Ghost Story Games

Irrational Behavior Episode 10: Best Games of 2011

on March 16 2012


At Irrational, it’s likely no surprise that we play a lot of games. In this podcast, Level Designer Shawn Elliott talks to folks in the studio about which games in 2011 inspired them, gave them new professional insight, or maybe just introduced them to new ways to grief their friends. Listen as we wax philosophical about how Dead Island’s reward loop hypnotized us, how Naughty Dog inspires us with their voice over recording process, and how Modern Warfare 3’s weapon mechanics satisfied and delighted us. You’ll also hear how the complex decisions we had to make in Deus Ex fascinated us as gamers and game designers, and the lessons we learned about ourselves as people while playing Skyrim.

  • Part 1: Dead Island – Shawn Robertson, Nate Wells
  • Part 2: The Use of Voice Over in Games in 2011 – Jim Bonney, Jeff Seamster
  • Part 3: Deus Ex – Forrest Dowling, Alexx Kay, Ken Strickland
  • Part 4: Modern Warfare 3 – Ray Holbrook, Dan Scholten
  • Part 5: Skyrim – Ken Levine, Sarah Rosa

Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section below!

iTunes Link

Direct Download Episode 10

Irrational Podcasts RSS Feed

  • Podcast produced by James Bonney and Elena Siegman.
  • Editing by Ant Bear Audio.

Podcast music provided by:

  • George Glass
  • The Monolaters
  • Taxpayer
  • Elena Siegman
Posted on March 16 2012 11:18 am, under Insider, Irrational Behavior
Insider Irrational Behavior
Tagged as: , ,

Comments (10)

Expand all | Collapse all
  • jayakers | March 16, 2012 8:57 pm

    Avatar Image

    Listening now…. awesome!

    No log in, no ratey!
  • japester | March 16, 2012 11:24 pm

    Avatar Image

    Really enjoyed Ken and Sarah’s comments about Skyrim. Particularly Sarah’s reticence to speak to anyone for fear of accumulating more quests. LOL. I feel exactly the same way when I play. And Ken struck a chord with his comment about getting older and changing his approache to choices and consequences. Just in the past year or so, I gave up obsessive saves and started venturing farther down various game paths “without a net”. I don’t know why.

    I’d love to hear more about how Irrational plans their games in regards to predicting various player levels of exploration and experimentation. It was briefly touched on at the end of this podcast. It’s something I’ve thought about a lot–how some gamers browse and sample what a game has to offer while others must explore every nook and cranny (a behavior those same people would probably never exhibit in real life). And how the latter behavior can sometimes be a gamer’s own worst enemy by ruining the experience.

    No log in, no ratey!
  • wolfadex | March 17, 2012 10:59 am

    Liked hearing Shawn, Ken, and Sarah talk about how people play games. I’m more in the boat of just going with whatever happens. I became a vampire in Oblivion and just went with it. I have a friend though that plays Tactics Ogre for PSP and he loves it because it allows him to easily play through every possible ending.

    No log in, no ratey!
  • rye0077r | March 17, 2012 6:01 pm

    Avatar Image

    Great podcast, but how is it that in 40+ minutes of talking about 2011’s most innovative (?) games Portal 2 is not mentioned once? I call shenanigans!

    Seriously, though, I always enjoy hearing about what the Irrational team are playing.

    No log in, no ratey!
    • japester | March 17, 2012 9:52 pm

      Avatar Image

      Portal 2 was fantastic, but it stuck extremely closely to the Portal formula. Other than the co-op, it was more of the same. Not a bad thing by any measure, but also not very innovative, at least IMHO.

      No log in, no ratey!
  • borrego | March 17, 2012 6:52 pm

    Avatar Image

    Dead Island really was bad ass. The progression of the combat kept me wanting more. GREAT game. Didn’t play the others, but Skyrim is magic. That game takes me places. It’s an amazing journey. My obsession with completing everything in it has me at over 200 hours now. Of course, there’s no way to complete it, but I like that part about it.

    No log in, no ratey!
  • qubodup | March 19, 2012 8:46 am

    I love your podcasts, they top on the list of all the game dev podcasts that I know.

    You should consider the implications of saying phrases like “gives me a boner”, comparing co-op horror games to group porn-watching and comparing choices to marrying a woman. On one hand there’s seriousness and maturity, on the other hand the last example makes you seem to assume there are no heterosexual women or homosexual men in the community of this podcast’s listeners.

    I’d love to hear you talk about issues you with gender you witnessed in your studio, your games and your player community. If that topic interests you, here are possibly inspiring talk recordings: Females on Female Characters, Harassment in Online Gaming.

    PS: That weapon talk… D: thanks for fading that out!

    No log in, no ratey!
  • marksmith | March 19, 2012 12:10 pm

    I’m going to assume that the various qualities discussed in the podcast are the same qualities that you are striving for in Infinite. From what little I know about the game so far, it certainly seems that way.

    If you take a step back, the best aspects of the games you are talking about could be trimmed, improved, and rearranged to create a truly brilliant video game, something close to perfection within its genre.

    No log in, no ratey!
  • felonious | March 20, 2012 3:46 am

    Avatar Image

    Great Podcast – Glad to hear Dead Island getting some love!!!! Still need to get too Skyrim, forget about being afraid of talking to people in a village to avoid more quests, I’m afraid to put it in my xbox disc drive!

    No log in, no ratey!
  • taylormanz | March 21, 2012 1:46 am

    Avatar Image


    No log in, no ratey!

© 2010 Irrational Games. All rights reserved. 2K Games