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An in-depth study on the first level, “Jungle Hijinxs”, including an interview with its original designer

Through a game’s virtual architecture, level designers can teach, encourage, challenge, or even manipulate players into playing a certain way and feeling a certain way while they play. If the player embodies their controllable character as they play, you could say that the game designers embody the levels, the physical world in which the game is set.


The Super Jump Podcast Finale

Wyatt, James, and myself are all here for the final (forseeable!) episode of the Super Jump Podcast. Thank you for listening all this time, and even more thanks to everyone who was involved in the show since its initiation including, but not limited to: Jeff Onan, Daryl Baxter, Gavin Price, Courtney Svatek, Josh Bycer, Anthony Wise, James Manley-Buser, the Kremling Kampaigners, the Medium staff, all writers and contributes to Super Jump Magazine, and Jamatar. Also, all others I’m not specifically remembering at this moment in time.

If you only want to hear this episode without dealing with a pesky podcatcher, that can be done…


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Our full review of Playtonic Games’ stunning second outing

Disclaimer: I am featured in the credits of this game under the category “Beetalion Runners-Up.” Additionally, Playtonic Games provided us with an advance copy of the game on Nintendo Switch. Neither of these factors influenced our overall thoughts about the game, or even our decision to commit to a full review. As always, we carefully consider each game on its own merits.

After the largely mixed reception of Yooka-Laylee, Playtonic Games’ first title, anticipation for the buddy-duo’s follow-up, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, has been somewhat muted. While Yooka-Laylee represented the triumphant return of the 3D collectathon after over a decade of the genre’s neglect, Impossible Lair is a 2D platformer. We like 2D platformers here, but there’s been no shortage in the genre as of late. Not only are older games built by this very team still around (Donkey Kong Country), there are plenty of other genre darlings like Super Mario and Rayman, as well as indie heavyweights such as Shovel Knight, Celeste, and Super Meat Boy. It is not in spite of this amount of competition but because of it that I am excited to say that Impossible Lair stands its ground as an exemplary platformer with comfortable controls, sharp level design, delightful music and art, and a very clever unique gameplay conceit that ties it all together. …


Super Jump Podcast: Season 3, Episode 26

How do you feel about video game announcements? Are they exciting? Do you find yourself getting wrapped up in the marketing material for projects you don’t plan to ever actually engage with? We do. Well, sometimes. It depends on the format. That’s kind of the point of this episode. Mitchell and Wyatt are in it and stuff. You know the drill.

All that and more on this week’s Super Jump Podcast!

If you only want to hear this episode without dealing with a pesky podcatcher, that can be done here:

If you’re like me, however, and you LOVE pesky podcatchers, you’re in luck! The Super Jump Podcast is now available on iTunes and any podcatcher that picks up iTunes podcasts. Just search for “Super Jump” or follow this link to our iTunes feed. If you use another kind of podcatcher and we aren’t yet on its directory, you can still use it to listen to us. All you have to do is manually enter in the following…


Super Jump Podcast: Season 3, Episode 25

Mitchell and Wyatt need to know: Where are all the studios going? It seems like every mid-size studio is either failing or is being absorbed into larger companies. Is there a future for game makers bigger than indies, but smaller than triple-A?

All that and more on this week’s Super Jump Podcast!

If you only want to hear this episode without dealing with a pesky podcatcher, that can be done here:

If you’re like me, however, and you LOVE pesky podcatchers, you’re in luck! The Super Jump Podcast is now available on iTunes and any podcatcher that picks up iTunes podcasts. Just search for “Super Jump” or follow this link to our iTunes feed. If you use another kind of podcatcher and we aren’t yet on its directory, you can still use it to listen to us. …


Super Jump Podcast: Season 3, Episode 24

Wyatt and Mitchell talk about the Need For Speed: Heat announcement, a shake-up in the leadership of the development of Halo Infinite, and the propagation of leaks in the video game industry.

All that and more in this week’s episode of the Super Jump Podcast!

If you only want to hear this episode without dealing with a pesky podcatcher, that can be done here:

If you’re like me, however, and you LOVE pesky podcatchers, you’re in luck! The Super Jump Podcast is now available on iTunes and any podcatcher that picks up iTunes podcasts. Just search for “Super Jump” or follow this link to our iTunes feed. If you use another kind of podcatcher and we aren’t yet on its directory, you can still use it to listen to us. …


An exclusive interview with the studio director of Playtonic Games

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We’ve previously identified Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair as a dark horse of this year’s E3. While the first Yooka-Laylee game was met with mixed critical reception, Impossible Lair seems to be an entirely different story, garnering a fair amount of excitement and praise for the game’s intricately designed environments, impressive soundtrack, and tight platforming mechanics. Recently, we were privileged with the opportunity to sit down with Gavin Price, studio director of Playtonic Games and creative lead on the Yooka-Laylee series, to talk about the upcoming title, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair.

While their last game was a 3D platformer in the style of the team’s previous work on Nintendo 64-era classics such as Banjo-Kazooie, Impossible Lair’s two-dimensional direction is simultaneously more traditional and less familiar. Despite the games’ contrasting styles, apparently this shift was a more natural progression than might be assumed. When asked what prompted the move to the 2D platformer genre, Price…


From controversies to celebrations

James and Mitchell return to discuss the post-E3 news (of which there isn’t a huge amount). We also chat about EA’s “surprise mechanics”, James’ personal takeaways from this year’s E3, and amazing games like Super Mario Maker 2, Outer Wilds, and Cadence of Hyrule.

All this and more on this week’s Super Jump Podcast!

If you only want to hear this episode without dealing with a pesky podcatcher, that can be done here:

If you’re like me, however, and you LOVE pesky podcatchers, you’re in luck! The Super Jump Podcast is now available on iTunes and any podcatcher that picks up iTunes podcasts. Just search for “Super Jump” or follow this link to our iTunes feed. If you use another kind of podcatcher and we aren’t yet on its directory, you can still use it to listen to us. …


Our huge wrap-up of this year’s show

Jeff Onan joins us to talk about the big show. We go over EA, Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Square-Enix, and Nintendo’s showings before going into our individual experiences on the showfloor playing demos and meeting folks. It’s a magical time that only comes once per year, so we sincerely hope you’ll join us on this week’s Super Jump Podcast!

Check out Jeff’s work documenting Sea of Thieves at https://medium.com/golden-sands-blogpost.

If you only want to hear this episode without dealing with a pesky podcatcher, that can be done here:

If you’re like me, however, and you LOVE pesky podcatchers, you’re in luck! The Super Jump Podcast is now available on iTunes and any podcatcher that picks up iTunes podcasts. Just search for “Super Jump” or follow this link to our iTunes feed. If you use another kind of podcatcher and we aren’t yet on its directory, you can still use it to listen to us. …


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Our favorite part of E3 shines brighter every year

E3 is an incredibly expensive show to put on. Nintendo erects two-story booths in the middle of a convention center. Ubisoft hires an orchestra to play music from Assassin’s Creed. Microsoft books Keanu Reaves. Sony even decided that keeping up with the Joneses wasn’t worth the cost this year and opted to bow out. With the sheer barrier to entry to putting up a massive booth at the biggest video game convention in the world, many larger companies are choosing to focus on fewer and fewer games. This is compounded by the fact that those few games often tend to conform to a particular mold. …

About

Mitchell F Wolfe

Games writer, podcast producer, cognitive scientist

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