Zack Johnson started Kingdom of Loathing as a solo project back in 2003, and it’s still going strong today. But he’s joked that his studio Asymmetric Publications didn’t really “enter the games industry” until releasing West of Loathing in 2017. A Western RPG, both because of its CRPGish emphasis on player expression, and because of its focus on, like, cowboys (see note), it’s one of the funniest games yet made—as is its recently surprise-released sorta-sequel, Shadows Over Loathing, which moves the timeline forward into the 1920s and shifts the genre to Lovecraftian- adjacent horror. And pinning the action down to a time and a place is actually a fairly strict constraint by the loose, semi-improvisational standard of previous Loathing games.

Shadows Over Loathing is out now on Steam.
You can find all of Asymmetric’s games, Loathing and otherwise, on their website.
You can also follow Zack, and Asymmetric Publications, on Twitter, a platform that presently is.


• The idea that West of Loathing is a pun to its bones, a western RPG in multiple senses is actually something Zack himself said on the very first episode of The Zachtronics Podcast—and yes, Drew did own up to this fact off-mic. Veracity!

• Here’s Zach’s GDC talk on West of Loathing as “a game made of jokes.”

• While we’re at it, he did a West of Loathing design postmortem at another GDC, and a talk on procedural text in Kingdom of Loathing at Roguelike Celebration.

The Kingdom of Loathing Podcast (and Shoutcast) is all archived and accessible, remarkably.

• Drew dropped a reference to his pewter cape without explaining any further. How like him.

• When Drew said that “everybody on Usenet knew how to use Usenet,” he had this excellent We’re In Hell video on the history of spam in mind.

• And here once again is “The Truth is Paywalled but the Lies are Free.”
“All The People Say (Season 5)” by Carpe Demon.
“The Lack of Color Out of Space” from the Shadows Over Loathing OGST by Ryan Ike.

We’re on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Spotify, PocketCasts, and just about everywhere else. You can also subscribe using good old-fashioned RSS.

Logo by Aaron Perry-Zucker, using Icons by by Llisole, Dávid Gladiš, Atif Arshad, Daniel Nochta, Mike Rowe, Jakub Čaja, Raji Purcell and IconsGhost from the Noun Project.

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