Download or Stream the CGF Podcast

Using the links below, you can download or stream each individual episode. The podcast is listed on Apple Podcasts here and Stitcher Radio here. If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a review for us: Chengdu Gaming Federation Podcast. If you have any questions, contact us on WeChat.

Ep #28: Explosion of the “Roguelike” Genre and Our Favorites

In this episode we talk about the origins of the “roguelike” phenomenon and our favorite recent games which fit into this category. Some common features of roguelike games are dungeon crawling, procedurally generated stages, and permadeath, but this formula has been applied to a huge variety of game types.

Topics Discussed

  • Origin and namesake of the roguelike phenomenon
  • How we were introduced to roguelikes
  • Major recent roguelike games
  • Surprising examples of innovation
  • Our favorite roguelikes

Games Mentioned

  • Rogue
  • FTL
  • Spelunky
  • Binding of Isaac
  • Nuclear Throne
  • Enter the Gungeon
  • Dead Cells
  • Death Road to Canada
  • Heavy Bullets

Ep #27: 2018 Steam Sale, China’s Last?

In this episode we look back on the biggest Steam sale of the year, and what is perhaps the last Steam sale that we can enjoy with accounts set to the China region. Will Valve’s new arrangement for China, in partnership with Perfect World, destroy Steam sales as we know them to comply with increasingly tight regulation?

Topics Discussed

  • Introduction to the 2018 Steam Summer Sale
  • Recent news that Steam is “officially” launching Steam in China
  • What the new Steam in China might look like
  • How we, as expats in China, expect to react to a new Steam China store
  • Purchases we made in the Steam sale
  • Reflection on the games mentioned below

Games Mentioned

  • Besiege
  • Dead Cells
  • Wolfenstein II
  • Late Shift
  • Kairo
  • Fallout New Vegas
  • Dying Light
  • Synthetik
  • Mario Tennis Aces

Links

Ep #26: The Beauty of Zelda’s Master Mode

In this episode we share our experience completing Breath of the Wild’s Master Mode, which is a hard mode included with the option DLC pack. Is Master Mode worth playing? Absolutely, but it includes some qualities you might not expect, which we reflect on.

Topics Discussed

  • Introduction to Master Mode
  • Background on both DLC packs for Breath of the Wild
  • The value of replaying the game a second time
  • Review of Amiibo card sets purchased on Taobao
  • Master Trials, Champion’s Ballad, and other DLC content review

Links

Ep #25: Horror & Survival Games, the History and Our Favorites

In this episode we share our favorite horror games of all time along with the history of the genre, including some recent releases available on Steam and modern consoles.

Topics Discussed

  • Description and overview of the horror and survival game genres
  • What makes suspenseful horror games so immersive
  • Origins of the genre, from Sweet Home to Resident Evil
  • The “Golden Age” of survival horror games, from 1996-2004

Games Mentioned

  • Resident Evil & Silent Hill game series
  • Dark Souls & Bloodborne
  • Alan Wake
  • Castlevania
  • Dead Space
  • SOMA
  • Friday the 13th
  • Dead by Daylight
  • Splatterhouse
  • Call of Duty: Zombies
  • Penumbra
  • Alien Isolation
  • F.E.A.R.
  • Blood (3D Realms)
  • The Evil Within

Ep #24: Examining the Civilization Series, Plus the Latest Civ VI Expansion

In this episode of the podcast we talk about the nearly 30-year history of Sid Meier’s Civilization series, and discuss the imminent first expansion of Civ VI, Rise and Fall.

Topics Discussed

  • Definition of Civ and the “4X” strategy genre
  • Changes to the series, going back to the 1991 original
  • Sid Meier’s role in Microprose and Civilization
  • Civ VI’s progress since its 2016 release
  • Civ VI on iPad at the $60 price point

Ep #23: Rise of the Survival Genre

In this episode we discuss the explosive popularity of the survival game genre, typified by PUBG. An exploration into the mechanics, themes, and settings which underpin some of our favorite recent survival games.

Note: this podcast includes chapters if you are listening with an app which supports podcast chapters. We recommend Overcast.fm for listening.

Topics Discussed

  • General themes of the online survival genre
  • History of survival games, on Steam and otherwise
  • The prevalence of Early Access survival titles
  • PUBG in China and abroad
  • Games like: Rust, H1Z1, The Long Dark, Minecraft, Ark, and more

Ep #22: Game Platforms Inside & Outside China

In this episode of the podcast we discuss merits of the most popular gaming platforms around the world, from Steam to WeChat, and more.

Topics Discussed

  • Desktop gaming platforms: Steam, GOG, Humble Bundle
  • Mobile gaming platforms: Apple’s App Store, Google Play
  • Emerging platforms like WeChat and mini-programs
  • Steam’s complex relationship with China
  • Recent banning of Steam Community in China
  • Proprietary platforms like Ubisoft’s Uplay and EA Origin
  • Controversy surrounding rights and DRM management

Ep #21: 2017 Games of the Year

In this episode we complete our year-end roundup of our top games of the year. Including some of the usual suspects mentioned everywhere (Mario, Zelda) along with some others you might not expect to hear about.

Topics Discussed

  • Why 2017 was a pivotal year for the game industry
  • Which company we think dominated the year
  • The emergence of the online survival genre and PUBG
  • Games mentioned in this podcast: Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey, Cuphead, Sonic Mania, Shadow of War, What Remains of Edith Finch, Tacoma, Getting Over It, Resident Evil 7, Wolfenstein II, The Evil Within 2, and more.

Ep #20: Nintendo Switch Plus Mario & Zelda

In this episode of the podcast we discuss the Nintendo Switch, the recently-released Mario Odyssey, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Note: this podcast includes chapters if you are listening with an app which supports podcast chapters. We recommend Overcast.fm for listening.

Topics Discussed

  • Recent developments on the Nintendo Switch as it heads into it’s first holiday season
  • Zelda: Breath of the Wild & Mario Odyssey as potential games of the year
  • Sonic Mania and the Switch’s growing catalog of indie games
  • What’s coming next for the Switch
  • What we’re playing recently

Ep #19: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in China

In this episode of the podcast we’re discussing the global smash hit PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and its complex and strange relationship with China.

Note: this podcast includes chapters if you are listening with an app which supports podcast chapters. We recommend Overcast.fm for listening.

Topics Discussed

  • Introduction to PUBG
  • Banned in China status
  • Unscripted moments in the game
  • Playing PUBG in internet bars
  • China & cheating
  • Creator of the game, “PlayerUnknown”
  • What we’re playing recently

Ep #18: Free to Play Mechanics

In this episode we talk about the free to play business model which has defined the modern mobile game landscape.

Note: this podcast includes chapters if you are listening with an app which supports podcast chapters. We recommend Overcast.fm for listening.

Topics Discussed

  • Introduction to the F2P business model
  • User acquisition
  • Retention
  • Monetization
  • Layering & abstraction
  • Variable rewards
  • Difficulty spikes
  • Whales

Ep #17: Gaming Myths & Urban Legends

In this episode we talk about some of the most well known myths and urban legends in gaming. Including Polybius, Earthbound, Ben Drowned, Braid, and more.

Note: this podcast includes chapters if you are listening with an app which supports podcast chapters. We recommend Overcast.fm for listening.

Topics Discussed

  • Polybius, the psychological experiment arcade game
  • Ben Drowned, the haunted Majora’s Mask cartridge
  • Hell Valley in Super Mario Galaxy 2
  • Street Fighter 2’s hidden character
  • Earthbound’s Mother conspiracy
  • Cows in Diablo II
  • Braid and the atomic bomb

Ep #16: SNES Mini & Beyond

In this episode we talk about the recently-released SNES Mini and highlight our favorite SNES games which were not included among the 21 game library included with the console.

Note: this podcast includes chapters if you are listening with an app which supports podcast chapters. We recommend Overcast.fm for listening.

Topics Discussed

  • About the SNES Mini
  • Why Chrono Trigger wasn’t included
  • Our favorite omissions: Metal Warriors, Actraiser, Sim City, Harvest Moon, Final Fantasy II, Pilotwings, NBA Jam, Tales of Phantasia, UN Squadron
  • What we’re playing recently (Cuphead!)

Ep #15: Killing Nazis in Video Games

In this episode we talk about killing nazis in video games.

Note: this podcast includes chapters if you are listening with an app which supports podcast chapters. We recommend Overcast.fm for listening.

Topics Discussed

  • About recent events in Charlottesville, VA
  • The history of nazis as villains in games
  • Morality & video game nazis
  • The old & new Wolfenstein games
  • Bionic Commando, Punch Out, and others
  • What we’re playing now

Ep #14: 20XX & This War of Mine

In this episode of the podcast we discuss two games which we recently raced to complete: 20XX & This War of Mine.

Note: this podcast includes chapters if you are listening with an app which supports podcast chapters. We recommend Overcast.fm for listening.

Topics Discussed

  • About This War of Mine
  • The moral anguish and hardship of survival
  • Overcoming obstacles in Eastern European war
  • About 20XX
  • What happened to Mega Man?
  • What’s going on at Capcom
  • Mighty Number 9 and 20XX exiting Early Access
  • What we’re playing recently

Links

Ep #13: Emulating Retro Games

In this episode of the podcast we open up about our arrangements and thoughts on emulating classic game consoles.

Note: this podcast includes chapters if you are listening with an app which supports podcast chapters. We recommend Overcast.fm for listening.

Topics Discussed

  • Our emulator setups
  • Front ends: Hyper Spin, Launchbox, Attract Mode, Retroarch
  • Emulation on the Raspberry Pi
  • Handheld emulation on the GPD Win
  • Benefits of Emulation
  • Glitches & Problems
  • CEMU & Breath of the Wild
  • Romhacks
  • SNES Classic
  • What we’re playing recently

Links

Ep #12: Game Development in China

Note: this podcast includes chapters if you are listening with an app which supports podcast chapters. We recommend Overcast.fm for listening.

In this episode Ryan and I talk about our experience working in China’s game industry.

Topics Discussed

  • China: “World’s Gaming Capital”?
  • How Ryan and I Got Started in the Gaming Industry
  • 996 and Overtime
  • Mimicry & Creativity
  • Mechanics & Monetization
  • F2P & Whales
  • Foreign Game Developers & China
  • Censorship & Regulation
  • Ryan’s Indie Game

Links

Ep #11: The GPD Win, Windows 10 Handheld

In this episode of the podcast Charlie reviews the GPD Win, a handheld Windows 10 gaming device.

Note: this podcast includes chapters if you are listening with an app which supports podcast chapters. We recommend Overcast.fm for listening.

Topics Discussed

  • Introduction to the device
  • Steam as a platform versus consoles
  • Hardware & build quality of the GPD Win
  • Running games on the device
  • Having a tiny Windows 10 computer
  • Downsides to the GPD Win

Links & Resources

Ep #10: Steam 2017 Summer Sale

In this episode we talk about the 2017 Steam Summer Sale, which we are right in the middle of.

Note: this is the first CGF podcast which has chapters to navigate through! We recommend Overcast.fm for listening.

Topics Discussed

  • Introduction to season of miracles
  • Psychology of the Steam Summer Sale
  • Steam China Store
  • Games on the GPD Win
  • Steam & Persistence
  • Recommended Games
  • Resident Evil 7 & Horror Games
  • This War of Mine Challenge

Ep #9: Zelda in China & Zelda: Breath of the Wild

In this episode we talk about Zelda & China, including the latest iteration, Breath of the Wild on the WiiU and Switch.

Topics Discussed

  • The scarcity of Zelda in China
  • How to buy Zelda
  • WiiU & region locking
  • The Switch launch & Breath of the Wild
  • Our favorite Zelda games
  • Breath of the Wild’s open world
  • Zelda’s horse temperaments
  • CEMU & emulating Breath of the Wild

Ep #8: Spring 2017 Games

In this episode of the podcast we discuss recent releases in early 2017, with games listed below.

Topics Discussed

Ep #7: Social Gaming & 75th CGF Event

In this episode we reflect on what makes a great social game, plus our 75th event.

Topics Discussed

Ep #6: 25 Years of Mortal Kombat

In this episode we recap our Mortal Kombat X tournament and talk about the series on its 25th anniversary.

Topics Discussed

  • The beginning of Mortal Kombat
  • The Mortal Kombat movies
  • 1990’s arcade culture
  • Missteps of the Mortal Kombat series
  • The story and lore as it has spread across 22 titles
  • Violence controversy and the U.S. Congress
  • Rumors of a 2017 Mortal Kombat film
  • The latest iteration: Mortal Kombat X
  • The potential future of Mortal Kombat

Ep #5: Our Favorite Sega Genesis Games

In this episode of the podcast we discuss our favorite Genesis games.

Charlie’s Favorites

Austin’s Favorites

Ep #4: Gaming in China

In this episode we talk about gaming in China specifically. Platforms, games, and China’s culture of gaming.

Topics Discussed

  • Steam & gaming platforms in China
  • Tencent’s newly-rebranded WeGame platform
  • China’s history with consoles
  • China’s legal and regulatory landscape
  • Publishers like Tencent and Netease
  • Western developers publishing games in China
  • Playing games online in China
  • The Great Firewall (GFW)
  • Internet bar culture in China
  • China’s Mobile Games

Ep #3: Our Favorite NES Games

In this episode of the podcast we discuss our favorite NES games along with news of the NES Classic being discontinued.

Charlie’s Favorites

Austin’s Favorites

Ep #2: Our Five Favorite Indie Games

In this episode of the podcast we talk about our 5 favorite indie games of all time.

Austin’s 5 Favorites

Charlie’s 5 Favorites

Others Mentioned

FirewatchTowerfallDownwellSuperhotBraidGone HomeKeep Talking and Nobody ExplodesFTLMini MetroDarkest DungeonLethal LeagueWand WarsAbzu.

Intro & outro music: Sync by Disasterpeace, on the Fez soundtrack

Ep #1: What is CGF?

In this, our first episode of the Chengdu Gaming Federation podcast, we introduce ourselves.

Topics in this Episode

  • Neo-Geo, SNK, and fighting games popular in Asia
  • League of Legends and China
  • How CGF started
  • 2-year history of the event in Chengdu
  • Tournaments we’ve hosted
  • Our personal backgrounds
  • DJ game music mixes
  • Game we’re playing now: Downwell and Darkest Dungeon

Intro & outro music: Miami by Jasper Byrne, on the Hotline Miami soundtrack