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Jeff Hanna

    The Mommy Gamers Podcast Episode 170: Of Eclipses and Uranus

    The Mommy Gamers Podcast Episode 170: Of Eclipses and Uranus

    For Episode 170 of The Mommy Gamers Podcast Carrie and Marcia are joined by Jeff Hannah, Principal Technical Artist at Volition Games to chat about the release of Agents of Mayhem. Jeff chats about all of the local community hype revolving around the game launch, and Carrie gets extra excited about all the Uranus jokes because #ButtStuff. The ladies introduce a new segment titled “You Know You’re Old When…”, everyone chats about their experience with the solar eclipse, and for some reason something about a poop emoji plunger Kickstarter made it in here too. An awesome listener question regarding the current trend of early access games turns into a really great discussion, which helped make this a very well balanced episode and one you won’t want to miss.

    Shout out to our newest Patreon supporter Dee Phair! If you love our show, and want to support us and get fun rewards including a shout out on the next podcast, you can join our Patreon community here.

    Also, you don’t have to come back here every week to get the latest podcast. You can subscribe to The Mommy Gamers podcast for FREE on iHeart RadioGoogle Play MusiciTunes and Stitcher or you can access The Mommy Gamers app through Podcast Box on iTunes or in the Amazon app store for Android. Don’t forget to catch the live streams on Twitch and follow them us on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook too!

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    Kerbal Space Program – Xbox One

    All of the excitement of exploring space. All of the frustrations of using a controller as a mouse.

    The Mommy Gamers Kerbal Space Program Xbox One

    Kerbal Space Program, an indie game from Squad, is a sandbox game that deals with building and flying things. Whether those things are rockets, airplanes, space planes, or interplanetary probes is entirely up to the imagination of the player. It’s an incredibly deep game that deals with physics aerodynamic forces, gravity, and orbital mechanics. All of that depth is beautifully abstracted away with a very simple snap together system for building aircraft and spacecraft.

    The core game mechanic is very satisfying; start with a cockpit, add a fuel tank, snap an engine to the bottom, and select a Kerbal pilot. Then go to the launchpad, fire up the engine, and see what happens. What will most likely happen will be an explosion. Maybe on the next launch you’ll actually send your Kerbal up, or in a general direction that is somewhat up, and then there will be an explosion. On your third launch that little green guy or gal is DEFINITELY going up, but then you’ll realize that you forgot to add in a way to separate the capsule from the fuel tank. So now your Kerbal is coming back down too fast and on top of explody things….explosion. For the fourth launch you put in a stage separator. Now when the engine runs out of fuel you smartly separate the capsule. It goes up higher, and higher, and then starts coming down. It’s then that you realize that a parachute would’ve been nice. Crash, then explosion.

    KSB3

    But, throughout all of this, something that absolutely shouldn’t happen in games does happen, you start to learn things. The iteration between build, launch, and explosion, is entertainingly short, and no loss is permanent in Kerbal. Soon enough you find yourself getting Kerbals to space, and then in orbit. After that you will find yourself docking things together in orbit. And then, leaving the safety of your home planet, Kerbin, to land on your moon, Mun. Then, quite literally, the solar system is the limit. Kerbal features nine planets with different orbits, gravities, and atmospheres. You can build craft to explore all of them. Whether or not you build craft that can return your Kerbals safely home is entirely up to you. You can play in a sandbox mode or a full career mode with space center management, an economy, research and development, and astronaut recruitment.

    For building your rockets and planes the collection of parts you can use is very deep. There are multiple types of each component. Along with capsules, tanks and engines there are solar panels, batteries, landing gear, and science experiments, just to name a few. If you head over to the aircraft hangar there are wings, tail fins, rudders, elevators, everything you need to make fully flyable airplanes and spaceplanes.

    Unfortunately for the console releases (this review is based on the XBox One release) the simplicity of everything is mired in a port that did nothing to adapt the game to a console experience. This is evident from the very first loading screen where the name of each file being loaded is shown to the user. Why? Even on the PC and Mac versions such information is of questionable value. But, at least on those platforms the user has the ability to look at the filesystem and find the files if something goes wrong. On the console providing filenames is useless. It does nothing other than enforce the fact that Kerbal Space Program is primarily a PC game. From there the experience with KSP on a console only gets more frustrating.

    The Mommy Gamers Kerbal Space Program Review Xbox One

    Dialogs, like picking graphical settings and saving and loading games, are not adapted to the console at all. Instead of navigating through options with the thumbsticks and buttons you are expected to use the left thumbstick to control an onscreen mouse pointer and the A button as a mouse left-click button. No thought or design work was done to change the interface for consoles.

    Text, of which there is quite a lot in KSP, is very small and hard to read. This is based on sitting on a couch which is about eight feet away from a sixty inch television.

    Building a rocket is frustrating. Again, the console controller has been relegated to emulating a mouse. Picking an object and moving it around is passable, but trying to position two objects close enough to each other that they snap together correctly is tedious. No consideration has been given to making the snapping system more user friendly on consoles. Building a simplistic rocket of less than a dozen parts was a struggle. I don’t feel I’d have the patience to snap together enough pieces to build a Mun capable rocket, let alone an interplanetary vessel.

    Kerbal Space Program is a deep game, with a career mode, space center management, research and development and, of course, rockets and lots of explosions. It’s designed in such a way that a player only has to expose as much of that gameplay as they want. It’s a wonderful game and I am a huge fan. If you want to play it and you only have an XBox One, please give it a try, even with the problems the basic porting effort has introduced. If you have access to a gaming PC or a Macintosh, play it on your computer. You will have a much more enjoyable experience exploring space.

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    Episode 91: Marcia Who?

    Episode 91: Marcia Who?

    Don’t worry Jeff Hanna, we definitely didn’t forget to mention that Kerbal Space Program finally has female Kerbals. This week the ladies also talk about GTA V Director’s Cut, the new Star Wars Trailer, Game of Thrones and lots more.

    Interested in supporting The Mommy Gamers? Earn exclusive rewards by becoming a patron on Patreon. Remember, you can subscribe to The Mommy Gamers podcast for FREE on iTunes and Stitcher or you can purchase The Mommy Gamers app through Podcast Box on iTunes or in the Amazon app store for Android. Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter, and Facebook too!

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    Episode 84: I Wanna Mount A Unicorn

    Ep84_IWannaMountAUnicorn

    This week Marcia, Desirai and Carrie are joined by Principal Technical Artist at Volition, Jeff Hanna. They talk about Heroes of The Storm, Alien: Isolation, Evolve, The Tile App, shiv toothbrushes, Hatoful Boyfriend and much much more.

    Interested in supporting The Mommy Gamers? Earn exclusive rewards by becoming a patron on Patreon. Remember, you can subscribe to The Mommy Gamers podcast for FREE on iTunes and Stitcher or you can purchase The Mommy Gamers app through Podcast Box on iTunes or in the Amazon app store for Android. Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter, and Facebook too!

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