51 minutes | Nov 21, 2016
The Mail is Here! Feedback and Fireside Chatting
Friendly Neighborhood Mailman We’ve covered stranger things, buying a new GPU and echo chambers since our last feedback session. In this episode, I’m covering comments on those episodes. I also do some fireside chatting around improvements to the podcast. On Buying a New GPU I talked about mental baggage and decision paralysis when buying a new GPU in Episode 018. Turns out I’m not the only one! Big thanks to Jax45 and xTheVisionary for sharing feedback about this topic. Stranger Things Happened Episodes 019, 020 and 021 covered Netflix’s Stranger Things. We didn’t receive a ton of feedback on this topic, but it did lead to some interesting side conversations. No more music clips! Also, negativity can be a good thing. Echo Chambers Listener Tom left a great comment about the Dune audiobook and my sincerity in talking about “listening to the opposition” in Episode 022 on echo chambers. I make a clarification and further elaborate on how I (personally!) try to consume dissenting opinions. Fireside Chatting Plenty of randomness, to boot. I’m thinking of non-intrusive ways to monetize the show, as well as exploring some improvements to the comment system. Liked It(0)Disliked It(0)
4 minutes | Nov 18, 2016
Podcast Update for November 18, 2016
Bridge Mix (Nuts) The Holidays are always crazy for scheduling. Here’s a quick update on what to expect between now and 2017; I’m committed to keeping the weekly’ish cadence, though we may miss a Friday here and there and release early or late. Hitting Some Things, Missing Others Thanksgiving is next week. Between family incoming, work chaos from truncated weeks and the general churn of the Holidays the Friday releases might be tough to maintain. However, I’m committed to making sure we keep up with the weekly cadence. We might slide here and there, but there will be one episode a week’ish throughout the Holiday season. I’ll keep everybody updated via Twitter. Rant! Rave! Respond! The next episode (coming Monday, 2016/11/21) is a mailbag episode. If you’ve got anything to air, hit me up before then. I’m on Twitter at @Polygoing and on Facebook here. You can also text over comments or leave a voicemail via the feedback line at (415) 697-0679. Big Social I’m contemplating switching over to Facebook comments for the site. Do you hate that idea? Like it? Let me know. The current comment system was built to be as anonymous as possible. An email address isn’t required, nor is a “real” name. The downside of that is missing out on replies. You have to keep checking back to the site to see what’s transpired. With Facebook (or Disqus, or whatever) it’d be a much tighter integration for fostering conversation. That would sacrifice anonymity, though. Liked It(0)Disliked It(0)
32 minutes | Nov 11, 2016
The Perils of Echo Chambers and Reality Distortion
El Presidente We just held a presidential election in the United States. We’re not talking politics. However, I’m thinking about echo chambers in the aftermath of the circus. These things are dangerous. They can be stunting as a content creator; they can also distort reality. Echo-echo-echo Chambers-chambers-chambers … From Wikipedia, an echo chamber is “a metaphorical description of a situation in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission and repetition inside an ‘enclosed’ system, where different or competing views are censored, disallowed, or otherwise underrepresented.” We see echo chambers in game communities. We also see them in the arts, or in political discourse or in movie reviews. References Explanation of Echo Chamber concepts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echo_chamber_(media) Chickens’ heads exploding near factories, an old urban legend https://www.quora.com/Will-a-7Hz-tone-really-kill-chickens Liked It(1)Disliked It(0)
45 minutes | Nov 7, 2016
Even Stranger Things From Our Imaginations (Conclusion)
All Good Things Must End Luckily, Stranger Things season two is on the way! As good as the execution of this show was, even Stranger Things left us with unanswered questions. We’ll talk about Barb, the nature of “Eleven” and what might be coming in the second season. This is part 3 in a series. If you missed part 1, find it here. Part 2 is here. Even Stranger Things Couldn’t Make Barb Cool People love Barb, but I don’t get it. I share a tongue-in-cheek theory on why this character garners such adulation. On a more serious note, I also talk about Barb as a literary device and why she was so important for the story. 11/999 Did you notice that El’s tattoo reads 011, not just 11? That means there could be 999 kids with similar ink. I explore what this marking might mean: are there a number of other kids with similar powers at the Hawkins lab, or rather that there are a number of other labs each with one psychokinetic kid? The Thessalhydra in Season 2 Season 1 of Stranger Things opened with fear of the Demogorgon. It ends with fear of a creature called a Thessalhydra. I expect this is a clue about the antagonist in the next batch of episodes, set about a year later. References “Eleven is Hawkins Lab’s greatest achievement.” https://twitter.com/Stranger_Things/status/758728197449973761?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Liked It(2)Disliked It(1)
49 minutes | Oct 28, 2016
Stranger Things Theories: Nuclear Winter of our Discontent
Imaginations Running Wild Stranger Things was the sleeper hit of summer. It captured imaginations around the world. Naturally, a slew of Stranger Things theories are circulating the internet. In this episode I take a look at a few prominent ones; I also float an idea of my own. What IS the Upside Down? Sure, the Upside Down is a dark echo of our own world. I put forth a guess on its true nature: this “dark echo” is an alternate reality of the world destroyed by nuclear weapons. Stranger Things takes place in 1983 during the Cold War between the U.S.A. and Russia. Eleven spies on Communists. What if the Upside Down serves as a warning and that mysterious government agency is actually benevolent? The Demogorgon Aside from terrorizing Mike, Lucas, Will and Dustin in the series-opening game of Dungeons & Dragons, this monster plays the supernatural antagonist. Is it possible the Demogorgon and Eleven are the same entity? I explore this idea, which is one of my favorite Stranger Things theories. References Part 1 of this Discussion http://polygoingoff.com/stranger-things-afoot-circle-k/ The Monster Created the Rift, Not Eleven (fan theory from Reddit) https://www.reddit.com/r/FanTheories/comments/51agve/three_big_stranger_things_theories/ Aameul and Hethradiah – The Two Heads of the Demogorgon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demogorgon_(Dungeons_%26_Dragons) Clerical Lions: Character Building in Dark Souls III (on YouTube) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBzXLBryD5v5YgxeMRs6UrCW0Esr90SZQ Liked It(3)Disliked It(0)
38 minutes | Oct 21, 2016
Stranger Things are Afoot at the Circle K
RIP, Will Byers Or not … Stranger Things was this summer’s break-out hit. It was a mix of compelling characters, great acting and a cool story. It was simultaneously unique and familiar. I loved it. In this episode I take a look back at this little gem and gush profusely. This is part 1 of a multi-part series, covering details and buzz. In the next one, we’ll play the “what if” game around some of the unanswered questions from Season 1 and make a few guesses around what’s coming in Season 2. References Visit me on YouTube! Just posted a new video on Dark Souls III https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ltUHduYz0g Liked It(1)Disliked It(0)
40 minutes | Oct 14, 2016
On Buying a New GPU for the Neurotic
Bigger. Better. Faster. Shinier. More Frames! I recently purchased an NVidia GTX 1060 for my primary gaming rig. Prior to that, I was running an old Radeon HD 7850. This jump should have been a no-brainer, but I agonized for months about what new GPU to buy. GTX 1060 or RX 480? Based on my gaming history and behavior, I determined NVidia’s GTX 1060 and AMD’s RX 480 as my best options for a new card. After researching performance benchmarks across multiple titles, I landed in the NVidia camp. At that point, I started a new round of decision making between the 1060 and 1070 cards. The 1070 wasn’t in the mix before, so where did it come from? I couldn’t escape the specter of “more!” Decision Paralysis in Buying a New GPU GPU technology moves fast. There’s constantly the shadow of a more powerful something looming. I hemmed and hawed for months, knowing that the GTX 1060 perfectly suited for my needs but unable to escape the “what ifs” of imagined behavior. What if I started playing more demanding games that the 1060 couldn’t handle? What if I suddenly picked up a hobby that was more GPU intensive? In the end, I determined I could come up with stuff I might do forever; in reality I’m not doing any of it and the more powerful card wasn’t needed. References Latest GPU Benchmarks from PassMark http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html Radeon RX 480 VS. Nvidia GTX 1060 game performance http://wccftech.com/rx-480-gtx-1060-dx12-vulkan-tested/ http://gpuboss.com/gpus/Radeon-RX-480-vs-GeForce-GTX-1060 Liked It(3)Disliked It(0)
41 minutes | Oct 7, 2016
The Mail Arrived! Listener Feedback, Updates and Chatting
The Daily Mail! Except not daily. And not mail. However, I collected a few comments from recent episodes to address in a listener feedback session. We touch on some great examples of Wild West RPGs, getting back to YouTube and draw parallels between Dark Souls and Destiny PvP. We also run through a quick update for Q4 of 2016. Listener Feedback: Thanks for the Asist Several episodes ago I floated the idea of adding another episode each week. Upon mulling, I don’t think it would work. Doing an extra episode might stretch things a bit too thin and steal time that could be invested elsewhere, as talked about below. To keep up with listener feedback, I’ll do a show like this one every couple months as comments and ideas come in. There’s also the option to append a feedback segment to the end of each show. YouTube, Ho! Instead of adding another show to the podcast rotation, I’m thinking I’ll utilize the time to create YouTube videos. The podcast is going well; meanwhile, the YouTube channel lies dormant. Parlaying some of the momentum from this show, I’d like to give YouTube another try and implement a similar weekly release cadence. References Peeve Peeverson’s Bloodshades fan-made covenant in Dark Souls III https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6SCYfYK4pE Wild Arms, a great example of a Wild West RPG as recommended by Wyntar Wulf https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Arms The Etched City, by KJ Bishop … also recommended by Wyntar Wulf https://www.amazon.com/Etched-City-K-J-Bishop/dp/0553382918 Wild Arms intro sequence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrDV6VksSRU Liked It(4)Disliked It(0)
47 minutes | Sep 30, 2016
Community Pressure in Games for Good and Ill
You’re a Scrub, Newb I’ve isolated myself from external conversation about Dark Souls III. In getting back into the PvP scene, though, I’ve received a bit of hate mail concerning my weapon choices. As a result, I’m reflecting on the positives and negatives of community pressure. Community Pressure for Good … Listening to community sentiment can make you a better player. It gives you insight on what to look out for or what to adjust in your play style. It can also push you to try new things. Back in the days of Street Fighter II, I started as a Chun Li player. Chun Li’s move weren’t the most difficult to execute and she had some abilities that were easily abused. After receiving grief from opponents I started building up chops with Ken, whom I ultimately used as my main. If people hadn’t pressured me out of my comfort zone I might still be stuck in a rut. I talk about similar experiences with my weapon choices in Dark Souls PvP. … And for Ill. Taking community feedback to heart can improve your game play over all. It can also detract from the fun you’re having. I fell in love with the Carthus Curved Sword from Dark Souls III almost instantly; it has great range, damage and attack speed. Unfortunately, this weapon is detested by a good chunk of the community. I let this perception sway me and refused to use a weapon I enjoyed wielding. Sure, I got exposure to other equipment but couldn’t help but long for my original blade choice. References Episode 001 of the podcast, talking Street Fighter II love http://polygoingoff.com/game-nostalgia-getting-video-games-kid/ Liked It(5)Disliked It(0)
43 minutes | Sep 23, 2016
Unique and Underutilized Fantasy Settings; Where You At?
Why Don’t We See More [fill-in-the-blank] Fantasy? Even to this day, most fantasy feels Tolkien’esque. I love Tolkien’esque fantasy. However, I also love outliers that take place in unique or underutilized fantasy settings. This episode of the podcast throws out a couple examples of non-traditional fantasy worlds and wonders, “Why don’t we see more?” Space Fantasy Star Wars isn’t science fiction. Instead, I argue it’s a space fantasy and contains traditional sword and sorcery elements spun in a unique way. I also call out some of my favorite RPGs, past and present, as good examples of fantasies set in space. Colonial Fantasy Colonial fantasy – sword and sorcery meets black powder weaponry – is quickly becoming my favorite genre. Melee weapons, magic and guns exist in tense balance with each other. I throw out a couple favorites demonstrating this particular setting at its finest. CORRECTION: Luc Besson had nothing to do with Brotherhood of the Wolf. I got this wrong in the podcast; it was directed by Christophe Gans. Other Underutilized Fantasy Settings In addition to space and colonial fantasy I call out a few other under-represented time periods. Would the wild west work? What about the stone age? I also wonder aloud why the Tolkien’esque world remains the go-to setting. References Phantasy Star IV https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantasy_Star_IV:_The_End_of_the_Millennium Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura https://www.gog.com/game/arcanum_of_steamworks_and_magick_obscura A Promise of Blood, Book 1 in Brian McClellan’s Powder Mage Trilogy https://www.amazon.com/Promise-Blood-Powder-Mage-Trilogy/dp/0316219045 The Gunslinger Born, published by Marvel Comics https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Tower-Gunslinger-Peter-David/dp/0785121447/ Liked It(2)Disliked It(0)
50 minutes | Sep 16, 2016
I Didn’t Like the PlayStation Vita Because I’m an Idiot
I owned a PlayStation Vita and didn't like it; I didn't care for the Nintendo 3DS, either. What's up with the current gen of portable gaming?The post I Didn’t Like the PlayStation Vita Because I’m an Idiot appeared first on Polygoing Off.
57 minutes | Sep 13, 2016
Mailbag! Listener Feedback for September 13, 2016
Listener feedback and responding to comments on the last couple episodes of the podcast, covering VR theories, the Steam Controller and release frequency.The post Mailbag! Listener Feedback for September 13, 2016 appeared first on Polygoing Off.
22 minutes | Sep 2, 2016
Portable Game Systems Through Foggy Memories
During a week of travel I'm reflecting on the portable game systems I've owned over the years. Some of them were great; some of them were duds. My favorite?The post Portable Game Systems Through Foggy Memories appeared first on Polygoing Off.
39 minutes | Aug 26, 2016
Overstayed Welcome; Game Sequels Feel Stale When …
How many is too many? This episode of the podcast explores a few long-running franchises and tries to pinpoint when game sequels start to feel stale.The post Overstayed Welcome; Game Sequels Feel Stale When … appeared first on Polygoing Off.
40 minutes | Aug 19, 2016
Pokemon Go Away: A Soul as Black as Onyx, Nioh?
Talking Dark Souls III, Pokemon Go, VR enthusiasm and Nioh amidst tangents on this grab-bag episode of the podcast. Pokemon Go away! Don't make me move.The post Pokemon Go Away: A Soul as Black as Onyx, Nioh? appeared first on Polygoing Off.
32 minutes | Aug 16, 2016
What Does Retro Gaming Mean to Me? Glad You Asked!
Most people use "retro gaming" to mean old games. I don't think age has much to do with it. In this week's show I'm wondering: what does retro gaming mean?The post What Does Retro Gaming Mean to Me? Glad You Asked! appeared first on Polygoing Off.
40 minutes | Aug 5, 2016
Pseudo-Profanity in Fantasy and Science Fiction, Dammit!
Does inventing a system of faux-profanity in fantasy/science fiction create a better fictional world? I talk about swearing and its effects on immersion.The post Pseudo-Profanity in Fantasy and Science Fiction, Dammit! appeared first on Polygoing Off.
59 minutes | Jul 29, 2016
Who is Snoke? Who are the Knights of Ren? Dark Siders!
Part 3 in our podcast series covers the Dark Siders in The Force Awakens. Who is Snoke? Where did the Knights of Ren come from? What's next for Kylo?The post Who is Snoke? Who are the Knights of Ren? Dark Siders! appeared first on Polygoing Off.
47 minutes | Jul 22, 2016
Who Are Rey’s Parents? Canon! Oh, Wait … non-Canon
Part 2 in our theory-crafting and speculation podcast series on The Force Awakens. Who are Rey's parents? Is she a Skywalker? No way. She's a Kenobi.The post Who Are Rey’s Parents? Canon! Oh, Wait … non-Canon appeared first on Polygoing Off.
28 minutes | Jul 15, 2016
Dark Side Luke and the Star Wars of J.J. Abrams
The Force Awakens! Exploring the possibility of a Dark Side Luke Skywalker in the next Star Wars trilogy. This is part 1 in a multi-part podcast series.The post Dark Side Luke and the Star Wars of J.J. Abrams appeared first on Polygoing Off.