Constantly Calibrating Podcast (Gaming & Geek Culture)

With April drawing to a middle, we have reached the end of this month's not-so-series of interviews. Last week we brought you the fun-filled look at Yacht Club Games, and the making of Shovel Knight. On this week's edition, we're bringing you a look at the world of VR and a brief gander at Australian game development, as we're talking to Justine Colla. Our topics for the night included what got her into gaming, the growth and progress of VR, and whether that platform is niche or here to stay.

Justine, formerly of Atla VR and now at Suprise Attack Games, isn't just a game developer and marketer; no sir! If you've checked out her Twitter page recently, you would know she is totally secretly a huuuuuuge wrestling mark. (We mean that from a place of love, as half of our podcast team identifies with that lifestyle as well.) She's not just into wrestling and WWE content, but is also an accomplished wrestling fan artist with a following knowing her as the "cruiserweight mom".

While this episode started off a little slowly -- Skype had large delays with the Arizona to Australia connection -- it shaped up to be one of our favorite chats so far in 2017. Give it a watch, give it a listen, and then make sure to swing by our iTunes page and drop off a review. We'll love you forever if you did.

You can find more out about Justine Colla on her website or Twitter, and can support her wrestling fan art habits on her storefront or her super awesome Patreon. Tell her we sent you, because we want her to come back again for more chats.

 

Seriously, Josh had a dream Monday night where she helped relaunch ConCal Armbar! with him and Ryan. It was a really great dream from what we've heard.

Direct download: ConCal22220-20FULL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm PDT

Two years ago at PAX East 2015 Justin was wandering the slightly less frigid wasteland of the Boston Convention Center, in search of game developers to talk to. He was not of the media pass holder type of attendee for this event, so easy conversations and networking were beyond his hopes. Then, from across the expo hall he spotted a booth. It was a booth not unlike the others, but what he saw was a knight...and a shovel. 

He ventured closer, daring to see if these fine people had a game of interest to show him. What he spotted was a retro-styled platformer he has long been curious about. But what was this, did his eyes deceive him? Surely that was not the classic Battletoads hanging out with this Shovel Knight? Surely that wasn't Kratos, the God of War, chilling out with the blue armored titan of men?

It was at this point that Justin spotted one Sean Velasco, setting up an interview with the gentleman of Yacht Club Games. One thing led to another, and Constantly Calibrating got on their media list and even received review codes for Shovel Knight. That started Josh's journey towards booking Yacht Club Games for a podcast appearance.

An attempt was made, but they were finishing the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 releases of Shovel Knight.

Another attempt was made, but they were busy developing Plague of Shadows.

Finally, at the start of 2017 a third attempt was made, despite the team working towards the release of Specter of Torment. Which is why we're here!

So join Josh & Justin as they chat with Sean Velasco and Woz of Yacht Club Games about the past, present, and future of Shovel Knight. Perhaps even some discussions about what they may do outside of our favored knight.

As always, comments and feedback makes us gassy is appreciated.

Direct download: ConCal221_-_FULL.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 3:00pm PDT

Mass Effect Andromeda. You, our loyal fans and new people discovering us must have known that the back-half of March was going to be Mass Effect heavy. With a name like Constantly Calibrating, and a history of going on emotional tirades whenever BioWare's space opera is mentioned should have made this obvious. If it wasn't, then you're in for a treat for this, the last episode of March 2017.

On this week's show we delve into the aforementioned Mass Effect Andromeda. Spoilers are kept to a minimum, as this is our first real impressions on the game. You may hear the name of a planet, companion, or sexual position, but nothing that is likely to ruin your entire experience. Unless you're anti-space banging, which is just...how can you live with yourself? The team crosses all around the Helius Cluster, picking out thoughts on the game's mechanics, poking at terrible design choices (hello galaxy map!), and jumping on and off several bandwagons, of which many were self-created.

There is also talk of the recently announced StarCraft remaster, a few thoughts on Destiny 2 (Des2ny's Child), and some sports talk? Yeah, we all have concerns on that. And no, we can't be specific, as that particular word associated with that specific team is what got us removed from iTunes last time. No joke!

Let us know your own thoughts on this and more in the comments wherever you find this episode.

Direct download: ConCal22020-20FULL.mp3
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 3:00pm PDT

This week's edition of the Constantly Calibrating Podcast may be a day late, but that doesn't make it any less awesome. First off, our apologies on the delay in release, but between a toddler on spring break and a major 48 hour Internet outage, there was limited means by which to be prepared. Unless you're expecting us to have content prepped days ahead of time, cause that would be silly... Anyways, onto gamer entitlement...

Yes, gamer entitlement has become a growing concern in the video game industry over the years. It's understandable and obvious that consumer's would want the best and most complete experience after dropping $60. That makes absolute, perfect sense and they should get value out of every dollar spent. What is not reasonable, understandable, or even logical is for them to take to social media to curse at, scream at, and threaten violence on people who are devoting their lives to creating enjoyable products. Maybe the game fell short; maybe it was outright garbage, but on what planet does that justify the threats and insanity seen online.

We at Constantly Calibrating finally are putting our thoughts in on this topic that we should've weighed in on years ago. Before listening, and probably cursing us out on social media, let's drop in one simple tip: Prior to posting a comment to a developer, ask yourself if you would say this to their face. If the answer is no, then reconsider what you're typing. See, it's so simple!

Now please enjoy the show, which also includes some spoiler-free thoughts on Iron Fist and a brief sound issue around the 15-minute mark.

Oh, and please just be excellent to each other; it's not that difficult, I assure you.

<3

 

 

Party on Dudes...Had to be done...

Direct download: ConCal219_-_FULL.mp3
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 12:07pm PDT

For this week's adventure in podcasting our team sent intrepid individual, and Constantly Calibrating Creative Director, Justin Stanley to the surprisingly frigid hellscape* of Boston, Massachusetts. Why would we do such a thing, you may be asking? Well, because last weekend it was PAX East 2017!

That's right, Justin went to the land of Quincy Market to explore the wonders of Penny Arcade's annual eastern-based gaming experience to acquire tales to delight and tantalize you. From games like Graveyard Keeper and Songbringer to Flipping Death and Northgard, we have many a tale.

But that's not all!

In addition the team explores the world of who is allowed to repair your broken consoles, while pondering what happened to Josh at the start of the show.

Welcome to episode 218 of the Constantly Calibrating Podcast!

 

*To be abundantly clear, we have nothing against Boston. In fact, it's in Josh's top 5 favorite cities in the world, but as anyone who was there last weekend knows, it was cold as frell.

Direct download: ConCal218_-_FULL.mp3
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 3:00pm PDT

How does one summarize 5 years of running a podcast? No, seriously, tell me how, because I've been sitting in front of this keyboard for a month trying to write something profound about the experience; something that most likely only 10 people will read at any point in time. Instead, words have betrayed me, as I'm utterly speechless about the amount of time that has gone by. Well, not utterly speechless since I'm still capable of rambling like this. I could simply ignore the anniversary and focus on our Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild first impressions, or elucidate on something learned from the Nintendo Switch, but that wouldn't do our anniversary the justice it deserves.

Frankly, what would truly do it justice is if you all gave it a listen and joined us as we both celebrated and ignored this pivotal milestone for Constantly Calibrating. You see what I did there? You see that Jewish mother level of guilt-tripping? Good, because despite some technical issues on both of Ryan & Thaddeus' audio tracks, this episode was still one of my favorite experiences in the last 5 years. I sat down with my friends and discussed video games, movies, and my own history, and then I got to be center of attention for the show and extol their virtues and sing their praises. It was a win/win scenario of epic proportions, and one I wouldn't have been able to do without you all listening and watching and putting up with our nonsense for 5 years.

5 years! On March 10th, 2012 we released the very first episode of the Constantly Calibrating Podcast, one where we simply talked about Mass Effect 3. Now we're 11 days away from the start of a new journey in the saga, so the show begins with the end of our longest-running joke. Brad has finally beaten Mass Effect 3.

Our long nightmare is over.

So please join us to celebrate and let us know what you hope to see from us in 2017 and beyond.

Thank you,
Josh

P.S. Justin & I licked the Breath of the Wild cartridge. Enjoy our suffering, as I'm pretty sure I'm allergic.

Direct download: ConCal217_-FULL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm PDT

Since the dawn of Horse Armor, the gaming landscape has been plagued by downloadable content. Once thought to be an added, paid bonus for games, DLC has gone from good to bad to worse in the intervening decade. Then the unthinkable happened: Nintendo announced a poorly explained Season Pass for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and the ground fell out beneath us all. That is, it would've if not for the fact that at Constantly Calibrating the team has always stuck to a simple fact: DLC is not bad; at least not inherently.

To provide a counter and show the team the errors of their ways, they brought in Jenn VanGemert, AKA LoZelda. At least that was the plan, as the podcast went and took about 42 twists and turns and ended up with something else entirely.

Listener (or viewer) be prepared for a journey the likes of which you may never have experienced, this week on the Constantly Calibrating Podcast.

Direct download: ConCal_216_-FULL.mp3
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 3:00pm PDT

Journey with us to a land of misbegotten thoughts, as our team is joined by special guest Cutwright for a romp in the "Git Gud" or "Why can't I say alive" genre of gaming. Our panel of exhausted and sometimes humiliated hosts explore this genre from humble beginnings as Demon Souls, all the way up to recent release NiOH, and beyond to find out why people keep playing them. Co-host Josh also tries to read fan/audience submissions at the most inopportune of times.

Before getting to the meat of the show, the team settle in as Josh drops a review for Mitch Rapp: Off Book, releasing March 6th. Let's also not forget the exploration of the Nintendo Switch UI leak, what in the world is up with the box sizes for the system, and an exploration of a recent Mass Effect Andromeda game series video.

That and more, possibly less, possibly and accurate representation on this week's episode of the Constantly Calibrating Podcast.

Direct download: ConCal215_-_FULL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:27pm PDT

Do you hear that?

Hopefully you do, because on this episode the ConCal Crew digs deep into music and sound design. They’ve also dug up a great guest co-host in the amazing Chris Hernandez from the Casting for Two podcast.

We all touch on the music from games that make us feel things.

Yes! Real human emotions like we’re supposed to feel! We also take the time to discuss how sound design in general has made us better players (and people).

Plus, we spread some hot some steamy love towards the upcoming games Anew: The Distant Light and GreedFall, in which we look forward to handling our moosetree creatures with care.

Direct download: ConCal214_-_FULL.mp3
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 3:30pm PDT

The crew once again is reduced to two, as illness runs rampant in the Constantly Calibrating virtual office. This of course means that for possibly the first time ever, Josh and Justin have the show to themselves! Watch and listen as our two-man team dishes out their thoughts on the Ghost Recon Wildlands Beta, offers thoughts on Resident Evil 7 (possibly the second time), and generally derail each other for just under an hour.

This is a podcast that there is at least a 42% chance that you won't want to miss!

Direct download: ConCal213_-_FULL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:44pm PDT