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GameDev Breakdown

GameDev Breakdown

By CodeWritePlay

Todd Mitchell just wants to make video games with friends.
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Currently playing episode

Red Panda Derailed

GameDev BreakdownMar 20, 2023

Red Panda Derailed
Mar 20, 202356:34
Red Panda Mechanics
Mar 06, 202337:06
New Trailer, Who Dis?

New Trailer, Who Dis?

Todd just wants to make video games with his friends.

Feb 23, 202300:37
Let's Design a Game with Boss Fight Author Sebastian Deken
Feb 23, 202349:57
Illegal FOMO

Illegal FOMO

A foreign government reached out, and what they said may pertain to you. Seriously. 

Also, an update on production for the game co-design episodes!

Feb 18, 202331:55
Let's Try Something New (Twitter Is Burning)

Let's Try Something New (Twitter Is Burning)

Here's news about a fun new thing we're going to try in future episodes. Real game development ahead! Also, maybe social media is falling apart?

Feb 09, 202311:11
Actually, Publishers Aren't Parents

Actually, Publishers Aren't Parents

We gathered Intellivision Amico news from all directions so you don't have to. 

Feb 02, 202325:23
State of the Podcast 2022

State of the Podcast 2022

An end-of-year look at how GameDev Breakdown is doing and what to expect in 2023.

Jan 02, 202319:21
Streamer Bill Duhr

Streamer Bill Duhr

Variety streamer and longtime personal friend Bill Duhr drops in to talk about our trip to St. Louis' new dedicated VR center, Sandbox VR. Topics include how to make a car bed for adults, the worst hit-and-run attempt of all time, and why WWF No Mercy is one of the greatest video games of all time. 

Check out our full Sandbox VR review.

Bill's links: 

Dec 24, 202201:00:33
Talking Industry Legal Issues with Game Dev Lawyer Jon Loiterman
Nov 21, 202201:00:52
Talking Potionomics with Disney Composer Greg Nicolett
Nov 06, 202256:53
Talking Hexahedra with Former RuneScape Developer, Chris Knowles
Oct 26, 202249:52
Alex Rushdy of 13AM Games

Alex Rushdy of 13AM Games

The CEO and creative director behind Runbow and Dawn of the Monsters discusses the recent discomfort of running a Unity team, his Godzilla ’98 VHS collection, and more.

Sep 24, 202246:30
James D'Amato of The One Shot Podcast Network
Aug 06, 202244:52
Thomas Kildren of Fletcher Studios
Jul 28, 202201:01:17
Games Journalist Mat Bradley-Tschirgi Returns
Jul 18, 202258:56
Hollywood Publicist Dan Harary
Jul 04, 202245:10
Roger Reichardt of Gamerheads and Pure Nintendo
Jul 01, 202256:41
Jordan Mauriello of MoreYellow
Jun 23, 202248:38
Developer and Streamer Chris Gardner
Jun 16, 202254:11
News, State of the Pod, and Philip Molodkovets of Wargaming
Jan 31, 202249:02
Triple-A Environment Artist James Brady
Nov 21, 202154:44
Our Extended Chat with Bestselling Halo, Star Wars, and Dungeons & Dragons Author Troy Denning
Oct 30, 202101:00:45
Star Citizen’s Senior Lead Gameplay Engineer Goes Indie – Chad and Curtis McKinney of Bit Rot
Oct 24, 202101:20:51
Exclusive Release Day Interview with Halo: Divine Wind Author, Troy Denning
Oct 19, 202113:04
Mat Bradley-Tschirgi Returns Again
Oct 14, 202159:16
Richard Butler of RAGE Works
Oct 08, 202101:05:44
Disasterpeace and Casey Lucas-Quaid of Dinosaur Polo Club
Sep 30, 202101:12:21
Fay and Martyn Maillardet of Imaginary Friends Games
Sep 23, 202101:02:05 CEO, Rosen Sharma
Sep 16, 202146:43
Comedian Steven Morgan
Sep 09, 202101:04:16
Rygar Book Author Brian Riggsbee
Sep 02, 202154:27
Hacked: No Facebook, No Oculus Quest
Aug 26, 202101:05:21
Pontus “Zlapped” Mähler of Global Top Round
Aug 11, 202101:03:00
Remembering Our Friend Abel Wang
Jul 30, 202131:33
Buildbox Leadership Answers Your Questions
Jul 22, 202145:55
Games For Change President, Susanna Pollack
Jul 12, 202127:24
Retro Space Ball Developer Rik Oclon
Jul 09, 202101:02:25
Triple-A Veteran Luis Alonso
Jul 01, 202158:42
The Virtual Book Tour Continues
Jun 24, 202151:19
Boss Fight Books Author Sebastian Deken

Boss Fight Books Author Sebastian Deken

Sebastian Deken calls in to discuss his book, Final Fantasy VI from Boss Fight Books, and how his musical background led to his unique approach in covering the game. We go over the Final Fantasy series' history in the US and how the games have progressed over time. There is almost no gotcha journalism.

If you're already a fan of the Boss Fight Books series, you know that each author tends to bring a unique approach to their installment. Some books revolve around deeply personal stories while others are a result of incredibly thorough investigative journalism. In Final Fantasy VI, Deken introduces yet another approach: a music-first exploration of one of the most popular RPGs of all time.

Deken brings the perspective of a well-studied professional musician to the challenge of capturing what makes Final Fantasy's metronome tick, and he's been reflecting on the magic of the third/sixth installment (we refresh this timeline in the episode) since the day fate placed a knowledgeable toy store sales associate in his father's path just after the game's North American release. His verdict? Final Fantasy VI's music is much more than background noise.

"I pitched it as sort of a look at the game through the music and how the music functions within the game to advance the drama and to hold the game together, because the script is a disaster," Deken joked during our discussion. "It's just--it's a trainwreck. There's so much going on that it's hanging by a thread, the story."

During our chat, Deken explains how music helps move the game's narrative throughout its notorious twists and turns in gameplay. The book explores these choices, the soundtrack's later transition to live performances, and the composer's achievements in bringing video game music into its own as a legitimate genre.

Final Fantasy VI is available in ebook format from Boss Fight Books with a paperback edition coming this summer.

Show links:

Jun 17, 202156:12
Adam Fligsten of Silen Audio

Adam Fligsten of Silen Audio

Adam Fligsten of Silen Audio calls in to discuss his process, his projects, and his path into music and audio composition for TV, film, and games. His credits include Marvel vs. Capcom, Saturday Night Live, NBC Olympics, and much, much more.

I think that people put these tools on a pedestal and they shouldn't. It should be accessible to everybody...- Adam Fligsten

Adam Fligsten has been composing music for decades. After working in the music industry in both New York and Los Angeles, he's leveraging his incredible resume including tons of highly visible work in TV and film to get more heavily involved in video game sound design and composition.

While Adam is presently under a number of NDAs, his recent contribution to the Marvel vs. Capcom series suggests that, once again, he's making a beeline for the coolest projects around. When the pandemic kept most of us in isolation, he turned to Twitch where he streamed the entire process of composing Ceres Station, a Super Metroid tribute album.

Make no mistake: Silen Audio would love nothing more than to provide music and audio services for just about any game in development, but Adam maintains a refreshing philosophy about approachability and fun when it comes to making music.

"You shouldn't be afraid to mess up," he says. "That's what practicing an instrument is. You just keep doing it over and over again until it sounds good. If you're trying to record something, you usually have enough time to get it right. I think that people put these tools on a pedestal and they shouldn't. It should be accessible to everybody. Just pick it up, make some noise until it sounds the way you want it to sound, and that's it. That's making music."

Silen Audio was founded in 2016 in Los Angeles, California, and provides both sound design and composition services for indie and AAA studios.

Show Links

Jun 10, 202156:35
Jesse Attard of Tactic Studios

Jesse Attard of Tactic Studios

Tactic Studios developer and CEO, Jesse Attard (BioShock, BioShock 2, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (2006)), calls in for a podcast chat about the studio's new Portal-style puzzle adventure game, Claire de Lune. We discuss his transition from major AAA teams to heading up an indie studio, parenting at publish time, best pandemic home office purchases, and more.

A "Fantastic" Transition to Indie Development

It's difficult to imagine a triple-A veteran more optimistic than Jesse Attard. Since 2005, he's contributed to major projects at Ubisoft, Capcom, and Digital Extremes, putting him in the right places at the right times to work on everything from old flip phone games up to the BioShock series and even a late port of Street Fighter II. You'd be right to anticipate a story about burnout and the evisceration of hope in a notoriously brutal industry, yet Attard simply describes the move to indie development as a nice change of pace.

"Oh, it's fantastic. It's great. I love doing it," Attard says about the move from the major-budget studios. "I love having my own engine. I loved working on [Digital Extremes'] engine as well...because you have a lot of flexibility in terms of what you can do and add to it."

Tactic's upcoming title, Claire de Lune, uses the studio's own proprietary engine that the team started building back when the major game engine terms weren't nearly as inviting as they are now. The graphics and gameplay seen in the game's trailers look right at home alongside just about any modern title.

Attard has stories about why game engine freedom is important to him.

"BioShock was on [Unreal Engine]," he says. "And so we worked on BioShock, and you're terrified about touching any of the Epic code because if Epic decides to change that code, now you've got to merge them and it's just a big nightmare. Having your own engine, you have 100% flexibility. You can make it do exactly what you want. It's much easier to work with, from our standpoint. So that's been great."

Beyond leveraging his technical experience, Attard is enjoying the additional creative influence he has as part of a small team. He wrote and took care of the full sound design for Claire de Lune.

Tactic Studios is targeting a June 14th release date for Claire de Lune.

Show Links

Jun 03, 202154:33
Christopher Arnold of Crowned Daemon Studios

Christopher Arnold of Crowned Daemon Studios

Christopher Arnold of Crowned Daemon Studios calls in to talk about the studio's mental health-focused game, Syntherapy, the inspiration behind its development, and its reception in the community.

Crowned Daemon Studios wants to guide you through an exploration of therapy and mental health issues unique from just about any other. Its visual novel adventure game, Syntherapy, places you (a therapist) in charge of the diagnosis and treatment of an artificial intelligence in a story with over 30 possible endings. This is not your average visual novel; Crowned Daemon leveraged publisher support to put together a fully voice-acted experience, and the sense of dramatic immersion is real.

While you'll interact with an artificial patient in the game, the story's influence is both real and personal.

"A lot of it's just personal history," says Arnold. "This actually started as sort of a cathartic exercise of sort of externalizing thoughts and feelings and things that I was trying to figure out in a format where I could read it back a little bit later and it wasn't just on my mind all the time." He says the idea of making the game's patient an AI came from the realization that we look at mental health in terms of functionality, much the way we tend to troubleshoot technology.

In terms of professional consulting and research, Arnold says the writing of psychologist blogger Scott Alexander provided an eye-opening look at the mindset of a practicing therapist. Arnold credits Alexander's work with his understanding of the field's complicated relationship to society and its problems that don't always have perfectly clinical answers.

Syntherapy is available now on Steam.

Show links

May 28, 202156:19
AEXLAB CEO Jonathan Ovadia
Apr 27, 202156:20
Virtual Book Tour: Podcast vs Player
Apr 24, 202115:02
Virtual Book Tour: Zero to Play
Apr 21, 202115:22
Inside Video Game Creation Is Out Now!
Apr 08, 202108:03
Michelle Franklin of Recombobulator Games
Mar 20, 202101:08:27
GDC Showcase Check-In
Mar 16, 202118:46