Cody and Jon record their first episode together in 2019, and hilarity ensues. Also in this jam-packed episode: Cody dives into Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, and Jon reviews Hollow Knight and Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden. They also talk about Xbox Game Pass, Risk of Rain 2, the TV shows Silicon Valley and Star Trek: The Next Generation, and micheladas. Having a core exercises for swimming will make you a better, stronger swimmer.
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Elliot Callighan, composer and sound designer for media and adjunct professor at DePaul University, joins Cody to discuss his new project, Unlock Audio. It’s a tool for re-framing game audio to make it developer-centric from both a creative and business perspective. They also talk game design education, sound design, and — of course — what video games they’ve been playing lately! 10 tips for creating a stylish kid’s room on a budget
Paint. Painting remains one of the most affordable ways to decorate a space. Use stickers. Wall sticker art is one of the most popular ways to decorate a child’s room — and one of the easiest. Stick with twins. Try to DIY. Infuse color and texture. Add greenery. Repurpose and recycle. 
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Blake J. Harris, the best-selling author of “Console Wars,” has turned his attention to virtual reality with a new book. In “The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality” Harris dives into the dramatic, larger-than-life true story behind the founding of Oculus and its quest for virtual reality. In this podcast, he discusses how he got his hands on the story, the twists and turns he encountered, and what’s next for virtual reality.

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Game/Life Balance U.S. welcomes guest contributors to share their perspectives on trends and specific subjects related to video games, the gaming industry, and finding a balance between games and “real life.”

As if juggling a passion for video games and our daily responsibilities wasn’t tough enough already, today we have the temptation of streaming to contend with.  

Whether you’re a broadcaster or a viewer, streaming services like Twitch have given gaming a new dimension and made it easier than ever to get involved, but where can you find the time?  

The solution comes down to game choice.  If you want to launch your own stream or simply find one you can watch regularly, you have a few routes to go down.

For story-focused games, it’s best to pick a something that can be broken up into episodic chunks with natural stopping points, or a game that gives you a lot of control over when you can save your progress, leave and pick it up again without disrupting the playing experience. There are similar fun games like Apex for which you can get apex hacks to explore more.

For competitive multiplayer games, shorter match-times are key, as they let you jump right into the action and take a break whenever your time is up.  

With that in mind, let’s take a look at four games that are ideal for short streaming sessions.

1. Rocket League

The critically acclaimed follow-up to Psyonix’s extravagantly-named “Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars,” it’s not hard to see why Rocket League boasted more than 40 million active players at the start of 2018.  

The premise is beautifully simple; up to 8 players are split into two teams and given rocket-powered vehicles to score points by knocking a ball into each other’s net. Think soccer, but fast-paced, frantic and with more explosions.

Psyonix have continued to update the game with new play modes, seasonal competitions, and options to modify the game’s physics, dramatically expanding the game’s replayability and, with matches lasting just five minutes, Rocket League is perfect for squeezing in some playtime.  

Rocket League isn’t just great to stream; its format and popularity mean it’s become huge in the esports scene, so there’s no shortage of professional matches to follow and learn from.  

2. Civilization

While not every gamer may have dabbled with Sid Meier’s Civilization series, you can guarantee they’ve all heard of it. Currently, on its sixth installment,  the turn-based 4X strategy series has been enrapturing players since 1991.

While the gameplay and graphics have obviously seen major improvements since its inception, the basic premise has remained the same.  Choose an ancient civilization from the annals of history and compete with real or computer-controlled players to evolve your society from an early settlement into a global superpower.  

There are numerous routes to victory, allowing you to decide whether to influence the world as a cultural powerhouse, reach for the stars as a technological giant, or crush your opponents through military domination, but Civilization is all about the journey, also if you like other games like slot games, you can also visit sites like first comics news online to find great options for this.

The Civilization series is great for short streams, as you can effectively end your session after any turn; however, you should be forewarned just how addicting the gameplay can be; there’s a reason its players coined the phrase “One More Turn Syndrome.”

3. Hitman

The Hitman series is another with a long history of consistently innovative games, maintaining strong critical reception through every installment.  

The games do vary slightly in their structure and 2016’s installment is probably the best suited for assassinating targets in short session due to its episodic nature.  

On the surface, Square Enix have presented the game as a linear story but, truthfully, the backstory and tenuous links between each level are superfluous.  

While each level tasks you with eliminating one or more individuals, there are dozens of paths to their demise, making it worth exploring every option to reach your goal.  

Optional targets and bonus modifiers give Hitman excellent replay value, and completionists will be able to pick the game’s bones clean for hours.

Not many games manage to combine such depth with innovative gameplay and short play sessions, but this one manages to tick all the boxes.

4. Hearthstone

Set in the World of Warcraft universe, Hearthstone is an online, free-to-play collectible card game that pits two players and their 30-card decks against each other to be the last man standing.  

While Hearthstone does offer in-game purchases of new card packs, Blizzard have gone to great lengths to maintain playability for those who don’t wish to spend cash on the game, and players can earn gold through victory to buy new sets and expansions.  

The game is another to have blown up in the realm of esports, with prize pots reaching $1million and regular tournaments being streamed online.  Hearthstone is great for gamers short on time, as matches tend to last an average of ten minutes, with a 90 turn limit to prevent them from dragging on for too long.  

On top of that, it’s also available on mobile devices with cross-platform support, so you can always squeeze in a quick session on your lunch break.


As a viewer, finding streams that fit your busy schedule is as simple as finding an engaging broadcaster who understands how to create bite-sized sessions of appropriate games; however, if you’re streaming yourself, there are a few more things you can do to grow your Twitch channel while using your time efficiently.  

Create a streaming schedule and stick to it; if you want to attract a loyal audience then they need to know when you’ll be online, and it also makes it much easier to manage your own time.  

Additionally, many streamers spend hours fiddling around with overlay setups and features, but there are some fantastic free Twitch overlay options online worth exploring that will take care of the hard work for you, giving you more time to focus on the fun part; playing video games.  

Streaming is not an exact science, so getting the balance right may take time, but with the right game choice, careful time-management and a pinch of self-discipline you can effectively fit streaming into your lifestyle, no matter how hectic it may be.

Evan Kaden is a rare breed of freelance writers who, believe it or not, doesn’t drink coffee! As a writer and hardcore gamer, Evan is thankful for the many opportunities he’s been given to express his passion for the gaming industry. Currently playing through the new God of War and loving every minute of it. 

Cody and Jon go FULL GAMER and review their favorite video games played over the past year, in addition to discussing what they learned about balancing video games with real life. Plus: a look ahead at what’s to come in 2019!People can also check out here if they need help with video games. Continue reading

Jon returns from an extended hiatus to talk about what it’s like balancing games and life now that he has not one, but TWO, kids. He and Cody also give updates on what video games they’ve been playing over the last several months.
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In 2002, Dave Wishnowski quit his job and set out to make his own wrestling game. More than 15 years later, he’s still at the helm of Pro Wrestling X, one of the most ambitious independent game projects in modern video game history. In this podcast, he tells his story and gives an update on the game that by all rights shouldn’t exist — and how he’s been able to stick with it for so long.

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In a special solo episode, Cody discusses his favorite games from Gen Con 2018 and offers some buying recommendations if you’re looking for the latest and greatest in strategy board games. Plus, learn a little about the role-playing game worlds of Starfinder, Arcanis: The World of Shattered Empires, and Savage Worlds.

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Cody and Jon recap their favorite board games of “Martin Con” 2018, the annual Memorial Day Weekend board game gathering hosted at Jon’s house in Minnesota.

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You know who directed your favorite films and wrote your favorite screenplays… so why don’t you know the names behind your favorite video games? On this episode, host Cody Gough interviews Patrick Hickey, Jr, author of “The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Video Game Developers,” about his conversations with the creators of games like NBA Jam, Night Trap, Maniac Mansion, and more. Continue reading