The Life & Times of Video Games

23 EpisodesProduced by Richard Moss

An award-nominated documentary-style podcast about video games and the video game industry, as they were in the past, and how they came to be the way they are today.

23 Episodes | 2017 - 2019

16 - Sega Rally Championship

June 8th, 2019

21:48

Sega Rally Championship changed everything for the racing genre, and the 1995 off-road arcade hit was an incredible game too. This is the story of its development, critical reception, and long-term legacy.

If you're …

Soundbite: Henk Rogers on randomness and dilemmas in Tetris

June 6th, 2019

5:25

For the 35th anniversary of Tetris' original Russian version, I pulled out this clip from my interview with Henk Rogers — co-founder of The Tetris …

15 - The Boss Button

May 16th, 2019

22:23

Before computers had proper multitasking support and quick shortcuts for changing apps, playing games when you're not supposed to be could be super …

14 - Lode Runner

May 1st, 2019

24:32

The story of how a terrible description of the Donkey Kong arcade game led to the creation of Lode Runner, one of the greatest games of all time and one of the earliest games with a built-in level editor.

Lode Runner …

Soundbite: Scott Kim shares a few secrets of puzzle design

February 12th, 2019

4:47

Legendary puzzle designer Scott Kim discusses the process and principles of puzzle-making for games. This is excerpted from an interview I conducted while researching my book The Secret History of Mac Gaming.

Support The …

Bonus: Game devs on the impact of the original Mac

February 2nd, 2019

1:03:42

For any of you who aren't aware, last week was the 35th anniversary of the release of the original Mac. I published a Medium article to celebrate the milestone, and here now you can listen to an audio version of that. …

Episode 13 - Girl Games, Inc.

November 23rd, 2018

40:07

On the 90s girl games movement, and its assault on the status quo of the video game market, featuring Girl Games Inc founder and former filmmaker …

Episode 12 - Microsoft Games

October 31st, 2018

35:27

Before something like the Xbox could ever hope to exist, Microsoft first needed to learn how to be a successful games publisher on the PC. This is …

Soundbite: Spotting "the magic" (Jon Kimmich, ex-Microsoft Games)

August 31st, 2018

5:50

I've been having some trouble finishing the script for episode 12, on Microsoft's pre-Xbox games efforts, so while you wait I thought I'd release some bonus material. First up, here's a new soundbite.

This is from my …

Episode 11 - Bomberman

July 19th, 2018

20:27

On June 11th, 2018, character designer and artist Shoji Mizuno passed away. He was a key figure back in the 1990s at the now-defunct Hudson Soft, a renowned Japanese games publisher — having directed art or design, or …

Episode 10 - Dogz

June 14th, 2018

32:57

Frustrated by the unjustified furore that surrounded his tame interactive movie game, designer Rob Fulop turned to Santa for help. And with a clever …

Episode 9 - Midwinter

March 27th, 2018

30:32

On the late Mike Singleton and the importance of Midwinter and The Lords of Midnight, his two great works. After switching from high school English …

Episode 8 - The Tomb Raider grid (part 2)

February 18th, 2018

37:37

Continuing the story from Part 1, this is how the original Tomb Raider's grid-based engine/level editor impacted on the series, on Lara Croft's rise to fame, and on the shifting sands of blockbuster game development. …

Episode 7 - The Tomb Raider Grid (part 1)

December 23rd, 2017

31:30

Every aspect of the original Core Design Tomb Raider series (and by extension the franchise's success post-Core) comes back to the grid that lies beneath it — the majority of the puzzles; the platforming; the cavernous …

Episode 6 - ROM Hack

November 11th, 2017

37:04

At the dawn of emulation and the World Wide Web, a group of fans discovered the Nintendo and Super Nintendo games that never made it over from Japan. …

[Soundbite] Mark Ferrari on gatekeepers and a cancelled X-Men game

November 3rd, 2017

11:55

The story of a cancelled X-Men TV controller game, as told by former LucasArts illustrator Mark Ferrari, who is a world-renowned and innovative pixel …

Episode 5 - FIFA 3DO

October 23rd, 2017

32:11

A story from the dawn of 3D sports games, and the forgotten link between the 16-bit isometric and 32-bit 3D EA Sports games — this is how FIFA 3DO transformed the way sport was represented in video games.

Music Credits:

Episode 4 - Bug Salad

October 15th, 2017

32:16

How a marketing guy at shareware game publisher Ambrosia Software ended up eating bugs in front of hundreds of people at Macworld New York 2000.

If …

Episode 3 - Colour Cycling

October 1st, 2017

31:01

This is the story of illustrator Mark Ferrari, whose artwork was so good it forced Lucasfilm Games to figure out how to make a graphics technique called dithering compress to fit on floppy disks — in the process winning …

[Soundbite] Steve Capps on online social gaming and Bill Gates playing Bridge

September 22nd, 2017

4:06

Steve Capps, one of the creators of the Macintosh and a Microsoft executive in the 1990s, tells a story from his days of working alongside Bill Gates.

Unused material from an interview conducted while researching my …

Episode 2 - Airfight

September 15th, 2017

24:03

The story of the one of the earliest flight simulator games, Airfight, a favourite among the PLATO community back in 1973, based on an interview with …

[Extended Interview] Jon Jordan on the evolution of iOS gaming and the App Store

September 10th, 2017

55:21

[re-uploaded as mono] An extended interview with Pocket Gamer co-founder Jon Jordan, who these days writes mostly about the business of mobile games …

Episode 1 - Race to the bottom

September 5th, 2017

30:58

In the early days of the iPhone App Store, game developers found themselves locked in a race to a $0.99 price point that none of them wanted to become standard. This is the story of how that happened, and how it …

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