The RPS Electronic Wireless Show 42

Don’t call it a comeback. Okay, do. With Quinns’ recent move to London, Kieron and he decided to gather in an office and mumble at one another. And then record it. And then share it. You can download it directly from here, subscribe to it by RSS with this, or get it on iTunes from here. And breakdown of what we cover follows…

00:00 – We try to remember how an intro works.
01:45 – What have we been playing? A little about Lord of the Rings Online.
02:20 – We move onto Starcraft 2 where we talk about – er – what it’s about. The eternal issue of the vocal nature of online fans and how they over-represent in the Western market. And stuff and things! About Starcraft 2!
05:40 – A hypothetical gaming “faking-it” – trying to play in a tournament with no skills. In short, no.
06:40 – Back to Starcraft 2. Single player this time!
08:00 – We start talking about its lack of unlocks in multiplayer, and do it quite badly. Man!
08:40 – Space Station 13. This segues into MUSH games and similar.
11:40 – Kieron makes a most uncanny strange speech-impediment noise. It sounds like an Alien is bursting from him.
13:10 – And we move onto odd interfaces between roleplaying games and videogames – and the moments when an P&P RPG becomes a simulation. Relevant bits – Paranoia, that “real” RPG article.
16:15 – The idea of videogames making people more used to press buttons – or not, in Quinns’ case.
18:15 – Social groups becoming its own rules for games – plus transgression. Man, that sounded seriousness.
19:40 – What has RPS done recently? We look at the site and give some commentary.
20:00 – We try and talk about the Curfew a bit. Also, Kieron’s fear of the word “Info”. This segues into the general question of writing in games – and the limitations thereof. A lot of “We” versus “Us” and seguing into the nature of games.
32:00 – The idea of “Clicking as discovery”. The basic nature of interaction. Kieron appears to have a psychological breakthrough on something incredibly basic. Quinns moves this onto Thief: Deadly Shadow’s The Cradle. The idea of being the instigator is enormous.
34:00 – You definitely won’t hear the editing here. Such things are impossible!
35:15 – And we discuss what Kieron – and now Quinns’ – dream games journalist project would be.
36:45 – We say goodbye! Will we go off and play Chaos in the Old World or Illumanti? It’s Illuminanti.

You can also listen to it here:


  1. Gassalasca says:

    I was growing tired of listening only to Rum Doings, week after week.
    However, since there is no indication how long we’ll have to wait for the next Wireless Show, I am thinking of rationing this one, feeding myself bitesize chunks of about 80 seconds each day.

  2. nabeel says:

    Excellent, welcome back!

  3. terry says:

    Impeccable timing, coincided neatly with my lunchbreak, A+++ etc

  4. Mr Ak says:

    Excellent! (Although this episode’s not currently appearing in iTunes, at least for me)

    • Fashigady says:

      Yeah its doing that for me too :/

    • Vitamin Powered says:

      Me three :(

      Ah well, I need something to listen to on the train tomorrow.

    • westyfield says:

      Same for me. Help! It doesn’t appear in the list that Kieron linked at the top, nor in the itunes store.

  5. nine says:

    so whens the next subscriber only newsletter? you know, the one that you definitely wouldnt forget about this time :P

  6. Azradesh says:

    Another multiplayer game that doesn’t have unlocks in the last 2 years? Every RTS ever. :P

  7. Sobric says:

    1. Wulf and Tei were exactly who I’d want to meet out of all RPS commentators.

    2. Thief 3 is amazing. Shoddy Thief game indeed, take that back.

    • AndrewC says:

      Blimey, you’d need a comfy chair and a *really* big cup of tea if you actually met Wulf. And a list of subjects it would be best not to get into, but I guess he’d really be very present in the conversation, and that’s only a good thing.

      For Tei i think I would bring a soft toy, like a rabbit, so I could give it to him. Lovely Tei.

    • sassy says:

      wulfs a nice guy. I have him friended on steam but only spoke to him once. I would speak to him again but I would undoubtedly be that guy, the one that you have no idea who he is or how he got there and have no wish to speak to, yet for some reason his suddenly speaking while you are undoubtedly doing the most important thing in your life … I hate that guy.

  8. vanarbulax says:

    I’m in a bit of a pickle with RTSes, I enjoy playing them but I do get that “throwing a tennis ball against the wall” feel from most campaigns, basically that I’m just either finding the one way of attack or building up enough forces. It feels like bashing at a rock until it cracks instead of adapting to sudden human change. But I get utterly trounced online. So I have a funny situation of not liking most of the ways of playing the games I like. Except CoH, short, sweet, lots of explosions, engaging tactics, not a forgone conclusion. Lots of fun even to lose.

    Oh and CoH has “unlocks” if have ToV since you can swap standard units in an army with other (often better) which people without ToV do not have access to.

  9. Dood says:

    Paranoia XP is definitely most hilarious P&P RPG ever devised. Just reading the rulebook ist a great experience. And players accusing each other of being communists and basically just looking for a reason to screw each over over makes for a great evening. Just don’t take it too seriously.

    • Arthur Barnhouse says:

      It was always very telling that the rulebook contained remarkably few rules. Dissimilar to a D&D handbook, there were almost no tables or charts, and it wasn’t a description of what was allowed or not allowed so much as a description of how to play act the world. It was almost like a precursor to writing a play, since the only real limit was the GM saying that was a bit to far. The few times I actually tried playing it in my youth it was ruined by two people who’s goal was to break the game and fluster the GM. It needs to be played with people who are modestly interested in getting into a character a bit.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      A paranoia GM has no excuse to become flustered! Kill the fuckers if they get ideas above their stations. Kill them all!


  10. Vague-rant says:

    Is that children yelling in the background? Am I going insane?

  11. Nallen says:

    Sometimes when I load iTunes I refresh the RPSEWS several times just to make sure there’s really nothing new.

    Then I sadface.

    Today, I happyface.

  12. sassy says:

    I really enjoyed how disorganized this was. You were speaking ideas that weren’t yet formed and feeding off each other, this was really interesting to hear.

    All I would like to say is well done and thank you.

  13. Alexander Norris says:

    Why is Quinns on the podcast instead of writing more Journey of Saga?! This is terrible.

  14. Terraval says:

    I feel like a husband whose wife has left him for another man only to come traipsing back through the door months later. I can live with being a cuckold but WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!

  15. perfectheat says:

    Would be more then ace if this came out every fortnight. Please do keep it up!!

  16. Auspex says:

    I found it interesting that KG chose to (primarily) compare the prospect of working with a game developer for a year to the Corner – “one year in the lives of a handful of people who struggle to survive” rather than, what I thought would be the more appropriate parallel in Homicide: Life on the streets.

    Or am I reading too much into the fact he happened to mention one book before the other?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I think it’s probably just because I think the Corner’s the better book, thus the one that’s dearer to me.

      (They’re both fantastic, I stress)


  17. jon_hill987 says:

    Has the feed changed? It is all buggered up on my phone…

  18. Urael says:

    I love how, when Quinns’ voice goes higher, he sounds EXACTLY like the bad guy from Clear Skies 2.

    Quinns – say this: “I’ve read up on you, Rourke, but your usual blind luck and reliance on your wayward friends won’t – why are you trying to dock with me??”

  19. Miked says:

    It doesn’t seem to be on itunes…

  20. Psy says:

    Gosh darn it, get it on iTunes! :(

    • Vinraith says:

      Are you so hopelessly dependent on Apple at this point that you can’t figure out how to download and play an MP3?

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      I just expect that if I subscribe to a podcast feed that it will actually, you know, feed me podcasts.

  21. The Dark One says:

    I hate it whenever someone brings up Thief III. I want to like it so much, but the mouse acceleration and screen resolution problems I’ve had trying to get it to run have sapped my will to play it.

  22. Alex Bakke says:

    I love how, through the course of the podcast, you can hear: The screams of Kieron’s harem of 9-year olds trying to get out, then later on adults shouting, and then later on, sirens. The statement “I may have my cock out now, you never know!” just makes it worse.

    • Vitamin Powered says:

      Good lord, I hadn’t thought of it like that! It all starts to click into place now!

  23. Xercies says:

    I actually agree with Kieron and that instead of writers getting on early it should be more designers becoming better writers. Because the best games are the ones where the designer is the writer your ragner Tornquest(sp?) your warren spectors(was he the writer if he wasn;t he must have been very close to the writer) and things like that. if you have that you have perfect harmony between the story and the game which makes the game much much better.

    Also I think clicking buttons is great, and one of the reasons why horror games could work really well if done right and not the resident evil way(sorry guys those were shit for scares)

  24. Sulkdodds says:

    Yeah, it felt actually more coherent and more unified because everything grew out of everything else. Very intere – er…good.

  25. Freud says:

    I love it when you Americans try to speak with a British accent.

  26. Muzman says:

    If the credit/responsibility/control knotiness of making Curfew is stressful (and if I understand the general thrust of that topic correctly), ya might want to steer clear of writing film and television and the like as well.
    (And by steer clear I just mean be prepared for similar sorts of angst if you end up there.) Sounds very much the same from my humble experience.

    You know I think I said the exact same thing at the top of those stairs in The Cradle, after pausing for what seemed like an eternity. To a large extent I was trying to second guess how the game was going to play this trope. It didn’t matter to the feeling though as I was steeling myself to run like hell the moment I opened the door, edging to the very limits of the frob distance to get the best head start possible. (something for Clint Hocking’s immersion in discussion in there maybe)

    • jeremypeel says:

      The Cradle was a very similar experience for me too – I distinctly remember barely making it (mentally, that is) to one objective only to discover I had to visit somewhere named the MORGUE. I actually moaned, in the proper sense.

      Anyway, the point is, I had to ask my brother to walk Garrett down to the morgue for me because I couldn’t bring myself to engineer my coming into contact with the place where they keep the fucking dead people in an asylum/orphanage/living, breathing hellhole).

      Thief 3 is a very good Thief game.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Yes – totally a similar thing to TV and film, except – IMHO – more so. There it is mainly all about how well the writing serves the story (Well, abstractly). Here, there’s questions and decisions and things to think about outside of the actual story, if you see what I mean.


  27. jeremypeel says:

    This was really good. Being the instigator IS enormous. I’m planning to write something on how Heavy Rain fails to grasp this; making a hard decision is peanuts compared to actually physicially having to go through with it, y’know? It’s what distinguishes Deus Ex from those ‘If you paid the entrance fee, turn to page 14’ interactive novels.

    Is Quinns an official member of RPS yet? I do hope so.

    Also, when do we get our own Space Station 13 server?

  28. Quasar says:

    Any idea when this will be on iTunes? It’s still not there, and I like having my podcast collection on my fruity music player.