annual cash flow as the market leader. But Xbox Live and Sony's online efforts seem to put most of their money behind networked play. The only four-player multiplayer games that demand all players on the same console for Xbox or Playstation are.... well, none. None that I can think of right now at least.

So why isn't this genre dead? Thoughts?

Monday, January 12, 2009

What the hardcore do to conqueor Left 4 Dead

We mentioned this in the the last podcast, so I thought it was worth sharing. This is why you are not hardcore when you play Left 4 Dead.

I'm always impressed when I see this kind of level of commitment. Mostly because I don't have it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Question for the Crew

Here's an email we received from a listener:

Been lurking, now posting, yet still lurking but i got a topic for you to scratch your brains on collectively and its a topic ive been debating with a few people over at the Prince of Persia Designer blog yet i want YOUR little nuggets of wisdom on this:

Video Games Multiple Endings: A new Standard or a crutch

-Should it ALWAYS be there?
-What happens if theres a sequel planned?
-Comparing to Books and volumes
-Movie based games too?
-Enought of the light and dark stereotypes.


In the mean time, Good luck !

We'll be discussing this in Episode 48, dropping next week.