Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Eureka! An interview with Paula Yoo

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Paula Yoo - Writer/Co-Producer of SyFy's Eureka

Paula Yoo has one of the coolest jobs on the planet – she’s a writer and co-producer for the SyFy Channel’s hit show, Eureka. The show is currently in the offseason, but will return for an Xmas episode in December and Season 4.5 next year. Paula has also written for NBC’s West Wing and Fox’s Tru Calling (yes, she wrote for the Dushku).

BG: How did you get the Eureka gig?
PY: My agents and manager set up meetings for me with various TV network executives and showrunners for potential jobs. This is a very common practice in the industry. So they arranged for some meetings with the Eureka folks, and that’s how I got the job! I feel very lucky to be on such a wonderful show – I love the characters and the sci-fi elements. I also think our actors and production crew are amazing. I am grateful to work with such talented writers – I learn a lot from their veteran writing experience, too.

BG: How do you decide who writes what and does everybody make a contribution to each episode?
PY: Every show works differently. In general, writers sit in a writers’ room and pitch ideas and discuss character arcs for the series. Eventually, writers are assigned certain episodes to write. In the end, it’s a total 100 percent team effort and everyone contributes to the entire process of putting an episode on the air. It’s a really fun job!

BG: How many episodes of Tru Calling did you write? Were you disappointed (like the rest of us) that it ended so abruptly?
PY: I was lucky enough to co-write one episode with Stephanie Williams and Scott Shepherd. (“The Getaway” Story by Scott Shepherd and Teleplay by Stephanie Williams & Paula Yoo). And yes, I was very bummed the show ended because I thought it introduced a lot of really cool areas of mythology to explore near the end of the first season and the start of the second season. Still, it was a fun show to write for – as a Buffy fan, who knew I’d be writing for the awesome Eliza Dushku?

BG: As a sci-fi writer, when is it okay to fudge on the science part?
PY: Whenever I write anything involving science, I try to be as accurate as possible. Ultimately, the story is the most important focus. If I do take any liberties with the science, I try to make sure that the general laws of science still apply. The actual liberties are poetic and fictional licenses where I can make up something. And when I do make up something, I try to keep it within a rational realm where it’s conceivable that this type of technology could possibly happen in the future. I’m always amazed at what our real-life scientists are capable of right now – the advances they’re making in science and technology seem like science fiction but these advances actually exist! It’s an exciting time for science and technology!

BG: Do you have a preferred gaming console? What games are your favorites?
PY: I’m not officially a gamer. I’m usually too busy writing. I know I’m about to date myself, but when the first Tomb Raider and original Metal Gear Solid came out on Playstation 1, I was BLOWN AWAY. I had no idea video games could have such intricate and exciting movie plots. I would play Tomb Raider and MGS for HOURS. Now those games seem so basic compared to the incredible advances they’ve made in gaming since then! But I still love those classic games. I also really loved Tao Feng, this cool fighting game by the guys who did Mortal Kombat. I tend to like fighting games or puzzle/journey games like Zelda and Tomb Raider. I like Halo but it makes me too dizzy so I can’t play it. We have a Wii, Playstation 2, XBox, GameCube, and I am addicted to Solitaire and Tetris on my iPhone.

BG: One last question, Star Trek or Star Wars…or BSG?
PY: Star Trek. I love Star Wars and of course I love BSG. But always, hands down, Star Trek. I love them ALL – original Star Trek and Next Gen AND DS9 AND Voyager AND Enterprise.

Outside of Eureka, Paula is also an author. Her debut novel, Good Enough, isn’t sci-fi, but it is hilarious and inspiring. She also shreds on the violin and has taught her cat, Oreo (who has more followers than I do), how to tweet. Check out Paula online at www.paulayoo.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/paulayoo, where she sometimes tweets about hijinks from the writers’ room at Eureka.

Author - Michele Hale






Michele is an indie author and publisher from Austin, Texas. She loves roller derby, tattoos and science fiction. She is the founder of Cowgirlie Publishing and is currently working on a three-book sci-fi series due out in 2011.

website: www.michelejhale.com
twitter: www.twitter.com/michelejhale



PAX Prime: Fallen Earth

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

The Reckon Crew speaks with Dave Haydysch, producer for Fallen Earth

In one of the noisiest corners of PAX Prime, we met with one of Icarus Studios’ representatives and were ushered over to meet Fallen Earth Producer Dave Haydysch who was kind enough, and patient enough in his talking throughout the blare of the music game across the way, to give us a tour of the MMO Fallen Earth. It was easy to see the enthusiasm Dave had for this game and it was hard not to get caught up in it as he told us about this post-apocalyptic RPG. Below is a small excerpt from the almost 30 minutes Dave was generous enough to spend with us talking about the game.

“The game is set in the year 2154 and there’s been a virus called Shiva released on the planet. Amid the confusion that set in after the virus was released, all the countries of the world blamed one another for the outbreak and ended up launching their nuclear weapons. The character you play is a clone, and along with the remaining 1% of the world’s population, you’re trying to rebuild the world.”

“There are seven different factions in the world now and each faction is attempting to rebuild the world based on their ideals creating conflict among the factions. For example, there is a faction called the ‘Enforcers’ who are very militant, very martial law, and very police state and that is the means by which they intend to rebuild society. Their opposing faction is the ‘CHOTA’ which stands for ‘Children of the Apocalypse’ who are all about chaos. They say, ‘Screw your rules, they didn’t work the first time around and chaos is the way we’re going to rebuild this,’ so they’re obviously at odds.”

“Now you don’t have to align with a faction in the game but you miss out on so much of the depth of the game that we really encourage players to get involved. Our game is very free flowing so it adds a lot of different aspects to the game when a player along some cells with one of the various factions. If you do choose to align with a faction, it changes the story that you’re playing through, it adds depth and a different twist on the game than someone who chooses a different faction might experience.”

“There are three sectors to the game right now, sectors one, two, and three, very basic names. Sector One is what you might expect from a setting that we’ve placed the game in. The game is set in the United States and what we’ve done is take a real map of the Grand Canyon, set it down, and put our game on top of it. In theory, you can pick a spot on the map, look around, and then go there in real life. Of course the spot you visit in real life isn’t going to look anything like our post apocalyptic version but the fact is you’d be looking at the exact location that we’ve put in the game.”

Dave then showed us how immense the game world actually is from the point of view of the character we were “test driving”. At this time, they’ve only used 2/3 of the map and the game still covers over 1000 square kilometers. Even from the viewpoint of a hardcore MMO player, it’s easy to see how big this world already is.

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WCG Ultimate Gamer 2 – Vote Thirstee 321!

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Follow Thirstee321 on his Twitter @Thirstee321!

Last week, we brought you a little bit of info about Jake … in pro gaming circles, the force of nature known as Thirstee321. We told you guys to stick around until Monday for his big announcement, and the time has come.

Thirstee321 is in the running to be picked as the final contestant in WCG’s Ultimate Gamer (Season 2) But it will take everyone’s help to do so. The contest is done through online voting, and you can vote once PER HOUR to cast your vote.

The voting is Monday the 17 through Sunday the 23rd. You can vote (once per hour per device) at http://www.wcgultimategamer.com

If you want to know more about Jake.. feel free to watch his audition video on the site, or his announcement teaser video we posted here… Orrrrr, you can check out this interview I did with him right now… (Cause that’s how we roll)

So lets talk about video games. What’s the first game you remember playing and thinking… “man I’m better than everybody”.
Wow this is a tough one! There are alot of games that came to mind when thinking about this question! Playing Mario Kart 64 with my dad and brothers while gambling on each race for money was intense, but after thinking for a while I would probably have to say Halo: Combat Evolved. The Christmas of the year that Xbox came out I asked for aPS2 and my friend John asked for an Xbox. I had no idea how much fun Halo was going to be or I never would have asked for a PS2. After playing with him I decided to use the rest of my Christmas money to go buy an xbox. From that point out it was non stop system link parties every day after school. I think at that very point is where I attained my competitiveness in gaming!

You mention the term “multi- genre” gaming. Tell us why it’s important to have that skill versus having a specialty.
Well for me, being a multi- genre gamer is important because I hate to lose! Haha! I come from a very competitive family where absolutely everything we do turns into a game to see who will win. From gambling in Mario Kart, to screaming at each other around Christmas time about a game of Balderdash (board game), it is always a competition! I like getting to a point in each game to where I can beat about 90% of the people I come up against, and then move on to my next challenge. I feel limiting myself to one specific game is hindering my capabilities in ALL games.

Being into multiple genres (I knew a girl like that in college) what would you consider to be an achilles heel?
Haha, I’m not sure how I should take that, but its funny none the less!!! I get asked this quite often, and honestly I hate answering it for the simple fact that I don’t like to admit that I have a weakness lol. If there is one genre I don’t really care for, I would have to say fighting. Fighting games require spending a great amount of time learning each character and what they can actually do. However, I’m always up for a challenge, so if someone asks I like to be somewhat prepared. My approach in fighting games is to get relatively good with one character and then move on, leaving me with the inability to anticipate moves that I had no clue were even in the game.

How often do you train? Is there a set training schedule? Do you say I’m gonna work on this console today or only side scrolling old school games today?
I don’t like to think of gaming as training. I feel that when gaming for fun turns into training, it becomes work. This kind of goes hand and hand with why I don’t like to specialize in one specific game. However, I do play ALOTTTT of games! My schedule for gaming is kind of based around my schooling and my personal life. I’m currently a full time student enrolled at Kent State University and have a girlfriend who enjoys spending time with me. I don’t like to have to give up anything in my life for gaming, but I will NEVER give up gaming for my personal life! This results in a lot of restless nights gaming until 6 am after all the homework is done and my girlfriend is asleep, haha! I would have to say I play about 50-60 hours a week and play just about whatever I am in the mood for. I just love being a gamer!

Besides gaming, are there any other things you like to do with your spare time?
Haha, if get the chance at some spare time I absolutely love to watch movies! A good comedy always brightens my day! I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend, going for a late night drive with the windows down listening to some music, playing ultimate frisbee, working out, or hanging out with my dogs!

Has gaming ever interfered with your personal life?
Gaming has never really been a problem with my personal life, which I am greatly thankful for! My girlfriend is really understanding about how much I love gaming and I’m excited to say a lot of the time she’s right there next to me kicking ass just as well! She’s quite the Call of Duty Modern Warefare 2 player! Just this morning she went 26 kills and 2 deaths while being 1 kill away from her nuke!

Do you like other games to besides video games?
I happen to enjoy most games that I come across! One game that I particularly like is Corn Hole. Within the last couple years it has gotten really big here in Ohio. I’m not sure if it is as popular everywhere else, but if you don’t know what it is, I suggest that you check it out because it is a lot of fun!

You should know I’m undefeated in air hockey. Repeat UNDEFEATED. I once won the company (Busygamer) in Seattle after a drunken game, only to lose it in Dallas TX after another drunken game of Ms. Pacman. I’ll repeat that I am undefeated. Soooo. feel like trying your luck?
Hahaha! I am going to respect your confidence and not talk trash until we duke it out. Like I said though, I’m always up for a challenge, so I accept! I will warn you though, I am a gamer with extreme hand/eye coordination and I’m no slouch in air hockey myself, so be prepared lol.

Tell me about countdown 321.
Countdown321 is the gaming organization I am with, comprised of some of the best gamers I know! There are two specific gamers with us that are pretty well known. WCG Ultimate Gamer’s 1st place winner Mark Smith (mmmApplesauce321) and 3rd place winner Jamal Nickens (Zophar321). Jamal has also won other major competitions such asScrew Attack’s Iron Man of Gaming tournament and the hit television show Life to the Power of X. We are all extremely devoted in what we do and have a passion for gaming like no other! Our website is devoted to bringing competitive gaming to the local gamer. However, we also do charity events, gaming reviews, and have an ever expanding forum that we hope continues to grow as well as it has been. Head on over to http://www.countdown321.net and check out all the cool stuff we have going on and sign up for our forums while your at it.

If we threw our own gaming competition where you had to drink every hour and compete. Would you participate?
Oh my gosh, that would certainly spice things up a notch, hahaha! I think a competition like that sounds hilarious and extremely fun! If you actually did have a competition like that I would feel completely left out if I wasn’t there! Count me in!

Twitter Ads and the Library of Congress

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Twitter gets an archive in the Library of Congress. Kinda makes you regret that one drunk Tweet, don't it?

Twitter’s had a couple of things going for it this week, announcing the addition of business ads in the forms of Tweets. The ads will run as featured Tweets and will be presented in the usual 140 character limited format in what will be called “promoted Tweets”. But co-founder Biz Stone says the company is more interested in getting the advertising right than in raking in the dough.

Typically, before the announcement, companies offer specials to Twitter users by having them follow the company’s Tweets. As such, the offerings have been limited to those already following the company or those searching the Twitter site with specific keywords. By presenting users with the “promoted Tweets”, Twitter hopes to reach more effectively reach potential customers without the intrusiveness of more conventional ad space.

On top of the advertising deals currently in the works being announced this week was the news that the Library of Congress would be archiving the full history of Twitter messages back to March 2006. This means if you’ve ever sent something out on Twitter, you’ll now have a small bit of immortality with the inclusion of your Tweets in the Library.

Historians and academics will be able to access the public database to research just how the dissemination of news has come to rely on the social networking site as well as doing trend analysis of past events. Just think, your message about how you were Tweeting from the john will soon be available for future generations to read.

I don’t know about you guys but I wonder what the reaction will be when the database is discovered 1000 years in the future by an alien species who will wonder just who this Justin Bieber was and why there were so many people talking about him.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Gamers United 2009 – Donating Games For a Good Cause

Thursday, December 17th, 2009
openningpic

Rock On, Gamers

To get into the perfect holiday season mood, what better way than to donate to a great cause? Last Wednesday, I was invited to go to the Gamers United event in LA at the Custom Hotel. A list of gaming and nerd culture celebs were there which includes Carlos Ferro, who played Dom from the Gears of War franchise. With over 100 games donated to the UCLA Hospital for the youth recreational area, the event was a pure success and I’m looking forward to next year’s event.

The event was all fun and games especially since I had to grab a couple of interviews from different voice artists. I grabbed interviews with Jeff Rector, Jennifer Hale, Greg Berger and Spike Spencer. Let’s jump into the funniest interview that I had: Spike Spencer

spikejeff

Jeff Rector and Spike Spencer

‘I did not f*** that sheep.’ Truly, the weirdest thing anyone has said to me to end an interview. With his latest work being Supa Pirate Booty Hunt, Spike always keep himself busy whether it be VO work for games or animation of different assortments. Spike claims that this new series is better than some of the stuff is on Adult Swim. I suggest that you all check the link to catch on the series. For those who are wondering what Spike is known for, he has VO’d as Hanataro Yamada from the anime: Bleach.

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Interview: Matt Busch at Star Wars Fan Days III

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
And this is an attention getter!

And this is an attention getter!

I met Matt Busch at Star Wars Fan Days in late October. Fan Days is great for the Star Wars fan. There are celebrities to meet, collectables to buy, and artwork to get from Star Wars sanctioned artists. One such artist was Matt Busch who impressed us with his “Learn to Draw Star Wars DVDs” and Zombie themed SW prints. Matt took some time from his schedule to hang and chat with us… here’s the result of that.

BG: So how’s Fan Days going for you so far?
MB: Fan Days is rocking. I’m having a blast, last year was my first year I had fun then and I’m having even more fun this year. I love Texas, love the show, I’m having a blast.

BG: So this is your second year?
MB: It is. The show is great the folks that run the show, Ben Stevens in particular who runs the show, Mark Walters, they really treat the artists like royalty. I like the program they do with the sketch cards I think it’s really neat. It’s a neat way for fans to be able to afford an original piece of official art. It’s really kick ass that people can take advantage of that. Collectables are great I think it’s awesome. I’m a collector myself I think it’s cool to have a show like this.

BG: You know I talk to a lot of artists at things like this. Some artists say sometimes the prints are the bigger sellers, sometimes the original art. What do you think is your biggest seller?
MB: Gosh. I think for me, kinda what’s been my blessing is that I’ve been a jack of all trades, master of none. Honestly it’s been a sampling of art, sketch cards, DVDs, books of my work, it’s been a pretty random sampling this year.

Matt Busch and BG's Timothy Danger at Star Wars Fan Days III

Matt Busch and BG's Timothy Danger at Star Wars Fan Days III

BG: Let’s talk about the “You can draw Star Wars” DVD you have here… can you tell me about it?
MB: Sure. It started as a book that was written by Bonnie Burton, I did some of the artwork, Tom Hodges who is also here did some of the artwork…and there was an opportunity to make video episodes for star wars.com and their website and it really kind of started from that. Then I had 7 episodes for the 1st season for a limited edition DVD, I did another season that was collected on DVD, I’m about to start the 3rd season I’m starting work on that right now, it’s been blast. They are a pretty big hit online. I love it. They are real educational for people who want to learn how to draw I mean what cooler thing than drawing Star Wars for learning how to draw. I mean they are the books and DVDs I didn’t have as a kid. Well I didn’t have any DVDs as a kid because they didn’t exist yet… but you know it’s all the stuff I wish I had when I was a kid. The ability to make some of that stuff and inspire children of all ages from ages 4 to 81 it’s a dream come true it’s been a lot of fun.

BG: I have to ask… who’s your favorite to draw?
MB: Well the easiest to draw is stromtroopers there isn’t a lot you know they are all white. The hardest to draw is either C3PO or Darth Vader. Darth Vader is easy to paint but he’s hard to draw.

BG: That’s interesting… You mentioned painting what’s your favorite type of medium to use?
MB: Normally most of my painted work is acrylics with a little bit of color pencil on top for details. Here at the show I have some color markers to touch up sketch cards. Otherwise I like all the mediums really I think it keeps me from getting bored to pull out a different medium you know pull out charcoal pencils or pen and ink to keep from getting in a rut and have everything look the same.

Every TV boy's fantasy!

Every TV boy's fantasy!

BG: Things like your drumsticks here… is that something you thought on your own?
MB: No I was actually contacted by a company called pinup sticks that wanted me to illustrate some hot ladies and make some sexy drumsticks. I Had a lot of fun doing that. So far the three that are available are METAL MISTRISS, BUILT FOR POUNDING (my personal favorite), and SOUTHERN BELLE, and the other one coming out is PERCUSSION CONCUSSION.

BG: So the work you do is it mostly freelance?
MB: Yea it’s mostly freelance I think I prefer that to having a full time job where I’m working on the same kind of stuff all the time. You know for years and years paid my dues where I basically said yes to every job. Even if it was things like Kibbles and Bits storyboards. Now I’m at the point where I can pick and choose. I’m been blessed and really lucky I can do the stuff I love I get paid to draw stuff that I got in trouble for in grade school It’s pretty wild.

BG: Do you have any tips for aspiring artists trying to break in?
MB: The biggest tip I can give is to stay with it. I believe there is enough work for everyone. I think if you stay with it, don’t give up I truly believe there is enough work for everyone I think you need to find your niche and find where that is. But as soon as you give up obviously you’ll never get any work. Everytime you send out your work to another company you just increased your chances by 100 percent. Stay with it practice makes perfect. In addition to sending your work out there always refine your skills try to see what you can do to get better. You know I’m a student for life I don’t know it all I am continually learning and evolving and enjoying the process I think that kind of attitude will help me grow.

BG: so Matt Busch dot com?
MB: Yeah I mean I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace but the easiest is www.mattbusch.com, Busch is spelled like the beer not like the shrub.

BG: nice.. and do you have anything we should be looking out for?
MB: Well right now the most recent thing is the SW zombie posters I am showing here, they seem to be a big hit. I’m working on Planet of the Apes stuff. I’m all over the place.

BG: Well hey Matt, thanks for talking with us, we appreciate it…
MB: Sure… No problem thanks for sharing the love.


See artwork for sale, galleries and blog info for Matt at www.MattBusch.com. Matt appeared at Star Wars Fan Days III in Plano, Texas courtesy of Lucas Arts where this interview was conducted.

Know Nellie Now: Champions Online’s Nellie Hughes

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009
Photo by Avery Wong

Nellie shares a tender moment with the hero Foxbat

Last year at PAX ’08, we had the great fortune of meeting some of the people working on the upcoming MMO Champions Online at the after party they hosted. Three things happened that night: First, we consumed copious amounts of alcohol… really, no surprise there. Second, the bits of the game we saw and the discussions we had with the people working on it had us hooked. Again, if you’re at all familiar with the Reckon Crew’s love of all things comics, this shouldn’t be much of a shock.

The third was the surprise. Along came Nellie Hughes. Aside from being one of the most interesting people we met while we were at PAX, being a content designer for Champions Online, she had an unnatural obsession with the word “koozie” after hearing it for the very first time from us of all people. Almost a yearmeeting us, she’s finally able to talk about what makes a good MMO, the future of player created content, and how she really, really, really wants to see the Reckon Crew in spandex.  True story.

BG: To begin, are you a Busy Gamer?
Nellie Hughes: Yes, I have a 2 year old and trying to get gaming in while being the world’s best parent means you can only game in small amounts. I usually only play for one or 2 hours a night, in between cleaning and other domestic duties.

BG: What’s your favorite type of game?
Nellie Hughes: I would say currently these days MMO’s, Of all time, it would have to be older adventure games like Kings Quest or Monkey Island

BG: What’s your all time favorite game?
Nellie Hughes: I would say for nostalgic reasons it would have to be Legend of Kyrandia.

BG: What are you currently playing?
Nellie Hughes: Warcraft, Champions, Fallout 3, Katmari Damacy on my phone.

BG: Since you’re working on Champions Online, what’s your super hero name and your powers?
Nellie Hughes: I haven’t picked one out yet. There is so much to choose from in the different power sets we offer in Champions Online that I wanted to test drive them all before I settled down with a set I’m comfy playing with. I’m usually a ranged player, so I’ll most likely make myself a fire or darkness build.

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Killing time with Killcreek: An interview with Stevie Case

Monday, May 11th, 2009
Stevana Case, aka Killcreek

Stevana Case, aka Killcreek

If you were anywhere near a computer monitor and a live internet connection in the late nineties, you may have heard of Stevie Case, aka Killcreek. She first came to the public eye when she beat John Romero, quite literally, at his own game. Stevie (or Stevana if you prefer to be more formal) became the first professional female gamer  to join the Cyberathlete Professional League and quickly gained a reputation as a woman who knew how to game. Keep in mind, kiddies, we’ve been spoiling you here at busygamer.com. Back in the day, hot gaming girls were few and far between.

Known initially for her good looks and being an avid gamer, Stevie quickly proved that she had the brains to complete the overall package. Arguably one of the most famous women in gaming today, Stevie Case has gone from gamer to game developer to Vice President of Business Development and Sales for Fatfoogoo. Wondering what the hell a Fatfoogoo is?  You’ll just have to read to find out…

 

BG Gritskrieg:  Would you consider yourself a Busy Gamer?
Stevie Case:  Yeah, definitely. I think I’m probably the definition of the Busy Gamer at this point in my life for a lot of reasons. I work in the industry and I think anyone who works anywhere in the industry would probably call themselves a Busy Gamer. And to add to that I am also a mom. I have an almost five year old little girl. She’s finally getting to the age where we can game a bit together but she’s still fairly demanding of my time. That doesn’t leave a lot for gaming on my own.

BG Gritskrieg: So what type of games do you play with your daughter?
Stevie Case:  She’s just getting into some of the really fun stuff like Mario Party. That’s probably her favorite at the moment, she just loves it. She can actually play the really simple games. And shockingly in our family, she often wins which is kind of frightening when you think about it. We’ve also got Guitar Hero and Rock Band and she can do some of the basic stuff in those as well so we’re trying those out. She’ll also go online on some of the websites and play some of the cute, casual games as well. It’s pretty shocking, being in my thirties, thinking that when I was growing up, this was not the norm and now I sit here and watch my daughter go on my computer and at four years old, she’s sitting there using a mouse and playing games. It’s pretty cool, I love it.

BG Gritskrieg:  In regards to when you beat John Romero in a Quake Deathmatch, do you see that as being where you really got started in the industry or was there another point that you feel was the turning point?
Stevie Case:  Well, at that time, I didn’t really plan on being a part of the industry. I was just a gamer, playing with friends and playing in a clan. I think that my path towards towards coming into the industry started a little bit before that in that I was just meeting so many other cool people. I joined this community and as a woman, people were taking note of that and it gave me a great opportunity to meet some really interesting and cool people. I was already meeting a lot of the guys down in the Dallas scene and all the companies that were around then and that certainly opened my eyes to it. Certainly beating John Romero was another door opener and allowed me to meet more great people. From there, it just snowballed. It felt like joining the industry was the next natural step for me but it definitely took work. I spent a few years learning level design and moving on from there. So, it helped but I can’t say it was the defnining moment that led me to where I am today.

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Thursday Night is Gamer Night on Coin-Op TV

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009
Rob Welkner & Hailey Bright - Hosts of Coin-Op Tv Live

Rob Welkner & Hailey Bright - Hosts of Coin-Op Tv

Every Thursday night, we here in the Busygamer world turn off our Xboxes and fire up the desktops. Ironically, it’s not to hop onto a new MMO, but to check out what is happening in the world of gamer news and entertainment from our friends in Coin-Op TV land.

If you haven’t heard of this, let’s take the time to catch you up to speed. Coin-Op TV Live is an interactive live web TV show that features Hosts Rob Welkner, Busy Gamette Hailey Bright, TheStream.TV genius Brian Gramo, cool guests, and you.

Yeah you. Sitting there on your computer. The neatest feature of Coin-Op TV is that you have the option to log into the chatrooms and IM services and talk with other watchers and the hosts themselves.

Feel a little left out? Not to worry, you can catch archived shows on www.thestream.tv and if you even want to get more old school, you can now get Coin-Op TV’s “Best of” DVD’s. Volume 2 just hit this month. In honor of this, Coin-Op’s very own host/producer Rob Welkner took some time out to answer a few questions with us…

BG: How did the show start?
Rob:COIN-OP TV started in the summer of 2004. I was supposed to shoot a feature film and purchased camera equipment (Panasonic dvx100) and editing gear (Mac G5) to use for the movie. Unfortunately the money fell through and the people I was working with were complete flakes. I didn’t know what to do with all the gear I had but wanted to make something cheap that many people could see right away. I was a fan of shows on G4tv and the video game industry and had been going to E3 for a couple of years. It only seemed natural to start up a show about video games and talk about arcade and retro games. Back then everyone was still on dial-up modems and this was before the youtube boom. I did casting for a host and booked a trip to California Extreme in Aug 2004 where I met Walter Day and a ton of other good people willing to speak to me on camera.

BG: Has the show always been on thestream.tv?
Rob:COIN-OP TV existed years before TheStream.TV network was launched by its founder Brian Gramo. Brian and I actually met when I hired him to help me on a location shoot for the show. At this point I had posted over 40 episodes to the internet as a video podcast show. Brian saw there was a fan-base to what I was doing, so when he launched his own live/interactive network he invited me to participate. When COIN-OP TV LIVE started as a weekly show – it was the first time I was in front of the camera on a regular basis. TheStream.TV launched with a handful of shows and my show is the second longest running show on the network.

COIN-OP TV DVD Vol. 2

COIN-OP TV DVD Vol. 2

BG: How has the show changed since its creation?
Rob:So much has changed since I started. My original business cards read ‘web-tv show tribute to retro and arcade gaming’. In the beginning I was all about arcade, pinball and old school gaming related things. Who had the highest score in Ms. Pac-Man? Who could get to the kill screen in Donkey Kong? Who designed the Star Wars arcade game? These were people I wanted to meet and interview. As exciting as I found these people out to be – I started to notice that the general public wasn’t as interested as I was. So I had to find ways to add new dimensions to the show and open up the door a little wider. I started doing interviews at the ‘I am 8-bit’ art shows (a tribute show by artists to retro gaming) we started going to the Anime Expo and other shows looking for fun and interesting people to interview. I still have a great love for pinball and arcade and will continue to interview or showcase that sort of thing with COIN-OP TV but it has become a broader show over the years. Also the biggest difference is that the show is live and interactive running about 45 minutes rather then short isolated edited video podcast clips. We describe COIN-OP TV LIVE as an Internet TV show on the video game industry, people and events.
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“Grits” with Slingshots, an interview with Danielle Corsetto

Monday, March 16th, 2009
Gritskrieg and the talented Danielle Corsetto, author and artist of Girls With Slingshots

Gritskrieg and the talented Danielle Corsetto, author and artist of Girls With Slingshots

Danielle Corsetto of Girls With Slingshots fame was gracious enough to take time from her busy day at Staple! to sit down with me for another interview.  Yes, that’s right, I said, and stress, *another* interview.  A freak tape recorder incident last year and I’m short one GWS creator story.  Fortunately, she was our booth neighbor so it was really easy to sit and stare at her until she relented to being asked some questions.  I call it “the creepy” method.  Not so good for getting dates but great when you want to get some questions answered.

Danielle tells us about McPedro’s origins, “falling” for Seth Green, and how at least one of her characters is deathly afraid of meat.

BG Gritskrieg: Looking at your itinerary on your site, you’ve been pretty busy since the beginning of the year. Are you busier this year as opposed to last year?
Danielle Corsetto: Travel-wise, definitely. I started doing signing tours in January and they’ve gone so well, I’ve decided to do more of them and that means I’m not in the house as much. So it’s been a lot of extra work but it’s worth it. I get to meet a lot more people and travel to wacky places. That’s always good.

BG Gritskrieg: What’s been your favorite stop this year?
Danielle Corsetto: That’s a hard choice. I’m in love with Toronto so any time I get to go there it’s always a good time. I love Austin though, I mean the weather alone might make it unfair for me to judge because it’s been so freakin’ cold back east so it’s a welcome change. I like Austin an awful lot, I don’t know if that really counts as an answer.
(ed. note: You read it, folks. She likes Austin, Texas the best so “neener” to the other states!)

Jamie of GWS sporting a BG Tee and representing the Old School Gamin'

Jamie of GWS sporting a BG Tee and representing the Old School Gamin'

BG Gritskrieg: Which event has been your favorite so far?
Danielle Corsetto: Wow, that’s a tough one. New York Comic Con was not my favorite. *laughing* Driving to New York sucks. I guess this one (Staple!). I really haven’t done a lot of other events this year other than the signings. I guess I could say the signing in Toronto was awesome.
(ed. note: We’ll forgive that last bit because she said Staple! first which is in Austin, Texas… so “neener” to the other states!)

BG Gritskrieg: This is probably something you get asked a lot but where did you come up with the idea for McPedro, the talking cactus in your strip?
Danielle Corsetto: *chuckling* That’s actually a good question. It started when I was approached by a company that wanted to make plushies of the characters from my strips. I thought about it and figured there would be some perverts out there tearing out the crotches of the dolls and… Well, it freaked me out a little  and I thought I would never let that happen to my “girls”. But they were looking for something that could be turned into a plushie and so being the snarky asshole that I am I said, “How about a cactus? That’s really cushie. It’s a plant, you can squeeze it.”  And so he just turned into one of the characters. I’m glad he did because the strip needed some sort of weird anthropomorphic character in there. He was good comic relief. Some people really hate him which I understand and appreciate but a lot of people really dig him. So that’s where he came from. Poor guy.

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