By Idle Thumbs
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Steve Gaynor of The Fullbright Company sits down with noteworthy video game developers for an in-depth conversation about their career and creative process, and the tricky work of establishing and maintaining a cohesive tone in their games.
||ExplicitTone 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, ho||6/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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||6/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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 conferen||5/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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 sh||5/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone Control 24: Bennett Foddy||Some games love you. Some games are indifferent to you. Some games f*****g hate you. Some game DEVELOPERS f*****g hate you. Bennett Foddy, by god, f*****g loves you. He believes in you. He knows you can do it. And also he'll be there, laughing, every ti||4/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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, Ca||4/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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 Uncharte||3/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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, longtim||3/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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-b||2/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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 southe||2/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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 o||1/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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 wi||12/31/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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 t||11/25/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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 Dr||11/23/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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 for||5/1/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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||4/15/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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||4/1/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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. Fo||3/15/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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 d||3/1/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone 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 ph||2/15/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone Control 8: Tom Francis||Tom Francis: Journalist, Game Developer, British. Steve talks to the creator of Gunpoint about his path through games journalism into game development, and his inspirations and approach to designing a stealth game all about throwing yourself through pl||2/1/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone Control 7: Brendon Chung||Piranha. Barracuda. Beluga Whale. A frog. These and other fish-types are discussed in episode 7 of Tone Control with Brendon Chung, founder of Blendo Games. Hear discussion on Brendon's earliest mod work, to his time in AAA at Pandemic, to the creation||1/15/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone Control 6: Randy Smith||In a very special episode of Tone Control, Steve and Randy Smith got onstage at FantasticArcade in Austin, TX to talk about their games and approaches to game design. Afterwards they huddled in an alley and worked back through Randy's career at Looking||1/1/2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone Control 5: Tom Bissell||Tom Bissell: author, critic, video game writer. What was his path to authorhood? What inspired him to write the video game-focused essay collection Extra Lives? And how did he end up in Cliffy B's lambo? The writer of Gears of War: Judgment (and a numbe||12/15/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone Control 4: Clint Hocking||It's what all Idle Thumbs readers have been waiting for: a personal appearance by none other than the man behind that legend of legends, FAR CRY 2. Roll this pod down a hill into your ears and observe as a procedural conversation emerges in your brain.||12/1/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone Control 3: Craig Hubbard||Steve visited Seattle to talk with one of the creative minds behind the classic series No One Lives Forever, F.E.A.R., and now co-founder of Blackpowder games. Hear white-knuckle tales of checking in code for a new weapon on ship day and other wild west||11/15/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone Control 2: Neil Druckmann||Steve sits down with Neil Druckmann at the Naughty Dog offices to talk about his long and winding path to becoming Creative Director of The Last of Us. Explore the origins of the critically acclaimed game's world and characters. It's possible Joel, Elli||10/31/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitTone Control 1: Jake Rodkin & Sean Vanaman||Steve talks to Jake & Sean, design and story leads of Telltale's The Walking Dead Season 1, and founders of the indie studio Campo Santo. You can't put lipstick on a manatee, according to Jake but not Sean. And yet these very differences are what set th||10/15/2013||Free||View in iTunes|
Very insightful new podcast
As a big fan of Idle Thumbs, the Fullbright blog, and Telltale Games's body of work, I found the first episode of Tone Control very entertaining. As a prospective game designer/programmer, I really enjoyed hearing about the somewhat mundane aspects of the team's behind the scenes scheduling and logistics. Steve Gaynor (the host) also asks the right questions in order to learn more about the personal perspectives of Jake Rodkin and Sean Vannaman; the specifics of their career histories; game development experiences; The Walking Dead The Game's story inspirations and nuances.
Steve also shares many valuable anecdotes from his own history in the industry as a AAA dev, game critic, and indie dev.
The show overall was great. I'm excited to see who he gets for the next show. I'd love to hear someone from 2K or Double Fine.
The most in depth video game podcast
Steve Gaynor is one of the best and brightest in video games. And he seems to love what he does. That love and passion seems to seep through every pore of Tone Control. The most entertaining and captivating podcast out there for gamers (and maybe in general as well!). Each episode inspires and has lots to learn about the industry. Honestly making me take notes while listening. Thank you so much for the cast, Steve! And keep it up!
Inside the actors studio of video games. I can't remember being as drawn in with other podcasts as Tone Control. To hear the thoughts and stories from developers who have helped shaped the industry is invaluble. Regardless of how many episodes will be recorded, this one will stand out beyond all others.