[AUDIO LOGO] LARRY HYRB: Hi, it's Larry Hyrb, Xbox's Major Nelson. Welcome to The Xbox Podcast. It's been a big week in Xbox land, and when it's a big week, we bring in the big talent, and Jeff.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Wow.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I feel like you've chose-- a different load out the last couple of weeks, you know. Like, last week was the--
LARRY HYRB: I've been re-rolling my characters.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Can we load out? And now you're like, all right, we're swapping out! I need my healer and my mage in.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Is this the tried and true combination?
LARRY HYRB: Yeah. Y'all are the tanks, right? You just get it done. We're just making it happen.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: They were the DLC characters, and you know, so everybody wants to use the DLC characters because they got better animations.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Limited time.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah, stop this. Stop this.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: All right.
LARRY HYRB: But anyway, it's great to see-- Jeff, you were on the road last week, and Rebecca, you were busy last week. And now we can reveal why you were busy because you were involved in the Developer Direct, which was earlier this week. It was a fantastic show, so on behalf of everybody at Xbox-- I know it takes so many people, but you were spearheading it on one side, right?
REBECCA GORDIUS: It's been a lot, but it's been a really cool process. There are some really smart people at Bethesda. Really creative, too, and they did a lot of the kind of directing for what we wanted the event to feel like. And everyone was very clear that we didn't want it to be this talking head, and then this transition, and then this person on stage. We wanted it to be the people who are at the core working on the game. Not just the executive producer or the CEO of the game, but the people who are working on a day to day basis, getting to say what they think is exciting and what they've been working on, and to get to show it off themselves. And then everyone always loves extended gameplay too.
So yeah, it's been really exciting. We've been waiting to kind of make sure that everyone receives it well, but so far the community response has been really supportive. So maybe we'll do more stuff like this in the future.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah, if you noticed in the show notes here, we've got a couple of related interviews to the show coming up from the Developer Direct coming up later. Kelly, who was joining the show last week, we're going to talk about their new game that she worked on from Tango works, which is H-Fi Rush, which I actually have here. I've actually got it loaded on here waiting to play in my console.
- I got to do that now. We're recording this on Wednesday, and I went out to go pick up my kid from school. And when I left, it was not available. And now it is, and I am downloading now.
LARRY HYRB: Let's take a look at Jeff downloading.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yay!
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Very exciting stuff.
LARRY HYRB: There it is.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Wow.
LARRY HYRB: There we go.
REBECCA GORDIUS: It's so cool!
LARRY HYRB: Download-- Oh I can play through comm link. Why am I doing this show?
REBECCA GORDIUS: I think this is the first time that anything I've worked on has been announced and released in the same day. I don't know if you guys have ever had a same-day release, but it's pretty stressful making sure no one spills the beans.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah, I think we've done one. Definitely not with a game that I can recall, but definitely, I think, with some DLC. But yeah, it is very stressful, because a full game is obviously very different.
So we'll talk about Hi-Fi Rush later on, and then Jeff, you had a chance to talk with the design director from Redfall, which I'm super, super excited about.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: The art director, yes, Karen Seegers. Yeah, from Arcane, Austin. I love Arcane games, and they always have a really unique look. You can look at a game and know hey, this is an Arcane game. There's just a certain way they do things, and so we talk about that. And it was great to see that extended gameplay, really talking about the different ways that you can play, and the different things you'll be doing in the town of Redfall. And now I'm that much more-- but they showed skill trees. They showed, like, weapon customization and things-- that's the stuff I want to see. I love that stuff.
LARRY HYRB: That's the stuff that most gamers want to see, right? They're like, well, show me what's going on here. "Hey, look at this. This looks"--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: You know, I'd already imagined, like, how you're going to be playing the game. So that's-- I just need May 2nd-- to be--
REBECCA GORDIUS: I have an idea, too.
LARRY HYRB: Hold on. Hold on.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, let's all make sure we squad up on May 2nd and get mad at you--
LARRY HYRB: I'm bringing this in for you. I'm going to pause this here for you since you probably haven't had a chance to look at the skill tree.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yes! Well, there's no descriptions here, so I don't know. But I love that there's, like-- oh. Anyway, I just love that stuff because I will pore over those things before I choose who I'm going to use, and I'm having a hard time identifying-- she's got some really cool moves, that character with the umbrella. There's more of a distance shooter with a falcon, or a hawk or bird of prey of some sort. Somebody turns invisible-- Anyway, I generally love Arcane games in stealth I think that's what makes them so often is--
LARRY HYRB: That's why we had do the interview, Jeff.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Exactly. OK, I'll stop talking now. I'll save it for that. I'll save--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. Want to see it in the interview.
LARRY HYRB: It was good to see, of course, Forza. We saw a little bit of Forza. It looks like apparently your car is going to get quite dirty in this one.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: But in the right places, Larry.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, it's like that's what people wanted the detail for, so they could see just how dirty their car was.
LARRY HYRB: I'm looking forward to it. I don't think I've ever told you this, but one of my next door neighbors is a car nut, and he plays Forza. And he's out there washing his car-- he's one of those people that's washing the car every week and kind of makes you feel guilty when you're backing out of the driveway. "Oh, I guess I should wash my car. Forget it."
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: The best tweet I saw about that was, "Oh, sure, it's cool when cars get realistic dirt accumulation, but when I do it, I'm disgusting."
LARRY HYRB: Yeah, exactly.
So, of course, Forza, we'll learn more about that coming up later this year. Minecraft, which we've talked about-- Rebecca-- everyone kind of got a good sense for the gameplay in that one. That was fun.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. I think that's one of the exciting things about working on a team that's as big as Xbox, is, like, Minecraft already has its kind of dedicated community who tuned in during Minecraft Live in the fall and saw a little bit about the game. But for a lot of Xbox folks, this is the kind of-- our core player base, this is the first that they are seeing of the game since we announced it last year. And so I think it was really great to get to show people gameplay, and to kind of get a little bit more exposure outside of the Minecraft world.
So that's part of a little bit of the kind of strategy that goes on with our teams is, like, seeing, like, OK, well, what kind of opportunities can we do with Xbox to get better visibility for our products? And so, yeah, it was cool. And so next week I'm going to chat with someone from the team, and we can talk a little bit more about what was shown. And just right now what we really want to talk about is our PVP, which is the first time that this is coming into the Minecraft universe officially, and then just kind of our vision for multiplayer. So more to come on that next week.
LARRY HYRB: A couple of things. Of course, we saw some-- we talked about high Hi-Fi Rush, which is available right now--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Right now.
LARRY HYRB: --on Game Pass. Jeff is downloading it. I've already got it.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's there. I got one more gig to go. It's a svelte 15 gigs, which is-- some games are, like, 100, so I'll take it.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, nice.
LARRY HYRB: Talked about that. We've got Forza, Motorsport coming later this year. Redfall coming May 2nd. They dated it. We saw some Elder Scrolls, Online. There's a ton of Elder Scrolls. I'll talk to somebody from the team about that next week. That's coming on June 20, then Minecraft Legends, April 18. So dates, locations, times, games--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: We got them.
LARRY HYRB: What more do you need?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Preorders. [GIGGLES]
LARRY HYRB: So yeah, so we've had a big week. And normally, we talk about what we're playing, and all the rest of that stuff. We'll get to that, but it was just such an exciting week for us. As Rebecca said, she's been spearheading a lot of our internal communications efforts on behalf of this show. There's been probably thousands of people working on this show, and it's been something. And we all love it. You know, we love games, we love seeing the games.
So this is a funny part about this, and Rebecca, you know this because you're so close to it. I didn't see the show before everybody else. I sat and just watched it just like everybody else, and there's something new and exciting about that. I don't know how you feel about it. I know Rebecca, you saw the show a bit because you were so involved, but there's something kind of fun to just sit there and watch it with the rest of the internet.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. It was great because we had a teams chat with all of our different, like, folks who work on the communication side just to kind of watch together, and then chat and then react in real time. And it was awesome because so many people were like, "wait a second. This is available today with Hi-Fi Rush or"--
LARRY HYRB: People didn't know. Who knew?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah! And just the commentary between the team is really fun to see, so I agree. I wish it had been fresh for me, but it was still great to watch it for, like, the fifth time today.
LARRY HYRB: OK, nice flex. Anyway, so that's kind of-- Jeff, what about you you? Got any final words you want to say about the Developer Direct before we move--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: No. I just really liked the format, like you were saying. What I was doing during that time, we were getting a bunch of wire posts out, so if you go over to news.xbox.com, there's a number of different posts about all the different things that were announced, and some things.
LARRY HYRB: You mean this section here?
REBECCA GORDIUS: That's the one. That's the one. So worth taking a look at. Some pretty pictures, and pretty words as well from our staff. And so we were getting those things up at-- we're watching the stream, and which one is faster? "OK, YouTube-- oh, no. Twitch is faster now. We're going to go to Twitch." And as soon as they showed the date firing it off, so those are always fun to do.
And it was just in real time, seeing the Hi-Fi Rush response-- like, I was following along, just F-fiving Twitter, and people were like, "this looks pretty cool. This seems like something"-- and then the reply to their own tweet was like, "it's out today?" And there was a lot of that. And I think that landed really well.
I know we've been in at E3 before in previous years, going back 20, whatever, 15, 16, and occasionally you'll see a game do that. Everyone is like, "that's cool. I'm at E3. I can't play it."
LARRY HYRB: I can't play it. Now you're home.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: But because this was an at-home type of thing, you're like, "OK. Let's do this." And so that really worked out well. Now, granted, that's like-- that really only affects people in the industry, but in the room when something is out that same day, the people that are seeing that news first are the exact people who can't play it that same day, so I just thought it was interesting and the reaction was really good today because of that.
LARRY HYRB: As we said earlier, we got a couple of interviews coming up later on. Jeff will talk about the design of Redfall. Excited about that, and Kelley will talk about Hi-Fi Rush. And later on next week, we're going to talk about "Minecraft Legends," and we're going to talk about ESO, and then we'll get someone later on in the year to talk about Forza, so we got you all covered here. We got you all covered here.
I mean, it's funny because Jeff, you and I haven't really talked about this, but prior to the pandemic-- and even, Rebecca, you've done some stuff with "Minecraft"-- we do these big live shows and events, and in front of people, and it was always really-- what are you drinking there? Are you drinking Boss?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, I'm drinking Boss.
LARRY HYRB: Oh, yes. I'm drinking Boss, too.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And there's a reason for it. It ties into ties into another piece of news, but we'll get to that in a little bit.
LARRY HYRB: Anyway, so yeah, just real quickly. I love being part of those shows and doing those shows, and it was just a different type of show than what we have-- that we presented today. And I just I just love the format that we've evolved into, which is tight. It's talking to-- the developers are talking directly to you, and that's why it's called Developer Direct. And then you get to see a nice 40 minutes. Boom. I mean, I think it was even, like, 39 minutes-- [TRAILS OFF]
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Nah, 43. Lots of fill. I didn't need to correct you, but I did. I can't let it go, Larry.
LARRY HYRB: You always do.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I can't.
REBECCA GORDIUS: I was going to let it go.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I couldn't. It's Larry. I have to correct him.
LARRY HYRB: Anyhow, Jeffrey, so you have a little bit of news for us, right? You've got your Boss. Is that what this--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Well, I mean, there is some-- so, obviously, there was those, but a couple of hours before the show kicked off, we got the conformation on the release date for GoldenEye 007 coming to Game Pass.
And by the time you hear this--
LARRY HYRB: If you haven't had a chance, I've done a great interview with Craig, the head of Rare, and one of the members of the team--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Craig Duncan.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah, Craig Duncan. It'll be on the Xbox Wire Post that went up, I think, on Thursday. This is airing on Friday, so take a listen to that because there's some cool stuff there. So go ahead, Jeff.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yep. So yep, that is available the 27th, which may be the day that you're hearing this, so you should take it-- in fact, it'll be, like, late at night, I think, in the US, so by the time you hear this, you should be able to play it, which is really cool. So it'll be available on Xbox One, Series X and S as part of Game Pass, and-- and I think this is a really nice touch-- if you own Rare Replay-- remember Rare Replay that came out, at this point, like eight or nine years ago, to celebrate the 30 anniversary of Rare--
Well, this is made by Rare, and so they're including it in there. So if you bought the disk or the digital version-- I'm sorry, if you bought the digital version of Rare Replay way back when, you can download the game free of charge, so that's really cool.
LARRY HYRB: And in fact, if you go listen to that interview, the producer-- one of the producers on Rare Replay is the head producer for this version of GoldenEye, so he's like "that's why I wanted to include it." [TRAILS OFF]
REBECCA GORDIUS: That's so cool.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: That is pretty cool
LARRY HYRB: And go listen to that interview because you'll find--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, people have been asking for it for years.
LARRY HYRB: They actually wanted it in there, but there was a lot of licensing issues they had to work out, so as you can imagine, it was challenging.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Makes sense.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So this is also just a great week for Game Pass. So we announced, obviously, Hi-Fi Rush into Game Pass, 007 into Game Pass. Well, we knew GoldenEye was coming, but we didn't know exactly when, so now you've got all of that. But other games as well.
Something that we had talked about quite some time ago last fall, was that Age of Empires II, Definitive Edition was going to be coming to console. We had mentioned the date, but it was a little bit ago. You're forgiven if you don't remember these things. I don't remember when my dentist appointment is until it's, like, the next day. Because you got to schedule six months in advance, you know? Like, why do they make you do that? Anyway, Age 2, January 30.
And it's really cool to see how they were able to adapt RTS controls to--
LARRY HYRB: A controller.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: To a controller, right. And it works really well. I got to be part of the testing of this, and I was like-- I've played a couple RTS' that were decently done on console, but a lot of times they were built for console specifically. To see a game that has been around for 23, 24 years, something like that built for PC-- definitely since last millennium-- to be adapted, and adapted really well, to the controller, I thought, was really cool.
And to play Age on a big screen in a lean-back experience, I found that to be kind of relaxing and kind of, like, enjoyable. At least when you're in the resource gathering mode. Obviously, stuff picks up once you're under attack, but really cool to see that.
Other games coming to Game Pass or available now, depending on when you're listening to this, Inkulinati game preview, that's on January 31. I'm sure I'm saying it wrong, but this is what I would say. If you enjoyed Pentimate's visual style, Inkulinati, you're going to want to try this out.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, I see that.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: You see the picture there? JoJo's Bizarre Adventure coming to Cloud Console and PC. I will say Rebecca, you are a resident anime slash manga fan, so maybe check this out. Darkest Dungeon. This is a kind of an all-time classic in the sort of turn-based RPG strategy type of game. That's out on Cloud Console and PC first week in February. Grid Legends, Hot Wheels, Unleashed, so plenty of different types of racing, both maybe arcadey, but one more than other. And then last but not least is-- no actually, I read them-- oh, Robo Quest. That was the last one, also into Game Preview on Console.
So a lot of stuff in to Game Pass, but the big, big headlines were those surprises of GoldenEye, 007 and Hi-Fi Rush.
LARRY HYRB: What else you got there, Jeffrey? Well, that's a lot of news.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, one other piece of news-- and just because I noticed this, my favorite iPad game, probably of all-time, actually just came to Xbox through Xbox Play Anywhere. Kingdom Rush. Kingdom Rush is also a tower-based-- tower defense game, and it was really one of the first iPad games to really show, like, what touch gaming could do. And they're adapting that to console and PC as well.
LARRY HYRB: So that's your favorite iPad-- let's talk about that for a second. Rebecca, do you have a favorite iPad game? Or, I think you're playing the one on your phone right now, right?
REBECCA GORDIUS: I mean, I have some mobile games I liked.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Snap!
REBECCA GORDIUS: I know. I was going to say I'll reveal a secret, which is that I'm on Android, and so iPad games I've never had any of that.
LARRY HYRB: OK, That's fair. The reason I ask is one of my favorites, Jeff, is Carcassonne. The original Carcassonne before they had changed developers. The original one, to me, it is probably one of the finest iPad-y kind of tablet games ever, ever made.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: There was a period of time where I had a long commute. I was going from San Jose to San Francisco every day. I would take Caltrain, and--
LARRY HYRB: I thought you told me you were working for the Sony Corporation.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Actually, it was in between, I worked-- there was about a year there where I was working at a startup before I came here-- thank you, by the way, for that-- not sarcastic. Like, seriously, thank you. And this was one of the games that got me through it, through that long train ride, was playing Kingdom Rush. It's just really well done, so I'm going to buy it just to see how it's adapted, and to support the team again because I really love that one. Do we want to talk about what we're playing about? Anything? Do we have time for that?
LARRY HYRB: I'm working my way through Vampire Survivors. I think I've gone through--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I love that you're, like-- you've crossed over. You got over the hump.
LARRY HYRB: I'm now in. I'm all in.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: And now you're in, and you're doing great.
LARRY HYRB: I'm all in. I'm just, I'm all in, I'm chewing away at it, having a great-- Po is my go-to. He's my go-to.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Po.
LARRY HYRB: He's, like, the old guy with the cane that has garlic around him. He comes in with that.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: That's just kind of a biographical thing.
LARRY HYRB: Hey. Hey, come on. Really? We're going to do that, are we?
REBECCA GORDIUS: [GIGGLES]
LARRY HYRB: Are we going to do-- go ahead.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Well, I still have-- I still have yet to try that one. I've been playing One Piece, Odyssey which came out two weeks ago now. So I will caveat by saying that I'm not, like, up to speed on all of the One Piece things. Like, the lore, it's just such a long and extensive story.
LARRY HYRB: There's many pieces to One Piece.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, I've watched a few different story arcs, and then I watched the most recent movie, which was interesting, but disappointing, because I thought it was going to be about Shanks, and it most certainly was not, really. So I wanted to try out the game. I also haven't really played that many Japanese games, and so I was, like, Jeff loves these things. Like, there's got to be something to it, so--
LARRY HYRB: He does.
REBECCA GORDIUS: I mean, I've seen gameplay of like RPGs, but I haven't played one in a really long time. But then as I was playing it, I was like, oh, this feels so, like, quaint, and then kind of JRPG-ish, and the way that you'll go from, like, dialogue, and then something will pop up. And then the screen freezes, and then it goes to the battle scene, and then everyone's kind of bouncing.
LARRY HYRB: It's a production. It's quite a production.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah. Yeah, even the sounds are, like, Japanese, and I'm like, oh!
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: You're going to have to play Persona then.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Maybe.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Invest 130 hours.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Well, so for One Piece, Odyssey, though, I will say I don't know if it would be enjoyable if you weren't a fan One Piece at all. I mean, it's really, like, campy, and the humor in it is-- I like the humor, and kind of, like, the way that the characters interact with each other, the things they say. I do find the fighting to be a little bit repetitive. I mean, there are a lot of different, like, moves and different characters you can use, but it's not super difficult, either, and it feels like I'm fighting a lot, at least in this first chapter.
I do think that a turn-based, like, fighting system works pretty well for this game because even in the anime and the manga, it seems like the fights kind of go, you know, like with Luffy issuing an attack, and then the enemy attacking, and then it kind of goes back and forth anyway. So yeah, I think the turn-based, like, its system works here, but it's not personally my favorite style of games. I think I mentioned that about Midnight Suns a couple of weeks ago.
So I don't know if JRPGs are for me, but I think the game is well done. I like the story. It's just if you like turn-based action, then I think it'd be a really good fit, but for me I'm kind of like, eh, I'll give it a little bit longer, just because I like the story and the characters. But yeah.
LARRY HYRB: All right. Appreciate that.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's a choice.
REBECCA GORDIUS: It's just my two cents. It's just my two cents.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's fine. It's fine. That's why there's right and wrong. I meant-- or whatever.
REBECCA GORDIUS: [GIGGLES]
LARRY HYRB: Open your mind a little bit.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yes.
REBECCA GORDIUS: I'm glad he wasn't here when I was talking about Midnight Suns. Wait, Jeff, have you played Midnight Suns.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah. Yeah, I'm a fan.
REBECCA GORDIUS: And you loved it?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Oh, yeah! Yeah.
REBECCA GORDIUS: [LAUGHS]
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, it's very much for me, I guess I would say, and for a lot of other people as well.
So Larry, we talked about it, so can I talk about the thing that I got to do last week, why I wasn't on the show?
LARRY HYRB: Yes, please do it, and then we're rolling to the interviews, so go ahead.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yes. So yes, Boss Coffee usually makes a cameo in my favorite series, Yakuza. And so there's an interesting spinoff to Yakuza called Like a Dragon, Ishin! that I was part of an event in San Francisco last week, the first hands-on--
LARRY HYRB: Just to be clear, I just want to point this out to the audience. Jeff is a Yakuza influencer and VIP. He was summonsed down to this event, and the spoils of it all were placed in front of him. It was extraordinary.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It was great. It was great. Actually, there's a fan over here that I got to take away, a little Ryoma fan right there--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Aw, cute.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's been hiding there in violation of embargo, which has now elapsed. So yeah, I got to play hands-on. And so this game is imagined-- you ever see in a TV show that you might watch, they always do like the Emmy episode. Like, this is the one that's going to win the award, and maybe all the characters-- it's a dream sequence, and everyone goes into some other-- oh, they're in Elizabethan England now, and everyone's playing different characters, but they're kind of still them. Like, shows do that, OK.
And this is kind of like that, in a way, where all these Yakuza characters from, like, Yakuza 0 all the way up through Like a Dragon appear in this game that takes place in the 1860s in Japan. And the main character, it looks like Kiryu Kazuma, but it's not. It's this gentleman who is a real life samurai named Ryoma, and you follow him to find who killed his master. So it's kind of like Yakuza-esque setup and game play, and very familiar faces in a completely different setting in ancient-- or not ancient, but Kyoto 150-plus years ago.
And so it's still an open world game, a very dense town, but instead of going to the karaoke bar, you're going to a pub. And instead of going to the fast food place or the convenience store, you're going to the fish market or you're even growing your own food. There's a whole very in-depth farming simulator in the game. So anyway, very much if you're a Yakuza fan, you're going to want to keep your eye out for this. It's called Like a Dragon, Ishin! It's out February 21.
I wrote up some of the differences. Some of the things that are staying the same, and some of the things that are, of course, very different in this game, compared to if you had played Yakuza 0 or Kwame, or any of the numbered ones, or even the Judgment games, compared to this one. And that's over on news.xbox.com. It should be at or near the top of the page.
LARRY HYRB: I'll see if I can find that, but thank you for that, Jeff. And hopefully--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Makes me want to try Boss Coffee now.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Oh, this--
LARRY HYRB: You've never had Boss Coffee?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: If they want to sponsor us, they can.
LARRY HYRB: Oh, this stuff is--
REBECCA GORDIUS: Hold it up a little longer, yeah. [GIGGLES]
LARRY HYRB: I don't know.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's delicious and refreshing.
LARRY HYRB: I don't know what they put in that coffee, but it is, like, smooth as-- it is just so smooth.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Milk and sugar, mostly. And the rest is coffee, so there you go.
REBECCA GORDIUS: All right. Should we go into the interviews?
LARRY HYRB: Would you mind bringing us to the interviews since Jeff and I've been doing all the yakking?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, sure. Yakking about Yakuza. First interview is with John Johannes who worked on Hi-Fi Rush, which is out now from Tango Gameworks. And then, we also have that interview we mentioned earlier with Karen Segars who's the design director for Redfall over at Arkane Austin. So let's dive in.
KELLY: Hi. And welcome to the interview portion of today's show. As you guys might know, I'm Kelly. And I'm super excited to be here as a guest interviewee helping Larry out on today's podcast. You'll see that I am joined by a very special guest from Tango Gameworks. We have John here who is game director on a title that just launched this week. Hi, John. How are you?
JOHN JOHANNES: Good. Good. Glad to be here.
KELLY: Amazing. Yeah, so Hi-Fi Rush officially launched this week. It's very exciting times for those of you that tuned into the Developer Direct.
And so we thought it would be a great opportunity to have John on and talk a little bit about the inspiration behind the game and how they went about bringing this game to life. So John, why don't we start with some of your history? Because from what I understand, Hi-Fi Rush is not similar to things that you may have worked on in the past.
JOHN JOHANNES: Yes. Not only what I have worked in the past, but what our studio has done before. Probably you know our studio for making horror games, like The Evil Within and Ghostwire-- Tokyo. But this is something that we wanted to make that was really kind of almost completely changed the image of our studio and also kind of pushed us as developers to what we kind of can do or what's possible even in the game universe, because we wanted to do something new.
And that's kind of where the original idea-- or that's essentially how I pitched it. But this game itself is just something that personally I always wanted to make for a really long time. And luckily, timing was right internally that we just saw it as a nice palate-cleanser almost after we finished The Evil Within 2 to kind of branch off and try something new.
KELLY: Amazing. And so after you wrap something like that, I feel like there are quite a few directions you can go in from horror. There's a lot of palate-cleansers you could have chosen. Did you have specific inspiration? Was it '90s rock? What about this kind of rhythmic action concept drew you to this direction?
JOHN JOHANNES: Yeah, so early on, we just wanted something-- like I said, it was almost the opposite. So obviously, we dealt with a lot of heavy, dark imagery. And I remember talking to someone early on when we were releasing Evil Within 2. And they were like, I really want to play your game, but I can't do it. It's just horror. I can't play horror games.
And it almost kind of struck a chord in me. I love horror games, and I play them all the time. But there are people who kind of resist the image, because they don't want to be scared or the stress of it.
So I wanted something that kind of brought me back to-- when we were talking about my age, I really like playing a lot of games. Obviously, I grew up in the 16-bit era, but I really was heavily into-- when you think the original Xbox, PlayStation 2, Dreamcast era, there's lots of very colorful, bright, fun games.
And I really pitched this as something where you look at this, it really pops out. And it just looks like it's fun. And so that's where kind of the imagery of this game came up with.
And then, the idea of it being comedic and rhythm action came up very early on. Because obviously, I'm a big fan of music. Obviously, the song choice here is influenced by what I listened to growing up.
But I would always do this thing where I would walk to work listening to music and walk to the beat. And so it was just kind of a natural thing where I would always kind of time things internally to a music track. And you see things like trailers cut up to music.
And one of the earliest influences we had was-- and this kind of influenced the direction on our style for how we did things-- was the movies that Edgar Wright as a director would make. And I know maybe people would compare this to Baby Driver, which is about music tied to the images very coherently.
But actually, this predated that significantly. And there was a scene in the original Shaun of the Dead that had them fighting in a bar to a Queen soundtrack that was choreographed to it. I don't know. Maybe you saw that, maybe you remember it.
But I was like, that was so cool. It was like, what if we made a game that was like exactly like that? And so that's how I kind of pitched it.
And yeah, the idea kind of came to be many, many years when we were still making the original Evil Within. But it finally gave us a chance to kind of pursue that angle.
KELLY: Yeah, that's awesome. I feel like, as kids, we all had that moment where we were listening to something on the radio and looking out the car window pretending our life was something different, or that we were in a music video, or something like that. Playing sports for me, it was listening to my hype soundtracks as you're on the bus going to compete.
So music can definitely set a mood and really set the tone for the day. So with that in mind, do you feel like working on a more upbeat, rhythmic game was a little bit of a different vibe than the production of a horror game? Did you feel a difference in the team, in the creative process-- if you want to talk about that?
JOHN JOHANNES: Yeah, sure. It's not that when you make a horror game, everyone's really dreary and negative. I think because it is kind of a dark imagery, at least I personally, you almost joke around, hey, it'd be funny if this would happen or something like that.
But you're kind of limited to this set thing of it needs to be frightening, it needs to be claustrophobic, we need to have this certain mood. But I was like, what if we made a game where the premise was so ridiculous that we didn't have to think does it fit, will it work, or something like that? It's like anything can happen.
If it was too real, we'd almost say, that's too real. It has to be dumber. It's the kind of premise we wanted to get. So we wanted to get people thinking of what's the most ridiculous situations we could think up. And then we can kind of push ourselves to this.
So that is apparent. When you play this game, you'll notice that we just went all out with these absolute ridiculous situations. The setting itself is ridiculous. And we make fun of it a lot, just talking about how stupid it is that a person would have a music player injected in their heart, and it has magical super robot powers, and musical robot powers, and stuff like that.
And they even joke about it. So that was the whole thing. It's like, don't take yourself seriously and just go crazy with all the crazy ideas that we can come up with.
KELLY: Yeah, and there are definitely, from what I've seen, some very self-aware moments as you play and some humor bits that are a little bit tongue-in-cheek. Is that kind of how you saw it tying into the characters, the bosses? Do you want to talk about that dynamic-- and kind of the comedy and humor that you'll see as you play through the game?
JOHN JOHANNES: Yeah. So everything started off with I knew I wanted this main character that was not a super hero, that was very rough. The big kind of reference point we used was Scott Pilgrim, especially the Edgar Wright Scott Pilgrim, because I'm talking about Edgar Wright as an influence.
But it's this kind of like an anti-hero in a sense, not that they're evil, but they're just almost dumb. And then, the idea of corporate culture-- something that resonates with everybody, I thought, was just the idea of these mega-corporations and how they're run.
And obviously, we talk about how we always think they're super smart or they're always plotting and planning, but actually, I think when you're involved in a corporation, you know that nothing is ever as smooth as it actually is. So we joked about that.
And then we joked about the idea of who are the bosses. And it's like, wouldn't it be funny if the bosses were actual bosses of the company? You would fight the actual bosses. And then that's where we started diving it up. It was like, what would be funny?
What do we hate about-- it's not hate, per se-- but what do we always joke about with marketing or just the development side or finance? And then specifically, we knew that we needed to make fun of ourselves.
So there's a research and development department, which basically is a complete gag on how we present the process of making games and stuff like that. Which, as you notice, it's mostly how we spend our budget and how we're very incompetent as devs and things like that.
So in that sense, it is very self-aware. But nothing is very spiteful. Actually, we included the departments. When we were talking internally, I would ask them, what are some terms that you use internally that almost you can't stand from a marketing perspective? I think one of my favorite things--
KELLY: That's too real.
JOHN JOHANNES: Yeah. You get a nice quote where the marketing head is like, remember to thank your brand managers, the real heroes. Things like that.
KELLY: Oh, boy.
JOHN JOHANNES: There are some pot shots, I guess. But I think we actually take the biggest hit on the dev side. So there's no hate.
KELLY: Yeah, no hard feelings. There are times where-- my friends call it Corporate Kelly-- where I forget to switch from Corporate Kelly to friend Kelly. And they're like, don't corporate speak me. Don't be using acronyms in our convo.
I'm so sorry. So I totally get it. And I can't relate to evil bosses, because my boss listens to this podcast. So shout-out to John. He's wonderful.
But let's switch and talk a little bit about what it's actually like to play. So when someone boots up the game, jumps in-- the term rhythmic action and rhythmic combat is interesting, because it can mean a few different things. And I think that every time someone hears it, there might be a different game that they think of.
But I feel like this is a bit unique where it's compiled a lot of different features. So what do you think it means to say rhythmic action for Hi-Fi Rush? And what can a player expect to experience?
JOHN JOHANNES: Yeah, so this was a big keyword when we started development. So we always say rhythmic action or rhythm action with an emphasis on action. A lot of people take the rhythm aspect and think, oh, I know a rhythm game. I'm matching up to a music track-- or it's kind of very low-interaction because it's meant to be choreographed to something that's musical.
But a big point is when you think of an action game, you think of the freedom of movement. But a lot of times, there's kind of-- we did a lot of internal research of how accessible we want this to be. And we knew that we wanted it to be very, very accessible.
And action games kind of fall into two lines, which is kind of a button-masher type thing where it's just hit X and you'll win-- or a super technical hardcore action game. And I was like, what if we can make this very accessible while also making it just feel very good? So you don't have to be super, super well-trained and technical to actually feel like you're playing very good.
So we thought of this idea of combining-- the idea of a technical action game but simplifying it to just the beat of the song. So that's where I say action first is because you're controlling Chai. You're moving around. You're attacking with whatever attacks you want. But we internally make it so it matches up to the rhythm.
So no matter when you press the button, it's going to land on the beat. So it gives you that satisfying thing that you normally think of when you think of a trailer that hits. They normally edit trailers to make it feel like everything hits to the beat. But then you'll see the movie, and it just happens.
But we wanted it to be like, no, that's something that I'm actually doing. So that was actually the hardest part of just making that happen. But we wanted to essentially create a positive game loop rather than negative.
So when you think of a rhythm game, if you don't play to the rhythm, you fail. You have to start over. But here, you don't fail. It's more about actually doing things to the rhythm will give you an advantage, will allow you to do those combos, will allow you to expand your moveset, and things like that.
So we always want to create this positive gameplay loop. And I think, again, it is a little bit difficult. I think our deep-dive that we did in the presentation does a good job of getting you into it.
But it is something that we just can't wait for people to play, because we've tried it out with a lot of people. We've seen people play it. And when they kind of just see the premise and how it goes through-- oh, it's actually very simple-- just kind of tapping the beat-- and getting over that instinctual button mashing concept that most people have.
You tend to get that natural feel of it's very almost casual, yet there's a depth to it of which attacks do I want to do at what time. So that's where that rhythm aspect comes with is that having control over things that are sync to the music. But also, playing to the rhythm gives you a positive gameplay loop, if that makes sense.
KELLY: Yeah, it almost feels like you're accomplishing even more every time you hit a combo, because you're on the beat. And it reinforces that you did something right or that you completed an attack. And I, for one, am super guilty about being a button masher.
Even when I know combos and it's very basic, sometimes I just panic and hit a bunch of buttons. And so I'm very excited to spend more time with Hi-Fi Rush and actually game to the beat. So very excited.
I don't want to take up too much of your time today. I know you have a lot going on. And we're super appreciative of your time today. But I did want to ask, what is your favorite part of the game? And why is it the cat?
JOHN JOHANNES: [LAUGHS] Why is it the cat? My choices are very limited here. Yeah, I will say 808 is probably one of the highlights of this game.
This always comes up, because I personally-- my family has a black cat at home. And every project that I've worked on or been responsible to, I made sure to have a cat. So we had to make sure we had to incorporate it somehow.
So just speaking to 808 in general, not only is it kind of a tribute to my cat who actually cannot speak or cannot meow either. So our cat in the game really doesn't speak. It's a microphone, essentially, for all the other characters that are in the game. But the animation team did such a good job making these little tiny animations of how she interacts with Chai, kind of just how she assists you in battle, or even just the fact that she's-- when you think of a cat as being supportive, like, she's literally over your shoulder telling you where the beat is to help you out.
So that-- yeah, again, we just wanted it to be as fun as possible, and our animation team just went crazy with doing these little cute animations for her, that you can play with her and-- you have a hideout that you can play with her.
So I will say that I think for a lot of people, 808 will just be a highlight, and I'm hoping that we can create lots of merchandise opportunities for, and expand and make a lot of money on this.
But I do-- in general, I would say outside of that, my favorite part in general are the licensed tracks that we were able to use to make the sequences of the game. I don't know-- I won't spoil all of them, because some of them are just, like, absolutely cool. But we have these sequences where basically, we take a track and we choreographed everything-- you can do a deep dive into just how we actually made these, because it's, like, super insane how much detail we put into-- that it feels like you're playing a music video to some of these licensed tracks, where, like, the boss' attacks, the environment moving, everything is synchronized to even the slightest guitar riff or drum beat that's to these tracks. And even the way that a boss fight progresses matches with the choruses and verses and everything like that.
And those sequences are what we just-- they, like-- I think they just are a cherry on top of what is, essentially, an already awesome-feeling game, with these awesome climax points.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Are any of the songs that are in the game the specific songs that you used to use as your soundtrack of your walks and your time as a kid that inspired the game?
JOHN JOHANAS: Yeah. I mean, you can definitely tell-- obviously, the tracks span from, like, '90s stuff to early 2000s. There was a very sort of range that we were trying to hit, that kind of nostalgia feeling of that time. And they are tracks that I would just constantly listen to, as well as, like, when I said-- I had this idea way in the past. I would keep, basically, a playlist where it's, like, potentials, where I would feel like, OK, these are tracks that just like feel like-- I would want to, like-- it sounds incredibly terrible, but, like, oh, man--
A punch landed here.
I did that, by the way.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah, I was like, as soon as you said punch, something fell, I was like, what? That was not--
JOHN JOHANAS: The power of music.
REBECCA GORDIUS: That controller that fell was a paid actor, yeah.
JOHN JOHANAS: Yeah, it's like, if you like-- if a punch, like, landed to this, that would feel so awesome. And that would-- you'd, like, almost try to choreograph these scenes in your mind. So that's what kind of led to the playlist. But then managing to figure out-- obviously, licensing is a big deal. And then figuring out what actually works within the game. There's a lot of trial and error process to get-- and I think the tracks we were able to get for this game are amazing and they work great. So again, I can't wait to see people play.
But we also have that streamer mode. For people who want to stream, they can play the game with tracks that match the same climaxes and beat hits that, essentially, the game was choreographed to. But yeah. I think, yeah, we've got a great sound selection.
And also our original tracks, I think, are amazing as well. There's a lot of music in this game, by the way. A ton.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Yeah I'm excited to have certain songs stuck in my head for the foreseeable future, because there are a few bops that once they're in your head, they're there for a little while. No spoilers, but yeah. And it's great that you guys thought of the streamer mode as well, because I know that's a big deal. We don't want to-- when we talk about accessibility, like, limit folks that can play and share, so great of the team.
All right. So it's been amazing. I feel like you and I could talk for another few hours, but, you know, we have places to go, people to see. Any last words? I didn't know if you wanted an opportunity to thank your brand managers while you're here, since they're the real heroes, or any other parting words before we log off.
JOHN JOHANAS: Yes, besides the brand managers. Obviously, this is a big surprise from our studio, so we're just-- it's unexpected, but we are absolutely excited that people can just literally just go on Game Pass right now and just play the whole game. They don't have to wait. They don't have to think about the game, what it could be. You can try it out and you'll know exactly what it's going to be.
And it's a game that-- from our studio, we think it's the best thing that we've ever made. We think it's something that you really want to try. So we encourage that even if you have the slightest interest-- I don't want to say-- I can't, obviously, guarantee anything, but I'm pretty, pretty positive you're going to enjoy this game.
So we're really looking forward to all the fans that will come up from this, and whoever tries it, what they think about it. We're just excited that it's finally available. We've
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Been fortunate here on the Xbox Podcast to have welcomed a number of developers from Arkane Studios in recent months here to the show. We had studio directors, Harvey Smith from Arkane Austin, and Dinga Bakaba from Arkane Lyon They joined us last fall, if you missed it. They shared all kinds of interesting revelations on the connection between the DEATHLOOP universe and its connection to Dishonored. That was awesome.
And I'm really happy, on a week where we have confirmed a May 2nd release date for Redfall, to bring in somebody else, Karen Segars, art director of Arkane Studios on Redfall, pretty big week, huh?
KAREN SEGARS: Yeah, it's super exciting. It's great to have everybody to see more of the gameplay, and always exciting to announce our launch date, so.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So we hear the term art director a lot. And what does the art director do on a game like this?
KAREN SEGARS: Part of it is trusting the-- every individual art team, but helping guide them and unify the art direction, the look of the game across everything. If you could imagine VFX, character art, environment art, all the way up to UX, animation. So it's just helping to have a singular vision to make every aspect of the game feel unified.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I would say in recent Arkane games, you can really see certain things, from a style perspective, really come through. DEATHLOOP and Dishonored-- I don't mean this in a negative way, but tend to muted palettes to a large extent, but occasionally something will pop out. I think of kind of orangey browns in DEATHLOOP and I think of gray a lot for a place like Dunwall in Dishonored.
From what I've seen from Redfall before, seeing some really bright pops of color in this dark environment-- there's obviously an eclipse. I would love to hear how this came together and where you decided we're going to see some really cool, like, bright purples and blues and red, of course, in blood.
KAREN SEGARS: Yeah, well, with a lot of the Arkane stuff-- Prey, Dishonored-- there's kind of a painterly style. Redfall brings a little bit more of that realism. We still strip out some of the high frequency noise, and we kind of plus up some of the characteristic details of something. So maybe if you're looking at your gun in 1P maybe some of those details are a little bit larger, just to really pop that character.
And then with Redfall, that juxtaposition of New England quaint, creepy, but we've really used the word spooky. So I think that's where you're not muting the palette so much, so it kind of-- we're not full blown horror, right, so I think kind of having a little bit stronger of a color palette helps bring in that spooky mood versus horror mood.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: All right. Let's talk about what we saw, let's talk about the game. And I would love to talk about what makes this an Arkane game. And I think we had looked at first impressions, and people were like, OK, is this a multiplayer, just sort of horde shooter game, but this is an Arkane game. And that means certain things, does it not?
KAREN SEGARS: It does. And some of the things that we love is you have multiple ways to approach something. So maybe you could go in the front door, but I guarantee you, if you look around, a little bit and you explore, you're going to find another way that you could approach it. Then you layer in hero abilities on top of that, and this time, you could play up to four different characters at launch. So that's a wide range of different abilities that you get to explore, to approach the environment.
And now, on top of that, we're bringing in the ability to play co-op multiplayer. So then it's the combination of those different heroes' abilities complementing each other. And I'm excited to see how players use those in ways that we don't even expect, which is something I love about Arkane games. The systemic gameplay just allows for so much that it just all plays together really nice.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I love looking at YouTube after I've, like, somehow creeped or sort of, like, somehow managed to make my way through a particularly complicated area in games like DEATHLOOP or Dishonored. And then I look and I see someone did it just radically different. And I think when you add the co-op, like, there's going to be things that we're just not even expecting. I expect to be playing with Larry and Rebecca and holding their attention for the month of May in general.
All right. Another art directory type of question. The trailer showed a lot of different stuff. We saw a lot of different kinds of enemies, the shroud vampire and the rook and there's a lot of stuff, locations, all kinds of stuff like that. But one of the things that I think-- I think, because it really matters what I think, right, of course. It does not.
But in terms of what stands out to me, at least, in terms of an Arkane game, is the way the storytelling takes place. I know frequently we'll have recordings or written documents that someone might find, and they're always really interesting to dive into the lore and learning a lot about this alternate universe's whales. All very, very compelling, very interesting.
But another really big thing that you see in an Arkane game is, like, this storytelling where you look around and you're like, what happened here? And the storytelling is not expressly written down or spoken to you. You kind of end up piecing together what may have happened from the environment. So are there any details or anything that we've seen in this trailer-- I don't want you to spoil tremendous things or anything like that-- that we should be looking at, that there's really cool stories behind?
KAREN SEGARS: Yeah. One thing that I think is really fun is thinking about how things were, what happened, and then by the time you start the game, it's probably been a month. Now, there are survivors, but there's also people that have become cultists, right? So they're giving-- they want to be vampires or they're scared and so they're helping the vampires. It's just fight or flight.
So if you look around, you can see stories of-- you maybe go into a house and see a progression. Oh, this used to be somebody that was my neighbor, but then they are cultists now. They gave their neighbor's child to the cult in order to join them. You'll see writing on the wall that's starting to tell the story of them kind of spiraling. And there are-- they do often get a little bit of blood-- I hope this is cool to tell. So they're in a slight trance themselves.
So you'll see crazy shapes, crazy structures. It's like they're seeing and hearing things and they're being compelled to build these structures and these effigies to these vampire gods. So if you are one that likes to explore, you can find how different people kind of progressed to become a cultist.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: It's not a lot different than my neighbors, believe it or not. The things that-- I have no idea what they're building on the other side of this fence, but-- real quickly, I would love to talk a little bit more about some of the things that we saw in the trailer that were, like, mission structure. Because it seemed like there's, like, core missions you're doing. There's also neighborhood building. There was this lighthouse mission that was shown. What can you share about the variety of different types of experiences that we're going to be playing?
KAREN SEGARS: Yeah the campaign is standard campaign. That's how you learn the high overarching story. It's how you progress through the game. But then there's, like you mentioned, the take back Redfall. There are neighborhoods to each district. And you at least have to do some side missions to take back parts of that neighborhood because you get an underboss skull by taking that-- you do a side mission and that elevates to finding a lieutenant, and taking out that lieutenant gives you a skull. And you need a handful of those skulls and able to unlock the boss door, right?
And then, on top of that-- you mentioned the lighthouse mission. That's just an optional mission that you can do if you would like. So there's plenty. So there's a wide variety of things you can-- that doesn't even touch on just the random encounters that you come across, just running through the world.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, it sounds a lot. When you have taking back neighborhoods, and then also the skill trees that were shown, you're just like-- you've made this game for me, plucked it out of my dreams and made it a reality. So thank you so much. And the thing is, we have a release date now.
KAREN SEGARS: So exciting. May 2nd.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: So.
KAREN SEGARS: It's going to be a good day.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: May 2nd, we're just a couple of months away, just what? Just over three months away from the time you're hearing this. So Karen Segars, we are going to let you get back to work. I'm sure there's plenty to do between now and then. I can't wait to play it, but I can't also wait to have you or someone else from Arkane back, as we're celebrating launch, really, before we know it.
So congratulations on landing the release date, and now let's get back to the show.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Thank you to Karen, John, Kelly, and Jeff for those interviews. And Kelly, in particular, it's great to hear from her. We have her on the show every now and then and I've hung out with her a couple of times. It's great to have other folks doing interviews besides just us.
LARRY HYRB: Yeah, we love having people in there. You know who we have to have do an interview, is the little guy right behind you. He's stretching and he's apparently waking up from his afternoon nap.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Hi Puumba.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yeah, he knows who to talk to.
LARRY HYRB: It's good to hear from folks. We're going to keep going. We've got some more interviews for the Developer Direct that we're going to get ready for next week, but we wanted to get those two for you this week right now, as we've talked to them. Great to hear about Hi-Fi Rush and Jeff with Redfall. Thanks for the conversation, Jeff, on Redfall.
As I said-- I don't know if-- I know I didn't mention it because I wasn't in the interview, but as I was listening to that, I was like, I'm going to be a little hypercritical because being from New England and spending time on islands, I'm going to be looking at this. I'm going to be looking at you, Karen, and what you've done.
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I want Major Nelson's hot dog cart in there. somewhere.
LARRY HYRB: That is a thing.
REBECCA GORDIUS: Oh, that would have been a great Easter egg.
LARRY HYRB: That is a thing. Maybe it's in there, I don't know. But anyway, well, listen, gang, I know, Jeff, you've got to run, and Rebecca, you've got some more work to do. Even though the show is aired, you've got more work to wrap up, and we all do. So thanks, gang. Will you guys be around next week?
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: Yes.
LARRY HYRB: What, do I need to bring some--
JEFF RUBENSTEIN: I don't plan that far ahead. I might have a dentist--
REBECCA GORDIUS: I was waiting for Jeff to answer first. But yes, same time, same place.
LARRY HYRB: All right. We'll come back next week, and hopefully we'll-- Rebecca, let's you and I talk off the air. We'll get some Minecraft stuff in for next week. How's that sound?
REBECCA GORDIUS: Sounds great.
LARRY HYRB: All right, gang, hopefully you have a great week this week. Have a great weekend of gaming, and we'll see you next time. Bye bye, everybody.