Open Crowd Source S2E7 – Richard Cobbett

Iiiiiit’s Chriiiiiiistmaaaaaas. And we couldn’t let that go. No, in true Back Seat Designers fashion, we ran that theme right into the ground.

We had to make some schedule alterations due to Gareth being unable to read his diary. But thankfully our guest actually wanted to be on the show. We’re as surprised as you. Yes, Richard Cobbett, games journalist and designer very graciously gave up his time. And – I think it’s fair to say – took the design brief and went absolutely hog wild with it. Or Turducken wild, in this case.

This show was suitably festive from the get-go, thanks to our resident technician Fred. The theme tune got sleigh bells (thanks to Thomas Arnt Jensen); the buzzers were Père Noëlised (the sample of Santa falling down the chimney was made by Tiger_v15); and there was some hard-core fivegoldringification of our “iconic” Open Crowd Source machine imagery (Lone Jensen’s handiwork, that).


We also had festive cards for the machine. And, you know what? We LOVE giving out Christmas cards. So. Here you go. The XML file so you can build your own festive game at home.

But enough of this. WATCH THE SHOW!!!

A few points of trivia. First, Troels’ internet connection had clearly been on a bender. It’s the last Friday before Christmas, so everyone is out drinking. Perhaps his ISP has too. Try to get past the lag. And if it looks like people are talking over each other (more than usual), this is almost certainly the cause. That and alcohol. There was some of that swilling around too.

Also – if Fred looks like he’s just won the lottery after the cards were drawn, it’s because he really, really wanted “and a partridge in a pear tree” to be played. Like, srsly. To the point where he threatened to fix the deck so it came out. He assures us he didn’t. We’re not convinced. Still, it did lead to the invention of the greatest end boss in gaming history. We can’t complain too much.

I think that’s everything. Thanks all for watching this season, and massive props to all the guests we had on. We literally couldn’t have done it with out you. (+1 XP for correct use of the word literally)

Troels and Fred will be back in the new year with a new series of Back Seat Designers. Gareth may join them. He hasn’t been paid enough from this season to make a firm commitment.

Merry Christmas. And gawd bless us. Every one!


Open Crowd Source S2E6 – Chris Ushko

Three makes a perfect pair, so it makes sense that we would have three episodes in which the guest wound up being someone else than we had originally planned. It’s always a pleasure to have people on the show, however, and this week was no exception, as we introduced our old friend Chris Ushko to the Open Crowd Source Machine. Or Da Ush, as he’s known in this side of the hood. Which reminds me, I seem to have turned my trusty gangsta translation device off… *click*

Now, tonight, we n’ Da Ush have prepared a sick lil session fo’ you, biatch. Da Open Crowd Source Machine dealt our asses a mad weird set of cards, which had our asses somewhat blindsided at first yo, but ultimately hustled ta our asses comin up wit a odd, disjointed farce bout a dominatrix whoz ass literally has ta whip an ex-Nazi pedeatrician tha fuck into shape. Da Ush’s dirty ass even contributed cover art ta our sickest fuckin masterpiece:

Just Enough Germany
Da dawg gets me every last muthafuckin time.

As surreal as tha scam was, some straight-up bangin-ass scams straight-up came outta our lil jam fo’ realz. And real game found another way ta fuck me over, as mah laptop suddenly lost all internizzle connectivitizzle durin tha stream. Da OCS Machine computer, however, kept going. Sick try, Google.

Anyway, you can view our asses bein terribly witty here:

(Click to watch on YouTube)

Da audio-only version be available all up in tha bottom of dis page – though you lose up on Chris’ sketch of tha maze near tha climax of tha game, n’ tha bewildered facial expression of yours truly as mah connection is lost mid-sentence.

We truly grateful fo’ Chris steppin up ta tha plate as our plans fo’ a AdventureX special fell tha fuck apart earlier dis month, n’ our slick asses lookin forward ta wrappin up season 2 wit steez wit Slick Rick Cobbett on Fridizzle 18! Peep our YallTube channel fo’ local times. Peace out.

… this is why I don’t listen to hip-hop…

Open Crowd Source S2E5 – Francisco Gonzalez

Well, that was a laugh and a half! Mostly on us, though, at least from a technical standpoint.

For the second time in a row, our scheduled guest had to bow out at the last minute due to a personal emergency. So, once again, we scrambled to find a replacement guest, and we were almost resigned to do the whole thing with just ourselves and our stuffed animals when, lo and behold, our savior appeared!

Fran can do it, he's our man! If he can't do it, no one else wants to!

At pretty much the very last second, the patron saint of our little show here — mr. Francisco Gonzalez — said those immortal words: “I can do it.”

As those of you who follow the show will know, Francisco was our very first guest back in season 1, and he’s been very supportive of our foul-mouthed shenanigans. To the point where we were actually going to have him on the episode after this one live from the AdventureX convention in London, but we had to kibosh that little endeavor because of the convention’s poor internet. But thankfully we didn’t have to put the kibosh on having the only man who can give Fred a run for his money when it comes to imitating Virginia Capers after all!

So, the episode goes well. At least, I think so. Gareth, as always, thinks the cards were shit, but he’s been saying that since we started the season, so his opinion doesn’t really matter.

Then, as it’s time to say goodbye, I do the usual roundtable: “Say goodbye, Gareth.” He does. “Say goodbye, Fred.” Dead silence.

Neither Gareth nor I had noticed that Fred, at some point during the closing spiel, had checked out. And I mean literally checked out. He was still there in theory, but his screen was frozen in a very satisfying pose (we’re so sorry we couldn’t get a screengrab of that), and all contact had been lost.

In terms of the flow of the show, it wasn’t so much a problem — in fact, for some, it might have been a welcome respite — but it presented an entirely different problem on a technical level: Fred was the one hosting the Hangout session. Without him, there was no one to close the stream. And, thusly, it seemed the stream was destined to go on forever — or at least until everyone left. Which we did.

Now, our technical problems aren’t quite done there. After the show ended and we somehow managed to shut down the stream, YouTube went about its business processing the recording to make it viewable on our channel. And on it went. And on. And on. And on.

Fast forward thirteen hours: I’m at work, Fred’s chewing his nails, and the damn thing is still processing. Now, there’s a little nagging voice in the back of our heads that says Fred’s suicidal connection could have been the culprit, but this isn’t our first gallop around the Hangout rodeo. We know that if a stream gets interrupted by the host, it just keeps on going. Turns out, a lot of other people are having similar issues with Hangouts-on-Air, so it seems to be a problem on Google’s side of things — and not, as is customary by now, our own damn fault somehow.

The video is still viewable, but it doesn’t appear on our channel at current time of writing. Luckily, we can do magic. Lookee here:

(Click to watch on YouTube)

Since the video — again, at current time of writing — is still in processing hell, Fred had to go the roundabout way to record the audio straight off the video. That means sitting there for 50+ minutes, twiddling his thumbs (or, more likely, gyrating his middle fingers defiantly at the screen), then encoding that bad boy, only to find the sound quality somewhat lacking in comparison to our previous efforts.

So, I have promised him to apologize for the sound quality in this one, although I don’t think it’s that bad, myself.

Anyway, enough ranting about how Google delights in fucking us. Our major, massive, undying thanks to our patron saint, Francisco Gonzalez, for stepping up on such short notice to once again shower us with his wisdom, wit and wonderfulness!

Do check out Francisco’s podcast with Ben Chandler, Blue Cup Tools (click here to subscribe!). And, of course, his upcoming game for Wadjet Eye Games, also with Ben Chandler, entitled Shardlight (check out the trailer here!).

Next week, we’ll be joined by Chris Ushko — hip-hop stage name “Da Ush!” — who is our replacement for what was supposed to have been our AdventureX Special. So, finger’s crossed, no more goddamn cancellations this season! But even if there is, we won’t back down. We’ve got stuffed animals. The show will go on. (But we’re pretty sure Chris will show up. He’s a nice lad.)

Open Crowd Source S2E4 – Bianca Devins

Before I tell you all about this week’s episode, please allow me to unveil a new milestone for our show:

Ça ira indeed.
I’ll give you a hint: he’s not checking her temperature.

Yes, Troels has created a lovely piece of cover art for this week’s game design. Oh, incidentally, that picture is NSFW.

This latest episode also marked another first for Open Crowd Source. You may remember that we had originally announced that the guest this week was to be Will O’Neill, creator of “Actual Sunlight”, and Will was as excited about his appearance as we were.

Unfortunately, he got in touch with us less than 24 hours before the show to let us know that he would have to bow out due to circumstances beyond his control. Will was very gracious, asked us to extend his apologies to everyone who was looking forward to that episode, and we are definitely reserving a spot for him in season 3. But it meant that we had no guest lined up for this episode anymore.

At the 11th hour, mere hours before we were going to start taping “Open Crowd Source S2E4 – The One Without A Guest”, Bianca and Brian Devins from the Square Waves FM podcast luckily came to the rescue. You may remember both of them from their slightly chaotic season one apperance. The chaos of that episode since led us to conclude that one guest per episode works the best, so it was decided to have Bianca join, with her husband sitting this one out in favour of a season 3 appearance. To our own surprise, we are clearly already booking the next season.

It turned out to be fortuitous that we got Bianca on. The woman has got a dirty mind, and nothing could have prepared us for the OCS Machine cranking up the heat to deliver a steamy tale about the… recreational activities of Marie Antoinette. The gentlefolk over on the IRC channel didn’t make matters less puerile. The end result is arguably the raunchiest thing we’ve ever done, and it’s currently viewable on YouTube, though god knows how long that will last:

As usual, you will find the audio version below this post.

We are truly grateful that Bianca was able to join us at such short notice. We also really want to apologise to France, our respective parents, and to your traumatised children who are currently reading this over your shoulder. Hi, kids. You’re probably about to be grounded.

Even Google had trouble believing this shit. (This was legitimately the end frame of the stream.)
Even Google had trouble believing this shit. (This was legitimately the end frame of the stream.)

Open Crowd Source S2E3 – Joe Mastroianni

We’re very pleased to welcome back to the show a man whose podcast pedigree is unquestionable: Joe Mastroianni!

Joe Mastroian-- wait...

No, not that Joe Mastroianni.

This Joe Mastroianni:

The Real Mastroianni

Yes, host of the Upper Memory Block podcast and all around nice Canadian guy, Joe returns — we previously had him on our season 1 finale, and Joe has long suffered barrages of my voice mails on his own show as well as my belligerent appearances on his own Patreon Hangouts.

But now he’s here to do battle with the Open Crowd Source Machine for the first time, and, boy, shit got dark this time around. Which is doubly fun because Joe is an unfailingly polite, easy-going and pleasant man, and having him sit around trying to come up with ideas for a game involving the ghost of an 11 year old girl who was killed by her mother and can spiritually possess woodland creatures to do her bidding was perhaps one of the top 3 highlights of my life.

Don’t just take my word for it. Take Serena’s:

Serena needs a shower

Watch the macabre madness unfold here:

(Watch on YouTube)

And if you’re not into video, you can of course stream or download the audio version at the bottom of this post.

As always, our massive thanks to the creeps on our IRC channel — Michael Counsell, Amayriot Akago, Demodulated and Bianca (Square Waves FM), Diana Rose, and Serena “Still Feels Dirty” Nelson — for all their witty and deplorable banter; some of which was so filthy we didn’t even have the heart to read it out loud on the air. Seriously, that place is a party when we record the episodes live. You should come join us.

You should also give Joe’s show, The Upper Memory Block, where he discusses a game from the DOS and pre-Windows XP gaming era in detail each episode, a whirl: Listening to his show was what got me inspired to do my own podcast, and by extension Back Seat Designers, and he truly is a consummate professional.

Joe also has co-hosts another podcast for Star Wars nerds called Star Wars Stacks, which you should check out if you’re into that sort of thing.

And, of course, I have to mention Joe’s YouTube channel where he puts up what he calls “game research” — but is really just a very good Let’s Play channel.

We’ll see you kids back next Sunday to welcome another pleasant man from Canada, mr. Will O’Neill, creator of the indie hit game Actual Sunlight!