‘Tacoma’ & ‘Gone Home’ designer Steve Gaynor

Steve Gaynor, the designer and writer of “Gone Home” and 2017’s “Tacoma,” talks about why “Tacoma” was so hard to make, what he learned by working with Ken Levine on “BioShock Infinite,” and whether he sees his work as part of a video-game movement.


Chris Suellentrop and guest critic Chris Plante–now the culture editor of The Verge, soon to be executive editor of Polygon–talk about “Tacoma,” Fullbright’s follow-up to “Gone Home.” No spoilers! We’ll save those for when JJ returns next week.

‘Prey,’ ‘Night in the Woods’ & More ‘Edith Finch’

Did the hourlong demo for “Prey,” Arkane’s highly referential immersive sim, sell us on playing the whole thing? Can JJ stomach the storyline in “Night in the Woods?” Can Chris get a do-over to explain why he adores “What Remains of Edith Finch”?

‘Persona 5’ & ‘Psychonauts’

Two video games, one old and one new, about children who navigate fantastical mental landscapes. Not to mention literal subway systems. Plus, the shortest “What I Play” in history.

‘Everything’ & More ‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’

Can a video game do philosophy? Everything in David OReilly’s “Everything” is playable, to try to convey the perspective of, well, everything. Our review.

‘Torment: Tides of Numenera’ & the GDC awards

It’s Nintendo Switch release day! So of course we give you a smidgen of “Torment: Tides of Numenera,” a smattering of the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards, and a smorgasbord of plans to start a membership drive.

2016’s All-Star GOTY Spectacular

What was your favorite video game of 2016? We asked 23 of the smartest people we know–game designers, podcasters, YouTubers, journalists, a screenwriter, a playwright–and got 19 answers.

Counting Chris and JJ, that’s 25 people and 20 games in our second annual GOTY Podcast Spectacular.  Plus, intense disagreement about the merits of “The Last Guardian.”

STARRING, in order of appearance:

Jason Concepcion & Ben Lindbergh, hosts of Achievement Oriented;

Chris Remo, Idle Thumbs host and Campo Santo developer;

Austin Walker, Waypoint editor-in-chief;

Carolyn Petit, Feminist Frequency writer;

Nina Freeman, “Cibele” designer and Fullbright level designer;

Theresa Duringer, founder of Temple Gates Games;

Adrian Chen, staff writer for The New Yorker;

Jon Lovett, a Keepin’ It 1600 host, screenwriter, and former speechwriter for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton;

Stephen Totilo, editor-in-chief of Kotaku;

Susan O’Connor, writer for games like “BioShock,” “Gears of War,” “Far Cry 2,” and “Tomb Raider”;

Virginia Heffernan, author of “Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art”;

Clive Thompson, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, a columnist for Wired, and the author of “Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better”;

Anita Sarkeesian, founder of Feminist Frequency;

Lucy Prebble, playwright of “The Effect”;

Meg Jayanth, writer of “80 Days”;

Helen Lewis, deputy editor of the New Statesman;

John Davison, Glixel general manager;

Gabriel Winslow-Yost, assistant editor of The New York Review of Books;

Jason Killingsworth, writer for Riot Games and co-author of “You Died: The ‘Dark Souls’ Companion”;

Brett Douville, lead programmer for “Skyrim” and “Fallout 4” and Dev Game Club host;

Simon Parkin, contributing writer for NewYorker.com and author of “Death By Video Game”;

Laura Hudson, writer for FiveThirtyEight, Wired and Slate