DNA Podcast 042 – Dungeons and Dragons

D&D

In this episode, Rob and Don are joined by fellow gamer Jack Ward to discuss the granddaddy of tabletop roleplaying- Dungeons and Dragons. The intrepid trio throw on their adventuring gear and delve deep into the many editions of D&D while sharing their thoughts on how D&D became a cultural fixture in our society.  All this, and why you need to roll for initiative right now!… are waiting for you in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

    Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Image Credits (Used under CC 2.0 License):
Galfragnog The Mighty DM by Scott Macleod

Things Discussed:

Chainmail
Dungeons and Dragons
1:1 Scale Gundam
Tolkien and Led Zepplin
The Crying Native by the Side of the Road
Hunter in the Dark Monica Hules
In Children’s Books Food replaces Sex
Greyhawk
Blackmoor
AD&D
Tunnels and Trolls
King of Kong
Dragonlance
Forgotten Realms
Stranger Things
12 Famous People Who Play D&D
Record of Lodoss War
Interview with Will Meugniot
Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon
Shannara
Dragon Riders of Pern
Wizards of the Coast
Red Wedding Reaction Videos
Ral Partha
D&D Toys
Strongheart and Warduke
Pathfinder
6 Best Editions of D&D
Ranked List of Best RPGS of All Time
Orc with a Pie D&D
Brandon Sanderson
Piers Anthony
Community D&D
Harmonquest


DNA Podcast 041 – Remakes, Sequels and Reboots. Oh My!

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In this episode, Don and Rob sit down to discuss the issues involved with remakes, prequels, sequels and reboots, and why at best they’re a tough act to pull off well, and at worst they’re totally awful. Along the way, they delve into the nature of story itself and how stories reflect the writers and society. All that, and why the Ice Cream Man was an important figure in Star Wars lore (at least according to Don), is waiting for you in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

    Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed:

Romance Novel Formula
The Anatomy of Story
Humans are wired to learn through story.
Friday the 13th
SCREAM
Why The Force Awakens Bombed in China
Murder Mystery Formula
Audiences Like Films Better when they know what happens
The Green Hornet: movie and character
The Phantom Edit
Star Wars Ice Cream Man (Willrow Hood)


DNA Podcast 040 – Mister Kitty’s Stupid Comics

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In this episode, Rob and Don are joined by Shain and Dave from Misterkitty.org to talk about their ongoing Stupid Comics project where they showcase some of the most awful and unique pieces of comic book art visited upon mankind. Along the way, the four talk about the pair’s Mister Kitty’s Lo-Fi Landfill audio project, really really oldschool anime, whether Archie is really comics or not, and the demise of local culture. All this, and how to make friends in high school using Omaha the Cat Dancer, are waiting for you in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

 

    Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed:

MisterKitty.org
Stupid Comics
Mr. Kitty’s Lo-Fi Landfill
Guardians of Justice and the O Force
Anime Weekend Atlanta
Anime North
Anime Hell
Corn Pone Flicks
Don Rickles meets Jimmy Olsen
Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew!
Bizarre Sex Comic
Omaha the Cat Dancer
Robert Crumb
Fletcher Hanks
Stardust the Super Wizard
Phantoma the Mystery Woman
Dan DeCarlo
Archie Superheroes
Danguard Ace
Danguard Ace Compilation Films (watch online)
Captain Harlock
Shingo Araki
Prince Planet
8 Man
Kurt Scaffenberger
When Stupid Comics Ruled the World
How to Publish Comics the Solson Way
Sue Cat
Chargeman Ken
Horror Hosts
Littlest Hobo
Kids in the Hall

 


DNA Podcast 039 – Bad Movies We Love

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In this episode, Don and Rob are joined by their friend Chad to talk about the movies that they know are awful, but can’t help but have soft spots in their hearts for. This journey takes the trio from classic 50’s monster movies, to the heights of 80s cheese and the depths of Asia’s cinematic vaults. Thrill to Chad’s love of Ed Wood! Stare in shock at Don’s encyclopedic knowledge of 80’s horror! Wonder at Rob’s passion for backwoods monsters! All this, and Don’s dramatic twist surprise that Rob and Chad didn’t see coming, are waiting for you in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

    Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed:

Don’s Top 3:
3) Better Off Dead
2) Inframan
1) The Star Wars Holiday Special

Chad’s Top 3:
3) Plan 9 From Outer Space
2) King Kong Escapes (trailer)
1) Daoism Drunkard

Rob’s Top 3:
3) Kung Fu Cult Master
2) Godzilla vs. Megalon (trailer)
1) Hawk the Slayer (trailer)

(Dis)-Honorable Mentions:
Deathstalker II
Riki-Oh- The Story of Riki
The Death Master
The Legend of Boggy Creek
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (trailer)
The Dungeon Master (trailer)
War of the Gargantuas (trailer)
The Giant Claw
Terrorvision (trailer)
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (trailer)
Buckaroo Banzai March
My Name is Nobody (trailer)
The Class of 1999 (trailer)
Mad Monster Party (trailer)
Wild Zero (trailer)
Watership Down (trailer)
When the Wind Blows
Psychomania
THEM (trailer)
BEN (trailer)
Of Unknown Origin (trailer)
Neco z Alenky Alice (trailer)
Chinese Ghost Story
The Daoism Song


DNA Podcast 038 – Interview with Spiritual Medium Mary Bezaire

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with a “spirit” purported to be his deceased son.

In this episode, Rob and Don sit down with psychic medium Mary Bezaire to discuss what it’s like to see spirits and be a channel into the unknown. The three discuss a wide variety of topics, from the nature to spirit guides, to the most haunted places in Essex County, to the existence of evil spirits. All this, and the question of what happens to us after we pass on are waiting for you this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

    Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed:

Spirit Guides
Power Animals
Touched by an Angel
Buddhist Philosophy
Spectral Solutions (Windsor, Ontario Ghost Hunters)
Heritage Village of Essex County
Little Devil Picture (she never sent it along, sorry)
Paul Martin House (aka Harry Low House) in Windsor
Spectral Solutions Sigh Audio (couldn’t find it, maybe it was taken down?)
Ley Lines
Speaking in Tongues
The Real Annabelle (Loraine Warren)
The Conjuring
John Zaffis (The Haunted Collector)
Chip Coffey
Aleister Crowley
Andrew Jackson Davis
Arthur Findlay
White Eagle Publishing
Arthur Conan Doyle
Ruth Montgomery
Mary Summer Rain
Mountains, Meadows and Moonbeams
Doreen Virtue
Sylvia Brown
Zazen Meditation


DNA Podcast 037 – Death and the Nerdly Arts

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Rob, Don and Jack Ward explore the place of death in the nerdly arts. From superheroes who never die, to the real life celebrities who do (for now), and how our own fears of death shape our entertainment of choice, the trio head down a funerary rabbit hole. It’s an episode of grave humour, and sober considerations about the future of the kind you’ll only find on the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

    Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed:

The Princess Diarist
Nicholas Hammond
Rocket Robin Hood
King Arthur
Edward Snowden
Bill and Ted play Chess with Death
Millenial Problems
Japanese Don’t Have Sex
Japanese VR Sex Toys
The Venus Project
Basic Minimum Income
Randi Cartier


DNA Podcast 036 – Interview with Will Meugniot

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In this episode, Rob and Don are joined by comic artist and animation director and producer Will Meugniot to talk about Will’s long history in the comics and animation industry. In this deep exploration of the animation industry of the 80’s and 90’s, they discuss the DNAgents, Will’s role as showrunner for X-Men the Animated Series and Exo-Squad, and so much more! All this, and how Urusei Yatsura shaped JEM and the Holograms is here for you in the 36th episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

    Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed:

Will Meugniot’s IMDB Entry
Will’s Wikipedia Entry
Will’s Comics Database Entry
The Masked Mayhem Presents The Almost Unseen Artwork of Will Meugniot
California Comics
Jo Meugniot Comics Database Entry
Tigra
Tony Isabella
Dick Giordano
Mark Evanier
Hanna-Barbera
Godzilla (1978 cartoon)
Dave Stevens (Rocketeer)
DNAgents
Vanity (Comic)
Pacific Comics
Misfits of Science
Street Fighter (USA Animated Series)
Rick Hoberg
Dick Sebast
Russ Heath
Spider-man Newspaper Strip
GI Joe Animated Series
GI Comic Animated TV Commercials
GI Joe TV Openings
GI Joe Movie
JEM
Inhumanoids
Defenders of the Earth
Conan the Adventurer
Return of the Living Dead 3
Larry Huston
Pryde of the X-Men (episode on YT)
Eric Lewald (X-Men Story Editor)
X-Men The Animated Series
TOEI Animation
Sunbow Entertainment
Force Five
Battleship Yamato
Captain Harlock
Buzz Dixon
Flint Dille
The Real Ghostbusters
Captain Planet and the Planeteers
Bucky O’Hare
Sigfried and Roy Animated Series
Duke dies in GI JOE the Movie
Exo-Squad
Nippon Sunrise
Spider Man Unlimited
Dragonlance Animated Movie
Villains and Vigilantes DNAgents Sourcebooks
Murdoch Mysteries
JIN (time travelling doctor)
Time Taxi
800 Words
Miss Fisher Mysteries
Osamu Dezaki
Dunegons and Dragons Cartoon
Urusei Yatsura
JEM Music Videos
JEM Opening
UY- Beautiful Dreamer


DNA Podcast 035 – The Hero’s Journey Strikes Back!

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In this episode, Rob and Don are joined by Jack Ward for a spirited debate about Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. Does Campbell’s opus really hold the key to writing satisfying stories? Jack thinks so, but Rob and Don aren’t so sure, and this leads to a long discussion involving comparative mythology, newspaper comic strips, 1970’s vampire hunting reporters, and more sitcom references than an 80’s flashback! All this, and Don’s unhealthy fixation with the obscure scifi comedy Quark are waiting for you in this, the 35th episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

    Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed

The Hero with a Thousand Faces (book)
Glove and Boots Heros Journey (in 5 minutes, with puppets)
The Power of Myth Bill Moyers/Joseph Campbell
Christopher Vogler Hero’s Journey Memo
Kishotenketsu For Beginners (Alternate Japanese Story Structure)
Buck Rogers
Mary Worth
Snuffie Smith
Blondie
Cousin Oliver/Brady Bunch
The Story Toolkit Podcast
Eating Raoul (trailer)
Captain Blood (Errol Flynn, trailer)
Quark (first episode)
Law and Order
Kolchak the Night Stalker
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
Who’s the Boss?


DNA Podcast 034 – What are litRPGs?

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Don and Rob are joined by the awesome Ramon Meija of the litRPG podcast to talk about the biggest new genre you’ve probably never heard of- litRPGs. The three discuss the origins of the genre, what makes a litRPG, what books you should be checking out, and how the litRPG genre reflects the world we live in today. All that, and how to write litRPGs in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs!

    Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed:

The litRPG Podcast
Gate of Revelation (the novel Rob couldn’t remember the name of where our world is the game world)
The King’s Avatar (another one Rob mentioned)
Legendary Moonlight Sculptor (English fan translation)
Adventures on Terra: Beginnings (Ramon’s Book! Check it out!)
Sword Art Online
Ready Player One
litRPG Forum- LitRPG Forum – Books, Geeks, & Gamification

 

Ramon’s Extensive Notes for the show:

What are litRPGs?

    • LitRPG or literary RPGs are stories that incorporate role playing game mechanics.
    • There’s a facebook group dedicated to LitRPG (https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGGroup/) that’s had that discussion several times. As a group, we’ve come up with two identifying marks of LitRPG. I’ll paraphrase them:
    • 1) The story must exist, at least partially, in a world with expressly stated game mechanics. This can mean that the story is set in an MMO, a VR game, an RPG game, or even a parallel or alien world. As long as there are expressly stated game mechanics. For example: Level up Notifications, Experience Points given for completing quests or killing monsters, learning game skills, health/mana bars.
    • 2) The main character progresses in an expressly stated way. For example: Leveling up, Increasing skills or abilities, increasing ranks, or increasing reputation.  Also by expressly stated, I mean that it says it in the text of the book and isn’t something that’s inferred or something only the author would be aware of.
    • The easiest and most common way this is done is usually something like this:
    • “A blue notification screen appeared before the character.
    • You’ve gained 1 level.”
    • It’s not complicated. It’s just not hidden in the background of the story or some table of information only the author sees. This type of information is conveyed to the reader. LitRPG, or literary RPG, merges the things gamers love about RPGs and MMOs and a good sci-fi or fantasy story. Those guidelines allow for maximum storytelling flexibility while maintaining the core elements of the genre.

How popular are they?

    • Among the fans, amazingly popular. LitRPG stories are like literary crack to the fans. They just can’t get enough stories. I’ve personally read over 300 LitRPG novels and online stories this year.
  • How big is the fandom?
    • Our facebook group has about 3,000 members.
    • Over 7,000 people visit the Royal Road regularly, a place where people post a lot of free/amature LitRPG.
    • FogCon, a literary convention is considering adding a panel on the genre.
    • It’s also a lot more popular in countries like Russia, Korea, China, and Japan.

Where did the genre come from?

    • There have been stories set in Virtual Reality and game worlds since the 1970s, when there was a virtual reality boom. However, the recent explosion of LitRPG originates overseas in places Korea with the Legendary Moonlight Sculptor (2007), a story set in a virtual reality massively multiplayer online game (VRMMO). With the popularization of gaming culture worldwide LitRPG stories spread throughout Korea, China, Japan, and Russia.
    • It’s only in the last 5 years or so that it’s spread to the U.S because those international works were translated into English either by fans or specialized publishing companies like Magic Dome Books.   

Where did the term litRPG come from?

    • Vasily Mahanenko, a Russian LitRPG author of Way of the Shaman, says he and another author came up with the term LitRPG or Literary RPG to describe their brand of fiction that has their stories set in game worlds (2012).

Why do people enjoy litRPGs?

    • They’re fun. It’s the same reason people like to play video games and tabletop RPGs.They’re fun. They incoporate game rules that make sense to the reader. I’ve played video games for twenty years so the worlds that LitRPG stories exist in make more sense to me sometimes than the real world. Additionally many LitRPG stories speculate about a future where full immersion VR exists and people can explore their favorite MMOs as if they were real worlds. What gamer wouldn’t like that kind of world?

What do you wish people understood about litRPGs? (What is most people’s misunderstanding about them?

    • I don’t know that the genre has been around in the U.S. long enough for people to misunderstand LitRPG.
    • I guess if I there was one thing, is that while a lot LitRPG has video games as their base, not all video game fiction is LitRPG. They need to hit those two qualifies we talked about earlier: 1) Set in a Game World with expressly stated game mechanics, and 2) character growth in game terms.

How did you get into them?

    • I fell into the rabbit hole that is LitRPG through my love of another geek culture. Anime. I saw the anime Sword Art Online and fell in love with the idea of living in a game world. So much so that I searched the internet for the original Korean Light novel that the anime was based on. I found that I enjoyed the books more and searched the internet for more like it. I read a ton of translated LitRPG from Japan and Korea. When I exhausted those sources I started trolling fan sites like the Royal Road and then paying good money for new stories on Amazon. Now I spend most of my waking hours either reading, writing, or podcasting about LitRPG.

What are the most popular LitRPGs and where do people find them?

Why did you start the LitRPG podcast?

    • I love LitRPG. I started interviewing LitRPG authors on my podcast the Geek Bytes Podcast as a way to express that love to those listeners and found they were really popular. So I spun it into it’s own podcast where I talk about LitRPG news, reviews and author interviews. The community has responded well.

What are some of the challenges of writing LitRPGs?

    • The same challenges as writing normal. Figuring out a good story to tell and getting people to read it. Some of the unique challenges are figuring out the game rules your story uses. Most of the LitRPG authors I’ve interviewed have multiple spreadsheets to keep track of all the formulas they use, character sheets, skill and ability descriptions, and research material. That and how all your readers are gamer and are more than willing to point out the flaws in your game systems.
    • Adventures on Terra: Beginnings http://amzn.to/2fXJRfw

DNA Podcast 033 – Writing Formulas

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Lester Dent

In this episode, Rob and Don sit down to discuss story structure. They explore the origins of the 3-act structure, discuss Chris Fox’s Write to Market strategy, and break down the Lester Dent Master Pulp Writing Formula and Michael Moorcock’s How to Write a Book in Three Days method. All this, and why Buffy the Vampire Slayer is really a ninja, are waiting for you in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs!

    Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed:

3 Act Structure Made Easy (video)
Aristotle’s Poetics
Save the Cat!
Story/Plotting Formulas
Chris Fox’s Write to Market
Anne Rice
Buffy Vampire Slayer
Vampire the Masquerade
Urban Fantasy
The Hero’s Journey
The Procedural
Writing Creative Procedural Fiction
Rob’s Thoughts on Different Story Structures (blog post)
Bakuman Manga
Dan Harmon’s Story Wheel
Dick Tracy
Predator Rocky Sequel?
Lester Dent Master Pulp Writing Formula
Michael Moorcock’s How to Write a Book in 3 Days Method