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Nerds Without Pants Episode 14: Inspired Discourse

These creators get our juices flowing. Giggity.

The band is back together for another exciting edition of Nerds Without Pants! This time, the Pantsless Ones talk about the people in the video game industry that inspire them, and why. Inspiration is the topic of the day, but before that, the guys catch up on what they’ve been up to.

It’s a little light in the games department this week, as Rob’s been busy and Julian was laid up in bed. Patrick’s been busy, though, and he brings the games with Assassin’s Creed 3, NiGHTS, and Retro City Rampage. He’s also really digging PlayStation Plus, leading to a discussion about what Sony and Microsoft need to do to impress us in the online space next generation. Julian is neck deep into his Doctor Who obsession while also jumping down the Lost rabbit hole. Rob interviewed a film hero of his, Tommy Wiseau, and you should totally read his piece at Just Press Play.

The guys brought three people from the game industry that inspire them , and they go around the room trading influences. If you’ve been following along you can probably guess a few of them, but some of the answers may surprise you. The show wraps up with a single non-gaming personality.

Who inspires you? Let us know in the comments section, and come back in two weeks for another excellent episode of Nerds Without Pants.

Featured Music:

Vangelis- Chariots of Fire

Spectre General- Nothin’s Gonna Stand In Our Way

Chicago- You’re the Inspiration




01/18/2013 at 05:12 PM

Good to see Patrick back and healthy. Has Patrick been able to get back into any painting projects lately?

I liked Rob's choice of Johnathan Blow. I don't actually know anything about John so I had no idea he was so cocky or obnoxious, but I love following the progress of The Witness and the project updates he gives on the site. Through the comments sections of his updates and the conversations he has with fans he seemed pretty down to Earth in that context. The Witness look brilliant already, it's going to be fascinating.

I have one question for Julian about this year in gaming. I know Julian says he needs to watch his new game spending this year. With that being the case, is it possible that you will be delving into your backlog quite a bit this year?

Lately the developers that I've been learning the most about and have been inspiring me creatively are Ken Levine, Harvey Smith, and Notch. Notch made one of my favorite games ever in Minecraft and it only came after he turned down a dream job offer at Valve and started his own company. He can make deep games with simple controls and get you addicted while feeling creative and free. I didn't know anything about Harvey Smith until recently when I knew he was a man behind Dishonored and co-owner of Arkane. So I went on Polygon and found this incredible life story of his history in the industry from Wing Commander to Deus Ex to Dishonored and everything in between that he's done and I have a new respect and understanding of him.

The Mirror Men of Arkane

Ken Levine was another guy I knew was brilliant and well-known but I never undersood why and I had no idea of his history. Once I learned about his writing/acting origins, how much he wasn't a programmer, designer, painter, etc, and about his unformed, amorphous, sculpting-esque development process, his struggles, and how much the integrity and messages of his games mean to him did I get a grip on why he's great. He's the kind of creative director that isn't easy to work with for a lot of people, and his ideas never sound good to executives, but if you can understand his process and help him make his ideas real they can turn out astoundingly beautiful even if it was a bloodbath getting to that point. I think it would be interesting to have Ken as a boss and to be on the practical design side making his visions real in level design etc.

I've said before about how much I love Molyneux, and I still do, but in the realm of visionaries and people with their imaginations and hearts on the cutting edge of gaming and storytelling I think I'd prefer working close to Levine and learning from him. In a development environment you have to have people with you that are strong where you're weak and can create balance. I'm not a good storyteller so Levine would be an amazing person to learn from. For the past few months I actually wasn't too hot on Bioshock Infinite, but that one article I read about him made the game into my most anticipated of the year. Well that, and also seeing gameplay of Infinite helped. 

Ken Levine and the Infinite Idaho

Julian Titus Senior Editor

01/18/2013 at 08:41 PM

Personally, I wouldn't call Jonathan Blow arrogant. He's been accused of being pretentious by a lot of people (including me), but now I see that it's just part of that indie mentality that I mentioned in the show. I hate that mentality, and if I ever start making indie games I'm going to be damned sure to not start walking around like I'm so much better than the rest of the industry because I don't work for the "machine".

I'm taking a hardline stance and not buying any games for at least 6 months. This is going to kill me, because I truly believe that 2013 may be one  of those legendary years in gaming, like 1998 and 2007. BioShock is going to be the killer, because I know people are going to be talking about it for months on podcasts and eventually I'll get a sense of the whole story by putting things together. But hey, maybe I'll reward myself with a launch next-gen system...

So yes, I'm going to be attacking my backlog between reviews. I decided today that I'm going to write all of my games down and put them into a hat and choose three. It's the only way to approach it, because I'm way too indecisive when I look at the 40+ games sitting on my shelf.

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