Host, Xbox's Major Nelson
Game Director -"Tell Me Why"
Studio Head, inXile Entertainment
Larry Hryb: Hi! Hi, it's Larry Hryb of Xbox lives, Major Nelson. Welcome to the show! Jeff, good to see you.
Jeff: I feel like a proper co-host here, Larry. Like, starting off on the two-shot? This is ... Did I get promoted?
Larry Hryb: Well, you did! In fact, not only did you get promoted, but I had to do this because, later on in the show, you did one of the interviews. We'll talk about that in a moment.
Jeff: I did one of the interviews!
Larry Hryb: Yes.
Larry Hryb: Finally.
Jeff: I feel like my learner's permit, the day I got it, you know? You're still there, you're still in the passenger seat, I can't go off on my own.
Larry Hryb: Training wheels are on.
Jeff: But at least I'm holding the wheel for a few minutes.
Larry Hryb: Anyway, it's good to see you again. We haven't seen each other in a week, as usual, as another week goes by. You know, we play together all the time and I've heard your voice, first time I'm seeing you so hello to you.
Jeff: And my voice is literally the worst part of me so I apologize. [crosstalk] for a podcast.
Larry Hryb: We got a lot going on this week. We had, actually, a kind of a bonus podcast we released earlier in the week where we talked about some of the new UI changes coming to the Xbox, and frankly the entire Xbox ecosystem. So, you can go back if you want to listen to that or watch it.
Probably, I recommend watching this one because we have some visuals here. Right, Jeff?
Jeff: This why you do it, this is why I put it on YouTube, yeah.
Larry Hryb: So we've got that. And then, in this show, we're going to be talking about DONTNOD's latest title Tell Me Why, we got the head of the studio. And then, you had a chance to chat with Mr.-
Jeff: Brian Fargo, the ahead of inXile, the studio head, who released Wasteland 3. By the time you hear this, we've released two games, it's crazy!
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff: In back to back days. [crosstalk]-
Larry Hryb: Game Pass games, Game Pass games!
Jeff: ... perspective, but great for gamers, great for gamers.
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff: And very different games, very different experiences. I mean, it's great. You would normally think of summer as like, "I don't have much to play," but we're getting into that point. Once the starting gun hits, and that's Madden which came out last week, it's all bets are off, the greyhounds are out of the chute. And now we've got lots to play.
Larry Hryb: Did you really spend a lot of time ... Is it Hollywood dog track down there in Miami?
Jeff: Where was that? Was it Kendall? I can't remember. That and jai alai-
Larry Hryb: It's funny you say jai alai because when I was growing up in Connecticut, they had jai alai. And do you know what the name where they play jai alai is called?
Jeff: The fronton.
Larry Hryb: The fronton, exactly!
Jeff: Don't challenge me on jai alai, Larry ... with all the pari-mutuels. [inaudible] in Florida.
Larry Hryb: Anyway, we've got a pretty good show for you today. We have a little bit of an audio break up there. Can you do me a little audio check? Just make sure-
Jeff: Yeah. Check one, two. That was my voice because I'm going through puberty again.
Larry Hryb: No, we're having a little bit of ... You know what we're going to do, we're going to stop the recording and reconnect here because, for some reason, your audio has just completely gone sideways so let's stop. Hold on. All right, I think we fixed it. Yep, I think we did.
Jeff: All right, if we sound good. We were advised not to have the mics in our face, a few weeks ago, by-
Larry Hryb: Look what happened.
Jeff: ... a concerned onlooker, and this was their revenge. This is it.
Larry Hryb: It was all that jai alai and fronton talk that just overloaded our machines.
Jeff: It's the fastest sport in the world, Larry.
Larry Hryb: Is it?
Jeff: Nothing moves as fast.
Larry Hryb: Is it, Jeffrey?
Larry Hryb: I didn't know that, so it's good to know.
Jeff: You really don't want to get hit by one of those ... I forget what the name of the ball is called.
Larry Hryb: I don't [crosstalk].
Jeff: It's fast.
Larry Hryb: Anyway, as we were saying before we had a little bit of an issue there, we've got a couple of great interviews coming up. We're going to talk to ... Let me bring up my notes here. Your interview with Brian Fargo was fantastic-
Jeff: Oh thank you, Larry. Well, that's for everyone here to judge.
Larry Hryb: And then we've got Florent Guillaume from DONTNOD Entertainment. Now what's funny about these interviews ... You know what I love about these interviews?
Jeff: Let's hear it.
Larry Hryb: Through the power of the internet, we instantly can bring in Brian, who was at his home in California and Florent was in Paris. And if you look at these two interviews, Brian's interview ... somebody who works in RPGs, he has the perfect office, and I don't know how you didn't reference that, Jeff. You'll see that later on.
Jeff: Yeah. Well, he looks like he's in Myst. Everything in that room looks clickable.
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff: There's like secret ... There's like a statue in the back, and I was like, "You could rotate that for a stairway access, right?" Yeah, it's exactly what you wanted out of the person who's making your super in-depth RPGs.
Larry Hryb: And then Florent's interview later on, we'll talk about DONTNOD and Tell Me Why, his studio looks like it's like at the top of a building with glass. You can almost feel the Eiffel Tower right out his window. They're so pitch perfect, both of these interviews. I love them both.
Jeff: I can't wait to see that one.
Larry Hryb: We'll have them coming up later on so hold on for that. But, Jeff, we got some news to go through, do we want to talk [crosstalk]? I mean, you're playing-
Jeff: I want to know what you're playing, Larry.
Larry Hryb: Well, I've got NBA 2K ... Well, actually not NBA. We got PGA Tour 2K21, I'm checking that out. We've got the Tony Hawk 2 Pro Skater demo, you can see that on my screen.
Jeff: Yeah, you can skate through Alcatraz. That's available now.
Larry Hryb: That up there. Of course, we talked about Apex kicked off their big season last week, so you and I were playing that. Or was that this week?
Jeff: We've got to get a win together, Larry. [crosstalk]. I've got, I think, three so far this season. It's tough, it's a tough slide.
Larry Hryb: We've got Flight Simulator. I've been playing a lot of Flight Simulator. My favorite is, and we talked about this in the show last time, it's just going around the world, essentially fast traveling to an airport, taking off and then getting into drone mode and being able to kind of go around and change the seasons.
Jeff: Oh into active pause, yes.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, so I'm doing that.
Jeff: It's very cool.
Larry Hryb: You and I have a mutual friend in Florida, and so I flew over his house and made it snow in central Florida which he claims it hasn't snowed in central Florida since 1977.
Jeff: That may be the case. I went to college in north Florida. I remember my freshman year, which was not in ... I was not even alive at that point. But my freshman year, I remember we had snow flurries. So we can, theoretically.
Larry Hryb: How was [crosstalk] by the way?
Larry Hryb: For the first time ever, you have to wear pants instead of shorts, right?
Jeff: It can get pretty chilly up in Gainesville, I can tell you that. Like in the winter, you actually need to wear pants for a couple weeks ... and a light jacket. You know this as well as I do, you go down to LA, you go down to Florida, you go down to any place where it's typically very warm, once it gets below about 68 degrees, they're breaking out the scarves and mittens.
Larry Hryb: Oh yeah.
Jeff: They are acting like it is ... North Face does very well in these places where the average temperatures like 78 degrees.
Larry Hryb: Right. So anyway, Flight Simulator and that's one of the cool things, go and check out how you can do the active pause. I flew over my childhood house, and you can change the season, the time. I mean, it's an extraordinary simulator. Weather simulator, flight simulator, wherever you want to go simulator. It's fantastic. So I'm playing a lot of Flight Sim, as well.
Jeff: Yeah, I think I need to fly somewhere tropical because we're starting to get our first taste of fall, I feel like, here in Seattle, not surprising. But it's nice out, it's starting to get a little chilly.
Larry Hryb: I love fall. Fall is my favorite time of the year. Or Autumn.
Jeff: Well, because you grew up in northeast.
Larry Hryb: Autumn, yeah.
Jeff: Yes. You know, when you grew up in the northeast, fall is kind of special. When you live on the west coast, it's like, "I don't know what fall is, it doesn't really ... " To an extent, we have it up here. But in the Bay Area? You mean fog, fog season? What? Something that I think we need to play, we haven't talked about this yet, but Madden. I just got Madden, I haven't fired it up yet, Madden 21.
Larry Hryb: I have that too. We're a year behind in our challenge.
Jeff: We are a year behind. But here's the thing, normally, once a year, we'll play-
Larry Hryb: [crosstalk] this is going.
Jeff: You know where I'm going with this. But Eagle versus Patriots-
Larry Hryb: Yep.
Jeff: ... and you do the same thing, Brady to Gronk, over the middle, Brady to ... You can't, it's a money play, you can't stop it, right?
Larry Hryb: Right.
Jeff: How are you going to do that this year, Larry? Are you going to use the Patriots, your hometown team?
Larry Hryb: Or am I going to go to Tampa?
Jeff: Or are you going to use Tampa?
Larry Hryb: I think I may have to go to Tampa. This is [crosstalk] part where I'm telling you I'm moving to Clearwater.
Jeff: You're like, "Look, they have a cannon that fires off when they score a touchdown."
Larry Hryb: What's not to like?
Jeff: All you've been missing, you know?
Larry Hryb: Right.
Jeff: I used to go to Gasparilla which is sort of like a pirate festival that they would do in Tampa, it's a good time. It's a good time.
Larry Hryb: I didn't realize you were all into the pirate scene, so that's good to know.
Jeff: Well, it was kind of like a Mardi Gras-esque thing where there'd be a parade and it's just a big party, and then they have another one later in the year as well [crosstalk]
Larry Hryb: Let's be clear, parades are just excuses for parties, right?
Larry Hryb: They're just moving parties, it's telling you where the party's going.
Jeff: Yeah. Tampa has a few of them, it's just like the whole city is just going all in on this. Oh man, the Cuban food in Tampa? You miss it when you live in the other end of the country. I would kill for some ropa vieja right now. Recording this around lunch, this is the problem.
Larry Hryb: It's dangerous, it's very dangerous. Anyway, we got a lot going on. You want to do some of the headlines that we roll into the interviews?
Larry Hryb: Because we talked a little bit about what we're saying. This has been a busy week, we talked about the two games coming out but there's a lot more going on, Jeff. So why don't you-
Larry Hryb: ... duck in here and get us going.
Jeff: Sure. So we've talked about the fresh look for Xbox One and also for Xbox Series X, this new user experience, this look and feel that is coming, and it's starting to roll out to folks now. So I know people that have been part of the Xbox Insider Program that may be seeing different parts of it, they've experienced the new store which is super fast, really streamlined. We see some great feedback on Reddit, which is where I think ... A lot of insiders there on the Xbox One subreddit, and so we're seeing some good stuff there.
Larry Hryb: There's also an insider subreddit, too.
Jeff: Yeah. And then there's some great changes coming to the Guide, we've been sampling this as internal testers, and it just makes it easier to connect parties and friends, and messages are all in one group now. So get out there, try it out. It's starting to roll out to Xbox Insiders. If you are an Xbox Insider, you can sign up. There's an app that you can download in the app section of the store. You can sign up for that and you can start to experience things a little bit ahead of time. If you're not, these things will be coming to you soon. It's where we test things out, we take your feedback. And please, if you're part of this, please give us your feedback. It's absolutely crucial. But it's exciting, these are some of the biggest changes we've had in some time.
Larry Hryb: Like Jeff said, we got a lot going on. Go take a look at the interview that I had up earlier this week, and we actually walked through the dashboard on the build that I had here on my Xbox, and we kind of show you some of the cool stuff like the backgrounds and whatnot.
Jeff: One of my favorite features is the ability to set the volume for individual people within your party. We've always had the ability to balance out chat sound versus game sound, but now you can get granular.
Larry Hryb: As somebody who plays with you and your daughter frequently, I can attest that this is a killer feature.
Jeff: Very different volume levels, it's very different levels of chatter. Have you muted her entirely? You've set her at like one percent.
Larry Hryb: I would never say that. I have perhaps tried that.
Jeff: Look, she vocalizes. There's a lot of things that happen, some of them even apply to the game we're playing at the time.
Larry Hryb: Sometimes.
Jeff: The other 90 percent is talking about hypotheticals with people that are not even in the game.
Larry Hryb: A stream of conscious.
Jeff: Exactly. So, Grounded. This was a game that we had a good time with when it came into game preview last month, at the end of July, and the first major update is on its way. It's bringing birds into the backyard.
Larry Hryb: Birds.
Jeff: We've got some news on this, on Xbox Wire, and, of course, over on Obsidian's site, grounded.obsidian.net, but there's a lot of new things coming for builders to be able to play with new player perks. So, this game is going to continue to evolve. We love just version point one, or whatever it is that we were first playing. Like, there's some magic there and it was a lot of fun. But they're going to continue to build this game while, at the same time, working on things like a Avowed. And extra things coming to the Outer Wilds, that's only ... Or Outer Worlds, the expansion pack that we had seen. I remember, in July I was like, "Oh this is coming in September," and like September, [crosstalk].
Larry Hryb: July and September feels like months. I mean it is, it's two months apart. But it just felt like worlds away.
Jeff: Not anymore! It's funny because we saw them tweeting about it yesterday and it's coming out September 9th. That's like what, two weeks away?
Larry Hryb: Two weeks away, yeah.
Jeff: So we'll be getting more. I can't wait to jump into Outer Worlds some more because that was one my absolute favorite games of last year.
Larry Hryb: Less than two weeks.
Jeff: Yeah, so very soon. And of course more coming to Grounded. Actually, by the time you hear this, it should already be live. So go ahead, reload it up and check out Obsidian's site for Grounded and you will see more interesting things there.
Larry Hryb: Yes.
Jeff: We talked about Madden, that is available by the time you hear this. People, the deluxe version has been out for about a week. People that have EA access has been playing this for a little while, but there's a new mode that actually might be fun for us called The Yard, it's a 6v6. We're casuals, we're filthy casual players.
Larry Hryb: I wouldn't say filthy.
Jeff: We are not sweaty Madden players, we are casual Madden players.
Larry Hryb: Okay, fair point.
Jeff: So, it'll be fun to see that and I'm really interested to see what this game is going to look like come Xbox Series X this holiday, [crosstalk].
Larry Hryb: And am I going to play Tampa Bay or New England, that's the big question.
Jeff: This has got to be a crisis of consciousness for you, Larry. Do you turn your back on the people that brought you success, Gronk and Brady, or do you turn your back on the place where you grew up? [crosstalk].
Larry Hryb: On cider donuts and Dunkin' donuts and every that's ... and the wicked awesome, I don't know.
Jeff: This is going to be an 11th hour decision, I feel like, on the team select screen but let's play that this weekend. So we have some breaking news as we were recording this. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, it is coming, people were figuring this out through a pretty cool ARG puzzle thing, November 13th.
Larry Hryb: There it is.
Jeff: So, that's going to be an amazing day for gaming, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. We also found out Yakuza: Like a Dragon is coming out that day, as well. So, I'm going to be very torn on November 13th. It's going to be one of the craziest weeks for gaming also with Assassin's Creed Valhalla coming out then and Cyberpunk 2077, that's all in like a one-week span.
Larry Hryb: Wow.
Jeff: It's going to be madness. I can't wait, I'm very excited. But we've got a lot of fun things to play between now and then too.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, lots of games.
Jeff: And then, real quickly, before we get into our interviews for Tell Me Why and for Wasteland 3, Games with Gold, we have the new Games with Gold for November. Tom Clancy's The Division, Unwritten Tales 2, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, those are both Xbox One native games. But then, from the magic of backward compatibility, we have de Blob 2 from Xbox 360. Going all the way back to the OG Xbox, Armed and Dangerous. Do you remember that one, Larry?
Larry Hryb: I do, I do remember that one.
Jeff: That one will be available in the second half of September. Of course, if you have an Xbox Live Gold, those games are going to be yours to keep, all you got to is download them before [crosstalk]. Of course, that means get your August games now before they're gone because you don't get a second chance.
And also, this weekend, we'd love to talk about free play games, games you can play for free. We've got, starting on Thursday night, Rainbow Six Siege, Outward, and Star Wars Battlefront II, a phenomenal game that has continued to evolve over these past couple of years. I think if you're getting ready for Squadrons, that's coming out in October, this is a good place to sort of immerse yourself in. And the free play weekend goes through Sunday night, but Rainbow Six Siege actually goes for a whole week, so it's free play days going through a whole weekend. Again, Rainbow Six Siege, Outward, and Star Wars Battlefront II.
Larry Hryb: Talking about Star Wars, I was thinking about this because last week we were fortunate enough to have Gary Whitta on the show to kind of [crosstalk].
Jeff: That was a great show.
Larry Hryb: Yes.
Jeff: It was really good.
Larry Hryb: Guest co-host. And he was ... I forget, he's so prolific in terms of what he's doing and the fact that he basically came up with the story for Rogue One ... the Star Wars movie. It just baffles my mind the people that we get to parade through here and interview. He's such a great guy and I love having him on, so hopefully we'll have him on again. [crosstalk].
Jeff: Yeah, that'd be great. It's just awesome to hear him talk. I'm a big fan of his podcast. Actually, Kinda Funny Xcast, KFX as we hashtag it, has been renewed. So that was a-
Larry Hryb: Hooray.
Jeff: ... late breaking, I think as we were recording last week.
Larry Hryb: Hopefully, we helped. We helped, right?
Jeff: I think we pushed him over the line. I think they're doing very well. I think one of their most popular podcasts over at Kinda Funny, they've got a lot of different shows there. But it's become sort of my Saturday routine, it goes live Saturday at like 6 AM, Pacific, I'm not setting an alarm, but I go for a walk just before everyone else is up, and I listen to KFX and I love hearing Gary and Alanah and Mike. And Mike's done a great job, he's grown into that show. It's his first hosting gig, I think.
They're going to be going, at least now, all the way through the launch of the Xbox Series X this holiday, it'll be here before you know it, but keep supporting them because I'd like that show to stick around.
Larry Hryb: As would I, as would I. Anyway. Hey, we've got a couple of interviews. What do you say we talk to Florent Guillaume from DONTNOD? We'll talk [crosstalk].
Jeff: Tee us up!
Larry Hryb: Yeah, we'll talk about Tell Me Why which he's going to talk about some of the characters. I know a lot of folks have played Life is Strange and the other games out of that studio. So what do you say we talk to them?
Jeff: There's something I hope you brought up during this conversation, and I will wait and see.
Larry Hryb: Tell Me Why is now available on Xbox, I'm excited to be joined by the game director, and he's the game director at DONTNOD, Florent Guillaume. Florent, thank you for joining us.
Florent Guillau...: Thank you. Nice to meet you.
Larry Hryb: I want to talk to you about the game, it's now available for Xbox owners. And now this is a game that is ... Tell Me Why, it's similar to Life is Strange but it's different. I want to talk about the new game and some of those similarities and differences. So go ahead and tell us about the game.
Florent Guillau...: Yes. Tell Me Why is the new game from Don't Nod Entertainment. So, you mentioned Life is Strange, we created Life is Strange at the studio as well, so it's our new game for Xbox, that just released on Xbox and PC. So it's a new narrative adventure game, set in three different chapters, and it's telling the story of two characters, they are just [inaudible], Tyler and Alyson Ronan who come back to their hometown to learn more about their past, because they lived the drama in the past. They had a traumatic event that set them apart when they were children, at around 11. And they come back when they are adults, to dig into their past, to try to understand what's happened at the time and try to reveal all the mysteries that are linked to their past.
They are twins and they basically share what we call a bond, like a telepathic bond that allows them to share their memories, share their feelings as twins. And it also allows them, and the player, to recast and relieve their memories, because it's a game that talks about the past, so they have this ability that allows them to replay their memories. And they have different memories, they don't remember the same things because they were children at the time, they have different perspectives on what they remember. So the game is about that, about investigating the past, about coming to terms with what happened in the past. And also solving their different perspectives, solving what the player decides and believes that really happened at the time.
Larry Hryb: I want to talk a little bit about the characters, because there's some interesting elements to these characters. You talked about them being twins but there's actually a little bit more to that, if you'd go ahead and share that if you would please.
Florent Guillau...: So, as I said they are twins, identical twins at birth. Tyler is a young trans man, so we made this transition before the game started, and he comes back to Delos Crossing as a trans man. Alyson is his sister and they haven't seen each other for 14 years. They grew up, basically, separated. And when Tyler comes back to town, it's the prodigal son return. He comes back and people remember him, but as the previous himself. They are two really beautiful characters, very different to one another in their personalities and their hopes, their goal also, and that will also create some friction at times, because they are not looking exactly for the same things as they are trying to solve the past.
Larry Hryb: Now, Tell Me Why takes place in Alaska. Tell me why you chose Alaska as the setting for this tale.
Florent Guillau...: Oh, there are many reasons. The first one is, it's a magical place. It's got stunning environments, it's got a very interesting culture with the people who live there. The game takes place in Delos Crossing, which is a fictional town, fictional small town in Alaska. And the place where a little native community, from the Tlingit community, they have their own tradition that was there for a very long time, and we get to dig a little bit into this culture, into the habits, also, of the place.
And what we wanted to do with Alaska is that it's a place of escapism, in a way. It's huge, they got really huge landscapes, but so few people are living there. So it's really small communities and that was interesting for us because we are telling a story about family, one family and their secret, but also about the community and the way that the community share some of these secrets. So yeah, that was interesting for us. And the setting, in itself, is playing a very emotional ... It has a really emotional impact in the game because of the lighting, because of the weather. It takes place in winter, so there are a lot of different weather conditions during the gameplay. And basically the lighting and the weather and all the environment plays into the emotion and plays into ... supports the scenes and the emotions of the character.
Larry Hryb: Does this take place in the same universe as Life is Strange? Is that the way you guys think about this story and this tale? Tell us about how the two are connected, if at all.
Florent Guillau...: No, it doesn't take place in the same universe. Tell Me Why takes place in its own universe, and maybe we get to dig more in the future about these characters and the world they are connected with.
Larry Hryb: When you chose Alaska as the setting you, you talked about the beauty and the small, tight-knit culture that's up there, and I understand you also tapped into some of the native culture as well. So that must be-
Florent Guillau...: Yes.
Larry Hryb: ... a great way to kind of bring in the local native angle as well, right?
Florent Guillau...: Exactly. It was really inspiring when we went in Alaska, in different communities, to make [inaudible], to make research about the environment, about the culture, the people who live there, to understand and get the feeling of the life there, and we met a lot of extremely interesting and nice people there. So we get the opportunity, with this game, to depict a few of the characters that are, again, from Tlingit origin. Yeah, it's a great way for us to show a bit of that culture to our audience, but also to dig into things that talks about this culture and these people. So yeah, it was really a great opportunity to add characters who represent the Tlingit culture.
Larry Hryb: You've developed Life is Strange over there where you are, and that took place kind of in parts of the United States, and now you've got Tell Me Why. Tell us about why you choose the United States as kind of the center of your stories versus perhaps other places around the globe.
Florent Guillau...: There aren't many places around the globe but we ... We are French game developers and I guess we were just raised as people with all the references and the culture and the cinema and series that happens to take place in the United States and I think it's a really interesting settings. It's a very varied setting also, because we are talking here about Alaska, but in Life is Strange, the different games took place in different places of the United States.
So the variety of places and environments is really interesting ... of people also. And I think it just also relates a lot to our audience. We have players from all around the world, but we have also a lot of players from the United States. So yeah, it both comes from our creative intention to dig into the things that takes place in those places, but also to connect with our audience.
Larry Hryb: With Life is Strange, we saw this lovely execution of episodic content. What, as a storyteller, does that enable you to do? Does it enable people to kind of create those moments where they're talking about "Oh can you believe how that ended? And I can't wait for the next one"? Tell us about your approach as an accomplished storyteller as to why you do that, versus ship the entire game and just kind of call it a day.
Florent Guillau...: Yeah, there are a lot of interesting aspects of episodic development. We don't have exactly the same structure as Life is Strange, because Life is Strange was set in three episodes, and we developed the game in three chapters. We say chapter because it's not exactly the same duration, it's not the same formats exactly. So, we decided with our story that it made more sense and it was more supporting of the story to divide it into three bits of information, because it allows us to create momentum and attraction with the three cliff-hangers that we present at the end of each episode.
So it's interesting from a narrative perspective, but it's also interesting, I think, for our audiences to be able to play one bit of the game and have some time to talk as a community, to exchange with the other players that they are connected with. And with this new game, we tried to refine also the formula that we use on different games, and also the way we release the episodes.
For Tell Me Why, we decided to release with one week of time between each episode. So the first episode will be released on the 27th and the second one, one week after, and the third one, one week after, because we believe that one week is enough to create that momentum, but also not be a source of frustration, to have to wait a long time before the next episode comes in. We are all accustomed to series on TV, and you get your show every Thursday, let's say, and the next week, every Thursday.
So that's an approach we wanted to take with this game and we hope the community will be excited about it.
Larry Hryb: And then, of course, the other part of it is this will be available for Xbox Game Pass members which opens up a wide audience for you. Tell us about your success with Game Pass, because that's also a lovely thing that you can count on.
Florent Guillau...: Yeah. I can only talk about our own experience as developers. And I think, as a developer, Game Pass is really interesting because it allows us to have maybe more creative freedom in the way that we develop games and we release them, because you don't have to count so much on how many pieces you will sell because it's not exactly the same kind of thinking. You're thinking about what content you can bring to the audience and I think it truly empowers the creators because they don't have to think about what is marketable or what would bring the most sales, but they get to think about what they want to tell as writers or as creators. And I think it give more value to the players, because they have much more digital experiences, because you can take risks as a creator also.
So yeah, for us it was really interesting to work with Game Pass because it's the first game we are releasing for Game Pass, so it's a great experience.
Larry Hryb: Yeah. To your point, it allows you to kind of remove some parts of the equation and from your game development process, as you said, and if maybe things that are marketable or what have you. But also, kind of put that real creative cap on and snuggle into the creativity of it because you can focus on, again, creating stories and maybe that's what led you to create characters that are perhaps a little different than we've seen elsewhere. Would you say that's true?
Florent Guillau...: Yeah, I think that's true. Because, with Tell Me Why, we have this opportunity, when we wrote the story, to dig into more inclusivity for the characters, because I felt when we started to work on the game, we didn't conceptualize Tyler as a transgender man. It came while we were crafting the game and developing the game. And we could also do so because we have less pressure, maybe, on our side. And it just opened up much more creative freedom, I would say. And I think for the players, it's just a benefit. There's so much value they can take from ... for empowering, in a way, the creators.
Larry Hryb: When we look at the game play, and I know we have to wrap up in just a moment, how is Tell Me Why? Is the gameplay similar to what we've seen in Life is Strange? Or have you evolved in a different way? Tell me a little bit about that.
Florent Guillau...: It's a little bit of both because Tell Me Why is narrative adventure so it's similar in the way that you will be able to explore new environments, because we're talking about exploring the past. So our characters come back to their hometown, to their home where they lived when they were young, so there's a lot of exploration. You have a lot of time to read through everything that you see in the house, to recall the memories that you had as kids and just rediscover that environment. There's a lot of exploration, there's a lot of dialogues with different characters.
But, with every game, we also have different themes, different narrative, obviously, and that led us to create game mechanics that are associated with these themes. And for us, that's what I said earlier, it's the bond, the connection that our twins can share and that allows them to share their thoughts, because they don't have to talk all the time to talk to themselves. Basically, they can talk through telepathy and they do that during their investigation. But they can also show their feelings, the way they feel, and also their memories. So that's really interesting because it's a very accessible mechanic but also a very narrative mechanic, because it basically unlocks and triggers memories and narrative context. So that's really interesting for the players to explore these environments, discover memories like that, and read them.
Larry Hryb: Well, we've talked about it for the past 10 or 15 minutes, so I just encourage people to download it now. It's available on Xbox Game Pass, the first episode of Tell Me Why. Florent, I appreciate you taking the time today and congratulations on the launch of the game.
Florent Guillau...: Thank you.
Jeff: All right. Thank you, Florent. Tell Me Why available now as part of Xbox Game Pass on Xbox One and on Windows 10, so definitely get in there. And here's the thing to know about Tell Me Why, is it releases in episodes. So the first episodes available now and then next Thursday at 9AM, the next one will release, and then the week after that. So it's kind of like when we were watching HBO shows like Westworld or something like that. Every week, there's something to talk about. You can have that sort of water cooler talk play through it. I will say I'm a little disappointed, Larry, though. There was something you didn't bring up-
Larry Hryb: Go on.
Jeff: ... in this conversation. So I remember when Life is Strange first came out, we were talking about it, and I was like, "Oh how far did you get in there?" and you were talking about you were very uncomfortable that you had to go over to the [crosstalk] bathroom.
Larry Hryb: The ladies' room. That's right, the ladies' room in that high school.
Jeff: And you're a proper gentleman, you would never do such a thing, and the fact that you had to go in there, I just recall that. You were like ... It didn't stop you, you did play. Thanks for toughing that one out.
Larry Hryb: I'm actually probably about an hour into Tell Me Why and I'm really enjoying it. I mean, it's such great storytelling. Like Jeff said, we've got three episodes coming up. First one, August 27th, which is out now. September 3rd is episode two. And then September 10th is episode three. All part of Game Pass. So that's the most important [crosstalk].
Jeff: Very good. Exactly, just look for the update and keep on playing.
Larry Hryb: But you see what I mean? His office is ... You can almost feel the ... It was so French, I loved it.
Jeff: It's Parisian, yes.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, it's very Parisian.
Jeff: That's awesome. Yeah, I got to go to Paris last year, it feels like an eternity ago, for meetings. It's such a beautiful city.
Larry Hryb: I remember that because you bought my mustard.
Jeff: I did, that's right! We went to Maille, M-A-I-L-L-E.
Larry Hryb: Maille Mustard, yeah.
Jeff: And I only went because you asked. This is a mustard store that I think is older than America.
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff: I think it's been around since like the 18th century or something like that. I ended up ... I was only there for a couple of days for meetings, I didn't buy anything except for about like 80 euros worth of mustard for you and for me, and we actually just ran out-
Larry Hryb: Yeah, we did too.
Jeff: ... of the last little bit, and I want to go back. It was amazing mustard, a small amount transforms wherever you're eating. So we were in this sort of a German-style town up in the mountains here in the Cascades, and we were up there [crosstalk].
Larry Hryb: It's called Leavenworth, it's called Leavenworth.
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff: Not the prison, because I had told someone I was going to Leavenworth and they asked me.
Larry Hryb: Of course.
Jeff: So it's German-style and they had Dusseldorf-style mustard, which I just cracked into yesterday.
Larry Hryb: And what is it?
Jeff: It's great on pretzels.
Larry Hryb: Of course it is.
Jeff: It's mustard that tastes good. It's not like the real grainy, like European-style [crosstalk].
Larry Hryb: Didn't we fly into Dusseldorf when we would do [crosstalk].
Jeff: Oh we always fly into Dusseldorf!
Larry Hryb: I didn't realize they were home to mustard.
Jeff: Probably a year ago today, I was coming back from Gamescom, Gamescom was a week earlier than the digital Gamescom that is happening right now.
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff: And I spent a night in Dusseldorf, it's a beautiful city, amazing waterfront on the Rhine. It's a beautiful world out there. Actually, I flew from Dusseldorf to Cologne in Flight Sim, and I was just flying down the Rhine and I was like, "Oh I recognize the waterfront." I miss it, can you tell? Can you tell [crosstalk], Larry?
Larry Hryb: You and I talked about it.
Jeff: I got to get out of my house.
Larry Hryb: We talked about, last week, the crisis we have. We have no more gummy bears from that area, we have no more mustard. Send help! Send help!
Jeff: It's the essentials, it's the important things to keep in mind, our gummy bear and mustard hardships.
Larry Hryb: Anyway, let's talk about Wasteland, too. It's on your screen behind you, you're playing it.
Jeff: Yes! You can see, it says "Continue" not "New game." I've been playing Wasteland 3, I've put together an article for Xbox Wire this week on where to start. Because when you first start the game, there's a cut-scene, you select your difficulty. It can be challenging, I was playing it on normal. Then you immediately, after the cut-scene, you're thrown into character select or creator. And what would you do?
There's a lot of different factors, there's crazy stuff in there like Weird Science. What does Weird Science mean? It's beyond just like strength and dexterity, there's all kinds of different attributes and skills, and even like a origin of your character that plays into their skills. Where do you start? Well, I played the game over and over and over again to answer that question for you. So, if you take a look at Xbox Wire, I give you some advice on where to start.
But we're also going to speak with Brian Fargo, the head of inXile, to get even more feedback, give you some great feedback, some great advice for new players on what they can expect. Now this is Wasteland 3, I never played the original Wasteland, it came out in 1988. Although, the remastered version is part of Xbox Game Pass, you can get on it.
Larry Hryb: Yep.
Jeff: Wasteland 2, I played a little bit but I'll admit I was a bit intimidated by it. It was opaque at the beginning and I didn't know what I was doing, and I didn't get that very far.
Larry Hryb: Wasteland 2.
Jeff: Also available on Game Pass for Xbox One and for Windows 10. Wasteland 3, I found much more accessible, even though-
Larry Hryb: Would you say approachable?
Jeff: Approachable, accessible. It lets you know how to play the game, it welcomes you a little bit more. Doesn't mean that the decisions are any less grueling or consequential, but you at least know what you're doing. You're going to make mistakes in this game, you're going to kill people you didn't mean to kill, you're going to make decisions that you didn't want to do and you're going to miss characters, and that's okay, it's part of the experience. I think by the time you would have finished this game, your experience and my experience, I say this to you, Larry, I say this to just you, the viewer, it's going to be very different and I think that's awesome.
So there's just a ton to this game and it's out now. Again, Xbox Game Pass for PC and for console, also available on Steam if you're into that. So, you should definitely get on it, but if you don't believe me, let's talk to Brian Fargo, the head of inXile. Let's hear what he's got to say.
Larry Hryb: Jeff, you've done all the talking already. Do you think you've left anything for Brian [crosstalk]-
Jeff: I have sucked all the air out of the room. Where does my kid get it from?
Larry Hryb: All right, let's talk to Brian.
Jeff: This is an incredible week for RPG fans like myself. I am just ecstatic that this is the release date of Wasteland 3. And to celebrate this momentous occasion, and in fact to dig into it a little bit more, we have the studio head from inXile studios. Brian Fargo, thanks so much for joining us here on launch week.
Brian Fargo,: Good morning, it's a good day to be here.
Jeff: Allow me to ... well, I'm going to say the first, but probably not the first, to congratulate you on fantastic reviews on Wasteland 3. When you woke up on Wednesday morning, how did it feel to see that everyone appreciated what you've been working on for at least ... what, four years?
Brian Fargo,: Yeah. First, there's a lot of anxiety the night before. And I couldn't fall asleep at all, it was like three o'clock in the morning, and then I knew that I was ... I didn't want to just wake up to something, because you don't know what you're going to see, and that I was going to take a shower and relax and then start opening up social media. But I had text messages lighting on my phone when I woke up, so I thought, "Well, that's a good sign." And yeah, it's been phenomenal. 9s and 10s, and using wonderful words like masterpiece and things like that. It's really great.
But yeah, we pour our heart and soul into these games. It was a little over three and a half years, as you say. Super important, it's the first title that we're doing since being acquired by Microsoft. So everything about it is ... it feels good.
Jeff: Let's talk about that a little bit. You started as a Kickstarter on Fig, and here at the end of the road for the release for Wasteland 3, you're part of Xbox Game Studios. So how have things changed during that time? Especially, did that end up impacting what you were able to do with the game?
Brian Fargo,: Yeah, there's no question. When you're crowdfunding your games, you're usually running pretty lean from a budget perspective. And so we knew the things that we wanted to do, that we couldn't do. We wanted more animation help, we wanted more time on localization, we wanted more QA resources. We wanted just general iteration time across the board, and that's where Microsoft really came in, because this title was supposed to ship some time ago. And really, it's thousands of things that we did to improve the game because we were given more time. Time is money and that's always really what it comes down to, and getting that extra time makes such a difference.
So yeah, we were able to ramp up. I describe it as we were like a band that knew we were missing a bass player but we did the best music we could. And so, when they came in, we were able to get an animation director, a technical director. There is a lot of roles we filled on top of the extra time. So, it was not one particular thing that improved, but it was across the board: visual, audio, test. You name it.
Jeff: That three-piece is now like the Arcade Fire or something now. You've got a tambourine player, someone playing the washboard, all those things.
Brian Fargo,: We almost have a symphony, yeah.
Jeff: So, the game had a release date in the spring. I think it was late May or early June. And then it was pushed into August so that you all could add a feature that was much requested. Can you talk about the implementation of co-op?
Brian Fargo,: Well, the co-op was always planned. It was the most requested thing that we get from our players. COVID happened during that time and so there was ... We had to move to a work-from-home situation, I knew it would cause some problems, and so we knew we weren't going to be able to make it that exact date. Listen, if you offer a developer more time, they're always going to take it. So we know we were going to miss that date, because of COVID, so it was like, "Hey, can we get like a little bit of extra time, as long as we're doing it?" They said, "Great." And so we were able to do that. And co-op, we were able to put more time into co-op.
I think the most difficult part about this game, and people ask me about the development, is just the sheer scope and scale. You've got 80 hours of game, almost 600 speaking parts, there's nearly 40 hours of spoken dialogue. And then, because it's a highly reactive universe, which is what our players love, which is "I do something and it has a material effect on the world," that's when it becomes fun and it feels immersive. But you have to create all that extra content, and then you throw co-op on top of it. And with co-op, there's so many edge cases that it opens up, which is ... it was made for a single-player game, full-stop, so there could be no sacrifice to the single-player.
So co-op, which is "I'm in a conversation and you're in a combat, or you're opening a chest and we have a shared inventory, and who gets the items?" So there was a lot of edge cases we had to provide for on co-op, and so we did get the extra time to really hone that in. But it's scary because we'll be going live, there'll be a half a million people playing the game, probably, day one. There's just so many edge cases that we try to hunt down.
Jeff: You had a really interesting take on co-op, and there's an article on Xbox Wire that I highly recommend everyone takes a look at, a lot of times when I'm playing co-op in any sort of adventure game that maybe is like a single-player, it's almost like the other person is like a helper but they don't get any of that progress. And what you all are doing with Wasteland 3, that I think is really cool, is that if you were someone's plus one, but you decide you want to keep going, you like what you're doing, you can then take that and continue on, it's almost like a branching timeline, and they go off to the right and the original player can continue on on their own, isn't that right?
Brian Fargo,: That's right. We didn't want to create a situation where two people were playing and then you said, "Okay, I want to go to bed."
"But I want to keep going."
And so, that person is able to keep going. But the other person wakes up the next morning and if they don't like what the host did, then they say, "You know what, I'm going to take our last saved game and I'm going to just go from there," and then they can take their own single-player experience at that point. Or they could say, "You know what, I'm loading a different friend and we're going to continue from there," it doesn't matter. So all the saved games, they're all equal. So it's really whatever one you want to play off of. But that way you can't have a friend sort of ruining it for you in any way.
But, most importantly, there's so many co-op games that are competitive, there's not a lot where you get to work together. The general idea is you are working together. We allow you to ... urinate on a snow ball and throw it at the guy, little things of moments like that. But, really, we encourage you to work together, that is what's the fun part.
Jeff: I think we're going to see some people do very interesting things, I think, with co-ops. I'm very excited to see some of the min/max videos, and all the stuff people are going to be doing. Let's back up a little bit, I think Wasteland 3 is probably going to be, for some people, the first Wasteland that's really maybe bubbled up for them, or that they were able to get in on the ground floor. Wasteland, the original Wasteland remastered and Wasteland 2 are a part of the Xbox Game Pass so I highly recommend you give those a go, but if you're just coming in at Wasteland 3 and this is really the first one you're going to go all in on, what do those players need to know?
Brian Fargo,: We don't make any kind of requirement that you know about the prior Wastelands. Our attitude about it is, if you've played the prior ones, including the one that goes back to 1988, there's little gems, funny moments or lore that only you can really appreciate. But that's okay. It's almost like when Pixar makes a film, and there's comedy that only the adults get while they're in the audience, and the kid's don't and that's okay, it doesn't take away from the viewing. We look at it the same way. And so, really, there's just absolutely nothing to know other than ... I guess what you're kind of getting in for. I mean, it's a turn-based strategy game. We try to make it so you can get into the game pretty easily. It ends up being chess later, but it starts off as checkers. Very basic and kind of pulling you in slowly so you understand the dynamics.
And then, the other thing that we sort of let people know is that it's a mature-rated game, too. We let people know, for them to expect that ... which turns out people like that. Our audience loves that sort of no holds barred situation. I've often referenced Peaky Blinders or Ozark or Quentin Tarantino films as sort of our ... not our inspiration, but our taste palate, let's say.
Jeff: I played through the game, I've played through the first few hours, the backer beta that was out earlier this spring and then, in preparation for an article that we put up on Xbox Wire this week, I played through the first hour or so multiple times, and it's just amazing. Even very early on, you're making decisions that are life and death decisions, and I feel like in a lot of games ... I love RPGs, but sometimes there's like a "Obviously, this is the right thing to do. If I do this thing, if I raise my hand and volunteer, I save this person, they're going to give me a reward." And I feel like it's not quite so cut and dried in the world of Wasteland, where I do the thing that might seem right and seems like the prototypical good thing to do as a video game creator, and it immediately ends up costing lives somewhere else. I feel like everything's got to an equal and opposite reaction.
Brian Fargo,: Yeah. We have a couple sort of different philosophical thoughts on that. One is that we don't judge you as how you play the game and we don't want the world to feel like there are designers behind it, writing how you're being judged. What we try to do is create a world and have the world react in a reasonable and correct way as to the things you might do. So, it might be that you did something bad that ends up being good for you, or vice versa.
So it's more like we're trying to ... point out the way life could work sometimes, as opposed to any kind of morality play by us. So very much so. Sometimes you'll need the high-base skill check in order to say certain things in a conversation, a smart ass level five. But it doesn't always mean something good is going to happen. Like most people, I think, in games they think, "Oh I've got a high level. This is going to really reward me," but maybe it won't because the situation you're in doesn't really call for you being a high level smart ass.
And so, we like that it keeps it fresh so that you don't quite know exactly what's going to happen. I think our motto with the game is "You reap what you sow." And so, if you do good things, by and large, the world will respond accordingly. And of course, the vice versa being true.
Jeff: As someone who considers himself a high level smart ass, I can attest that it doesn't always work out well. There are times where you just need to be quiet. Something you had mentioned earlier on, in the game, is that there's so many branching paths. With all the options, all the different things, how as a team do you keep the story coherent for people so that they don't forget why they're there in the first place, why the Rangers are in Colorado? With all those different ways that you can go, is there something that sort of brings people back to the center and drives them along?
Brian Fargo,: I think the mission log helps keep you on point, as far as what you're supposed to be doing next. We very clearly call out what are the primary missions and the secondary missions. But the primary missions, there's usually not a lot in the list, so you know what you need to do. And it even tells you sort of when you should be doing those things, when they get revealed. Like, early on, the patriarch says, "I'd like you to go recapture my children," but it'll tell you, "Hey, you better be level 12 before you head in this area." That being said, if you want to go try early, go for it. Some people, maybe they'll find a way. So we try to give a little bit of warning there.
But you're right in the fact that it just branches off in so many different ways, and I think that's what our audience loves, is that their decisions matter. I mean, we hear this year after year after year. And sometimes it's a small thing that you do that has a big effect later or even a big thing that you do that has a larger effect later, but we work hard in telegraphing those results. There's a simple thing where you rescue a prisoner, in about a third of the way into the game, and you can have him join your party or not. So if you don't, so be it. But if you do, he's talking the entire time. He's meeting other people in the world and having conversations with them.
And then, one of the larger maps in the back end of the game is a completely different experience, because he used to be the head of the gangs and so he's returning to a familiar gang territory, and it plays out completely different if that one person isn't in your party. And you put a lot of work into creating content that half the people or more won't see, but it all makes it worth it because the world becomes immersive by those actions.
Jeff: You bring up a great point that there's lines of dialogue and whole levels perhaps or missions that people are just never going to experience because the game is so big and there's so many things that you can do. I've heard 80 hours thrown out there, more hours throw out there, just to see everything there is to do. Is there a particular character, or mission, or location that you think that some people might miss but that you're just in love with, that people should maybe go out of their way to try and find?
Brian Fargo,: Well, we have this character called The Provost, which is a very mysterious character from Wasteland 2, that you are playing the game and he just shows up and starts following you, and you have no idea why. He only speaks in Latin. You just don't know anything about him. And I know, and it's probably one of the most frequently asked questions I get on Twitter is "Who is The Provost?" and we've revealed very little about him.
But, in this game, there's a special cave that you can find, if you have The Provost and you do the right things, and you get sort of more of a sort of bizarre payoff. So I think that's something that people might not necessarily find, but there's so many moments. And things get turned off too, you'll get a quest right off in the beginning of the game. You have the Hoon family farm, it's under attack, and the guy who's held them hostage is on the radio sort of berating you. Then you've got another group that's attacking a caravan, and you could really only save one. And so, you've got to make a choice. So, by default ... So it's a little bit different than the question you asked, but there's just a lot.
You know what I love about these games and what the audience ... You can play this game for a decade and still find new material. I get comments from people playing Wasteland 1 and Wasteland 2, whether they're on their ... Most people, they finish it once. We get it, that's a lot of work. But some people play them over and over again, and they will find new things almost every single play-through and we love that.
Jeff: Yeah, I have a feeling that in 50, 60, 100 hours, when I'm done, I'm going to be talking to Larry and I'm going to say, "Hey, do you remember this part? I love this part that," whatever happened, and he's going to be like, "I didn't have that." And I can imagine there's going to be a lot of those things as we make different decisions.
Brian Fargo,: I'll tell you one little fun piece of reactivity, that might be lost on people, that we think is really cool. Sometimes when reactivity is done so well, it feels so natural that you don't know that there was a lot of work into making that sort of react specially for them. When you get to the end of the game, there's a song, it's a ballad, and we seamlessly create the song based upon the entire actions that you've made in the game ... which we thought was pretty cool and unique. But if you just hear the song, you'll think, "Oh that's a great song," but not really understanding that that was put together by verses and seamlessly in a way that sounds natural and great, just based upon your actions in the world.
Jeff: We were putting together the achievement lists, which we revealed just right before release date, and I saw that there was an achievement for actually not making it through the tutorial. And then, Micah Whipple, at inXile, let me know that there's actually a special version of the song if you somehow managed to even not make it through that first 30 minutes or so.
Brian Fargo,: We love premature endings to the game. It's not like, "Oh you die." But we're like, "Okay, if they do that, you know what, we're going to end the game," we're going to say, "Here's what happened to the world," and we're going to let the credits roll. Like, that's an ending. So, we think there's going to be many endings ... We did that with Wasteland 2, also. With Wasteland 2, you were supposed to work with the Rangers and then, finally, head off in a helicopter to LA and then deal with the latter half of the game. But, if you do really horrible things and don't listen to Ranger command, they eventually turn on you. And so now the game is a fight to the death with the Rangers themselves, you never make it to California, and that is an ending, and for us it's a legitimate ending. We don't care. If that is the ending you want to pursue, then so be it.
So we do the same kind of things in Wasteland 3. And so depending on what kind of human you are or playing, you'll get the appropriate ending.
Jeff: Human or cat or dog or chicken. There's a lot of different characters. It's definitely not the normal mold from what you would think you would see in a lot of RPGs. I got a cat, very early on, who maybe smokes, I'm not actually sure yet, but is a pretty good attacker.
Brian Fargo,: The cat smokes. I like the cyborg chicken quite a bit with you, if you find him.
Jeff: It's crazy, there's just so many things here. But before we go, Brian, do you have just any tips for new Wastelanders, that they should just keep in mind as they get started on this amazing epic.
Brian Fargo,: Sure. I think that one of the things that, and the way I play it, is when you go up levels you'll get skill points that you can put into different skills ... don't necessarily deploy them immediately, unless you really know ... I mean, if you want to improve to level lockpick two, then great, then do it. But sometimes I'll let them accumulate and sort of see the situation for what I really want to do. I don't always necessarily deploy them immediately, unless you already know you've been dying to get into a level two chest, and you finally got it, now you'll be able to open, in which case that makes perfect sense.
The other thing, there's no good or bad build. I mean, you could go over to people that are more melee focused, you could go people that are more ... sort of sniper or long range focused, and you can play the game either way. But one of the things, I guess, is good is that the brawlers can be quite good at removing armor from enemies. So a good strategy is to really pump up your brawler, and they can get a lot of hits per turn, and they can really pull down enemy's armor.
Armor is a very important thing in the game. If somebody has high armor, you're not going to penetrate them if you don't have the right weaponry. But the brawler can run out and just boom, boom, boom, and just smash it down, and then you just got to go from person to person, smashing their armor down, while your gunmen sort of follow up behind. So I think that's like a real legit strategy in terms of combat tactics. But we've very purposely left it open so that any kind of thing would work.
The other thing is, we make our games a little bit hard. Inventory of bullets and things like that is super important. But you can always back off the difficulty, like if it was not your thing. Most people want a really challenging experience, they quite upset if it's not challenging. So, it's challenging but you can always back it down so if you just want to enjoy it and it's not your thing.
Jeff: Thanks so much, Brian. I can't wait to get into the game and to spend more time and get past the first few hours that I've played earlier. Secondly, I just can't wait to commiserate with friends and find out what they've done and what their builds are, and it's a great point about the melee. I think there's a tendency to go, "Oh, of course I want rocket launchers," and a lot of other long range stuff but those have high AP cost. You can only do one move and maybe move like a step, whereas certain other characters can run all over the field and just have a lot more flexibility in the types of stuff they do. So, I think that's going to be awesome.
So, again, congrats on the launch of Wasteland 3 and also on these phenomenal reviews. We're going to see some really cool stuff coming out of this, so please stay in touch, but thanks so much. Brian Fargo, the head of inXile, taking time on launch day to join us here on Major Nelson Radio. Thank you.
Brian Fargo,: Awesome. Thank you, thank you.
Larry Hryb: Thank you, Brian. We are excited to have Wasteland 3 now available on Xbox Game Pass, in addition to everything else. Great job on that interview, Jeff. Thank you.
Jeff: Thank you, Larry. I mean, you can tell when I'm excited about a game, and-
Larry Hryb: Yeah, you went deep.
Jeff: Well, yeah. I played the backer beta. This game started as a Kickstarter, as we talked about, on Fig. And I played the first, I don't know, five hours back in May, April, May. And the fact that I've played through now multiple times and I'm still excited to dive back into it ... by the time you hear this, I'll probably be 10 hours in, that's a good sign from where I'm coming from.
Larry Hryb: Are we going to co-op?
Jeff: The co-op is really interesting, so maybe we should do that.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, as you heard.
Jeff: What I want you to do, I want you to play through, I want you to get to Colorado Springs, which is a few hours in, once you get to that point, we can do some co-op. It's really interesting, it just divvies up ... You'll take half of the party, I'll take it off of it, don't get my people killed. It's funny, I have enough [crosstalk]. I'll give you player-created characters so I'm not going to be worried about them too much. I think I'm going to be playing this on Windows 10. I got a widescreen monitor for Flight Simulator and it had widescreen support-
Larry Hryb: All the flex, all the flex.
Jeff: I'm not flexing, I got it very inexpensively. It's not a name brand. Spec? Scepter? Whatever, it works. And I think that's going to just be ... This is a game I want to sit in front of my PC and then, when I slide over to my Xbox, I'm playing Yakuza Kiwami 2 because, my god, what a game that is, what a again that is.
Larry Hryb: What a week-
Jeff: I'm so excited.
Larry Hryb: What a show. Great-
Jeff: What a week!
Larry Hryb: We have a lot going on here. Do you have anything else you want to talk about before we wrap up? Because we try to keep these shows ... So it used to go two hours, two and a half hours, I'm trying to keep them to over an hour-
Jeff: Nobody's got time for that.
Larry Hryb: ... but I want to respect people's times. But these interviews were so good, I couldn't certainly cut those short.
Jeff: Yeah. I'm just looking forward to ... I'm hoping that in the coming [crosstalk]-
Larry Hryb: I have something to show you, hold on.
Larry Hryb: This is just funny, this is complete non-gaming relate ... Well, kind of ... No, not gaming related. Let me show this to you.
Jeff: Show it to me.
Larry Hryb: You know what I have in here?
Larry Hryb: My wife got it-
Jeff: It looks like an X-ray or something.
Larry Hryb: My wife got this for me, this [crosstalk]-
Jeff: Oh, is it an animation cell?
Larry Hryb: No.
Jeff: All right, I guessed.
Larry Hryb: What does that look like?
Larry Hryb: It is a piece of the dome.
Jeff: Oh, from the Carrier Dome?
Larry Hryb: A piece of the Carrier [crosstalk] from Syracuse, yeah.
Jeff: That's awesome! Nice.
Larry Hryb: They put on that new roof and my wife got it for me. They were selling commemorative pieces of the-
Jeff: So it's like a thick canvas or something.
Larry Hryb: Yeah, exactly.
Jeff: That's funny because like ... So, UF where I went to school, not the football stadium, the Carrier Dome was the biggest of its kind, I want to say. But the basketball stadium, the O'Connell Center, or O-Dome, used to have that. It was inflatable. It was one of those things where you open the door and you were getting hit with a blast air-
Larry Hryb: That's what this was, yeah.
Jeff: ... using some sort of ... Right, Carrier Dome was the same technology. And they switched over, at some point, to a solid proper ceiling instead of that, and I wonder if they were selling pieces of the O-Dome canvas. That would have been-
Larry Hryb: Well, this to me, I just can't imagine. So this was up between 1980 and 2020.
Jeff: Wow. So they've gone full normal roof or did they tear down the Carrier Dome?
Larry Hryb: I don't know what they did, I'll have to go take a look. It had quite a run here. I don't know if they replaced it, if they finally just decided that ... or if they replaced the roof, that technology. But I can't imagine the snow this has seen.
Jeff: That piece of canvas, one half has dealt with-
Larry Hryb: I think it's Teflon.
Jeff: ... feet and feet. And then, the other half-
Larry Hryb: I know it's Kevlar if I remember correctly.
Jeff: Kevlar? Wow.
Larry Hryb: I don't know if it's bulletproof.
Jeff: Sounds like it. It's the other half has watched Donovan McNabb through a touchdowns.
Larry Hryb: Or Rony Seikaly ... too.
Jeff: Rony Seikaly went to Syracuse?
Larry Hryb: Yes, of course he did.
Jeff: When I was in high school, he was on the Miami Heat and-
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff: ... he's actually a DJ on XM now, did you know that?
Larry Hryb: He is?!
Jeff: Yeah, he's on-
Larry Hryb: What channel?
Jeff: Either XM 53 Chill or the techno channel, one or the other, but I've definitely heard. It's called like Low Sugar or No Sugar, [crosstalk] something like that.
Larry Hryb: Oh I got to check that out. Sometimes, I appear on Sirius XM. In fact, I'm scheduled to be on next week with Lord Sear, Shade 45.
Jeff: Oh, I'll listen for you next Tuesday.
Larry Hryb: I will not be on Tuesday. [crosstalk].
Jeff: Okay, Tuesday is normally [crosstalk].
Larry Hryb: No, Tuesday is not my normal day. I believe Monday, I'll be on. But will [crosstalk].
Jeff: Lord Sear? It's always a trip. That's so funny. Okay.
Larry Hryb: When I tweeted out that I'm going to be on there, people were like, "Wait, what?" because he and I are such opposites. But, at the end of the day, what brings us together is gaming. He's a huge gamer. In fact, he's texting me all the time about games he's playing and what's going on.
Jeff: It's why we're here, it's what connects us. When I had gotten my one COVID haircut, I very quickly found out that the person that was cutting my hair, she's a huge RPG player and we spent-
Larry Hryb: Wait a minute, what's her name?
Jeff: ... 30 minutes talking about Vampire: The Masquerade.
Larry Hryb: What her name? Because I used to have this woman that used cut my hair as well, do we go to the same place? Tall? [crosstalk].
Jeff: I don't think we go to the same place.
Larry Hryb: Anyway. Yeah, you're right, gaming does ... Wherever we go, I'm amazed how I run into people that they're playing this or playing Wasteland or Tell Me Why-
Jeff: It immediately breaks down barriers because you have something to connect to. I think it does it in a way that even transcends sports in a lot of ways. It's why we're here, Larry.
Larry Hryb: It is.
Jeff: I wouldn't know you if not for gaming.
Larry Hryb: That's true. That's true, and here we are. Anyway-
Jeff: It seems a bit obvious to say.
Larry Hryb: ... we'll be back next week. Hopefully, we'll be back next week, Jeff, if you'll join us. We're going to line up some more interviews, have some more fun.
Jeff: I'd love to be here.
Larry Hryb: Jeff, I think you know this is the part of the show where you have to kind of pass around the tip plate. Well, at least tell people to like and subscribe.
Jeff: We don't want your money. We want you to subscribe, if you're watching on YouTube. And what we found, we actually were digging into the numbers more, people are still listening to us on Spotify and Apple podcasts, and SoundCloud, and all those things, which makes sense because you're 600 episodes in, this is a long time podcast. But the YouTube numbers have gone up, they're spending time on-
Larry Hryb: People want to see us. Well, they want to see our guests.
Jeff: How about this, if you're on YouTube, of course, like and subscribe and ring the bell and all that stuff. But if you're listening to us, please leave a review. We want to know what you think. We'll look at the reviews and ... I'll be off the show within weeks, if you we'd listen to those [crosstalk].
Larry Hryb: No. Actually, one of the areas that we've been tweaking on is ... It's funny, when we were just audio, I never had these problems, but since I've made the migration to video like this, I take the soundtrack off of this and I put it up on ... People that have commented that the audio levels aren't the same, so I'm still dialing those in, because it records a different way, so I got to spend a little time on that.
Jeff: Well, on the other part of that is, we used to be in a studio with an audio engineer, and [crosstalk].
Larry Hryb: I didn't have to worry about it, he did.
Jeff: Exactly. I don't have sound baffling in my home office here.
Larry Hryb: Although we haven't heard the garbage truck go by this morning, which is good.
Jeff: We didn't record on trash day this week.
Larry Hryb: When's your trash day?
Jeff: It's on Thursday, [crosstalk] recording a little early today.
Larry Hryb: See, mine's on Tuesday and I had to ... I remember I recorded an interview once on Tuesday, and I could not believe ... You never notice it until you're trying to record something and you're hyper-aware of [crosstalk]-
Jeff: It's so loud.
Larry Hryb: ... I'm like, "What are you doing out there?"
Jeff: It's an essential service, Larry, and we thank them for it.
Larry Hryb: We do. Much like the Post Office.
Jeff: Support your local postman.
Larry Hryb: Yeah.
Jeff: Or woman, yes.
Larry Hryb: All right, gang. We'll see you guys next week. Thank you for downloading, watching, listening, ringing bells, subscribing, whatever you do. Thank you for joining us on this lovely journey through Xbox. We have a huge fall coming up with great games. Of course, we have Xbox Series X coming out. We don't have a date yet, but we'll let you know as soon as we do. Don't worry about that. Right, Jeffrey?
Jeff: That's right. Can't wait to be talking about such things and then, coming up real soon, we're going to get to talk about Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. I just saw that that's ... All these things that were planned for September and I was like, "That's forever from now."
Larry Hryb: Do I need get my Curt Schilling interview ready?
Larry Hryb: All right, gang. We'll talk to you guys later. Jeff, how do people find you for complaints?
Jeff: @jeffrubenstein on Twitter or Rubes if you want to jump ... Sometimes, people jump into our Apex game and my gamer tag is Rubes, jump on in.
Larry Hryb: Mine is Major Nelson. People also jump into my game, so you can find me on Major Nelson. And you can follow me on Xbox Live, I'll also post some stuff in my feed over there. So all right gang, we'll talk to you next week. Bye-bye, everybody!