Games of PAX East 2015

Tonight on GeekNights, we talk about all (except one) of the games we played at PAX East 2015 that stood out in some way. VA-11 HALL-A (Papers Please + visual novel + that bar in Idoru) looks amazing. Red7 is a solid warmup game. One More Line falls short. Videoball will be the fucking breakout game of the future (and we have formed a professional Videoball team). Morels is a solid 2-player game (one step under Battle Line, but much shorter).

In other news, Hotline Miami 2 releases to mixed reviews, Overwatch brings another chapter to the Blizzard vs Valve head-to-head, Long Live the Queen is worth playing, and we will be performing live at both Zenkaikon and Anime BostonYour text to link... this year!

Losing: PAX Australia 2014

Tonight on GeekNights, we present the full audio of Rym's second PAX Australia lecture: Losing.

Winning is good, and losing is bad. We strive to win, and this is the basis for most of the games we play. Challenges are binary: we either overcome them, advancing the story, or fail, and must try again. But, what if we were to toss this conventional wisdom aside? Do we really only have fun when we win? Have you ever had that moment in a game where epic and total failure was the most memorable part? What kinds of games would arise if we strove to make losing, instead of winning, the point?

Super Smash Brothers 3DS

Tonight on GeekNights, back from PAX Australia and resuming our regular schedule (as well as our ninth year of the show), we bring you our coverage of PAX Australis 2014, our review (and old-man talk) of and around Super Smash Brothers on the 3DS, discussion of cheating in tabletop tournaments, amazing competition at the Fantasy Flight world championships, Blizzard's Overwatch, Kotaku's unfortunate character count in the title of their recent article on it, and Five Nights at Freddy's 2.

Sportsmanship

Tonight on GeekNights, we discuss the sportsmanship. We also discuss the all-important concept of athwartship, croutons (or, as Rym refers to them, "advanced crackers"), nevermind the Steam Summer Sale 2014, that Ghost Detective not-a-game game, FTL Advanced, the fan attempt at a Sonic 2 remake (and the expected lawsuit/takedown), the difference between the new Ducktales game and Bionic Commando: Rearmed.

Why No One Will Game With You

Tonight on GeekNights, we consider why no one will game with you. Why is it so hard to form gaming groups? Why won't anyone play Air Hockey with me? Isn't this the panel Rym and Scott are presenting at PAX East? In the news, there's some old Game Boy Megaman coming to the 3DS virtual console (along with GBA Advance Wars on the Wii-U), and they're even having a completely meaningless vote on nothing! Also, our good friend Conrad Kreyling is making waves in the dating game scene. (He's been on GeekNights before).

Phases of Games

Tonight on GeekNights, in light of a fascinating article on whether or not the first decision one can make in a Civ V game matters, we discuss the phases of games and how decision trees evolve. Most games break down to three fairly distinct phases: the early, mid, and late game. Why is this the case? In the news, Rym runs afoul of an out of date Civilopedia and Jungle Speed's 20th anniversary comes with a new release.

Stakes in Games

Tonight on GeekNights, we talk about what it means to add stakes to games. Do they just remove intrinsic enjoyment? Can the old fashioned "arm slap" add anything to games like Dobble? Antes and wagering have existed for a long time (e.g., in Magic the Gathering), but we don't think of them in other gaming contexts. We also discuss Arthur Chu, the Jeopardy hero, not without precedent in his desire to win games (and money). Hint: you should always play to win. Rym describes what he would change in Nidhogg (it's not perfect).

Be sure to check out the Book Club (Idoru), the forum (an Ivory Tower of discourse), and the new episode of GeekNights Presents!

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