Unlimited Hyperbole #12

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Games are a multi-disciplinary artform. They aren’t just limited to using words, music or pictures to tell their tales, but can use broader devices too; emergence, artificial intelligence and environments. These, as much as anything else, help inform the character of a game.

Of these tools, it’s the environments we play in which most concerns Rob Briscoe. He’s worked as an environment designer on projects such as Mirror’s Edge and Dear Esther and in this episode of Unlimited Hyperbole he discusses what his role entails, the aspects which characterise his wider style and the pressures that environment designers are often under. Most amazingly at all, he also provides the first hints of what his next project might be, years before it may otherwise come to light.

Unlimited Hyperbole is a short, weekly podcast about videogames and the stories we tell about them. The show is divided into seasons of five episodes, each with a topic that’s used as a prompt when interviewing special guests. This season we’re talking about “Matters of Character” – and to find out more about the production of this episode, read after the jump.

So.

This interview was amazing. I often say – and recently remarked on Twitter too – that I consider it to be a good sign for a game if I’m proven to be terrible at it but I still enjoy playing it. After interviewing Rob I think the same may hold true for conversations too though because, in the hours Harriet, Rob and I chatted for, I seemed to pursue all the wrong ideas.

I asked if the storm drains level in Mirror’s Edge were meant to be evocative of missile silos and therefore vaguely threatening (they weren’t), I asked if Rob had a personal interpretation of Dear Esther’s narrative (he doesn’t), if Rob was annoyed by things like the Dear Esther wiki (nope) and a dozen other things, all wrong.

But it didn’t matter, because I was having fun asking questions and Rob knows what he’s talking about. We had a chuckle over the fact that I took such an apparently odd read on some of his work, then ploughed on. Cuts from this episode included lengthy discussions about how to get into the industry, Rob and Harriet’s take on survival horror games such as Silent Hill and the design influences on the caves in Dear Esther. All fabulous stuff.

And…man. I can’t wait to hear more about that game Rob’s toying around with either.

It’s worth saying, by the way, that Unlimited Hyperbole is at a critical juncture now while we decide what the future of the series will be. Initially the plan was to end everything after a few series, or to re-jig it on another platform…but we’re open to other ideas.

If you’d like us to keep the show going, if there are things you’d like to change? Let us know. We love criticism way more than praise, here. It’s healthier.

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11 thoughts on “Unlimited Hyperbole #12

  1. [...] Speaking to Joe Martin, the artist behind the fabulously-pretty island of Dear Esther, Robert Briscoe, has announced he’s embarking on a one-man project of formidable ambition. Here’s the quote: “I fancy doing something on my own, something entirely of my own creation. Dear Esther was a great project…[but] this time around? I’ve always had this idea in my head of this sort of open-world, STALKER-like game without weapons. With a horror aspect to it. I’ve never had the opportunity to it because the scope of it is so huge…I can’t even believe I’m contemplating doing it! It’s so unreal…but this is the whole thing with me: I want to see if it’s possible for just one person to make a game on a scale that’s probably never been done before…” [...]

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  2. [...] Speaking to Joe Martin, the artist behind the fabulously-pretty island of Dear Esther, Robert Briscoe, has announced he’s embarking on a one-man project of formidable ambition. Here’s the quote: “I fancy doing something on my own, something entirely of my own creation. Dear Esther was a great project…[but] this time around? I’ve always had this idea in my head of this sort of open-world, STALKER-like game without weapons. With a horror aspect to it. I’ve never had the opportunity to it because the scope of it is so huge…I can’t even believe I’m contemplating doing it! It’s so unreal…but this is the whole thing with me: I want to see if it’s possible for just one person to make a game on a scale that’s probably never been done before…” [...]

    Like this

  3. [...] with Unlimited Hyperbole, Briscoe teased, “I fancy doing something on my own, something entirely of my own creation. [...]

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  4. [...] with Unlimited Hyperbole, Briscoe teased, “I fancy doing something on my own, something entirely of my own creation. [...]

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  5. Please continue with it, I really like this podcast. Just get a better mic, please , the one you are using doesn’t sound that great. I understand if the guests don’t have a good setup, they have to speak in something at their own computers, of course.

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    • Joe Martin says:

      Yeah, it varies. The one I use for my bits is a good mic (Yeti Blue) and I manage the setup as best I can…but it’s still from my house, not a studio. Sometimes errors get in.

      As for the guests, again, we try our best. Sometimes they have a good mic, sometimes they don’t. We polish where we can, but it’s something I’ll be sure to watch for in the future too. Thanks for the feedback!

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  6. [...] Criadores de Mirror’s Edge e Dear Esther parecem estar focados num novo e interessante projecto. [...]

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  7. [...] the latest episode of Joe Martin’s Unlimited Hyperbole podcast, Briscoe said, “I’ve always had this idea in my head of this kind of open-world [...]

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  8. [...] a oportunidade de fazê-lo porque ele seria muito grande,” declarou Briscoe durante o podcast  Unlimited Hyperbole. “Imagino fazer algo sozinho, algo de minha total autoria. Quero ver se apenas uma pessoa poderia [...]

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  9. [...] a oportunidade de fazê-lo porque ele seria muito grande,” declarou Briscoe durante o podcast  Unlimited Hyperbole. “Imagino fazer algo sozinho, algo de minha total autoria. Quero ver se apenas uma pessoa poderia [...]

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  10. [...] подкасте художник рассказал о том, что он всегда мечта [...]

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