Tag: Interview

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 032 – Voice Acting with Kimlinh Tran

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In this episode, Rob and Don explore the possibilities of sound by talking with voice actress Kimlinh Tran about her experiences and perspectives gained voice acting in anime and video games. They talk about her efforts to improve her craft, why being near entertainment production centers is a must, and why recording walla is so much fun. All this, and why having a voice acting safe word is a must, are waiting for you in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

    Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed:

Kimlinh’s Homepage
Dust: An Elysian Tail
Fidget
Skullgirls
Ms. Fortune
Tweeny Witches
Hookers (The story I told is apparently not quite right- Rob)
Walla
K-On!
Voice Acting Club


DNA Podcast 031 – Comics Creator Ben Dunn and Antarctic Press

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In this episode, Rob and Don are joined by comic book creator and founder of Antarctic Press, Ben Dunn. The three of them sit and chat about Ben’s long career in comics, how Antarctic Press came to be, and the ups and downs of running a comic book company. Along the way, Ben gives great advice about succeeding as an artist both in and outside the comics field and discusses the secrets to AP’s longevity and success. All this and a heaping helping of Ninja High School can be found in this, the 31st episode of The Department of Nerdly Affairs.

    Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed:

Ben’s Wikipedia Page
Ben’s Body of Work
Inkpot Award
Marvel Mangaverse
Antarctic Press
Ninja High School
Mangazine
Exremely Silly Comics
Mazinger Z
Tiger X
Urusei Yatsura
Project A-Ko
Warrior Nun Areala
Diamond Comics Distributors
Fred Perry
Wild Life
Shatter (computer generated comic)
Gold Digger
Strangers in Paradise
Box Office Poison
Trudyverse
Warrior Nun Pilot (animated)
Warrior Nun Pilot (live action)
Steam League
Science is Magic
Mighty Tiny
Upwork.com (formerly Odesk)
comixology (digital comics site)


DNA Podcast 030 – Interview with Dr. R.N. Shukul

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Rob and Don sit down with Journalist and TV Producer Dr. Rashid Narain (R.N.) Shukul to discuss Television and Media in India. Along the way, they touch on RN’s career as a cameraman and war correspondent, his time as TV game show producer in India, his time producing documentaries for Fremantle Media, and some of the political figures he’s encountered. Are Indians into Scifi? What is their preferred style of heroic fiction? And what’s up with all the singing and dancing? All of these questions and more will be answered in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

    Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed:

Fremantle Media
Press Trust of India
Indira Gandhi
$64,000 Dollar Question Scandal
Margaret Atwood
Media Convergence
Marshal McLuhan

 


DNA Podcast 027 – Horror Hosts with Michael Monahan

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In this episode, Rob and Don sit down with Michael Monahan, author and co-producer of the documentary American Scary, to talk about Horror Hosts. We delve into the origins of the Horror Host phenomena from its early days with Vampira to the megahit Ghoulardi and the modern incarnations which still stalk the airwaves. All this, and why Bob Wilkins is a name every scifi fan should know, is coming to you in this, the 27th episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

    Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed:

American Scary Trailer
American Scary (First 10 mins)
Z-Team Productions YouTube Channel (has bonus and deleted Horror Host interviews)
3 Minute Horror Hosts Montage from American’s Funniest Videos
Bob Wilkins
Horror Hosts
E-Gors Chamber of TV Horror Hosts (more detailed host list here)
Shock Theatre Package
Midnight Spook Show
EC Horror Comics
Vampira
Turn Blue: The Short Life of Ghoulardi (Documentary on Cleveland Horror Host)
Interview with Horror Host Tom Leahy (Documentary on Kansas Horror Host)
Zacherle
Ghoulardi
Svenghouli
Dinner with Drac
Hillarious House of Frightenstein (episode one)
Elvira
YouTube Horror Host Playlist (nice random sample of horror host schtick)
Doctor Morgus from New Orleans hosts a showing of Godzilla (video, full episode)
Mystery Science Theatre 3000 Youtube Channel
Reptilicus Trailer
American Scary- The Book
Dr. Ghoulfinger
doctorghoulfinger@gmail.com


DNA Podcast 24 – Science Fiction Author Gary Gibson

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    In this episode, Rob and Don interview Scottish science fiction writer Gary Gibson about his career, writing Space Opera, and why Science Fiction has become boring. All this, and why Zardoz is a classic film, in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.
    Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed:

Gary Gibson’s Homepage
Gary’s Amazon Author Page
Robert Heinlein
Marvel UK
Stealing Light
Starship Troopers
New Wave Science Fiction
Angel Stations
Scrivener
Neal Stephenson
Corey Doctorow
Nick Mamatas
Chuck Tingle
Ed Wood’s Orgy of the Dead
Zardoz
Andromeda


DNA Podcast 021 – Interview with Tim Eldred

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In this episode, Rob and Don sit down with comic artist and director of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble animated series Tim Eldred to discuss his career in the comic book industry and how it led him into the world of animation. Along the way, they discuss Tim’s advice for aspiring comic book artists, why getting your work done on time is crucial for a career in the comic book industry, and why the secret to successful media production is to have a really big raft! All this, and a look at Tim’s new project Pitsberg, are waiting for you in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

Closing Music: Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed:

Tim Eldred Comic History
Tim Eldred IMDB Page
Pitsberg
Cosmo DNA (Star Blazers Fansite)
Grease Monkey
Dark Horse Comics
Eternity Comics
Malibu Comics
Valiant Comics
Aircel Comics
Central Park Media (CPM)
Star Blazers
Lensman (Novel Series)
Lensmen: The Secret of the Lens (Anime Movie)
Mecha (the comic)
Dynamo Joe
Captain Harlock
Chaser Platoon
Armoured Trooper VOTOMS
Robotech: Invid War
Cybersuit Arkadyne
Secret Wars (2015 Comic)
Avengers Assemble
VOTOMS: Supreme Survivor (comic)
Wing Commander Academy (episode 1, YouTube)
Starblazers Rebirth Webcomic


DNA Podcast 018 – Edd Vick and MU Press

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In this episode, Rob and Don sit down with Edd Vick, founder and publisher of MU Press and Comics F/X magazine, to discuss Edd’s history in comics and the independent comics scene of the 80s and 90s. Former guest Jeff Wood, one of Edd’s friends and contributors also stops by, and the four of them discuss comics culture, convention culture, and what they see as the future of comic books. All of this, and the real story of why the comics industry collapsed in the 90s are coming to you in this, the 18th episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

Closing Music: Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed:

MU/Aeon Press
Edd Vick
Jeff Wood
Speed Racer Episodes on YouTube
Radio Caroline
UK Pirate Radio
Wonder Warthog
Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo)
Steve Gallacci (creator of Albedo Athropomorphics)
Donna Barr (creator of The Desert Peach)
The Desert Peach (which is as great as it is odd)
Dave Sim (creator of Cerebus the Ardvark)
Amateur Press Association (APA)
Kickstarter
Patreon
DeviantArt
Astro City
Black Panther 2016 Comic
One Punch Man
Franken Fran
Assassination Classroom
I am a Hero.
I am a Hero movie trailer.


DNA Podcast 016 – Exploring the Hero Pulps with Gregg Taylor

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In this episode, Don and Rob are joined by Gregg Taylor of the Decoder Ring Theatre podcast to talk about a subject that’s near and dear to Gregg’s heart- Pulp Heroes! We talk about the original Batman v. Superman- The Shadow and Doc Savage, how a pulp hero is made by their choice of hats, and why the world of pulp hero The Spider would be an awful place to live! All this, and a discussion of what’s next for Decoder Ring Theatre, is waiting for you in this, the 16th episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs!

Note: I want to make a special thanks to Gregg Taylor for being a complete gentleman through what turned out to be a very difficult recording session. You went above and beyond the call, sir, and even The Red Panda himself couldn’t have done better!

Closing Music: Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed

Decoder Ring Theatre
The Shadow
Doc Savage
Walter B. Gibson (who wrote 10,000 words A DAY!)
Lester Dent
Lester Dent’s Master Pulp Writing Formula
Elmore Leonard
The Yellow Peril Stories
The Spider
The Phantom Detective
Theodore Tinsley
NY Mayor La Guardia’s Campaign Against the Spicys
Spicy Adventure Covers
Penny Dreadfuls
Episodes of the X-1 Radio Show on Archive.org
Pulpcrazy Podcast (for more about the Pulps)

 


DNA Podcast 014: Talking 80’s Independent Comics with Jeff Wood

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In this episode, Rob and Don sit down with former Comics F/X magazine founder and editor Jeff Wood to talk about the West Coast independent comics scene of the 1980’s. The three discuss the origins of Comics F/X magazine, MU Press, the small press black and white comics explosion, and how “three adjectives and a noun” comics and anthropomorphic smut crashed the industry. All this and the story behind Jeff’s own legendary comic Snowbuni are waiting for you in this, the 14th episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

Closing Music: Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt 

Things Discussed

Comics F/X Magazine
Jeff Wood
Snowbuni
Mike Sagara
Steve Jackson Games
Uncle Al’s Auto Stop and Gunnery Shop Catalog
Car Wars
Jason Waltrip
Albedo Anthropmorphics
Omaha the Cat Dancer
Tank Vixens
Fish Police
Boris the Bear
MU Press
Antarctic Press
Warrior Nun (video)
Morty the Dog
Phil Foglio
XXXenophile
Girl Genius
Steampunk
What’s New with Phil and Dixie
Buck Godot
The Smart Passive Income Podcast