G33ky Stuff for All Ages
G33k and Company was one of fifty vendors who participated in the Cheese Weasel ConQuest. They had a fun thing to do to get your ConQuest card punched, you had to read a geeky nursery rhyme. I recorded some one doing so and it will be part of another podcast. They were also part of the Family Fun Pavillion area at this year’s Gen Con.
I think their About Page is a nice summary of what this young company is:
G33k & Co. is a group of companies dedicated to serving the entire geek family. We specialize in products that will engage all members of the family, and in particular the littlest geeklings. Located in Dayton, OH, we can ship our products anywhere in the world. In 2014, you’ll find us at geek, gamer, and pop culture conventions throughout the country, including GenCon, Indianapolis, and Denver ComicCon.
Perfect for Gen Con, A Star Trek Themed Quintet
While I am into Star Trek, these five men take it to a higher level. Not only did they form a band which pledged to do one song for each episode in the original series which, quoting Fark, “Is one song plus a whole butt-load more” but they also are insanely popular to the point where they just returned from playing the Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas. I confess that I felt a tad jealous when I heard they got to meet William Shatner.
Powerful and Moving – Speak to Me by On the Run
This band contacted us some time ago. However, due to having the best problem any music reviewer could have, that being too many submissions and not enough listening time, I am just now digging them out of my inbox. On the Run is an alternative rock/rock band from East Freedom, Pennsylvania. The quintet has a very powerful and engaging sound. I won’t say much about them because I am sure you will decide to like them if you only give them a listen. I will say they crank out some great work on the guitars. The members are:
- John Ross Green – Vocals/Guitar
- Ryan Weaver – Guitar/Vocals
- Paul Johnson – Guitar
- Tyler Miller – Bass
- Brian Fisher – Drums
Many Musicians to Join the George Harrison Tribute Concert
While John was my favorite of the “Fab Four” as a soloist, there is a strong argument that George may well be the most respected as a singer-songwriter. The simple fact that the man settled for one or two tracks competing with the Lennon-McCartney duo certainly says much about his commitment to the group. Regardless of how I feel, it is clear that many musicians have tons of respect and admiration for the man.
Pitchfork.com reports that Brian Wilson, Wayne Coyne, Weird All, members of Weezer, Cold War Kids and more will all be performing at the show. All proceeds are going to Sweet Relief. Sweet Relief is a non-profit that provides monetary support for struggling musicians.
After the break, there is a video of the DVD of a previous tribute concert to the former Beatle. I have a friend who is a total Harrison fanatic and she was kind enough to let me watch the entire set. I can say two things about the work. First, it is amazing how much his son looks like him. So much so that it actually confused Paul. Second, it is an excellent line up and performance. The boxed DVD set has a lot of material, all of which is very enjoyable.
An Interview with Loren L. Coleman, Owner of Catalyst Games
While I am not the world’s most avid gamer and have only recently gotten back into the hobby, BattleTech, Shadowrun and The Duke are all on my list of “To Do and To Get”. All are products of Catalyst Game Labs.
Frankly, the two largest problems in my life at the moment are; too many games and too little leisure time, along with too many music submissions and too little listening time. Then again, as a gamer and indie music geek, I want those problems.
The company has a huge selection of high quality games. They are a regular at the Gen Cons and occupied at least three booths worth of space, aka the Catalyst Compound. They also had one of the most awesome attractions for the attendees. Check out the large-scale version of The Duke in the photo on the right.
Gateway Games to Introduce Your Non-Gaming Friends to Gaming – Calliope Games
I was lucky enough to catch the president of Calliope Games at the 2014 Gen Con. Calliope Games are “gateway” games. A game is to introduce non-gamers to gaming as a hobby. This means they are low-cost with all titles under 30 USD and have short play times with most games being played in under 30 minutes. They also appeal to a wide age group.
The company was part of the “family fun pavilion” area of Gen Con; an area designed for games to target the entire family. They were also one of fifty companies participating in this year’s Cheese Weasel ConQuest.
I knew I wanted to get this interview even before I got to the Gen Con. I already wrote about how much I liked the concept of this game, Heroes Wanted. I got even luckier than I thought. Not only did I get to interview someone about the game but I actually got to interview the game’s developer, Travis R. Chance. Listen in as I get to sit down with this developer and co-founder of Action Phase Games as we talk about:
- The fame concept
- How it all started out with scraps of paper at a comic book store
- How he did what few do, nailed it with the prototype
- the expansion packs
- Indianapolis Tabletop Game Design and Test Group
You can find out more about this game company at:
- Gen Con: An Investor’s-Eye View of “The Best Four Days in Gaming” (fool.com)
- New Shotguns and Sorcery RPG to Debut at Gen Con 2015 (flamesrising.com)
- Mayfair Games talks resurgence of tabletop gaming, GenCon (fox59.com)
Game Designer Joan Wendland
Blood and Card Stock Games offers a variety of non-collectible card games. They are a game company that I would call a “gateway” game company. By that I mean they offer games that offers games that non-hard-core and hard-core gamers alike will enjoy.
I was lucky enough to get some time with Joan Wendland who is the “owner, operator, game designer and Queen of Cards”. Listen in as we talk about:
- The many games the company has to offer
- Joan’s interesting education
- Her advice for those who wish to develop a game
- Her thoughts on Kickstarter
You can find out more about Blood and Card Stock Games at their website
An Author in Armor
I am not joking. This guy is really into sword fighting and he is a published author. (The photo to the right is actually him.) To be truthful, when I first approached him, I thought I was unfamiliar with him completely. During the interview, I found he writes for one of the games I follow. Besides, how could a blogger and gamer not want to interview an author in armor?
Mr. Birtolo is a, to say the least, well-rounded, amazing person. He is also a computer programmer who works for Microsoft, a martial artist and jousts. If you explore his about page, you will see he that there is much more to him. Listen to the interview to find out more as we discuss:
- His book The Shadow Chaser, the first of a trilogy by him
- Some of the games stories he has written
- How he became an author
- His influences and inspirations
- His advice to aspiring writers
- His favorite book on writing
You can find Dylan on the web at the links below
- His Website
- This list of his published works
- Dancing with My Muse at Live Journal (He also reviews games here)
I would also like to publicly thank him for his time. He seems like a wonderfully interesting person and I am already hoping he is at the next Gen Con because I have many more questions for this multi-talented man.
One last thing about this author, talent must run in the family. His mother is also an Emmy winning writer and actress.
- 1A Games at Gen Con (indienation.fm)
- Feeling down? Missing GenCon? Virtually visit Anti-GenCon instead! (geeknative.com)
- Con Diary: Gen Con wrap up (womenwriteaboutcomics.com)