A Seattle-based podcast about games, comics, superheroes, zombies, robots, wizards, dinosaurs, and other things relevant to your interests. We're SJW FTW, and we’ve been nerding out about nerd stuff since way before everybody was a nerd.
We got another chance to interview Friend of the Hole and rockstar game designer Jonathan Tweet, whose magnificent book Grandmother Fish comes out today in his new deal with Macmillan. We’re going to the launch party at Ada’s Technical Books in Seattle on Saturday 9/10 from 10am-2pm, and you should too.
In the interview, we also got to talk a bit about Clades, a game Tweet is designing to teach evolution to kids and their adult companions. We played a bit of his early design and had a great time. We’ll let you know when he fires up that Kickstarter next month.
We spoke with author and game designer Jonathan Tweet about his new book Grandmother Fish, which tells the story of evolution for pre-K kids. We also delved into his storied history as a game designer and got some terrific inside stories from his super-smart daughter Tessa.
Here’s some fun highlights from the celebrity panels I attended:
Amanda Tapping I’ve never watched Stargate SG-1, and I bowed out of Sanctuary pretty early on so I really didn’t have an opinion about Amanda Tapping going in to this panel, but the friend I attended with on Saturday was a fan so we went to hear her talk. And I’m so glad! Tapping is funny and approachable and had lots of stories from the sets of her various projects (including the time she got blown up on the set of SG-1). She and her daughter are big Whovians and she fangirled about getting to meet Alex Kingston. She also said she’d love to play either River Song or the Doctor.
Alex Kingston Many of us know her best as River Song on Doctor Who, which she acknowledged immediately by greeting the audience with, “Hello, sweeties!” Originally asked to be the headmistress of the adipose, Kingston turned it down because she had another job. “Thank God!” she said, because then she was later asked to fill this much more memorable role. Kingston said that writer Stephen Moffat knew River’s arc from her first appearance in the episode “Silence in the Library.” Kingston’s daughter, Salome, was celebrating her 14th birthday on Saturday, so Kingston brought her out on stage and the entire audience joined in singing “Happy Birthday.” Continue reading →
This short interview with TellTale Games CEO Kevin Bruner highlights a fascinating development in the evolution of video games and visual media. Lionsgate is investing a sizable chunk of cash money to develop hybrid interactive media they’re calling “Super Shows.*” This feels like a no-brainer; TellTale’s episodic games based on The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are highly regarded enhancements of those properties. It stands to reason that building a game and video series together from the ground up could be the start of something new and more deeply engaging.
But something about this deal is bugging me. It’s not the partners or the mystery property they’re starting out with – I expect they’ll do just fine, based on past performance. It’s that I can’t think of a single collaboration like this between indie game devs and indie filmmakers. That’s not to say it hasn’t happened before – please, please let me know if you’ve got details – but this seems like the sort of idea that big players would poach from indies rather than dream up on their own.
It could be that the resources involved in an endeavor like this are just too much for most indies. They’d have to invest fat loot in development before they ever got to shooting or coding, and since it would have to be a labor of love (at first), finding enough artists willing to submit to one shared vision may be too much to ask. I do hope that once the concept has been proven (if it is), that indies will look to each other to build their own hybrids and find new ways to keep the media evolving.
* I would be happy to help them rename (and I’m quite affordable).