Unlimited Hyperbole #11


[ download this episode ]

As Season Three of Unlimited Hyperbole is focused on matters of character in videogames, talking to a writer such as James Swallow only makes sense; in addition to being a New York Times bestseller James has also worked on games such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Killzone 2 and Fable: The Journey.

In this first episode for Season Three James talks about the process of writing for a game, how Eidos Montreal built a convincing cast for Deus Ex: Human Revolution and how writers are able to contribute to far more than just the character dialogue.

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.


We’re back. The break between seasons ended up lasting longer than anticipated – mainly thanks to the pressures of me moving house – but we’re finally back and have made a return with what was probably the episode I complained about most to friends and Twitter followers. The reason for that was purely the amount of audio James and I recorded; over two hours of uninterrupted chat which I had to edit down into a 15 minute show…

As many people pointed out, I could have chosen to make the show longer or to have released the audio unedited – except that I couldn’t of. One of the things which defines Unlimited Hyperbole is a set of rules I wrote to guide the show, the very first of which is ‘No episode shall be longer than 15 minutes’.

The reason for that rule is complex and ties into a lot what I feel about modern entertainment journalism, but to express it simply I think one area where the internet’s negatively affected a lot of entertainment journalism is in removing limitations such as wordcounts. Nobody omits needless words any more and in podcasts that manifests as over-long shows devoted more to in-jokes and arguments than meaningful discussion about games.

Of course, those shows can still be good and I do listen to a few, but Unlimited Hyperbole is about being more focused than that. It tries to be respectful of a listener’s time and uses limitations to drive creativity. That’s the idea, anyway.

That said, I might re-purpose some of the extra audio for a B-side in the future – just in case the gap between Season Three and Four is even longer than the last one…


  1. This is really interesting, the only thing I don’t like is listening to background music when I’m trying to concentrate on what is being discussed. Anyhow really interesting discussion!


    1. Sorry – I try to keep the music to a minimum!


  2. I really, really enjoyed this. Thank you.


    1. Thanks – hopefully the next ones won’t disappoint either!


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