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Finding older videos on our site can be tricky, so this is the third year now that I've rounded up my favorite videos from the last year in a handy list. I'm not including any Replay, Super Replay, or Test Chamber episodes since Jason Oestreicher produces most of those and I haven't seen every episode (sorry), so this list consists only of the videos that I produced. I'm sorry that this post is self-indulgent, but I hope to honor the people in the videos and not the video production itself. Feel free to check out the lists from 2012 and 2011, or dive in to the new list below.
10. Gamescom's Best Games And Biggest News
This year marked the first time I travelled to Germany for Gamescom and I had a blast, largely thanks to Ben Reeves, Tim Turi, and Mike Futter. We also shot a really fun tour of the packed show floor, but this video covered the most ground and provides the most thorough look at the whole crazy experience. I've always wanted to film a video discussion over a meal (ever since seeing this old 1up video) and I love that the discussion loosens up and goes off the rails about half-way through.
9. How to Become a Professional Lego Builder
I had a great time traveling to England with Lego super-fan Jeff Cork for our Lego Marvel Super Heroes cover earlier this year, and this video is my favorite of the batch. Carl Greatrix does an amazing job of building out all of the in-game models for Traveler's Tales and it was great to ask him so many nerdy questions about the whole process.
8. David Cage, Ryan Payton, And Yu Suzuki Talk Storytelling
I've been a fan of Ryan Payton since his days hosting the Kojima Productions podcast that built up excitement during the development of Metal Gear Solid 4, and I've heard him discuss his appreciation for Heavy Rain several times throughout the years. Although I think that Sony was a bit confused about what was happening, I lined up a one-on-one interview between Payton and Cage to discuss game design and storytelling. Ryan Payton mentioned in an e-mail that he smuggling in a "very special guest", but I had no idea that it would be the creator of Shenmue Yu Suzuki. I originally left any mention of Suzuki out of the story because I was hoping that every viewer would say "wtf" when the camera whips around to reveal him sitting in the shadows. I don't know, I thought it was fun. This was filmed during the chaos of E3 but I'm really happy that we were able to make it happen.
7. The Public Decides: Xbox One Vs. PlayStation 4
Last year the Great Ben Reeves and I walked around Minneapolis asking people if they knew about the Wii U, I was really happy with the finished video and even Editor-in-Chief Andy McNamara kept asking us to make more videos in that vein. After the deluge of news at E3, we walked around the too-friendly streets of Minneapolis again and asked people what they knew about the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. I'm always genuinely curious what the "average" person knows about these new consoles, and Reeves does a great job of weaving in absurd humor along the way. With both this and the Wii U video I was skeptical of how they would turn out after four hours of wandering around filming, but I always end up enjoying them. Now we just have to figure out what topic to cover next year...
6. The Collaborative Music of Destiny
I never thought that my job would require me to decide how many Paul McCartney stories are too many to include in a video. Marty O'Donnell and Mike Salvatori were fantastic interviewees, full of energy and ready to talk, and I think that the finished video is really fun to watch. We filmed for a full hour and I cut it down to the five-minute video above, so maybe at some point in the future I could release a longer cut for the Destiny and Paul McCartney fans out there.
5. The Mind of Mark Cerny
Crash Bandicoot 1 is one of my favorite games of all time, so I took the opportunity to interview Mark Cerny very seriously. He has one of the best perspectives on the entire history of the industry and I knew that viewers could learn a lot from him. Beforehand I re-watched every lecture or presentation he has given and labored over my notes. There were plenty of dead-ends in the interview, like when I tried talking to him about the Oculus Rift or which developers out there deserve more recognition, but I'm really happy that other people seemed to enjoy the interview above.
4. Take a Tour of E3 2013
Sometimes things just click into place. This tour of E3 2013 with Dan Ryckert and Jeff Cork was bizarre. Maybe this is just a testament to the insanity surrounding E3, but we kept stumbling into perfect scenarios: cameos from Phil Kollar, Harmonix's John Drake, and the comedian Nick Swardson right next to a guy looking at pictures of butts with his Google Glass. For the record, I spent fifteen minutes trying to convince Dan to speak with Mr. Google Glass because he was too shy to ask him if he could use it. I think the video is a great time-stamp for one of the best E3s in a long time with the build up to the launch of the new consoles, also Jeff Cork is very funny.
3. Watch Steve Wozniak Dominate Tetris
Bryan Vore, Ben Reeves, and I were walking back to our hotel room in Montreal while on the Thief cover story trip when I saw somebody in the hotel lobby that looked very familiar. Bryan tried to convince me that it was just a random larger gentleman, but I went up to him and made sure that it was the co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak. I asked him if we could get a video interview at some point during his stay and he invited us into his hotel room to speak for an hour about his history with video games, it was really weird. He was the nicest man in the universe, but he had a strange motor in him that never stopped. It sounds odd, but for the sake of literal gaming history I posted the full video interview with him online and also a shorter cut that focuses on his work creating Breakout with Steve Jobs for Atari.
2. The History of Ready at Dawn
When visiting a studio for a cover story, PR handlers put very strict barriers on the few details that developers can discuss for their upcoming game. This is why I love to look to the past. Developers are always more open, honest, and sincere when talking about the studio's history. This video feature on Ready at Dawn was the largest that I produced this year and I cannot thank Andrea and Ru from that studio enough for opening the doors to a great conversation and supplying old photos and videos from their history. If you're also a sucker for videos on the history of game studios, you might enjoy the similar videos I made this year for TT Games and Lego Star Wars, Respawn and Titanfall, the origins of Infamous, and the history of WB Montreal and Batman: Arkham Origins.
1. Peter Molyneux Dissects The Walking Dead with Sean Vanaman
While you unfortunately might be more familiar with the video we shot after this one that has Dan speaking with Molyneux about fart apps, this long conversation between Peter Molyneux and the co-creator of Telltale's The Walking Dead Sean Vanaman is exactly what I was hoping for. This whole thing started a couple of years ago when I paired up Notch and Bethesda's Todd Howard for an impromptu conversation, I decided to revive the format at E3 this year and asked Vanaman if he'd be interested in choosing another developer. He gave me a list of developers, which included friends of his like XCOM's lead designer Jake Solomon, and at the top of his list in all capital letters was "PETER MOLYNEUX". He later said that this was more of a joke than anything else and that he didn't expect it to happen, but sure enough I contacted Molyneux and he was gracious enough to spend two hours speaking on camera. The entire exchange was a delight, there were no PR handlers and they were enthusiastic to pick each other's brains. As you can see in the video, they forget or aren't even sure if the cameras are rolling, which is the best case scenario for a relaxed conversation between developers. This turned out to be somewhat of an exit interview for Vanaman's time at Telltale since he soon thereafter formed a new studio with friends called Campo Santo. The real miracle was finding such a quiet and well-lit location inside the convention center during E3, everything worked out beautifully. My thanks again to Vanaman and Molyneux for going along with such a strange idea for a video.
Thanks for reading through the list, I hope you found something that you liked and learned a thing or two from the videos! Be sure to leave a comment below or contact me on Twitter letting me know what you liked or didn't like this year and what you'd like to see in the future!
Email the author Ben Hanson, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.