Tag Archives: games

Resurrecting Great Games: Lukas Litzsinger, Episode 27

We talk a lot about career plans and focusing on goals when we think about where we want to be. But sometimes, you discover an opportunity that takes one of your side interests and shoves it off the pedestrian pavement and straight into your career path.

For Lukas Litzsinger, that opportunity was a job vacancy on the website of tabletop game publishers, Fantasy Flight Games. The vacancy was on the team behind his favourite game (A Game of Thrones – The Card Game), and though he’d studied journalism and copy writing in college, he pursued it – which led him to a career in game design and the chance to resurrect one of the best collectable card games of all time, Netrunner, in a new form.

Lukas took the time to sit down with me over Skype for a chat about how he came to work for Fantasy Flight Games, what designing games as a day job involves and just the recent explosion in interest in tabletop games means in this era of smartphone game apps and massive online multiplayer experiences – not to mention some mutual gushing about how awesome Android: Netrunner is!

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Making Video Games as an Employee and Solo: Henry Smith, Episode 23

Okay, you gamers out there. What’s your favourite game design studio? You know you’ve got one, just like you’ve got a favourite game platform. Wouldn’t you just love to work there, making video games like the awesome games you love to play?

Have you ever thought that even if you score that dream job, you might discover that there are things that you want to do with your passion for gaming, programming, design that you don’t have the spare time or energy to do?

Henry Smith had a pretty awesome job at BioWare, the makers of awesome games like Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights and, more recently, Dragon Age and the incredible science fiction trilogy, Mass Effect. Yet six months ago he decided to take a year off so that he could work on the personal projects that brought him joy.

I caught up with him a month or so after he released his first game, a science fiction themed iDevice app called Spaceteam, where you and one to three friends try and save your starship from utter destruction by pulling levers, twisting dials and yelling technobabble at each other. Though the game itself is free, Henry is earning enough money from the pay-to-download add-on packs to look at extending his time working solo.

I thoroughly enjoyed my chat with Henry about getting paid to play – by quitting getting paid to play!

UPDATE: After listening to this episode, please have a listen to my second chat with Henry during his (successful) Kickstarter campaign to fund a year’s worth of game development!

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Episode 8: Jared A. Sorensen, Game Designer

It was Australian gamer Steve Darlington’s describing Jared A. Sorensen as the “foetus horribilis” of the tabletop roleplaying game design set that got my attention. From there on it was all downhill as I followed Jared from the web forum RPGnet to The Forge and bought myself a copy of his game InSpectres, still the most fun tabletop roleplaying game I’ve ever played or game mastered (and would love to play or GM again regularly).

I managed to catch Jared on Facebook one Saturday and asked him about interviewing – it turned out he was available right there and then! I connected my recording kit and got a good half hour chat about his design process, his full-time job in game design and how empanadas are key to his upcoming martial takeover of New York City.

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Album cover for Level 2, by Miracle of Sound

Episode 5: Gavin Dunne, Miracle of Sound

I didn’t think I’d be able to say this with only four episodes of this podcast under my belt, but I am very pleased to be able to mark my guest for episode 5 off my wish list:

Gavin Dunne, Miracle of Sound. Image sourced from the Miracle of Sound profile on Last.FM

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present for your listening pleasure, Gavin Dunne, the one-man band known on the Internet as the Miracle of Sound!

Gavin sat down with me over Skype on Thursday evening, Ireland time (which translated to before sparrows, Cairns time) to talk about how he went from the frontman of a band that broke up on the verge of hitting it big to a full-time, self-employed musician with a dedicated fan base that stretches across the world!

Gav was a pleasure to chat with, and had plenty of stories and insights on what it takes to become your own personal success story in the Internet age. Plus it was fun to geek out with him about games toward the end! Listen and enjoy!

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A Return to Old Playing and Getting Paid to Podcast

It’s been a good seven days here at the Realm. It’s been an upswing in both progress toward getting paid to play and, well, just playing.

On the play front, Cairns’ first dedicated comic book store opened on Thursday, May the 31st. By luck, I wound up the first person through the door of KerSplatt! Comics (I was on my morning break at work). Though I was planning on just browsing, I got on so well with owners and operators Mal and Amy that I couldn’t just walk right out again without something, which turned out to be Issue 515 of The Invincible Iron Man!

Since then, I’ve popped in with such frequency that Mal has joked about making me the store mascot! I’m suddenly having visions of the two guys down the other end of the bar in Cheers.

Though it’s still early days, the business seems to be keeping Mal and Amy pretty busy, with sales of Magic: The Gathering cards doing as well as the comics. Some visitors, though, have been asking about Dungeons & Dragons books, and while Mal and Amy are focusing on their core business right at the moment, it seems pretty likely that KerSplatt! could end up as Cairns’ first Friendly Local Game Store as well!

Which is an interesting piece of timing.

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