Once upon a time, the Retronauts podcast ran a Kickstarter to build up enough funding to get the show rolling again. And it went pretty well! But completing all those backer obligations takes time.
Aaaand that's why, more than two years later, we're finally publishing the episode we recorded at the behest of Kickstarter supporter "Chase," who wanted us to talk about "slow life" games. That's a pretty vague remit, obviously, so we wanted to do it right. To that end, we dragged poor Ray Barnholt back into the studio with us to talk about this sort-of genre — including, of course, Boku no Natsuyasumi, which he's written about in exhaustive detail — as well as Gary Butterfield from Watch Out For Fireballs!. And we did it right! We talked about slow life games, slowly.
In fact, we start at the beginning, with simulation games that could barely be called games (e.g. ELIZA), ramping up through the well-known (Little Computer People) to the barely remembered (Galapagos) before reaching the genre's mad explosion in 2000 (The Sims, Animal Crossing, and many more). While we don't tackle any one game in extreme detail, we definitely cover the gamut... hopefully to your satisfaction, and to that of our supporter.
At the behest of Kickstarter backer Chase (yes, we're still fulfilling Kickstarter episodes), Jeremy, Bob, Ray, and Gary Butterfield assemble to talk about "slow life games." You know, the ones about nothing. The Seinfelds of games.
- Time, and a Word About Animal Crossing: The navel-gazing piece about cicadas I mentioned in the podcast.
- Tomodachi Life and Emergent Heartbreak: More chin-strokey introspection about games about nothing.
- Our Sims 4 review: Seems like EA's not sure where to go with the series. How do you build on nothing!?
- Watch Out for Fireballs!: Home of guest Gary Butterfield.
- Scroll Issue 10: Ray's exhaustive treatise on Boku no Natsuyasumi.
This episode's music comes from Animal Crossing: New Leaf, because what sounds better typify this genre? I ask you.