S2E13 – Season Finale

Last night, we were joined by a bunch of great people in a very special Hangout where we covered most of the topics Troels and I have been discussing on season 2. Our guest list was reduced slightly because both Joe Mastroianni and Tom King had to bow out. But although that meant the guest list for this season finale was smaller than we originally anticipated, it was certainly no less impressive, with Brian Devins, Francisco Gonzalez, Serena Nelson, Jacob Janerka and Josh Mandel all being in good spirits. Many very good points were made, and enlightening – and frank – discussions were had.

I’m not gonna keep yapping about it – suffice to say, it was a great and very humbling experience and I’d very much like to thank all of our guests for taking the time to visit our freaky little show. And speaking of “freaky”, I’m gonna let you make a choice that is not at all dissimilar from the opening quizzes in most of the Leisure Suit Larry games.

If you dislike gratuitous nudity, the audio version is at the bottom of the page.

Or maybe you don’t have a problem with men with half-naked men wearing ties. In fact, you might even find yourself little intrigued or titilated by it as you’re reading this. If that’s the case, I don’t judge, and here is the video version:

Thanks again to our guests for making this as enjoyable as it was, and thank you to everyone who has listened to and/or watched season 2! Although this officially kicks off a little time-out before we start working on season 3, we’ll be back before you know it. Specifically, we will be taking on Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender on BSDPlays very soon, and we’ll probably be wearing clothes all the while. Unless we won’t. So watch this space!

S2E12 – Crowdfunding

Oh, the irony. If we pulled off a Kickstarter, I wouldn’t back it.

Anyway, last week, we did an episode about crowdfunding. By our standards, it was a fairly serious, sobering (though I wasn’t actually sober) and enlightening romp. We both walked away with a new perspective on a subject we care a lot about.

I’m not gonna waste your time with my rambling, cause the episode speaks for itself. As usual, you traditional podcast listeners can get the Back Seat Designers fix you didn’t know you didn’t need here.

If you want something more visual to enjoy, YouTube is the place:

Finally, while I’ve mentioned this elsewhere, we won’t be doing an episode this week. Troels is currently enjoying Roskilde Festival, and I’m slowly gearing up for my vacation. But behind the scenes, we’re beginning to plan the upcoming season finale, for which we hope to gather a lot of illustrious adventure game designers for a roundtable about the subjects we have covered this season. We closed off season 1 in that manner as well. You can see how that went down here:

Till then, stay safe and don’t forget to drink plenty of liquor! Sorry, liquids…

S2E11 – The Adventure Game Historians

A wild Gareth appears!

A wild Gareth appears!

I do apologize so much for taking that obviously candid photo from a private chat and splashing it all over the internet — but it was too good not to go there.

And appear he did, on Sunday the 7th of June, at Fred’s apartment. For what was ostensibly a social occasion, a decision to record an episode was reached, and we quickly decided on a topic while Fred was still in a somewhat coherent state. (You will notice this state declines sharply as the episode progresses.)

The topic was “history in adventure games” — as in historical events that would make good adventure games — and this was a perfect fit as Gareth, indeed, holds a Ph.D. in History.

He does, however, also perform what Fred and I think is the absolutely side-splittingly hilarious role of Pete Toleman, CEO of Priapic Mountain, and the opportunity to conduct an “interview” with the man/myth/legend while he was in the room was just too good to pass up. So that’s why the first 20 minutes of the video episode consists pretty much exclusively of Fred having a beer on camera, or having a piss off-camera.

At any rate, you can experience our valiant attempts to keep things both academic and sophomoric (and succeed greatly at both, if I do say so myself!) right here with your auditory organs.

You can also view them with the viewing things in your skull here:

For completeness sakes, here’s a tissue pic of Fred as well.

A wild Fred appears!

Ah, to hell with it. Here’s one of me, too.

A wild Troels appears!

S2E10 – Narration (interpolating ‘When connections go to shit’)

Finally, we can put the past behind us and get back to discussing what we do best: Minute details in adventure games that turn out to be much grander and with many more facets than we could anticipate.

Case in point: The narrator in a game. On the surface, a simple discussion about the pros and cons of first person vs. third person narration.

Turns out there are many degrees of first person narration. And once we bring the discussion round to whether or not this creates a fourth-wall breaking disconnect with the player, well, that’s when we each reach for our beers and try to bring some levity to the situation: Fred with his Christopher Lee impression, and me by suggesting that Frank Miller should be anally violated with a pineapple.

As you can tell, we’re in for quite the sobering educational romp. But, before all of that, we also have to deal with the dreaded technical demon of fucked internet connectivity! Oh god. The rage. How it burns and boils!

You can, as always, listen to the whole shebang here.

(In the interest of full transparency and our adherence to our “no editing, no censorship” rule, we left in the technical fuckuppery in the show. Skip the first 11 minutes to go straight to the good stuff, if you’d rather not listen to us fuck around with our routers and bitch at each other with our Daft Punk voices.)

You can also view what went down (and up in the air) on our YouTube-a-majig here:

Here’s hoping next time won’t be plagued with the ineptitude of Danish internet providers!

S2E9 – Sound Design pt 2

This is probably the hardest post I have yet had to write. For my task is to convince you to watch/listen to the trainwreck that was the latest episode of Back Seat Designers.

Let me provide some background info, so we have the Clusterfuck Chronicles collected in one place. You’ll no doubt remember that we had been titilating you with the prospect of a guest appearance by a friend of Troels, who’s also an acquaintance of mine. Anders Bjørn Rørbæk Pedersen, AKA Audiolog was going to make an apperance in order to discuss adaptive sound design with us.

Having him as a guest was of special interest, since he is working on a game audio system that has the game events change based on the music and sound. That’s essentially the exact opposite of what LucasArts’ iMUSE system did, so we felt this was gonna be an interesting little excursion into something that could be hugely interesting to apply in an adventure game.

So we made plans and Audiolog was into it. Troels got himself spectacularly blitzed in cheapo plastic bottle beer and asked me to take the word this time around – I’m gonna get into that later – and we were both ready to pull off an episode for the ages.

That we did. Exhbit A is at the bottom of this post.

Exhibit B is here, m’lud.

See, first of all, our guest did not turn up, leaving us – and especially my drunken compatriot – in a somewhat sour, sarcastic mood, and with no other options than talking about sound effects and voices till further notice. During that discussion, we managed to get ahold of him and he finally did join. Without a working microphone. The rage and disappointment turned to relief, only to turn into rage and disappointment 15 seconds later. So what you’re hopefully about to hear and watch is pretty much permeated by these events. Troels is in a drunken rage throughout, and I’m acting like a precocious asshole, having a somewhat hard time trying to rein the poor guy in.

We did ultimately have a certain amount of fun, and we managed to raise some fairly good points about voice acting and sound effects among us, I thought. So maybe it’s not all worthless. For those concerned, there was, and is, no resentment between us at all either. At all. Make no mistake, though; this is the episode directed by Alan Smithee.

Audiolog might owe us both a couple of beers at this point, too! And if he’s reading this, he can forget all about plastic bottle beer. I shall never consume that hog shit!