You’ve probably noticed the headline that announces this episode as the first Brazen one. That’s because the Paid to Play Podcast has joined forces with Brazen Careerist!
They even made me up this neat logo, too! Now I just have to figure out how get it into iTunes…
The folks at Brazen and I have a lot in common. We both want to help folks get the most satisfaction out of their working lives as possible. Brazen’s team of bloggers – including my guest for episode 15, Kelly Gurnett – give out tips on how to thrive in the modern workplace without compromising what’s important to you.
Which, I reckon, is a pretty good definition of my guests on Paid to Play.
Once a month, I’ll contribute an interview to Brazen; I hope that my interviews can add to Brazen’s already massive library of work-life wisdom.
The first of these is already up; my chat with Trevor Longino, head of marketing and public relations at game distributor GOG.com. Formerly known as Good Old Games, GOG.com has expanded its mission from bringing classic computer games from the nineties back to life on modern operating systems into offering newer titles from indies like FTL to mainstream games like The Witcher DRM free.
Trevor and I discuss the classic video games of the nineties, just what marketing and PR involves in this social media age and how Trevor has handled relocating from the US to Poland in order to work for GOG!
I’m sad to say that some connectivity issues prevented this interview with bestselling romantic fantasy author Elizabeth Vaughan being as good as it deserved to be. The podcast you’ll hear is actually our the second attempt at this interview after my call recorder butchered the first take a week before.
This time I made sure to run two recordings simultaneously. While the second one was largely intact, editing it took longer than otherwise, and some of the times I’m speaking you’ll hear some hiss in the background.
But you know you have a quality guest when, after you discover that your recording is stuffed, your guest agrees to come back a week later and do it all again! I must thank Elizabeth for giving of her precious writing time twice over to chat with me.
In this interview, we talk about how Elizabeth was dared to start writing seriously by a friend and how that dare became seven novels (two of which made it into the USA Today bestseller lists) with at least three more on the way. We also discuss Beth’s influences, friends, mentors and motivators, as well as science fiction and fantasy conventions and her love of Dungeons & Dragons.
My poor rig was around a year overdue for a clean out. I evicted at least two families of dust bunnies from within its case on the weekend.
A few weeks earlier, I uninstalled the beta client for an upcoming MMO called Firefall. Much as I wanted to keep it handy for when I interview Crystal Graziano for the Paid to Play Podcast, I was running out of room on my 130GB Windows partition and it had never run well for me. I always chalked it up to having a computer below Firefall’s minimum specifications and intercontinental lag.
While I was cleaning my PC out, though, I decided to removed the Audigy 4. I started using the sound system built into the motherboard a while back, so it was redundant. On a whim, I also decided to reformat my hard drive and re-install Windows XP.
When I got to the XP setup screen, though, a surprise awaited me.
I didn’t think I’d be able to say this with only four episodes of this podcast under my belt, but I am very pleased to be able to mark my guest for episode 5 off my wish list:
Gavin Dunne, Miracle of Sound. Image sourced from the Miracle of Sound profile on Last.FM
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present for your listening pleasure, Gavin Dunne, the one-man band known on the Internet as the Miracle of Sound!
Gavin sat down with me over Skype on Thursday evening, Ireland time (which translated to before sparrows, Cairns time) to talk about how he went from the frontman of a band that broke up on the verge of hitting it big to a full-time, self-employed musician with a dedicated fan base that stretches across the world!
Gav was a pleasure to chat with, and had plenty of stories and insights on what it takes to become your own personal success story in the Internet age. Plus it was fun to geek out with him about games toward the end! Listen and enjoy!
Making fun. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Try it for five seconds and you’ll soon realise it ain’t. It involves just as much focus and effort as your day job. How the hell can producing fun be so much of a slog?
Times like those, you need a good example to follow. And frankly, when it comes to making so much fun that other people pay one for it, I reckon you can’t go past Miracle of Sound. It’s the project of Gavin Dunne, a gamer and muse-o who decided to combine his passions last year; he now has not only a bill-paying following but also a song commission by game developer BioWare to help promote their new video game, Mass Effect 3.
Here are ten things we creative types who aspire to get paid to play can all learn from the Miracle of Sound.
But if that’s not an option… click below! (You’ll need Adobe Reader to view the file.)
In summary: It’s a great way to get your boardgame fix when you can’t get your mates together in one place, and if – like me – the collecting arms race drove you away from Magic: The Gathering in the first place, Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 will bring back the fun.
This may surprise you, but for the longest time I’ve had a deep resistance to being seen as an expert with technology.
Sure, I loves me some sci-fi. Yes, I have a desktop PC (which I assembled myself from parts I ordered) and a netbook. Yet when it comes to actually getting into the complexities of computing, really messing about with things like command prompts, different operating systems, memory timings and the like, I’ve not wanted to know. I’ve resisted when people asked me for computing advice, requested my help with PC issues. I’d think, “Why are they asking me? I’m not good at this stuff! I don’t want to be! I’ll just fuck it up for them further!
But right now, I’m writing this post using LibreOffice Writer, a freeware word processor, which is running on version 11 of the (also freeware) Linux Mint operating system, which I set up as a dual-boot option on Monday night in around a quarter of an hour.
The idea of a jingle – a short sequence of notes intended to catch the attention of a prospective buyer – has been around for ages. It’s an advertising cliché. Yet I, who prided myself in basing my ultimate game purchasing decisions on review scores, was stunned to discover recently just how much of my purchase and subsequent enjoyment of a game has been due to its music.
The very first game I distinctly remember selling me, at least in part, with its music was that classic of early nineties PC gaming, Wing Commander. The non-playable demo I got off a floppy disc back in 1990 was more like a movie trailer, with shots of space fighters duking it out to the best soundtrack a SoundBlaster could crank out back then. But as simple as it may seem now, I still remember three pieces of music that really got me going: The scramble music where your player ran to his fighter craft after the mission briefing, the post-landing tune where the tech surveys your bullet-ridden ship and says, “Glad to see you made it back alive, sir.” and, of course, the Wing Commander fanfare.