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News from July 2013

Final Fantasy VI is Great: The CoNcast Episode 11

As promised earlier today, we've got a nice little snippet of a podcast for you. It's shorter than usual, and probably a little more roughly edited, but we wanted to give folks some media to listen to both because it's a big day for us here at CoN, but also because I'm going on vacation soon and didn't want to leave our many subscribers hanging.

Today's episode, in honor of both CoNniversary and the relaunch of the Final Fantasy VI section, is just about how great Final Fantasy VI really is. Obviously, this could cover a great many podcasts (and over time, I suspect it will!), but for today we just wanted to talk a little, in broad strokes, about the things that made us all fall in love with it over the years. For this, we got the original CoNcast group together for the first time in a few months, and I, Tiddles, lasz and DP spend an afternoon touching on a few things that keep us coming back to the game.

This one is a nice quick listen, so if you've never tried one of our podcasts before, or just love Final Fantasy VI, you should give it a try in honor of the site's 16th birthday. Let us know what you think and we'll be back with a new episode in a few weeks!

Source: The CoNcast Subscription Feed, The CoNcast on iTunes
Posted in: CoNcasts

CoNniversary 2013! Now with More Final Fantasy VI!

Caves of Narshe Site News
No pomp, no circumstance this CoNniversary, sorry. We've been a machine of late, and that carries over to this year's birthday message. Of a one-track mind, that is to say, and that track has been directed at taking the oldest game content on the site and making it fantastic. The results of such labors, again years in the making, are visible now: the Final Fantasy VI section of the Caves of Narshe is now cooking at a far higher temperature than ever before.

This section was actually, in the end, kind of a blast to do. It was painfully hard to keep going at times, but I think that everyone who worked on this as hard or even harder than I did would probably agree that doing this work rekindled our love for a game that deserves all the love it gets. We got so excited, in fact, that we even got the original CoNcast crew together to do a quick-hit recording today to talk just a little bit about how great FF6 is, and I am guessing that the next episode might well cover more of the same. Today's episode will get its own newspost later in the day so you can download it, don't worry!

As is obvious, Final Fantasy VI was the first game we ever covered. While we updated the content considerably during the creation of CoN5 over a decade ago, this new release marks the pinnacle of our coverage for what is, for better or worse, our flagship game. Djibriel, yet again, supplied the bulk of the content from his fantastic walkthrough, while Death Penalty, EvilEye and a multitude of others worked with me to make that content uniquely CoN's. And it is that, to be sure; the quality of the content has improved in a way that's barely measurable (in the good direction!), while the technology driving it remains the standard that other Final Fantasy sites still have not managed to match after all these years. We've continued to improve the technology running the game coverage sections, and we have spun out nearly a dozen miniguides for FF6 that extend our coverage well beyond a simple walkthrough and equipment pages.

Indeed, after all these years. This is the site's sixteenth birthday, and as it now can legally drive in some locales, it continues to trundle along like the lorry it is. Note: I'm using that metaphor so I can ignore the fact that the site could consent to... other things in many places at this same age. Anyway, at least in terms of the vibrancy of the site itself, I feel as if things are a bit resurgent. In the past two years, we've revamped two huge sections of the site; not only that, you'll of course remember this time last year when we finally released the fantastic Skyglade to make the site faster and more fashion-forward. While the community aspect of the site remains difficult to maintain through the splintering and segmenting of Final Fantasy and Square Enix fans as a whole (note my thoughts in the first CoNcast for more on that), I maintain that our core community is of the highest quality, and while we don't attract the most new users of anyone, we certainly continue to attract many of the brightest and most clever, due largely to our passion and commitment to the cause. Thanks to you all, this day and every one before and after.

So what's next? Well, hopefully we can get back to posting news more frequently as we won't be in crunch time for FF6. We've got some new updates to the site planned for the next year or so, and I'll be working hard in the near future to improve the user experience behind the scenes by way of fixing a variety of minor bugs in the site and also improving the CoN development webserver to (hopefully) make future work smoother.

Okay, so perhaps this counts for some pomp and circumstance. I'm flowery when I write, I just can't help it. Enjoy your CoNniversary with us!
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Speeding Through CoNcast Episode Ten

With last episode's experiment out of the way - at least for now - we're back to normal for episode ten. This time around, with TheSpeedGamers' Final Fantasy marathon still fresh in our minds, Lasz, Jav and I brought in a former CoN staffer to talk to us a bit about speedgaming. Folks here might remember him as Caesar, but nowadays he plays games very, very fast over at Speed Demos Archive under his real name, PJ.

We spend an hour with PJ talking about all sorts of things about gaming with pace, from how his background at CoN romhacking Final Fantasy V helps him in his gaming, to the games he likes best to speed through, to why more people don't try to speedrun Final Fantasy games. We even talk a bit about the competitive and cooperative aspects of speedgaming and how they share some connection to the rapidly-growing field of eSports.

We even wrap up with just a little talk about what's coming for this year's CoNniversary. That's next week! Holy cow!

Everyone that's heard an early version of this episode thinks it's pretty great, and that includes me. And I hate most everything! So check out the new ep right away, and make sure to check out SDA's summer marathon, Summer Games Done Quick, starting this week!

Source: The CoNcast Subscription Feed, The CoNcast on iTunes
Posted in: CoNcasts

Plus One to CoN! The CoNcast Episode Nine

Thanks to the holiday week in America last week, as well as the fact that we got a bit experimental with the CoNCast this time around, it's coming to you three days late. It's now available for direct download, however, and it will be cropping up in the RSS feeds (see below) and on YouTube pretty soon!

You might be wondering how we got experimental, and what on earth the title of this episode means. The first question is easy to answer; instead of just doing a standard radio show this time, we recorded ourselves playing a game and discussing it at the same time, using Twitch. The game in question is Seiken Densetsu 3, the game in Square's "Mana" series that was never released to the West. Knowing that, you might even be able to figure out the episode title, as one particular aspect of the game grabbed me as soon as I saw it.

I got together with Tiddles, Neal (a first-timer for the CoNcast!), and EvilEye to watch the former two play via netplay; the technical issues alone should create some entertainment for you, dear listeners, even without the video. However, we will soon be able to share with you the full video and audio on YouTube as well; the full gameplay session runs about 40 minutes longer than the hour-long broadcast we're presenting as audio.

Let us know how you feel about this idea. Like we said, it's experimental; maybe we never do it again, or maybe there are some games that might even work a bit better for this concept. Are there games you might like to see us try? We might well say no but you should ask anyway.

Source: The CoNcast Subscription Feed, The CoNcast on iTunes
Posted in: CoNcasts

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