00:00:08 ◼ ► From Relay FM, this is Upgrade episode 305. Today's show is brought to you by our friends over at Squarespace, Pingdom, and ExpressVPN.
00:00:29 ◼ ► The summer of fun is upon us. If you are new to Upgrade, the summer of fun is where we spend the summer months doing some additional and fun things in the show.
00:00:39 ◼ ► Today, we are doing our very second but first official summer of fun topic because the summer of fun happened upon us all in last week's episode, merely by happenstance and accident.
00:00:50 ◼ ► But we are going to be talking about Hamilton, the Disney+ theatrical movie version of Hamilton. We're going to talk about that a little later on in today's episode.
00:01:03 ◼ ► But we have lots to get to. We have lots of upstream, lots of other pieces of stuff that we want to talk about that's been missed because of all the WWDC news over the last couple of weeks.
00:01:14 ◼ ► But as we always begin our episodes, and we will begin this one officially, we have a #SnellTalk question. This one comes from Thomas over in the Relay FM members Discord.
00:01:35 ◼ ► And I'm pleased about that because most people say that mint chocolate chip is a bad flavor that I mention this stuff to. I think it's one of those flavors that people tend not to like.
00:01:44 ◼ ► The podcast that brought you pepperoni and pineapple pizza brings you mint chocolate chip ice cream. You're welcome, America.
00:01:51 ◼ ► No one else is welcome to it. It was the 4th of July. I'm talking to America now. You're welcome.
00:02:01 ◼ ► Right. Now, I like all kinds of ice cream. You know, I'll have my favorite Ben & Jerry's flavors or whatever. But if I'm going to an ice cream shop, the first flavor I'll always look for is mint chocolate chip. And if they have it, that's what I'll get.
00:02:15 ◼ ► It's the best. It has been since I was a kid. Although there was that brief period. Oh, I shouldn't even talk about it. There was a brief period where I couldn't have it because I had some lovely mint chocolate chip ice cream and then about two hours later I got sick.
00:02:30 ◼ ► And it wasn't the mint chocolate chip ice cream. It was some medication I wasn't aware that I was allergic to. That was how I learned it. But it was a bystander and for a couple years I couldn't have it.
00:02:41 ◼ ► I'm very pleased. You've had a few of these situations over the time I've known you. Like when you couldn't have, was it gluten for a little bit recently? But now you're back on gluten again?
00:02:51 ◼ ► I am. People keep asking, assuming that, yes. I didn't talk about it too much. But yeah, I was off gluten for a year and I'm back on it now per doctor's instructions and we'll see what happens with that. But yeah, I'm eating regular pizza dough and regular bread and all the good things.
00:03:08 ◼ ► What a great instruction to be given by a doctor, right? Eat gluten. Thanks, doc. I will.
00:03:13 ◼ ► I really expected her to say something different and she's like, "Well, you know, just go ahead then." I'm like, "Done. Sold. I know for the questions. Done. I gotta go. I gotta go put some beer in the fridge. Bye."
00:03:29 ◼ ► And she said, "We'll follow up more with, after this whole pandemic is over, we'll follow up more and do some more tests and all of that." And the longer this thing goes, I'm like, "I am just gonna keep eating bread forever at this rate." And suddenly it's positive.
00:03:43 ◼ ► If you would like to send in a question to help us open an episode of Upgrade, you can send out a tweet with the hashtag #snowtalk or you can use the command ?snowtalk in the Relay FM members Discord. They go into a list and we may pick yours to help us open a future episode of the show.
00:03:58 ◼ ► So on last week's episode, we had Bob Borchers and Ronak Shah on the show. But we did also have an interview on Connected as well that I wanted to follow out to where we were joined by Jenny Chen and Stephen Tonner.
00:04:10 ◼ ► Jenny was the engineer who demoed Apple Pencil during the keynote. And obviously we spoke about Apple Pencil a lot and it was something that I was really excited to be able to talk to because I love those new features in iPadOS.
00:04:23 ◼ ► So you can go and check that out if you want to. And I'll also include a link in the show notes to a list that friend of the show, _DavidSmith, put together of all of the interviews and podcast appearances that occurred during the week.
00:04:37 ◼ ► There were lots of them. There were different videos and stuff like that. So I'll put that in the show notes as well in case you missed it. It seemed like it was interesting. I actually kind of liked it as a consumer of the content, of all the great content, to have it come out mostly the week after WWDC because it gave some distance.
00:05:00 ◼ ► And I'm sure from Apple's perspective it was interesting because it allowed them to stretch the news a little bit more, which I'm sure was a pretty good strategy for them. So that was cool. I just wanted to follow up to that.
00:05:25 ◼ ► I feel like it's been a while. And just before the show started, we were reading that vulture story about Quibi.
00:05:34 ◼ ► Which, I mean, I don't want to say too much because I feel like I've pointed and laughed at Quibi a lot already.
00:05:43 ◼ ► But it is an amazing story. And I guess we'll put a link in the show notes to that story. But it is an amazing story about just how, I would say, broken Quibi is. And we knew it was, but this goes into more extra details of how broken it is.
00:05:59 ◼ ► So, you know, if you want to point and laugh at Quibi some more, read that vulture story, I guess.
00:06:04 ◼ ► Yeah. It's like, we knew it was a bad idea. What we didn't know was just how badly the idea was being put together.
00:06:10 ◼ ► Yeah. The headline is, "Is anyone watching Quibi?" And the news angle is that their 90-day free trial period is about to expire.
00:06:27 ◼ ► I am fascinated to see what happens from this point. Because they have spent 90 days being laughed at and having their technology not being good enough or being weird in certain ways.
00:06:44 ◼ ► And ultimately having no hits from their content. And so I am really intrigued to see what happens now because people will either decide to stick with it or they'll get rid of it.
00:06:59 ◼ ► And I cannot fathom why people would stick with it. I would love to know, actually, if you are an Upgrading and you are going to voluntarily pay for Quibi, please get in touch and tell me why.
00:07:13 ◼ ► I would love to know. I'm not saying that it is impossible. I am just intrigued because I have not signed up for Quibi.
00:07:22 ◼ ► I don't even think there was a trial period here. It was too expensive. I don't remember. I just didn't bother. It just didn't seem like it was worth it. Nothing stood out to me.
00:07:32 ◼ ► I think they didn't have an ad free tier or something. So it was like £10 a month or something like that. I'm not going to do that.
00:07:44 ◼ ► They have given a straight to series order to Chris Miller and Phil Lord for a murder mystery comedy called The After Party.
00:07:58 ◼ ► Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, they did the Lego Batman movie and they were involved in Spider-Verse.
00:08:12 ◼ ► It was funny, just a couple of nights ago we watched the Jump Street movies. Halfway through the movies, it's like 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street.
00:08:24 ◼ ► I don't remember if they called it that or not. We were watching those and I was like, "I enjoy these. I wonder..."
00:08:30 ◼ ► And I was like, "Oh yeah, no, it is Miller and Lord." So this show that they're doing is set at a high school reunion and a quote from the Variety article.
00:08:40 ◼ ► Each of the eight episodes will feature a retelling of the same night told through a different character's perspective.
00:08:51 ◼ ► So not only is this going to be, I assume, funny because it's from them, but also I like the conceit of this, of each episode being a different genre of show.
00:09:05 ◼ ► It's more than just a Rashomon story. It's also like, the point of view goes to the genre and the visuals and all of that.
00:09:12 ◼ ► Those guys are so creative and smart with the Lego movie and Into the Spider-Verse. I think that's a smart one.
00:09:26 ◼ ► They've also signed an overall deal with Marc Bomback, the showrunner of Defending Jacob.
00:09:33 ◼ ► When I saw this headline, I was a bit perplexed because I ended up not watching Defending Jacob.
00:09:45 ◼ ► It must have been another one of their shows then, and I've somehow gotten it confused.
00:09:49 ◼ ► Yeah, Home Before Dark, about the girl who investigates a crime, is the one that I hated.
00:09:54 ◼ ► Then I will watch Defending Jacob then, because it was on the list. I was like, "I didn't chase him to be in the movie."
00:10:15 ◼ ► Defending Jacob is allegedly, because Apple doesn't release these figures, but it's come out from somewhere.
00:10:23 ◼ ► It is in the top two of the fastest growing show in a week-to-week viewership perspective.
00:10:34 ◼ ► I don't really know what that means, but it is interesting because Defending Jacob did not get the same marketing push that the original slate of shows did.
00:10:48 ◼ ► And potentially Defending Jacob was their biggest show since the launch, just from a "who's attached to it" perspective.
00:10:56 ◼ ► But it's done well enough that they've signed the showrunner up to an overall deal, and they'll take whatever their person was to give them, I guess.
00:11:11 ◼ ► This is clearly somebody that they worked with at Sony, because remember the guys who were running Apple TV+ are Sony Pictures executives who came over to Apple.
00:11:39 ◼ ► So Parnell is going to be taking on a senior programming role, not coding, this is the other type of programming, to continue to drive development on Apple's original slate of content.
00:11:52 ◼ ► I wonder if Dr. Drang is upset when senior programming people in TV call themselves programmers.
00:12:05 ◼ ► Apple have also acquired the rights to a movie called Emancipation, starring Will Smith and Antoine Focquoi.
00:12:12 ◼ ► It is "an action thriller about the harrowing escape of Peter, a runaway slave forced to outwit cold-blooded hunters and the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana on a torturous journey north where he joined the Union Army.
00:12:27 ◼ ► It is said to have cost in the region of $130 million to secure the rights, and it was apparently being fought out by a bunch of companies."
00:12:37 ◼ ► Because, okay, so like a movie with this type of theme, you can assume a lot of companies wanted to get it, especially Will Smith attached to it.
00:12:45 ◼ ► Because if the movie is good, it is like content that people are interested in right now.
00:12:53 ◼ ► And it sounds like the Apple TV execs have a previous relationship with Will Smith, which helped, but they still had to battle WarnerMedia for it.
00:13:02 ◼ ► And this is one of those deals where there will be, assuming that theaters exist, there will be a theater premiere and then it will go on to Apple TV.
00:13:10 ◼ ► So it's not planned as a straight to Apple TV, but we live in a world where sometimes that happens.
00:13:18 ◼ ► Because that Tom Hanks movie that we talked about a few weeks ago is premiering this week, and that was originally planned to be a theatrical release.
00:13:29 ◼ ► There was a Tom Hanks interview in, I want to say, The Guardian today, where he jokes about it, but also he jokes about his handlers, his masters at Apple.
00:13:39 ◼ ► You get the sense that Tom Hanks is disappointed, right? He's disappointed his movie got sold off to a streaming service because it was supposed to be a theatrical release, not a streaming movie.
00:13:54 ◼ ► And although Apple paid the money and that's fine, he is super disappointed it's not going to be in a theater.
00:14:01 ◼ ► And he made a bunch of jokes about how Apple wanted to handle his press junket virtually and all of those sorts of things.
00:14:10 ◼ ► But you just get the sense, I totally get it, where you make a movie and you think it's a movie, and then the pandemic hits and your studio doesn't delay it.
00:14:19 ◼ ► Your studio just goes, "We're just going to sell this off to streaming. It's never going to hit the movie theater."
00:14:25 ◼ ► Yeah, there's just a tone-deafness to it to me, which I'm a big Tom Hanks fan, but the whole article is like, "Why are you complaining so much?"
00:14:34 ◼ ► He keeps referring to Apple as these overlords. I cannot fathom that they're doing anything any different than any other production company would do.
00:14:45 ◼ ► And he's doing something that I know a lot of people do, I do from time to time, which is that jovial crankiness where he is kind of bugged, but also he's just kind of joking.
00:14:56 ◼ ► And it's kind of this in-between space. But basically what I read is he's disappointed.
00:15:13 ◼ ► But, you know, in the same vein, maybe if I was there and he was saying it to me, I would find it funnier, the one that's written down and I'm reading it.
00:15:24 ◼ ► Yeah, that's the problem with this kind of thing being turned into text. I don't get his tone in this, and when I was reading the article, it felt like a kind of ungrateful tone, but I bet that wasn't.
00:15:39 ◼ ► Now thinking about it more afterwards, I bet that was not the tone that he was trying to set.
00:16:10 ◼ ► But I don't know. From what I could put together, I don't think they've actually started work on this movie yet.
00:16:16 ◼ ► But the amount, the $130 million, makes it the largest Can Film Festival acquisition deal in history.
00:16:24 ◼ ► Which is, this is what happens when the tech companies are moving in, right? Those prices just keep going up, up, up, up.
00:16:32 ◼ ► You have some other headlines for us kind of outside of Apple, right, in streaming stuff?
00:16:37 ◼ ► Okay, so this is a story about CBS licensing, ViacomCBS, I guess, licensing some of its shows to Universal for the Peacock streaming service, non-exclusively.
00:16:50 ◼ ► And I got a lot of feedback from people who've been listening to us talk about this, saying, "Why did this happen?"
00:16:58 ◼ ► Like, "I thought in the streaming wars, everybody was taking their ball and going home."
00:17:08 ◼ ► So CBS, first off, has always had this strategy that is build our own thing, but don't turn down money from other people.
00:17:17 ◼ ► It's the reason that they launched CBS All Access in the US and basically paid for their Star Trek shows by selling them internationally to Netflix and Amazon.
00:17:26 ◼ ► So they've always been kind of like trying to build their new thing, but they like money and they want to kind of diversify where their money is coming from and not just go all in on their streaming service, which is smart, given that their streaming service is a small service.
00:17:46 ◼ ► And the other thing I would say is when we talk about everybody kind of taking their ball and going home, we're talking about the crown jewels, we're talking about WarnerMedia walking away with friends, we're talking about Universal walking away with The Office.
00:18:02 ◼ ► But you got a catalog, and this is a non-exclusive licensing agreement, and really, it's like Peacock wants some stuff.
00:18:15 ◼ ► And I think a lot of times when this is going to happen is when the stuff that you own has more value in licensing than it does sitting on your own service.
00:18:26 ◼ ► And that may be more value because Universal is trying to launch Peacock or because they think it's a better fit with their audience.
00:18:32 ◼ ► It's also true that some of these companies have catalog stuff that doesn't really fit the approach that they're taking to content, but it fits someone else's approach, probably because it was made for some other company on a TV network somewhere.
00:18:57 ◼ ► And it's been running all eight seasons of it have been on Amazon Prime Video, and they just came off on the first of July.
00:19:12 ◼ ► And it might, it might, but my first thought was, well, wait a second, CBS and Viacom just made a deal with Universal to license a bunch of stuff for Peacock.
00:19:22 ◼ ► CBS is airing the new Magnum P.I. show, a reboot of the old '80s show on their TV network.
00:19:40 ◼ ► CBS All Access is a way better place for that show than Peacock because in the mind of Americans, it's a CBS show anyway.
00:19:52 ◼ ► Even though that's a Universal property, it's a better fit for CBS All Access than it is.
00:19:59 ◼ ► Not saying that that, by the way, I have a Magnum P.I. related podcast that you could listen to if you want some laughs.
00:20:24 ◼ ► I think we've, we're exiting the era where everybody's taking their super prime stuff that they should own themselves, but they license to an enemy, mostly Netflix and really regret it.
00:20:39 ◼ ► But there will still be cross-licensing of catalog stuff because, you know, I think a lot of these companies are going to say,
00:20:46 ◼ ► "Sure, if you want to give me money for this thing, great, because I'd rather have the money than the exclusivity."
00:21:08 ◼ ► But I think one of the things that was, I guess one of the reasons you heard about it a bunch, right, is this is what we have been saying or you have been saying for a while.
00:21:28 ◼ ► Yeah. Well, I mean, some stuff. This is like some movies and some TV shows and it's not exclusive, so Apple could do it too.
00:21:34 ◼ ► I think the reason people really answered this is they assumed all content would return home and then remain exclusively home forever.
00:21:42 ◼ ► And I don't think that's true. I think everybody's going to keep licensing stuff to Netflix too.
00:21:47 ◼ ► Honestly, I think that there will be a lot of content that still get licensed. It's not like licensing is going to end.
00:21:56 ◼ ► I think movies is a great example too of the movie catalog where rotating movies through, if it's not part of a big brand, especially like Disney wants all the Marvel movies and eventually they will get them all.
00:22:08 ◼ ► If you own a property like that, but other movies that are just in a catalog, if you can make money kind of rotating them around to different services and stuff, I think they'll do that.
00:22:20 ◼ ► As long as there's money to be made again, I think for these executives, the equation is very simple, which is, is it worth more to us to lock it up on our service and hold it for ransom?
00:22:29 ◼ ► Or is it more worth more to us to get a check written by one of our competitors, no less that benefits their service, but gives us money, which we like, and they have to make those decisions.
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00:24:15 ◼ ► because there's been some news over the last couple of weeks that's kind of rocked the boat a little bit.
00:24:32 ◼ ► They have stated to be unhappy with the relationship between Apple News readers and them
00:24:38 ◼ ► because Apple's in the middle and don't let the Times have any contact with or relationship with the reader themselves.
00:24:53 ◼ ► What they're doing is pumping content in for Apple to be able to leverage their new service for.
00:25:18 ◼ ► So the Times was only supplying a handful of stories a day of the stories that they will publish
00:25:29 ◼ ► Maybe stuff that they thought was particularly interesting or they wanted to get larger eyeballs to or whatever.
00:25:44 ◼ ► I'm sure they do a lot of stuff which probably got the old push notification treatment.
00:25:55 ◼ ► they need as many large providers as they can get and they've lost now one of the biggest.
00:26:11 ◼ ► And it was nice that they were giving them some free articles, but now they're not because why should they?
00:26:20 ◼ ► which is most of these sources would be better off trying to build their own subscription system
00:27:39 ◼ ► Yeah, actually, this would have been a great thing to do around the time the iPad came out,
00:28:09 ◼ ► it's actually really nice to do that because you end up being able to make more money that way,
00:28:34 ◼ ► I can't imagine wanting to be involved in it because we have our own system now that we've worked for.
00:28:45 ◼ ► We don't have to split it amongst every true crime podcast that people are listening to as well.
00:28:50 ◼ ► And also with the richest company in the world, which is going to take 70% off the top just because.
00:28:58 ◼ ► It's like those deals for News+, it's not even the 30% or the 15% that people think about.
00:29:06 ◼ ► So even if the New York Times is selling their subscription through in-and-out purchase in the App Store,
00:29:16 ◼ ► Where if they put that content into Apple News+, they'll get 50% of the money of a smaller portion
00:29:40 ◼ ► What they want to do is know that they get 300,000 people to give them $5, $10 a month, or whatever it is.
00:29:51 ◼ ► And that that is a better option for them than what if 20 million people sign up for News+
00:30:24 ◼ ► Also, you're making an assumption about the cost of the New York Times that is not accurate, by the way.
00:30:48 ◼ ► Just to make it clear, compare that to what they would get out of something like Apple News+.
00:30:52 ◼ ► I get that they're rarefied and they're the most successful journalism online product in the US, maybe in the world.
00:31:09 ◼ ► If Six Colors became a part of Apple News+, you would probably still not make as much money as you make out of the Six Colors subscriptions.
00:31:31 ◼ ► We'll see. Some of the details of this are sketchy, but it sounds like Apple is actually changing the way links work in iOS 14 for people who subscribe to News+.
00:32:01 ◼ ► They want you to look at it through the news app experience and they think that is superior.
00:32:09 ◼ ► But what I'm fascinated by is the idea that Apple has built this system that allows these web links to be redirected inside or outside Apple News+.
00:32:22 ◼ ► I don't think it works for everything. I don't think it's like all news shows up in Apple News.
00:32:33 ◼ ► I also wonder, I have a little itchy feeling, like maybe this is also related to the tech that they put in to allow you to set a custom browser?
00:32:57 ◼ ► But they're literally like if you're an Apple News+ person and you click on a Wall Street Journal link in iOS 14, I think by default it opens it in Apple News.
00:33:13 ◼ ► It's the case where Apple, although talking presumably about user experience, they are also driving users even more aggressively into Apple News.
00:33:25 ◼ ► Existing customers, but still, it's driving people out of the web and hijacking their link.
00:33:31 ◼ ► I hate that now. I hate that when any web link that I tap on opens in an app without my approval.
00:33:41 ◼ ► I see people in the Discord saying that this is Universal Links, but I don't think it is Universal Links.
00:33:47 ◼ ► Because with Universal Links, you are able to claim as a company your domain as a link to my app.
00:33:57 ◼ ► There are certain cases where if I tap on a link to the Athletic or to the New York Times, it opens in those apps.
00:34:04 ◼ ► This is you tap on a link to the Wall Street Journal from a random web page and it opens in Apple News+.
00:34:17 ◼ ► But if the Wall Street Journal app is not there, which means Apple has a catalog of all, presumably the way this is implemented is Apple knows all of its partner sites.
00:34:26 ◼ ► And if one of those URLs comes up in Safari, they're like, "Yoink, take it to Apple News+."
00:34:34 ◼ ► The other service that has seen some changes that you were alluding to is Apple Arcade.
00:34:38 ◼ ► There was an article in Bloomberg that we spoke about that was unconnected in some detail last week.
00:34:43 ◼ ► Basically, Apple wants to focus more on games for Apple Arcade with "higher user engagement."
00:34:51 ◼ ► So the types of games that they're now looking for are more traditional mobile games than games that are high concept experiences.
00:35:02 ◼ ► It seems that they're not seeing the success that they wanted with people keeping their subscriptions or even signing up in the first place.
00:35:10 ◼ ► So what Apple Arcade looks like it's going to need is some big titles to draw people in and then mechanics that keep those people playing those games.
00:35:25 ◼ ► So basically the in-app purchase mechanics that you know from games that want you to give them money for gems, but there being no money involved, but still how to create a game which is engaging.
00:35:48 ◼ ► I would like to see them maintain some kind of balance to have more games like that, but also commission some games that feel like art in a way and try and find a balance.
00:36:00 ◼ ► But I would say that I think that there have not been enough games on Apple Arcade that do keep me wanting to play, and I think that that is a problem.
00:36:11 ◼ ► Yeah, I feel for the game developers who got commissioned by Apple and then Apple is dropping them, which you know they got paid.
00:36:19 ◼ ► And I feel bad for them because now they've got a game that they are not going to get paid for anymore and are they going to continue it and all of that.
00:36:25 ◼ ► It's not great. At least they got paid. It's not like Apple is reneging presumably this is all in the contract, but that they are cutting those developers off. I feel bad for them.
00:36:35 ◼ ► That said, first off, I'm right there with you. I don't think there are enough games on Apple Arcade that engage me.
00:36:43 ◼ ► And as somebody who pays for that service, it makes me think, "Hmm, maybe Apple Arcade isn't worth the money."
00:36:49 ◼ ► And two, of course Apple should be focused on what games are engaging Apple Arcade customers now that it has Apple Arcade customers and that it should try to increase engagement.
00:37:03 ◼ ► That's not evil. That's literally, we want people to find value in this thing. A game that doesn't engage you is not good.
00:37:12 ◼ ► And I know, yes, there are -- this is complicated. I'm not trying to say -- you talk about art. Games, there are good games and there are bad games.
00:37:23 ◼ ► But I would argue that if it's a game you open and then you don't ever go back there again, it doesn't matter how beautiful it is. It failed because you never went back.
00:37:33 ◼ ► It could be ugly, it could be beautiful, but if you don't want to play it, it's failed.
00:37:40 ◼ ► And so I totally think Apple is in the right to say, "We need Apple Arcade to be more engaging."
00:37:48 ◼ ► And I think now that we've learned -- because they've got all the stats right, they know minute by minute how many people are playing different games.
00:37:56 ◼ ► They now presumably have learned, "Oh, this kind of game is the kind of game this audience wants." Because it's an Apple Arcade audience.
00:38:04 ◼ ► And who are they and what kind of games do they want? And we've talked about games here on the show.
00:38:09 ◼ ► There are Apple Arcade games that engage me, and they tend to be games that I can dive into and play a little bit and then leave and then come back later in a way that some kind of overarching games don't.
00:38:22 ◼ ► I don't know if I'm representative of an Apple Arcade -- and there's no one user, but an Apple Arcade user -- or whether some of the games that I look at and think, "I am never going to play that game," are actually the ones that drive the most engagement for Apple Arcade.
00:38:37 ◼ ► But Apple should make the right decision for its business about finding the best way to make that $5 a month that you're paying as a user worth it.
00:38:48 ◼ ► And they've learned a lot in the last nine months, and presumably now they can go ahead and make some changes.
00:38:55 ◼ ► So I think this is obvious and the right thing to do, and while I feel bad for the game developers who got the plug pulled, of course Apple should be trying to make Apple Arcade as engaging as possible. Otherwise, why would people pay for it?
00:39:12 ◼ ► Because I understand the argument that engagement, depending on how you measure it, usually you would assume here would mean time spent. And you could say, "Well, look at Monument Valley," where it was a linear game, you didn't have a ton of replayability, especially not immediately, and it's like a three-hour game.
00:39:35 ◼ ► And if you looked just at time, you would say, "Well, they wouldn't want a game like Monument Valley, which is one of the best iOS games ever made."
00:39:43 ◼ ► But whilst that game, if Monument Valley was created and existed on an Apple Arcade today, even if it got the buzz that it got, that does not keep people on a monthly subscription.
00:39:55 ◼ ► They may go in that one time, and that's awesome, right? That Apple could have made $5 million from it, right? A million people sign up, which honestly I think for a game like Monument Valley, it's probably at least how many people played it. It was a massive deal.
00:40:15 ◼ ► And you could do the math. You know how long the play is going to be, so you actually know what an optimal amount of gameplay for a Monument Valley is going to be.
00:40:25 ◼ ► So you know what it's worth to you in terms of time and in terms of the halo, right? But it's not going to get me, "Okay, I played Monument Valley. It was great. It was beautiful. Thank you, Apple Arcade. Now it's the next month. What do you have for me now?"
00:40:39 ◼ ► But my expectation is, they will still have games like that to get those peaks, right? But then they need stuff which is built to never end, right?
00:40:52 ◼ ► Exactly. Yeah, you get them in the door. You come for the... What's the phrase? You know, whatever. "Come for the pancakes. Stay for the pie." That doesn't make sense.
00:41:04 ◼ ► But you get what I'm saying? There's the thing that gets you in the door, and there's the thing that makes you stay.
00:41:09 ◼ ► And Monument Valley may get you in the door or some title that is famous or that people are buzzing about.
00:41:17 ◼ ► But what have you done for me lately after that? You've got to do it. You've got to keep feeding. And that's probably a different game.
00:41:26 ◼ ► Yeah, I managed in the chat. Perfect example. Come for Sayonara Wild Hearts. That was... I mean, Apple gave it a design award. That was their... basically Monument Valley.
00:41:36 ◼ ► It had a playtime to it. And yes, you can replay it as soon as you can replay any of these games.
00:41:41 ◼ ► But you're replaying it out of choice rather than the game mechanic being keep coming back and playing more and more and more.
00:41:49 ◼ ► Which, you know, the game that Apple apparently have been saying, "Make games like this to the developer partners," is Grindstone.
00:41:57 ◼ ► And that is a great example of a puzzle game with as many levels as they want to add. They can just keep adding them.
00:42:05 ◼ ► And it's match three. You know, like that goal, like match or whatever. That's the type of game you'll probably see more of.
00:42:12 ◼ ► And there can be people that turn their nose up at that. And I understand. But this is... all of this services stuff, and why we keep seeing Apple drilling down on it and we spoke about it a million times, is because this is their driver for Wall Street.
00:42:31 ◼ ► Because they can't sell more iPhones, really, right, than they've been selling. The growth isn't there. We spoke about this a million times.
00:42:38 ◼ ► And where they need to show the growth is in services. And honestly, none of them are doing that well. Maybe except Apple Music.
00:42:46 ◼ ► Right? Like that one just keeps trundling along. But we're seeing shifts for Arcade, and Apple silently added in like a two month trial.
00:42:54 ◼ ► Now you wouldn't do that if things were going well, change a one month trial to a two month trial.
00:43:00 ◼ ► TV+, whether it's good or it's not, there's not going to be content past a certain period of time. Right?
00:43:08 ◼ ► Apple News+ does not have a lot of publishers and they're seeing cold feet across the board.
00:43:14 ◼ ► They need to take now as a time to shift, where they can put some blame on the pandemic. Right?
00:43:22 ◼ ► This is like, we're in a period of time where every bad business decision or every bad business turn can be, can aspire blame to it. Right?
00:43:32 ◼ ► Like, oh, you know, pandemic, right? Like, I used to work for a big company. I know that that's what's happening. Right?
00:43:39 ◼ ► Like in any big company right now will say that and there'll be an element of truth to it. Right?
00:43:44 ◼ ► But you also get an out for like your bad part of the business, which isn't going for a while. Right?
00:43:48 ◼ ► Isn't that what Jeffrey Katzenberg said? I think he was joking kind of, but also serious kind of about Quibi, which is I blame everything bad that happened on the pandemic.
00:43:58 ◼ ► He was only joking for as much as people wouldn't believe him. Like anyone that would believe what he meant, he meant it. Right?
00:44:04 ◼ ► Because it's, you have your out. Right? Right? It's like in the same way, any time there's a recession. Oh, it's because of the recession. You know, like you have it.
00:44:13 ◼ ► Whatever it's true, it is. Exactly. That's where the joke comes from. Cause that's what it's referring to. Right? Like that's what that means.
00:44:20 ◼ ► So they have this period of time now where they can retool and Apple's great benefit that other companies don't have is infinite cash. Right?
00:44:31 ◼ ► So they can, they can just keep doing this. Right? Like they, they had a bunch of developers that they'll never see a game for, but they paid them maybe half of the money.
00:44:40 ◼ ► Oh, well let's do more. Let's get more money. Right? But can we open up the money box and get more money out? Okay.
00:44:46 ◼ ► Because it doesn't matter. Right? Like in, in, in air quotes, like it doesn't matter because that money's coming from a part of the business, which is just generating more money than any business has ever generated. Right?
00:44:58 ◼ ► Like you just, just, we've got all this iPhone cash just sitting in the bank. Yeah. We'll just take more of the iPhone cash. It's like a tiny percentage of it.
00:45:06 ◼ ► We'll buy a bunch of more developers, you know, and, and have them not like buy their time, right? Buy contracts.
00:45:12 ◼ ► So they have the ability to do this retooling. Uh, honestly, like I'm happy that they're doing this rather than being like, ah, Apple arcade didn't work, did it? Gone. Right?
00:45:22 ◼ ► Which they could also do. But my hope would be that, and I also in the article, one of the things that I actually appreciated where again, some people didn't like this, but the, apparently Apple have told the developers like, look, this is the type again,
00:45:35 ◼ ► we want to make now, if you want to make a game like this, we'll fund it. Right. Which I thought was, I think is a pretty classy way to deal with it.
00:45:44 ◼ ► Yeah. The danger of course, is that they're going to get too many games that are the same. I, my, my hope is that what's really happening is they know they're, they know that there are a bunch of different profiles of games that they want.
00:45:54 ◼ ► And then those are ones that there are ones that they don't want. And, you know, you mentioned grindstone. Um, I've been playing round guard basically ever since you recommended it. Yeah.
00:46:06 ◼ ► And that's a, that's an example of a game that is fundamentally replayable. Like you play it and then it's over and then you have to play it again and you're trying to get a high score.
00:46:15 ◼ ► And yet there are also elements in it that allow you to progress and change gameplay as you continue. And I, I, that is perfect, right? That is a game that I have remained engaged with and it doesn't really have an ending.
00:46:30 ◼ ► I mean, I'm sure it has an ending ending, but like at that point you've spent so many hours with it that you've rung every last hour out of that person.
00:46:37 ◼ ► That is the type of game where you will stop wanting to play it before it will have content that you can't play.
00:46:43 ◼ ► Yeah, I think that's, I think that's almost certainly true. Um, and I think about Alto's Odyssey, right? Which I did get to the end of. Not only did I, did it get hundreds and hundreds of hours after me, I don't even want to think about how much time I spent playing Alto's Odyssey.
00:46:58 ◼ ► But even when I was done, I would go back to it sometimes just in the, in the kind of like fun mode, the chill mode and just use it that way.
00:47:07 ◼ ► And like the, not every game is gonna, is going to be able to do that, but like, that's what you want. And that's, it's gross to say like, Oh, well they just want games with engagement.
00:47:17 ◼ ► It's like, well, yeah, they want games people want to keep playing. That's uh, yes, of course they do. Of course they do.
00:47:23 ◼ ► You know, you, you said about that, right? You, you have mentioned in that, like saying about the same type of game, three different types of game mechanic.
00:47:30 ◼ ► You have grindstone, which is a matching puzzle game, like candy crush round guard is what's called a rogue-like, which means like you die, but you benefit from your previous run. Right.
00:47:42 ◼ ► That's like a good rogue-like and then also, uh, like a sports side scrolling game in Alto's adventure, right? Like it's snowboarding basically.
00:47:55 ◼ ► But they all have that core idea of you can spend a bunch of time with this and you'll get better at it and you keep redoing, keep redoing, keep redoing.
00:48:04 ◼ ► Like there are lots of different types of games that you can get in this and they can be good games. They don't all have to be candy crush.
00:48:13 ◼ ► Candy crush is fun enough, but I think we can all agree that candy crush exists to just squeeze money out of people.
00:48:18 ◼ ► Also, there can be good games and I think this is important. There can be good games that are bad fits for Apple arcade and that's okay too. Right?
00:48:26 ◼ ► Like you said, is monument valley actually a good fit for Apple arcade? Maybe it isn't. Doesn't mean it's not a good game. Maybe it's a bad fit.
00:48:34 ◼ ► Would something like journey be a good fit for Apple arcade, a game that you can play through in like four hours and you can replay it and I have.
00:48:43 ◼ ► And so maybe, but probably not, but it doesn't matter. It's, it's a good game regardless, but if I'm running a $5 a month game service, uh, I should absolutely be focusing on the games that are going to make the $5 worth it for my customers.
00:48:57 ◼ ► Yep. And also, and this is like the morning show or something like that. Also, I need to have games that people are going to talk about that make people sign up because they have to come for the food before they say for the pie.
00:49:10 ◼ ► I would argue pie is food and that saying implies that pie is not food and just because it's just, this is a robot or not topic. We'll move on.
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00:51:32 ◼ ► Summer of fun time! We're going to talk about Myke at the movies. Well, Myke at the matinee comes back. Are we matinee or movies this time?
00:51:45 ◼ ► Summer of fun! Because we have spoken about Hamilton on this show in the past. So back in 2018, I think January of 2018, I'd seen Hamilton for the first time in London.
00:51:58 ◼ ► It had also been the first time I had heard Hamilton. Like I purposely avoided it because I was waiting for the London run.
00:52:08 ◼ ► So I recommend if you haven't heard that, there'll be a link in the show notes where you can go and check that out, which will also take you to a page on the incomparable, which you may not know about, which is kind of about about a month or two after every Myke at the movies segment.
00:52:21 ◼ ► Jason clips those out and they're in a special standalone feed, which if you ever want to go back and listen to any of the Myke at the movies segments that we've done, they're there for you.
00:52:29 ◼ ► So that's just a fun little thing that Jason does. One of my favorite podcast artworks that I have that I actually have a poster of on my wall that our designer Simon made for me.
00:52:41 ◼ ► It's because it's just wonderful. I love it. So, okay. So Hamilton debuted on Disney+. It was originally going to be a theatrical release in October of 2021.
00:52:57 ◼ ► Yeah, there is, um, there've been a lot of interviews and stuff. The idea here, not only are people kind of hungry for content and that Disney+ felt like, uh, Disney felt like this was an opportunity for Disney+.
00:53:10 ◼ ► And also we've been seeing all of the theatrical releases being scrambled around and stuff getting deferred and some stuff gets deferred and some stuff gets moved to streaming.
00:53:22 ◼ ► And the way that Lin-Manuel Miranda discussed it, uh, in some of the interviews that I've seen with him is, uh, he also felt like we're in an era now where live theater is shut down.
00:53:33 ◼ ► And so this also has the advantage of bringing kind of the feel of live theater to people who are not able to see live theater and the whole live theater experience.
00:53:44 ◼ ► But they did have to negotiate. My understanding is they had to negotiate with, um, all of the people who have, uh, financial participation in the movie because a lot of that stuff was based on box office.
00:53:56 ◼ ► And there's no box office. So they had to make a new deal to compensate those people in order to put it on.
00:54:03 ◼ ► Because now, you know, obviously there's no box office, but it still has direct benefit to Disney by making Disney+ more valuable.
00:54:09 ◼ ► Yeah. And I think that was why it ended up being a lot of money that Disney gave to this. It was $75 million.
00:54:17 ◼ ► Although that was for the, just for the rights to make the film in. So yeah, I'm sure there was more money distributed because people that had a, what is it?
00:54:25 ◼ ► They call it an option or something on that. I don't remember the phrase, but people that would get some kind of residual check, right? Some royalty check.
00:54:37 ◼ ► Yeah. If they had a deal that was based at least in part on ticket sales, there were no ticket sales. So they have to change that deal.
00:54:43 ◼ ► They probably had a residual deal about streaming that was anticipating it would be a smaller cut following the bigger cut of theatrical.
00:54:52 ◼ ► And of course there is no, it's the only cut. So they, you know, they, they seem to have come to some arrangement and the result is that everybody who lives in a place with Disney+ can see Hamilton now.
00:55:04 ◼ ► So I would say it was super nice over the weekend to see pretty much everyone I follow online enjoying something collectively. It feels like it's been a long time since I've seen something like that.
00:55:17 ◼ ► You usually have the kind of the doom scrolling thing where everything is just sad and everybody is sad.
00:55:22 ◼ ► Lin-Manuel Miranda in his, there's an extras, there's like a 30 minute long interview with the cast and crew.
00:55:31 ◼ ► Is in the extras. Um, and it's nice. I mean, it's not, it's nice. It's like a little thing. It's not like a big documentary or something. It's just a little zoom chat basically.
00:55:43 ◼ ► Oh sure. Yeah. The PBS show. But yeah, this, so it's a little conversation. Um, and it's nice. But one of the things in it that blew my mind, but I think he's right is Lin-Manuel Miranda said, you know, you do this show and you do it every night for five years and a few traveling productions and it's for 1500 people.
00:55:58 ◼ ► And he said to think about it, that over the 4th of July weekend, more people will see Hamilton than ever saw it before.
00:56:06 ◼ ► Jeez. Put together all of it put together. And I think he's right. I think if you do the math, he's probably right. Which is fascinating, right?
00:56:14 ◼ ► Like people who heard the soundtrack and stuff, but did they get, I mean, you have to be able to, first off, the hard ticket to get, not in very many cities.
00:56:21 ◼ ► You'd have to, even if you're in those cities, you might not be able to get in and theater tickets are very expensive.
00:56:26 ◼ ► So there are lots of people who know nothing about Hamilton who watched it and lots of people who have listened to the soundtrack, the, sorry, it's the original cast recording.
00:56:42 ◼ ► I've been, does it sound like something that I've been corrected on before we say soundtrack so much, but it's not a soundtrack.
00:56:50 ◼ ► But there was some stuff online over the weekend I'd never seen before, which was comments about the politics of Hamilton, like from a critical perspective, which I'd never really seen.
00:57:08 ◼ ► It had never come across my radar before. And I think there's a couple of reasons for this why now, like, I mean, one, everyone is experiencing Hamilton at the same time,
00:57:18 ◼ ► which is not the way that Hamilton has typically been experienced. It's on like a staggered rolling thing, right?
00:57:35 ◼ ► Like that's in every sense of the word. It's kind of where we are at the moment at this point in the timeline.
00:57:42 ◼ ► And so I wanted to kind of, I've been reading some of the stuff. So it's like, it's worth remembering that many of the men depicted in this, we'll say movie, just to keep it easy at this point, were slave owners, right?
00:58:04 ◼ ► It's very briefly addressed during one of the rap battles, right? Where I think it's Hamilton says to Jefferson about like who's doing the planting, right?
00:58:19 ◼ ► Yeah. And in that same rap battle, and there's some other references too. There's a reference to Sally Hemings, who was Jefferson's slave, who he also fathered children with.
00:58:29 ◼ ► There are several references to John Laurens being, attempting to free the slaves and wanting slavery to end.
00:58:43 ◼ ► And so there's people that say, and I can understand this point of view that like, because they are the heroes of this piece.
00:58:54 ◼ ► Yeah. Or at least yes. Glorified, right? Because people look up to them or, you know, what has happened since is like people have a renewed interest in learning about Hamilton, right?
00:59:04 ◼ ► So people want to look up to him like they do the other founding fathers, but he is also like many of the men depicted in this piece, they are like problematic, especially by today's standards, right?
00:59:20 ◼ ► Even then, I mean, that's part of the argument is that the show also depicts that people thought during the revolution thought that slavery was immoral, but politically they had to compromise on it.
00:59:31 ◼ ► And although the show doesn't get into it, I think it's not fair to say that nobody gave any thought to the fact that slavery was immoral during the American revolution.
00:59:42 ◼ ► Like that's not the case. Although I would also say about heroes, like we got to choose our words carefully here because one of the things that Hamilton I think is really good at is humanizing these figures that are just powerful mythical figures in American culture.
01:00:00 ◼ ► But humanizing doesn't mean lionizing, right? It means you see how petty they are and how self-interested they are and of course they were, they were human beings.
01:00:12 ◼ ► I would say I think the strongest argument is that Washington is portrayed in the most glowing terms of anybody, any man in Hamilton.
01:00:25 ◼ ► And we know, yeah, Washington was a slave owner and yes, he inherited those from his wife and yes, he freed them upon his death, but he didn't free them before that.
01:00:34 ◼ ► And so Washington is, and again, it's not about Washington and it's complex, but like I do think like Jefferson, the way Jefferson is portrayed.
01:00:44 ◼ ► And I think it's worth, and Lin-Manuel Miranda has said this on Twitter actually, he says it is worth, always worth engaging with it. He said in his interview that as part of the extras, people ask him if the show, the show's meaning has changed as time has moved along.
01:01:05 ◼ ► And he said, like from the Obama era to the Trump era, and he said, no, the show's meaning remains what it was, but what we take from it and what we see in it changes as the times change, which is how it is with art and it's how it should be.
01:01:18 ◼ ► And I think this is a great example of that too, about how thinking about America's racial issues and its original sin of slavery and thinking about Hamilton and asking the question, you know, is this another example of the kind of American mythology that perpetuates racism in America?
01:01:41 ◼ ► That is a thing, that is a very of the moment thing to engage with in the show. That said, you can't talk about Hamilton without talking about the way Hamilton is cast, because that's not a quirk that it's all people of color in these founding father roles in Hamilton.
01:02:00 ◼ ► It's not basically every other role. Well, I mean, other than like the king and yeah, but it's a statement and implicit again, and it's not just a statement about how people of color are not treated well in the theater world.
01:02:14 ◼ ► It is a statement about the myth making of American history and about racism that has been in existence in America since the beginning. Like it's, that's what that is about on a very clear level.
01:02:32 ◼ ► And like that's Lin-Manuel Miranda saying the people of color were always part of America, that you can't hide them, that they built this country too.
01:02:44 ◼ ► And that when you engage with a person of color as George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, it obviously immediately has multiple levels because we know, ideally, you know that Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner.
01:03:01 ◼ ► And also it's Daveed Diggs, a black man, an amazing rapper, by the way, just amazing, talented, incredibly talented person.
01:03:08 ◼ ► So that's one of the things I love about Hamilton is that there are so many different levels it's operating on. It's so ambitious.
01:03:14 ◼ ► And I think it is great as Lin-Manuel Miranda said to talk about these issues regarding Hamilton.
01:03:20 ◼ ► But like, I think Hamilton passes the test, right? Because this is what Hamilton is about. It's all there for you to take from it.
01:03:30 ◼ ► It doesn't, I don't feel it other than, like I said, George Washington is given a pass at a level that maybe the other characters aren't, but like they're human and they're messed up.
01:03:42 ◼ ► And like the title character Hamilton is completely self-destructive. We haven't even talked about the fact that I think at its core, one of, you know, one of the main things Hamilton is about, it's about a lot of things, is about how badly the women are treated in this period.
01:03:59 ◼ ► And how vital and important the women are, and yet how everything is turned against them at every point and how the men in their lives ignore them and go on with being the great man when the women are right there.
01:04:13 ◼ ► Like there's so much about that. It's about a lot of things too. And that's why I love it, is that it's so ambitious and it's so largely successful, but that doesn't mean that it isn't worth, like it kind of wants you to engage with it.
01:04:28 ◼ ► I think that it has actually taken on this whole new meaning again, which, I mean, it was really like a coincidental, right? Like this was announced to be coming to Disney+ before the resurgence to Black Lives Matter movement, but has ended up landing at a time where people have this type of stuff front of mind again.
01:04:54 ◼ ► Somebody, and I think it was, I think it's Leslie Odom Jr. who plays Burr, who is the main character of Hamilton, by the way, and is also a really messed up character, right? He's the villain, but he is the main character in Hamilton, I would argue very strongly.
01:05:10 ◼ ► He said that his last performance on Broadway, I think it was him, he dedicated the performance to Philando Castile, and his point was, you know, it's been since then, and here we are again with another black man killed by police.
01:05:29 ◼ ► So, yeah. And that's all in there. I really do recommend that extra interview thing. It's good, because it's the whole cast and talking about how current events impact them and how their lives changed and how it was set up.
01:05:44 ◼ ► There's a wonderful interview with Leslie Odom Jr. in the LA Times that talks about how little they got paid when it was in, I think they didn't get paid when it was in workshop, and they got paid almost nothing when it was at the Public Theater, and then they extended the run at the Public Theater before it came to Broadway.
01:06:01 ◼ ► And he said, "Wait for it. It's not just about Burr. It is about also him knowing this is going to be something, but spending huge amounts of time with almost no compensation to get to the point where they finally, you know, changed the balance of how people get paid if you're in a Broadway hit," which they did ultimately.
01:06:24 ◼ ► So for me, this movie, I don't look at it as a way for me to learn history. Because one, I don't really care that much about the history of the founding fathers of America. I'm sorry.
01:06:42 ◼ ► No, I think it's good to have that perspective, because a lot of people are like, "Well, but why do I care?"
01:06:48 ◼ ► Right? Like, it's intriguing to me. I didn't even know Alexander Hamilton, I didn't know he existed until this. So I found that part interesting to even learn about someone who seemed to be pretty important in American history that didn't get the same kind of treatment that the other founding fathers did.
01:07:06 ◼ ► But what I like about this musical, and what my personal themes from it and why it touches me, is the themes of love, legacy, and forgiveness. They are incredibly well done for me in this. It's love of all kinds, and legacy is the big thing for me that I take from this.
01:07:27 ◼ ► Like, who lives, who dies, who tells your story. That rings in my mind a lot. It's an incredibly important thing, and it's the part of the musical that hits me the most is the final song.
01:07:43 ◼ ► So Eliza's final song, right, where she goes on and Eliza ends up being the one that tells the story, and then she kind of stands at the end as like, "I made all of this happen." Right? Like, without me, you wouldn't know any of this.
01:07:57 ◼ ► Because most of that story would never have been told because she erased it, right, until she decided to bring the story back again, and lives on and tells the story of all of them for a long period of time.
01:08:30 ◼ ► Like, I've only heard those songs like five or six times because I heard them the first time, then I listen to it all once through, and then it's just been the two other times I've seen it live and when I saw it over the weekend because they destroy me.
01:08:47 ◼ ► Like, I can't do it, right? So, like, unless I am watching it, it's the only time that I can ever listen to it because by the every time I have seen this, by the end of it, I am a blubbering mess.
01:09:02 ◼ ► Because that's when all of the things that touch me the most really take a crescendo in this, as everyone starts to die and everyone starts to try and atone for the things that they have done to upset people in their lives, right? Like, that is like, that's when it gets me.
01:09:20 ◼ ► Yeah. It's the classic second act problem of biographies, which is the one I always bring up is, I don't know if you've ever seen Lawrence of Arabia, but the first, and that's a very long movie with an intermission, the first act, also I think every Stephen Sondheim musical is like this too, the first act is this delightful thing.
01:09:40 ◼ ► So, you know, the delightful adventures of Lawrence or the delightful adventures of Alexander Hamilton, and then the second act, you know what happens in the second act because that's life, right? Like, it goes bad and people die and then the protagonist dies and the end.
01:09:55 ◼ ► Right? Like, that's kind of, I keep seeing it and it's kind of funny that that's the shape of it. But yeah, you're right. Second act's got a lot of amazing stuff in it, but you're right, there is a point at which it is much more emotionally rough sledding. Beautiful, but harder to watch, for sure.
01:10:14 ◼ ► It is also when the majority of my favorite songs are there, but I can't listen to them. Basically, for me, I think my favorite performance in the whole show is Philippa Soo, who plays Eliza.
01:10:33 ◼ ► Like, Burn and Who Lives Who Dies Who Told Your Story, like, they're like absolutely unbelievable and I'm so happy that this movie exists so I can see her sing these songs because I would never get them otherwise.
01:10:53 ◼ ► Because, you know, I've seen a completely different cast, right? Like, I've seen the London cast and the Hamilton of the London cast and the first brother I saw were my favorites.
01:11:08 ◼ ► Like, I actually, in their own way, like the more to the original cast recordings because it's different people, they do it in different ways.
01:11:16 ◼ ► And I've seen, there's been a different brother I've seen in London who I don't like as much, right? And it's just your own personal tastes and I'm sure for me it's partly because that's the first time I'd really experienced a lot of it.
01:11:29 ◼ ► But, you know, I've listened to, there is, I'll put this in the show notes that actually just appeared in the Discord, there's a version of Burn, which includes all five of the women who have played Eliza.
01:11:46 ◼ ► I think there is a version, I think there's a version with three, I'll find it for the show notes, but like three of the Eliza sing Burn and Philippa Soo just absolutely knocks it out of the park for me.
01:12:00 ◼ ► I think that she is unbelievable and part of the reason that I love those songs so much is because of the tone that she set in them because that's so interesting about this cast anyways.
01:12:16 ◼ ► Like this is a musical that people love and adore and they see it all over the world and there's all these different traveling companies and different companies.
01:12:24 ◼ ► But this group of people, they set what the musical should sound like, right? And every person who plays these roles in all the different productions still try and emulate a little bit of the original, right?
01:12:43 ◼ ► Because that's the sound of that person. So I'm so happy that I now have the ability to see these people do it, right? Like it's what I've kind of always wanted to.
01:12:58 ◼ ► Yeah, it's, um, oh, I wanted to mention, by the way, I've had multiple people who watched Altered Carbon on Netflix then see Hamilton and are like, "Oh!" Because Renee Elise Goldsberry, who is Angelica Schuyler, she's in Altered Carbon both seasons of it on Netflix.
01:13:18 ◼ ► And I have a lot of friends who watch sci-fi TV, right? Who watch Altered Carbon and I watched Altered Carbon and said, "Oh yeah, it's Renee Elise Goldsberry from the original cast of Hamilton."
01:13:27 ◼ ► But lots of people didn't. They watched, they didn't know that and they didn't go see her in Hamilton and they watched Altered Carbon.
01:13:36 ◼ ► And this happened multiple times, like over the weekend where they're like, "Oh!" Because they did it the other order. They saw her in Altered Carbon and then they saw her in Hamilton.
01:13:46 ◼ ► But yeah, and a lot of these cast have turned up in other places since then. So you may be like, "Oh, that's that guy from..." Yeah, I see now. It makes sense.
01:13:54 ◼ ► And I think one of the great things about this movie as a movie is that it's theater. And it's not like a movie made out of a stage production, but it is a stage production, which is brilliant.
01:14:04 ◼ ► And I wish this would happen more. I understand why it doesn't. There are lots of reasons. It's very expensive to do something like this, so you kind of have to have a mega hit.
01:14:10 ◼ ► You also don't want to take away the money stream from all of the ancillary productions and all of that.
01:14:16 ◼ ► But I do wish that this happened more often where people who were not able to go to the theater could see a film as theater in a brilliant kind of mixture.
01:14:26 ◼ ► So we hear the audience, except, and I think this is a really nice detail, when Lin-Manuel Miranda first says Alexander Hamilton.
01:14:35 ◼ ► In the show, when Alexander Hamilton says that line, the whole audience erupts and they have to stop and wait for like 20 seconds for the applause to die down before the song can continue.
01:14:48 ◼ ► And one of the conditions that Lin-Manuel Miranda made was, "We're not going to do that. We're not going to do that."
01:14:54 ◼ ► So he introduces himself. There's no audience reaction. They used a different shot and they changed the audio.
01:15:02 ◼ ► So he is introduced with no pause. And the argument was, that applause is for the phenomenon of Hamilton, not for the show.
01:15:14 ◼ ► Because it's just the beginning of the show. There's no reason for Hamilton to get applause there because he hasn't earned it yet.
01:15:19 ◼ ► And the show hasn't earned it yet. And I love that approach. So the audience is in it for the rest of the time.
01:15:27 ◼ ► But they cut that one because they felt like, "No, no, no. We haven't earned your love yet."
01:15:32 ◼ ► And so it would seem weird. And then the other thing that I think was really brilliant is they shot it from the mezzanine and they've got a couple other angles.
01:15:40 ◼ ► And they shot I think two live performances in New York. And then on one of their dark days where they aren't performing, they went in.
01:15:48 ◼ ► And I think maybe they even also canceled a performance to do this. But what they did is they rigged the whole thing and they ran through like 20 numbers.
01:15:56 ◼ ► With cameras and with a crane. And they shot. They actively, like a movie, shot those shots.
01:16:04 ◼ ► Because I was so confused. Where are the cameras? Because you would get these times where there are clearly handheld cameras shooting them.
01:16:12 ◼ ► But then it goes to a wide shot and there's no camera person on stage. And it's because they did these three different recordings.
01:16:20 ◼ ► Which is to say like two with audiences probably in case there's anything they wanted to change. And they also have the ability for multiple takes.
01:16:28 ◼ ► But then they also did the quiet one where they could get some close-ups. It's really, I think, very, very cleverly done.
01:16:34 ◼ ► And camera moves. I mean there's some cameras up above that they use a couple of times. I think sparingly and also brilliantly so you can see people moving around on stage.
01:16:42 ◼ ► But some of those close-ups, the moment where Jonathan Groff as the king basically spits while he's talking. He's like, he's spit, he's flying everywhere and it's hanging on his face for the rest of the...
01:16:55 ◼ ► I was so happy to see his close-ups. Because like the first time, he barely blinks. It was just nice in general because the facial expressions that you see and you see between the actors.
01:17:11 ◼ ► Unless you're in the expensive seats. So Lauren has a story about how she went at some point to see a show and was in like the second row or the third row.
01:17:18 ◼ ► And it's the first time she'd ever been up close to live theater. And she said, "Oh look, they're acting."
01:17:24 ◼ ► Because when you're in the mezzanine or the balcony, you're not seeing the facial expressions. So they got some of that in there.
01:17:32 ◼ ► And there are some camera flourishes. There's a moment in the room where it happens, which is all about Aaron Burr being on the outside looking in at Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson cutting a backroom deal.
01:17:43 ◼ ► And there's a shot where the camera is framed so that they're towering over Burr and they're in focus and he's out of focus in the foreground.
01:17:51 ◼ ► It's his song, but he's out of focus. And it's like, that's what that song is about. And that shot is all about. It's a nice cinematic moment without you forgetting that you're on a stage, which I think was a great decision.
01:18:03 ◼ ► There's also a moment where George Washington walks out onto the stage and we cut to a reverse shot that's at the back of the stage as he walks out.
01:18:11 ◼ ► And I saw somebody was complaining. They thought that that was too much and took you out of the moment. And I giggled when that shot happens because I think it's so delightful.
01:18:24 ◼ ► Here he comes and we're right behind George Washington as he strides out onto the set and you see the audience in the background or the open theater. It's like, I love that. It's great.
01:18:34 ◼ ► So I think it's really well done in finding the balance between being a movie, but also being really a cinematic document of a theater experience.
01:18:44 ◼ ► And like I said, I understand why we don't get more of these, but I wish we got more of these because otherwise it's great that theater is a thing that is between the audience and the performers and you see it and it's magic and it never happens again.
01:18:57 ◼ ► I get that at the same time when we talk about, um, we talked about WWDC. I'm going to bring up all the way back around here, Myke, and how putting everything online and having everybody all around the world be able to see it gives them access, gives everybody access to what Apple is doing instead of just the people who pay a lot of money to come to San Jose for a week.
01:19:17 ◼ ► And that's one of the things I love about this Hamilton is so many people couldn't see Hamilton and can't see Hamilton and to have this moment and this amazing piece of work and these amazing cast members do this thing.
01:19:33 ◼ ► I don't want it to be completely lost. It would be nice if we could take a little part of it and bottle it up and let anyone see it. And that's kind of what this is. And that's, that's awesome. I love that.
01:19:48 ◼ ► And then you can like it or not like it, but the fact that you never got to see it, you never had a chance because it was too expensive and too hard to get tickets and far away. All those reasons. Now you can. I love that so much.
01:20:00 ◼ ► And like there is a sliding scale to it. Like I don't think that this movie existing ruins the theater buying experience because a way I kind of see it is you've got the, the album, the original cast recording.
01:20:15 ◼ ► Watching the movie is more enjoyable than that, but seeing in the theater is more enjoyable than watching the movie if you're able to do it because it's a different experience as a different.
01:20:25 ◼ ► It's different watching of a large audience and this does not replace theater, but it supplements it. And for a lot of people, theater isn't an option. And right now theater isn't an option for anybody.
01:20:36 ◼ ► But, but theater, the tickets are so expensive and, and, and you've got to be fortunate to get the tickets and all that. Like that's the part of it. It's not a replacement for live theater.
01:20:47 ◼ ► And I don't think it should be, and I'm not saying that it is, but I'm so glad that it can also exist because it does, it exists in that little space between the cast recording and the theater or the movie.
01:20:58 ◼ ► Like if they made an acted out movie, like, well, not like Cats, but you get what I'm saying. That would not be the same either.
01:21:04 ◼ ► Yeah. It's like, I'm so happy they did this, right? Cause they did it with the original cast, which I've always wanted to see, never would be able to. And also like it wasn't a movie with them either, which I wouldn't want.
01:21:20 ◼ ► I want to see them do it. Like, you know, like it wasn't like a, we're going to be in these big sets or whatever. Right? Like even if they were able to assemble the original Broadway cast to make a quote unquote movie version of Hamilton.
01:21:33 ◼ ► Like I wanted this, like I wanted to see what it was like because again, it's like, all right, it's the original cast, but they sing it differently to the album.
01:21:43 ◼ ► Right. Because they've been doing it for like a couple of years. They live it, right? Like by that point, they're not just singing it the way Lin-Manuel Miranda and the team there like suggest they do it. Right?
01:21:57 ◼ ► Like by that point, they've lived these characters. They have their own way of presenting them. They change some of the way that things are presented to make different jokes or to make points differently.
01:22:07 ◼ ► And that was really wonderful to see as well. Cause I wasn't necessarily expecting it from this group. Right? Because like for me, it's like, Oh, I've seen it done in different ways.
01:22:17 ◼ ► Like for me, like the King, like Jonathan Groff has changed so much of his songs and the presentation of them from the original recordings.
01:22:28 ◼ ► And that's because he got a sense of what it was like to be that character because of the way the audiences would end up reacting to him. Right?
01:22:37 ◼ ► Exactly. And that's the beauty of doing it over and over and over again is, I mean, I was in my high school play and we have three performances and I will tell you my performance in number two was entirely based on how people reacted to number one.
01:22:51 ◼ ► And my performance in number three was entirely based on how people reacted to number two. And that was three performances with somebody who was a terrible actor in a high school production of Dracula. Okay?
01:23:03 ◼ ► And I can only imagine what goes through the minds of a talented professional professional at the top of their game on Broadway in a role like this, where they get hundreds of performances to either fine tune what works and what doesn't think more about like what the options are and also play. Right.
01:23:23 ◼ ► Also try some different stuff. And I think that's great. I heard a story about when they were at the Public Theater, how Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr, he has to do one of those, how does a bastard orphan, right?
01:23:34 ◼ ► Like he has to do a bunch of those about Hamilton throughout the show. And he came out one day and he got it wrong. He got the wrong one. He did the wrong one. And then he was like, oh, no.
01:23:44 ◼ ► And after that he had cards of what they were in what order that he kept with him all the time, apparently, so that he never messed it up again. It's like professionalism. I love it.
01:23:53 ◼ ► But like, that's part of the magic of theater is you get these people who inhabit these parts because in film and TV, in TV you inhabit the roles, but you're not thinking about the choices because it's a different episode week to week.
01:24:04 ◼ ► But in film, you know, you think about it, you do a read through or whatever, but then you just shoot it and it's like that forever and theaters not like that. And by getting them on day 500 of Hamilton instead of day 10, we get the benefit of them knowing that this is the version that's going to be captured and all the knowledge that they built up over time.
01:24:24 ◼ ► It's a wonderful thing. If you haven't seen it, you should see it. I'm expecting if you've listened to this part of the show, you have seen it. But there are always people that listen to these things having never seen it. I know I've done stuff like that.
01:24:39 ◼ ► It really is just a, I think, a wonderful piece of art. It's honestly one of my very favorite pieces of art ever. Like it's top three, I think. I adore Hamilton. The way it makes me feel, the things it makes me think about.
01:24:57 ◼ ► I've never encountered a piece of art which has affected me in the way that this does. I know what's coming and I cry my eyes out every single time. And I'm not talking like tears. I'm talking like I have been in a theater three times, my body physically shaking from crying.
01:25:16 ◼ ► It happened to me just watching it this weekend. This really is just a wonderful thing in a number of ways. I am so happy now that people can get it in a much, much easier way than they've ever been able to get it before.
01:25:37 ◼ ► And if you don't have Disney Plus, you can sign up for a Fiverr and/or I think there might be a free trial probably in some places. Do what you can to see this thing. You will not regret it, I think.
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01:27:22 ◼ ► Thanks to ExpressVPN for their support of this show and all of Relay FM. Let's do some #askupgrade questions to finish out today's episode. The first comes from Sims.
01:27:34 ◼ ► Sims says, "Does the rumor of the iPhone not having a charger in the box because most people would already have one? Bode ill for us ever getting a USB-C iPhone?"
01:27:46 ◼ ► This is an interesting story. I hope that Apple does right by its customers and offers a charger if you want one. And I saw somebody say it actually streamlines the international distribution if you don't include a charger in the box because it doesn't have to vary by region, which is brilliant. I get why they would do it.
01:28:10 ◼ ► Yeah, and it's—so another positive would be it's a thing that most of us have in some form, and a lot of that stuff—the argument is that it creates a lot of extra e-waste of something that you don't need, but some people do need it.
01:28:27 ◼ ► And I always roll my eyes, like, I get a Kindle now, and the Kindle doesn't come with a charger anymore. And that's the truth of it, right, is that it's perceived as being that the maker of the thing is just cheaping out and saving money by not including it in the box, and what if you need it?
01:28:42 ◼ ► So what I hope Apple does is say, "We're not going to include it in the box because reasons, including e-waste, blah, blah, blah," but when you buy an iPhone, you have the option to ask for a charger.
01:28:57 ◼ ► And then I have a couple people suggest they could even do it like the Apple Watch, where they kind of like—
01:29:03 ◼ ► Stick it on. It's two boxes at once. So I feel like if you're in a store or if you're ordering online, that you have the option for no charge to add a charger or for almost no charge to add a charger.
01:29:16 ◼ ► Because if I were Apple, I'd be like, "We're going to save money on this, and it's better for e-waste, but we're not going to nickel and dime our customers and make them feel like they're buying an expensive phone and then we're cheaping out on a power adapter."
01:29:33 ◼ ► Will they do that? I don't know. But I would hope that they would do something like that, whether it's a credit—
01:29:39 ◼ ► I've seen people say it's a credit for the equivalent cost of a charger at the Apple Store, but if they want to use it for something else, they can use that too.
01:29:48 ◼ ► I wouldn't do that because I think that actually would be detrimental to sales. I would just say, "At the moment you buy it, you can ask for one. And if you want it, we'll send it to you. And if you don't, we won't, and that's it. That's the deal.
01:30:00 ◼ ► Do you need another charger?" And a bunch of people will be like, "Nah, I don't need another charger." And other people will be like, "Oh, yeah, actually, please send me a charger."
01:30:08 ◼ ► And I think that's good. I would love to live in a world where we could say when we buy these products whether we really need another USB power adapter because I've got a lot of them and you've got a lot of them.
01:30:19 ◼ ► And I think a lot of people have plenty of those and don't need more. So that all said, what about USB-C iPhone? I don't know. I'm not sure it makes any difference because in the end, we all are probably going to have a lot of USB-C chargers too.
01:30:33 ◼ ► And they could still make that same offer. So I'm not sure it tells us anything about whether there will ever be a USB-C iPhone or not.
01:30:40 ◼ ► Well, I think a lot of people expect that this is like step one of an iPhone with no charging port, right? That's what a lot of people were thinking this is the beginning of.
01:30:50 ◼ ► Yeah, and they would still be like on MagSafe. That's the thing is I can't imagine them doing an iPhone that doesn't have a way to charge that isn't an inductive charger that you buy separately for 60 bucks.
01:31:05 ◼ ► And so whether that's a MagSafe, like a smart connectory kind of thing or something, I don't know. I don't know about that, but I'm not sure this changes that.
01:31:16 ◼ ► Austin says, do you think the iPadOS cursor and it's the way that it operates could make its way to macOS? Big Sur looks more touch friendly, but it also looks like that new adaptive pointer would fit right in.
01:31:29 ◼ ► I think so. I'm a little surprised. Yeah, I am a little surprised Big Sur doesn't offer it. But I would not be surprised at all if the look of the macOS pointer changed.
01:31:45 ◼ ► And even if the arrow remains as the default, if they change the text selection to be more like that, and that obviously when you're using an Apple Silicon, if you're running an iPad app or an iPhone app, perhaps it would change to the finger circle in that scenario when you mouse over.
01:32:05 ◼ ► There's a more modern pointer that uses all the lessons that they learned. And again, you should watch that pointer design session from WWDC. It's amazing. It's hard to watch that session and not want it on the Mac. And I do.
01:32:19 ◼ ► But they also make the point that the Mac can accept a level of precision for pointing that you need a cursor or pointing icon to indicate that level. And they actually have a cross hairs that they use.
01:32:33 ◼ ► So I got to think that in a future version of macOS, the way that pointing works will get updated and be different from what it is now and will be more. It's hard not to use the iPad pointer and think this is a modern pointer and then go back to the Mac and think, oh, I'm back in 1984 now.
01:32:52 ◼ ► Doug asks, what was the last user upgradeable component that you bought and installed into a Mac, I'm assuming?
01:33:08 ◼ ► So, you know, whatever 2017, when I bought it, I bought it and then I bought third-party RAM because I wanted more RAM than Apple would. I could get it cheaper by installing it myself. And so I did. That's it.
01:33:21 ◼ ► I put RAM into an iMac a long time ago, but I think it was one of the white plastic ones. That was the last time I did any kind of user upgrade to a Mac.
01:33:31 ◼ ► Because I kind of get used to just how the devices are. I think I've kind of slipped into an iOS mentality.
01:33:39 ◼ ► Like the machine that I use is just the one that I use and it gets slow in the ways that it gets slow or whatever until it's replaced.
01:33:46 ◼ ► And I use Macs for a long time. Like I replace my iOS devices and iPadOS devices frequently.
01:33:56 ◼ ► Like the iMac that was before this iMac Pro I had for like five years. I've had a laptop for like three or four years.
01:34:10 ◼ ► It was just a pile of parts until I put it together. So that's what I will, that's what I'll say is my entry into that.
01:34:18 ◼ ► Nathan asks, do you think needing to support Intel based Macs will hold back what Apple can do with Mac OS and Mac hardware running on Apple Silicon?
01:34:30 ◼ ► I don't. I mean, do you? I think Apple is going to do what's best for Apple and that they're going to push those things forward as aggressively as they can.
01:34:42 ◼ ► And I can't see Apple limiting itself just because, because like they're going to, all those non Apple Silicon Macs, all the Intel Macs are going to be old Macs.
01:34:54 ◼ ► Right. They're going to be old Macs. They're going to, they're going to cease to make those anymore when they make this transition.
01:34:59 ◼ ► And they're going to want the new ones to be awesome. And the old ones, they want them to be less awesome because they want you to buy a new one.
01:35:06 ◼ ► I don't think they're going to, you know, do anything to destroy them, but I don't think they're going to hold back out of fear that the Intel ones are going to look bad.
01:35:16 ◼ ► I think we've, again, like if you, if you look at this as the iPad and iPhone idea, every year Apple introduces some feature, which is a combination of hardware and software in a new phone that old phones can't do.
01:35:33 ◼ ► And I think that that's the kind of stuff we'll start seeing on the Mac. Right. Like big things that Macs couldn't do before that the new ones will be able to do and Mac OS will support it.
01:35:44 ◼ ► But if you're on an older Mac that doesn't have the hardware, you don't get the software feature. Right. Like it just doesn't exist and they will create a split.
01:35:51 ◼ ► And I think that that is perfectly fine to do. Um, you're not losing out because you're not taking anything away from you, but the new machines will have all this new functionality.
01:36:02 ◼ ► I think we're going to see not only are we going to see this, I think we're going to see a lot of this, right? I say, go back to last week's episode and you'll hear all the things that me and Jason think Macs might do that the current ones can't.
01:36:17 ◼ ► I wrote a whole piece on six colors that elaborated all of our points from last week too. So yeah, it's, it's, that's going to happen.
01:36:24 ◼ ► And finally today, Steven asks, how did you come up with the text adventure crossover ideas? Like where do they come from? And do you plan on continuing these in the future?
01:36:34 ◼ ► If you don't know what this means, uh, all relay FM members get access to a feed called crossover.
01:36:40 ◼ ► I had a bunch of content and including on a yearly basis for the last few years, we've done member specials where we do things that are out of the norm for the shows or shows come together. Um, and we have done crossovers between cortex and upgrade.
01:36:56 ◼ ► I think we've done four of them. Three of them. Oh, probably four. Yeah. Six gun showdown, spooky manner. Yes. Space, the space one.
01:37:06 ◼ ► Space station. Danger town beat down. So four texts adventures, uh, which are these me and gray up working together as the player. Jason is the computer.
01:37:18 ◼ ► Um, and they're put together with lots of music and sound effects and stuff like that. I love doing them. They're amazing. Uh, we are going to continue doing them. We're actually recording one soon for the member special, the annual member specials this year.
01:37:33 ◼ ► So if you're a real FM member, no matter what you do, whether you give to all shows, one show, any show, you get access to this stuff. Um, so we're going to be doing them again.
01:37:43 ◼ ► But Jason, you put the, you put together the beginning of it. Uh, where do, where do they come from? Where did the ideas come from?
01:37:50 ◼ ► So we, um, on the incomparable, we have a podcast called, uh, the incomparable game show, which I recommend is extremely entertaining and you, you will like it. So you should try it. There's a lot of really fun games that we play over there. It's every other week.
01:38:04 ◼ ► And one of the things that we did was these things called parsley adventures, that it's a guy who has written these things to be basically party games, but they're in the style of an old style computer text adventure thing.
01:38:19 ◼ ► And so, um, everybody takes turns throwing commands into the parser and you're supposed to move around and pick things up and go from place to place and essentially solve a puzzle with just simple commands.
01:38:33 ◼ ► And, uh, it's hilarious with 20 people or 15 people because you, even if you figured it out, the person who's giving the command may not, and then they, they, they mess it up.
01:38:43 ◼ ► And then by the time you get there, you can't, it's, it's quite a study in frustration at times. It's actually really delightful. Um, and so, uh, Tony Sindelar has done a bunch of those there as the parser and I played those.
01:38:56 ◼ ► And, uh, and then we thought that would be a way cause we, you know, something like D and D is a little too complicated for, um, for the Hurley Gray adventure where it's just the two of you and we're only going to do it for an hour or two.
01:39:11 ◼ ► But, um, but this guy, Jared Sorenson at Memento Mori Theatrics, uh, he wrote them and he actually put out a book with all of them in it and there's like 12 of them or something. There's a lot of them.
01:39:23 ◼ ► And so that's, that's where we got the idea, um, from Jared Sorenson and we're using his games and then via Tony Sindelar at the Incomparable Game Show.
01:39:33 ◼ ► If you want to get these and if you also want to become an Upgrade Plus member so you can support this show, you get an ad free feed with additional content for each episode.
01:39:45 ◼ ► Go to getupgradeplus.com and you can sign up $5 a month or you can go to relay.fm/upgrade and you can sign up for our annual plan, which is $50 a year.
01:39:55 ◼ ► So you get bonus segments, no ads, you get tons of bonus content, access to the Relay FM members Discord. Today's Upgrade Plus post show, we're going to talk about Jason's moveable type to WordPress adventures, which is a thing we've had on the topic list for a long time and I don't think we're ever going to do it otherwise.
01:40:13 ◼ ► So we're going to talk about that in our Upgrade Plus post show today. So go to getupgradeplus.com and you can sign up for that. If you want to find information out about this episode, go to relay.fm/upgrade/305.
01:40:27 ◼ ► Thank you so much to our sponsors, Define Focus, Squarespace, Pingdom and ExpressVPN. You can find Jason online at sixcolors.com and he is @jsnell. I am @imike.
01:40:38 ◼ ► Thank you so much for listening to this week's episode of Upgrade and we'll be back next time. Until then, say goodbye Jason Snell.