Sunday, October 30, 2011

EPISODE 8: Horror Gaming

EPISODE 8: Horror Gaming
A discussion of Pac Man ghosts. (For the curious few, the four Japanese Puck-Man Ghosts are Akabei, Aosuke, Guzata and Pinky.)
Department 1: What We've Been Playing
 - Lots and LOTS of Dragon Age 2 (98 hours at last count, according to Raptr)
 - Ascension for iPhone
 - Merchants and Marauders
 - Revolution! by SJG
 - Warhammer 40K Space Marine Demo for 360
 - Nationstates (my region is the Dominion of Asylum; just say you're a fan of the podcast and you're in)
 - A quick perusal of OGame (which I later joined, as it's da bomb)
 - Gears of War 3 (since I might not have said it clearly on-air, in Beast Mode I played a bunch of 'Tickers')
 - Marvel vs. Capcom 3
 - Aliens: Infestation
 - - "Wilco Command, Fox-Six is Oscar Mike."
 - Smash Land
 - Starfox 64 3DS
 - And a special mention to (ugh) Freshly Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland and a reference to the webcomic Ctrl-Alt-Del
Department 2: Wins and Fails (or, in Orwellian Newspeak, "Winfail")
+1 Cthulhu, Call of Cthulhu and Vampire, for hitting some awesome anniversaries
+1, I mean Skylanders
-1 Steam, for continually demanding bandwidth-boggling updates
-1 Vampire: the Requiem for being too far away from Masquerade and still reminding us of it
+1 Each character in Ultimate MvC3 (except for phenomenally bland Nova)
-1 World of Warcraft for pumping out the portion of Azeroth that is Kung Fu Panda
-1 Myself for a terrible Black Friday Financial Paralysis
+1 Stainless Games for Magic 2012, a great remake of Duels of the Planeswalkers
+1 DLC "Season Passes" by Rockstar/Team Bondi, Turn 10 Studios and Epic Games
-1 Bethesda Softworks, for continually pushing his XBox into happy-happy-crash-land
-1 Tiny Tower for temporal vampirism
-1 (he cheated) Zynga for their transformation from money-hungry weasels into money-DEMANDING weasels
Then there was a brief discussion of Judge Dredd.
Department 3: The Topic Main
(Author's Note: My expertise is NOT horror. Enjoy my neophyte comments interrupting these passed masters.)
The Nyan Deemer
A Brief Moment of Terror for L4D fans
Contact us at:
Be sure to stay tuned after the credits for a super-secret teaser of a new project by one of the hosts!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Episode 7: Narrative Role Playing

This episode got mauled by some random editing, so everything other than the topic got mauled. Luckily, the topic remained, and is actually really good in our opinion. We hope you like it as much as we do.

Seven divided by two is three and a half. High school education, you fail me once more.

How to make a narrative RPG (or as Mark likes to call it, how to play Dread right now)

The Mystery of the Stick

Add Native Americans to people Michael accidentally offends

Our exposure to narrative role-playing (Also, our more quick listeners will pick up on my ultra-ninja code-talking)

I'd like to note that I had, and still have, no clue whether the term 'gimped out' means overpowered or underpowered. Feel free to send hate mail to Your mail will be read aloud on the show if it is in limerick form.

Michael's narrative experience and it's necessity from the story he tells (about D&D god kings of space winning everything forever)

Mark's Long History with Role Playing Games

Mary Sue's adventure

The Psychotic Dice


Shavage Worlds (Show email) (Michael) (Jeff) (Mark)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Starting Next Week: Contemplations

Okay, the name is a work in progress, but next week will mark the release of the first Contemplation, a singular/compilation of individual works by each host in which they have a monologue about some topic of game design.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Episode 6: Fear the Con

WARNING: This episode includes medium levels of cursing. Listener discretion is advised.

What We've Been Playing


- Resident Evil 5 Year Old
- Street Fighter 4
- Masher vs. Capcom 3
- Working on games


- Culdcept Saga
- The 'Villes
- Some sculpting of where his RPG group wants to go


- Demon's Crest for the SNES is old school. Who would've guessed?

Wins and Fails:


+ Infinite Tower...for whatever reason (
+ Mega Man Upon a Star (
- The Nintento 3DS for resounding meh-nosity (also a FFXIII reference)
- Mark's completely wonderful worthless notes


+ Youtube username: Behrudy, and Youtube username: levelupseries (Warning, the former is very obscene) Also, for those who don't get my joke, Justin Wong is in the top-3 Street Fighter players ever
+ The Darkness 2 (Info at; buy the first one at
- Prey 2 (Info at, Buy first one at
- AP Epic Failure


+ Evil Hat for the Dresden Files RPG
+ Conformism! (Also, the failure of free)
- AT+T for a terrible router'
- Full House Poker featuring Bob Saget


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Whoa, whoa, what's with all this nothing?

Due to some schedule conflict and general shenanigans, we have had trouble with releasing content.


There is an episode in the hopper, but due to my studies, it may not come out until Friday/Saturday.

We are aware of our lack of content, and are planning some new directions for Gaming Asylum to keep you entertained and informed.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Episode 5: Open World vs. Linear Gaming in Video Games and RPGs

What Are We Playing?:

Jeff is behind on the times, but finally finished Bioshock 1.

Michael hates basic physics, but loves Dead Rising 2 wheelchairs and snow (this was recorded back in February)

Mark knows some fancy Japanese games. Isn't he special? If you want the titles...good luck with that. One is called 3D World Runner in English

Main Topic: Open World vs. Linear

Michael gets some knowledge dropped on him on open world games

If we have any disabled listeners, we apologize greatly



WEAKNESS OPEN WORLD: So big, players are unaware of how things work

STRENGTH OPEN WORLD: Creation of Player Plots

STRENGTH LINEAR WORLD: Meaning Behind The Plot, and a lack of Jimmy McWaffleboys


STRENGTH LINEAR WORLD: Much Stronger Story than a User-Made One

Eternal Pac-Man? Pacternal Darkness? Wakka Wakka Wakka Insanity?

STRENGTH LINEAR GAMES: Possible Sanity Questioning

OPEN WORLD NECESSITY: Need for Universal Signals

WEAKNESS OPEN WORLD: Lack of Urgency, and Vice Versa with Linear World

Side Tangent on Being Timed

STRENGTH OPEN WORLD: Openness in Choices (Durr)

STRENGTH LINEAR GAMES: Importance of the Player's Actions Increases




STRENGTH LINEAR GAMES: Dependency on the Narrative


Linearity in Role-Playing Games

"In a Video Game, the game provides the go, the player provides the do. In an RPG, the player provides the go, and the GM provides the do."
-Mark Snyder

"The more the GM tightens his grip, the more players will slip through his fingers"
-Jeff Bailey stealing from Star Wars: The New Hope

Wins and Fails


+ Youtube dropping time limit
- Having watched two and a half hours of Worms (Dude, seriously?)
+ Apology Win to Every RPG ever made
- Him reading every RPG in a new light


+ Game Informer's Replay of Overblood
+ Ridiculous Texas Snow
- Green Lanturn (2011) and Ryan Reynolds


+ Visceral Studios for throwing in Extraction with Dead Space 2
+ Xynga for being like crack cocaine and SUCKING YOU BACK IN
- Google Docs for censorshiposity
- Indie RPG Movement for obliterating any ability for Jeff to keep track of news

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Dice Alternitives: Gimmick or Game-Changer

Dice. Every RPG gamer has enough to build a small model of the Eiffel Tower (that's a normal thing to do with dice, right?), but for some reason some games choose to forsake dice, and instead use some other device for determining randomness. While I can understand some of these, others I find stupid.

The most common alternative to dice, also the main tool to play the timeless 52 Pickup, are the dice-supplement/replacement that makes the most sense to me. Playing cards were also designed for creating randomness. Another cool thing that a card-based mechanic can do is that there are already hundreds of card games you can draw upon. Perhaps your conflict resolution works like Blackjack, or War, or Texas Hold-'Em. By doing this, a segment of your rules becomes instantly recognizable to the newest of RPG.

A similar idea to this is what I call the "Inception mechanic", that is, a game within a game. This can be seen in Dread, a game whose decision makibg mechanic is a Jenga tower. The flaw I see with this is that the inner game must match the tone and function of the shell game. Dread is a game that relies on horror, a feeling that is complimented by the suspense of a mangled Jenga tower. This would be less successful is the mechanic was, say, based on Bop-It. Also needed is that the game doesn't begin to focus on an irrelevant mechanic. If you pull out Risk mid-game, you are no longer playing whatever you were. Now, people are going to focus on Risk.

An idea I also have heard of is scrapping dice all together, instead opting for a skill based conflict mechanic. Usually, to my limited understanding, this means that if a character is stuck in a situation they are not good at, they are going to shift it to something they are. The problem I see with this is that unless your system utilizes some form of umbrella skill (like a generic Combat or Tech skill) these links could be manipulated by minmaxier players, shooting wires in a computer to hack it or winning a fight by using embroidery to sew a dude's arms together. While this is a minor concern and could be irrelevant in lighter games,it is one that can still sometimes come into play.

Out of all of these, the one I want to experiment with the most is the Inception game. I personally want to try making a game with some sort of TCG-esque conflict resolution. While I think of that, other designers will be exploring the potential of card, diceless, and Inception mechanics, and others yet will be seeing conflict resolution in new forms. As a game designer, sometimes it is important to note randomness can be found in more places than a shiny little die.