[AUDIO LOGO] LARRY HYRB: Hi, it's Larry Hyrb, Xbox's Major Nelson. Welcome to the official Xbox Podcast, another great week, another great week of games, and another great week of having my two good friends here, Rebecca and Jeff. Hey, gang.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Hey.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Aw. We're not just coworkers. We're friends.
LARRY HYRB: You are.
REBECCA GORDIUS: I like that.
LARRY HYRB: You are. Jeff and I text all the time. Rebecca, you and I don't text as much because you're so busy with other things, but we will.
REBECCA GORDIUS: We text a little bit. I enjoy the photos you send me--
LARRY HYRB: Of my daughter.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. We should talk some more, though. Yes.
LARRY HYRB: I need to send you some of those. But anyway, welcome back, everybody. Wow. When did it become October? I mean, it became October last week, but just all of a sudden, it's there.
REBECCA GORDIUS: I know. It's so dark. It's so cold. It's only going to get darker. It's only going to get colder.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Every darn year. Every darn near. This October, just rolls right around.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Why does this keep happening? Yeah.
LARRY HYRB: Well, it's interesting to your point, Rebecca, and I know we talk about the weather all the time. But Jeff and I in Seattle have been enjoying some unseasonably warm and dry weather.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Why the long face, Jeff?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: First, we talk about the calendar, and then we talk about the weather. What
REBECCA GORDIUS: Else? What else should we talk about?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: What else?
REBECCA GORDIUS: We should talk about meetings and email--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: We can talk about baseball.
REBECCA GORDIUS: --maybe coffee.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Phillies made the playoffs. Oh, coffee.
LARRY HYRB: Let's talk about games.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I love a good cup of coffee.
LARRY HYRB: Let's talk about video games, shall we?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, let's do it.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I mean, if you want.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah. Rebecca, what have you been playing this week?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, so I actually-- so I got back from my trip to Europe. I was home for approximately three days, and then I went to the Bay for a wedding, but I did have time to play. I started playing "Grounded," which is available now on Xbox Game Pass. I know you guys have been playing it too.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's the full release.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. And I have to say, it really surprised me. I saw some of the different trailers and videos that came out, and I kind of thought it would be a little bit of a kid's-- not a kid's game, but more on the younger demographic, humor and stuff like that. And I thought it was going to be an action story game. And it is not at all. I was very pleasantly surprised that it's survival. It has RPG elements, in my opinion.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yup.
REBECCA GORDIUS: I mean, I don't want to say too much because I only just started playing in the last few days, but it gave me that feeling of, oh, I'm really into this. I really want to play it. I picked it up and I started playing this morning before I went to work.
LARRY HYRB: Oh, wow.
REBECCA GORDIUS: That's how you know that I'm really interested in it.
LARRY HYRB: That's when you know.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. It's like, OK, this is what I'm going to do when I get up. So what about you guys? You've been playing too?
LARRY HYRB: Well, it's funny you say that because Jeff and I started playing it last week, Monday, I guess because it came out Tuesday.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, right when the 1.0 update hit.
LARRY HYRB: And so we were playing, and we've played a couple times since then. And it's been interesting, and Jeff, you can chime in, but I have the same reaction. I mean, I knew what the game was about. And I even texted-- I even told Jeff this yesterday. I'm like, I think I was wrong about Grounded because I didn't think it was my kind of game because--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah.
LARRY HYRB: --when I like to play games, I sit down. I like to finish the level or have a very specific beginning and end. With this, there kind of is in terms of you're getting recipes and you're achieving certain things, but--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Well, there's a story.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah. Yeah, there's a story.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: But there's a lot of I would say, open-ended prep that you need to do before you are ready to make it to that next area. And it doesn't necessarily hold your hand. There's usually an objective up there in the upper left, like hey--
LARRY HYRB: Or two or three.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --you should try weaving a basket.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: You should try--
REBECCA GORDIUS: It's like getting a reminder.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, exactly. Here's the next story objective, but it doesn't tell you, and what you need to figure out is, am I strong enough to get there? How do I get there? There's no-- I mean, there is a map of sorts, but it's not like there's going to be an icon there, and it's like, go right here. You kind of figure it out. And then, am I powerful enough to survive getting there? What am I going to find when I get there? And there's a lot of mystery there, which is really interesting. And so we had progressed to the next step. And we found ourself face to face with the wolf spider.
LARRY HYRB: It promptly had me for lunch three times.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yes.
LARRY HYRB: For a late-night snack.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And while it was feasting on Larry, I was able to progress to where we needed to be, so really, it all worked out.
LARRY HYRB: But it was--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Well--
LARRY HYRB: Yeah.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Well, it reminds me of the way that I played Skyrim, which was I ignored the main storyline for the most part, and I just went around, sneaking and building my fire-casting skill and just doing all these different side quests and rummaging through bins all the time. And so I mean, I'm doing a little bit of the story but so far, I've just been crafting and harvesting materials and analyzing them. And I'm getting a lot of joy out of that.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah. We've had a little bit of a challenge trying to find sap, so now we understand.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: We've gotten pretty good at it now. Initially, because I think that is one of the rarer things of the--
LARRY HYRB: At least in the area we're in.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --things that you need pretty frequently, but then we found chunks of it that you can use a hammer and get it out. So I think we're in a pretty good place now. Where you first spawn, you don't find a lot of that. But my favorite moment is we were taking out a smaller spider. We need to find better weapons or craft better weapons.
LARRY HYRB: You have to [INAUDIBLE].
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: No, I'm not. And then an ant comes in and attacks the spider. And Larry just keeps hammering away, come what may.
LARRY HYRB: I mis-swung and I hit the hit box on the spider. Its eyes turn red, and all of a sudden--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: The ant. And you hit the ant, is what you did, the ant that was coming to our rescue.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And then guess what? That ant killed us both.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Wait, was just a red worker ant?
LARRY HYRB: Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It was one that had the big mandibles on it, so it wasn't a little baby one. There's a couple of different red ant styles. And look, I've dealt with fire ants. I lived in Florida. You don't want to mess with those things. Doesn't matter if they're three inches tall.
LARRY HYRB: There are fire ants in the game, if I recall correctly.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I think those are-- are they fire ants? I don't know. But what I do know is you don't want to mess with them. And Larry messed with them. And we learned our lesson.
LARRY HYRB: It was an accident.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: We were just as dead. We were just as dead, but we were able to go past that, and we had a great-- the sense of discovery has been awesome.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And the sense of, can we do this? And then if we can't-- what I do like is even though you will lose certain resources that are in your bag when you drop it, you still generally-- we've been carrying our weapons and our armor and stuff like that.
REBECCA GORDIUS: The progress is still.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Exactly. So that's good.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. What was it? I died-- it was really lame. I was killed by the mites on that first one where you're trying to-- there's the cable, and there's the mites eating the cable.
LARRY HYRB: That's right.
REBECCA GORDIUS: I was killed by the mites. I was like, dang. I'm going to have to go back and kill all those mites again, but then it actually saved my progress. I was able to get my bag back, and then I just continued on, so it's not as--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: We need to get together.
REBECCA GORDIUS: --painful of a death as I thought it would be.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: The game is so much more forgiving when there's multiple of us taking all-- we can gang up on certain insects. We can res each other, things like that. We can keep an eye out for each other with thirst and hunger and everything like that.
LARRY HYRB: I may recommend something. Yes, I agree with you, Jeff. I want to recommend something when you play the game. And as Rebecca said, it's on Game Pass. Stop and take a moment, Rebecca, if you can because there was a couple of times where I went up a blade of grass or a twig and just looked around the world to give that sense of scale and how tiny you are. And the day/night cycle is very interesting. Certainly you don't want to be out at night.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah.
LARRY HYRB: But we haven't run into any crickets yet, come to think of it, Jeff, have we?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I don't know if crickets are in the game. They're not overly violent, right?
LARRY HYRB: No, they're not.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: But then again, I've never been an inch tall.
LARRY HYRB: But they make a beautiful sound, and I have none up here in the backyard, so I want to be, but they must be very loud because they rub their legs together. That's my cricket fact.
REBECCA GORDIUS: They're rubbing their legs together right now.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah. [SHUSHING SOUND] So yeah, it's a lot of fun. And yeah, we do need to get together. And there is this concept, and Jeff did the interview last week with Adam of being able to have this game state that you can join if I'm not there and Jeff can join, so we got to figure that part out.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Well, I eagerly await you guys wanting to jump in and advancing the story together.
LARRY HYRB: One of the other games-- are you playing anything else before we-- I got a couple of things I want to talk about, Rebecca.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Please.
LARRY HYRB: OK. I'm just looking. I got the Overwatch 2 downloaded. I know earlier in the week, they had some launch-day server issues. So I think those are all passed up now. What about [INAUDIBLE]. Oh, what did I play?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Into the microphone, Larry.
LARRY HYRB: I couldn't see it. The new Destroy All Humans! I'm playing that.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Oh, how is it?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: You love a 1950s alien.
LARRY HYRB: I do. Destroy-- [LAUGHTER] thank you. Destroy All Humans! Reprobed, and I don't know why-- I've played all of these games, and I just think they're silly fun. So to the point of how I like the beginning and the end, it's like, OK. Here's your mission. Mission accomplished. Here's your rating. Done. So I'm playing that.
Of course, a little bit of Deathloop. Vertigo-- I have Vertigo loaded on here. I don't know if you can see it.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I don't know what that is.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah.
LARRY HYRB: Well, it's an Alfred Hitchcock movie, and it's obviously story [INAUDIBLE]. I need to start this to see what that's all about. So that's--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Oh, I had no idea.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Oh, Alfred Hitchcock.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah. For those of you that are Alfred Hitchcock fans-- and I have no idea how close it is to the movie or it's just title-- I have no idea, but that's one I need to get into. What about you, Jeff? What are you looking at?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah. So as you see behind me, I'm playing the DioField Chronicle. I think I mentioned it last week. And I've landed on what this game reminds me of. So if you have ever played an RTS like Age of Empires or Halo Wars or Command and Conquer.
And there are certain missions where you're only controlling a very small amount of characters, like a spy or you're just like one person on horseback or something like that, and you're navigating around. That's kind of what this.
It's an RTS, but you're only controlling four characters at once. So it's not overly overwhelming. And you just figure out, how do I interplay these characters together? Do I keep them together? Do I split them up? How do I help them out with each other? Do I send my person on horseback over to pick up this treasure chest while the other three are doing this or that? And so I'm liking that. It's a strategy RPG, but it's just a lot more frantic because you have a lot less time to think about things.
LARRY HYRB: It's going in the background there, so I wanted to show it.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah. Yeah. It has that very diorama look.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Very Game of Thrones-y.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Very Game of Thrones-y of what you're seeing right there. It's court-- not courthouse, castle intrigue, royal court intrigue. I knew the word "court" was in there somewhere. I just picked the wrong one. So anyway--
REBECCA GORDIUS: You got there.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --having fun with that. And I did finish my second playthrough of Deathloop. I played it on Steam when it first came out last year. I finished it. We're going to talk more later in the show. I try not to fanboy out too hard. You can let me know how well I did or did not do there, but Dinga Bakaba who is-- I did, didn't I? --who is the game director on Deathloop and the studio head of Arkane Lyon in France, he joins us along, with Harvey Smith, who is--
LARRY HYRB: These are two heavyweights in the industry.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I know. Luminaries of the industry. So from our Arkane Austin and he is, I believe, the game director for Redfall. And so we end up talking about Deathloop.
LARRY HYRB: Dishonor, Deathloop, Redfall. I mean, you guys went right around the horn.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: All that stuff. Yeah, so I mean, they're maybe my favorite studio. I think I-- I'm looking back, and I'm like, I completely fanboyed out. And anyway, I thought it was really interesting, and it was great. Just the ending in Deathloop because there's the Golden Loop update. And for the ending, they've pretty greatly expanded it and give you a little bit more resolution on what happens afterwards.
LARRY HYRB: Right. Dinga does a great explanation--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I'm really glad I played through that.
LARRY HYRB: --of that as well during the interview.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Exactly.
LARRY HYRB: So stay tuned.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So I won't go into it too much, but I feel like this is a game-- it's definitely landing on that all-time list for me. And I could see myself going through and playing it again every year. Could be a yearly rite of passage because having played through it last year and playing through it, I enjoyed it every bit as much. I discovered new stuff, where I was like, is this new? Is this part of the Golden Loop stuff or is this-- I just didn't do this last time.
LARRY HYRB: It was always there, right?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Even the way I played, I played differently this time than I did last time. I was relying on different slabs, different powers, and different weapons. And so I can't say enough good things about Deathloop. I insist you play it. That's it.
LARRY HYRB: There we go.
REBECCA GORDIUS: All right. I don't want to talk to you if you haven't.
LARRY HYRB: Good to know. Well, I am playing it, so you can talk to me. Yeah, so that's what we're playing this week. We got a bunch of games-- in fact, we've got a bunch of games and some news coming out. Jeff, I think we're rolling to that, and then we're got some of the interviews later on that you teased up. So why don't you kick us off with some news? We got a lot to talk about.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Sure. This is a big anniversary year. I know that we celebrated last year the 20th anniversary of Xbox, but there's many other Xbox-related anniversaries that are hitting this year, in 2022. We have an article about it on Xbox Wire, but let's play a little game here. It's called how old, all right?
LARRY HYRB: I'm not playing this game.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: How old are you, Larry? No. All right. We'll start from youngest to oldest. How many years has Forza Horizon-- how long has that franchise been around?
LARRY HYRB: What is it? Nine years?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: That's not a milestone anniversary, Larry.
LARRY HYRB: It's 10.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Probably 10 or 15.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: 10. What about Dishonored?
LARRY HYRB: 15.
REBECCA GORDIUS: 10?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: 10. You were right, Rebecca. So both Forza Horizon-- so 10 years ago, 2012, 2012? The world did not end, if you recall that. We got Forza Horizon in Dishonored. It worked out really well for us. OK, little older here. How old is-- again, anniversary year. So it's not going to be 5.2 or something.
LARRY HYRB: 5, 10, 15, 20.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Exactly. Age of Empires.
LARRY HYRB: 25.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: 25, Larry. Correct.
LARRY HYRB: Quarter of a century.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Quarter of a century. Rebecca, older than you, even. How about Fallout?
REBECCA GORDIUS: 15 to 20.
LARRY HYRB: 20.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: 25.
REBECCA GORDIUS: 20.
LARRY HYRB: 25, wow.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So 1997, also a hell of a year, Fallout and Age of Empires--
LARRY HYRB: Yeah, wow.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --joined us.
REBECCA GORDIUS: What platform was Fallout?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: PC, I want to say. I don't know that the original Fallout was on console. And of course, Age of Empires was on PC, on Windows 95, probably. All right. Last one. Oldest of the bunch. Microsoft Flight Simulator. How old-- what anniversary will it celebrate this year?
REBECCA GORDIUS: 30.
LARRY HYRB: 40.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: 40. Old enough to be Dishonored's parent.
REBECCA GORDIUS: [LAUGHTER] That's a nice way to put it.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Age of Empires and Fallout can rent a car. Forza Horizon and Dishonored are in fifth grade.
LARRY HYRB: I just looked up the original Fallout that came out in '97, Jeff.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yup.
LARRY HYRB: It was available on Windows, Mac OS, Mac OS X, and ms-dos.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Ms-dos.
LARRY HYRB: That's how old it.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: C colon run. Yeah.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Wow. The original Fallout looks so cool.
LARRY HYRB: Wow, look at that.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So anyway, a lot of big anniversaries this year.
LARRY HYRB: Well, you know what else has an anniversary?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Well, I hope it's related to this story--
LARRY HYRB: 20 years.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --but go on.
LARRY HYRB: Xbox Live.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Xbox Live.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Oh.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So for these anniversaries, while it might be quote, unquote, "our" anniversaries, you all get the present.
LARRY HYRB: You get the presents.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So there's going to be all sorts of different things that we're doing throughout the month of October and beyond to celebrate. And there's a lot of stuff. I highly recommend you go over to news.xbox.com.
But there's going to be new activities in the games. There's going to be special live streams, things you can download. There's going to be sales. There's going to be free play days for certain games, new playlists.
There's going to be just a ton of stuff to help celebrate all of these anniversaries. Let's say October 25, there's going to be a big Age of Empires 25th anniversary broadcast. There's really a lot of stuff. We've talked about some of these things, and it's really more than I can go through in merely an hour-long podcast, as we have here, but I highly recommend you check it out. Happy birthday. Happy anniversary--
LARRY HYRB: (SINGING) Happy birthday to you.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --to all of these franchises and everyone who's worked on them throughout the years. And they're all going strong, really. So in the last year, I've played something from all of these games. So that's pretty awesome. Not everything gets to stand the test of time. When you mention these titles, it's not, oh, I remember that back in the day. It's like, no. I played the latest version of that last week.
LARRY HYRB: It's still going.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Exactly. So all right. So from talking about the anniversaries to what's next, and there's a lot of interesting and fun stuff to be playing and some spooky stuff to be playing, courtesy of Game Pass this month of October. So available today, Chivalry 2, which is a multiplayer, first-person slasher. Basically, if you want to live through these medieval movie battles, these big battles like you've seen from cinema-- is that a word--
LARRY HYRB: "Cinema's" a word.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --where you've got lots of people coming together. I thought you'd appreciate that, Larry. Chivalry 2 reenacts those. Also available by the time you hear this, Medieval Dynasty, which is more of a narrative-focused version, but taking place in a similar period of time. The Walking Dead complete first season is available and also season two, so all of those by the time you listen to this. Let's think about Halloween. My favorite Halloween game ever is an RPG called Costume Quest made by the good folks at Double Fine.
LARRY HYRB: I remember that one.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I remember this came out-- actually, this was probably close to 10 to 15 years, ago a turn-based RPG where you go around trick-or-treating.
LARRY HYRB: Right.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And your costumes, in the mind of these children, become really bad-ass stuff.
LARRY HYRB: Which is in that twisted mind of Tim Shafer, which is amazing.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Exactly. I really enjoyed this one. And so on October 11, that's coming to Game Pass, just a great turn-based RPG. We've got Evil that's coming, which is a multiplayer social deduction game.
Scorn-- Scorn was one of the first games revealed for Xbox Series X and S. And that is coming to next gen consoles, but also PC and cloud on October 14. It is a atmospheric first-person horror adventure game, very Lovecraftian, really creepy.
LARRY HYRB: Oh, this is the one, for those of you that remember, it looks like it's got HR Giger-isms.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, Giger. Maybe more Giger than Lovecraft. You're right.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So Giger highly influenced the Alien movies.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Oh, yeah. I see it.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So really skeletal, creepy, gross.
LARRY HYRB: But very organic.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yes. Yes. Exactly.
REBECCA GORDIUS: This was the trailer from showcase, right?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Where that person pulled like something out of their gut?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It was really gross.
LARRY HYRB: I'm sorry. I just looking online. The game was first announced in 2014.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Was it? What? Oh my god.
LARRY HYRB: 12 November, 2014. So that's when it was announced.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I remember back in 2020, we had shown this. Anyway, you get to play it next week, October 14. That's Scorn.
LARRY HYRB: We'll get an interview with those folks.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: That will be fun--
LARRY HYRB: Someone hears me doing that interview.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --and/or creepy. Yeah. Don't eat lunch first. Speaking of lunch, let the rats eat your lunch because A Plague Tale Requiem is coming out on October 18 on Cloud, PC, and next gen console, Xbox Series X and S. Of course, available day one with Game Pass. I can't wait to play this. I loved the first one. We spoke with Asobo what? About a month, month and a half ago, Larry? And they told us about how you're going to have a lot more abilities--
LARRY HYRB: More rats.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --and be a little less helpless. And so many more rats. So very much looking forward to that. And we'll be talking about that quite a bit. And yeah, so those are the big games really coming up between now and just two weeks from now.
LARRY HYRB: Busy.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So very much looking forward to it.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah. Fun.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: You know what else I'm looking forward to? And we need to get back into this.
LARRY HYRB: What would that be?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It launched this week. Haven't had a chance to play
LARRY HYRB: Overwatch 2.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Overwatch dos. Overwatch 2.
LARRY HYRB: Did you play Overwatch, Rebecca? I don't remember.
REBECCA GORDIUS: I did not.
LARRY HYRB: Oh, yeah. Jeff and I-- well, it's funny, Jeff. For me, that game has-- I mean, certainly you and I had a lot of fun, but I just remember-- and this is an emotional moment I'm going to share-- that was the first game that your daughter grew up with that I remember--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Oh, for sure.
LARRY HYRB: --a multiplayer.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: She still has a Diva backpack that she was bringing to school today.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Aw.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's been around for half of her life.
LARRY HYRB: She would always play with us the beginning, and she was a little unsure. And then she really-- she got her footing, and she's become really, really good.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: She's been insufferable.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Nice.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: She's been completely insufferable. She is good. Anyway, so Overwatch 2, it's available now. It is a free-to-play game, so there's nothing holding you back. Five by five, very team-based oriented. There's new characters. Kiriko, who was announced during TGS, actually during our Tokyo Game show--
LARRY HYRB: Stream.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yes, stream, as a new support character. I usually play a support, so very excited. There's a new support. There's Junker Queen, who's a new tank and Sojourn, who has a DPS that has kicked my butt during that beta. So very, very interested in getting on there. There's tons of new dialogue, new outfits. There's a battle pass, new game modes, new maps. So there's really a lot to see.
And this is what I like, next gen updates. So on Series X and S, you can enjoy battlefield brawls at 120 frames per second if you're running at 1080p. Those who really prize frame rate and have a display that can support 120 FBS or 60 FPS in native 4K and jump into your matches faster with Xbox Velocity Architecture. I noticed even in Overwatch 1, you would go to character selection screen. If you had a Series X or S, you were going to get your character first.
LARRY HYRB: You were choosing first. That was kind of the hidden thing is that when you--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Exactly. Exactly.
LARRY HYRB: Because your X or S loaded so fast, you get to choose first.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Oh.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yes. And look, I want to use Moira.
LARRY HYRB: Yes, you do.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I want to get there first, so there you go. Anyway, available now. There's all kinds of stuff, so take a look. We've got more on Xbox Wire. By the time this hits, we should also have a tips post as well. Dead Space, the remake, coming out in January.
LARRY HYRB: Oh, wow.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: That's available for pre-order. We've got a post from--
LARRY HYRB: Isaac is back.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --folks at Motive, who are in charge of that. So that first Dead Space, it was very much like alien roaming--
LARRY HYRB: The first.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --around on the ship. Yes, it was a very atmospheric horror.
LARRY HYRB: It was suspense versus action.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And then Dead Space 2 was more action. I loved the original Dead Space. So scary, and yet I had to keep going. So looking forward to the remake. Not quite last, but it wouldn't be almost lunch for us recording this if we didn't talk about food.
And Xbox, Doritos, and Rockstar Energy Drink are giving away Game Pass prizes and DLC. You can look for-- keep an eye out for Doritos and Rockstar Energy Drink that might have "Master Chief" on the front, might have the PUBG guy that's got the helmet and the tie, that might have someone from Fallout or someone from Forza or Elder Scrolls Online or Madden 23. So there's all kinds of downloadables that you can find.
So when you get your energy drink or when you get your-- I prefer the flaming hot Doritos, but whatever ones work for you-- keep an eye out for Xbox characters. And make sure you don't just throw away that bag. You're going to want to get your in-game content, those things. You're going to start to see those available very shortly.
LARRY HYRB: It's rare that I say this-- Jeffrey, I'm disappointed.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: What?
LARRY HYRB: You forgot one of the biggest pieces of news this week.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Last but not least, let me see if I guessed you. If I know Larry well, he's very excited that Let's Sing ABBA--
LARRY HYRB: Yes! [CLAPS]
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --is available. I was saving it. I was saving it. So Let's Sing is a sing-a-long game, and this one is 100% about ABBA. I'll be honest. I don't know much other than Dancing Queen.
LARRY HYRB: I don't either.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And there was the Mama-- you don't? And then there's the Mamma Mia movie, which I never saw, but I guess was a musical--
LARRY HYRB: Where Pierce Brosnan sings horrifically.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: --that had all ABBA songs. There you go. So over 30 classic hits that will take you right back to the era of platform shoes, flared pants, and disco balls plus one new hit called I Still Have Faith in You. And I still have faith in all of you.
LARRY HYRB: By the way, just to line up with 40 years, they've had a 40 year break. So when they went on a break, the first Flight Simulator was out.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: They've been playing Flight Sim the whole time. It stopped them from making music. They were just very into it.
LARRY HYRB: We're done. We're done. [LAUGHTER]
REBECCA GORDIUS: Oh, wow.
LARRY HYRB: Anyway.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Wait. Is this one on Game Pass or is it just out now?
LARRY HYRB: No.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: This is not.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah. I don't even-- I got to check this out. I mean, it looks like they have cuts of the videos in here, some of the original videos, back in the '70s when they-- I guess they were still videos then or films or whatever it was, music, dancing thing. So there's a mix tape. I'm fascinated by this because who doesn't sing these songs when they're driving or cleaning the house on a Saturday?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Who indeed? Who indeed?
LARRY HYRB: Rebecca, are you singing? Do you know any of their hits?
REBECCA GORDIUS: I like the (SINGING) gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme.
LARRY HYRB: There you go.
REBECCA GORDIUS: We always do that when a karaoke. It's a big hit.
LARRY HYRB: Well, you can now do it at home. So Jeff--
REBECCA GORDIUS: I'm sure my roommate would love that.
LARRY HYRB: --as usual, you've redeemed yourself.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I knew. I knew you were going to go for that one. My work here is done.
LARRY HYRB: It sure is. Anything else? Why don't we roll into the interviews? Rebecca is going to talk to Q Muhaimin about Project Amplify, and then Jeff spends time with Harvey Smith and Dinga Bakaba from Arkane about Dishonored, Deathloop and Redfall.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Welcome to the show, Q Muhaimin. I know you've been on before. You chatted with Larry, but it's an honor to have you on now and chatting with me instead. So thanks for joining us.
Q MUHAIMIN: Thank you for having me.
REBECCA GORDIUS: All right. So do you mind just telling us a little bit about your day-to-day? What is it that you do for Team Xbox?
Q MUHAIMIN: I am a product manager. I'm on the Xbox Experiences Team, so I work on one of the teams that helps put together the dashboard on console and some experiences on PC in the mobile app.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Hey, that's pretty valuable real estate. So that's important stuff.
Q MUHAIMIN: Yes.
REBECCA GORDIUS: All right. And then you're also a co-lead of the Black at Xbox Employee Resource Group, correct?
Q MUHAIMIN: Yes. Yes.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Can you tell us a little bit about your work there?
Q MUHAIMIN: Yeah. Just finished my tenure with James. So shout out to the new co-leads, Michael Siebert and Katrina Green carrying on the work.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Nice.
Q MUHAIMIN: But yeah, I was a co-lead for Blacks at Xbox. We do a lot of different initiatives in the team. Basically, our main goal is to provide a community for the Black employees at Xbox. So we do a lot of social, team-bonding things amongst ourselves.
We do a lot of cross-community events with other employee groups at Xbox, like Women in Gaming, LGBTQIA. And one of the things that James and I ushered in is us being co-leads was an education outreach initiative. And so the Project Amplify project was related to that.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Awesome. Yeah, I think the employee resource groups are so important in retention and cultivating a good atmosphere where people actually want to work and feel welcome and can learn from each other. I'm part of the Asians at Xbox and Women in Gaming, but yeah. So that's great to hear. So you mentioned Project Amplify, and that's the main reason that we have on the podcast today. So can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Q MUHAIMIN: Yeah. A lot of us in Blacks, and I guess, particularly James and I as co-leads, we have a heart for giving, I'll say. And we do a lot of volunteer opportunities to talk to students or help run workshops and things like that. And we wanted to be able to scale our impact there and provide a free shareable resource for folks.
We know we can't say yes to every panel we get asked to do to talk to students or folks who want to enter the games industry. And so we're just like, oh, if we had a video resource for the times we have to say no, we could always share that and just have them be out there in the world for folks that's just discoverable on the internet.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. I think that makes sense. I've spoken to students a few times also just about careers in the gaming industry. It's time consuming. I get it. But I just think it's so important because especially-- I in particular love talking to students because I don't have a technical background. I never would have thought that I was going to end up in gaming. I'm terrible at math.
And here I am still, working in gaming, but it's in a communications role. So I think it's just so important to tell students and young adults, hey, there are other paths to working in an industry that's fun, like games, right?
Q MUHAIMIN: Yeah. I think a lot of folks don't know the amount of opportunity that exists in the world period, but in games because if we do go and talk to kids, sometimes the question is, oh, do you just play games all day? They don't know what it means to build and make games, right?
And so the earlier you introduce somebody to something, the earlier they have the opportunity to build skills and pursue that passion. And so I know when I was in high school and college, I didn't really know what I wanted to do and like stumbled into finding gaming.
If I had known earlier, it's something I could have started pursuing earlier, but I think your point around getting in through different avenues, that's one thing we wanted to accomplish with Amplify was highlight the different roles that are in games because not everyone wants to be a programmer. And if you don't like coding, you don't like math or anything that you think gaming is, that's OK.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah.
Q MUHAIMIN: Games are also art. So if you like to draw or you like to write or you like to make music, well, games need music.
REBECCA GORDIUS: All of those things, yeah.
Q MUHAIMIN: They need art. Even marketing and HR, you can do that stuff in gaming. It's a pretty open space.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, for sure. OK. Well, I know that in the Project Amplify video series-- so the video series is on the [email protected] channel. There's a playlist over there. I'm going to go and watch yours after we're done chatting, but it's cool because there's all these different disciplines and people that work on different things at Xbox. So yeah, it's great that there's such a variety of voices and just different roles that people have there.
Q MUHAIMIN: Yeah. We try to reach focus folks at different-- 10 years, folks who've been in the industry for five years, people who've been there for 20 years, folks who've been at Microsoft their whole career or folks who've hopped around. So yeah, so people you can see different paths and different journeys.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. And then one last aspect of Project Amplify that I wanted to just mention or talk about is just the different resources that we have available. So on the Xbox Wire post, there's, I think resources to different lessons. I know I saw one for-- I thought c-sharp or C++, yeah. Have you done any of these? Are you familiar with these?
Q MUHAIMIN: I haven't done these ones in particular. They were provided by one of the Blacks at Xbox employees who-- well, an Xbox employee, but a member of Blacks who works in the Xbox Game Camp, which just also targets-- helps people get into the game industry.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah.
Q MUHAIMIN: So we just knew we wanted to have something actionable for folks to, if they were interested, hey, here are some art tools that you can look at. Here are some introductory coding things that you could do and just give people the opportunity to get their hands dirty if they felt inspired.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. I love that. I've always kind of joked that I wanted to learn how to code, and the resources are definitely out there. We'll see if I actually get around to it, but either way, it's good that that's out there for other students or young folk or people who want to just learn. Yeah, Project Amplify, pretty cool. Check out the video playlist or the Xbox Wire post. And thank you so much, again, for joining us, Q. It's been great to chat with you.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It is just an incredibly exciting time for fans of Arkane's unique stealth or not stealth. Play it any way you want, but it'll probably be different than the way your best friend played it type of game. I'm the opposite of Dishonored, to be joined by two people who are responsible for legendary titles, such as Dishonored, Prey, Deathloop and coming up next year, Redfall.
We're going to talk some spoilers here, just mild, maybe a little bit. So you might want to keep that in mind, if you haven't played through Deathloop or if you haven't played through Dishonored or anything else so. On my right, you've got Dinga Bakaba, the studio head of Arkane Lyon and the creative director of Deathloop.
And on my left, Harvey Smith, the studio head of Arkane Austin and the creative director of Redfall. Gentlemen, thank you both for joining. And I think the main reason we're here-- and there's a lot of stuff to talk about-- the main reason we're here is we're actually celebrating 10 years of Dishonored. This is something you both worked on. How has it changed your lives and the lives of those at Arkane?
DINGA BAKABA: I mean, I can start. I'd say it did change my life in many ways. I was actually living in the Netherlands. Yeah, I'm French, but I was living in the Netherlands at the time. I came back to France for Arkane. It was one of my dreams to jobs. I played the Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, loved it. And I came. I had this very intense interview with Harvey here, Rafael Junior.
And yeah, I remember my first day when the project was pitched to me over a corner of a table like, yeah, this is what we are doing, and this is all vertical slides, yada, yada, yada. Look, this is a bunch of concept art. And I was like, please, do you have some handcuffs so I can handcuff myself to the radiator? I don't want to go. This is fantastic. I loved it. It was love at first sight. And it was the start of many great things for me. So yeah, it did change my life.
HARVEY SMITH: Yeah, and same for me. I could echo so many things. I remember that day when Julian Roby contacted me and Raph, Rafael Colantonio, founder of Arkane and co-creative director of Dishonored.
And we were about to go to lunch. We had interviewed a couple of candidates we weren't that thrilled. And Julian, over in Lyon-- we were in Austin. He was like, you got to stay for this next candidate. We're like, OK. And we talked to Dinga, and it was just electric. We loved Dinga instantly. And so we all worked on Dishonored 1, Dishonored 2 together.
Seeing him go on to do Deathloop is honestly, profound. Seeing him run Arkane Lyon along with Sebastian Mitton and the others there is profound. It's a highlight of my career, honestly.
But in terms of Dishonored changing our lives, my god yes. It was like, we had all done cool stuff before. Arkane had done Arx Fatalis or Dark Messiah. Me and Ricardo Baer, who's co-creative director of Redfall, had worked on the original Deus Ex over 20 years ago. We worked together for over 20 years with some other people that are here at Arkane Austin.
And something like that happens once, and it feels like lightning in a bottle, feels a lucky event, a lottery ticket or something. But when you get it all together again, and you get that opportunity, and it happens again, and you see another team going through that same thrilling arc where the players are responding and the whole world is paying attention, it is magical.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So I feel like we're getting that Arkane magic from both Austin and Lyon. There's what? 5,000 miles between you, seven hours of daylight. And how do the teams keep that common DNA together and that common feel?
DINGA BAKABA: Yeah. I'd say a lot of it centers on the games. The games we love, we share-- most of us share a certain passion for making a certain type of games. We specialize in making these types of games. We talk about them. We remember them fondly, not only our games, but the games that inspired them.
And so I think that it's this. I think it's that. It's the games that are at the center of this very special studio that is Arkane and of course, the teams and the people who carry, some of them work on those mythical games, some of them work on Dishonored and Dishonored 2. And it's a bit of that. I think we are connected, at the very least, through that.
And to make these types of games, you need think a certain way. And even when sometimes I meet some people from the Afghanistan team I have never worked with, and we have a quick conversation, it's very clear that we speak the same language. It's very interesting.
HARVEY SMITH: Yeah. Even when we hire people, we just have these tenets of design that we fall back. On and it resolves 80% of arguments at work, and it helps us hire the right people. We don't always want to hire people who think just like us, but at least this is unifying direction, right?
And I would also say-- and Dinga is a living proof of this through Deathloop, that we don't just stick to a blueprint. We do make games that share the same DNA, but we take risks. Deathloop has a multiplayer component. Redfall goes open world, but they all overlap. It's a Venn diagram with the same shared values around improvisational game mechanics and narrative-rich worlds, an atmospheric vibe, our stylized art, an intention to immerse you in our worlds.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So we'll talk a little bit about Redfall coming up with Deathloop recently released on Xbox. Dinga, how has it been seeing Xbox fans react to the game for the first time?
DINGA BAKABA: Oh, I mean, it's been history repeating itself. Seeing that surprise of people, seeing some people fall in love immediately, seeing some people just bounce off of it. I see where they are going, it's not my thing. It's really this dialogue that, I think, we live for as game creators. We live for this dialogue. And seeing all these new players, it was actually an interesting moment.
We sent to each other on with the team-- we sent to each other our memories of the first launch, like it was a long time ago or something. But it's those feelings again and getting to play with people, which is honestly for us, working for Arkane, it was a new thing, being able to play against people, invade them, seeing sometimes the tweets of someone say, hey, I killed someone from Arkane. It was awesome, et cetera. It was really good.
Myself, my younger brother has an Xbox. So I could actually finally play with him and see him play Deathloop. It was really cool. So yeah, it's been magic a second time, yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I highly recommend leaving the invasions on. You might think, well, it might interrupt a good run or something like that, but the memories that I've got occasionally outsmarting a Juliana, I'd say I'm batting about 500 on human Juliana's coming into my game, but definitely the things I'm remembering the most from this playthrough.
I'd love to talk a little bit about the Golden Loop update, specifically, a new ending. I finished the game last weekend. Personally, I found-- I don't want to give too much away, but personally I found it more satisfying than the previous, much shorter ending. What made the team go back a year later and say, we should flesh this out more?
DINGA BAKABA: Yeah, so well, you mentioned it. We are going to talk a bit of spoilers. I will still try to be careful.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Just a little bit.
DINGA BAKABA: So I would say, we made this game about this character who wants to break this perfect system, but by doing so, he has a price to pay. In the story, he has some responsibility in what's happening. And we always wanted the ending to be, I would say, a little bittersweet. The game is about the loop, the deathloop.
Once we are out of it, anything can happen. And that's what life is about, in a way. You get out of the known pattern, and then you get to the unknown. And that's life for you, actually.
So because of that, we didn't want an ending that was too celebratory, but at the same time, we felt that it was keeping the same mystery of what's happening after, et cetera, et cetera, leaving some open questions for interpretation. We still wanted to have a little bit of, I would say, emotional resolution or at least teasing the emotional resolution between some of the characters because that's something-- we focused a lot on Colt and Julianna and their relationship.
And what we discovered is that actually, the ensemble cast of the visionaries really resonated with people. And we put a lot of effort in that, of course, but it was still pretty magic to see that. So we wanted to give an opportunity for these characters to have a last sendoff, come to the front of the scene and bow in the theater and then go into whatever is next for them.
So it was-- yeah, I think it was the feedback that we got from some players. And we said, how can we try to listen, but at the same time not betray our initial intention? And hopefully, we're seeing very good feedback from people who have seen it. So, yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Personally, I appreciated it, having beaten it last year and then coming through and finishing again. So I do appreciate that. I will say, afterwards, I spent a couple of hours on YouTube, digging through things of-- no matter how thoroughly you play, there's still stuff you miss, and I missed quite a few things.
There seems to be, I would say, a current of, hey, I think this means that Deathloop is connected to this larger universe. Now, you don't have to confirm anything, but I feel like I have to ask. There seems to be some sound hints. There's a few other things. Do you have anything to add to this?
DINGA BAKABA: Yeah. So it's funny because it was nice to have g game that is about disposal. So yes, there is this story that you're going through, et cetera, et cetera, but all around you is a lot of little puzzles, little mysteries. And due to that, we have a number of systems that will make sure exactly what you mentioned.
Not everyone has seen the same thing. Not everyone has heard the same song that you might have heard hidden somewhere. Not everyone has seen every room, et cetera, et cetera. So it was nice to see the community peek on the little clues that we did sprinkle everywhere that yes, indeed. We envisioned Deathloop to be happening in the future after death of the outsider.
So it's something that we didn't want to make something too big about it because that would be its own story, its own character, its own time period that we wanted to flesh out and its fashion and its music, et cetera, et cetera.
So we wanted that, but at the same time, there was a lot of things that we wanted to say, hey, so after death of the outsider, obviously, the outsider is not in function anymore after that, clearly. And we always wondered about what would happen after that.
And as we were making Deathloop, we said, hey, that could be one of the things that could happen after that. So we have a certain timeline to link that. And there is a lot of clues, actually, in the game. There is some that are abused. One of them is really spoiler-y, so voila. But there is a lot of small things and some that were under people's nose all the time, but people are just figuring out.
My favorite about that is actually, we have a shotgun that's called the heritage rifle that can switch to different modes between scattershot and slugs, et cetera. And everyone has been seeing that when it's called the heritage gun.
It's from the imperial armories, et cetera, et cetera, but actually, on the side there, is a little logo that you can barely see, but now that we've added idle brakes where the character plays with his guns, et cetera, et cetera, you can actually see that the logo is actually [INAUDIBLE] tower. So it's pretty clear. So there is a lot of little things like that.
We meet a character talking about a concept that is very unique to the Dishonored world. And then you can start to say, hey, wait a minute. So if this is the Dishonored world, where can it happen? And then you can actually follow the thread. And of course, it all makes sense.
So it was nice to have this little scavenger hunt inside the scavenger hunt, so to speak. So yes, there is. And then yeah, when you just take a step back and look at the world, the magic and the technology, there is some things about classes and inequalities. Even though that's something that those characters flee, but you can see that those differences are still there.
There is the-- how do you say that? We tried to see everything as an evolution, but each time they mentioned the past, either we were vague enough or we disguised in, I would say, natural ways the names. They talk about the motherland and not about Tyvia, but you can definitely-- once you know, you can unravel everything. And yes, it does make sense.
So it was nice for us to be imagining one of the futures of the Dishonored world and to have that make sense. And yeah, I mean hopefully that answers the question.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Well, I think we'll see a lot more of that scavenger hunt now unfold on YouTube, and I'm looking forward to seeing that. Harvey, I wanted to ask you-- I mean, now. Next, we're going to be really turning our attention to Redfall, next big Arkane game for us to get excited about.
I really appreciate that long discussion that you and members of your team had, I think it was around Quakecon, showing more of the game and also just the design, the elements behind it and the thought behind it. So what's now and what's between now and whenever the game is hitting next year?
HARVEY SMITH: Yeah. So right now, the team is hard at work. Everybody always assumes that game development is a stair step up, when in fact, it's like bumping along, and then at the very end it rockets upward.
And so the beginning of projects is always cool because it's blue sky. have this idea, like what if we took the Arkane values, we set it in New England, it's kind of spooky, Gothic, and we went open world, and then we allowed-- you can play it single player. Feels like our games. Or you can play it with up a team of four. And so that's a really cool phase of the project.
Then there's this long middle, and there are times when you ask yourself, is it going to come together? And then there's the final stretch. And it just feels like you start to see magic on a daily basis, right? The audio team here is amazing. All the people I worked with are such an inspiration, but the audio environment will come together. The lighting will come together. Performance tweaks will begin to happen. Level designers will make little tweaks here and there. And people are fixing things left and right and adding a little narrative touch or something.
And it just starts to feel like home. It starts to feel like one of our games. And there's a synergy that happens near the end. And so spooky New England set in the modern world, this is a new thing for us, trying to take something very familiar and add the exotic to it. Yeah, so Redfall.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I would love for you to just dig in there just a little bit more, and we wrap up here. How would you describe it? What is an Arkane game? I feel like I can feel it, and I know it, but how do you describe it internally?
HARVEY SMITH: When we talk about it, the overlap between all of our games, we talk about a hybrid of first-person shooter and role-playing game. It's neither, but it's both. We talk about game mechanics that can be used creatively. Players often solve problems in ways we couldn't have anticipated or we could have anticipated, but there's no direct path there, right? It's by combining things.
We talk about a narrative-rich environment, even if it's not a heavy plot game with lots of reading or talking or whatever, there's a coherent sense of who lived here, what happened here. There's a lot of environmental storytelling, where we just take props and scenes and environmental stuff and build the scene. And you have to infer it when you get there, and that feels a little more intelligent. There's some use of vertical space. Dinga, what am I leaving out? Often stylized art, of course. I always forget the artists.
DINGA BAKABA: Yeah, definitely. I mean, and the joke is, and each time we try to see-- Harvey mentioned it before-- each time we try to see how far we can stretch the formula and how much we can play with this philosophy. I think if you're thinking about immersive sims, that's one thing, but if you're thinking about Arkane, it's always about exploring in that space and not only just reciting. So I think that's the-- yup.
HARVEY SMITH: It's a strong exploration, yeah. Right. Yeah.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Awesome. I want to thank you both for joining. I want to say happy birthday, happy anniversary for Dishonored. Exciting times playing Deathloop on Xbox. Really exciting stuff coming down the line with Redfall. We'll definitely want to be speaking to you more, but I just want to thank you so much for joining us and celebrating this awesome moment in the History of Arkane.
LARRY HYRB: Great job this week on the interviews, all. I love when you guys get to fanboy out. [LAUGHTER] Jeff.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I didn't know that Dinga was going to confirm that because like I said--
LARRY HYRB: Confirm what? Say again in case people missed it.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: OK. Yeah. There were some very strong hints if you play Deathloop, especially-- in many places, but definitely in that new ending and just in the ending segment in general, regardless of what you end up doing there. I'm really trying to dance around some stuff here. That the game takes place in the same universe as Dishonored. And so that world, the world building for Dishonored is just amazing.
There's a game where I read all of the lore, and the world of Dunwall and Karnaca and all these places. And so the fact that it's-- now I need to see the map because how are these--
LARRY HYRB: How do they connect?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Where exactly is Black Reef?
LARRY HYRB: Right.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And so the fact that they don't just have a similar look and feel, but there are a couple of things. There were a couple of things. In Dishonored, you blink, which is the teleport. And you have a slab that allows you to shift in Deathloop. And there's a couple of other things like that that had me thinking. So that confirmation is there. YouTubers were talking about it, suspecting. We have it. We have the confirmation.
REBECCA GORDIUS: It's pretty cool. It's very thoughtful of the developers, yeah.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah, it's nice to have them do that. And then my ears perked up when I was listening to that interviewed, Jeff, about Redfall because as somebody who grew up in New England, I'm interested to see how they're going to bring a quaint New England town to life in a very Arkane way. So stay tuned on that. And then Rebecca, thank you very much for chatting with Q about Project Amplify, a lot of excitement around that program, isn't there?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, totally. It's always nice to meet other folks from within Xbox, especially people who are in, we'll say, nontraditional disciplines, so not just an engineer or someone who does coding. But it's really cool to talk to other project managers and people who are just interested in games and that's how they start working on it, rather than just having that technical background.
But another thing too, which Q touched on was Game Camp and then Project Amplify. And Xbox-- I just love that Xbox has these initiatives, where we're trying to reach the next generation of developers and try to find the people in underrepresented communities and people who are interested in gaming. Game Camp was launched a couple of years ago.
LARRY HYRB: Yup.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And that's their goal, is to bring these resources and to bring learning opportunities to people who are from underrepresented communities and basically, help promote more diversity within the gaming industry for the next generation.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah. To your point, a couple of weeks ago-- I think I talked about this-- I was down at Atlanta for Game Camp, and everybody I met was interesting, but a couple of really interesting folks stood out to me.
One of them was this young lady who does narrative design. And she has an English major. And again, people don't think English major in the games industry, but I was like-- I gave her my card. You need to stay in touch with me because I think she's going to do really big things. So it's a great program, Rebecca. Where do people go to find more information out about Project Amplify?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. We have a full blog post on it on Xbox Wire, but then we also have a video playlist on the ID at Xbox YouTube channel. And that's where you can see all the different testimonials from the folks who are participating in Project Amplify. And I just listened to Q's this morning. I'm listening to Sarah Bonds' as soon as we get off the podcast recording, but yeah. There's some good stuff on there from some really smart folks at Xbox.
LARRY HYRB: First of all, thank you for that. I want to point out that if you are listening to this on iTunes or Google Podcasts or any of these other podcast services, if you go to YouTube or Spotify, you can see us. You will see our lovely faces, and you'll see some of the interviews and the folks that are participating here. So I just want to let folks know that if you're interested in seeing what we look like, you can-- I don't know why, but you can see what we look like, and you can see Jeff cringe at me on a weekly basis.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's everything I can do to not just make stupid faces when you mention these things. So listen to us on audio. It's certainly the better way. Or just cover part of the screen. Rebecca-- Rebecca,
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. Just cover my part.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: You come ready. To go I'm wearing an old shirt.
LARRY HYRB: There you go. Jeff and I-- we'll put you full screen like we are now, but anyway--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: There we go. Yeah.
LARRY HYRB: All right, gang. Fun week this week. Again, great job on the interviews. If you go to news.xbox.com/podcast, that's where you can find the podcast. It's all in there. I've got some of the links to some of the things that they mentioned during the interviews and some of the things that Jeff mentioned here. So we're going to wrap it up. Now, Rebecca, are you with us next week? I don't recall.
REBECCA GORDIUS: I am.
LARRY HYRB: OK.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, I'm going to be moving at the end of the month, but I'm here the next couple of weeks, I think.
LARRY HYRB: OK. Good, good, good. I know that it's always a pleasant surprise when you show up.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Let's play Grounded together.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah, let's do that. Let's play some Grounded together, and we'll have some fun there. So all right, gang. We'll see you guys in the backyard. Bye bye, everybody.