In each episode of the Paid to Play Podcast, I chat with someone who is making money out of his or her passions about how they went from hobby to income.
Chris Birch, Founder and Publisher at Modiphius – Episode 123
Tabletop Gaming Company Founder and Publisher Chris Birch loves the tabletop gaming scene, from roleplaing games to wargames and boardgames; he grew up on Dungeons & Dragons, Steve Jackson’s Ogre and 15mm historical wargames. He loves it so much that he long harboured a dream of making and publishing games.
Five years ago, Chris followed his dream to create and run a game company and founded founded Modiphius. The company used Kickstarter to enable their first project, Achtung! Cthulhu; since then Modiphius has become full-time employment for Chris and around twenty employees. Modiphius has created new games and secure the licenses for some of the biggest franchises around, including Infinity, Fallout, Conan and Star Trek.
Join Chris and I for a great chat about headphone-stealing squirrels, what a major convention does to your work schedule, preparing for the tabletop gaming business through the music and fashion industries and making sure you choose projects based on whether you genuinely love them!
Chris Birch and Modiphius
Official Website of Modiphius
Modiphius on Facebook
Modiphius on Twitter
Fallout: Wasteland Warfare
Star Trek Adventures
Games, People and Events
Cubicle 7 (tabletop game company)
David Grant (Wikipedia)
Free League Publishing
The Lord of the Rings - 1981 BBC radio adaptation (Wikipedia)
Mike Pondsmith (Wikipedia)
Starblazer - Space Fiction Adventure in Pictures (Wikipedia)
Jared A. Sorensen, Roleplaying Game Designer – Episode 122
Tabletop roleplaying and digital game designer Jared A. Sorensen has been a mainstay of the indie scene since the turn of the millennium. He's probably best know for his roleplaying game InSpectres, about busting ghosts while balancing the budget, but he's worked across projects across the gaming spectrum.
Jared is one of my classic guests. I first spoke with him for Episode 8, all the way back in 2012, and I'm glad to have him back on to talk about his latest project, a hardcover compilation of his Parsely series of party games inspired by the text-based computer adventures of the seventies and eighties. As of this posting, the Kickstarter for the Parsely book has finished with over 300% of the requested target!
Join us for a chat about nightclubbing spiders, the great screenwriter in the sky, running a game at a planetarium, adjectives and expletives in Australia and the United States and being a travelling mad scientist!
Jared A. Sorensen's web site and RPG brand, Memento Mori
Jared A. Sorensen on Twitter
Jared Sorensen's chat for Episode 8
* The Parsely Games Compilation on Kickstarter
* Steve Darlington's RPGnet review
Games, Gamers and Gaming
Atari 2600 game console (Wikipedia)
Burning Wheel and Burning Empires
* Gen Con 50 Retrospective Panels, including "Creative Millennium: RPGs at the turn of the century" with Jared Sorensen, Jonathan Tweet, James Wallis, Vincent Baker and Ron Edwards; hosted by Luke Crane
Ghostbusters roleplaying game (Wikipedia)
* King of Tokyo
* a href="http://www.iellogames.com/Oceanos.
Ian Livingstone, Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy Co-Founder – Episode 121
Game designer, writer, executive and philanthropist Ian Livingstone is one of the founding fathers of the UK games industry. He co-founded iconic games company Games Workshop in 1975 with Steve Jackson, creating hobby magazine White Dwarf and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, which soon after spawned the juggernaut tabletop miniatures games Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer 40,000.
Ian also co-authored The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the first interactive book in the Fighting Fantasy series, with Steve Jackson in 1982. Since, the series has sold 20 million copies worldwide. Ian has written 15 titles in the series, including Deathtrap Dungeon and City of Thieves. His new book, The Port of Peril, will be published by Scholastic in August 2017.
In 1995 Ian oversaw a merger that created Eidos plc where he served as Executive Chairman until 2002, and later as Creative Director. At Eidos he launched global video games franchises including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
Ian co-authored the influential Livingstone-Hope Next Gen review published by NESTA in 2011, recommending changes in ICT education policy. He chaired the Next Gen Skills campaign, working with government to introduce the new Computing curriculum in schools in 2014. He is opening Livingstone Academies in 2019 in association with Aspirations Academies Trust, with a curriculum focused on problem-solving and digital creativity.
Join us for a chat about saying "no" to partnering with the makers of Dungeons & Dragons, retaining control of your intellectual property, the Twittersphere posing a question Ian has never been asked before and Ian throwing a game mastering gauntlet down at the feet of your humble host!
A huge thank you to guest for Episode 111, Neil Rennison of Tin Man Games, who are republishing the Fighting Fantasy series as digital gamebooks for computers, tablets and smartphones, for getting Ian and I in touch!
Thanks also to Twitter fans MalcolmGarcia and furious george ☭ for your questions!
Ian Livingstone on Twitter
Official website of Fighting Fantasy
* The Fighting Fantasy section of Gamebook Adventures, app versions of game-books
* Fighting Fantasy Legends by Nomad Games
Dungeons & Dragons
Eidos Interactive (Wikipedia)
Tomb Raider (Wikipedia)
Delaney King, Video Game Artist and Miniatures Maker – Episode 120
3D character artist Delaney King has worked on a swathe of triple-A video game titles, including Unreal Tournament 2004. She was instrumental in developing the Australian video game design scene by starting professional courses based on her education during trips to the United States.
Delaney has also started the brands, King’s Minis and Darkling Games, and is preparing Skulldred, a set of tabletop miniatures gaming rules designed specifically to allow those who have impairments with numerical literacy to enjoy the full competitive experience of miniatures wargaming, for release.
If those weren't enough, Delaney, identifying as queer herself, is a tireless advocate for the LGBTIQ community within the video game industry.
Join us for a great chat about the good old days of miniatures gaming, the struggles of unionising in a digital industry, the three main qualities people look for when hiring game designers, the relative densities of hobbits and lava, how hard it can be to ask for help and how you really, really, really need to back your stuff up!
Thanks again to my guest for Episode 80, Sim Lauren, for recommending Delaney to me, and my fantastic backers on Patreon (including Sim) for the questions!
Official Website of Delaney King
* Delaney King on Twitter
Enemy Infestation (Metacritic)
Tabletop Miniatures Gaming
Batman Miniatures Game (Knight Models)
* Warhammer 40,000
* White Dwarf (Wikipedia)
* Volume 1, Issue 95 (by fan site Chilvers Industries)
Malifaux (Wyrd Games)
Warzone: Resurrection (the Mutant Chronicles wargame) by Prodos Games
Tabletop Roleplaying Games
* Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Song of Blades and Heroes (Ganesha Games)
Video Game and 3D Design
Academy of Interactive Entertainment
Blender 3D Modelling
Shoot 'Em Up Construction Kit (SEUCK) (Wikipedia)
Evgeni Puzankov, Video Game Narrative Designer – Episode 119
Narrative designer for computer and video games Evgeni Puzankov works as a freelancer in the video game industry from his home base in St. Petersburg in Russia.
After working as an employee doing scripting and production for video games and becoming a lead narrative designer on Suricate Games’ title Panoptes, Evgeni went full-time as a freelancer in October 2016.
Since, he’s crafted narratives for the Steam Greenlight game The Long Reach and a few more games yet to be announced.
Evgeni Puzankov on Twitter
Depths of Betrayal
The Long Reach
Evgeni's Favourite Games
Darkwing Duck (Wikipedia)
* Darkwing Duck Video Game (Nintendo) (Wikipedia)
Video Game Design
Source Engine (Valve)
Fon Davis, Movie Model Maker – Episode 118
Miniature model maker Fon Davis has worked on over thirty feature films across a two decade career. He’s an alumnus of the Industrial Light and Magic Model Shop and Disney, having produced concept art and made models for Starship Troopers, Galaxy Quest, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline. Recently, he’s worked on Interstellar, Guardians of the Galaxy and Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium.
Fon founded his own design and fabrication studio, Fonco Creative, in 1997 in San Francisco, and after setting up shop in the premises of Vanaheim Studios in Los Angeles, he bought the whole 16,000 square foot facility out at the end of first quarter 2017, renaming it Fonco Studios.
Join us for a fantastic chat about the importance of a portfolio in the special effects industry (and why Fon didn't wind up needing one when he interviewed at ILM), the possibilities of virtual reality in entertainment, how special effects folks insert themselves into the movies they work on and the questions from the show's Patreon backers!
Thanks again to my guest for episode 86, Lauren Matesic of Castle Corsetry, for getting Fon on the show, and thanks to Patreon backer Matt Dawson for your questions for Fon!
Fon Davis, Fonco Creative and Fonco Studios
Fon Davis on Facebook
Fon Davis on Instagram
Fon Davis on Twitter
Fonco Studios / Fonco Creative
Fonco Creative on Facebook
Fonco Studios on Facebook
Galaxy Quest (Wikipedia)
James and the Giant Peach (Wikipedia)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (Wikipedia)
Starship Troopers (Wikipedia)
Fon's Projects and Loves
Kaiju movies (Wikipedia)
Movie and Effects Companies
Colossal Pictures (Wikipedia)
* Henry Selick (Wikipedia)
Industrial Light and Magic
* Mark Anderson (IMDb)
Stan Winston School of Character Arts
Tippett Studio (Wikipedia)