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Nerdy Show 252 :: The Gasping of the Huntsman

Posted by NerdyShow on March 9, 2016


ep252The Nerdy Show Network’s flagship podcast unloads on the latest geek news and happenings! (And business opportunities with spiders!)

This episode is a pop culture plethora rife with tangents! Join Cap, boR, Doug, and Brandon for new adventures in video games: Brandon’s latest batch of indie games have left him wanting, boR is jacking into the VR realm, Doug is finally communing with the current generation of consoles, and Cap is bringing the computer to the couch with Steam Link. Indulge in insightful and strange venting on The X-Files and The Muppets, find out Cap’s feels on Zootopia, and learn some weird, weird factoids about Demolition Man.

All this and more fun than you can shake a butt-warmed cleaver at!

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  • huduvudu

    Whoa, hey, I had a totally different experience with Firewatch. I found it a pretty cerebral, immersive game, but you get out of it what you put in. Me, I spend a fair amount of time in my head, and while I am fond of the outdoors, I don’t really know or care much to know the names of every plant out there. I might be the target audience for this. I’d say it’s worth a play if you’re the kind of person that played Skyrim and caught yourself cleaning up detritus or collecting books while making small talk with your companions. Firewatch isn’t about either cleaning or books, but it’s full of little moments in which you can make conscious decisions to do both.

    The conceit of the game is this: whether it’s to take a hiatus from the world, or because it was a job that required little of you, you’re now stuck in the woods as a fire lookout, and your only human contact is Delilah, a fellow lookout who’s been at this for a few years. She orients you to the job, and because you’re also the person she talks to the most, small talk is inevitable.

    Whether it’s talking about your history or making jokes at each other’s expense, the dialogue system is a bit more like Tales games than Mass Effect. You’ve got a couple of options for icebreakers (when inspecting points of interest) or responses, and you’ve got a finite amount of time in which to answer Delilah if she asks something about you. React to a too-raw joke with silence and she might get pissed off, or distracted, and then you’re by yourself again, not having a conversation to pass the time. The writing behind these conversations is organic and strong as hell. You get to hash out the extent to which you rely on Delilah, act as an anchor for her (she’s a little stir crazy too, after all), or fall somewhere in between.

    I agree that the intro is the weakest part of the game, but there is a
    lot of ground to cover to establish the kind of baggage your character
    has as a schlubby guy in his late thirties. Whether you steer Henry as a
    repentant good-for-nothing or a petulant, alchoholic manchild, the game
    takes place at the crossroads of what might be his mid-life crisis.
    It’s your choice as to whether you hold onto the resentment over the way
    things turned out, hold onto the hope that they might improve, or
    decide to turn a new leaf and start your life over.

    To an extent, each of these potential revelations are based on the context of things
    in your head, but for fucking sure does it affect minute parts of the
    game. I found journal entries and other papers reflective of both my history and the way I’d been acting. I found myself disarmed when the questions I was being asked hit a little bit too close to home, and so I chose instead to talk about the cute dog that I had also chosen in the beginning, rather than come clean about my situation. I had the opportunity to name something after him later and couldn’t bring myself to do it.

    The plot might be linear, but the way you approach it colors the experience in a way that I found pretty inventive. In a tense moment I got stung by a bee and reported it to Delilah. I wasn’t sure if Henry was allergic. Hell, I wasn’t sure if he knew whether he was allergic. She said, exasperated, “OK…so, what do you want me to do about it?” I suddenly felt like shit. Henry’s a grown man. What was she going to do, kiss it better?

    The game is set in the eighties, and at some point you find a disposable camera. If you take any pictures, after the credits roll a Web site is generated from which you can order prints of them, like one used to be able to do.

    I’m not rolling in cash, but if any of the hosts are remotely interested in playing, I’d put my money where my mouth is. $18 might be a lot to ask for by today’s standards, but a fair amount of the development team quit their jobs to work on this full-time, and I think the heart shows. I am set for wallpapers for life.

    • capblackard

      Thanks so much for the comprehensive post, man. That game you’ve described sounds WAY more in line with the game I was expecting and has renewed my enthusiasm to check it out.

  • OMG, Spider Simulator 2016…. that whole segment that had me laughing my ass off. Comedy gold, guys! I love having Brandon back on in a regular fashion. The way you guys play off each other is fantastic. By the way, speaking of updates– what’s going on with the Book Club?

    • capblackard

      Thanks dude! Doug is actively talking with a game developer about making Spider Simulator a real thing. Book Club is entirely my fault. I took it on for editing instead of passing it off to an outside editor and then a kerjillion other things came up. I love doing it and really regret this delayed reset. Going to do everything that I can to get it back on schedule.

  • blarg… i looked up Hunstman spiders. Terrifying!!

  • BTW — because of your inclusion of the track from Lemon Demon, I’ve become obsessed with “Spirit Phone” this week. So weird and great. You guys could consider including another track on a future episode–Cabinet Man is great, and Touch-Tone Telephone is another favorite of mine. So now I have you guys to thank for Chamber Band AND Lemon Demo. Thanks!

    • capblackard

      That’s awesome! I was playing it non-stop for the entire week I first heard it. I do indeed have plans to include more…. soon. Thematically much of the record is similar to a project we’ve been working on. Most serendipitous.

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