Waypointhttps://waypoint.vice.com/en_usRSS feed for https://waypoint.vice.comenFri, 16 Nov 2018 21:55:49 +0000<![CDATA[It's Art for Art's Sake on Waypoint Radio This Week]]>https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/pa5p7g/its-art-for-arts-sake-on-waypoint-radio-this-weekFri, 16 Nov 2018 21:55:49 +0000This week's Waypoint Radio is about the anxieties surrounding commercial art and the way they can often overshadow art's cultural value, and how the latter often has more to do with personal meaning and artistic goals than performance in "the marketplace". Our first point of entry to this topic comes via an article by Liz Ryerson, over at the New and Improved Deorbital, called "There Are Not 'Too Many Games': What The Indiepocalypse Panic Ignores". Then we look at a gorgeous personal essay over at Unwinnable by Amanda Hudgins, "The Kentucky State Fair", which ends up providing a way of considering one way of practicing what Ryerson is alluding to. More importantly, it's a story about the place you come from, and the ways you work and experiences can be a gulf between you and the people that you care about.

You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher. If you're using something else, this RSS link should let you add the podcast to whatever platform you'd like. If you'd like to directly download the podcast, click here. Please take a moment and review the podcast, especially on iTunes. It really helps.

Interaction with you is a big part of this podcast, so make sure to send any questions you have for us to gaming@vice.com with the header "Questions." (Without the quotes!) We can't guarantee we'll answer all of your questions, but rest assured, we'll be taking a look at them.

Have thoughts? Swing by Waypoint’s forums to share them!

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pa5p7gRobert ZacnyPodcastsListencommerceindie gamesWaypoint Radioindiepocalypse
<![CDATA[A Good Let's Play Is More Than Just a Video of Your Favorite Game]]>https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/nepzwb/a-good-lets-play-is-more-than-just-a-video-of-your-favorite-gameFri, 16 Nov 2018 21:12:21 +0000 Postscript is Cameron Kunzelman's weekly column about endings, apocalypses, deaths, bosses, and all sorts of other finalities.

What do let’s plays do? This seems like a simple question, but despite watching them and making them myself, I’ll admit to not having considered all of the uses cases for let’s plays until fairly recently. When I make them, it’s because I enjoy making videos with my friends, and I think that (sometimes) other people might enjoy listening to us talk about, and reflect on, what we’re seeing. My colloquial understanding of that use-case of the let’s play comes from my own viewing habits. I’ve been enjoying Chip and Ironicus for years now, and I’ll admit to checking out lots and lots of Edwad as well. I saw them as an entertainment form, first and foremost, and that was sort of it. But that’s not the total picture of let’s plays.

In a world of livestreams and consoles with share buttons, the let’s play might feel antiquated. They’re a media form that was always predicated on playing games and sharing the experience, either in their roots as screenshots with commentary on forums to the adoption of video on platforms like YouTube, and they haven’t really changed that much in all that time. And here I am, still watching people explore games without dynamic audiences, because I find it somehow more singular, more fun, and more produced than the casual Twitch stream.

This is going to feel like a gear shift, but hear me out: I’ve never completed Silent Hill, and I don’t really want to. Despite being a giant fan of Silent Hill 3, and having great memories of completing it in a flu-induced haze over several sequential days, I’ve never been able to get past the fidelity and control issues of the first game. But, you know, I like the franchise, and I’ve always been curious about what the game has going for it. I know the big plot points, but I know them via Wikis and plot summaries.

That passive “I wonder what’s going on there” was floating around in my head, and sometime around the top of October the YouTuber Supergreatfriend started posting videos of a let’s play of Silent Hill. And, since I was already subscribed, I started watching the videos as they came out.

Above: Episode 1 of Supergreatfriend's Silent Hill LP.

Supergreatfriend’s playthrough of Silent Hill is entertaining, but I’m not sure that its primary purpose is entertainment. It is an explanatory let’s play, depicting some strategies for getting through the trickier parts of the game and showing how the basic puzzles of the game operate, as well as walking through the game’s confusing plot. This Silent Hill let’s play is sort of like a spinning jewel on the Home Shopping Network, with each facet talked through and revealed by the omniscient narrator.

For the explanatory let’s play, the work of the video creator is to present the game without getting in the game’s way. After all, presumably the viewer is here for the game content and the explanation of it with minimal interference from the creator of the video. It’s all about content and contextualization.

What I discovered, though, is how that context and contextualization changes the experience of the game. Every now and again the discussion of the ethics of let’s plays comes up on game sites or on Twitter. The argument against let’s plays goes something like this: Let’s plays fundamentally depend on the games that they are showing off, and yet developers of games are totally cut out of the economics of let’s plays. If a major LPer does a playthrough of a game, the viewers of that let’s play have no reason to play the game, and it’s unclear that if the increased publicity for the games do anything for sales. In the most aggressive form of this argument, the LP might actively prevent sales.

Above: Episode 1 of Ranged Touch's LP of the Baldur's Gate series.

I don’t have a position on this argument, and I don’t know enough about the data to make any kind of claims about it. I will say this: an explanatory let’s play of Silent Hill fundamentally opened the game up to me in a way that it was not available to me before. The comprehensive explanation turns a work that I only had a slice of and made it flourish in my mind as something more complex and interesting.

And it’s the work of the let’s play that makes that happen. Showing off the various endings of Silent Hill, for example, requires some intensive labor. Supergreatfriend has to replay the actual end of the game a few times, and to get one special ending, needs to play through the game on hard and do some arbitrary things that aren’t included in the standard game.

Cracking jokes, editing video for best effect, and thinking through the best ways to communicate game information is work.

The explanatory LP transforms the game from something that you might riff over for jokes, or a narrative to experience as a group, and into a site that reveals the labor that goes into all LPs. “Dang, that’s a lot of work,” was my first thought when watching the Silent Hill let’s play, but then I thought “dang, this is always a lot of work.”

And, to be clear, I’ve made these videos myself. They’re a joy to record and edit, and it’s always a good feeling to see people watching them and talking about them. But watching Supergreatfriend work through every little part of Silent Hill operates as a kind of mirror where their labor also speaks to how much labor I am doing when I create a let’s play. Cracking jokes, editing video for best effect, and thinking through the best ways to communicate game information is work. Most media objects obscure their work from the viewer; strangely enough, I feel like the let’s play obscures its work from the creators as well.

I could be totally wrong. Chip and Ironicus are fairly open about the grind of constant funny-and-comprehensive content, and I know that I’ve gotten behind on my episode publication schedule before. But even in those moments, I’m rarely thinking “oh, I need to get that work done.” Instead, I merely think “oh, I need to get to that,” as if the that is something other than the work of managing content on a YouTube channel.

The explanatory let’s play makes the form transparent. We treat let’s plays as fun things for creators and viewers to bond over, but they’re work, and that work is often grindy and brutal. It is about finding all the pieces of a game and sifting through them, finding the best ways to depict each moment and make the most of every joke. It took a completionist let’s play of Silent Hill to really make that apparent for me, and I don’t know if I’ll ever unsee it.

Have thoughts? Swing by our forums to share them!

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nepzwbCameron KunzelmanAustin WalkerYouTubelaborlet's playSilent HillPostscript
<![CDATA[How One Dev Is Using Games as Therapy to Reach Across Generations]]>https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/8xpgev/how-one-dev-is-using-games-as-therapy-to-reach-across-generationsFri, 16 Nov 2018 18:29:20 +0000 In the 1931 Frankenstein film, there is a scene where Frankenstein’s monster (played by the late Boris Karloff) is locked in an underground dungeon, darkness all around him. As the sun comes up, he reaches for the beams of sunlight, holds his hands up to it, trying to grasp it.

“That’s what it feels like,” says game designer Alex Jimenez, “You’re trying to grasp that sunlight. He’s surrounded in darkness, and he’s trying to pull that light into himself—to warm himself up. It just brings tears to me when I see it. You look at that, and it’s this ridiculous monster movie, but it expresses exactly to me what it’s like to suffer from depression.”

It’s a scene that Jimenez credits for his inspiration for Daylight, a cooperative card game about dealing with mental health. Jimenez reached out to his long-time friend, Tim Burns, to collaborate in creating a game that could be used both as a therapeutic tool and a party game.

Timothy Burns is a social worker who uses games (both the video and tabletop variants) as a way to reach youth in crisis. “My take on it is that I hate the clinical makeup of social work. I think that you’re much better at connecting with youth in nontraditional ways. Using games really allowed for this—playing Rocket League with youth opens up a conversation.”

Daylight game

The game revolves around a twofold victory mechanic system: Players will each receive an individual goal (kept secret) as well as a single group victory goal, laid face up on the table. Players must contribute to the group victory before declaring an individual victory—Jimenez views it as a way to foster cooperation and communication between players. “Yeah, you won, but you also contributed at the same time.”

One of the things Burns notes about cooperative multiplayer games (both digital or physical) is that allowing some tweaks to the ruleset can build on cooperative instincts that youth may feel sheepish about acknowledging in other settings. The ability to add mods to digital games is especially useful, as making more zombies spawn in a Minecraft server can force a play group to work together, or lowering resource spawn rates in Terraria encourages communal building.

Both Burns and Jimenez credit games as part of their way of dealing with personal mental health issues. For Burns, it was Stardew Valley, which he cites as one of the things that helped him through a particularly bad depressive period of his life. For Jimenez, Daylight is a possibility to give back to players, but also to White Bird Medical, a local free health clinic in Eugene, Oregon that he credits with keeping him from serious self-harm. He plans to donate 5% of profits from Daylight to White Bird.

Jimenez isn’t a stranger to the game design world. He’s worked in and out of digital and tabletop games for the greater part of the last three decades. He was one of the original creators of many Capcom arcade hits, including Darkstalkers, Marvel Super Heroes, the Dungeons & Dragons arcade games ( Tower of Doom and Shadows Over Mystara), among many others. After leaving Capcom in 1997, he’s worked as a consultant, writer, and creative lead at numerous other studios, as well as working as an educator at multiple colleges of game design. In 2014, he started Heavily Medicated Games, his own studio specifically angled at tabletop games for younger audiences.

"I thought that the most frustrating thing about it is that it’s… so hard to explain to people what’s going on inside.”

“You know, we called our company Heavily Medicated Games, why don’t we do a game that spotlights mental health?” Jimenez explains. “There are so many people that struggle with mental health (myself included) that have fought it for years, and I thought that the most frustrating thing about it is that it’s… so hard to explain to people what’s going on inside.”

The power of games to be a tool in helping mental wellness and helping communities is on the mind of both Jimenez and Burns, but they are confident that no matter what happens with Daylight, they’ll be satisfied.

“I’ve had a wonderful career,” Jimenez says. “I’ve had a magnificent life making games. I’ve dedicated my life to helping people have fun. My wife pointed that out: You spent twenty-seven years making people laugh, and making people happy. That’s not bad. This game will be a capstone on that. It’s my chance to give back.”

Have thoughts? Swing by Waypoint’s forums to share them!

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8xpgevDante DouglasPatrick KlepekDanielle Riendeaumental healthBoard GamesTabletop GamesGames and healthgames and mental healthHeavily Medicated Games
<![CDATA[Wrestling with the Contradictions of Lil Peep's Posthumous Final Album]]>https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/kzvwp3/wrestling-with-the-contradictions-of-lil-peeps-posthumous-final-albumThu, 15 Nov 2018 23:49:16 +0000It's time for another episode of Waypoints! This one is a bit unusual for a couple reasons, the first being that we ended up having way too much to talk about for one episode and ended up splitting it out into two episodes.

For this week, we have an unusually music-centered episode as the gang welcomes Noisey's Colin Joyce to talk about Lil Peep's posthumous Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 2. What does it imply about the what Peep's creative direction might have been, and do the circumstances, assumptions, and compromises around its production complicate its place in Peep's body of work? And then Rob has been listening to Let England Shake as the world observes the centennial of the end of World War I. What does PJ Harvey's Great War-themed album tell us about the nature of the war's remembrance, and how it ties into the self-conception of the British Empire and Commonwealth? And if Harvey's album suggests the insularity and self-deception that was shaken by the horrors and scope of the First World War, is she entirely in on the joke?

Resources

You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher. If you're using something else, this RSS link should let you add the podcast to whatever platform you'd like. If you'd like to directly download the podcast, click here. Please take a moment and review the podcast, especially on iTunes. It really helps.

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<![CDATA[We Try to Survive the Centrist Apocalypse Called 'The Purge: Election Year']]>https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/mbyvx3/we-try-to-survive-the-centrist-apocalypse-called-the-purge-election-yearThu, 15 Nov 2018 20:59:20 +0000 Most horror franchises don’t survive the transition to a sequel, let alone a third movie. We were pleasantly surprised by the action-y, Punisher-esque turn of The Purge: Anarchy, but there were enough red flags to have us deeply concerned about where The Purge would go with its third entry, Election Year, a movie centered around protecting a bizarre Hillary Clinton stand-in, who promises to save the country if we just vote, y'all. Austin, Patrick, Danielle, Natalie, and Rob dive gathered around to dive into Election Year, and hope for better things from the final entry, The First Purge. (Spoiler: That one’s a much better movie.)

You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher. If you're using something else, this RSS link should let you add the podcast to whatever platform you'd like. If you'd like to directly download the podcast, click here. Please take a moment and review the podcast, especially on iTunes. It really helps.

Interaction with you is a big part of this podcast, so make sure to send any questions you have for us to gaming@vice.com with the header "Questions." (Without the quotes!) We can't guarantee we'll answer all of your questions, but rest assured, we'll be taking a look at them.

Have thoughts? Swing by Waypoint’s forums to share them!

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mbyvx3Patrick KlepekAustin WalkerpoliticsHillary ClintonHORRORListenthe purgecentrism The Purge: Election YearBe Good and Rewind It
<![CDATA['The Gardens Between' Is a Deeply Chill Puzzler That Won't Break Your Brain]]>https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/439w4p/the-gardens-between-is-a-deeply-chill-puzzler-that-wont-break-your-brainThu, 15 Nov 2018 19:26:04 +0000Over the past week, in-between Sunday football games and my daughter watching cartoons, I’ve picked away at The Gardens Between, a delightful puzzler where time moves forward when you walk forward, and backwards when you—well, you get the idea. It’s a simple concept executed well, with solutions to everything staring you (maddeningly!) right in the face.

The Gardens Between is not The Greatest Puzzle Game I’ve Ever Played, and I don’t have a particularly hot take. It’s charming, engaging, and the right kind of hard. I never felt the desire to look up a solution, but felt rewarded for my time and attention. It’s also, like so many games now, a perfect Switch game. (It’s also on PC, Mac, and PS4.) It’s good, I liked it, and I’m only here to put this game on your radar, as you prepare to sit on the couch after eating too much Thanksgiving leftovers.

Follow Patrick on Twitter. If you have a tip or a story idea, drop him an email: patrick.klepek@vice.com.

Have thoughts? Swing by Waypoint's forums to share them!

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439w4pPatrick KlepekAustin WalkerindieTIME TRAVELnintendoSwitchPCpuzzlePlayStation 4The Gardens Between
<![CDATA[‘Grip: Combat Racing’ Evokes Offworld Fantasy and Sci-Fi Wanderlust]]>https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/nepnb8/grip-combat-racing-sci-fiWed, 14 Nov 2018 22:50:51 +0000I know that the newly-released Grip: Combat Racing is something of an homage to beloved PS1-era racer Rollcage, with its sci-fi slimline cars and giant wheels that allow the vehicle to, well, roll just as well upside-down as right-side up. But it reminds me more specifically of two N64 racing games that filled many a winter night (and summer evening) when I was a teen: Acclaim’s Extreme-G and LucasArts’ Star Wars Episode I: Racer, aka, the only good thing to come out of Episode I. Even more importantly, it reminds me of why I enjoy racing games in the first place: a desire to compete, yes, but even more fundamentally, to explore.

Both Extreme G and Episode I were superfast sci-fi racers, with wonderful 90s sensibilities: fast action, mildly goofy planets where the twisty, turny, roller-coaster tracks took place, and surprisingly memorable courses. A strong, evocative aesthetic. Extreme-G had the extra fun of a doofy backstory and the ubiquitous futuristic racer drum n’ bass soundtrack, where Episode I had a more orchestral score and slightly different feel, since, naturally, the pods were anti-gravity.

Grip Combat Racing

Grip really brought me back this week, to a place I don’t get to visit often. To days spent racing on what was my first 3D console, in the sci-fi playgrounds that shaped so much of my later tastes. It’s a trip well worth taking, and I look forward to testing out the multiplayer modes further, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure I haven’t talked to my eighth-grade crew that used to pour over Extreme G in… oh, a good twenty years.

Have thoughts? Swing by Waypoint’s forums to share them!

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nepnb8Danielle RiendeauAustin WalkerNintendo 64Mario kartRacing Gamesgrip: combat racingstar wars: episode one racerExtreme G
<![CDATA[Listen to Us Try to Comprehend the 'Detective Pikachu' Trailer in Real-Time]]>https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/gy7gq4/listen-to-us-try-to-comprehend-the-detective-pikachu-trailer-in-real-timeTue, 13 Nov 2018 00:11:39 +0000The holidays are upon us, which means new video games are dropping fast and furious. That makes it the perfect time to spend a long time talking about...Vampyr? Rob spent the weekend with one of Patrick's favorites from earlier this year, much to his delight. In an episode that was supposed to be "short," Rob and Patrick join Austin to spend nearly two hours also discussing Tetris Effect, how every human being is actually connected, The Gardens Between, the many ways to creatively kill in Hitman 2, and what it's like to cheer for a good football team after years of despair. Oh, and we react to the absolutely wild Detective Pikachu trailer in real-time.

Discussed: Vampyr, The Gardens Between, Skin Deep, Hitman 2, Tetris Effect, Detective Pikachu

You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher. If you're using something else, this RSS link should let you add the podcast to whatever platform you'd like. If you'd like to directly download the podcast, click here. Please take a moment and review the podcast, especially on iTunes. It really helps.

Interaction with you is a big part of this podcast, so make sure to send any questions you have for us to gaming@vice.com with the header "Questions." (Without the quotes!) We can't guarantee we'll answer all of your questions, but rest assured, we'll be taking a look at them.

Have thoughts? Swing by Waypoint’s forums to share them!

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gy7gq4Patrick KlepekAustin WalkerListenPokemonHitman 2Skin DeepTetris-effectdetective pikachuThe Gardens Between
<![CDATA["Streamer" Modes Are Usually Gimmicky BS, But in 'Dead Cells,' It's Magic ]]>https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/ev3nxk/streamer-modes-are-usually-gimmicky-bs-but-in-dead-cells-its-magicMon, 12 Nov 2018 22:12:10 +0000 Drama. In-fighting. Twists of fate. Rolls of the dice. A top 10 anime betrayal. I don’t know that I’ll ever top my last run at Dead Cells, and there’s a chance I won’t ever bother even trying.

The hand of the king, a final boss whose control was ultimately placed in the hands of the villain Austin Walker, is dead. The king is dead. Last week, I beat Dead Cells, but it didn’t happen the way I figured, huddled around my computer in the dark of night. Instead, my victory was shared in the company of hundreds. I landed the killing blow, but there were many hands guiding my journey. Until now, I’ve yet to be convinced by gimmicks developers have come up with to justify “integration” with Twitch or other streaming services, but Dead Cells is different, as it manages to turn the experience from a passive affair to damn near a co-op experience. Knowing we’d worked hand-in-hand made victory all the more satisfying.

Dead Cells is managed chaos. There are only a few constants on every run—running, jumping, dodging—and everything else is a question mark, from what weapons will drop to how those weapons scale. (In Dead Cells, weapons scale along one of three primary stats, so even if you really like a particular weapon, you may need to switch if it doesn’t scale. The key to Dead Cells is constantly improving damage output as you near the endgame.) This is part of the game’s appeal. You generally know what’s in front of you, but each run, the levels are a little bit different, the weapons are a little bit different. Where the power-ups drop, which let you improve the three stats, is a little bit different. What’s comforting is falling back on what is in your control, and trying to manage those tools alongside the incessant chaos.

The streaming mode in Dead Cells, an optional integration with Twitch where viewers can influence a variety of in-game factors big and small, takes a sledgehammer to this balance.

My entire run was archived here, but the golden run starts at 41 minutes, 40 seconds:

You don’t have to turn every variable on, but everything’s on by default, so that’s what I’ve rolled with. In that case, while you choose which weapons to pick up, the viewers now vote on your stat upgrades. Maybe you want to scale on brutality (aka strength), but viewers have voted tactics (tools). Too bad. Each level has several routes of escape, but now, you don’t pick which one to leave through—they do. Perhaps most importantly, you’re no longer in control of Dead Cells’ primary lifeline, the health power-up. At random, a viewer is assigned this task. You can politely ask for them to refill your health by tapping a button, but it’s merely that, a request. Are they paying attention? Do they think you can scrape by? Who knows!

The person assigned to your health is not invisible, however. They’re an in-game bird who’s capable of passing along messages of encouragement—or distress. On this run, my birds were helpful. They’d point out secrets, or give me a pep talk before a boss. In a game that’s deliberately lonely, with everything doing its best to keep you stressed, it’s a lovely touch.

Additionally, the stream can add a unique variable to each stage, such as doors exploding, an increase in high-level enemies...or letting the bird attack nearby enemies. Sometimes the viewers are merciful, other times tricksters. Or they may have no choice. This happened once, when all of my doors started exploding. The chat apologized, saying every variable would have made things harder, and said it picked the best worst option. I believed them.

1542060115003-ss_65dde6f056018945351e18f55c3481fa2478547b1920x1080

Towards the endgame, I’d managed to knock together one hell of a build: a fast sword (Balanced Blade V-L) that spreads inflammable oil onto enemies, a shield (Cudgel III) that passively reduced damage by 30%, an accessory (Topaz Amulet VIII) that automatically poisoned anyone who touched me, and a truly killer combination of Fire Grenades (with friendly attack worms upon an enemy’s death) and Magnetic Grenades (100% bonus damage to enemies on fire, 100% bonus damage to poisoned enemies). It was brutal.

If none of that make sense, here’s a translation: I could fuck people up real bad, real fast.

It could be better? It could do more bonus damage. But I was happy with where it was at. I didn’t need to roll again, and every time you roll, it’s more and more expensive to try again. You also run the risk of producing a negative stat. For example, this nasty business: a bonus providing 100% bonus damage to every attack...while allowing enemies to do the same. That’s great perk if you never going to get hit! Not every stat immediately re-rolls, either. It might take a few chances, and suddenly, you may find yourself with very expensive garbage.

I like a good dare, and livestream producer Natalie Watson, who was mocking me in the chat relentlessly, demanded I roll the dice before the final boss. I steamrolled through the last major area with my finely tuned build, one that had me defeating mini-bosses without taking as much as a scratch, and I would be putting my future in jeopardy over a half-assed taunt.

But sure, why not?

Spoiler: It worked out. A few rolls later, a few sips of my beer later, my weapon was fine.

But there was more. Natalie demanded to be the final boss, too. See, in Dead Cells, the streaming mode lets one viewer “control” the boss. In reality, they can just flip on some stuff you wouldn’t encounter on a normal run, but it’s still neat, and varies up boss encounters that can grow stale. But there was no way to guarantee Natalie this spot because it’s random.

"Games hoping to have a vibrant online community should take note. Dead Cells doesn’t have traditional 'multiplayer,' but arguably, it absolutely does, thanks to some smart design."

We needed people to be cool, and Twitch chat is not that. (To be clear, Waypoint’s chat is calm and cool, but there are always trolls looking for trouble.) We arrived at a solution: switch the chat to subscriber-only chat! But all that managed to do was encourage a bunch of people to subscribe, which, uh, thanks?? The real solution was clever: sub-only chat where people exclusively speak in emojis, unless you’re a mod. That would restrict the number of people who could use the appropriate phrase to a small, trusted group of people watching.

Trust. Trust is funny. When I stepped into the arena, it showed the pool of potential finalists to be more than one—so, more than Natalie. Huh? As it turned out, Austin had thrown himself into the ring. Tick, tock. The seconds go by, and Austin got picked, the son of a bitch.

It was time for the gamers to #riseup.

Streaming is a weird balance between performing (the game part) and performance (the stream part), and it’s nowhere more of a balancing act than when you’re trying to drop one in favor of the other. I wanted to beat Austin, yes, but I really wanted to beat Dead Cells, a game I’d gotten distracted from after Spider-Man came out. I was already pretty sure Dead Cells was one of my favorite games from 2018, but I wanted to have a complete run under my belt to be sure, and I’d decided to gamble all these checkboxes in front of an audience?

It went fine. In fact, it wasn’t close. (Austin later claimed to be confused about how to use the boss’ abilities.) But it was exhilarating and rewarding, all the same. It’s tempting to call streaming a game a “group” effort, a collaboration between the streamer and viewer, but in this case, we did work together to see Dead Cells to the end. I’ll probably still pluck around with Dead Cells, but chances are it won’t be the same without those folks having my back.

More broadly, it points to interesting possibilities for how streaming can impact gameplay. Streaming the same game over and over requires new wrinkles not imposed by the game. How else have games like Dark Souls continued to be interesting on stream? There’s nothing built into From Software’s game demanding someone play the game with a DDR pad—that’s streamers coming up with ways to impress their audience, to push their skills.

Games hoping to have a vibrant online community should take note. Dead Cells doesn’t have traditional “multiplayer,” but arguably, it absolutely does, thanks to some smart design.

Follow Patrick on Twitter. If you have a tip or a story idea, drop him an email: patrick.klepek@vice.com.

Have thoughts? Swing by Waypoint's forums to share them!

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ev3nxkPatrick KlepekRob ZacnyYouTubeTwitchstreamingdead cellsAnime Betrayals
<![CDATA[We Finally Answer the Debate: Smooth or Crunchy?]]>https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/439dm3/we-finally-answer-the-debate-smooth-or-crunchySat, 10 Nov 2018 00:26:29 +0000With the 200th episode of Waypoint Radio behind us, we turn back to our roots: The Question Bucket. Join Austin, Rob, Natalie, and Patrick as they answer your questions about all of the most important topics: Being disappointed by your favorite series. How to grit your teeth and send your creative work into the uncaring void of the internet. Peanut Butter.

Click below to listen!

Discussed: Peanut Butter, Europa Universalis IV, Victoria II, Sim City, Real Lives 2019, Spent, Red Dead Redemption 2, Bridge, Dance Dance Revolution, Picross, Solitaire, Spelunky, Binding of Issac, Dark Souls, Hearthstone, Netrunner, Legend of the Five Rings, Magic: The Gathering, Slay the Spire, XCOM 2, Subterfuge, Battlefield, F.E.A.R, Destiny, Diablo Immortal, Paper Mario Franchise, Deus Ex: Invisible War, Galak-Z Variant S, Fantasy Life, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, The Heir to the Empire Trilogy, Total War: Medieval, Harry Potter series

You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher. If you're using something else, this RSS link should let you add the podcast to whatever platform you'd like. If you'd like to directly download the podcast, click here. Please take a moment and review the podcast, especially on iTunes. It really helps.

Interaction with you is a big part of this podcast, so make sure to send any questions you have for us to gaming@vice.com with the header "Questions." (Without the quotes!) We can't guarantee we'll answer all of your questions, but rest assured, we'll be taking a look at them.

Have thoughts? Swing by Waypoint’s forums to share them!

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439dm3Austin Walkerharry potterPodcastsListendiabloElder ScrollsParadox