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Bastion

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I love sharing things I think are cool with the world, so linking to the new Xbox summer indie game Bastion would be a no-brainer because it is TRULY awesome.  It has all the great qualities of a throwback Nintendo game with the artistry of more recent indie hits like Braid and Limbo.  It’s an easy entry game to the non-gamer, and challenging, fun ride for the more experienced.  Truly it’s just QUALITY. (And no one paid me or asked me to say/write that, haha).

But WHY I’m linking it in detail here is a story that goes back to when I was 12.  Sit down children for a, er, relatively long blog tale.  😀

Quick summary, I was homeschooled as a kid and didn’t have a ton of friends because we moved around a lot due to my dad’s military training, so I was on the internet (or what we CALLED the internet back then) when I was VERY young.  BBSs, Compuserve, anything I could reach other people with technology with, my parents let me and I took it.  So when a new service called Prodigy came out, where you could mail messages to friends and post on “forums” with a “handle” (!!!!), it was the greatest thing of my life!

On that service, I joined a forum called the Ultima Dragons, and there I formed amazing friendships with many people I never ever met that filled me days with geek joy.  We loved video games and we shared that with each other (and really bad fan-fic if I remember too, haha).

Some of these friends were particularly close, and we would form private mailboxes JUST to send each other messages that popped up more instantaneously (because the lag on the actual mail was HORRENDOUS).  One of these people was named Greg Kasavin (@kasavin on Twitter).  At like 12 and 14 respectively I think, we would send pen-pal notes back and forth about the Ultima games we loved, books we read, and inadvertently our dreams about adulthood:  I wanted to be an actress, he wanted to create video games.

We lost touch during college, and never actually met until we were adults, I discovered his name on a GameSpot blog post and reached out.  Later, he went to work for EA while I was in LA trying to be an actor.  We would email occasionally, catching up, and when he emailed me last year and told me he was going indie and I was so proud of him, but aware of the huge risk he was taking making a company, writing a game and creating IP from scratch, especially with a family to support.  But the fact that he was following that dream to be a game CREATOR, reminded me of those notes we sent back and forth when I was 12, and I knew in my heart he was doing what all of us should be doing: Following a dream.

Well, a year later, that game Bastion is releasing tomorrow on Xbox, and it’s won TONS of awards, you can see on their website SuperGiantGames.  I am so SO excited for him and his team!

I hope Greg isn’t shuddering at this blog entry, but I wanted to share this awesome story with you guys about how proud of him I am, and how great his game is.  Bottom line, life goals DO come true.  And Bastion rocks. 🙂

  • Cool story. Downloading tomorrow!

  • Kevin

    “…that filled me days with geek joy”

    Arr! Methinks you’ve been spendin’ too much time at Cheesy Beard’s!

  • Rob

    Ah, the Ultima Dragons; very cool that you’ve kept in touch with some of your friends there after all these years… I am still friends to this day with some of the Ultima Dragons that I played Ultima Online with, and likewise hope no one sees the fan fic. 😉

  • Patrick Casey

    Great memories. You were kindred souls following your own dreams. Congratulations Greg!

  • That is a really sweet story. Look at both of you achieving your dreams and more. I’m going to take it as inspiration.

    I remember my early days on the net. It was AOL for me. Role playing (SIMming, heh) in chat rooms and learning my first html to manipulate my user profile. Wow. That was already fifteen years ago.

    Great post. It made me nostalgic.

  • That’s because Greg is the best. Loved his quick cameo in The Guild season 1. Wish I could’ve been friends with you two.

    • It’s about time seomone wrote about this.

  • What a nice story. That made me happy. Thank you.

  • Greg Kasavin is my favorite person in the whole video game industry. I miss his reviews so much. Thanks for sharing this story and impressions while I wait for the PC version of Bastion.

  • Amy

    Inspiring story! Just what I needed to hear.

  • Dana

    Great post. I’m fortunate enough to sometimes work with the guy who did the audio for Bastion (Darren Korb) and I played a preview of it at his apartment a couple months ago. The game really is something incredible and I’m looking forward to digging into it tomorrow.

  • Geeko

    In moments like that I really envy people who have Xbox… or any other console. What is positive is that, today places like Xbox live, Steam and similar make possible for games like that to achieve something. And I envy you. Even that we have web, even that I choosed IT studies I still can’t find anyone to talk about games a little more seriously. Of course people can say a few things about newest products but when they realize that I’m intrested in something more, that my hobby is history of games or their “insides” they treat me like a weirdo… ech life is brutal :P.

  • r351574nc3

    Yeay for being homeschooled! Me too! Homeschooled kids are the best!

  • r351574nc3

    Oh, also that trailer looks awesome! Definitely looking forward to this game after that!

  • There’s no Like button :/ Cool story, it’s always nice to see when childhood dreams come true 🙂

  • Steven Cain

    Any idea if the game will ever make its way to the PC or the PS3? I’d love to check it out if it does!

  • Sken

    This blog post made me very happy. Not only can I relate as I was home schooled too and remember those different facets of the internet to connect with people; I too know the feeling of following a dream. I’m not there yet and have had many set backs, but I hope to never give up and keep striving for the goal. Thanks for the wonderful post and encouragement that came with it. Will definitely check out this game.

  • Tristan

    Kinda hate to say that I hadn’t even heard of Bastion before now but I’m thinking it looks like a must-have. Plus I hafta appreciate the indie thing being an aspiring game designer myself. Let’s see, what else…? Oh yeah, homeschoolers unite! Awesome to find out you were homeschooled too; we were always so much cooler than those public school kids, in our own, usually uber-geeky, way.

  • David

    With your post about this, and @CWGabriel’s (penny arcade) tweet about this, I just logged in to the xbox site and bought the game, it will be waiting for me when I get home 🙂

  • Joshua Bevier

    I love this post! Have fun at Comicon!

  • Jack

    Felicia I love coz you are so hot I mean when I look at u when I watch the guild I just admire u totally. Love u xx can’t wait till season 5 comes out

  • Wren

    I hadn’t really thought about trying Bastion, but I downloaded it because of this blog post and I’m loving it!

  • I downloaded this game over the weekend. Mostly due to Felicia mentioning it. I have played it for several hours. It is hard to put down. Very engrossing and entertaining. Definite must get for XBL. Thanks Felicia for pointing it out!

  • Lyman

    You should check out the making of Bastian videos:
    http://www.giantbomb.com/news/a-look-back-at-building-the-bastion/3499/

    It’s crazy how this was done in a guy’s house and Greg had to drive so far just to meet up with the rest of his team.

  • Nice story! Love seeing dreams come true.
    I also remember those days long ago – of course, I am about 10-15 years older than you, so I remember the “WELL” (whole earth ‘lectronic link) and actually owned part of one of those BBSs of which you speak (Galacticomm BBS, 50+ lines, 24CDs of content!).
    It is interesting to see how many of the early adopters are involved in games, computers, web and such.

  • Stephanie

    Reading this just filled me with complete and total glee. That is awesome, and congratulations to you and Greg both for fulfilling your dreams! As someone who’s still muddling through her own aspirations, I hope you know it’s inspiring to hear about your achievements.

    It’s also really nice (and surprising!) to hear someone so in the public eye talk about forming friendships online, you never hear anyone admitting to reading fanfic or foruming, haha. It’s kind of refreshing to relate to someone on that level (and I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like that!). I hope some years down the line I can say the same things that you’ve said in this blog about myself and the talented people I’ve encountered, both online and offline. 🙂

  • Brandagon

    I was a Prodegy kid too, I remember trying to tell the other kids in school about how I would play Mad maze, or gemstones3, or write emails. =D

    It was so crazy, because back then the internet seemed so small but it was so much easier to connect with people. Now its so big and just finding a couple of people to talk to can be super difficult. I remember how I use to love going in the chat rooms and having tons of people to RP with and how that later translated into my love of storytelling.

    I just watched all the full seasons of the guild the other day on netflix and I was lucky enough to watch doctor H. I didn’t realize you were in the guild until after I plugged in to episode one.

    Thanks for working so hard and really following your dreams!

  • Ethereal235

    That game did kick ass. Especially the soundtrack. I’ve listened to the OST more times than any other OST I’ve listened to.

    Always wary of folks saying to follow a dream. Only people who say that are people who didn’t bother and are unfulfilled or people who did and met success. People that chased their dreams and found a bunch of dead ends tend not to talk about it. You’re both lucky to have found success. Or competent. I suppose success usually requires a good bit of both.

  • What a great post about following your dreams! It goes to show that if you work hard enough you can be successful in any field from video game creation to acting. Or in your case you can meld the two! I’m going to check out Bastion – it looks like the type of game I would like. The narrator’s voice on the intro is stellar by the way.

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  • J

    Bastion is on sale today (5/2) on Steam, for just $6

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