E.7 – Resident Evil 2 (Pt. 1: Look & Feel)

If it wasn’t for Capcom’s remake of Resident Evil 2, this podcast probably wouldn’t even exist. Soon after RE2 was unveiled at E3 2018, Alex Koval and I jumped on a call to discuss why the 1998 version was still so present in our minds. Joining us to see how well it’s come back to haunt us is my brother and returning guest, Nicholas Kuhar, for a special two-part edition of Screen Looking.

In Pt. 1, our attention is focused on the look, feel and mood of Capcom’s re-imagined RE2, in addition to some of its earliest and most unforgettable moments. By the end, we make our way around to one of the game’s most divisive topics: Mr. X.

For a 21-year-old game, RE2 is still full of surprises and eager to subvert our expectations. Indulge us as we once again enter the world of survival horror.

Additional Notes & Credits:

  • Alex Koval is a full-stack web developer, an independent short-filmmaker, and a fan of the horror genre. We’ve been best friends since 2nd grade, and some of his favorite games include Resident Evil, Final Fantasy Tactics, Eternal Darkness, and Banjo Kazooie.
  • Nicholas Kuhar is my brother, bandmate, and frequent donor of graphic novels. He is also the Director of Innovation at St. Edward High School in Cleveland, OH, helping young students unlock their creativity through new-media. Some of his favorite video games include The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Final Fantasy VII.
  • Music & SFX in today’s episode are from Resident Evil 2 and its OST, produced by the Capcom Sound Team.
  • Featured excerpts are courtesy of YouTubers Chris Gamesalot and their interview w/ writer Brent Friedman, as well as Captain Eggcellent and their Resident Evil 2 Remake Mythbusters series.
  • Archived interview with the original RE2 team (RE1.5 development stories & more) from the June 1998 issue of Japanese gaming magazine, “The Playstation.
  • Tune in next week for Pt. 2, as we venture forth into RE2’s revised story and campaign details.

Engadget Feature: The World of ‘Guacamelee! 2’

There are few games that I have replayed – and then again, and again, and again – as much as I did with Guacamelee!.

Each playthrough emboldened me to become an even stronger, faster, more magical luchadore, but they also revealed new layers to the game’s world. Guacamelee! was brimming with secrets, hidden between the difficulty spikes and its signature atmosphere. That attention to detail only went further in its recent sequel, and luckily I got to hear & write all about it.

For my second longform piece on Engadget, I had the pleasure of talking with the series’ creators, DrinkBox Studios. Guacamelee! 2 became an opportunity for them to revisit a world they loved building in the first place, only to discover how rewarding the creative process could still be. I spoke with the team’s co-founder and producer, Graham Smith, art director, Steph Goulet, and concept lead & animator, Augusto Quijano, to better understand the sequel’s new landscapes, narrative beats, color palette and more.

As delightful as Guacamelee! 2‘s slapstick self-aware tone is, what stuck with me were its quieter moments – and how personal Augusto was in drawing inspiration from his Mexican upbringing. It’s clear that DrinkBox made even more thoughtful design decisions this time around, managing to distinguish the sequel from its already hyper-stylized predecessor along the way.

With a Guacamelee! themed episode of Screen Looking in the works, I now have a great excuse to replay the sequel, too. Until then, I hope you enjoy reading about it.

E.4 – Hearthstone: The Boomsday Project

It’s been nearly half-a-decade since Blizzard Entertainment disrupted the card game scene with Hearthstone. Its community is still going strong, and is now enjoying one of its most fun & balanced seasons thanks to The Boomsday Project: an otherworldly expansion pack filled with mad scientists and happy accidents.

In our fourth episode, we discuss not only the state & direction of Hearthstone, but also revisit the foundation it was built upon. Returning from our debut episode to talk through it all is my dear friend, Alex Koval.

We also welcome an additional and very special guest: concept artist & illustrator, David Kegg. David has had the unique pleasure of creating some of the excellent artwork found in Hearthstone’s latest set and trailers. Today he joins us to talk shop about the look & feel of the game, his artistic contributions and the process to bringing aspects of Hearthstone’s world to life.

Additional Credits & Notes:

  • Alex Koval is a full-stack web developer, an independent short-filmmaker, and a fan of the horror genre. We’ve been best friends since 2nd grade, and some of his favorite games include Resident Evil, Final Fantasy Tactics, Eternal Darkness, and Banjo Kazooie.
  • David Kegg and I went to art school together at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and he has been a professional concept artist & illustrator ever since. His work can be viewed online through ArtStation, as well as on Instagram and Twitter (@DKeggArt).
  • Music in this episode is from the OSTs to both Hearthstone and its latest expansion, The Boomsday Project.