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A special episode with Justin McElroy

Polygon's Quality Control

27:51 min | 2 years ago

A special episode with Justin McElroy

"Startups governments and ninety percent of fortune five hundred companies are running on Microsoft cloud. Join them and find new ways to achieve more. Stay productive with familiar tools develop. And deploy where you want with a consistent hybrid environment and building gauging apps with intelligent features. Bring your ideas to life faster, push them further and scale them worldwide. Start your free count at Azure dot com slash trial. That's as E U R, E dot com slash trial. My name is Charlie hall. My name is Dave tack. My name is Justin McElroy, and you're listening to polygons quality. Dave and Justin. Thank you guys for joining me today for a very special episode of quality control, Justin, how're you doing buddy? I'm thrilled to be back here. Taking back my show in harmony hosting weekend week out I'm so excited to start just chipping away grinding out those episodes of quality control, y'all had done a great job in my absence. But I'm ready to take back the throne and crank this puppy out. Well, I am how do I how do I put this Justin? The I got good news bad news. The good news is, you know, the good news. If we try. China. The the goodness. We asked for factories back you in Griffin or on the YouTube channels. You guys have a new website and partnership with box media, all this great stuff is going on. But we are going to be putting quality control on a bit of a hiatus. And we're not going to be published in our episodes here quite as often as we have in the past. Dave, I agree with you. Yeah. It's I mean, it's not the quality control is not dead. But it is changing it, and you know, we wanted to have Justin back here to sort of Mark the end of what I'm officially calling right now quality control one point zero one point five if you count just in us taking over from Justin. But like we're going to evolve again, and I think the upshot of that is frankly, it's not going to be an every week show will still be around. We'll still have some episodes for big things. We'll talk about that more later. But yeah, we're changing. And we thought what what would be cooler than having Justin back on and sort of talking about quality control. And and how it's been involved in. You know, how it started and how it's not ending but changing again. Well, I'm failed to throw the be here. And it said to hear that. But I think y'all have done fantastic work in my stead. Listen every episode the all done, and it's been just. Just fantastic. It's been a real thrilled to not to get too schmaltzy. But when you make something the idea that it continues, even after you leave ag- is is very cool. It is it less cool than it ended some months later. Yes. Of course, would I have known for years and years, obviously. But it is it is very exciting. That y'all have done such such fantastic work and just a little bit of data about that the show just in the show. I believe began in two thousand fifteen the first. Yeah, I believe that is right. The first episode I think was shadow of more door if if I remember correctly with with one full colour. And yeah, that was our first first episode. But since then we've had this'll be our one hundred and ninety second episode and close to three million downloads all time from our listeners. We can't thank our listeners enough. Really? It's been such a joy to get the feedback from y'all and to bring you guys the program that we've brought you for these many years when he's four but just actually out sorry, I felt older than twenty four. That's an old. It's an old show. Yeah. But just and we we wanted to get you on really to talk about, you know, the original concept and the original inception of quality control. Take us back to this show that you created and why and what it was supposed to be halcyon days. When you work at a video game website. There is video games. One of the best like most fun conversations. He gets a have is talking to someone who is reviewing a game and sort of hearing the the scoop, you know, the skinny if you're not the first person to play it. It is really exciting to talk to the person who's his the first one to play it and get their sort of like unvarnished. Here's here's what I think, you know. And a lot of times you get the as review is evolving. You know, the reviews are much more. Thoughtful, I think measured and often a little bit more polished than what you get just talking to that talk to that person gain their first thoughts, and for me every time I've ever written a review I've had like a thousand points for every point I made in the review what you know, what I mean thought that those points were bad, but they just didn't belong there. And I love those conversations and for me, it was a way to sort of bring that conversation into a into a podcast. So that's part of it and partially. I think that they're reviewing of games is something that like I mean, my first job that was an actual permanent position was as the first reviews editor at joystick. I got the review program going there. We had not done that up until that point. And some of the I love and I find fascinating. And and I think that the story behind a review is. A lot more interesting. I think than even you know, if you're talking about a movie, there's a story there. I went and watched the movie, you know, but with a game, there's always this sort of like, eb and flow, where you're, you know, how do I feel about this is this may be a great moment in any. I used to love to talk about when you're doing a bad video game. There's a great moment that happens every time when you're when you have the realization where you're like, oh, wait a minute. This is a bad video game. And all my God. I'm gonna play all of this bad video game. So does it goes very early? So it's like four or five hours, and it's it's dreadful, and I love it. And so in Soviet as I love hearing about those moments where you're like, oh my God. I'm I'm stuck reviewing a bad game. And I think that that context is is really interesting for people who really care about care about games. What was sold very enjoyable for me though in the early days and kind of the middle period of qu-. Control. Was this concept of games as a service and games evolving over time? It was something that polygon really pioneered with our reviews program, where we would constantly be updating those reviews, and and you know, helping our audience understand how game was growing and being tended to by its developers and Puckett's quality control really became a place to have those kinds of you know, after the fact ongoing conversations about how what was like to live with and in a game over time. There really wasn't wasn't a place anywhere else to get that kind of information and a podcast. You've mentioned regrets of mine. Charlie. Thank you for bringing that up. I think my number one was calling it quality control because friend if you're gonna call a show quality control every you better never have an error in an episode. You'd better never have that oughta go or bad editing 'cause hachi it's right there waiting for people to walk through the door of why this show could use is a little quad. Nick. And then the technical challenges that that we've encountered over the years doing this whole thing. It's it's really remarkable. Usually as of course, you know, just and when you're doing a regular weekly podcast, generally, it's with the same people. And that is never the case. With quality control is always someone news. What is always a new hurdle of technical challenges and audio challenges. I really appreciate the work that Dave has put in this last year or two to really raise the level of our audio quality. Dave, it's been remarkable. What you've done to the sound of the show. Thanks. I, you know, I don't want to brag about any of that stuff. And I can immediately picture all of the people listening who hate how quality control zones, but but I definitely am an audio nerd, and I definitely like getting nerdy with shows and figuring out the best way to you know, a lot of this is going to be inside baseball. So I don't want to apologize. Every time. I say something inside baseball. But like. Imagine that you have somebody who has reviewed a game in owns a decent microphone, and they're recording in there. You know, sparse office in their house, and there's just the sound of everything they say echoing and bouncing around in like, that's not what I've always wanted out of a podcast is to to to the best of my ability to never let anybody know or be able to understand that they with what they're hearing came from anywhere. But like a studio, right? And that's that's my goal. And I get there. Sometimes sometimes it's just there is no amount of magic I have to to be able to create that illusion. But it is like a deeply nerdy. But always fun part of my week to to to dig in in sort of, oh, there's home on this track, and I can remove that. And nobody will ever know. But I'll always be. Proud of that that that kind of thing, you know, you mentioned that the technical hurdles with having new new people on every time. And that is absolutely was a was a headache. But it also touches on one of my favorite things about the show. One of the reasons the other reasons I wanted to do it is we have gotten so many. I'm saying still saying, wait. But I guess if we're talking in into tally, we got so many different voices on this show. You know, a lot of people their first podcast experience was was was going on quality control because it was whoever you know, is up to whoever had the the review. So I I really liked that about it. I got to talk to a ton of people on staff people who didn't work for us all over. So it was it was really cool. It it goes back to what you were saying earlier to Justin where like at the point at which we talked to somebody about a game. I say this when I talked to people who were doing guides for me is basically there at a certain point. You having played a game that isn't out yet. You become one of the world's foremost experts on that game. You know, things that other people don't you have insights that other people don't and sort of working them out writing a review is one way of doing it. But then quality control is and has always been something like the director's commentary for the review that you, right? Where you get to talk about the things that obviously are in the review. But also as I loot at to earlier some things that just couldn't make the cut, and then you bounce that off of a host or hosts and that invariably even for crappie games. Creates an interesting conversation. I think that's why to my mind, why quality control has has always worked because it's a it's a conversation between somebody who knows stuff and somebody who's curious about it. And you just sorta work it out on the air one of the things that I've been really proud to be able to do with quality control over the years, though, is it has been able to. To grow. I think with the scope, and the the the mission that polygon has grown into which is now to cover entertainment, and culture, and comics and movies, and TV were so much more than just a video game website these days, and I think that that's been really well reflected in the content that we've put out in quality control. Dave, I I look forward to the next Star Wars movie in part because we get to come on here to quality control and break it apart and really indulge in a couple of hour, long episodes and the same with the work that you've done for the marvel movies as well. And I want to let all our listeners know that that kind of stuff is going to be coming back to the quality control feet. So there's no reason to to drop off your overcast, your I tunes podcast subscription or anything. We're not. We're not going away. It really is a hiatus sort of a reframing of of what quality control is. And how often we do it. And interestingly enough, I think. Oh god. I'm going to want to apologize. Every time. I talk inside baseball here. I don't want to be self indulgent. But the police don't ignore everything before the, but is like we've been we've been around as polygon since twenty twelve and like the way that the that that not just video games, but the polygon has evolved in that time has is. I don't think anything I could have possibly predicted back when we were starting right? You know, Charlie you mentioned games as a service, but you also mentioned what have been our consistently. Most popular episodes of this of what began as a video game review podcast, which is the entertainment stuff, right? Getting getting the band back together and talking about Star Wars or Infinity war or even not like one of my favorite episodes of this year. If not my absolute favorite episode of this year was the one we did on fortnight. Which which essentially got a group of people together to try and explain and understand how fortunate became the world's biggest game. And like that was not the that wouldn't have fallen necessarily inside of the strict, we're review. No, we're talking doing a director's commentary for reviews podcast, but it made sense in. I think in the larger conversation in those were good. I'm happy with how they came out and they were well received. So you know, it's been a sort of evolution that. I I've been happy with and been proud to be a part of two in it. Also makes sense to be perfectly clear that like our efforts in quality control focus around those sorts of things as we move into the future. I would be remiss Justin though, if I didn't if I didn't try and poke your brain a little bit about what you've been playing lately, it's been awhile since we chatted you, and I've been all of a sudden, I'm. Senior show up on the PlayStation friends list. Play some games and things play few games. I've been trying to catch up for the best tease annual episode that we promised each other like a a Thanh Thien though, we continue to do. I think that's the word. Yeah. It's been a weirdly like busy into the year. Like, some some club bangers come out in December. I have really been enjoying Haiti's the new one from super giant. It's giving me kind of a dead cells e sort of vibe, it looks very different and is different a lot of ways. But is extremely extremely enjoyable if you'll played Haiti's not a bit. No, tell me about this. Yeah. So it's it's a you are the son of Haiti's, and you're trying to escape the underworld. And so it's a a rogue like in the sense that we tend to use wrote wide canal where it used to be very much about a lack of progress. But this is definitely one. We're like you are you are making progress. It is topped was isometric very sort of fluid combat with a lot of different options. You've got a bevy of weapons you choose one weapon to take in with you on each run. And so. There's a a bow. And there's a shield that can do like a a dash and you can throw like captain America, which is very fun. But as you play through your run, you encounter, a sort of beacons from a gods of Olympus who are rooting for you Hermes and Zeus, and what have you and they bestow upon you blessings, where usually you'll choose, you know, so you choose like, if you if you meet Zeus than he will give your tax lightning or give your magic spells lightning or give your special attack wreath or your shield lightning, or what have you and that sort of really shapes the way the rest of your run is gonna is gonna go. And while you are headed through the run your also collecting sort of we, you know, insert name of currency here purple junk that you can use to upgrade your abilities, and upgrade, your powers and keys. Can unlock new weapons to play with in a new skills? But there's also a sort of the super giant -ness of it is that each time when you return to the underworld after getting killed. There's a group of people who are still there Haiti's is right there. Your dad is not in any way approving of your journey through to try to escape the underworld. So he's like your dad trolls you every single time like, oh, you're back. How's it going pre- pretty bad? It seems and service is your basically your dog that you left your dad to watch. So you can like talk to service, and you can find gifts in the underworld you can give to those people back there. And they'll give you keep sakes you can take in. And they'll give you a bump in your in your abilities, or what have used very fun, very fluid. It's early access. So there's only like. I think four maybe five weapons right now that you can play with a spear and a shield and the bow and a sword, and you can so there's still like a lot of room to sort of to sort of grow. But it's really cool and really really fun and addictive. You just want to start Iran as soon as one ends. So I've really been enjoying it. This is the one that had the surprise wrecked. Yeah. Announcement at once right in the game. Yeah. So it's on now. I haven't been playing he's I think he's only on PC through the epic. The epic store store. Yeah. Okay. A little just cause four to just play just goes for a no digitally just goes three. Yeah. Did you play? Yeah. To play just cost too. That's the best one. We'll gay. Well, you are you know, what you're in for this one. It is like it's weird. I've always supposed to series. It's an odds with itself. It's got these insane mechanics and not a lot to do with them. I think the big evolution's in four our for me. There's two things one. You still got the sort of like us you're grappling hook to fly up in the air, and then hit the parachute to keep floating. And then use your wing suit to get extra distance your wing suit. Now has rockets on it. So you can just sorta shut pack around like, and it also shoots like missiles out of it. Great shirt went up. I don't know where he's hiding those. But find so that's that's very cool and fun. The other big thing is the grappling hook now has like. Discreet, load outs, which are comprised of there's like balloons, the you can get to lift things there are boosters which provide, you know, thrust. And there are there's a retract her that'll pull two things together. So you can customize a load out that like if I hit something with my grappling hook and attached to something else it'll pull them together. But then if I press up than it'll fire boosters and shoot it in the sky, and if I hold up, then it'll trigger balloons that will lifted in the sky, and then as you play through you unlock new upgrades for those like, you can make your balloons explosive or you can make it. So your boosters will fire horizontalising throw like ten of those on a car and do nothing except explode. Basically, I did have one on like I'm gonna I'm gonna hit this ramp with my thing. And I basically just my car started spinning wildly like a cheap. Firework purchase the fourth of July spinning around and then eventually exploiting Gill. But the the mission stuff is just like I- y'all had had to put a game in there. I guess I feel like one of these days they're going to figure out a way to capitalize on those wild mechanics that that are that make sense with the game. But this is this is not that time. No yet. I am. I. I so much enjoyed what you any other macaroni brothers have been doing since you guys parted ways with polygon. Tell me more about some of the stuff that you're doing with FOX though, we just launched a MAC the macaroni family, which is McElroy dot family. It is a site that we made sort of in partnership with FOX, and it is. Sort of finally like a website where we can put all of our johnke that my family makes got links to like buy stuff and our books and video series that we make podcasts and make and all that good stuff one of those video series. Of course being monster factory, which is part of this this partnership that we're bringing back monster factory and putting on both our YouTube channel and the polygon YouTube channel for a while because we wanted people to be able to find it. But MAs factories backs. That's been fun. If you've never checked out that series. There's never been a better time. Oh, but we've I don't know we made his website. It looks really cool and because it's powered by chorus. But you Lynn. I'll just let them whatever they want to. But it's very good as good as a fun website. And it was a fun thing to make. But that's McElroy dot family, and you can find all this stuff. My family makes there, which is just awesome. You know, Dave, I I've just wanted to also thank you for for in my partner here these last couple of months as we kind of we kinda ride this thing out. It's been really great to be able to share the responsibilities of this podcast with ya. And and like I was saying before you're editing, and your your audio skills are absolutely phenomenal have been such great asset. So it's been a pleasure, buddy. Thank you. It's it's the easiest thing in the world. I mean, that's what's I I worked in places the many places Eddie gency retail Bank for many years before I started appalling on and it has improbably been like six and a half years since. Everybody took a chance on me here. And the thing I never ever ever lose sight of. It's how much better paulie gone runs than any place. I've ever been and that is both because of the people who are in charge at polygon. But also because of the people who work at polygon like, we are we're friends, right? And I think that comes across it certainly comes across in, you know, hopping into the middle of a podcast that other people have done for years, and then it just going smoothly and being easy to transition into. And I didn't feel weird and nobody to the best of mine complained or at least loudly complained at us or me about being around in. It's just an easy working relationship. And I think sort of the best thing about podcasts, which is that you get to know the people, even if you don't know them. You know, personally, you get to know the voices in the their their personality. And it's something I've done in my life for many many years, and it's been sort of amazing to be part of that. I think in some small part for other people, right? And it's been great in easy to work with you to Charlie. And and I thank you for that. Amen one. Final thing though, adjust tonight, you mentioned taking a chance, Dave, Justin. Thank you for taking a chance on me six years ago. You're one of the first folks that I talked to in the interview process here at poly God. And you kind of plucked me out of the stream of applications that we got in here and help me make this massive life changing transition to this new line of work. And I can't thank you enough for that opportunity. But how both y'all are still some of the best best things. I've ever proudest proudest accomplishments in game journalism for me when I look back. I don't think about the year. No the. The the great stories being because. Right. A lot of them because I'm not very good journalist. But I don't think about that stuff. I think about like the people that I've I helped to bring into the to the field. And I think the feels infinitely better for both your presence. Thank you. I agree. And thanks more than anything to you at home for listening today until we've got another game to talk about another movie to talk about really anything at all. This is Charlie hall for Dave tack and Justin Maccarone. Thank you for listening to polygons quality control. You're listening to the vox media podcast network. The saddest ending of a quality control ever tau it. That's nice tell you do it by podcast. Yeah. Hell, yeah. Keeping up with your competition is important taking the lead with unmatched innovation. That's impressive. And that's what's possible. When you build your next generation of smart apps on Microsoft, Azure. Clear the way for unparalleled productivity with end to end development and management tools. Integrate cloud capabilities across your environment with the only consistent hybrid cloud. Discover transformative insights through artificial intelligence and real time data and scale across more global regions than you'll get from any other cloud provider because every business and every organization small and large old end new has something to gain by reaching beyond the limits of an on premises data center, what will you achieve when you come to the cloud? Get started with a free account and twelve months of the popular services at Azure. Dot com slash trial. That's Azure dot com slash trial. As E U R E. That was a good one. Is there anything we missed fellas that you want to wealth Rubik in their thing. Awesome.

Justin Dave tack Charlie Haiti baseball Microsoft YouTube Justin McElroy Azure dot director McElroy dot family China Charlie hall Griffin vox media Mark headache Thanh Thien editor Puckett