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The Indoor Kids #169: Pre-sequeling with Anthony Burch
Episode 169: The Indoor Kids
Pre-sequeling with Anthony Burch
The Indoor KidsThe Indoor Kids

The Indoor Kids #169: Pre-sequeling with Anthony Burch

Today we welcome Anthony Burch, from Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’?, writer of Borderlands 2 and the upcoming pre-sequel of Borderlands, to talk about storytelling in gaming, how he got started in the biz, his thoughts on TV and gaming now, and more!

WARNING: There are possible spoilers for Borderlands 1 and 2, Heavy Rain, LA Noire, The Walking Dead Season 2 (video game), and possibly the TV show Gotham in this episode.

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  1. darooda says:

    ‘I’m too old for side quests’ … this is exactly how I feel lately …

  2. Quee says:

    Header = Hydra?

  3. Aeryn Emrys says:

    The return of Rev. Anthony!!  I haven’t heard him since he helmed the Destructoid podcast eons ago.  So awesome to hear hiim again.

  4. Injustified My Love: Goddess Among Us

  5. Ken says:

    I like how Kumail accidentally points out good writing practice for video game characters. The main character often times serves as a 1st person narrator, especially in the case of 1st person shooters. The plot and conflict relate to the character more then the player, as a player i’m brought into this world through the eyes of the protagonist and he should at least be identifiable. Having a female character that’s a psychopath in a borderlands game sounds a little insipid and if the voice acting is poor and the comments are obnoxious it could make the experience less enjoyable then just having a quiet protagonist. In the case of a video game there usually isn’t enough money in the budget to flesh out enough high quality voice acting to fill out a 20-40 hour experience so it’s easier to just have a silent character that people can cast there on impressions onto instead of risking a protagonist that comes off as one dimensional. I like to think of the dilemma between silent or active protagonists as more of an uncanny valley situation.

  6. Pete says:

    I think that one of the hallmarks of nerdism is going into a lot of detail about very insignificant parts of the media you consume, so here you go:
    The problem with squishing the Arizona bark scorpions is that the moms carry all of the babies on their back and you usually can’t squish all of them at once. They’re potentially deadly to children and the elderly, they can fit through a crack the width of a credit card, and they prefer to be oriented upside-down (e.g. on the undersides of tables or toilet seats). The venom is extremely painful.Pest control for scorpions is usually not very effective.  There’s no long term treatment for them, so getting your house sprayed will usually just force them over into your neighbors’ yards and houses until your neighbors gets their houses sprayed, at which time they’ll move back into your house.
    Doses of the anti-venom cost between $8000 and $40000, depending on which hospital you go to.  It may take more than one dose to treat a sting. After insurance pays their share, hospital bills are frequently still above $10000. There are probably more than fifty of them within a hundred feet of me right now and I am vaguely uncomfortable because I am not wearing shoes.

  7. Alec says:

    Oh, and not that this was an issue in the Borderlands games, but I hate when characters suddenly have a personality change during a cutscene because the developers didn’t know how or have time to justify a plot twist. If you’ve played Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I’ve probably already said enough to remind you about the stupidity that goes down in Montreal.

  8. Alec says:

    The Left 4 Dead games have been the high-water mark for me in terms of (1)giving the player characters distinct personalities and letting them have strong opinions, (2)letting the environment and character banter deal with the plot and (3)having enough dialog that you’re still hearing new lines after a dozen playthroughs of the same hour-long campaign.

  9. Daniel says:

    Thanks for the spoiler warning. Would it be possible to have some sort of time index to allow us to skip over a given spoiler? The only spoiler I would care about avoiding is the ending of Heavy Rain, which I never finished because I started playing it with a girlfriend of several years back, stopped while she went off to study, and haven’t played it since we broke up!