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Abandonia Times Issue 2 now available for download

Abandonia TimesAbandonia TimesGreat news! Abandonia Times has just released their second issue, and it's available now over at The Abandonia Times website. The theme of the issue is "Doom and Horror," and there's a slew of articles on Doom, a history of horror games piece, Noctropolis, and Super Fighter vs. Sango Fighter (heh, remember that one?).

Oh, and also a huge interview with yours truly. :)

There's a lot of meat here, so get over there right now and check it out. From the editor: allow me to boast about the variety of the articles: we have freeware and console reviews, we have history articles, two interviews with two interesting people that marked the gaming industry in their own unique way, and a wide selection of non-DOOM PC game reviews which are at least tangentially related to horror.

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Matt Chat 118: The Dagger Has Fallen and It Can't Get Up!

This week, I finally get around to retrospecting Bethesda's 1996 masterpiece Daggerfall, the game that for many fans is still the best ever Elder Scrolls game. While not without its share of bugs and interface issues, it's still a terrific achievement and demonstrates the possibilities of procedurally-generated content in CRPGs. Just don't make the mistake I did of not checking ALL the options for keyboard and mouse. :)

Still, the resulting misadventures are pretty darn funny.


Download the mp4.

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Matt's Podcast 4: Can a videogame get you high?

Turn on (the videogame)! Turn on--the gameThis week, I address a question that I'm sure we've all pondered at some point--are videogames really addictive, and, if so, is that necessarily a bad thing? I'm particularly interested here in what it would take to design a videogame that would "turn you on," offering a comparable experience to taking LSD or even peyote but without the potential side effects. How close are we to developing true digital drugs? Will you be the Albert Hofmann of videogames?

Download the podcast.
If you enjoy this, please post a review on iTunes.

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Matt Chat 117: Supreme Commander & More with Chris Taylor

Lots of great stuff in this last segment of my interview with Gas Powered Games' Chris Taylor. Here we start getting into some stuff that really disappointed Chris, as he struggled to achieve quality despite pressure from publishers. He also talks about how important it is not to bite off more than you can chew (Space Siege), and why he thinks consoles are the future of RTS. He's very candid throughout, and you definitely don't want to miss the ending when he talks about striking the right balance between pleasing gamers (with modding tools) and publishers (with profitability).

Note: I encourage you to watch the downloadable version this time. YouTube is screwing me with their algorithms again, this time providing advertising for Square Enix at my expense. I'll post it here nonetheless. Last time I ever use clips from one of their stupid game trailers.

Download the video here.

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Matt's Podcast #3: The Five Games Every Designer Should Make Love to Every Night

Does Compute!Does Compute!I'm back this week to talk about the Five Games Every Designer Should Know. Read the blog post if you missed it. There's also quite a bit of listener feedback that covers such topics as why Icewind Dale and Neverwinter Nights aren't as good as Baldur's Gate, and why Portal isn't as unique as some people like to think. Enjoy, and feel free to comment below. Who knows, perhaps your comment will form the basis of my next episode!

Grab the episode here: Matt Podcast #3.mp3.
Post a review on iTunes.

Be sure to listen to Chris's episode first.

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Retrosexual (Matt's Latest Musical Journey)

BardRetrosexualHi, guys. I've been working on a new song for the past couple of weeks and thought I'd upload it here for your enjoyment. I plan to make a fun video to go with it, but would like to see what you think of the tune first. I'm particularly interested in what parts you find the funniest.
Download Retrosexual.mp3.

Thanks, and happy listening! Lyrics below.

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Matt Chat 116: Chris Taylor taks about Dungeon Siege and Total Annihilation

This is the second part of my interview with the IZZE-fueled Chris Taylor, this time talking about his two greatest achievements: Dungeon Siege and Total Annihilation. I love both of these games, even though Chris seems to find some flaws (especially with Dungeon Siege). At any rate, it's great viewing. Chris also disagrees with me about game lengths; he thinks games should a lot shorter (a position I've lately come to accept myself).

Download the MP4.

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Matt's Podcast #2: Absolutely Reticulous

Shoot me now.If this is Syndicate, shoot me now.It's a smorgasbord of topics this week as I take on the question of "What the hell happened to modern CRPGs?" Why is everything becoming a first-person shooter game? The excrement begins to fly with the upcoming Syndicate and X-Com games. I explain why you should avoid any game "with a great story" and why I couldn't care less about Skyrim and Diablo III. I also talk about my experiences with Baldur's Gate and what I'd really like to see in future CRPGs. Hint: it ain't better narratives.

Download the mp3.

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Matt Chat 115: Down on the Farm with Chris Taylor

I'm back this week with a chat with Chris Taylor, the Gas Powered Guru behind Total Annihilation, Dungeon Siege, and Supreme Commander. Chris is a witty and very passionate guy, so prepare to be dazzled. In this part, he talks mostly about how he got his start in the games industry, which includes mastering z80 on his TRS-80.

Watch above or download the mp4.

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Matt's Podcast #1: Human Revolution, Elite, Copy Protection, and Pack-Ins

Hi, guys! This is the first of a planned series of casual podcast segments (monologues, really). In this one, I talk about my experiences playing the new Deus Ex game, Human Revolution, then get into digital downloads, copy protection, pirates, Dungeons & Dragons, and Elite. I also talk a bit about Frayed Knights, a game I'm beta testing for Rampant Coyote. I also find an excuse to bring up my favorite comedy movie, Ghostbusters.

Keep in mind that this is an "off the cuff" type of deal with minimal planning and no editing or frills. If you have suggestions, fine, but don't expect a polished production here. That's what Matt Chat is for! :)

Download the m4a.

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