Abraham Lincoln

Archive for May, 2013

Episode 41: The Kind of Scary Energy That Doesn’t Exist

May 31st, 2013 | Robin

In the Gaming Hut, we examine the tradition of flaws and disads in RPGs. Do they put the “fun” in dysfunctional?

Then Ken and Robin adjourn to the Cinema Hut, where they try not to tell you too much about Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color while urging you to see it, and from there jump into the distinction between the explanatory and the experiential in storytelling.

In Ask Ken and Robin, Jon Leitheusser asks Robin to explain the process by which his game design aesthetic gelled.

Finally, fraud at Alaska’s ionosphere-bombarding HAARP facility sends us spiraling into an extra-chilly installment of Conspiracy Corner.

Ep 40: Forces of the Tomkitten

May 24th, 2013 | Robin

Ken and Robin enter the Gaming Hut to catch you up on what they’re playing right now, from xenoarcheaological exploration to carnies caught between the devil and alien invaders.

In Ask Ken and Robin, Terry O’Connell asks, “What’s your take on the Beyonce as Illuminati meme?”

How to Write Good leads us into a general consideration of the mash-up age, before we provide advice on how to pastiche the prose styles of previous eras.

Finally we rev up Ken’s Time Machine to prevent Cannibalism at the Jamestown colony.

Episode 39: The Book of Not At All Sinister Church Names

May 17th, 2013 | Robin

Two mysterious doors provide ingress into the Gaming Hut. Which one do we take, as we contemplate adventure structure and the choice points that comprise it?

Ask Ken and Robin takes an alternate history turn as Crane Brinton wonders: What does the alternate timeline where the Kaiser won WWI look like?

Then we hop into a mapping car and head to the Cartography Hut, where we riff on the storytelling inspiration of Google’s recent documentation of the Fukushima ghost zone.

We close with a visit to the Consulting Occultist, who recounts the Theosophy-meets-Evangelical-meets-New Age tale of Elizabeth Clare Prophet.

Episode 38: Driving Bananas Around

May 10th, 2013 | Robin

We start with a visit to the Gaming Hut to discuss the play utility of illustrations.

In the Food Hut we explore the legends and lore of packaged goods, including the secret origins of Cool Whip, the Twinkie, and Gatorade.

Conrad Kinch Asks Ken and Robin how one guides a playtester to greatness. Michael Cule adds a supplemental: have we ever regretted not implementing a piece of playtester advice?

Finally, Ken’s Time Machine takes us to the intractable yet little mythologized tragedy that was the Trail of Tears.

Episode 37: Ghost-Kissed Pilsner

May 3rd, 2013 | Robin

The undertones of jet lag in Robin’s voice indicate the issuance of another Travel Advisory, in this case concerning his lovely trip to Germany’s Hannover Spielt. Beers mentioned include: Herrenhäuser Pilsener, Astra Arschkalt, Schneider Aventinus, and Robin and John’s fave, Höss Doppel-Hirsch (the name of which Robin completely mangles during the podcast.)

The trip also provides another opportunity for Ken and/or Robin To Talk To Someone Else—in this case, show sponsor John Kovalic, who discusses the design of his addictively fun party new party game, ROFL.

Ripped From the Headlines finds us grappling with the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings and subsequent manhunt of the Brothers Tsarnaev. Though hardly a fun story, it touches on so many of our perennial topics that a weighing-in seems obligatory.

Then we move on to more entertaining and distant history, as, at the request of Ask Lovecraft, the Consulting Occultist tells us tales of Paschal Beverly Randolph, 19th century exponent of Mesmerism, pre-Adamism, and wholesome sex magic.

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