vextro loves games: episode 8



in this episode we talk about/explain the narrative & story of pathologic in depth. also included is some updates on vextro projects and such. this episode is 5 hours and largely unedited so here is a table of contents to help you ration/navigate this cursed content.

0:00:00 – intro, personal updates, opening thoughts

~0:22:30 – conversation about pathologic starts. mechanics and premise

~1:38:00 – the bachelor’s story

~2:44:30 – the haruspex’s story

~3:24:00 – the changeling’s story

~4:01:00 – questions, closing thoughts

next time we’ll be talking about a handful of ARCADE GAMES: Boogie Wings, Raimais, and Vendetta

( devs namedropped
mason lindroth
john thyer )


Machine Doubling

DATA_DOUBLING grips me because it’s difficult to play. I mean that more literally than most, it’s difficult to perform the basic action that keeps it going. Arcade-styled games have an expectation to deliver some kind of hook. Vlambeer games are seductive kinetically. Terry Cavanagh draws a player in with careful patterns and pulsing music. Phone games employ a lot of techniques to communicate that its play is lasting from a single try (clean aesthetics, incremental rewards, Innovative-Mechanics), even if it’s just another autorunner or whatever.

I’ve given a lot of sarcasm to game jams before, but an interesting effect is enabling a space for devs to not overthink or overdesign their games, and not be judged for what would normally be seen as lazy or uninspired game design. I mean, I’m all for games made in minutes, but I get the feeling most people wouldn’t feel the same way. DATA_DOUBLING was made in an hour for onehourjam. I can’t imagine what it’s like to make a game in one hour. It takes me longer than an hour to come to a decision on, like, what I’m going to have for a meal. That one-hour-ness is undoubtedly reflected in the game’s form and function. Its why it feels so sharp and unpretentious. A game content with being a single idea.

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