The moderators suggested I do an out-of-character AMA after the ludicrously fun Torgue AMA I did a little while ago, so this is that.

So, yeah. I was the lead writer on BL2 and I am the co-creator, co-writer, and co-star of a web series called Hey Ash Whatcha Playin (also known as HAWP).

Also answering questions is Matt Armstrong (reddit name "MisterArmstrong"), creative director of BL1 and designer on BL2 (he made all the guns, for instance).


Comments: 1232 • Responses: 64  • Date: 

PowSmash455 karma

Anthony, why do you smell and why do you in fact have the poopy butt all along I'll take my answer off the air.

ReverendAnthony353 karma

Dear Ashly,

Fuck you,

Love Anthony

PS fuck you

Weebos234 karma

I'm going to say two words, your job is to combine them.



I trust you.

ReverendAnthony218 karma

I'll work on it.

Warlizard180 karma

Bloodwing. WHAT THE FUCK?

I'm still irritated about that.

EDIT: I have about 1000 hours into B1 and about 350 into B2. Love those games, but damn dude. Worst moment for me in 25+ years of gaming.

Then again, you also had some of the best. "A siren." "Sup?"

Loved that.

ReverendAnthony124 karma

Thanks! For your reaction to both things.

Warlizard67 karma

I was hoping for more of a reason WHY you ... took the storyline that direction.

ReverendAnthony190 karma

We wanted to start a transition where the player's opinion of Jack went from "heh, this guy's a dick but he's kinda funny" to "I will do everything I have to in order to fuck this guy up." We thought it'd give Mordecai something to emotionally work with if he lost Bloodwing, and the promise of doing a Bloodwing boss fight was too cool to pass up.

In retrospect, I had no idea that the actual moment would be as emotionally effective as it was -- Paul Hellquist set up the scene and our animators did some spectacular work making Bloodwing's last moments really goddamn heart-wrenching (the way she tries to stand up just before her head pops is brutal).

Kataclysm138 karma

So who's idea was Face McShooty? That was a streak of genius and was greatly enjoyed by myself.

ReverendAnthony205 karma

That was mine. I saw this video:,14325/ and thought it was hilarious, and thought we could play off the idea with Face McShooty.

French87103 karma

Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized Butt Stallions, or one Butt Stallion sized duck?

ReverendAnthony107 karma

The former, if only so I could find out what a Butt Stallion looks like in real life.

JTHomeslice99 karma

Was it tough to create personalities for the original vault hunters, as they were more or less blank slates or silent protagonists or whatever?

ReverendAnthony177 karma

It was incredibly tough, and I don't necessarily think I succeeded. Lilith and Brick were pretty easy -- their dialog in BL1 actually gave them fairly clear, if simple personalities (Lilith's was "I'm arrogant" and Brick's was "I like punching things").

Roland and Mordecai, on the other hand, were extremely tough. They needed to be distinct from each of the other Vault Hunters and still feel like real characters, all while hopefully not shitting on the memories players have of playing them in BL1.

Roland and Mordecai's battle dialog was almost tonally identical in the first game (they'd say things like "BOOM" upon killing guys), so I had to take some creative license with Mordecai (making him a cynical loner and an alcoholic) and Roland (making him a socially awkward introvert) to make them distinct from one another, and have them serve different purposes in the story.

Again, I think Brick and Lilith are pretty good, but I can understand it when people say things like, "hey -- MY Mordecai wasn't a drunk! What gives?"

Mollrow97 karma

If you and Matt had to race to get a cup of space water, who would win?

ReverendAnthony242 karma


angledtransparency86 karma

Hey Anthony, whatcha playin'?

ReverendAnthony154 karma

Scribblenauts Unlimited and a bunch of games I'm judging for the IGF. Oh, and WWE 13, where Davis and I created a character who looks just like me. Shit is HILARIOUS.

emptythecache82 karma

Three part question:

  • I heard on the internet that your sister has a pooty butt. Confirm/Deny.

  • In all seriousness, I remember when you began working at Gearbox, you expressed nervousness about criticizing other games since you were working one that would be in the public eye. Has the success of Borderlands 2 made that nervousness go away to a degree?

  • Also, What is Brad Nicholson's shoe size?

ReverendAnthony108 karma

  1. Confirmed.

  2. Not really. I try to be less dickish in my critiques of other games because (A) it could hurt me and the company I work for (see above), and (B) having worked on a game, I know how goddamn hard it is. The thing I didn't realize before is that there is a SPECTACULARLY good chance that if you don't like something in a game, the designers ALSO don't like it. They didn't make those decisions because they were dumb, or assholes, but because of the restrictions on time or money or manpower or whathaveyou.

  3. I'll never tell.

Zips76 karma

Is your father still just as humorous when not being filmed and "in character"? I understand the writing has a lot to do with it, but his consistent deadpan delivery just steals the show nine times out of ten when he's included in an episode.

Thank you for your time and keep up the great work at Gearbox and on HAWP!

ReverendAnthony95 karma

Nope! Not at all. My dad is about as far away from the Papa B character as is humanly possible.

TheDaaaave62 karma

Did you go into writing it to try and make it funnier than the first one, or did it just sort of end up that way?

Was there anything that you wanted in there that ended up getting cut?

ReverendAnthony298 karma

I think any good sequel should at least attempt to outdo its predecessor, so I certainly attempted to make it funnier, yeah.

There is one thing that got cut from BL2 that I really really miss. After a certain character dies, you get a quest to go tell all of that character's friends that the person is dead. Originally, you were going to go tell Tiny Tina and she -- for the first and only time in the game -- would lose her insane manic tone and actually get really solemn. She'd thank you for telling her and ask you to leave, before disappearing into her workshop. And then, if you moved really close to the workshop, you could hear her quietly sobbing.

I'm bummed we didn't get to implement that.

EzoShikaDance61 karma

How tooootally handsome and nice is Topher? I mean seriously, that guy is the coolest. Yessir.

ReverendAnthony110 karma

guy sucks

charliedarwinsfather61 karma

I don't really have any questions, I just want to thank you for writing an incredibly enjoyable game, especially since you were following up an already amazing game in BL.

ReverendAnthony45 karma


aDFP59 karma

Who do I have to bribe/fuck/kill to get you to do more Rev Rants?

Red_Ring_Ryko58 karma

Seriously, that series (amongst a couple of others) is what caused me to stop fucking around and take my interest in video games seriously. I'm halfway to my degree as a direct result of the motivation that series gave me to be productive with my interests.

ReverendAnthony111 karma

Holy shit. That's incredibly flattering to hear -- I really didn't know anyone cared about the series so much.

In answer to aDFP's question: I don't think I'll be bringing back the Rev Rants anytime soon. I still stand by the opinions I had in those videos, but they were pretty vitriolic -- it's kind of hard to be that angry and aggressive when you're actually in the industry.

Nobody would make a news post entitled "blogger calls Assassin's Creed 'a piece of shit,'" but it's possible that if I said the same thing in a rant today, I (and by extension Gearbox) could get in a world of hurt for a headline like "GEARBOX WRITER SAYS ASSASSIN'S CREED STORY IS PATHETIC" or something like that.

aDFP14 karma

Thanks, that's a fair answer.

Are there any bloggers/vloggers out there that you'd recommend?

ReverendAnthony29 karma

I read Critical Distance and RockPaperShotgun pretty much exclusively.

lscully0254 karma

Who was the inspiration for Tiny Tina?

ReverendAnthony90 karma

A mixture of Ash and a friend of ours named Christina Cole, who appears in a few of the HAWP videos (she plays Grant's wife). I took most of Tina's manic, hip-hop flavored weirdness from Christina.

Oggy12345678948 karma

When's the Borderland 2-themed HAWP episode coming?

ReverendAnthony66 karma

I honestly dunno. It's just such a big, obvious thing to do that we haven't actually thought up a good idea for it yet.

Resaer47 karma

Hello, Anthony! I truly enjoyed/still enjoy playing Borderlands 2! Handsome Jack is the most original video game villain since Psycho Mantis. I based my term paper on his interactions with the player(s), in comparison to other video game villains in the past decade. Got a B+ because my professor is a dickbutt.

I also enjoy looking at your wife's artwork and I recently purchased one of her awesome Banjo Kazooie shirts. If it's not too personal, I've always wanted to know how the two of you met.

Thanks for the entertainment!

P.S. Is it true that Ash has a pooty butt?

ReverendAnthony69 karma

Our mutual friend Aaron Linde introduced us. She listened to me on Podtoid (Destructoid's official podcast) and developed a crush on me, and we started chatting via AIM. After a while I invited her to Phoenix for an extended, weeklong date. Then we realized we liked each other a shitload and things took off.

saejinoh46 karma


ReverendAnthony77 karma

Just trying to solve racism forever. No big deal.

Kaleidodemon42 karma

I'd like to know where your inspiration came from with regards to Handsome Jack.

ReverendAnthony88 karma

I knew I wanted a strong villain for the game to imbue it with some narrative focus. I also knew I wanted the villain to be funny, because humor is the only thing I'm moderately good at. I took the most inspiration from this Nathan Fillion interview, where he's funny, arrogant and charming all at the same time.

ryanfreeborn39 karma

First off, hey anthony, just wanna say I'm a mediocre fan. thanks for the ama.
Until, your borderlands gig, you were primarily involved in critique of games.
Could you explain how this kind of start influenced your work on the creative side of things?
Knowing your background in gaming, what have personally been the most formative/influential games from your youth?
Oh and, has anyone reached out to represent you? Do things work like that in the video game world?
Uber thanks!


ReverendAnthony57 karma

(Note: I am being a dick in the following response because Ryan Freeborn is my IRL friend)

I will only speak to John Scribbles about representation. I do not speak to plebes such as yourself about these things.

My background in game reviewing gave me really strong opinions about design and game narrative that I think helped me get the job -- I had clear ideas of what I thought did and didn't work within interactive storytelling and I think Gearbox appreciated that. Or they just liked my racist jokes.

Shadow of the Colossus and Metal Gear Solid were probably the two most influential games for me: the latter showed me games could deliver emotion and Big Ideas and Themes and Stuff through their stories, and the former showed me they could accomplish the same thing without resorting to twenty minute cut scenes.

karehmawnstar15 karma

you are so dumb

ReverendAnthony28 karma

I second Ms. Winstar's comment

French8737 karma

BL2 might be the most awesomely written game ever. The dialogue is funny and entertaining while not coming off as "Trying too hard" or cheesy.

You have some AMAZING character personalities too like Claptrap and Tiny Tina.

Did you do all of the writing for all the characters? What inspired you? are any characters based on people you know?

Did you write most of BL2 while INSANELY high? or are you just THAT creative?

you rule.

ReverendAnthony97 karma

Except for about half of the dialog for Scooter, Tannis, and one of the Psycho bandits, I wrote all the dialog in the game.

I took inspiration from movies and TV I'd watched, friends I've known, and those weird thoughts that occur to you at 8pm when you're desperate for ideas and on the verge of opening a vein because you feel like you're a talentless hack.

Wasn't high while I wrote BL2, sorry to say. I've actually never gotten high (or drunk).

Literacy37 karma

Will there be more Tiny Tina? Why isn't there more Tiny Tina?

ReverendAnthony61 karma

Yes, and because some people seem to hate her.

Solid_Snack35 karma

Hi guys, what does your average day of work at Gearbox entail?

Also, I really enjoy your streams on Twitch Anthony, any chance of a Harvest Moon stream from you and Ash?

Cheers for the games and videos, I love them!

MisterArmstrong100 karma

Most of the time, I just stand behind Anthony and shake my head slowly. Occasionally I sigh.

This goes on for about 10 hours, then I go home. Oh, I also have a lunch break were I made guns and grenades and balance and population and shields and characters and creatures and things. But even as I do that, I sigh, but it has to be louder because our desks are almost 10 feet apart, and sighs aren't very loud.

ReverendAnthony89 karma

I spend my day trying to pretend that I can't hear Matt sighing.

ReverendAnthony53 karma

It honestly varies. For a few months I was writing everyday, then for a few months I spent every day at the recording studio. And some days I do AMAs, evidently.

Glad you like the stream (which is at in case anyone really wants to hear my sister and I play games live)! We should definitely do some HM at some point.

hawtpokkitz34 karma

How do you feel about "Race Wars" being the focus of an upcoming BL2 DLC?

ReverendAnthony42 karma


Jeffool33 karma

So you're married to Ashley, making her Ashley Burch. Seems like there would be material in that for the show, yet it's only been used in season two's underlying plot. Would it otherwise be a joke too far?

Also, fuck waffles.

ReverendAnthony63 karma

We did! In the Sims 3 episode.


nojam30 karma

You're a talented young lad. You married a talented young lass (who has shown up in HAWP a few times). As a couple, do you ever just do talented things for fun? (not work related)

ReverendAnthony144 karma

Sometimes I touch my wife's butt. Sometimes we eat pizza together.

It is a blessed life.

fannypax28 karma

Big fan of yours from your days back at Destructoid. Your Rev Rants made me try so many different games I'd never have played, even if I didn't wind up enjoying them). Your awesome success at your age makes me incredibly envious!

I'm curious about the genesis of HAWP. Did it start as simply as "hey, sis, let's talk about games and you can be silly with stuff and Dad will be there too?," or is there some hilarious story about how that all got started?

ReverendAnthony106 karma

After high school, all my friends had scattered to different colleges across the country and I was pretty much alone in Arizona (state motto: "the place where dreams go to die"). Feeling bored and kind of useless, I wanted to film a documentary about art game designers like Jason Rohrer and Jon Blow. So I bought an HD camera.

Before filming a documentary, I thought, I should probably learn how to use this thing. Maybe it'd be funny if I filmed the Would You Kindly scene from BioShock with Ash as Andrew Ryan.

As it turned out, documentaries are goddamn expensive and hard and recording poop jokes with your sister aren't.

Coleg23 karma

Which was your favourite HAWP to make?

ReverendAnthony36 karma

The epic finales are pretty fun, if only because filming fight scenes reminds me of all the short films we used to make in high school. I really liked fighting Grant in A Death in the Family Pt 1.

Cushnation23 karma

What exactly did you like about fighting Grant?

ReverendAnthony77 karma


SPYDER041623 karma

What is your favorite gun? Like, what type is it, and why?

ReverendAnthony60 karma

I really like Maliwan SMGs because I tend to spec for elemental damage. I also really like Jakobs shotguns because I tend to play in a really reckless, in-your-face kinda way and their high damage incentivizes that sort of play.

Slanderpanic22 karma

HAWP is pretty hysterical. Thanks for taking one for the team so many times on Youtube!

A lot of the humor in HAWP involves making you uncomfortable/injured/dead. In the writing process, who comes up with most of the fictional abuse you pretend to endure?

ReverendAnthony42 karma

Ash and I split it up fairly evenly, but as of late I've been responsible for some of the more horrifying things I've had to do (cross dressing, for example). Granted, it was Justin's idea that I pull down my pants and run at an elementary school screaming "WHO WANTS TO PLAY MY BONE FLUTE," so take from that what you will.

TheMindGamer22 karma

How did Blavis react to her cameo in the first DLC?

ReverendAnthony62 karma

"Oh yaaay! Where else am I? Do I talk? Why don't I talk? I'm divorcing you because my character doesn't talk."

ThePsuedoMonkey21 karma

Was the "game critic" quest in the Torgue DLC a response to actual criticism of BL2?

ReverendAnthony35 karma

No, not at all. It was a response to the weird way that people tend to react toward review scores -- something I experienced firsthand while working as a reviewer at Destructoid.

orcist21 karma

Anthony, if you were to fight someone on top of a volcano, who would it be and why?

ReverendAnthony32 karma

Chad, but you would be ref.

chainsawface20 karma

How's the new DLC where you fight Brad coming along?

ReverendAnthony58 karma

There's a bug where he can't be harmed and does infinite damage just by flexing. We're trying to fix it.

ParlHillAddict20 karma

What is your opinion on the moral quandary faced by the character Bo Abobo in the classic film Double Dragon?

ReverendAnthony29 karma


RobotFaker17 karma

What was it like knowing the first game you was going to write a story for was a highly anticipated sequel to a successful game that was going to be played by people all over the world?

ReverendAnthony48 karma

Terrifying and flattering and weird. I feel stupidly, stupidly lucky that Borderlands 2 was my first game.

I also, because this is how I am, can't stop myself from thinking, "welp -- it's all downhill from here."

karehmawnstar17 karma

Hey Anthony, could you provide me with a 1-3 sentence statement on why "Holding Out for a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler is the greatest song in the world?

ReverendAnthony42 karma

Because there is literally no action in the world that isn't better with it playing in the background.

Bhockzer17 karma

For the record BL2 has been some of the most fun I've ever spent playing video games.

Was linking the various DLC offerings from both Borderlands 1 and 2, and the entirety of Borderlands 2, to specific weapons manufacturers completely intentional or was it something that just sort of happened and then you guys stuck with it?

Any chance we'll get a Borderlands 2 DLC that focuses on Maliwan, Dahl, Tediore, or Vladof in the same vein that The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned = Jakobs, The Secret Armory of General Knoxx = Atlas, Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage = Torgue, and the whole of Borderlands 2 basically = Hyperion?

ReverendAnthony24 karma

Speaking at least for BL2's Torgue DLC, it was certainly intentional. Using a manufacturer is a good way to create a distinct visual identity and theme that can tie everything together.

Red_Ring_Ryko16 karma

Do you ever get the urge to continue a more serious video series. Something akin to your rev rants?

ReverendAnthony30 karma

Not really. I like humor.

PhatBoiRL16 karma

Did you and Ash, Justin, Grant, ect. have the state of mind that HAWP would become as big as it is now? What was the group's reaction to the raise of fame on the internet? How does Papa Burch feel about its success? Does he look forward to participating in an episode?

ReverendAnthony41 karma

We absolutely did not believe HAWP would get at all popular. The fact that we are still doing it, and on our own terms, is the greatest thing in the goddamn world to us.

Papa Burch is pumped about the success but awkwardly keeps hoping it's going to get him laid or something. But yeah, he enjoys being in the episodes.

jimtwo15 karma

Hey Anthony! I don't have a particular question, this one's for Grant Cushman: GRANT CUSHMAN.

Cushnation26 karma

Yes yes Anthony this question should be answered

ReverendAnthony25 karma


T3hKaiser14 karma

Yo Anthony, I just wanted to thank you for being a pretty stupid huge inspiration. Every so often I go back and I listen to your Rev Rant videos and I get hella inspired. I write about games sometimes but I'm in the process of learning how to make games and you're a pretty big reason why I'm still at it. I wanna make awesome games with meaning and shit, the kinds you talked about. So, uh, yeah, thanks.

ReverendAnthony43 karma

You're welcome!

And yeah, I have a glandular thing.

Precaution13 karma

I have a quick question for Matt Armstrong:

Why did you decide to drastically change how gun drops work from BL1 to 2? Considering players can dupe items anyways, (ex. PC?) doesn't it just make farming specific bosses more cumbersome than the 'anything can drop anything at a higher %' of BL1?

P.S. I miss S&S and Atlas guns.

And for Anthony:

I really like your work man, you're a good writer. I especially give you props for making Mr. Torgue awesome but still keeping him perfectly moral and likable. The alcoholism and respect for women comments in the new DLC made me respect you a bunch as a guy, cause over the top maschismo characters are way overdone.

P.S. WRY U KILL ROLAND?! He was my second character in BL1 man. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY TIMES I HEARD "It's like christmas!" and SMILED.

P.P.S. You killed christmas.

P.P.P.S. Props for acknowledging the Bloodwing bug in that Lilith/Roland convo after he died.

P.P.P. POST SCRIPTUM. We need more of your dad in everything you do. He is the best character ever.

P.P.P.P.P.S. Your wife is hot.

ReverendAnthony24 karma

We killed him to (A) irreversibly solidify your desire to destroy Jack, and (B) start the second-act "all is lost" moment that is intended to hurtle you into the third act and the end of the game. To quote Will Smith, Roland's death is meant to be the moment that Shit Gets Real.

blackdoublecut13 karma

Do you think the BL series would have been such a big hit had you stuck with the original art direction and feel?

ReverendAnthony27 karma

Hey, Matt. Answer this.

QueEs12 karma

I love the characters in this game. They are so diverse, each one is unique, each one brings something cool to the table. My friend and I were talking, and we remarked about how in another story, most of them would seem too over the top, but in Borderlands they all work.

  • Is this simply because the Borderlands story itself is over the top? Or do you feel that any of these characters could work in other stories, it's just a question of tweaking them until they resonate with their environment?

  • Have you ever come up with a character that was so gone that they were scrapped from the start, or does it always take time before you can say 'yes' or 'no' definitively to a character idea?

ReverendAnthony19 karma

We did a lot of work to make sure that the characterization fit the world. We were careful not to many any one character TOO insane or quirky, and to make sure that any goofiness (a la Tiny Tina) was counterbalanced by something dark (Tina's backstory).

I had a character called Grandma MacReady who was a soft-spoken scottish granny who massacred dudes with a machine gun. We cut her pretty early, partially because her premise was too goofy.

dipnlik11 karma

Just wanted to say that I took a 2-week vacation in September just for BLT and it was awesome.

  • Aside from BLT, what are your top 3 games of this year?
  • Why the decision to make only certain bosses drop certain legendaries?
  • How much did you discuss before nerfing The Bee?
  • Did you play Guild Wars 2? If so, how do you like it? I ask because my main problem with Borderlands' multiplayer is trying to join my lower level friends and feeling too overpowered, and GW2 solves this by level scaling all characters by each map/area (but higher level chars are still powerful because of equipment, skills, etc).

ReverendAnthony17 karma

  1. XCOM, Dishonored, Mass Effect 3. 2 and 3. Matt could probably answer these better than I could.
  2. I've played a couple of hours of GW2, but not very much.

Terrodar11 karma

Will you employ me if I tell you I love you? (p.s. I really do. GJ on BL2 my friend)

MisterArmstrong45 karma

We don't let Anthony hire people. If you do, you get this:

"Did you see that guy's head! It was so weird! Let's make him a producer!"

"Does he have any production skills or experience?"

"Experience? Did you experience THAT HEAD?"

ReverendAnthony60 karma



Nassive11 karma

I've a really big fan, the series is my favourite, and I find the dialogue and the gameplay to be amazing. I liked that there was such an emphasis on Jack, and how much of a dick he was, on top of thinking that he was the hero.

1) Telling my friend about Bullymongers made her ask if you guys deliberately knew about some of the references. Are there any you made that you didn't know about until hindsight?

2) Any teasers on the next DLCs, or the next game?

3) You guys are very active on social media and youtube - how much effort goes into marketing and the like daily for the series?

I'm going through a ridiculously complicated process to get the Mechromancer pack (PS3 is region-locked for US, and I'm in Canada), and Borderlands 2 is the only game I've gotten the season pass for without blinking an eye. Thank you guys so much for providing such an entertaining series.

ReverendAnthony21 karma

  1. Lots of things that people think are references were definitely not intended to be. On the Borderlands wiki, somebody pointed out that people bang on doors at the same rhythm as the Master in Doctor Who, which was hilarious, albeit unintentional.

  2. Sorry!

  3. More than you'd think. Steve Gibson, Adam Fletcher, and Chris Faylor's daily lives revolve around social media and community and all that good stuff.

p0pfarts11 karma

Hey Anthony,

I have a feeling that this comment will get buried and/or you won't read it because I anticipate it ending up being pretty long, but I'm putting it out here anyway because fuck it.

I started listening to Podtoid ~5 weeks before you peaced out from Destructoid, and I want to tell you that from your hosting of the show, your RevRants and your articles, you've taught me an entirely different way to think about games (blah blah games as art blah blah).

Before Podtoid and your Revrants, I always just considered the medium as this faceless construction with enormous teams of programmers, lacklustre writers, and a couple of bourgeois-types sitting behind a desk evaluating how much money they're projected to earn. Which is, in many cases, not too far from the truth.

You and Aaron Linde showed me a completely different side to the medium. From your discussions on Metal Gear Solid's ridiculous plot-lines, themes of censorship, privately-owned military powers, etc., Earthbound's final boss Giygas and his significance to Shigesato Itoi's life, Passase, Gravity Bone, no kill run-throughs of various games, and so on, I have another appreciation for the medium in which I feel that game developers (some, at least) really want to do something with their games and that they aren't solely commodities. Sure, I had played Shadow of the Colossus before knowing who you were and understood the themes of moral ambiguity, love, devotion, etc., but until reading stuff you've written about Shadow of the Colossus and other games, I didn't know people could be scholarly about this shit.

From here, I became interested in blogging about games. Not contributing anything at first, but just reading various blogs with good editorials, observing different reviewing styles, and basically loving how Destructoid produces both of these without taking itself too seriously, thus, for example, alongside a quality review of Bit.Trip Beat by Jonathan Holmes would appear right next to an absurd un-boxing video by Jim Sterling; a good mix of seriousness, humorousness and humility. I then wanted to write about games, and I wanted to do it for Destructoid. This was about 2 years ago from now but, long story made short, I immediately became disenchanted from the idea by with the realization of the sheer amount of individuals trying to do the same as me and that the "games journalism" infrastructure is enormous, with a large amount of blogs being completely unknown (many of which actually quite good), and a small few occupying a position in which they receive any sort of acknowledgement. I can talk a lot more about this but I'm sure you've some DLC to write so I'm trying to finish this shit up.

I want to thank you for showing me that people can be smart about games and they actually mean something. I know that you're just a regular, smart dude who had a lot of luck and are probably thinking about how strange (you may use a different word) it is that you had an impact on the intellectual development from some 20 year old Canadian kid, but you did, and I thank you for it and I want you to keep making shit. Just keep doing shit, dude.

So to actually ask you a question: do you think Destructoid has changed significantly in the years you've left? I know a lot of other writers have left so it wouldn't be right to suggest a direct change as a result of your leaving, but I think there's been more of a focus on news and reviews rather than editorial and criticism, and I'd love to see more of the latter.

tl;dr: thanks for being smart and doing stuff. has destructoid changed since you've left? (I totally could've gotten away with just posting my tl;dr as my entire post but fuck it)

ReverendAnthony31 karma

Firstly, thank you for all the kind words. It's awesome (albeit incredibly surprising) to hear that someone thought all the random nonsense I did at Destructoid was worthwhile.

That said, you shouldn't let the sheer number of blogs stop you from writing stuff. If you wanna write stuff, write stuff -- it's worth it just to express yourself, traffic be damned. If traffic was all that mattered we could all just repost cosplay pictures endlessly.

To be honest, I wouldn't really know if Dtoid has changed because I haven't kept up with it since I left. Not because I think it's gone downhill or anything, but because it just feels a bit weird to me -- like hanging out with your ex-girlfriend after she's met another guy. You're both friends and everything, and there's no reason you shouldn't be able to hang out,'s kinda weird.

MikeJSheehan10 karma

  1. Was Tiny Tina written with Ash in mind, or specifically written for her?
  2. What is your current best example of non-linear design in a mainstream game (is it still Far Cry 2, a.k.a. the most important game of 2008)
  3. You seem like your sis might just be your best bud, which I think is awesome... Just how cool is she?
  4. Where do you go from here? How do you top this?
  5. I hope numbered lists are ok with you, but if they're not, I'm thinking you haven't gotten this far.

Signed, a fan.

ReverendAnthony22 karma

  1. Midway through I realized I was writing the character for Ash.
  2. The Sims, Crusader Kings II, and XCOM.
  3. She's very, very cool.
  4. I'm worried I don't and that the rest of my life will be a downhill slide.
  5. They are.

marvinaguilera9 karma

Do you own a Wii U yet and if so may I come over and play on it?

ReverendAnthony12 karma

I do not! But you could if I did.

darkwing928 karma

Did you have any input on the creation of Tiny Tina? If so was Ash any inspiration? Also what is your favorite HAWP?

ReverendAnthony21 karma

I wrote all her dialog, so, yeah -- lots of input. Ash was partly an inspiration, as was our friend Christina.

I'd say Persona 3 is my favorite HAWP, or the E3 episode where Patrick Fugit plays me.

clau728 karma

Hey Anthony! I've been a HAWP fan for a long time and loved BL2! Given how insane the Borderlands universe is, were there any ideas you came up with while writing that were somehow too over-the-top and didn't make it into the game?

ReverendAnthony16 karma

Tons. Part of my first few months on the job was working with the team to understand where Borderlands draws the line as far as humor goes -- basically, discovering what was "too silly" or "not Borderlands-y" or "not badass enough."

For instance, my original (stupid) idea for Ellie was that she'd have Brick's body and Moxxi's legs, and be strong enough to toss cars around. After some discussion we figured that was way too over-the-top and not grounded enough.

unibod8 karma

Hey Anthony.

Now that Borderlands 2 is out and loved by everyone and their doggies, Is there anything you wanted to put in the game that you just didn't have time for or it wouldn't fit?

Also, are there any super secret easter eggs that have yet to be discovered by the fans? Nothing is better than an easter egg that goes undetected like the Wave Race Easter Egg or the Splinter Cell Seal Rescue Easter Egg

Thanks for doing this AMA!

ReverendAnthony14 karma

There's a bunch of stuff I and everyone else wanted to put into the game, but at some point you have to stop yourself and say, "ah, well -- maybe I'll put it in a sequel or something." Otherwise, the game would never get done.

Unfortunately, I think everyone's pretty much noticed all the major easter eggs in the game. There are a lot of little references and jokes hidden in the mission text and skin names, but most of the really impressive stuff has been discovered.

Player_Uno7 karma

What do you consider to be the funniest line you or someone else wrote in Borderlands 2?

ReverendAnthony19 karma

Funniest? Gah, I dunno -- I'm so sick of hearing my own jokes that I don't play the game with dialog on anymore.

I had a couple lines that I thought were great that, in reality, I had subconsciously stolen from other places ("I built this ship with my own two slaves" is from Futurama, "Heroes don't murder children/Yeah but in my defense, that baby was a dick" is from Penny Arcade). Does that count?

wizardbus7 karma

Hey, I am a huge fan since seeing your Rev Rants on Destructoid! My question is, why don't more intelligent criticizers, writers, journalists, reviewers of games become involved in the development side of the industry? You are one of the only ones I can think of who actually made the jump, but this seems like such a likely move I am a bit surprised more of you guys don't get 'poached'.

ReverendAnthony13 karma

An awful lot of them do, actually. Chris Remo worked for Irrational for a little while, N'Gai Croal is now a consultant or something, and like half the guys I worked with at Destructoid now have industry jobs. It's actually one of the more reliable ways of getting an industry job as it shows a familiarity with games and the gaming community.

Roofiemartini7 karma

Please make a patch so that bullymongs are bonerfarts for the entire game.

ReverendAnthony6 karma

I'm glad you liked the joke enough to want that! A lot of the team was really worried that would come off as too goofy or silly.

r3p010127 karma

what caused your decision to kill off certain characters in the borderlands 2 story?

ReverendAnthony30 karma

We wanted people to realize that Borderlands 2's story wasn't just some worthless bit of fluff -- we wanted to convince people that Borderlands, as a universe, had big, worthwhile stories to tell that could be surprising and dark and shocking. We wanted people to be invested in the world and its characters, and it's not easy to do that if you pull all your punches and nobody ever gets hurt (which is why Serenity is a thousand times better than Return of the Jedi).

SasquatchPhD7 karma

Anthony, I once spoiled a character death in Angel for you. Can you ever forgive me?

ReverendAnthony17 karma