June 19th, 2012

Posted by Matt

Our update this week features a character you may recall from another of our series. No longer is Mark Sauceman a lowly ENN contributor. Today he has officially been granted his very own show!

LoadingReadyRun: GearsGear
Unskippable: White Knight Chronicles II, Part 1
Checkpoint: Season 2, Ep. 7 – UFC Extremely Disputed
Feed Dump: Guessing Games
Loading Time: Find Free Locations
GPLP: Cursed Crusade (PT7)

Filmed on Friday (with a few pick-ups on Saturday), GearsGear was one of two videos shot this weekend. I can’t talk about the other one yet (you’ll see it next Monday though!), but rest assured that the amount of filming we undertook this past weekend has us actually starting to put together a video backlog again! We haven’t had one of those in quite a while, so it’ll be good to be back on top.

Of course, by the time we’ve got that backlog built we’ll be back into PAX and Desert Bus season, and we’ll burn right back through it all, but hey, that’s what it’s for right?

‘Til next week, cheers!

Discount Deities
February 14th, 2011

Posted by Matt

D’y’all ever find yerselves in need a’ some laughs, but a little short on funds? Well, git on over to The Escapist, ‘cuz we’re servin’ ’em up at steeply discounted prices!

This was a tremendously fun video to shoot, and not just because it was straightforward and quick. Things started off well when Graham and Kathleen proceeded to buy out the entire Snuggie supply of a local store and got questioned as to why they would be doiong something so ridiculous by a passerby. We also had both Bill and Morgan on set for the shooting of this bit, which is a rare event, but always enjoyed. Hilariously, Morgan had barely slept the night before shooting, and so most of his time (on and off camera) was actually spent napping. In retrospect, I suppose we didn’t really get to interact with him much as a result.

Unskippable this week was Dead Rising 2: Part 2. Check it out here.

Also, finally, a reminder that there will be no ENN this week (or in any future weeks), owing to the fact that it is being discontinued. You’ll find details in our blog post here.


Important News Update RE: ENN
February 13th, 2011

Posted by Matt

Hi everyone, we’ve got some important news regarding ENN that you ought to be aware of. Unfortunately, we have to report that effective this week, ENN will be discontinuing updates. Fear not, though – the spirit of ENN will live on! After trying out the ENN Newsroom format, we listened carefully to your feedback, and over the coming weeks will be looking to take what we’ve learned and use it launch a new series in a similar vein. It won’t be ENN, but we’ll work hard to make it even better.

We’d like to thank the fans of the show (in all of its various formats) for enjoying the work we’ve produced, and we’d like to thank The Escapist for giving us the opportunity to take our idea and make it real. We’ve had a blast putting ENN together over the course of its run and we hope you’ve had just as much fun watching the results.

Going forward LoadingReadyRun, Daily Drop and Unskippable will continue to update weekly on The Escapist, and we’ll continue to work hard to bring you many more laughs.


ENN – Minced Words
July 17th, 2010

Posted by Jeremy

The feature story for this week’s ENN episode came, in a way, out of nowhere. The plan had been to shoot the story that will air next week–and indeed, we did shoot that story–but it was as Graham was settling into place in his tan blazer and feathered wig for the 80s section of this week’s Metal Gear story that it struck me that we hadn’t done anything about RealID–no doubt, the biggest story of the week. The concept emerged from my brain more-or-less fully-formed, encapsulated by the S.P.R.E.H. (Society for the Preservation and Research of Endangered Hatespeech) acronym. This is an idea that I knew Kathleen, at least, could get behind, but it turns out Graham and Paul liked it too.

That night on Wave, Kathleen and I (with some help from Graham) sat down and wrote the script. She proved far more capable than I of processing the idea of the hatespeech biosphere, though I was fascinated by the idea of Blizzard taking social networking to its obvious conclusion, and ran with that.

We enlisted John Funk from The Escapist as our Blizzard rep because he’s a cool guy, and we’d been thinking for a while abut enlisting the Escapist Staff as ENN characters. They have cameras and studio space of their own, after all, and really wanted to get involved. Also, Funk is a gigantic Blizzard nerd, so it seemed to make sense. They recorded his stuff in Durham, NC, and ferried it to us just in time for us to integrate it into our own material and ferry it back to them later that same day. The internet is magical, and I have no idea how we ever functioned without it.

I wanted to write an entertaining article for you about this episode, but it turned into more of a manifesto. It’s included after the break for anyone who feels it might be interesting.

Read the rest of this entry »

ENN – July 7, 2010 – The Perspectiving
July 8th, 2010

Posted by Jeremy

For this week’s ENN, we delve into the scary realm of unneeded and un-asked-for gameplay innovations. To this point, GearGasm has been mostly about hardware, but we felt that there was a spot for the grand tradition of incorporating  game design elements that are completely irrelevant to the experience of actually playing games. I seem to recall that this idea came from a discusion during the production of the E3 News Bytes, though I sadly don’t remember the details. Paul, as usual for GearGasm, took the idea and ran with it to create the most astoundingly generic-sounding game concept he could think of, paired with this astonishingly terrible concept.

After the fact, however, we realized there are actually several games that incorporate second-person concepts. Here is my personal top five.

Too Human
Among other well-intentioned-but-poorly-implemented concepts in Too Human is the idea that a physical camera within the game environment would lead to a more cinematic (and possibly compelling?) play experience. As such, small sections of the game took place from the point-of-view of enemies Baldur was about to kill, which could be jarring and somewhat hard-to-manage when that enemy was, for example, suspended 10 metres above the level, looking down on the player.

Metal Gear Solid
The Psycho Mantis section of Metal Gear Solid is one of the most fondly-remembered and consistently
lauded sections in any video game. One aspect that most folks fail to remember, however, occurs in the leadup to the sequence, where Meryl is obviously acting weird, but the player isn’t exactly sure why. At this point, outside the commander’s office, a player entering first-person mode would see Snake from Meryl’s point-of-view, instead of vice-versa. This acts as a creepy appetizer to the weirdness to follow, but is something most players never actually see.

God of War 3
There is undeniable badassary in looking at Kratos through Poseidon’s eyes as our favourite spartan beats the ever-living crap out of him. Eye damage is an important part of God of War and something that, in general, makes me extremely uncomfortable. Remember that comic where the Spider Hunter dude ripped out Peter Parker’s eyeball and ate it? Ew. Putting the player in the role of the ocular damagee seems a fitting way to escalate the impact of this violence.

TMNT: Turtles in Time
While not second-person in the strictest sense–because you can see him throughout the entire battle–the idea of placing the camera behind Shredder, during the technodrome level of Turtles in Time and having the turtles damage him by throwing foot soldiers into the screen was original and made for one of the highest-concept boss fights of its time. Of course, in an age before tutorials, throwing foot soldiers in not-quite-mode-7 3D was unreliable at best for 10-year-old Jeremy, but  it sure was fun!

Prince of Persia (2008)
Ok, this is clearly spoiler territory, but it’s an awesome spoiler. If you haven’t finished Nolan North the Iraqi Prince and Natalie Portman the Magical Fairy Visit Whimsical Painting Land, then you might not want to read the rest of this entry. The last boss fight of the game is played entirely from the perspective of said boss. This is awesome for three reasons: first, the perspective makes the boss seem huge compared to the Prince and Elika; second, the entire thing is in black-and-white, which makes everything, especially the corruption effects, look gorgeous; and third, the perspective makes it difficult to see exactly what the last boss looks like. HP Lovecraft would be proud. If you’ve listened to Those Games We Played, you know that I like boss fights that feel like an “event”, and this one definitely feels epic.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s ENN! We had a tonne of fun making it :). See you next week!