After wrapping season 3 in April 2016, the Back Seat Designers took an extended break trying to figure out what they wanted to do. Attempts were made to branch out on YouTube, following some initial excitement at doing cooperative Let’s Plays, but this idea was abandoned when Troels started doing his own brand of horseshit as a Let’s Player.
A long time passed while the three hosts tried to decide whether to do another season of the “main show,” or another season of the slightly-more-popular spin-off show, Open Crowd Source.
Then, in early August 2016, following the news that Infamous Quests were closing, the guys recorded a one-off special with Shawn Mills, co-CEO of Infamous Quests, who wanted to sound off on his feelings about the state of the adventure game industry.
This prompted Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye Games, who politely disagreed with some of Shawn’s points, to offer his point of view on the subject in another special. To round things off, the BSD guys invited Katie Hallahan of Phoenix Online Studios to balance the two out, inadvertently making a triple-threat special triumvirate, dubbed “State of the Industry.”
Bolstered by their new-found ability to carry on a conversation with others than themselves, the Back Seat Designers decided to go ahead with a 4th season of the “main show,” this time inviting guests to participate in the episodes. Their big scoop was getting Steve Gaynor of The Fullbright Company, makers of the acclaimed Gone Home, to appear in the season premiere episode, giving them the confidence to expand their ambitions.
The “After Dark” bonus episodes of season 3 were abandoned. Instead, from episode 3 onwards, loyal Patreon backers were treated to exclusive “before-the-show” banter and special content, released a few days prior to the actual episode release. This also meant that Patreon backers were informed of who the week’s guest would be ahead of time, which was otherwise kept secret from the rest of the world.