Perhaps this should be “Tap vs. Ben,” or “Tap vs. Not-Tap,” since 47Games’ Ben Hoyt is not technically on the Tap-Repeatedly staff, but we don’t have a category for that and I wouldn’t want Ben to think we’re excluding him. He has, after all, contributed a Celebrity Guest Editorial for us, and we did recently do a fun podcast on the Mass Effect trilogy and Halo, er, quadrogy. The dude is an honorary staff member, and opened up some time to contribute slightly more than half a discussion of Microsoft’s May 21 Xbox One announcement – a lucky thing, since coverage of all the new consoles has been somewhat scarce around here. Now we have an honest to god game designer weighing in (one who’s shipped an Xbox 360 title or two). Suck it, IGN!
Ben Hoyt is an old friend and longtime industry veteran – he did a Celebrity Guest Editorial for us a while back, and has appeared as a guest star in some of my posts over the years. We’ve been meaning to do a sort of sweeping discussion of the Mass Effect series for some time now, and it’s ready at last!
Well do I remember the first time I met Ben. I’d written an article semi-attacking Roger Ebert for, you know, being Roger Ebert. And Ben, who’d apparently been a fan of my column, forwarded it to the great man, who in turn wrote me directly, politely agreed to disagree, and CC’d Ben on the missive. Then Ben and I got into email and we had a chance to grab some breakfast together at that year’s Game Developer’s Conference. Since then we’ve made a point to get together at any conferences we’re collectively at; I at least have about 450 pounds of fun when we hang out. Ben started at High Voltage Software, (where he produced Duel Masters), and then to EA (where he served as design director for Def Jam: Icon) to Emergent (where he launched demos showcasing the company’s famous engine GameBryo) to Paramount (where he tried desperately to get Hollywood morons to understand the gaming business), finally to 47Games, where he belongs – which is to say, his own company, a consultancy that will soon hire me focused on maximizing the synergy between games and movies.
I mentioned Ben a couple posts ago, when I wrote about Deadly Premonition. And I meant what I said: never have I known anyone who can disassemble a game experience better. To put it another way, Ben knows what the fuck he is talking about. And while we don’t always agree, one of the many things I love about him is that we both share the slack-jawed glee of loving games, even when we hate them. Ben and I have never had the opportunity to do this, but we could sit at a table, drinking and eating, and talk about games for… hell, 20 hours at least before we lost interest. He’s a good friend and a kindred spirit. You should definitely check out his blog .
Today, he’d like to share with you his thoughts on Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty, a game some of you might have heard of. Take it away, Ben!