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…”
Geek collectable company owner Shaun Paulet decided to take a slightly different approach to the collectable market than most vendors. Instead of sourcing all the usual lines of stuff from the producers for the toy and collectable business, Shaun levered his passion for affordable collectibles to create, in conjunction with a collection of top Australian artists, a line of limited edition collectable prints available online or nationwide at Australian conventions for his company COMICS2MOVIES.
But after finding success within the artistic world of prints, Shaun decided to bring his own creativity and passion for comic books to the table, and thus was born XCT, a comic book series about clones of mythical monsters and ancient warriors like Spartacus fighting to the death for an audience of billions in the Xtreme Champion Tournament. XCT was successfully launched in Australia, New Zealand and the US in 2014.
Shaun and I have a great chat about high school sporting achievements, being the most funded Australian comic book crowdfunding project on Kickstarter, letting other people play with your stories, competing with the iconic American comic books for shelf space in Australian stores and ensuring your daughter shares your love of comics!
Linc Biggins is a longtime petrolhead, driving, riding and modifying vehicles on two wheels and four for as long as he can remember. after discovering the simple joy (and lack of expense) of commuting to work on a 50cc scooter, Linc decided to open a shop dedicated to the sit-down two-wheel market. The result, ScootaCo, is Cairns’ largest dedicated motor scooter retail and service store.
I had occasion to use ScootaCo’s services myself after the tyre inflation valves on The Foxy Lady, my 150cc scooter, gave way, and I got chatting with Linc about his business. The next step was, naturally, to interview him for the podcast!
We geeks are every where, and in force. That, I reckon, is the main takeaway from this chat with Charlie Kennell and Grant Robinson. One is about to do what conventional wisdom would dictate as impossible – organise a pop culture convention in a semi-rural Queensland city. The other is about to do it again.
In this episode, I chat with Charlie Kennell, the organiser of Cairns’ first pop culture convention, Tropicon, and Grant Robinson, organiser of Sugar City Con, which had its first outing in Mackay last year and returns to Mackay this year, about just what it takes to manage and run a convention in your off-hours.
One of the things that Adam of Sprue Grey wrote in his comment on Episode 3 was that he feels that being a dad to a young kid means that he has to put his unfulfilled wish to open and own a geek culture store on hold.
Now, I’m not a Dad. Well, not of human kids, anyway: Vickie and I have a pair of fur-babies.
But that thought gets to me. Why must it be an either / or?
Deji Adiatu is another one of those people who makes the rest of us look bad. He migrated from Nigeria to Australia a few years ago and has been working almost non-stop since, not just as an actor who got his break as an extra on no less than The Great Gatsby (yes, that The Great Gatsby) but also with charity organisations like the UN High Commission for Refugees and employment agencies seeking to place people looking for work.
And in the midst of all that he’s been looking after his young son.
Deji is very much a humanist who believes in helping everyone be the best they can. I’m very lucky to have had him as a guest on the podcast!
It’s one thing to talk about getting paid to play, and another to turn your play into something that others will want to buy. But getting the word about how great your thing is and how it will help / entertain people? That’s a whole different kind of challenge, especially when you’re just starting out and your marketing budget doesn’t even have a brass razoo.
That’s where Tim Reid, host of the Small Business Big Marketing podcast, comes in. Tim is a longtime marketing guru who quit working for some huge agencies seven years ago to go into business for himself. Not only is each weekly episode a fun chat with a businessperson taking an innovative approach to connecting with his or her customers, it’s also a great advertisement for Tim’s marketing consultant and speaking services!
I have to thank my old mate Marcus Herstik for hipping me to Tim, who is the kind of guy I want to be when I grow up: Confident, relaxed, gracious and great to share one of his famous fireside chats with!
It’s one thing to start a business in order to sell a product, yet another to believe in the product and its benefits. But Brad Russell, the co-owner and operator of Earth Toys with his wife Bree, lives and breathes a whole philosophy of play that seems absent from most places that sell toys.
In my fifth location interview, I visited Earth Toys, a shop in the middle of Cairns, to talk with Brad about how he and Bree set their business up and how it’s going, but came away not just with that but also a hefty slice of Brad himself.
Brad is a great guy to talk with: Always relaxed, always intelligent and always very insightful. Relax and let this one sink in!
And once you’ve finished this episode, drop in and see Brad when you’re next in the area. You’ll probably leave with something you hadn’t thought about buying before, but with a view on playing – and living – that you’d never considered before.
After interviewing my web host, I realised that it was both pretty scary and heaps of fun – so naturally, I wanted to do it again! This episode, therefore, is the first of the newly-rechristened Paid to Play Podcast, where I talk with folks who are making money out of having fun.
I’m quite proud to have as my first guest someone who’s getting paid to play the way I want to be – by writing superhero action novels. Raymond Masters has already completed and self-published Forging Truth (you can buy it both in paperback and as a Kindle e-book on Amazon) and is currently touring blogs across the globe to spread the word about both it and his next novel, Corrupting Truth. He has a Kickstarter campaign underway to fund his promotion of both books.
In this podcast, we get to to have a good geek-out, talking comic books, science fiction and TV in between finding out just how Ray gets paid to play.