Monday, December 23, 2013

Super Dash Podcast Turbo: Game of the Year cast

The time has come for our year in review for the games of 2013. We start off with our personal game of the year lists, and then we do the impossible by cutting the list to 10 games. Emotions run wild, tears are shed, and friendships are broken. Happy holidays listeners, hope you enjoy the episode as much as we enjoyed making it.

Hit the jump for our final list and follow along at home!

Music in Order of Appearance:
Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau
Rock the House - Gorillaz
Melt! - Flying Lotus
Peanut Brittle Brigade - Duke Ellington Jazz Orchestra
Overture - Duke Ellington Jazz Orchestra

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Super Dash Podcast 10/24/13

This week the dashcast discusses GTA fatigue, The Stanley Parable, Kingdom Rush: Frontiers, The Wolf Among Us, and The Windwaker HD along with other Zelda titles. There is also a strange clicking noise coming in and out for the first few minutes of the cast, so enojy that!

This week's music:
Me, Myself, and I - De La Soul
Micheal Jackson - Das Racist

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Heretic Done Quick Speedruns (By Me!)

And I am only uploading these seven years late.

Back in 2006 I tried my hand at this whole speedrunning gig, thinking it would be "fun". I had seen speedruns of games like Doom, and figured why not try something similar? So I did. I chose a less popular Doom engine game called Heretic, which was the predecessor to the better known game, Hexen. For several weeks in a row, a few hours a day, I practiced. I learned almost every secret passage, nook, cranny, monster spawn, as well as the location of all the keys and items. I became obsessed with improving times, finding ways to out-think the level designers and subvert their obstacles. I used an updated port of Heretic called jHeretic, which added fancy lighting effects, updated texture resolutions, some advanced 3D effects as well as the addition of jumping. Using this unintended jumping was a key part in overcoming maps. It is hard to describe how rewarding it was to discover a jump that could eliminate a large portion of map, if not the majority of one.

Though I didn't intend to, I practiced and drilled an unhealthy amount and eventually learned all five episodes of Heretic. When I was done, I had an accumulated total time of roughly 45 minutes. This isn't the stuff of legends, as I've been told. Supposedly, some "professional" speedrunners have completed the entire game faster than this without the aid of jumping (if this is true than it is even more humbling). Regardless, these are my speedruns. I earned them. I put in the research, the time and came away with proof of that hard work, even if they aren't the most incredible ones available. True, I didn't build a bridge or save a lady from a burning building, but I did a thing that I wasn't sure I could do. And I think that's worth sharing.

One final distinction that seems important to note is that these are segmented runs, meaning that it isn't a continuous run-through of each campaign, it is map by map. I have single segment speedruns for each episode as well, but they are slower.

I really do hope these are entertaining, somehow. I apologize for the music, which is a solid reflection of a more angst-filled time in my life; mute it if it pleases you (which it probably will). Also, I sparsely annotated each video to explain some of the oddities, strategies and quirks of my gameplay. Enough text!

Here's the playlist!

If you decide to actually suffer through one or more of these videos, well, thanks a ton for the viewership!

And if you like Sandstorm by Darude, and mazes, and the movie "Cube", here is a dumb, stupid, dumb "speedrun" me and friend Seth Rosen mapped out and executed in the early 2000s. What a senseless waste of human life indeed.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Super Dash Podcast Turbo Episode 3: B Is For Ghost Host

In this week's (actually last week's, salvaged through a heroic effort by Justin) cast, Peter tries to drum up interest in Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Seth is scared of ladies bending over backwards, Justin is unimpressed with unEpic, everyone except Peter likes Magic: The Gathering, and in a shocking twist, Aaron played Dota 2.

Links discussed: 
Doug Wilson GDC Talk - 
Fatal Frame's back break lady -

Music in order of appearance:
Beastie Boys - Make Some Noise
Jacob D Cox - Dark Disco
London Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Skeet - Super Mario Galaxy - Gusty Garden Galaxy

As always, send us your feedback at! Rate us on iTunes! Retweet and share!

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Super Dash Podcast Turbo Episode 2: At Least He's Thorough In His Lies

This week, the gang talks about the recent Xbox DRM madness, kind of, Peter confirms GameStop still sucks, Justin shares his rapid-fire gaming minute(s), Seth can't control his ghost camera, and Aaron is a big baby who can't not play Dota 2. All that, plus a juicy bonus The Last Of Us spoilercast and we nail down our patent-pending new games rating system!

Required reading:

This week's music in order of appearance:
Hideki Naganuma - Oldies But Happies
Pink Floyd - Free Four
Man Or Astro-Man?  - All Systems To Go

Questions and feedback encouraged:

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Catchup: Laser Romance's Balderdash Podcast 37-43

Yes! We do have a new podcast feed as we've done a sort of reboot. We've added a cast member, reduced download size and increased the amount of awesome. Somewhere in the shuffle of organizing this transition, the last six episodes fell through the cracks. Well, they exist, and here they are!

Balderdash Podcast Episode 37: Who's Counting?

The merry three return to discuss two weeks of games. We touch on Monster Loves you, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Gucamelle, Ico, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, Nintendo news, Violence in Bioshock: Infinite, and more! This week's music in order of appearance: Mighty"O" - Outkast, Southernplayalisticcadillacmuzik - Outkast

Balderdash Podcast Episode 38: Maypole Edition

We come in this week having braved the harsh wilds of League of Legends. We also talk Persona 4: The Golden, Metro 2033, and Fire Emblem. This week's music in order of appearance: Skunk Funk - The Brecker Brothers, Waves - Joey Bada$$

Balderdash Podcast Episode 39: 39.1

The gang is finally back after multiple moves and some computer troubles. We talk Metro: Last Light, Far Cry: Blood Dragon, Battlefield 3, Etrian Odyssey IV, and give you your weekly league of legends update. This week's music in order of appearance: Buggin' out - A Tribe Called Quest, The System is Down - Strongbad

Balderdash Podcast Episode 40: We Played Some Games

Peter and Aaron cover the Xbox One reveal event, talk Etrian Odyssey IV, Persona 4, and a little bit of MOBA action. This week's music in order of appearance: Chance the Rapper - Juice, Chance the Rapper - Cocoa Butter Kisses

Balderdash Podcast Episode 41: NULL
The cosmos once again opened up it's selfish gullet and swallowed this episode whole. Thanks technology / cosmos.

Balderdash Podcast Episode 42: Summer Fancast

Peter and Aaron join up again this week to talk about a variety of new and old games including: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Persona 4, Dota 2, Alan Wake's American Nightmare, Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe, and Etrian Odyssey IV. This week's music in order of appearance: Oh Sheit It's X - Thundercat, Heartbreaks Setbacks - Thundercat

Balderdash Podcast Episode 43: 4E3

We all get together to chat about E3, as well as the games we've played in this old, withering generation. We cover The Last of Us, Gunpoint, State of Decay, and more before jumping into our hard hitting press conference analysis. This week's music in order of appearance: Shooshabuster - Matt Wilson Quartet, Unorthodox - Joey Bada$$

Monday, June 17, 2013

Balderdash Podcast Episode 44 Colon Super Dash Podcast Turbo Episode 1: That's a Kidnapping Thing [updated]

Peter, Aaron and Justin are joined by their dear friend Seth Rosen, and the four bravely embark on a new podcasting journey together! In this, the first episode of our newer, better, more populous podcast, we talk at great length about The Last Of Us, cider, State of Decay, alligators, The Last of Us again, and that whole PS4 vs. Xbox One thing you may have heard about.

Please send us questions and feedback at!.

This is an all new podcast, with a new feed. iTunes is still struggling to catch up, so please use direct downloads or the RSS feed for now!

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Please send your e-mails to

This week's music in order of appearance: Anamanaguchi - Endless Fantasy; My Morning Jacket - Highly Suspicious

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Beef Plays Games: Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe

In this very special first episode/trial run, I try my hand at recently released Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe, and learn for myself just how hard it is to play a game and talk intelligently at the same time!

Sorry I rub my nose so much, my allergies are killing me.

As always, I can be reached at @aizakow.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Dota 2: A Game for Crazy People. Part 1 (?)

I played my first game of Dota 2 a week ago at the time of this writing, and am currently sitting on 34 hours logged. This is with two days spent out of town, away from my computer. 34 hours in 5 days, then. For a week, my computer has been little more than a Dota 2 delivery vessel. I am a man obsessed. Consumed, even. I dream of sick ganks and clutch ults. The distinctive sound of a stack of gold dropping, a reward for a last-hit, or the choir heralding my hero’s return to the battlefield, echo in my brain even as I write this. Any experienced Dota player will tell you that 34 hours is but a pittance, that I cannot even begin to plumb the depths of the game, much less attempt to relay them to you, the reader, but I feel I have no choice but to try. This is the first of hopefully several pieces journaling my descent into the madness that is Dota 2.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Xbox One reveal postmortem: Lines in the Sand

At last Microsoft has pulled the curtain off their next-generation console, dubbed the Xbox One, and the next-generation console kerfuffle can begin in earnest! The reaction around the Internet seems decidedly negative, at least in gaming and tech circles, and based on what was shown at yesterday’s conference, I don’t think it’s hard to see why. The message could be summed up as “TV, Sports and Call of Duty,” as Microsoft spent the majority of their time touting the Xbox One’s capabilities as the multimedia hub of your home. These features, most notably cable box and DVR features, expanded voice controls, and very fast app switching, are not at all without merit, but they are certainly not what the hardcore gaming audience wants to hear about; the same audience which is, let’s face it, much more likely to actually watch an Xbox reveal event live.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Clarity and Defining Your Terms with Specificity

This is a new thing for me: putting my thoughts about design to the page.  Hopefully I'll find things to write about with some relative frequency, but these posts will mostly appear on a when-I-can-find-the-time-and-have-thoughts-to-share basis.  I don't intend to provide manifestos: I encourage discussion (comments section or on twitter: @SIRrosen) and I hope that, at the least, my musings will get you thinking.

So, on with it!  This particular item is more about communicating effectively than about design philosophy itself.  While the original impetus for the post were experiences I've had while developing games, I think that my points here can (and should!) be extended to messaging things to players in games and to criticism and discussion of games.  The thing that I want to talk about today is how to use specificity and definition of terms to ensure clarity and effective communication (i.e. messages that will be understood and not misconstrued).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Laser Romance's Balderdash Podcast 36: Home Run

This week we cover all sorts of bases. We start off with a detailed discussion of Fire Emblem: Awakening, then jump into a discussion on storytelling in games, specifically where we think it can be improved on. We cover a few other games before jumping into a spoiler filled discussion of Bioshock Infinite at the tail-end of the show.

We would love to get some e-mails sent to

This week's music in order of appearance:
Spaxe - Alex Mauer
Way out of Willy - Seamus Blake Quartet

Balderdash Podcast Episode 36 Direct Download (right-click to save)
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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Laser Romance's Balderdash Podcast 35: Bioshock Nightmares

This week we all played a ton of Bioshock Infinite, so we talk about it proportionately. That leads us into a variety of game design topics, followed by a brief check in on 3DS games.

We would love some e-mails from you folks at home: is the address.

This weeks music in order of appearance:

Do the Astral Plane - Flying Lotus
19-2000 - Gorillaz

Balderdash Podcast Episode 35 Direct Download (right-click to save)
Balderdash Podcast on iTunes
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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Laser Romance's Balderdash Podcast 34: What Do You Want Me To Do?

This week we are reunited as a trio and then joined by Justin's lovely wife, Jamie, who shares her thoughts on Simcity. We also cover Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Tomb Raider, Gears of War: Judgement, Ridiculous Fishing, and more.

Send us some damn e-mail:

This week's music in order of appearance:

General Patton - Big Boi
Jussa Playa - Count Bass D


Balderdash Podcast Episode 34 Direct Download (right-click to save)
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

GTFO, a new documentary on the harassment of women in gaming, is now on Kickstarter, awaiting your dollars!

Hey guys,

My brilliant and talented friend Shannon Sun-Higginson has been working on a documentary exposing the harassment of women in all corners of the games industry, from casual online play to professional competition and everything in between. The film is called GTFO, and while she already has some great work done, she needs YOU (yes, you!) to help her go all the way!

As you are no doubt aware, this has justifiably been a hot topic these past couple years, and anything we can do to keep this conversation going is absolutely worth pursuing in my book. As with any kickstarter, any amount helps, so please seriously consider giving to this project!

Trailer embedded below. The Kickstarter can be found here.