Note: Written from the point of view of Westy.
One day, I was informed by Mike that he had somehow melted his laptop. Don't ask me how, I have no idea, though I did laugh pretty hard. He was devastated and told me he literally had nothing at all to do. (I distinctively remember him telling me that he had been passing the time by sleeping a lot more haha)
In an attempt to help, I told Mike about a game that I saw recently; it looked completely ridiculous yet amazing. Since he couldn't stream without his laptop, I suggested that the two of us could stream this game together on my computer…
Yup, you guessed it. This would be the very first Mikecast Experience (though it wasn't called that back then) stream in which I starred as a special guest! (Honestly, who knew we'd still be doing this three years later, hence my permanent special guest status)
Naturally, we played a game called Hatoful Boyfriend. Maybe you've heard of it?
Funnily enough, this wasn't my first appearance. I've actually been a special guest on Classic Mikecasts before when Mike played against people on Duelling Network and lost horrendously every time. (Remember Mike rules? THIS IS WHY HE'S BAD AT THE GAME)
Alright, let me just straight up say this because it's a terrible tragedy and I want it out of the way: I lost a ton of old stream footage when my HDD died because I'm oh so intelligent that I neglected to back it up.
Which means I'm mostly remembering from memory, so these maaaaay not be in chronological order.
Mike and I have played a fair amount of games in the past three years. Well, more than you'd think, but less than you'd hope. (Bonus points to anyone who gets this reference!) Mostly because we have this stupid unspoken rule to finish any game we start, no matter how terrible they are.
The other big reason is that we have mostly played dating sims, and that format lends itself to excruciatingly slow gameplay. Some games have taken us at least a year to finish… Yeah, I wish I was kidding.
Anyway let's take a look at the games that we've played on the stream. (I won't talk too much about the games themselves, but if you haven't played it I'll let you know if it's worth your while to check out)
Before we started streaming every Friday, there were no consistent schedule to speak of and the stream commonly lasted 9+ hours or longer since we did it less. (And randomly I might add)
This streams were so long we had to leave the stream to grab food a lot of time. We even did mobile Ustreams to capture our food adventures live!
The Mikecast Experience has come a long way since its inception. Most of the things you see now were incremental changes that happened over time. Let's take a look!
We definitely had old channels that got banned…
We eventually got our own domain. (Thanks to THE PEOPLE!)
Our own subreddit!
The viewers can put any images on the background for their donation.
We actually constructed a green screen in my room! (Which is where we stream for those not in the know)
Of course we also added awesome openings and endings for the stream.
This was the very first game we played, and boy did we start off right. I think this is always going to be the game to beat, and very few games have come close since we've started this stream. Oh, and back when we played, this was NOT in HD and there were basically no art assets to speak of. (You can kind of see a comparison between the two in the picture) Still though, it is hands down a game you have to experience.
Of course, Mike and I have also played other non-dating sim related games, and most of them are for Halloween! (In which I proceeded to scream like a little girl when anything at all pops up on the screen!)
The first game we played back when we first did a Halloween stream. The game itself is decent, and definitely scary enough for a wuss like me. Mike and I never finished it though, because IT NEVER WORKS FOR US!
That's right, in the history of the Mikecast, every time we attempt to play through this game (And we've tried EVERY year) some techinal issue or bug would stop us from going too far in. WHY DON'T YOU LIKE MY COMPUTER?
Anyway, you can bet that we're going to try again this year.
Yup, we didn't even play the actual game. It wasn't out at the time? I actually think there's a lot of potential with this game but when we played the demo we got stuck, so I guess maybe not.
What can I say? We hit two amazing games in a row. We went into this thinking a dating sim game made by 4chan could be interesting, but we were blown away at how legitimately good it was. This game is deeper than the hole that black kid fell in, and has more feels than the first seven minutes of Up.
Surprisingly enough, this game only took us about 6~7 hours to finish! I was super scared the entire time and we got to see Jesus blaze so I would say it's a pretty good game. Apparently it ripped off the F.E.A.R. ending.
This game was…an interesting experience. The premise is weird enough already but then we have the absolutely NUTS translation that's not quite English? I dunno, gave me nightmares haha. (DAT alpaca neck twist)
This was a short but pretty hilarious game. Essentially you try to strike up a relationship with a 'Nigerian Prince' who tries to scam you. We had a lot of fun with it.
A coworker of mine recommended this to me. It's a hentai version of Phoenix Wright (which if you haven't played, definitely should do that). It's kind of a terrible game, but hey someone might be into it. Oh, and I forgot: Awful translation here too.
**SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED THIS GAME**
Unless if you don't care, read ahead!
This game didn't really deliver for us, mainly because we didn't actually play enough of it to get to the interesting part (pictured above). Apparently there's supposed to be someone who SURPRISE has a penis and things get awkward. That would've been funny though!
Not sure when exactly, but we eventually came back around to play the DLC/Christmas addon for Hatoful Boyfriend. It wasn't bad, but it definitely didn't live up to the original game. (Though to be fair, it would be really impressive if it did) We definitely forgot some voices/switched them around because at this point it had been way too long since we voiced the original game. (Except for the teacher, his voice is forever enduring)
Our third big VN after Hatoful Boyfriend and Katawa Shoujo. This game took us SO GODDAMN LONG to finish. We finished this game in April THIS YEAR and we had been playing it for a year already.
That being said, the game itself is actually pretty good. Mike and I were both blown away because this is a legit full production VN; we had been so used to the lack of polish and shitty art assets of previous games. There is an immense amount of dialogue (normal I guess for a VN?) and I've come to actually really like the characters. (Probably because we've spent so much time voicing them)
When we finally completed all the routes for this game, we were getting all emotional. I think that was the first time we realized how attached we got to the characters. There was this weird moment where Mike and I sat in my car and reminisced about the whole thing.
And just for the record: Qoo is best girl, Ell is very close second. (And Ran-neechan has such a racist chinese voice, but that's another whole conversation)
Last year, Mike and I decided to participate in an awesome annual gaming event called Extra Life. If you're unfamiliar with Extra Life, go here and definitely read about it: www.extra-life.org
The short version is basically people playing games for 24 hours to raise money for charity that goes to Children's Hospitals.
Since the Extra Life date was on October 25th last year, it meant that I had to plan the stream between midterms and work. (Not to mention I went into a 24 HOUR stream completely exhausted, I did not realize how hard it was to be funny when you're tired)
It was stupidly busy, from finishing the lineup of games to make sure ALL of said games actually worked. That's probably the main downside to the streaming format, the fact that you can't retroactively fix things; it just all has to work perfectly the first time.
That also meant I had to make sure all of the scenes/overlays/graphics/audio levels/sources were setup properly for everything we were going to use in the 24 hours that we'll be streaming.
The most trouble I had in terms of technical challenges was probably figuring out how we were going to stream GTA Online so that it'd show both of our screens simultaneously.
Originally I set my laptop up so it would capture the output of Mike's Xbox and stream it over to my main computer via a local RTMP stream. The stream worked but the framerate was so low I may as well have been playing a slideshow. We ended up using an extra screen and just let my main computer capture outputs from both of our Xboxes…and it actually did the job.
Thinking back, I'm pretty impressed that setup was even streamable.
I commissioned my brother to do the art for our splash pages among other things, so definitely big thanks to him in that department. In fact, a lot of the art that you see on this page are all thanks to him.
The next thing that needed to be done was the incentive for donations. We consulted with THE PEOPLE for our Extra Life stretch goals. This was the list:
We also needed food for the stream since we'll be there for a whole day. Here's a picture of my stash. I'M SORRY I'M FAT OKAY? Don't judge.
With the preparation done, it was time to start the clock: 23:59:59 and counting…
Mike and I played a lot of games that you wouldn't normally see on a Mikecast stream. I mean, 24 hours is a LONG time so we needed variety.
That's right, we return to the legendary game that is now in HD!
We were told that there is an alternate ending for one of the minor routes in the re-released version so we decided to check it out. We were both super excited to be playing this game again, but when we actually got to the "alternate" ending, there was seriously one or two screens of difference? WHAT.
I guess at least they have real art in the game now, not just badly Photoshopped pictures.
I figured co-op games would be good since it's pretty rare for us to play games together in the real sense of the word. Obscure is a co-op game that shares one screen so we gave it a go. It was pretty fun, but of course luck would have it, we got incredibly stuck as usual.
The stretch goal was hit so we played games of Card Against Humanity with the Chat throughout the stream. I'm clearly super humorous and the funniest one around, so I won some games.
Just look at how professional that split screen was! Had lots of fun racing and crashing and never actually winning the race!
We went back to the roots of Classic Mikecast and dueled the Chat! Goddamn, this game has gotten so complicated since I played last.
Apparently Five Nights at Freddy’s is so popular that there's multiple games out and an upcoming movie for it? I really don't get the appeal of this game. To be fair, Mike and I just kinda stumbled through the whole thing, somehow making it to Night 2 without opening any doors. (And as usual I was too scared to grasp anything happening in the game at all)
I had planned for my friends to come visit so that we would stay awake. One of them brought his PS4 and we got to play the P.T. demo. I had already played it before (AND WAS SCARED TO DEATH OMG) but Mike practically ruined the experience for himself by playing like an idiot. -.- (Incidentally, the game this demo is supposed to tease is also no longer being produced, so that got ruined too!)
I was pretty excited to play this game mainly because I was such a huge fan of the original Gauntlet games. If you haven't heard of Gauntlet, it's basically an old school D2 esque game, but designed for co-op. This was the HD remastered version. The only problem is that we all got super drowsy like halfway through, that made the game a lot less fun haha.
Okay, this was probably the most brutal part of the entire 24 hour stream. Twenty hours in of no sleeping and straight gaming is NOT a good time to start figuring out how to build space crafts that are supposed to be able to go into space. If you look real hard at our expressions there, you can maybe just see how hard our brains are working to try to understand what the hell we're doing in this game.
We just could not figure out how to get the damn thing to lift off the ground, or what ANY of the pieces are supposed to do. Don't ask me why, but in our tired states we kept trying to build something that would remotely look like it'd fly, while the Chat was going nuts; desperate to help us/tell us to stop.
This game is complicated, apparently it's really good. I have no idea. To this day I still don't know how to get that stupid pod off the ground.
Mike picked a random game from my Steam library and decided to play it. Well it's not a bad game. Basically Left 4 Dead with cops and robbers. I remember hitting a hard crash around this time so I don't remember much of my experience with this game. It was alight.
An extremely challenging game to play. You basically use the 3D Maneuver Gear to run around and try to kill titans. It's super hard because you have to actually know how to use the cables and gas at the right time. Plus Titans are hard to kill because you have to get them on the nape of their necks.
Mike copped out and played as a Titan instead. He's convinced now that he's good at the game.
It's a browser game so if you're interested, follow the link: fenglee.com/game/aog
Ah yes, our flagship title. After all, we are a Hearthstone stream. Had to play it at least once. I think we were down to the last like 40 minutes or so at this point.
If I remember correctly, this was a browser game recommended by Chat in which you play a Certified Baby Technician (Or parent) and you get to make decisions regarding the care of the baby. For a text game it was pretty fun, and despite my overwhelming want to sleep I enjoyed myself.
We set our actual goal on the website at $269.69, but thanks to our amazing chat and everyone else who tuned in… we handily beat that. In the end, we raised over $1,000 for Alberta's Children's Hospital! FOR THE KIDS! YEAH!
And finally, here's the highlight video, courtesy of @19nonnahs93 (I would recommend watching the whole thing if you haven't seen it yet, the ending is too good to miss): youtube.com/watch?v=1JZpkhRxD-k
We'll definitely be doing an Extra Life stream again this year! Stay tuned for that. (The official date is sometime in November)
Obligatory DLC playthrough! You get to play as the guy who came before the character in the original game so it's basically a prequel, nothing too unexpected here.
Ugh. Alright, Mike and I actually started last year's Halloween stream with this game. Then we got bored INCREDIBLY fast, as in we hadn't even seen an Alien yet. So we stopped playing and switched games immediately.
The problem is that stream rules dictate that we have to finish any game that we start. Which means I get to play it afterwards.
The game we switched to after Alien Isolation. You know, as soon as we started playing, we knew this game was going to be better (more interesting/exciting) than Alien Borefest. Unfortunately for us, that impression did not last and this game was not at all what it's hyped up to be.
I found this game completely meh. Nothing was memorable and I usually had no idea what was going on. It took us like three streams just to get past chapter 3, then Mike promptly decided to learn speedrunning for this game so that we could finish it quicker.
I think we finished it around end of March/beginning of April? Good riddance!
Mike played this for the Christmas/New Year's stream and I was assured that he was good at the game so we wouldn't get stuck. Well, that was a blatant lie and I don't think we even got past the early stages.
And we had a special, special guest: Melissa!
I will also just leave this here for anyone who hasn't seen it (Pretty good way to start the year believe me): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZTf0BpOgAg
In case you were wondering: No, this is not a game. I enlisted the help of the Chat to do my hardware tests because THAT'S HOW I ROLL.
Though 0/10 would not play again.
Let's see… I played this game with Mike in early 2015? That sounds right. Anyway this was my game of the year that year! This game also falls into the category of 3deep5me and it is extremely well done. I suggest you run to your closest Steam store and buy it if you have not played this game. (We actually did most if not all of the endings in one sitting!)
What a cringe-worthy game. Let me just go ahead and paste the review I gave it here:
Let's start with what went wrong with this game:
Overall, the execution of this game given the nature of its topic was very disappointing.
I probably have to explain this before I continue on, for anyone who's not in the loop:
Due to the sensitive nature of the genre most of our games fall in (dating sims), we usually play under the title of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. People who come in expecting a card game generally leave utterly confused, but as far as the Mikecast community is concerned, we are ALWAYS playing Hearthstone. Like I said before: Choose your deck!
Now back to the April Fools stream.
Sometime towards the end of February, I had an idea to do a completely legitimate Hearthstone stream as a prank. Something that would be the exact opposite of our usual modus operandi. The idea was to actually sit down and PLAN a stream, and then host a Hearthstone stream that was both informative and helpful to anyone who actually plays the game. The tables will be turned in the sense that regular viewers will now be the ones confused coming in! (We also dressed up to look like dem professional casters that you see in tournaments)
I need to note that at this point, I had only played Hearthstone enough to know what the classes were, but definitely not enough to know what anything meaningful was. Mike on the other hand, has never played and was therefore completely useless. (Also he's bad at card games I've noticed that)
If you were there during this Hearthstone stream, you're about to be blown away by the amount of work that went into this short episode.
From the moment Mike and I agreed that we would do the prank, I started playing Hearthstone at least once a day for an entire month just to understand enough to talk about it. It took a while for me to get enough gold through playing to build all the different typical meta decks since I was terrible.
I basically had to learn the metagame, and then teach it to Mike. I wrote down about two to three sheets' worth of information and sat Mike down to walk him through it. I got him to play the game a couple times right before April so he'd get the hang of the game.
The next step was to figure out what type of deck we wanted to cover that would be interesting yet also viable enough to warrant a closer look. The rest of the legwork was just your typical TCG stuff: Building and testing a decklist.
I also had to come up with a theoretical decklist that was better with all the cards that I didn't have at the time. THEN I had to do enough quests to get all the gold required so that I can open packs during the stream and have enough dust to craft new cards. All of that so we can talk about the strengths and weaknesses of various cards in the deck and how to streamline your deck so there's less redundancy.
There was so much preparation, that this next part was totally unfair. After all that, I basically just had to play (hope to god not lose) and cross my fingers that we'll have something to talk about regarding the game.
It was pretty fun playing against the Chat! I don't remembering winning all that much since I was a terrible player playing a terrible deck. (A deck based around ALL RANDOM effects)
All in all, it was a decent stream. Never again though, haha.
This year, one thing lead to another and I had to leave Canada to visit the Asian Homelands for two months.
The solution: Mike and I pre-recorded videos that would be streamed in my absence. It'll be like I never left!
And we decided to play… Deadly Premonition.
THIS GAME WAS THE ABSOLUTE WORST.
I'm not talking about the gameplay, or the game design. (Though that is another discussion entirely)
You know what, I'm just going to make a list of all the amazing things that I'm talking about:
In all seriousness, we had so many issues just getting the game to work. The very first day we tried recording the game, we spent the first 4 hours troubleshooting and didn't even get to play!
The reveal of this game went a little something like this:
“MY GIRLFRIEND IS THE PRESIDENT: FANDISC!”
“It's like the sequel you guys! Woooooooo!”
“YES I am SO EXCITED.”
“You thought it was over! IT'S NOT OVER!”
“It's never over on the Mikecast.”
“People are legit mad? People are legit mad.”
So yeah, there is a DLC for My Girlfriend is the President. You bet we're all over that. It's a lot shorter with only two routes if I remember correctly. Still though, you have to think, it's probably going to take us 6 months to finish. And we had JUST finished the original game too hahaha.
This was Chat's reaction:
Anyway this fandisc has all the nonsensical maid threesomes, starship human ghosts and dark side Qoo that one would want from a quality VN. You know, I really am going to miss all the characters in this game now that we're actually finished with this series forever.
I can't believe this is a real game. It's so weird to say that considering all the games that have been played thus far on this stream, but this is a real gem. There's an amazing amount of variety among the characters you can meet and they're all very, very original.
Of course, there's a fandisc, why wouldn't there be? The already complicated plot from the first game only deepens in this second installment…
I'm going into this game blind but according to Mike, this game meet our “what the hell is this” standard when it comes to games played on stream. It's a point and click adventure so I'm ready to get stuck on one scene for like hours on end!
There are always ridiculously moments on the stream and I won't bother to try to explain; I'll just leave you the pictures.
The Mikecast Experience is only going to get more awesome and more professional. I know, sounds pretty far-fetched, because it's already so amazing.
I'll leave a little something something for everyone to get hyped about. You'll have to make sure to tune in this Friday to find out what it is though!