Open Crowd Source S1E5 – Josh Mandel

The Open Crowd Source Machine has shown us some quite spectacular things thus far. We have seen the Pope from Boston busting for a piss. We have seen Gandhi swim across the Pacific. We have been to an East German antique shop with a serial masturbator. We have gazed upon punk chicks in Mexican food. So where do we go from here?

The only logical answer, of course, is that we co-design a game with Josh Mandel – he of Sierra fame – in which Adolf Hitler’s chain-smoking brain is watched over by evil alien overlords in an underground Gobi Desert complex. There’s also a dim-witted protagonist, a smoking camel (geddit?) brandishing a yarmulke band-aid, and lots of puzzles involving sand.

“Mein Gott, I vas die ruler of Europe! Pleeze stop referring to me as ‘Lung Kanzler’!”

I do not exaggerate when I write – with all due respect to our wonderful guests so far – that this is the best episode of Open Crowd Source as of yet. Plain and simple, this is exactly why we’re doing the show. We were dealt a completely ridiculous hand of cards, and yet, we were able to come up with a skeletal design that, quite frankly, left all of us in awe.

The whole brainstorm, replete with Laura Mandel giving Gene Simmons a run for his money, is available on YouTube:

I think I speak for all three of us when I say that we’re beyond grateful for Josh wanting to join us. You’re no doubt familiar with the man’s previous work, but should you want to stay up-to-date on his current activities, do yourself a favour and look up the game Ember, which Josh is currently working on for N-Fusion Interactive.

That’s it for this week. I’m gonna go put the Open Crowd Source Machine back into the garage where it shall remain until next week, where we’ll be joined by YouTuber Diana Rose. The final stream link for that episode, if Google permits, is already available on our YouTube channel:

Until then, please feel free to design a game about Adolf Hitler and smoking camels. Peace out.

Open Crowd Source S1E4 – Jess Morrissette and Serena Nelson

For once blissfully unaffected by any major technical screwups (save for Jess’ minor pre-show problems getting his mic to work, but you viewers/listeners will be blissfully spared of that), the Open Crowd Source train rolls once again.

With Gareth once again taking the reins as sprechstallmeister (but don’t you dare call him Mr. Clarkson!), we welcome two dear friends — Jess Morrissette and Serena Nelson — to the show. As the Open Crowd Source Machine throws four cards at us involving a punk chick, a home renovation, and a taco, Jess jumps right in with both feet trying to make sense of it all, whereas Serena appears more preoccupied with the ingredients of said taco.

It isn’t long, however, before everyone involved has sketched out a surprisingly comprehensive tale of supernatural taco monsters and funeral homes — and even somehow manage to squeeze in a unicorn pony. Seriously. It makes even less sense when I type it out, but have a listen yourself and you’ll see.


Of course, you can view the whole thing in glorious color motion right here:

Despite me staying uncharacteristically sober throughout the whole thing (my belly was doing samba noises that the microphone mercifully failed to pick up, so I stuck to diet cola for this episode), an amazing good time was still had by all.

Jury’s still out which of our guests had the most inappropriate joke — Jess’ “pony taco” or Serena claiming she could somehow “fit a pony” (we’ll let your imaginations wander on that one) — we do know that Jess gets unfair extra points for putting his way-too-young-for-this-shit daughter on camera and introducing Fred as “Scarecrow” right to her face!

You can check out Serena’s writings over at Cliqist and KickstartVentures, as well as her name in the “thank you” part of pretty much any indie adventure currently out there. Meanwhile, Jess created the first ever computer game fansite back in 1995, Roger Wilco’s Virtual Broomcloset, and it’s still online! He also made the two Pledge Quest games with Jess “Akril” Beebe, and the game Late Last Nite with a bunch of friends (including all three hosts of OCS! #ethics).

And check out Zack Morrissette (no relation) and his epic tale, Tacos of the Damned, because we’re still reeling from the fact that that actually exists.

As an added bonus, check out a gallery of all the Serena memes we had prepared for the episode when Gareth was running down the comprehensive list of all the games she’d backed on Kickstarter!

Too Damn High!

Next week, we welcome none other than Josh Mandel, veteran adventure game designer for Sierra On-Line, Legend Entertainment and more, to the show! Stay tuned for an official announcement. Now RIDE THAT UNICORN PONY! RIDE IT!

Open Crowd Source S1E3 – Brian and Bianca Devins & Shawn Mills

Please allow me to entertain you with a brief appetiser before we haul in the main course. Google, by now one of the most famous tech companies of history, is known for many things. They have revolutionised the way we use the Internet, and admirably continue to do so. They have provided free email and cloud-based storage space for the unwashed masses. An operating system largely of Google’s design is powering a vast number of the computing devices that link us all together in a vast network where we can all harness the greatest achievements of the human mind, and learn, grow, and evolve, as we stumble through the darkness, together.

In short, you would never expect Google to be comprised of a bunch of sadistic fucking shitheads who take pleasure in completely ruining a promising podcast. Yet, that is exactly what happened yesterday. At least, I am reserving the freedom to think so. Evidence and more copious swearing coming your way after the break.

Continue reading Open Crowd Source S1E3 – Brian and Bianca Devins & Shawn Mills

Open Crowd Source S1E2 – David X Newton

"Royal straight flush, bitch."
“Royal straight flush, bitch.”

Last weekend, we had the pleasure of co-designing a game about the exploding bladder of the alternate 1970’s Boston Pope. Today, we are upping the ante, as the Open Crowd Source Machine tasks us with designing a game in which Gandhi must put it all on red in the Entertainment Capital of the World for the benefit of his home nation.

Or, rather, that’s the cards we were eventually dealt after the machine had crashed. Twice. One of them has even been played before. I’m still working out the kinks here, but at least the music worked.

Anyway, joining us for this excursion into the politically incorrect was YouTube streamer and “Crystal Towers 2” designer David X. Newton. David was really into it, and we’d like to thank him sincerely for not running away screaming, which would have been a more logical reaction.

If you’re not scared off, check out the audio version of the episode below.

Or watch our immature asses completely ruin one of the most inspirational figures of the 20th century on YouTube:

That’s it for Open Crowd Source this week. Gareth is off to Germany to do his actual job, which means that for the next episode on September 6, we will have the pleasure of bringing in two esteemed guests to cover for the absence of our co-host: game designer, podcaster and musician Brian “Demodulated” Devins, and Infamous Quests co-founder Shawn Mills.

Stay tuned for a more formal announcement, but more importantly, stay safe!

Open Crowd Source S1E1 – Francisco Gonzalez


Last night we had the great pleasure to welcome Francisco Gonzalez of Wadjet Eye Games back into the Back Seat Designers fold — this time as the inaugural guest contestant on our spin-off show, Open Crowd Source.

Despite Fred’s computer audibly trying to self destruct around us, we are dealt four random cards from the Open Crowd Source Machine and are tasked with designing a game about an American Pope who’s absolutely busting for a piss.

The episode is available in both audio and video form. If you’re already subscribed to us on iTunes, Stitcher or via RSS, the episode should already be available in your preferred podcast listening device. Or, you can just listen to it here.

Of course, you can also watch us perform this act of forced ingenuity:

Well, for the most part, anyway. Once we screenshare the Machine, you can’t actually see us, even though that’s what we had intended. We hope to have that worked out for episode 2, so you can enjoy our fabulous mugs throughout the episode.

Our great big thanks to Mr. Gonzalez for joining us. Next time, we hope to have all the kinks worked out, and we welcome Mr. David X. Newton of YouTube fame. Take a look at his show “Stumbling Through” to see what he’s all about.

Next episode will be on Sunday, August 30th, same time as yesterday. A full announcement will come soon with links and all that jazz. Until next time, take care and pee with pride!