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171 minutes | Jun 15, 2018
Tone Control 28: Karla Zimonja
We've been through a lot together, Karla and I. And now, in what seems a fitting series finale for Tone Control, my business and creative partner sits down with me at the Fullbright office for a long conversation about her background in TV animation, how we came to cross paths in the games industry, and what we've made together. That's it, folks. Thank you for listening.
132 minutes | Jun 1, 2018
Tone Control 27: Derek Yu
Derek Yu has been making video games for almost as long as he can remember. In that time he's helped build thriving game developer communities, created more than one classic indie game, and called Jack Thompson's bluff. Now he's on to his next adventure: fatherhood, and reflecting that experience in the upcoming Spelunky 2. Learn all about Derek's life work, and where he's headed next, in the penultimate episode of Tone Control.
107 minutes | May 15, 2018
Tone Control 26: Robert Yang
Robert Yang is awesome. Educator, advocate, and subversive game developer all in one, his work focuses on issues of gay culture, sex and sexual politics, consent, surveillance, and the absurdity of digital eroticism. He also does great talks at conferences like GDC, where I caught up with him this year to chat about his work and outlook on what games can be.
113 minutes | May 1, 2018
Tone Control 25: Siobhan Reddy
Due to some scheduling requirements, we take a break from our GDC chats to visit sunny London, England! While I was in the UK for BAFTA, I sat down with longtime Media Molecule Siobhan Reddy to talk about her time spent helping run her parents' skate shop in Australia (!), the world of mid-'90s web design (!) and working on Discworld Noir (!!) before her time as a producer on the Burnout series, and her years at Media Molecule helping lead creativity-focused productions like Little Big Planet and the upcoming Dreams.
114 minutes | Apr 14, 2018
Tone Control 24: Bennett Foddy
Some games love you. Some games are indifferent to you. Some games fucking hate you. Some game DEVELOPERS fucking hate you. Bennett Foddy, by god, fucking loves you. He believes in you. He knows you can do it. And also he'll be there, laughing, every time you fail. Get to know one of modern game design's uncompromising masters of the absurd and the sublime in this installment of Tone Control. And also try to figure out what the fuck cricket even is.
134 minutes | Apr 2, 2018
Tone Control 23: Richard Lemarchand
Naughty Dog Month is completed by my interview with Richard Lemarchand! One of the sweetest, most thoughtful and supportive folks I know in game development, Richard charts... ;) his course from jolly olde England to the sunny shores of Santa Monica, California, going from a kid growing up on ZX Spectrum and arcade games, to helping create one of modern gaming's most iconic series.
161 minutes | Mar 15, 2018
Tone Control 22: Bruce Straley
Naughty Dog Month begins on Tone Control! This time I'm talking to former Dog Bruce Straley about his long and storied career-- starting with a Sega Genesis X-Men game I played as a kid (!) all the way through his work as a game director on the Uncharted series and The Last of Us. Join us on a trip across console generations, with a view into how some of Naughty Dog's most iconic series came to be.
78 minutes | Mar 2, 2018
Tone Control 21: Meggan Scavio
Anyone who's been to GDC knows, it's a massive, vibrant, overwhelming, inspiring event. As a game developer, it's one of the most important weeks of the year-- and holy hell, it seems like a lot to manage, generally! So I spoke to Meggan Scavio, longtime General Manager of GDC (who's now moved on to be President of the AIAS, running the DICE conference instead) about her years helping to shape what GDC is, and how she came to run some of the biggest and most exciting game development events in the world.
114 minutes | Feb 15, 2018
Tone Control 20: Davey Wreden
A thirteen-foot-tall octopus named Edward Scissorhands rampages into your life and destroys everything you love. What do you do? If you're me, you interview him! This hellish creature, also known as Davey Wreden, is the creator of two of the most mind-bending indie story games in recent history, The Stanley Parable and The Beginner's Guide. Discover how his life and outlook, and his propensity for eight-armed havoc, led to the creation of these modern indie classics.
105 minutes | Feb 1, 2018
Tone Control 19: Harvey Smith
Harvey Smith is a mensch. Not only has he been a lead or director on some of the most inspiring and foundational Immersive Sim games of the last 20 years, he's also just a sweet, friendly, thoughtful guy who's great to talk to and has a wonderful southern accent. And lucky you, last time I talked with him, I had my recorder turned on! Hear insight on everything from the advent of the System Shock and Deus Ex series, up through modernizing those concepts into Dishonored, and beyond.
119 minutes | Jan 14, 2018
Tone Control 18: Nina Freeman
It's like rain on your podcasting day. It's when a train goes by, and you can't hear what I say. It's the hammer blows, that ruin your take. And who woulda thought, it figures. Despite a variety of exciting sonic interruptions, Steve and Nina soldier on to talk through her work a s Nuovo Award-winning indie game designer of titles like how do you Do It?, Cibele, and Lost Memories Dot Net, and her experience becoming a level designer on Tacoma at Fullbright. Pull up a chair, settle in, and don't let the distant hooting throw you.
114 minutes | Dec 31, 2017
Tone Control 17: Charles Webb
Charles Webb, self-styled "Senior Black Writer" at Hangar 13, joined the Mafia III team after a long and winding path that included writing narrative-driven cell phone games in the early 2000's (!), a bit of professional film criticism, and some time with Master Chief. Join us as we learn that led Charles to help bring Mafia III's Lincoln Clay, one of the most fascinating game characters in recent years, to life. Recorded live on site at 2K's studios in Marin.
100 minutes | Nov 25, 2017
Tone Control 16: Mariel Cartwright
Classic 2D animation: the art of drawing the same thing in slightly different poses over and over and then flipping through them so fast that they look like one fluid, moving thing. Beautiful, inspiring... but gosh, that sounds like a lot of work! And that work falls to intrepid folks like Mariel Cartwright, the Lead Animator of Skullgirls, and Art Director/Lead Animator of the upcoming INDIVISIBLE! Come along with us on a journey that involves Shrek, Marvel vs. Capcom, the harshest of Canadian winters, and of course, lots and lots of drawing.
115 minutes | Nov 23, 2017
Tone Control 15: Leighton Gray
Welcome back... to Tone Control! Steve shipped another game, so conversations with video game developers begin anew. Kicking off Season 2 of Tone Control, Steve sits down with Leighton Gray, one of the main creative forces behind the daddy dating hit Dream Daddy! Steve discusses daddies, art school, Disneyland, the perils of sudden success, toilets, and daddies, with one of the most exciting up-and-coming creative figures in indie game development. Thanks for joining us!
92 minutes | May 1, 2014
Tone Control 14: Ken Levine
A long journey's road comes to an end. We always arrive back where we started. Circles within circles... there's always a man.. there's always a city.. there's always a podcast. In this, the final episode of Tone Control Season 1, I sit down with my former boss Ken Levine to talk about the origins of Irrational Games, BioShock, and that time we worked together on BioShock Infinite. Thanks again for listening.
93 minutes | Apr 15, 2014
Tone Control 13: Jake Solomon
Do you like aliens? No-- you like KILLING aliens. And so does Jake Solomon. He's made a career of it, in fact. But how? Learn all the alien-killing secrets from the Creative Director of Firaxis's XCOM: Enemy Unknown (as well as a little side talk about his career, his mentorship by Sid Meier, and the design philosophy that brought one of strategy gaming's all-time classics back into the modern age.)
101 minutes | Apr 1, 2014
Tone Control 12: Tim Schafer
Few creators in the games industry are fortunate enough to have decades-long careers, much less ones where their own work and that of their studio is constantly vital and inspiring. Between leading projects like Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, Psychonauts, Brutal Legend and Broken Age, and facilitating the creation of games like Costume Quest, Stacking, and more at Double Fine, Tim Schafer is one of those lucky few. Listen in as I blitz through the long, long career of this incredibly old man.
90 minutes | Mar 15, 2014
Tone Control 11: Ryan Payton
Creeping. Sneaking. Running and hiding. Ryan Payton has spent many years working on games about sticking to the shadows, keeping out of sight. Now the first episode of his own company's new iOS game series, Republique, has stepped out into the light. Follow us on a journey from Portland to Japan to Seattle, and finally onto your internet telephone.
117 minutes | Mar 1, 2014
Tone Control 10: Amir Rao & Greg Kasavin
Amir's dad's living room. Computers on folding tables. One busted old car. These are the humble beginnings that would lead to the hit indie game Bastion. Amir and Greg sit down to talk about what came before and after their time in that house, and the design philosophy that they're carrying through to Supergiant's next game, Transistor.
118 minutes | Feb 15, 2014
Tone Control 9: Jonathan Blow
We all know Jonathan Blow as the creator of Braid and The Witness. But what was he up to before bursting onto the scene circa 2008? Not crazy multiplayer-only squad warfare shenanigans, surely. Not online games that used huge server farms to do their physics calculations. Not learning deadly martial arts! Surely not! Discover the truth on episode 9 of Tone Control.
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