dunceCast Episode 73 – The Cold Civil War

Posted in Podcasts with tags , , , , , on April 2, 2018 by Matthew VanDevander

Get ready to unsubscribe! In an ill-advised move, the dunces are getting all political this week. So strap yourself in for an avalanche of bullshit. Topics covered include: prounouns, “is God really a bearded man in the sky?”, government corruption, why maybe enduring President Trump is better than the realistic alternative, and delicious authentic Belgian Ale.

So listen in and learn how to get along with each other, in-spite of all our differences. Try to find the humor in it, and you’ll make it out okay, so long as this podcast is not illegal where you live.

Direct Download (mp3 26.0MB 56:53)

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The music for this week, in order of appearance:

“Daddy Wasn’t There” by Ming Tea
“Fuck You Gently” by Tenacious D


dunceCast Episode 72 – I Swear, This Comes Full Circle Eventually

Posted in Podcasts with tags , , , , , on March 15, 2018 by Matthew VanDevander

After a refreshing 6 month break, the dunces are back and as bad as ever! In this installment, our intrepid heroes tackle such difficult topics as: nigori sake, A Perfect Circle’s new album, incest, marriage, a spontaneous adventure, and future Twin Peaks concerns.

Direct Download (mp3 37.8MB 1:22:41)

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The music for this week, in order of appearance:

“Disillusioned” by A Perfect Circle
“THIS ISN’T THE PLACE” by Nine Inch Nails

dunceCast Episode 71 – Too Dunce to Cast

Posted in Podcasts with tags , , , , on September 12, 2017 by Matthew VanDevander

I decided to dig into the archives to salvage this short but forgotten episode of the dunceCast. It was recorded several months ago, but was deemed unpublishable at the time without severe editing. We were all very VERY drunk, and the audio quality is pretty sub-par, even for us, so I apologize for any tin sounding voices or the meandering nature of our conversation. Still, we do talk a bit about Matthew’s current game, Taiji, we also pontificate on pornography, and opine wildly about a Zelda game we haven’t played (and which had just come out at the time of this recording).

Direct Download (mp3 14.8MB 32:24))

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The music for this week, in order of appearance:

“Out of Tune Piano” by MisterWives
“Shatner on the Mount” by Fall on Your Sword

dunceCast Presents: Dissin’ on Dark Souls

Posted in Podcasts with tags , , , , , on August 27, 2017 by Matthew VanDevander

In this special podcast, Matthew talks with Kknewkles (from the internet) about how much he (Kknewkles) is enraged by Dark Souls (a game). Is it the most overrated game ever? Is it the most oversold podcast ever? Find out here on this click-baity edition of “dunceCast Presents”

If you haven’t played Dark Souls, we do spoil some things in the game, but to be honest, you probably won’t understand half of what we’re talking about anyway.

Direct Download (mp3 38.0MB 1:23:03))

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No Music this week.

dunceCast Episode 70 – Dreamception

Posted in Podcasts with tags , , , , , on March 1, 2017 by Matthew VanDevander

After taking a month-long nap, the dunces are not sure if they’re awake or dreaming. But they still convene to record a new episode of the dunceCast. And Matthew, despite being too drunk to pronounce his own name, leads Jamie through the plot of a Christopher Nolan film called INCEPTION as they discuss the details of her first viewing of the film.

Obviously there are spoilers for INCEPTION in the podcast.

Direct Download (mp3 34.2MB 1:14:37))

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The music for this week, in order of appearance:

“These Dreams” by Heart
“Time” from the Inception Soundtrack, composed by Hans Zimmer

What Have I Been Working On?

Posted in General News, My Life on February 21, 2017 by Matthew VanDevander

The Past Year

About a year ago I started working on an adventure puzzle-solving game. Progress was going good on that for four or five months until I hit a major stumbling block with the design. Because of that, I decided to take a break and work on some video essays.

Sadly, because of my high standards, I had not released much in the prior year as far as videos had gone, so I decided to lower the bar in order to perhaps release more frequently. The results of this decision, a rambling loosely-edited monologue about Dark Souls’ world design, were quite disappointing to me and so I set out to do much better on the next video.

Unfortunately, for my next topic, I chose non-verbal communication in The Witness. This proved to be a challenging topic to pin down, and progress was very slow. Although I had hoped to finish the essay in one month, as of now, it is nearly 9 months later and it remains incomplete.

Around December of 2016, I went on a layoff from my day job and managed to get back to seriously working on the Witness essay. I was making some good progress, the video grew from 2 to nearly 6 minutes in about a month of work. I felt like I was getting close to being able to finally release something of quality.

But when I sat down and watched through all of what I had put together, something became very apparent: I had gotten completely lost in the weeds. I had hoped that by talking about some very low-level design aspects of the game, I could build upon that to speak about how the game’s design works at a high level. But much like quantum physics fails to explain general relativity, what I had was two different types of analysis videos that were cut together, and it felt very disjointed.

This left me with a couple options. I could either move ahead, knowing that the final video was going to be disappointing to me and spotty in its quality. Or I could cut what I had done over the last month.

I opted for the latter. (It may perhaps appear as some deleted scene extra, but it is not a proper part of the full essay anymore.)

This was, needless to say, a huge setback for me. Furthermore, I didn’t have any really great ideas on where I should be going with the essay instead. This meant I was in a major creative quandary, much like I was on the game that I had taken a break from nearly 6 months earlier…

So, I’ve decided to set aside the video essay for the time being, and instead have been working quite well on that other project, which is a game called Taiji.

So, What is Taiji?

Taiji is a puzzle-solving exploration game, focused on player freedom and discovery. As a player, you are free to explore and solve puzzles.

All of the puzzles in the game are solved using a consistent interface: a grid of tiles which may be either on or off. Inputting a solution to a puzzle in the game requires the player to put the tiles in the right configuration.


An early puzzle


Another early puzzle

Although having all the puzzles be this way might seem like it would be dull, this is really just the interface to solving the puzzles. The puzzles themselves might be about all kinds of different things. The puzzles are free to increase in subtlety and complexity, but unlike a traditional adventure game, where the rules change on a whim, in Taiji the player knows from very early on that in order to solve puzzles, they need to interact with these panels.

If you want to keep up with Taiji, you can follow the development blog here.

dunceCast Episode 69 – Get it?

Posted in Podcasts with tags , , , , , on January 31, 2017 by Matthew VanDevander

Once upon a time, in a land where chaos and insanity reigned supreme above all other human values, three dunces set out across a deserted plain following the star which signified the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. When they arrived at the town of Cleveland, they were dismayed to find that it was not a star at all, but was, in fact, the flickering sign of the downtown Denny’s breakfast all-day restaurant, and the dunces saw it, and said, “aw, what the heck!” And the hash browns were “pretty good.”

In this epistle, the dunces recount their journey from awkward childhood, through awkward adolescence, and onward into awkward adulthood. Please enjoy, and like comment subscribe to my channel, and back the patreon.

Direct Download (mp3 32.8MB 1:11:49)

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The music for this week, in order of appearance:

“Back in Time” by MattyBRaps
“Bustin'” by Neil Cicierega

dunceCast Episode 68 – Alternative dunceFacts

Posted in Podcasts with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2017 by Matthew VanDevander

We’re back, and we’re here to berate you about those current events in the world that you’ve so desperately tried to ignore. But perhaps we bring lightheartedness to the doom and gloom of your everyday existence!

Direct Download (mp3 24.4MB 53:28)

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The music for this week, in order of appearance:

“American Idiot” (Green Day) by Robyn Adele Anderson
“Imperial March Theme” by John Williams

dunceCast Episode 67 – Inside or Outside, Underwater or Above?

Posted in Podcasts with tags , , , , , on January 17, 2017 by Matthew VanDevander

This week, we discuss some more video games, INSIDE, ABZÜ

Direct Download (mp3 26.9MB 58:58)

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The music for this week, in order of appearance:

“Shockwave” from the INSIDE Soundtrack, by Martin Stig Andersen and SØS Gunver Ryberg

“And the Earth Did Not Yet Bear a Name” from the ABZU Soundtrack, by Austin Wintory

Witness Essay Status Update

Posted in Uncategorized on January 10, 2017 by Matthew VanDevander


(Cross-posted from Patreon)

Since I’ve been working on this Witness video essay for so long, I figured I should probably give a bit of a status update to all my backers. At the very least so nobody worries that I’m not actually working on this thing.

Thus far, the hardest and most time consuming thing has been writing and finalizing a script. I initially thought this whole video was going to be a short month-long project, and that one month has turned into 6. There have been a lot of factors leading to this essay taking so long to get done, but certainly one of them is just that it’s difficult try to properly communicate in words what The Witness does so effectively without them. Much as Richard Feynman said of attempting to lecture about physics to the layman: I more or less have to accept failure before I even begin, but proceed anyway.

Still, the video is coming along pretty well. I have 4 and a half minutes of more-or-less final video cut together already, 5 and a half minutes of finished and recorded VO that needs to have video edited to go alongside it, and also there are around 10 minutes left of words (2108 words) that are sitting in a text file that need to be polished up before they can become the rest of the VO for the video.

I have been working on the video in sections: writing the script for each section, recording the VO, and polishing the video before moving on to the next. I have around 3 of 6 sections done.

So, the progress is pretty good, and although it may seem from the numbers like I’m at the halfway mark, I feel like I’m a bit further along than that, as most of the core ideas that I want to cover are already in the script. That means rather than wracking my brain for days, it really is just a matter of polishing up what I have.

Anyway, thanks for backing, and I hope everyone enjoys the final video when it is done.