This page is composed of first-listen notes. It is currently being cleaned up. Feel free to help!

You Gotta Have Spice
Minipod 37title
What if you built a city on space?

Date Posted

August 5, 2009

Cast Length



Chris Remo, Jake Rodkin, Nick Breckon



"It's August 5th 2009." "And this is Idle Thumbs 37, reports suggest."

Official description Edit

A 386 perfectly captures his slam dunk. Looking down from space, you see the Earth and smile. Mid-swing, the game asks you to recalibrate, and you do it just this once. Sometimes, you gotta.

Games Discussed Edit

Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta, Left 4 Dead Crash Course, Dawn of Discovery, Wii Sports Resort, Fat Princess, IL-2 Sturmovik, Subversion, Team Fortress 2: Brotherhood of Arms, Crash Bandicoot, Rebel Assault, TIE Fighter

Synopsis Edit

The episode begins with Jake talking in a nasal nerd voice and remarking that he has made fun of half the video game industry during sound tests. Then there is a lot of confusion over who is who, with Jake posing as Tim Langdell. Jake's voice is weird, either because he is sick or being vocoded.

Chris brings up Left 4 Dead free content - well, free for the PC; it's seven dollars for the XBOX. It's shorter than other L4D missions, and it's cool. Jake confirms Left 4 Dead on PS3. Nick and Chris believe Valve made a bunch of content and some of it went to L4D2 and some stayed for L4D.

At 5:20 the pizza man interrupts them. Then at 5:30 they're back. And forth. Farting.

Valve has goals with each of their software. The newest mission is called Crash Bandicoot. Nick thinks releasing DLC not long before L4D2 comes out is good publicity. Chris has been tracking things and as soon as L4D2 was announced L4D went back to the top of the charts. Steam is becoming more than Valve 'n' friends.

They forgot to mention EA shareholder guy's last question in the previous episode:

"At one point, you guys had a picture of Michael Jordan on a 386 computer. I tried to talk to your lawyer to get a copy of it, but she was unable to finagle me a copy of one. It really is a delightful picture."

Jake again laments the amount of money gone by while this guy blathered on.

Since last episode, EA had their real conference call. EA discovered there are 12 months in a year, and they bunched up too many titles. Q1 2010 is the new Christmas 2009. Nick thinks it will be an interesting failure, while Jake thinks it's money laundering scheme:

Nick: [games coming out in January instead of at Christmas] could be an interesting failure.
Jake: It might also just be that your Christmas money goes to, you know...
Nick: Right. Grandma's envelope of cash-
Chris: Goes to Best Buy gift certificates.
Jake: Yup. Which then are converted, you know, sort of through a mob boardwalk or something --
Chris: What? What are you saying?!
Jake: I don't know. You Christmas money becomes Best Buy gift certificates, which are then converted to stereo equipment which is sent through a guy's van, comes out as small bills, which turns into a brick of cocaine, which is then traded for a box full of Bioshock 2 games.
Chris: Thanks, Jake.

Brutal Legend's multiplayer mode was developed first. The first job listing after Psychonauts was for a multiplayer programmer so people were excited. Brutal Legend might be Pikmin. Jake says that, like Brutal Legend, adventure games are developed first as multiplayer games, then that mode is thrown out and replaced with single player. Even text adventures started as MUDs.

Nick says he has something to say about MUDs but just says he played Fat Princess. He then begins making people angry by saying he hated it. Fat Princess was frustrating. Nick felt like there was no flow and no goal, and the connectivity was terrible. Nick also doesn't use his PS3 or Wii for games. He hates Wii Sports Resport because of the constant calibration (which may be because his Motion Plus is a dud). Jake says he needs to earn the Calibration Challenge stamp. Even with a good Motion Plus controller, Wii basketball is awful, though shooting is not so bad:

Chris: The actual straight up "shooting a basket" is's basically what we assumed, which is like bowling but upside down essentially.
Jake: You throw it up granny-style?
Chris: No, I mean overhand.
Jake: That's not how you throw a basket!
Chris: Well, not overhand, I mean with your hands -
Jake: You just, like, pitch it?
Chris: Like the way you fuckin' throw a basketball!!
Jake: So, like, you raise the roof.
Chris: ...Yes. You raise the roof, holding a Wii remote, and then you win.

IL-2 Sturmovich demo on 360 was pretty but bad framerate. Jake sleazily said they're having issues with their 'emissions'. Near this point Jake helpfully starts identifying everyone as they speak.

Nick played some more Dawn of Discovery. Nick hated/dismissed it previously, and now he feels bad for it. He was frustrated until he realized he could play campaign mode, like Chris said last episode. Your people need fancy food, so you gotta have spice (to kill that snake). That fro guy from WarioWare (Jimmy T.) asked for spice and a picture of Michael Jordan on a 386, then Nick decided to play the campaign instead of endless mode. There is a special early reader mail at 34:15, which talks about the economy of Dawn of Discovery and its relation to the real world.

Jake asks which one Nick and Chris like better, SimCity or Dawn of Discovery. Chris likes them both, but for entirely gay(meplay) reasons. Chris likes separation of resource management from strategy in Dawn of Discovery, but Nick likes the combo in games like StarCraft. Chris keeps getting better at building cities in Dawn of Discovery, and he's like the dumb human version of the Introversion dynamically-generated city thing, Subversion. Nick wishes more attention was paid to the people themselves.

Chris has a problem where he bankrupted his community by building cobblestone roads - he is a tax and spend liberal. Nick got stuck in an export-driven tool nation and became King Midas except with tools. It would be awesome to have dynamic throne rooms and press photos -- maybe you're a horrible Kim Jong-Il dictator with tacky decorations.

Chris played Mothership Zeta, DLC for Fallout 3. He was motivated to play it because of some rad screenshots. Jake keeps spilling his drink on himself and wandering around, possibly because he is sick and losing his mind. Mothership Zeta answers the question "what if a 50s sci-fi movie had the budget of today's triple-A video game?" (The answer is "it would be a sweet oscilloscope, or maybe two duct-taped together.") Chris, of course, was excited to see space. Jake spoils that you see the Earth, and also you go to the moon in Bioshock 5.

Nick cuts in to Chris's talk about Mothership Zeta to say Bioshock would be awesome on the moon. Chris would love it if it was done with the same level of in-world technology as in Duncan Jones' film Moon. For example, if in the 80s someone built a city on space, and then budgets left the people stranded. Bioshock 6 is MarsShock and also part of the Doom universe.

There's a break at 58:03. Jake then says they'll be back with donkey cocks.

According to Jake, the president of Nintendo Lucasarts said "Dere's a new TIE Fighter comin' out. Dot dot dot dot dot dot dot dot." Iwata's saucy eyebrow raise (ripping a hole in the ceiling) has raised eyebrows.

Chris often sits and sighs about TIE fighter. Jake wonders what it's like to be a Fightin' Tie, the widest school mascot. Chris likes X-Wing and TIE Fighter because it was his first flight game and it was the best, plus he already loved space. There were a million complicated things going on but he never thought it was hard because he young. You'd control your guys while fighting yourself (a space ghost). Rebel Assault was not as good. Chris's first critical opinion of a game was with Rebel Assault. Jake's first concept of author intent was with Rebel Assault. Nick just thought Rebel Assault was a cool Star Wars game because he played it first. Nick loved that TIE Fighter was you as a single person in a huge battle. Chris remembers being smug because PC games were rad and console games sucked (TIE Fighter vs Star Fox), and Jake was conflicted about which platform he liked best (Monkey Island 2 vs Super Mario Bros. 3).

Reader mail begins at 1:07:12.


00:34:15 Realizing Dawn of Discovery's economic systems are very European, perhaps without the creators thinking about that specifically.

01:07:12 Wizard-related drinking game (The Wisest Wizard)

01:08:34 Counter Strike drivable vehicles (beta 6 or beta 7) (DE Jeepathon 2K). What other mod-originated mechanics are now common? Jake talks about a Quake 3 mod he worked on, Urban Terror, that had first-person ledge-grabbing. Team Fortress 2: Brotherhood of Arms, though it never came out, had specialization of classes. Open arenas in Tribes. The Max Payne Matrix mod was a lot like Total Overdose. Capture the Flag is the most basic example of this idea.

01:15:45 Adventure game puzzle design re: Ben There, Dan That/Time Gentlemen, Please. It is hard to make puzzles. Jake says good puzzles make you feel like an ace detective. Examples: Grim Fandango cat races, the time puzzles in Day of the Tentacle. cat mustache. The game Runaway is frustrating because the character is dumber than you and will not realize when you need an item. hotel dusk was the same but pretty. you can('t) see the moon from there.

01:27:00 The Idle Thumbs guys never mention GOG. Actually they do in all the sound tests. Goggity gog gog gog PC DL ;). Castles & Castles. Broken Sword 1/2. 1 is good 2 is not as good. there are a million text adventures/IF games.

01:30:54 Steam's hardware survey is a good tool for developers, especially small ones.

01:32:44 Competitive Games - fighters are easier to get into. the concepts are simpler than strategies or fpses. Hilarious SUCK BOX 360 post.

crap box pro paintshop pro deluxe paint 2 dpaint shitbox paint box icebox's tech corner war has changed war never changes pc dl gog dot com wink dots dot box shit dot dot dot ba-boo the wizard far crap.

1:39:17 end

Time Donkey Balls Super Donkey Ball Monkey Kong. Donkey Cock Country, or Donkey Balls.

Jake: Yeah, this is the new that.

Chris: Those cobblestone roads can fuck you, too.

Nick: I've got like 60,000 tools, I'm in debt up to like 10,000 gold. And there was no way to get out of that. like, what're you gonna do? I was sitting on my pile of tools.

Jake: I can imagine you on this throne on a mound of tools, and your throne is built of tools, and they give you a plate made out of tools.

Chris: You're like Midas with tools. "Everything I touch turns to tools! Noooooo!"

"FF13 has been downgraded for SUCK BOX 360 that suck box 360 aka dvd heater has no game at 1080p. Not only games look bad on suck box all games are downgraded for that suck box 360

I am hearing that FF13 will be 12 DVDs on suck box 360. shame on SE for downgrading the game for crap box 360

Now it looks crap for suck box 360 version

KZ2 looks 50 times better than all suck box games. FF13 looked good initially too now the game is destroyed for the suck box 360"