Author Archives: Rob F.

Ryan Schapals, Head Minion at Hyper RPG – Episode 114

Production manager and writer Ryan Schapals works for the LA online media studio Hyper RPG. His job is to turn tabletop roleplaying games into live performance-based narrative experiences on the video streaming website Twitch.

Prior to joining the HyperRPG team, Ryan worked with computer game company Harebrained Schemes as a writer for the app-enhanced tabletop miniatures game Golem Arcana. Right now he’s juggling his minion duties at Hyper RPG building the world of Amaurea’s Dawn for a new tabletop roleplaying game rule set, Open Legend.

Join us for a chat about the second-guessing voices in the back of your head, getting into roleplaying games through Neverwinter Nights, turning down the opportunity to be on-screen talent and the zen experience of doing the dishes!

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Mariah Avix, 600 Second Saga – Episode 113

Podcaster, voice talent and author Mariah Avix is the creator of the podcast, 600 Second Saga; a space for developing authors to explore the realms of science fiction and fantasy in 10 minutes or less every week. On March 20th, 2017, Mariah celebrated the first anniversary of 600 Second Saga, having released an episode a week for the last fifty-two weeks! After a short break, the show will return for its second season on April 5th!

Mariah also narrates audiobooks and writes magical tales of how technology will change our world, and technologically laced tales of magic that probably isn’t real.

Join us for a great chat about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the division of trust between writer and reader, how current references can become future Easter eggs, getting to the meat of the story in 1,000 words, the benefits of pre-planning your podcast and working diversity into your freelance portfolio – and keep listening after the chat wraps for one of Mariah’s flash fiction works, “An Axe”!

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S.R. Ringuette, Webcomic Writer and Artist – Episode 112

S.R. Ringuette is author/illustrator/cartoonist and educator who, from his hometown of Calgary, Alberta, attempts to use creativity as a secret staircase to subvert traditional employment. His lifelong love of cartooning turned into making comics as an adult and eventually teaching kids and teens to do the same.

Sebastien has created a comic series, The Aversion Bureau, that has become two collections and even a pair of novels. He also created the web comic Gamer Roommates and in November 2016 launched a new web comic, It Has Pictures! Since then, Sebastien has been posting new witty art based on whatever takes his fancy and doing freelance design work for web series, podcasts and friends in between.

Join us for a great chat about the perfect storm of arrogance and ignorance, the importance of loving your own work, knowing when to step away from the things you love doing and how nothing matters more than the personal touch!

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Neil Rennison, Tin Man Games – Episode 111

Game director, producer, writer and designer Neil Rennison is the original founder of Tin Man Games, a company that brings the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks of Eighties childhoods back to life as apps. Neil has worked in the computer and video games industry for over fifteen years. He’s been involved in over fifty published games including such high profile titles as the Need For Speed series, Nascar series, The Sims series and the Tiger Woods Golf series for a variety of platforms including iPhone, DS, PSP, and Wii.

Neil has had a number of articles published in 3D World magazine & PC Format, has dabbled in university lecturing, is an adjudicator for government funding in games, and has given talks at various gaming conventions and gatherings of the International Game Developers Association.

Listen in for a great chat about the snowball effect, going freelance in the video game industry, being asked by the superstar in your business to adapt one of his works and that odd sensation of, “I could be perfectly happy staying where I am now – but…”

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Tony Bonner: A Career in Acting – Episode 110

Veteran stage and screen actor Tony Bonner is known worldwide for playing helicopter pilot Jerry King in the classic Australian TV series, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. Tony’s had a long career in the performing arts and continues to appear on TV, in movies, in theatres and on the web today. Earlier this year (and after our chat), Tony was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours list.

Thanks to my guest Travis Bain, I was lucky enough to catch Tony in late 2016 when he was in Cairns as part of his endeavour to pass his skills and experience on to actors-in-training across the country (and perform in Travis’ upcoming film Landfall). We chat about Tony’s dream role, the worldwide reach of Skippy and how little an actor’s career changes over fifty years!

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Zac, a.k.a. The IMP, Pro eSports Team Coach – Episode 109

Heroes of the Storm fan and coach of Texas A&M Team Maroon Zac is better known within the eSports community as The IMP. A former competitive player himself, Zac is working to get his team of five college students to the winner’s podium of the 2017 Heroes of the Dorm league; not only that, Zac applies his skill in Heroes of the Storm through freelance coaching of anyone looking to better their game!

As this episode goes to air, Team Maroon will be in the final matches of the the Group Stages and Playoffs of Heroes of the Dorm, but Zac has confirmed that they’ve now won enough matches to make it into the Championship Brackets starting on March 18th; if the team wins all four Bracket matches, they’ll be through to the Top Four final rounds on April 8th. The champion team will come away with each player’s college tuition covered for up to three years!

Listen in as Zac and I have a great chat about taking a group of alpha males and making them work together, the time commitments required of a competitive gamer, the sheer complexity of playing a Heroes of the Storm hero, the difference between a melee and ranged flex player and his ambition to return to the college competitive leagues as a player in 2018! Continue reading

Shelli Varela: Saying Yes to Hacking Possibility – Episode 108

Host of The YES Effect podcast, possibility hacker and fire captain Shelli Varela has been blazing trails both figuratively and literally for over 2 decades. As well as a veteran firefighter and podcaster, Shelli is a published author of a children’s book and a public speaker, having presented for TEDx twice.

But Shelli has a particular trick that helped her achieve all these goals, a technique she calls Possibility Hacking. Shelli has used it to coach badass women to say “Yes!” to their greatness and live life on purpose, not autopilot. By the time this episode goes to air, Shelli will have unleashed her signature online program called YES University onto the web, and in March her inner circle membership site will be launching.

Shelli and I have a great chat about going from a 108lb. artist to her city department’s first female fighter, the danger of taking on the labels other people’s place on you, how she discovered possibility hacking through reverse engineering her techniques for learning fire fighting and the power of the question: “Why not me?”

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Top 10 for 2016! Most Downloaded Episodes of Season 4 (Live Stream)

On a complete and utter whim after checking my podcast stats, I decided to record a quick live stream of the Top 10 Downloaded Episodes of 2016!

What’s your play?

Who was your favourite guest of the Paid to Play Podcast in 2016?

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Kimi, Golden Lasso Girl: Cosplayer and Game Master – Episode 107

Cosplayer and game master Kimi is better known as the Golden Lasso Girl, which ought to tell you that she’s a full on geek. She absolutely loves Wonder Woman, not just as an arse-kicking superhero but as an icon of feminine empowerment. Naturally, Kimi’s enthusiasm for cosplay has led her to attending many conventions in various iterations of a Wonder Woman costume, but also for creating a YouTube channel for which Kimi records tutorials for cosplay and crafting. Kimi’s skill is such that one of her cosplay designs for a “bombshell” version of Big Barda was adopted by DC Comics as Barda’s official outfit in their Bombshells comic!

On to of that, Kimi loves tabletop roleplaying games, so much so that not only has she assumed the role of game master for her friends, she’s also become co-host of the Happy Jack’s RPG Podcast. This show features a crew of gamers getting together to answer listeners’ questions and have an enthusiastic chat about RPGs over a few bevvies. (Yes, that’s alcoholic.)

Kimi and I have a great chat about her interest in metalworking, getting into cosplay by wanting to show the professionals how to make a Wonder Woman costume, being one of the cool teachers at school, the joys and struggles of game mastering, sharing your hobby loves in podcasts and how-to videos and the wisdom of deciding not to monetise your passions.

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