It’s time for a bonus round.
If you’re new to the show, this is an excellent place to start tuning in to the Screen Looking podcast. In our first bonus episode, Alex Koval and I take a respite from the deep dives for a chill, candid conversation about our tastes in video games – and how our personalities inform them.
In addition, we have a special announcement at the top of the episode, followed by some fun ideas for future installments.
We’ll be returning soon with more deep and varied explorations of why video games are such an interesting medium, discovering new stories and rediscovering old favorites. For now, we simply couldn’t wait to keep the conversation rolling.
Additional Notes & Credits
- Music in today’s episode is by Mono Memory – an 80’s inspired synthwave producer based in Edinburgh. The song is called “Crystal Beach” and can be found here on Bandcamp.
- Photograph by Hilary Bovay, my partner, previous guest of the show (E.2 & E.3), and co-host of The She League Podcast.
- “Ludonarrative dissonance is the conflict between a video game’s narrative told through the story and the narrative told through the gameplay. Ludonarrative, a compound of ludology and narrative, refers to the intersection in a video game of ludic elements and narrative elements.” –Wikipedia
- “What’re ya’ sellin’? What’re ya’ buyin’?”
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.